Posted in LENT 2019, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION

Quote of the Day – 27 March – “You must do this. I can’t.”

Quote of the Day – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

We cannot discover our failure to keep God’s law, except by trying our very hardest (and then failing).   Unless we really try, whatever we say, there will always be at the back of our minds, the idea that, if we try harder next time, we shall succeed in being completely good.
Thus, in one sense, the road back to God, is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder.
But in another sense, it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home.
All this trying leads up to the vital moment, at which you turn to God and say,
“You must do this. I can’t.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)thus in one sense the road back to god - c s lewis 27 march 2019.jpg

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

One Minute Reflection – 27 March – I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them

One Minute Reflection – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:17–19

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets;  I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.”…Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “Grace, which was formerly veiled, so to speak, in the Old Testament, has been fully revealed in the Gospel of Christ by a harmonious disposition of the times, just as God usually disposes of everything with harmony…   But within this wonderful harmony we notice a great difference between the two ages.   On Sinai the people did not dare draw near the place where the Lord was giving His Law;  in the Upper Room, the Holy Spirit comes down on all those assembled there, while waiting for the fulfilment of the promise (Ex 19:23; Acts 2:1).   In the first instance, the finger of God inscribed the laws on tablets of stone but now, it is in human hearts, that He writes it (Ex 31:18; 2 Cor 3:3). Formerly the Law was written without and brought fear to sinners but now, it has been given to them within, to make them righteous…

Indeed, as the apostle Paul says, everything written on the stone tablets, “you shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill…, you shall not covet” and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this saying:  “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.   Love does no evil to the neighbour, hence, love is the fulfilment of the Law” (Rm 13:9f.; Lv 19:18)…   This charity has been “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rm 5:5)….St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor On the spirit and the letter, 28-30matthew 5 17 think not that I have come to abolish the law - st augustine - in the first instance 27march2019.jpg

PRAYER – Protect Your family, Lord and strengthen us with Your consoling presence. Help us in our way to follow Your commandments and live as disciples of love.   Look now on Your chosen people, grant us the light of Your Spirit and bring us forever to eternal life.   May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Son and our Mother, be ever our protective shield.   Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.salve regina pray for us - mary 27 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 27 March

Lenten Reflection – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:17–19

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law
and the prophets, I have come,
not to abolish them but to fulfil them.”…Matthew 5:17wed of the third week lent matthew 5 17 27 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Make us one in love and prayer.

This was a special liturgy in the early church.
On this day the first of the Scrutinies was celebrated.
We can see why the instruction is about fidelity but tone of the prayer is one of unity.
On this day when the community prayed so earnestly for those about to be baptised,
we can feel the power of asking that we be made one.

We might reflect upon what it is that divides us
and what I might do to let the Spirit of Unity draw us together.

I want all of them to be one with each other,
just as I am one with you and you are one with Me.
I also want them to be one with us.
Then the people of this world will believe that You sent Me.
Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper for
“for everyone else who will have faith
because of what my followers will say about me. “
John 17:21

“We are called to conform our lives to the New Law of grace.   This New Law was taught by Christ and established for us by Christ on the Cross.   Through His passion and death, He merited for us the grace, that enables us to fulfil the New Law, to respond to the action of the Holy Spirit and to go beyond the demands of justice in our dealings with others.   It is the Law of the children of God the Father, that fills our minds with the Wisdom of the Word and directs us to act in accord with the Love of the Holy Spirit.”Father Jason Mitchell

Closing Prayer:
God, you love me as Your own child.
May I bend my life and will toward You
so that I might accept Your teaching and guidance.
I am so grateful for Your support in my life,
now and in the eternal life, You are preparing for me.
I beg for Your help and Spirit in my life today.

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

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 27 March – I Want to Love You, My God

Our Morning Offering – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

I Want to Love You, My God
By St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)

I want to love You, my God,
with all my heart,
with all my being,
with all my strength.
I consecrate to You,
my thoughts,
and actions,
whatever I have
and whatever I can be.
Let me use what I have
for Your greater honour
and glory,
according to Your will.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 March – St Rupert of Salzburg (c 660–710)

Saint of the Day – 27 March – St Rupert of Salzburg (c 660–710) Bishop and Abbot Apostle to Bavaria and Austria – born c 660 probably in France and died in 710 in Salzburg, Austria. Patronages – Salzburg, Austria, city of and Salzburg, Austria, province of.

