Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives – St Peter Chrysologus

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures.   They are prayer, fasting and mercy.   Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.   Prayer, mercy and fasting: – these three are one and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.   Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.   If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.   So if you pray, fast;  if you fast, show mercy;  if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.   If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.fasting is the soul of prayer - st peter chryasologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent

When you fast, see the fasting of others.   If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.   If you hope for mercy, show mercy.   If you look for kindness, show kindness.   If you want to receive, give.   If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.if you want to receive give - st peter chrysologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent.jpg

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy – show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer in our favour.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others.   Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting.   There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy – A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make Him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.   Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give Him yourself, you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added.   Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy.   Fasting dries up when mercy dries up.   Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth.   However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin, when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.   Therefore, do not lose by saving but gather in by scattering.   Give to the poor and you give to yourself.   You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.


Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“Speaking of Charity”

“The bread which you use
is the bread of the hungry;
the garment hanging in your wardrobe
is the garment of him who is naked;
the shoes you do NOT wear,
are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;
the acts of charity that you do NOT perform,
are so many INJUSTICES that you commit.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-bread-you-store-up-st-basil-the-great-1-jan-2019.jpg

“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God,
if we have given what we could.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Churchgive-something-however-small-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2016.jpg

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity-may-be-a-very-short-word-st-aelred-12-jan-2019.jpg

“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy,
we can never fail to do good,
so long as we have the strength.
For if we share with the poor,
out of love for God,
whatever He has given to us,
we shall receive according to His promise,
a hundredfold in eternal happiness.
What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!
With outstretched arms He begs us
to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins
and to become the servants of love,
first for ourselves, then for our neighbours.
Just as water extinguishes a fire,
so love wipes away sin.”

St John of God (1495-1550)with-outstretched-arms-he-begs-us-st-john-of-god-8-march-2019.jpg

“Nothing makes us
so prosperous
in this world,
as to give alms.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchnothing-makes-us-so-prosperous-st-francis-de-sales-24jan2019.jpg

“Help me, O Lord, …
that my eyes may be merciful,
so that I will never be suspicious
or judge by appearances
but always look for what is beautiful
in my neighbours’ souls
and be of help to them…
That my ears may be merciful,
so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs
and not indifferent to their pains and complaints.…
That my tongue may be merciful,
so that I will never speak badly of others
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.…
That my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds.…
That my feet may be merciful,
so that I will hasten to help my neighbour,
despite my own fatigue and weariness.…
That my heart may be merciful,
so that I myself will share
in all the sufferings of my neighbour.”

St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

(Extract from Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, 163)
This prayer was used by Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy 2015 to be universally prayed by the


Lenten Reflection – 26 March

Lenten Reflection – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Daniel 3:2534-43Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK 26 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in Your kindness and great mercy.

Azariah asks God to remember His mercies.
He places his complete trust in God.
These days, we place our lives in God’s hands,
and we let God forgive us.

The challenge of the Gospel is to forgive
as we have been forgiven.
How often we are so very much harder on others
than our God is on us!
An important Lenten examination of conscience.

“So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
Matthew 18:35

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33

“What is human mercy like?   It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like?   It forgives sinners…

In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)… What sort of people are we?   When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give?   When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself:  “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42).   Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…

What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.

I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church?   What indeed if not mercy?   Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven.   A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)

Sermon 25

matthew 18 35 should you not have pitty - what sort of people are we - st caesarius of arles 26 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
I thank You for this reminder of Your love
and Your call that we be more patient,
gentle and compassionate with others.
Here in the middle of Lent,
I turn to You to beg for Your help.
Please soften my heart.
Help me to let go of judging others.
I ask You this, through Christ our Lord.

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

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 March

One Minute Reflection – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“I forgave you all that debt because you besought me and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”…Matthew 18:32-33

REFLECTION – “We must wash one another’s feet in the mutual daily service of love.   But we must also wash one another’s feet, in the sense, that we must forgive one another ever anew.   The debt for which the Lord has pardoned us is always infinitely greater than all the debts that others can owe us….not to allow resentment toward others to become a poison in the depths of the soul.   It urges us to purify our memory constantly, forgiving one another whole-heartedly, washing one another’s feet, to be able to go to God’s banquet together.”…Pope Benedict XVI (Holy Thursday homily 20 March 2008)matthew 18 32-33 i forgave you all the debt - the debt for which the lord has pardoned us pope benedict - 26 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, we thank You for Your endless mercy.   We are sinners but trust in Your merciful forgiveness when we turn to You in sorrow.   Open our hearts, make them forgiving to our brother, teach us Your mercy.   May Mary, Mother of Sorrow, pray for us.   We make our prayer through our forgiving Saviour, who even to those who killed Him, turned to them in love and mercy and asked You for their forgiveness.   In union with the Holy Spirit, one God, for all eternity, amen.our lady mother of sorrows pray for us 26 march 2019

