Lenten Thoughts – 22 March – “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

Lenten Thoughts – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

“These are thoughts, I need hardly say, especially suited to this season.
From the earliest times down to this day, these weeks before Easter have been set apart every year, for the particular remembrance and confession of our sins.   From the first age downward, not a year has passed but Christians have been exhorted to reflect how far they have let go their birthright, as a preparation for their claiming the blessing.   At Christmas we are born again with Christ, at Easter we keep the Eucharistic Feast.

In Lent, by penance, we join the two great sacraments together.   Are you, my brethren, prepared to say,—is there any single Christian alive who will dare to profess—that he has not in greater or less degree, sinned against God’s free mercies as bestowed on him, in Baptism without, or rather against his deserts?   Who will say that he has so improved his birthright that the blessing is his fit reward, without either sin to confess, or wrath to deprecate?

See, then, the Church offers you this season for the purpose. “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

Now it is that, God being your helper, you are to attempt to throw off from you the heavy burden of past transgression, to reconcile yourselves to Him who has once already imparted to you His atoning merits and you have profaned them.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)at christmas we are born again - bl john henry newman - fri2ndweeklent 22 march 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 22 March – “The Lion of Munster”

Thought for the Day – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946) “The Lion of Munster”



Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 9 October 2005

The tomb of the Supreme Pontiff Hadrian VI, well known for many centuries as the last non-Italian Pope, is located in the Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima, the national church of Germany in Rome. The following epitaph is engraved on his sepulchral monument: “Unfortunately, the conditions of the times strongly dissipate the effectiveness of the virtues of even the best of men”.

This epitaph is a negative reference to the conditions of the times in which Hadrian VI lived, but it also contains a very positive appreciation of the outstanding virtues that he practised precisely in the adverse conditions of his time.

Indeed, a characteristic feature of the famous Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster, whose beatification today fills our hearts with joy, is that he eminently and heroically practised the virtues of a Christian and a Pastor in a period so fraught with difficulties for the Church and for the German Nation.

Germany was then dominated by National Socialism.   The Diocese of Münster can boast of having had as Bishop, on the Chair of St Ludger, a Pastor who boldly opposed the ideology that despised humanity and the death mechanism of the National Socialist State.   This earned him the well-deserved nickname, “Lion of Münster”.

Bishop Clemens August Count von Galen, was one of the best known champions of the Church’s resistance to the unjust National Socialist regime.   If we wonder where he found his daring to reprimand the Nazis publicly and with very clear arguments, since they were violating fundamental human rights and how he managed to persevere in this denunciation, we must turn to three important factors that built up his strong personality as a man, a believer, first and subsequently, Bishop.

These were:  Family, Faith, and Politics.   However, we must never lose sight of the fact that the Blessed’s attitude stemmed from his deeply-rooted Christian virtues.

Clemens August came from a family bound by a long tradition both to the Church and to public life.   His father was involved in public affairs and his mother kept the family united – these factors gave Clemens August and his siblings a sense of security and a basis for life that later and rather unexpectedly enabled him to surpass himself and the tradition of the milieu into which he was born.

Traditionally, the life of the von Galen family was strongly oriented to a sense of public responsibility with regard to all the people in the Church and in society.   At the family table in Dinklage Castle, in addition to family conversation and the prayer of the Rosary, the father’s position as a deputy of the Reichstag in Berlin often gave rise to political topics.

Without any doubt he was able to do what he did only thanks to a deep but at the same time very simple spirituality, founded both on the Eucharist and on devotion to the Mother of God.

He countered the deafening martial music and the empty phrases blaring from the amplifiers of the speakers’ platforms with the veneration of the Blessed Eucharist, the silence of contemplative adoration of the Lord who made himself Bread.   Before the Lord present in the Sacrament of the Eucharistic Bread, apparently defenceless and thus not easy to recognise, he found the strength and nourishment that alone could permanently satisfy the human desire for life.

The unifying force of the new Blessed’s spiritual life was his profound and dynamic faith, enlivened by his active charity towards everyone, especially the suffering.   Von Galen’s spirituality, inspired by the Gospel, allowed him to be transparent in his public role.   All his actions and virtues flowed from his lived faith.

At the very outset of his pastoral work in Münster, Bishop von Galen unmasked the ideology of National Socialism and its contempt for human beings.   In the middle of the war in the summer of 1941, he criticised it even more harshly in the three homilies he gave in the months of July and August that year, which have become famous.

In them he targeted the obligatory closure of convents and the arrest of Religious.   He spoke vigorously against the deportation and destruction of those human lives that the regime deemed unworthy to be lived, that is, the mentally disabled.   The Bishop’s fiery words dealt fatal blows to the Nazi’s systematic extermination policy.