St Rupert with a barral of salt

Holy tradition states that Rupert was a scion of the Frankish royal Merovingian dynasty. He was possibly related to the Robertians, most likely a descendant of Count Palatine Chrodbert II.

As Worms bishop, Rupert was at first accepted as a wise and devout dignitary, however, the mostly pagan community eventually came to reject him and forced him out of the city.   By the end of the 7th century, Duke Theodo of Bavaria requested that he come to his residence at Regensburg (Ratisbon) to help spread the Christian faith among the Bavarian tribes.

Baptism of Duke Theodo by Bishop Rupert, Franciscus de Neve (II) (c 1670)

Rupert then moved to Altötting, where he converted the locals.   He sailed down the Danube river, visiting many towns, villages and forts.   Soon he had converted a large area along the Danube southeastward to the Bavarian border.   Here he stayed at Lorch,  where an Early Christian church—the present Basilica of St Lawrence—already existed.

Warlike conditions in the borderlands made him abandon plans of missionary work there.   Instead he proceeded along the Roman road to the ruined city of Juvavum, where he made his base and renamed the city “Salzburg”.   Like in Lorch, Rupert was able to build on ancient Early Christian traditions that were already in place.   He re-established the convent at St Peter’s Abbey and laid the foundations of Salzburg Cathedral that was finished by his successor St Vergilius (c 700-784).   He also founded the Benedictine nunnery of Nonnberg beneath the Festungsberg fortifications (later Hohensalzburg Castle), where his niece Erentrude became the first abbess.Rupert-Salzburg.jpg

Rupert also introduced education and other reforms.   From the hands of Duke Theodo of Bavaria, his bishopric received estates around, where he promoted the development of the local saltworks.  Rupert’s mission work also spread into the Alps, where a first monastic cell was founded about 711.

Rupert reportedly died on Easter Sunday in 710.   His mortal remains were transferred to Salzburg Cathedral by Bishop Vergilius on 24 September 774.virgil and rupert.jpg

Rupert’s life and mission work is documented in medieval chronicles.   In accordance with Christian tradition, St Rupert’s feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his repose, 27 March.   In Austria, it is 24 September commemorating the translation of his relics to Salzburg Cathedral.   Rupertitag is also a public holiday in the State of Salzburg, associated with popular Volksfest events.

Rupert is the patron saint of the State of Salzburg, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg (together with his successor Vergilius) and of the adjacent Bavarian Rupertiwinkel region.   He is also known as the “Apostle of the Bavarians” and patron of several settlements like Sankt Ruprecht in Styria or Šentrupert in Slovenia and of numerous church buildings.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 27 March

Bl Aimone of Halberstadt
St Amphilochius of Illyria
St Alexander of Drizipara
St Alexander of Pannonia
St Alkeld the Martyr
St Amator the Hermit
St Augusta of Treviso
St Claudio Gallo
St Cronidas of Illyria
St Ensfrid of Cologne
Bl Francesco Faà di Bruno
Bl Frowin of Engelberg
St Gelasius of Armagh
St John of Lycopolis

Bl Louis-Édouard Cestac (1801-1868)
Blessed Louis’s Story:

St Matthew of Beauvais
St Macedo of Illyria
St Panacea de’Muzzi of Quarona
Bl Pellegrino of Falerone
Bl Peter Jo Yong-sam
St Philetus
St Romulus the Abbot
St Rupert of Salzburg (c 660–710)
St Suairlech of Fore
St Theoprepius

Martyrs of Bardiaboch: A group of Christians who were arrested, tortured and executed together for their faith during the persecutions of Persian king Shapur II. Martyrs. – Abibus, Helias, Lazarus, Mares, Maruthas, Narses, Sabas, Sembeeth and Zanitas. 27 March 326 at Bardiaboch, Persia.


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.


Lenten Thoughts – 25 March – Here we are, the servants of the Lord

Lenten Thoughts – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Mary’s Fiat, must be our Fiat

Mary’s fiat– her faithful “Here am I,” which does not replace her perplexity at her conception of God made human but overcomes it– is an announcement in itself.   In fact, her announcement, is the most important one of today’s Gospel reading.   Let it be our announcement, too, then, for it is appropriate at all times and at any time.   And now, our brief, prayerful, announcement:  “Here [are we], the servant[s] of the Lord, let it be done to [us] according to your word.”

