Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Repairing the Wrong Done by St John Vianney

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment
greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-32

St John Vianney (1786-1859)


Having made satisfaction to God, we must then make satisfaction to our neighbour for the wrong which-either in his body or in his soul — we have done him.   I say that it is possible to wrong him in his body, that is to say, in his person, by attacking him either by injurious or insulting words or by bad treatment.   If we have sinned against him by injurious words, then we must apologise to him and make our reconciliation with him.   If we have done him some wrong by belabouring his animals, as sometimes happens when we find that they have been doing damage among our crops, we are obliged to give him all that we have been the cause of his losing: -we could have got compensation without maltreating these animals.   If we have done any harm, we are obliged to repay as soon as we can, otherwise we will be gravely at fault.   If we have neglected to do that, we have sinned and we must confess it.

If you have done wrong to your neighbour in his honour, as, for instance, by scandalous talk, you are obliged to make up by favourable and beneficent talk for all the harm you have done to his reputation, saying all the good of him which you know to be true and concealing any faults which he may have and which you are not obliged to reveal.   If you have calumniated your neighbour, you must go and find the people to whom you have said false things about him and tell them that what you have been saying is not true, that you are very grieved about it and that you beg them not to believe it.

But if you have done him harm in his soul, it is a still more difficult thing to repair and yet it must be done as far as possible, otherwise God will not pardon you.

You must also examine your conscience as to whether you have given scandal to your children or to your next-door neighbours.   How many fathers, mothers, masters and mistresses are there who scandalise their children and their servants, by not saying their prayers morning or evening or by saying them when they are dressing or sitting back in a chair, who do not even make the Sign of the Cross before and after a meal?   How many times are they heard swearing, or perhaps even blaspheming?

How many times have they been seen working on Sunday morning, even before Holy Mass?

You must consider, too, whether you have sung bad songs, or brought in bad books, or whether you have given bad counsel, as, for instance, advising someone that he should take his revenge on someone else, should exact satisfaction by force.

Consider, too, whether you have ever taken anything from a next-door neighbour and neglected to pay it back, whether you have neglected to give some alms which you had been told to give or make some restitution which your parents, who are dead, should have made.   If you wish to have the happiness of having your sins forgiven, you must have nothing belonging to anyone else, which you should and could pay back.   So if you have sullied your neighbour’s reputation, you must do all in your power to repair the damage.   You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God. repairing the wronge done - you must be reconciled - st john vianney 29 march 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 29 March – O great and good God

Quote of the Day – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Ludolf of Ratzeburg O.Praem. (Died 1250) Martyr

“O great and good God,
allow me,
Your useless servant,
to belong to You
for all eternity.”

St Ludolf of Ratzeburg (Died 1250) Martyr
His last wordso great and good god - st ludolf of ratzeburg 29 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – “At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.”

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.   This is the greatest and first commandment” (vv. 37-38).   And he could have stopped there.   Yet, Jesus adds something that was not asked by the doctor of the law.   He says, in fact:  “And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (v. 39). And in this case too, Jesus does not invent the second commandment but takes it from the Book of Leviticus.   The novelty is in His placing these two commandments together — love for God and love for neighbour — revealing that they are in fact inseparable and complementary, two sides of the same coin.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 October 2014fridayofthe3rdweeklent 29 march 2019.jpg

“Stand fast, therefore,
in this conduct
and follow the example of the Lord,
firm and unchangeable in faith,
lovers of the brotherhood,
loving each other,
united in truth,
helping each other
with the mildness of the Lord,
despising no man.”

St Polycarp, Letter to the Philippiansstand-fast-therefore-in-this-conduct-st-polycarp-23-feb-2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Fill our hearts with your love.

Our lesson today reminds us again
of God’s love and Jesus’ desire
that we love one another as we are loved.
On this journey, we are learning why this is a challenge for us.
We are experiencing our human weaknesses
and practising ways to be freer,
to open our hearts more fully to God’s love
and to give ourselves in fidelity, every day.

You ask us to express our thanks by self-denial.
We are to master our sinfulness
and conquer our pride.
We are to show to those in need
Your goodness to ourselves.
Preface for Lent III

Closing Prayer:
God of Mercy,
I feel my heart overflowing with Your tenderness.
I sense Your loving touch deep within my soul.
I ask for Your help in my weakness
that I might be faithful to Your word
and I am so grateful
that Your mercy for my failings
is as strong as Your unbounded love for me.

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

“At the end of your life,
you will be judged by your love.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchat-the-end-of-your-life-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Seeing with the Eyes of Christ

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’   There is no other commandment greater than these.” …Mark 12:30-32MARK 12 - 30,31

REFLECTION – “The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will, increases in a communion of thought and sentiment and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide – God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments but it is now, my own will, based on the realisation that God is, in fact, more deeply present to me, than I am to myself.   Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28).

Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible, in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.   It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know.   This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings.   Then, I learn, to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.   His friend is my friend… Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more, than their outward necessities, I can give them the look of love which they crave.”Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Deus caritas est ”, § 17 – 18seeing with the eyes of christ - pope beneidct 29 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy and eternal Father, we give praise to You for the radiant light You sent into the world, Your divine Son, Your Word made flesh.   For He guides our steps in a path of light and teaches us how to live.   May we love and glorify You and love our neighbour as ourselves.   Grant, we pray, that by the help of Your angels and saints and Mary, our Immaculate Mother, we may proceed to live Your Word of Truth.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.immaculate mary poray for us.jpg

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

Our Morning Offering – 29 March – I Beg You, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

I Beg You, O Lord
By St Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church

I beg You, O Lord
to remove anything
which separates me from You,
or You from me
Remove anything
that makes me unworthy
of Your sight,
Your control,
Your reprehension,
of Your speech and conversation,
of Your benevolence and love.
Cast from me,
every evil that stands in the way
of my seeing You,
and touching You,
fearing and being mindful of You,
knowing, trusting, loving
and possessing You,
being conscious of Your Presence
and as far as maybe,
enjoying You.
This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from You.
Ameni beg you o lord st peter canisius 29 march 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 March – St Ludolf of Ratzeburg O.Praem. (Died 1250) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 29 March – St Ludolf of Ratzeburg O.Praem. (Died 1250) Bishop and Martyr, Preacher and founder of a community of Norbertine Sisters, Reformer and Counseller.   St Ludolf was a Priest of the Premonstratensian (Norbertines) Order, particularly invoked as a martyr for the freedom of the Church.576px-Altenmarkt_Chorgestühl_-_St.Ludolf.jpg

Ludolph was a Norbertine Canon who was appointed to the See of the newly-formed Prince-Bishopric of Ratzeburg in 1236.   He led such a strict religious life that his community was nicknamed the “carcer ordinis” (Prison of the Order).

Nothing is known of the early years of Ludolph.   He joined the Norbertine Cathedral Chapter of Ratzeburg where he was treasurer before being elected eighth bishop of Ratzeburg in 1236.   He was renowned for his exemplary religious life and powerful preaching of the word of God.   He also founded a community of Norbertine sisters at Rehna.

Like the Good Shepherd, Ludolph focused all his energies on the care of souls.   He preached and made pastoral visitations.   The pope entrusted him with several political missions, forcing him to fight for the rights and freedom of the Church.   His most difficult trial involved standing up to Prince Albert, the “Bear of Saxony,” who had taken possession of cathedral properties—an act that Ludolph resisted.   The prince’s insults and threats did not intimidate him.   The Duke had him imprisoned, where he was beaten and later sent into exile.   Albert consequently ordered Ludolph thrown into a dungeon, where he had to suffer severe tortures.   Realising that his treatment of the bishop was unpopular, the prince decided to set Ludolph free.   After his release from prison, he was brought half-dead to the Franciscans at Wismar but he died shortly after.ludolph

It was during this exile that Ludolph, weighed down by the infirmities suffered in prison and by his advancing old age, fell gravely ill.   He celebrated his last Mass on Holy Thursday.   His final words were “O great and good God, allow me, your useless servant, to belong to you for all eternity.”

His body was returned to Ratzeburg for burial.   As the procession passed through Schlagsdorf, the bells of the city were said to ring of their own accord.   At the command of the Duke, Ludolph’s body was carried from the bridge to the cathedral by the nobility of Ratzeburg.   Ludolph’s confreres carried him into the cathedral themselves where he found his final resting place.   Ludolph is honoured as a “Bishop and a Martyr for the Rights and Freedom of the Church.”   He is portrayed with the regalia of a bishop, bearing the shackles that bound him in prison and holding the palm of martyrdom.

After his death, those who visited his grave in the Cathedral of Ratzeburg reported numerous favours received.   The centuries-old veneration of Ludolph was confirmed and extended to the whole order by Pope Benedict XIII on 12 April 1728.

The head of Ludolph was kept in the possession of the Norbertine nuns of Meer in Prussia, beginning in the 17th century.   After the secularisation of this convent, the relic came into the possession the abbot of Hamborn in 1826.  Saint Ludolph of RatzeburgOn 5 March 1984, the Congregation for Divine Worship granted permission for the public veneration of the three Norbertine bishop-saints of Ratzeburg, see image right – Ludolph, Evermode and Isfrid.

Concerning the “punishment”, the Apostle says:   “Because through many trials it is fitting that we enter the kingdom of God”.   And again: “The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared to the future glory which will be revealed in us”.

Concerning the “cause”, we read:  “It is not the punishment that makes the martyr but the cause”.   In this regard we read in the Gospel:  “Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice”.

– Life of St Norbert, Vita B, Chapter V

Almighty God, you made the bishop and martyr Ludolph a zealous and fearless witness of your Church.   Through his intercession grant that we may be filled with patience in all the trials of life and be found worthy to belong to you for all eternity.   We ask this through Christ our Lord, AMEN.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 29 March

St Acacia of Antioch
St Archmimus of Africa
St Armogastes of Africa
St Barachasius
Bl Bertold of Mount Carmel
St Constantine of Monte Cassino
St Eustachio of Naples
St Firminus of Viviers
St Gladys
St Gwynllyw
Bl Hugh of Vaucelles
Bl John Hambley
St Jonas of Hubaham
St Lasar
St Ludolf of Ratzeburg O.Praem. (Died 1250) Martyr
St Mark of Arethusa
St Masculas of Africa
St Pastor of Nicomedia
St Saturus of Africa
St Simplicius of Monte Cassino
St Victorinus of Nicomedia
St William Tempier