His clear arguments infuriated the Nazi leaders who were at a loss as to what to do next, because they did not have the nerve to arrest or kill him due to Bishop von Galen’s extraordinary authority.

It was neither innate courage nor excessive temerity.   Only a deep sense of responsibility and a clear vision of what was right and what was wrong could have induced Bishop Clemens August to speak these words.   They invite us to reflect on the brilliance of his witness to faith, in times that may seem less threatening but are just as problematic with regard to human life, they invite us to imitate his example.

Thus, in March 1946, reflecting on what happened at that time, Cardinal von Galen summarised all this.   He said:  “The good Lord gave me a position that obliged me to call what was black, black, and what was white, white, as outlined in episcopal ordination.   I knew that I could speak on behalf of thousands of people who, like me, were convinced, that only on the basis of Christianity, could our German People truly be united and attain a blessed future”.

Dear German pilgrims, we can look full of gratitude at this great personality from your Homeland.   Bl. Bishop Clemens August realised who our God is and placed all his hope in Him (cf. Is 25: 9).   When he was first a parish priest and later a Bishop, he spared no efforts in his pastoral ministry, he had learned how to do without (cf. Phil 4: 12) and was prepared to give his life in the service of human beings.   Indeed, he was fully aware of his responsibility to God.

Therefore, the Lord has made him worthy of his magnificent riches (cf. Phil 4: 19), of which St Paul spoke in his Letter to the Philippians that we have just heard.   In faith, we are convinced that he was called, that he was chosen to take part in the wedding banquet in the perfection of divine glory – the wonderful parable of Jesus, presented to us by the Gospel of today’s liturgy, prompts us to meditate on this wedding banquet (cf. Mt 22: 1-14).

I would like to congratulate the Diocese of Münster on the fact that precisely in the year in which its establishment, at least 12 centuries ago, is being commemorated, it can celebrate with joy and pride this Beatification here at the Tomb of the Apostle Peter, as if to strengthen its own apostolic roots, anchoring them even more firmly to the Magisterium of the Vicar of Christ who today, through God’s grace, is Benedict XVI.   May the new Blessed be an encouragement to the Diocese of Münster to keep its rich and ever-timely heritage constantly alive, making it fruitful for the people of our times.

May the Lord, through the intercession of the new Blessed, bless the beloved and venerable Diocese of Münster and the entire Church in Germany…Vatican.vabl clemens von galen the lion of munster pray for us 22 march 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 22 March – ‘Thou shalt not kill.’

Quote of the Day – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

and the Memorial of Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946)

“The Lion of Munster”

Hitler’s order for the “Aktion T4” Euthanasia Programme was dated 1 September 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland.   As word of the programme spread, protest grew, until finally, Bishop Galen delivered his famous August 1941 sermons denouncing the programme as “murder”.   On 3 August 1941, in one of his series of denunciations, Blessed Galen declared:

“‘Thou shalt not kill.'”
God engraved this commandment on the souls of men,
long before any penal code…
God has engraved these commandments in our hearts…
They are the unchangeable
and fundamental truths of our social life…
Where in Germany and where, here,
is obedience to the precepts of God? …
As for the first commandment,
‘Thou shalt not have strange gods before me,’
instead of the One, True, Eternal God,
men have created at the dictates of their whim,
their own gods to adore –
Nature, the State, the Nation, or the Race.”

Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946)
“The Lion of Munster”

thou shalt not kill - bl clemens august von galen 22 march 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 22 March –

Lenten Reflection – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God
will be taken away from you
and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43lent - friday of the second week matthew 21 43 22 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Help us open our hearts to you.

We hear of the vineyard owner whose tenants killed his servants and then his son.
Let us open our hearts and lives
to the challenge of Your Gospel.

“Let us serve God but let us do so according to His will.
He will then take the place of everything in our lives.
He will be our strength and the reward of our labours.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)let us serve god but let us do so according to his will st vincent de paul 22 march 2019.jpg

“The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7).   We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard.   So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no one may say to us:  “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4).   What fruitless soil!   The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns.   In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.   In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…

My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you:   “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)…   Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns.   There are thorns in the heart that have even wounded the word of God, as our Lord says in the gospel when he relates how the sower’s seed fell among thorns that grew and choked what had been sown (Mt 13:7)…  So take care that your vineyard does not bring forth thorns instead of grapes and your vintage produce vinegar instead of wine.   Anyone who gathers in the grapes, without sharing them with the poor, is collecting vinegar instead of wine and anyone who stores his harvests, without sharing them with the needy, is not setting aside the fruit of almsgiving but the briars of greed.”

Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)

Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11the soil that should have - st maximus of turin 22 march 2019 2nd fri lent.jpg

Closing Prayer:

Loving God, caring parent,
I am a child who so often turns my back
on Your love.
Please accept my small acts of sorrow today
and help to release me from the self-absorption
that closes my heart to You.
As I journey through Lent,
let me remember the feast You have prepared for me
in the resurrection
and let me be filled with gratitude to You.

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

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – we must be the Lord’s vineyard

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946)

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43

REFLECTION – “My brothers and sisters, God does not avenge himself.   God loves, He does not avenge himself.   He waits for us to forgive us, to embrace us.   There is only one obstacle to the tenacious and tender will of God – our arrogance and our conceit which, at times also becomes violence!
The urgency of replying with good fruits to the call of the Lord, who asks us to become His vineyard, helps us understand what is new and original about the Christian faith.  It is not so much the sum of precepts and moral norms but rather, it is first and foremost a proposal of love which God makes through Jesus and continues to make with mankind.   It is an invitation to enter into this love story, by becoming a lively and open vine, rich in fruits and hope for everyone.
A closed vineyard can become wild and produce wild grapes.   We are called to leave this vineyard to put ourselves at the service of our brothers and sisters who are not with us, in order to shake each other and encourage each other, to remind ourselves that we must be the Lord’s vineyard in every environment, even the more distant and challenging ones.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 8 October 2017matthew 21 43 - the urgency of replying with good fruits - pope francis - fri2ndweeklent 22 march 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God, help us dear Father to produce fruits acceptable to You. Help us to reach out of our enclosed spaces in love to all.   Even when the road is rocky, grant that we may not falter but always turn back to Your merciful gaze.   May the prayers of Blessed Clemens August von Galen, who fearlessly withstood the fury of evil, be a help in our times of need and fear.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, clemens august von galen pray for us 22 march 2019

Posted in LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 22 March – Give me the grace, good Lord!

Our Morning Offering – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

The prayer below, was written by Saint Thomas More while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, awaiting execution by King Henry VIII.

Give me the grace, good Lord!
By St Thomas More (1478-1535)

Give me the grace, good Lord.
To set the world at naught.
To set the mind firmly on You
and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.
To be content to be solitary.
Not to long for worldly pleasures.
Little by little utterly to cast off the world
and rid my mind of all its business.
Not to long to hear of earthly things
but that the hearing of worldly fancies
may be displeasing to me.
Gladly to be thinking of God,
piteously to call for His help.
To lean into the comfort of God.
Busily to labour to love Him.
To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
To humble myself under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them,
patiently to suffer adversity.
Gladly to bear my purgatory here.
To be joyful in tribulations.
To walk the narrow way that leads to life.
To have the last thing in remembrance.
To have ever before my eyes,
my death that is ever at hand.
To make death no stranger to me.
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the judge comes.
To have continually in mind,
the passion that Christ suffered for me.
For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.
To buy the time again that I have lost.
To abstain from vain conversations.
To shun foolish mirth and gladness.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all,
to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.
To think my worst enemies my best friends,
for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him
so much good with their love and favour,
as they did him with their malice and hatred.
These minds are more to be desired of every man,
than all the treasures of all the princes and kings,
Christian and heathen,
were it gathered and laid together, all in one heap.
Amengive me the grace good lord - st thomas more - 4 sept 2018 - new version.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 March – Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946)

Saint of the Day – 22 March – Blessed Clemens August Count von Galen (1878-1946) aged 68 known as “The Lion of Munste,r”,”The Bishop Who Roared Against The Nazis,” “The Bishop Who Took On the Führer.”    Blessed Clemens had a great love for the Blessed Virgin, often leading pilgrimages, or going on his own, to Marian Shrines.   He was too, a great lover of the Holy Eucharist and a fervent apostle of charity.   Patronage – Munster.BL CLEMENS HEADER maxresdefault

Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.

Clemens August (third from left) at age six.

His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage.   For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.

Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats.   Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.

bl clemns von galen home 1024px-Burg_Dinklage_Wikipedia
The family home in Dinklage

He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta.   After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Münster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.

Parish priest, concern for poor:
His first two years as a priest were spent as vicar of the diocesan cathedral where he became chaplain to his uncle, Bishop Maximilian Gerion von Galen.

From 1906 to 1929, Fr von Galen carried out much of his pastoral activity outside Münster – in 1906 he was made chaplain of the parish of St Matthias in Berlin-Schönberg; from 1911 to 1919 he was curate of a new parish in Berlin before becoming parish priest of the Basilica of St Matthias in Berlin-Schönberg, where he served for 10 year, here, he was particularly remembered for his special concern for the poor and outcasts.   In 1929, Fr von Galen was called back to Münster when Bishop Johannes Poggenpohl asked him to serve as parish priest of the Church of St Lambert.