I delight to do thy will, O my God,
thy law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8mary's fiat must be our fiat 25 march 2019 annunciation

“God Himself is the one Who takes the initiative and chooses to enter, as He did with Mary, into our homes, our daily struggles, filled with anxiety and with desires.   And it is within our cities, in our schools and universities, our squares and hospitals, that the most beautiful announcement we can hear is made:  “Rejoice, the Lord is with you”.    A joy that generates life, that generates hope, that is made flesh in the way we look to the future, in the attitude with which we look at others.   A joy that becomes solidarity, hospitality, mercy towards all.”

Pope Francis – Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord, 25 March 2017

Three times daily, at 6 am, noon and 6 pm, we pray the Angelus.   It is still accompanied by the ringing of a bell (the Angelus bell) in some places such as Vatican City and parts of Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and Ireland.   The Regina Coeli prayer (which may also be sung as a hymn) replaces the Angelus during the Easter season.

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.the angelus


Thought for the Day – 25 March – God’s shout to us

Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth.   She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence.   She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God.   She shows how, an ordinary human being, can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life.  She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God.   She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.

Sometimes spiritual writers are accused of putting Mary on a pedestal and thereby, discouraging ordinary humans from imitating her.   Perhaps, such an observation is misguided.   God did put Mary on a pedestal and has put all human beings on a pedestal. We have scarcely begun to realise the magnificence of divine grace, the wonder of God’s freely given love.   The marvel of Mary—even in the midst of her very ordinary life—is God’s shout to us, to wake up, to the marvellous creatures that we all are by divine design.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!mary mother of god pray for us.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – In her, God spun a garment with which to save us

Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

“And so when God’s birth is proclaimed to you, keep silent.
Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind 
for nothing is impossible to this glorious Majesty,
who humbled Himself for us
and was born of our humanity.”and so when god's birth is proclaimed to you - st ephrem - 25 march 2019 annunciation.jpg

“God assumed smallness in her –
yet without diminishing His nature –
to make us great!”god assumed smallness in her to make us great - st ephrem 25 march annunciation.jpg

“In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.”

Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctorin her god spun - st pehrem - annunciation 25 march 2019.jpg

“Him, whom the heavens cannot contain,
the womb of one woman bore.
She ruled our Ruler,
she carried Him, in whom we are,
she gave milk to our Bread.”

St Augustine (354-430)him, whom the heavens cannot contain - st augustine 25 march annunciation .jpg

“The scene of the Annunciation
merits consideration for another reason, too,
it is not only wholly Christological;,
it is wholly trinitarian as well…
The angel’s initial salutation…
brings her the greeting of the ‘Lord’, the Father…
she will give birth to the ‘Son of the Most High’…
the Holy Spirit will overshadow her…”

Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988)the scene of the annunciation - hans urs von balthasar - 25 march 2019.jpg

“The Annunciation, recounted at the beginning
of St Luke’s Gospel, is a humble, hidden event –
no-one saw it, no one except Mary knew of it –
but, at the same time,
it was crucial to the history of humanity.
When the Virgin said her “yes”
to the Angel’s announcement,
Jesus was conceived and with Him began
the new era of history that was to be ratified
in Easter as the “new and eternal Covenant”.

Pope Benedict XVI

St Peter’s Square, Fifth Sunday of Lent, 25 March 2007the annunciation - pope benedict 25 march 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 25 March – Pope Benedict reflects

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”...Luke 1:38luke 1 38 - let what you have said be done to me - 18dec2018 ourladyofexpectation

REFLECTION – “The icon of the Annunciation, more than any other, helps us to see clearly how everything in the Church goes back to that mystery of Mary’s acceptance of the divine Word, by which, through the action of the Holy Spirit, the Covenant between God and humanity was perfectly sealed. Everything in the Church, every institution and ministry, including that of Peter and his Successors, is “included” under the Virgin’s mantle, within the grace-filled horizon of her “yes” to God’s will. This link with Mary naturally evokes a strong affective resonance in all of us but first of all it has an objective value….
Everything in this world will pass away.   In eternity only Love will remain.   For this reason, … taking the opportunity offered by this favourable time of Lent, let us commit ourselves to ensure that everything in our personal lives and in the ecclesial activity in which we are engaged is inspired by charity and leads to charity.   In this respect too, we are enlightened by the mystery that we are celebrating today.
Indeed, the first thing that Mary did after receiving the Angel’s message was to go “in haste” to the house of her cousin Elizabeth in order to be of service to her (cf. Lk 1: 39). The Virgin’s initiative was one of genuine charity, it was humble and courageous, motivated by faith in God’s Word and the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.   Those who love, forget about themselves and place themselves at the service of their neighbour.   Here we have the image and model of the Church!”…Pope Benedict XVI – Excerpt- Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Saint Peter’s Square, Saturday, 25 March 2006everything in this world will pass away - pope benedict XVI - 25 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Shape us in the likeness of the Divine nature of our Redeemer, whom we believe to be true God and true man, since it was Your will, Lord God, that He, Your Word, should take to Himself, our human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.the-nicest-word-servant-of-god-guy-pierre-de-fontgalland-24-feb-2018-no-2.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 25 March – Today, Mary became God’s heaven for us

