Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – St Ambrose: “Hold fast to God”

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

Hold fast to God, the one true good

Saint Ambrose (340-397)
Bishop and Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Flight from the World

Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.   God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one.   Since He is good and especially to those who are faithful to Him, let us hold fast to Him with all our soul, our heart, our strength and so enjoy His light and see His glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy.   Let us reach out with our hearts to possess that good, let us exist in it and live in it, let us hold fast to it, that good which is beyond all we can know or see and is marked by perpetual peace and tranquillity, a peace which is beyond all we can know or understand.

This is the good that permeates creation.   In it we all live, on it we all depend.   It has nothing above it, it is divine. No-one is good but God alone.   What is good, is therefore, divine, what is divine is therefore good.   Scripture says:  When you open your hand all things will be filled with goodness.   It is through God’s goodness that all that is truly good is given us and in it, there is no admixture of evil.

These good things are promised by Scripture to those who are faithful – The good things of the land will be your food.

We have died with Christ.   We carry about in our bodies the sign of His death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us.   The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ, a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue.   We have risen with Christ.   Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below, to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world.   You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body.   You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord.   Your soul must hold fast to Him, you must follow after Him in your thoughts, you must tread His ways by faith, not in outward show.   You must take refuge in Him.   He is your refuge and your strength.   David addresses Him in these words:  I fled to you for refuge and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great sabbath, as Moses said – The sabbaths of the land will provide you with food.   To rest in the Lord and to see His joy, is like a banquet and full of gladness and tranquillity.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters.   Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain.   What is that fountain?   Listen to David – With you is the fountain of life.   Let my soul say to this fountain, When shall I come and see You face to face?   For the fountain is God Himself.let us take refuge - st ambrose hold fast to god 28 march 2019 thurs3rdweek lent.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 28 March – Our Father

Quote/s of the Day – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

Speaking of:  Our Father

Dear Father, all that I do
I do it for You.

“I do as the Father
has commanded me, so that the world
may know that I love the Father.”
John 14:31john 14 31 i do as the Father has commanded me 28 march 2019.jpg

“God has created me to do Him some definite service.
He has committed some work to me,
which he has not committed to another.
I have my mission,
I never may know it in this life
but I shall be told it in the next.
I have a part in a great work,
I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good,
I shall do His work,
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth in my own place,
while not intending it,
if I do but keep His commandments
and serve Him in my calling.”god has created me - bl john henry newman 3 feb 2019.jpg

“Life passes,
riches fly away,
popularity is fickle,
the senses decay,
the world changes.
One alone is true to us.
One alone can be all things to us.
One alone can supply our need.”life passes riches fly by - one alone - bl john henry newman 28 march 2019.jpg

“I sought to hear the voice of God
and climbed the topmost steeple
but God declared:
“Go down again –
I dwell among the people.”i sought to hear the voice of god - bl john henry newman 29 march 2019.jpg

“I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am,
I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness,
my sickness may serve Him,
in perplexity,
my perplexity may serve Him,
if I am in sorrow,
my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness,
or perplexity,
or sorrow,
may be necessary causes
of some great end,
which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain!”i will trust him - bl john henry newman 28 march 2019.jpg

“Fear not that
thy life shall come
to an end
but rather fear,
that it shall never have
a beginning.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)fear not that thy life - bl john henry newman 28 march 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 28 March – “Whoever does not gather with me scatters”

Lenten Reflection – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

The Readings
Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Luke 11:14-23luke 11 23 whoever does not gather with me thurs3rdweeklent 28 march 2019.jpg

“Whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
Luke 11:23

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
Catechesis 27

Your Master is not disturbed by mockery and do you get upset?   He bears spittle, blows, strokes of the lash and can you not take a harsh word?   He accepts the cross, a humiliating death, the torture of the nails and can you not undertake to carry out the lowliest of tasks?   How can you become a sharer in His glory (1 Pt 5:1) if you will not consent to become a sharer in His humiliating death?

Your having forsaken your wealth is truly useless if you have no wish to take up the cross, as He Himself commanded with His word of truth.   “Sell what you have and give to the poor,” stipulated Christ to the young man, as also to ourselves, “Take up your cross”, “Come, follow me” (Mt 19:21; 16:24).   You may indeed have shared out your goods yet without consenting to take up your cross, that is to say, courageously enduring the attack of all kinds of trials.   You have strayed on the path of life and, to your own misfortune, have parted from your most sweet God and Master.

I implore you, my brethren, let us observe all Christ’s commands, let us bear until death, for love of the Kingdom of heaven, the trials that assail us so that we may have communion with the glory of Jesus, share in eternal life and inherit the joy of those good things that cannot be expressed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

how can you become a sharer in his glory - 28 march 2019 st simeon the new theologian 28 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
May our love grow each day.

We are at the half-way point in our Lenten journey today.
There is so much yet to learn, to examine, to heal, to renew.
We have a sense of the patterns we are naming and a sense of the graces we are asking for,
as well as the ways God is working in us.

We want to be ready and our Lord wants us to be confident.
So we keep asking and we keep giving thanks, throughout our day.

‘Obey my voice and I will be your God
and you shall be my people
and walk in all the way that I command you,
that it may be well with you.’