“Nec laudibus, nec timore’:
In January 1933, Bishop Poggenpohl died, leaving the See vacant.   After two candidates refused, on 5 September 1933, Fr Clemens was appointed Bishop of Münster by Pope Pius XI.   On 28 October 1933 he was consecrated by Cardinal Joseph Schulte, Archbishop of Cologne.   Bishop von Galen was the first diocesan Bishop to be consecrated under Hitler’s regime.

Coat of Arms of Cardinal von Galen.

As his motto, he chose the formula of the rite of episcopal consecration:  “Nec laudibus, nec timore” (Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God).

Throughout the 20 years that Bishop von Galen was curate and parish priest in Berlin, he wrote on various political and social issues – in a pastoral letter dated 26 March 1934, he wrote very clearly and critically on the “neopaganism of the national socialist ideology“.   Due to his outspoken criticism, he was called to Rome by Pope Pius XI in 1937 together with the Bishop of Berlin, to confer with them on the situation in Germany and speak of the eventual publication of an Encyclical.

On 14 March 1937 the Encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge” (To the Bishops of Germany – The place of the Catholic Church in the German Reich) was published.   It was widely circulated by Bishop von Galen, notwithstanding Nazi opposition.

“Lion of Munster’:
In the summer of 1941, in answer to unwarranted attacks by the National Socialists, Bishop von Galen delivered three admonitory sermons between July and August.   He spoke in his old parish Church of St Lambert and in Liebfrauen-Ueberlassen Church, since the diocesan cathedral had been bombed.   In his famous speeches, Bishop von Galen spoke out against the State confiscation of Church property and the programmatic euthanasia carried out by the clemens profile

The clarity and incisiveness of his words and the unshakable fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese of Münster embarrassed the Nazi regime and on 10 October 1943 the Bishop’s residence was bombed.   Bishop von Galen was forced to take refuge in nearby Borromeo College.

From 12 September 1944 on, he could no longer remain in the city of Münster, destroyed by the war, he left for the zone of Sendenhorst.

In 1945, Vatican Radio announced that Pope Pius XII was to hold a Consistory and that the Bishop of Münster was also to be present.

Creation of a Cardinal:
After a long and difficult journey, due to the war and other impediments, Bishop von Galen finally arrived in the “Eternal City”.   On 21 February 1946 the Public Consistory was held in St Peter’s Basilica and Bishop von Galen was created a clemens official cardinal pic

On 16 March 1946 the 68-year-old Cardinal returned to Münster.  He was cordially welcomed back by the city Authorities and awarded honourary citizenship by the burgomaster.

On the site of what remained of the cathedral, Cardinal von Galen gave his first (and what would be his last) discourse to the more than 50,000 people who had gathered, thanking them for their fidelity to the then-Bishop of Münster during the National Socialist regime.   He explained that as a Bishop, it was his duty to speak clearly and plainly about what was clemens.jpg

No one knew that the Cardinal was gravely ill and when he returned to Münster on 19 March 1946 he had to undergo an operation.

Cardinal von Galen died just three days later, on 22 March.   He was buried on 28 March in the Ludgerus Chapel, which has become a place of pilgrimage to this defender of the faith in the face of political oppression….Vatican.va20051009_von-galen

Blessed Clemens was Beatified on 9 October 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI at St Peter’s, Vatican City. His tomb is venerated in Munster Cathedral.Minolta DSC

Posted in JESUIT SJ, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of Our Lady and the Saints – 22 March

Our Lady of the Seven Veils:

Our Lady of Sorrows of Castelpetroso:
About the Apparitions: minor of our lady of seven sorrows

castelproso our lady of seven sorrows.JPG

St Avitus of Périgord
St Basil of Ancyra
St Basilissa of Galatia
St Benevenuto Scotivoli of Osimo
Bl Bronislaw Komorowski
St Callinica of Galatia
Bl Clemens August von Galen (1878-1946)

St Darerca of Ireland
St Deghitche
St Epaphroditus of Terracina
St Failbhe of Iona
Bl François-Louis Chartier
St Harlindis of Arland
Bl Hugolinus Zefferini
St Lea of Rome
Bl Marian Górecki
St Nicholas Owen SJ (1562-1606)
Dear St Nicholas Owen – The Priest-Hole Builder:

St Octavian of Carthage
St Paul of Narbonne
St Saturninus the Martyr
St Trien of Killelga