Lenten Reflection – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Daily Meditation:
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

Today we step out of Lent, in one way.
We are nine months away from Christmas.
This is the feast of the Incarnation – the enfleshment of our God for us.
In Jesus, God entered this world, our world.

This day thereby offers wonderful Lenten graces.

Ahaz has his own plans.
He refuses to ask God for help, because he doesn’t want God’s help.
And, of course, he makes it sound pious.
There’s fruit in that for all of us, whenever we refuse to ask for God’s help.

Mary, on the other hand, is God’s servant.
She is humble and she says “yes.”
And God, for whom “nothing is impossible, does the rest.

I delight to do thy will, O my God,
thy law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8luke 1 38 mary said - solemnity of the annunciation 25 march 2019

“The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49)

Saint Ephrem (306-373)
Doctor of the Church
Sermons on the Mother of God, 2, 93-145

Contemplate Mary, my beloved, see how Gabriel went into her house and her questioning:   “How can this be?”   The Holy Spirit’s servant gave her this answer: “Nothing is impossible for God, for him, all is easy.”   Consider how she believed the word she had heard and said:   “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.”   From that moment the Lord descended in a way known to Him alone,  He bestirred Himself and came according to His good pleasure,  He entered her without her feeling it and she opened herself to Him without experiencing any suffering.   She bore within herself, as a child, Him by whom the world was filled.   He descended to become the model that would renew Adam’s ancient image.

And so when God’s birth is proclaimed to you, keep silent.   Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind for nothing is impossible to this glorious Majesty, who humbled Himself for us and was born of our humanity.   Today, Mary became God’s heaven for us, in that the sublime Divinity came down and placed His dwelling within her.   God assumed smallness in her – yet without diminishing His nature – to make us great.   In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.   All the words of the prophets and just ones were fulfilled in her.   From her, arose the light that drove away the shadows of paganism.

Mary’s titles are numberless… she is the palace in which the mighty King of kings abode, yet He did not cast her out when He came, because it was from her that He took flesh and was born.   She is the new heaven in which dwelt the King of kings, in her Christ arose and from her rose up to enlighten creation, formed and fashioned in His image. She is the stock of the vine that bore the grape, she yielded a fruit greater than nature, and He, although other than her in His nature, ripened in colour on being born of her. She is the spring from which living waters sprang up for the thirsty and all those who drank them yielded fruit a hundredfold.

mary's titles are numberless - st ephrem - annunciation - sermon 25 march 2019

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
I thank You for this feast of our salvation,
right here in the middle of Lent.
I turn to You to beg for Your help.
I need the inspiration and help of Mary on this journey.
Please grant me the grace to be humbly faithful
to what You are calling me to do.
Please give me what I need to be free and to be Your servant.
Please let Mary guide us in the path to peace in our world.
I ask You this, through Jesus our Lord.

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


Our Morning Offering – 25 March – Prayer to Our Lady of the Annunciation

Our Morning Offering – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord –

Prayer to Our Lady of the Annunciation
By Blessed James Alberione (1884-1971)
(The founder of the Daughters of St Paul)

Queen of heaven and earth,
daughter of the Father,
Mother of the divine Son,
spouse of the Holy Spirit,
I praise God
for the unique grace given to you.

Mary, you became the great Mother
of our divine Saviour,
our Master, true Light of the world,
uncreated Wisdom,
source of all Truth and first Apostle of Truth.
You gave the world
the book to read, the eternal Word.

For this I bless the holy Trinity
and I ask you to obtain for me
the grace of heavenly wisdom,
to be a fervent disciple of Jesus
and to be lovingly devoted to the Church,
the pillar of truth.