Jeremiah 7:23

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I hear Your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to You.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in Your name
and send Your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel Your love in my life today.

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


One Minute Reflection – 28 March – A divided household falls.

One Minute Reflection – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C, Luke Gospel – 11:14–23

“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste and a divided household falls.”…Luke 11:17

REFLECTION – “But this episode contains an admonishment which is useful to all of us. Indeed, it can happen that deep envy of a person’s goodness and good works can drive one to falsely accuse him or her.   Here there is true, lethal poison, the malice with which, in a premeditated manner, one wants to destroy the good reputation of the other. May God free us from this terrible temptation!   And if, by examining our conscience, we realise that this weed is sprouting within us, let us go straight away to confess it in the Sacrament of Penance, before it grows and produces its evil effects, which are incurable. Be careful, because this attitude destroys families, friendships, communities and even society.”...Pope Francis – Angelus, 10 June 2018luke 11 17 every kingdom divided - indeed it can happen - pope francis - 28march2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You love innocence of heart and when it is lost, You alone can restore it.   Turn then our hearts to You and kindle in them the fire of Your Spirit.   Lead us to purity of heart, that we may be true radiant lights of Christ and no longer spread the darkness of unkindness, jealousy, gossip and may we atone for our sins.   May Your Word take flesh in our lives and Your Truth shine forth in our actions.   Mary, Blessed and Merciful, the Refuge of Sinners, help us!   Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary refuge of sinners pray for us 28 march 2019 ora pro nobis.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 28 March -O Jesus, Mary’s Son!

Our Morning Offering – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

As, today, we celebrate Blessed Venturino of Bergamo OP, we pray a prayer, from one of the greatest of all Dominicans:

O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus, Doctor communis

Hail to Thee!  True body sprung
From the Virgin Mary’s womb!
The same that on the cross was hung
And bore for man the bitter doom.
Thou Whose side was pierced and flowed
Both with water and with blood.
Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life’s last agony.
O kind, O loving One!
O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
Ameno jesus mary's son by st thomas aquinas 28 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 March – Blessed Venturino of Bergamo OP (1304-1346)

Saint of the Day – 28 March – Blessed Venturino of Bergamo OP (1304-1346) – Priest, Friar of the Order of Preachers of St Dominic, Preacher, Missionary Preacher of the Crusades, Writer. Born on 9 April 1304 in Bergamo, Italy as Lorenzo de Apibus and died on 28 March 1346 at Smyrna, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey) of natural causes. Also known as – Venturinus, Lorenzo de Apibus.dominican saints.jpg

He was born at Bergamo and received the habit of the Order of Friars Preachers at the convent of St Stephen, Bergamo, on 22 January 1319.

His rich spiritual life, given expression in his treatise De profectu spirituali, suggests the mystical idea of penance propagated by Saint Vincent Ferrer OP.   He founded the Convent of nuns, St Mary’s in Bergamo.   From 1328 to 1335 he soon distinguished himself as a brilliant preacher, attracting huge crowds throughout northern Italy.


In February 1335, he planned to make a penitential pilgrimage to Rome with about thirty thousand of his converts.   His purpose was misunderstood and Pope Benedict XII, then residing at Avignon, thought that Venturino wished to make himself pope  . He wrote letters to Giovanni Pagnotti, Bishop of Anagni, his spiritual vicar, to the Canons of St Peter’s and St John Lateran’s and to the Roman senators empowering them to stop the pilgrimage.

This complaint to the Dominican Master General resulted in an ordinance of the Chapter of London (1335) condemning such pilgrimages.   The pope’s letters and commands, however, did not reach Venturino and he arrived in Rome on 21 March 1335.   He was well received and preached in various churches.   Twelve days later he left Rome, as the news of the Ordinance of the Dominican Master General and the Pope had reached him and the pilgrimage ended.

St Dominic (1170-1221)

In June, he requested an audience with Benedict XII at Avignon, in order to explain the intentions of the pilgrimage but he was seized and cast into prison (1335–43), where he was kept for eight years!   He was restored to favour by Pope Clement VI, who appointed him to preach a crusade against the Turks on 4 January 1344.    His success was remarkable.   He urged the pope to appoint Humbert II of Dauphiné, whose friend and spiritual adviser he had been, leader of the crusade, but Humbert proved incapable and the crusade came to nothing.

Venturino’s writings consist of sermons (now lost) and letters.   He died at Smyrna and although called “Blessed” he was never formally Beatified.

P.S.  The only image available is NOT Blessed Venturino but is, in fact, St Raymond of Pennafort.

Dominican Crest
Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 March

St Alkelda of Middleham
Bl Antonio Patrizi
St Castor of Tarsus
Bl Christopher Wharton
Bl Conon of Naso
St Cyril the Deacon
Bl Dedë Maçaj
St Donal O’Neylan
St Dorotheus of Tarsus
St Gundelindis of Niedermünster
St Guntramnus
St Hesychius of Jerusalem
St Hilarion of Pelecete
Bl Jean-Baptiste Malo
Bl Jeanne Marie de Maille
St Proterius of Alexandria
Bl Renée-Marie Feillatreau épouse Dumont
St Rogatus the Martyr
St Successus the Martyr
St Tutilo of Saint-Gall
Bl Venturino of Bergamo OP (1304-1346)