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

Our Morning Offering – 26 March – Lord I am Yours

Our Morning Offering – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

Lord I am Yours
By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

Lord, I am Yours,
and I must belong to no one but You.
My soul is Yours,
and must live only by You.
My will is Yours,
and must love only for You.
I must love You as my first cause,
since I am from You.
I must love You as my end and rest,
since I am for You.
I must love You more than my own being,
since my being subsists by You.
I must love You more than myself,
since I am all Yours and all in You.
Amenlord i am yours - st francis de sales 26 march 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 March – St Ludger (c 742-809) –

Saint of the Day – 26 March – St Ludger (c 742-809) – Bishop, Missionary, Founder, Abbot, Writer – born at Zuilen near Utrecht c 742 and died on in the evening of Passion Sunday, 26 March 809 of natural causes at Billerbeck, Germany.  Following in the footsteps of the English missionary St Boniface, St Ludger, who was a native Netherlander, brought the faith to the people of Frisia in Holland and the Saxons of north-west Germany.    He founded the Werden Abbey and was the first Bishop of Münster in Westphalia, Germany.  Patronages – Groningen, Netherlands, Deventer, Netherland, East Frisia, Diocese of Münster, Germany, Werden, ludger wall frieze

St Ludger was born in Friesland about the year 742.   His father, a nobleman of the first rank, at the child’s own request, committed him very young to the care of St Gregory, the disciple of St Boniface and his successors in the government of the see of Utrecht. Gregory educated him in his monastery and gave him the clerical tonsure.   Ludger, desirous of further improvement, went to England and spent four years under Blessed Alcuin, who was rector of a famous school at York.

In 773 he returned home and when St Gregory died in 776 St Ludger wrote his biography. His successor, Alberic,  ordained Ludger to the priesthood and employed him for several years in preaching the Word of God in Friesland, where he converted great numbers, founded several monasteries and built many churches.Saintliudger

The pagan Saxons ravaging the country, Ludger travelled to Rome to consult Pope Adrian II, on what course to take and what he thought God required of him.   He then retired for around three years to the Monastery of St Benedict at Monte Casino, where he wore the habit of the Order and conformed to the practice of the rule during his stay but made no religious vows.

At this time Charlemagne was forcefully converting the Frisians and Saxons to Christianity, with the Saxon leader Widukind providing serious opposition.   When Ludger returned to the area in 787, Charlemagne entrusted him with the evangelisation of the Saxons in Westphalia.   His preaching of the gospel had more success than Charlemagne’s repressive measures.   He is reported to have cured the blindness of and thus caused the conversion of, the blind pagan bard Berulef.Saint_Ludger_Liudger.jpg

Ludger made his headquarters in the place now called Münster, meaning “monastery”. Here in 795 he founded a community of canons regular, following the Rule of St Chordegang of Metz.    In 799 he established a monastery at Werden on the Rhur and became its first abbot.   Around 803 he was consecrated bishop of Münster.   His principal concern was to have a good and efficient clergy.   To a great extent he educated his students personally and generally took some of them on his missionary tours.

St Ludger was favoured with the gifts of miracles and prophecy.   His last illness did not hinder him from continuing his functions to the very last day of his life, which was Passion Sunday, on which day he preached very early in the morning, said Mass towards nine and preached again before night, telling those that were about him that he should die the following night and asking them to bury him in his monastery of Werden.

He died accordingly on 26 March, at midnight.   He was buried at Werden, Germany.   His relics are also at Münster and Billerbeck, Germany. st ludger statue

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 26 March

St Basil the Younger
St Bathus
St Bercharius
St Braulio (590-651)

St Castulus of Rome
St Eutychius of Alexandria
St Felicitas of Padua
St Felix of Trier
St Garbhan
St Govan
St Ludger (c 742-809)
Bl Maddalena Caterina Morano
St Maxima the Martyr
St Mochelloc of Kilmallock
St Montanus the Martyr
St Peter of Sebaste
St Sabino of Anatolia
St Sincheall of Killeigh
St Wereka

Martyrs of Rome – 5 saints: A group of Christians martyred together. The only details to survive are the names – Cassian, Jovinus, Marcian, Peter and Thecla. Rome, Italy, date unknown.