Make the light of the Gospel
shine to the farthest bounds of the earth.
Queen of the Apostles, pray for us!
Amenprayer to our lady of the annunciation by bl james alberione 25 march 2019.jpg


The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – 25 March

grotto of the annunciation nazareth in the lower of the basilica
The Grotto of the Annunciation at Nazareth and below Mass being said in front of it

Catholic Mass in the Grotto of the Annunciation

Again Lent’s austerity is interrupted as we solemnly keep a feast in honour of the Annunciation.   The Annunciation is a mystery that belongs to the temporal rather than to the sanctoral cycle in the Church’s calendar.   For the feast commemorates the most sublime moment in the history of time, the moment when the Second Divine Person of the most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary.   Thus it is a feast of our Lord, even as it is of Mary, although the liturgy centres wholly around the Mother of God.

The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Philippe de Champaigne

The Annunciation, a tradition which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March.   It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God.   Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent.   A holy bishop and martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden.

In the garden of delights there is a virgin and an angel and a conversation takes place-between them.   At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel and she answers him but the angel of the earthly paradise is a spirit of darkness and he of Nazareth is a spirit of light.   In both instances it is the angel that has the first word. ‘Why,’ said the serpent to Eve, ‘hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?’   His question implies impatience and a solicitation to evil, he has contempt for the frail creature to whom he addresses it but he hates the image of God, which is upon her.

See, on the other hand, the angel of light, see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve and how respectfully he bows himself down before her:   ‘Hail, full of grace!   The Lord is with thee!   Blessed art thou among women!’   Such language is evidently of heaven, none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.

titian annunciation.jpg

Scarcely has the wicked spirit finished speaking than Eve casts a longing look at the forbidden fruit, she is impatient to enjoy the independence it is to bring her.   She rashly stretches forth her hand, she plucks the fruit, she eats it and death takes possession of her, death of the soul, for sin extinguishes the light of life and death of the body, which being separated from the source of immortality, becomes an object of shame and horror and finally crumbles into dust.

But let us turn away our eyes from this sad spectacle and fix them on Nazareth.   Mary has heard the angel’s explanation of the mystery, the will of heaven is made known to her and how grand an honour it is to bring upon her!   She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God and yet, the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her!   Mary bows down before this sovereign will and says to the heavenly messenger:   ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.’

The Annunciation, 1876-1879 Burne-Jones.jpg
Edward Burne-Jones

Thus, as the great St Irenaeus and so many of the holy fathers remark, the obedience of the second Eve repaired the disobedience of the first, for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, ‘be it done,’ than the eternal Son of God (who, according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chaste womb of Mary and there, He begins His human life.   A Virgin is a Mother and Mother of Go; and it is this Virgin’s consenting to the divine will, that has made her conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost.   This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman the relations of Son and Mother, it gives to the almighty God a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.

Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell satan.   The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head.   Eve conquers in Mary.   God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance, the humiliation of satan would not have been great enough and, therefore, she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy.   The result of so glorious a triumph, is that Mary, is to be superior not only to the rebel angels but to the whole human race, yea, to all the angels of heaven.   Seated on her exalted throne, she, the Mother of God, is to be the Queen of all creation.   Satan, in the depths of the abyss, will eternally bewail his having dared to direct his first attack against the woman, for God has now so gloriously avenged her and in heaven, the very Cherubim and Seraphim reverently look up to Mary and deem themselves honoured when she smiles upon them, or employs them in the execution of any of her wishes, for she is the Mother of their God.annunciation carracci.jpg

Therefore, is it that we, the children of Adam, who have been snatched by Mary’s obedience from the power of hell, solemnise this day of the Annunciation.   Well may we say of Mary those words of Debbora, when she sang her song of victory over the enemies of God’s people:  ‘The valiant men ceased and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel.   The Lord chose new wars, and He Himself overthrew the gates of the enemies.”   Let us also refer to the holy Mother of Jesus these words of Judith, who by her victory over the enemy was another type of Mary:  ‘Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in Him.   And by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel and He hath killed the enemy of His people by my hand this night. . . . The almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman, and hath slain him.’

–Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger OSBthe solemnity of the annunciation of the lord.jpg


The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the Memorial of Our Lady of Betania & of the Saints – 25 March

The Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity)

Actually the name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small chapel was built here and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas
St Dula the Slave
Bl Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Priest, Martyr
About St Emilian:

Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Margaret Clitherow
Bl Margaretha Flesch
St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas
St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.


Lenten Thoughts – 24 March – Take a step back

Lenten Thoughts – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:1-9 (The fruitless vine) and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back and to see things from a distance.

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back
and to see things from a distance.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is also beyond our visions.
In our lives, we manage to achieve only a small part
of the marvellous plan that is God’s work.
Nothing that we do is complete,
which is to say that the Kingdom is greater than ourselves.
No statement says everything that can be said.
No prayer completely expresses the faith.
No Creed brings perfection.
No pastoral visit solves every problem.
No programme fully accomplishes the mission of the Church.
No goal or purpose ever reaches completion.
This is what it is about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that others will watch over them.
We lay the foundations of something that will develop.
We add the yeast which will multiply our possibilities.
We cannot do everything,
yet it is liberating to begin.
This gives us the strength to do something and to do it well.
It may remain incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way.
It is an opportunity for the grace of God to enter and to do the rest.
It may be that we will never see its completion
but that is the difference between the master and the labourer.
We are labourers, not master builders,
servants, not the Messiah.
We are prophets of a future that does not belong to us.

Saint Óscar Romero (1917–1980) Martyr, Pray for us!




Thought for the Day – 24 March – An Incarnational Faith must be expressed publicly

Thought for the Day – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio:

“I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people.   You kill your own brother peasants and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.

No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God.   No-one has to comply with an immoral law.   It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . . Therefore, in the name of God and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you!   In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”

Simultaneously, Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant.

When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticised the US government for backing the junta.  His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, were regarded by many as the most trustworthy source of news available.

Romero’s funeral was celebrated in the plaza outside the cathedral and drew an estimated 250,000 mourners.

His tomb in the cathedral crypt soon drew thousands of visitors each year.   On 3 February 2015, Pope Francis authorised a decree recognising Oscar Romero as a martyr for the faith.   His beatification took place in San Salvador on 23 May 2015.   He was canonized on 14 October 2018.archbishop-romero-invites-us-to-good-sense-pope-francis-24-march-2019.jpg

Oscar Romero and many other Latin American martyrs for the faith were falsely accused of advocating a Marxist-inspired “theology of liberation.”   Following Jesus always requires choices.   Romero’s fiercest critics conveniently dismissed his choices as politically inspired.   An incarnational faith must be expressed publicly.

St Oscar Romero, Pray for Us!ast oscar romero pray for us 24 march 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – St Óscar Arnulfo Romero

Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and The Memorial of St Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

“Peace is not the product of terror or fear.
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism.
Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.”peace-is-not-st-oscar-romero-24-march-2019.jpg

“There are many things
that can only be seen
through eyes that have cried.”

Saint Óscar Romero (1917–1980)there are many things that can only be seen - st oscar romero 24 march 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 24 March – “…A full and perfect patience”

Lenten Reflection – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15; Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9 (Different Readings apply for the Scrutinies Mass)

Daily Meditation:
Form a new heart within.

“And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure, And if it bears fruit next year, well and good and if not, you can cut it down.”...Luke 13:8-9The third sunday - year C 24 march 2019.jpg

St Cyprian of Carthage – (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church

The good of patience, 6, 7-8

“This, beloved brethren, Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, did not teach by words only but he also fulfilled by His deeds… In the very hour of His passion and cross… what violent abuses He listened to with patience and what shameful insults He endured!   He was even covered with the spittle of His revilers when but a short time before, He had cured the eyes of the blind man with His own spittle(Jn 9:6)… He who now crowns the martyrs with eternal garlands was Himself crowned with thorns, He who now gives true palms to the victors was beaten in the face with hostile palms; he who clothes all others with the garment of immortality was stripped of His earthly garments, He who has given us the food of heaven was fed with gall, He who has offered us the cup of salvation was given vinegar to drink.   He the innocent, the just man, nay rather, Innocence itself and Justice itself, is counted among criminals and Truth is concealed by false testimonies.  He who is to judge is judged and the Word of God, silent, is led to the cross.   And although the stars are confounded at the crucifixion of the Lord, the elements are disturbed and the earth trembles… yet He does not speak, nor is He moved, nor does He proclaim His majesty, even during the suffering itself.   He endures all things even to the end with constant perseverance so that in Christ, a full and perfect patience may find its realisation.

And even after such sufferings He still receives His murderers if they are converted and come to Him and, with a patience instrumental in saving man, this kind Master closes His Church to no-one.   He not only receives and pardons those adversaries, those blasphemers, those persistent enemies of His name, provided they do penance for their offence and acknowledge the crime committed but He admits them to the reward of the kingdom of heaven.   What can be called more patient, what more kind? Even he who shed the blood of Christ is given life by the blood of Christ.   Such is the wonderful patience of Christ.   And unless it were so wonderful, the Church would not have had Paul, the great Apostle.”

he not only receives and pardons - st cyprian - 24 march 2019 3rdsunlentyearc.jpg

This Sunday brings us closer to the font of renewing our baptismal commitment.
It is also the first of three Scrutinies for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

We are deeply aware that there is a struggle going on in us.
We turn to God, that we might not become discouraged.
We rely on God’s compassion and love for us.
We acknowledge who we are
– sinners who experience the consequences of our selfishness –
but we know we are loved and we desire to be filled with hope.

We go into this week renewed in our desire to continue our
prayer, fasting and generosity toward others.

Bless the Lord, O my soul
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…
Psalm 103:1-4

Closing Prayer:
Loving Father,
So many times I turn away from You
and always You welcome me back.
Your mercy and love gives me confidence
Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray
so that You can form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the Easter joy You share with us.

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


One Minute Reflection – 24 March – The invincible patience of Jesus! 

One Minute Reflection – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none.   And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.”...Luke 13:7-8

REFLECTION – “Jesus invites us to change our heart, to make a radical about-face on the path of our lives, to abandon compromises with evil — and this is something we all do, hypocrisy…. I think that nearly all of us has a little hypocrisy — in order to decidedly take up the path of the Gospel.   But again there is the temptation to justify ourselves.   What should we convert from?   Aren’t we basically good people?   Unfortunately, each of us strongly resembles the tree that, over many years, has repeatedly shown that it’s infertile.   But, fortunately for us, Jesus is like a farmer who, with limitless patience, still obtains a concession for the fruitless vine.   The invincible patience of Jesus!   Have you thought about the patience of God?   Have you ever thought as well of His limitless concern for sinners?   How it should lead us to impatience with ourselves!   It’s never too late to convert, never.   God’s patience awaits us until the last moment.   It’s never too late to convert but it is urgent.   Now is the time!   Let us begin today.”Pope Francis – Angelus, 28 February 2016luke 13 7 the fruitless fig tree - unfortunately each of us - pope francis 24 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord our God, Your Son so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake.   Strengthen us by Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by that same love.   We know His excuses for us and His broken heart at our neglect and sin, make us like unto Him O Father, that we might be holy and come to see His Face.   May the prayers of the angels, saints and the Blessed Virgin be of assistance to us.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, amen.ave-maria-pray-for-us-28-sept-2018 and 24 march 2019 no 2.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 24 March – Jesus, Our Daily Sacrifice

Sunday Reflection – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

Jesus, Our Daily Sacrifice
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Our Lord not only offered Himself as a Sacrifice on the Cross but He makes Himself a perpetual, a daily Sacrifice, to the end of time.

In the Holy Mass, that One Sacrifice on the Cross once offered is renewed, continued, applied to our benefit.

He seems to say,
“My Cross was raised up 2000 years ago and only for a few hours – and very few of My servants were present there – but I intend to bring millions into My Church.   For their sakes, then, I will perpetuate My Sacrifice, that each of them may be as though they had severally been present on Calvary.

I will offer Myself up day by day to the Father, that everyone of My followers may have the opportunity to offer his petitions to Him, sanctified and recommended by the all-meritorious virtue of My Passion.

Thus, I will be a Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedech – My priests shall stand at the altar – but not they but rather I, will offer.   I will not let them offer mere bread and wine but I Myself will be present upon the altar instead and I will offer up Myself invisibly, while they perform the outward rite.”

jesus our daily sacrifice bl john henry newman 24 march 2019 sun reflection.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 24 March – How Great is Your Goodness, Lord

Our Morning Offering – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

How Great is Your Goodness, Lord
By Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury (c 1125-1190)

How great is Your goodness, Lord,
who does not shrink from letting
Your servant, place You upon his heart!
How great my own worth,
since You have chosen me
to have part in Yours,
to have You abiding in me,
to love You, as You deserve,
above myself.
Lord, take from me this hard heart
and give me a new, clean heart
of flesh and blood.
You who make my heart pure,
take possession of mine
and make it Your home.
Hold it and fill it,
You who are higher than my topmost height,
more inward than my inward being.
You, the seal of holiness,
beauty of beauties,
engrave on my heart
Your image
and the imprint of Your mercy.
Be, O God,
my eternal love
and my inheritance.
Amenhow great is your goodness lord archbishop baldwin of canterbury 24 march 2019 prayer before holy communion.jpg


Saint of the Day – 24 March – St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)

Saint of the Day – 24 March – St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381) – Widow, Religious of the Brigittine Order also called the Order of St Saviour, Abbess – born in 1331 in Sweden and died of natural causes on 24 March 1381 (aged 50). Her cultus was confirmed by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484.   Patronage – unborn children, mothers who suffer miscarriage, expectant mothers and those praying to conceive.web3-catherine-of-sweden-saint

St Catherine was the fourth child of Saint Bridget of Sweden.   At the time of her death St Catherine was head of the convent of Wadstena, founded by her mother hence the name, Catherine Vastanensis, by which she is occasionally called.

At the age of seven she was sent to the abbess of the convent of Riseberg to be educated and soon showed, like her mother, a desire for a life of self-mortification and devotion to spiritual things.

At the command of her father, when about thirteen or fourteen years old, she married a noble of German descent, Eggart von Kürnen.   She at once persuaded her husband, who was a very religious man, to join her in a vow of chastity.   Both lived in a state of virginity and devoted themselves to the exercise of Christian perfection and active charity.   In spite of her deep love for her husband, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome, where St Bridget went in 1349.Santa_Caterina_di_Svezia_B

Soon after her arrival in that city Catherine received news of the death of her husband in Sweden.   She now lived constantly with her mother, took an active part in St Bridget’s fruitful labours and zealously imitated her mother’s ascetic life.

Although the distinguished and beautiful young widow was surrounded by suitors, she steadily refused all offers of marriage.

In 1372 St Catherine and her brother, Birger, accompanied their mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.   After their return to Rome St Catherine was with her mother in the latter’s last illness and death.   In 1374, in obedience to St Bridget’s wish, Catherine brought back her mother’s body to Sweden for burial at Wadstena, of which foundation she now became the head.   It was the motherhouse of the Brigittine Order, also called the Order of St Saviour.   Catherine managed the convent with great skill and made the life there one in harmony with the principles laid down by its founder.

After some years, she returned to Rome to work for her mother’s canonisation.   She stayed there five years and formed a close friendship with St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380).

Catherine died on 24 March 1381, mourned like her mother by the whole of Sweden.   In 1484 Innocent VIII gave permission for her veneration as a saint.
Catherine wrote a devotional work entitled “Consolation of the Soul” (Sielinna Troest), largely composed of citations from the Scriptures and from early religious books but no copy is known to exist.   Generally she is represented with a hind at her side, which is said to have come to her aid when unchaste youths sought to ensnare her.stcatherinesweeden

Although she never experienced the pain of miscarriage herself, Catherine counselled women who had suffered a miscarriage or were experiencing complications in their pregnancy.

A traditional prayer to St Catherine reads:

Prayer to St Catherine for Consolation after a Miscarriage

Dear St Catherine,
patron of those who have suffered a miscarriage,
you know the dangers that await unborn infants.
Please intercede for me
that I may receive consolation from the loss I have suffered.
My soul has been deprived of peace
and I have forgotten what true happiness is.
As I mourn the loss of my child,
I place myself in the hands of God
and ask for strength to accept His will in all things,
for consolation in my grief
and for peace in my sorrow.
Glorious St Catherine,
hear my prayers and ask that God,
in good time,
grant me a healthy baby
who will become a true child of God.
Amenprayer to st catherine for consolation after a miscarriage 24 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and Memorials of the Saints – 24 March

Third Sunday of Lent, Year C (2019)

St Agapitus of Synnada
St Aldemar the Wise
St Bernulf of Mondovi
Bl Bertha de’Alberti of Cavriglia
Bl Bertrada of Laon
Bl Brian O’Carolan
St Caimin of Lough Derg
St Cairlon of Cashel
St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)
Bl Diego José of Cádiz
St Domangard of Maghera
St Epicharis of Rome
St Epigmenius of Rome
St Hildelith of Barking
Bl John del Bastone
St Latinus of Brescia
St Macartan of Clogher
Bl Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart
St Mark of Rome
Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)
Before he was a Saint (Canonised on 14 Oct 2018):

St Pigmenius of Rome
St Romulus of North Africa
St Secundus of North Africa
St Seleucus of Syria
St Severo of Catania
St Timothy of Rome

Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details about their that survive are the names – Aprilis, Autus, Catula, Coliondola, Joseph, Rogatus, Salitor, Saturninus and Victorinus. .

Martyrs of Caesarea – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little else but six of their names – Agapius, Alexander, Dionysius, Pausis, Romulus and Timolaus. They were martyred by beheading in 303 at Caesarea, Palestine.