Posted in ABOUT Me - Anastpaul, NOTES to Followers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC

About Me – Anastpaul

About, Yes, about – 10 years ago a new Catholic Social Media website was launched in South Africa.   The creators and dreamers were in my Parish and I got involved – before long I was part of the leading Team and thus began this little project of mine.Anastpaul_1436004826_280

When, after a long slog of around 8 years and many curved balls – mostly financial ones (being in South Africa makes the financial aspects very difficult) – I left and began my own little project here.

I have been known as Anastpaul online, for much longer than the 10 years though – my name is Ana, St Paul is one of my two Confirmation Saints and I have always been very involved with catechesis and evangelisation in some form or another, trusting always in the passion and zeal of St Paul.

I am a ‘cradle’ Catholic, a Dominican Tertiary, brought up in a wholly Catholic home by Spanish and Italian parents (with a bit of Lithuanian Jewish blood too).   Rosary daily as a family, daily prayer, weekly Confession, Mass every day during Lent, etc etc.  We went to a Dominican Convent Private School and Christian Brothers schools, belonged to all available Catholic apostolates and just “Breathed Catholic.”  And so it has been – married a Catholic and our children too “Breathe Catholic”, for our blood is Catholic and is graced by the Holy Trinity and our forefathers are the Apostles.    Mary is our Holy Mother and our friends are the Saints and Angels.

I live a totally Catholic life, involved in our Parish, running various apostolates there, am an ‘old-fashioned Catholic’ of the Spanish school and am 100% true to One Holy Catholic Faith.   I do not like “labels” but if one should be applied I would be regarded as a “Traditional” Catholic.   No “Liberalism” and “Modernism.”

I know this much is true – if you ‘Breathe Catholic” so too will your children grow up truly Catholic!   Amen.


Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Coming nigh to God

Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

Act of self-abandonment
Coming nigh to God

This is an anonymous prayer, inspired by St Augustine – taken from “Providence” – God’s loving care for man and the need for confidence in Almighty God” by Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP (1877-1964)

O my God, I leave myself entirely in Your hands.
Turn and turn again, this mass of clay, as a vessel that is fashioned in the potter’s hand (Jer 18:6).
give it a shape, then break it if You will –
it is Yours, it as nothing to say.
Enough for me that it serves all Your designs
and that nothing resists Your good pleasure,
for which I was made.
Ask, command.
What would You have me to do?
What would You have me not to do?
Lifted up, cast down, in persecution,
in consolation, in suffering,
intent upon Your work,
good for nothing,
I can do no more than repeat
with Your holy Mother –
“Be it done unto me according to Your word” (Luke 1:38).
Give me that love which is beyond all loves,
the love of the Cross –
not those heroic crosses with a glory that might foster self-love
but those ordinary crosses
which we bear with so much distaste –
those daily crosses with which our life is strewn
and which at every moment
we encounter on our way through life –
false judgements,
the coldness or impulsiveness of some,
the rebuffs or contempt of others,
bodily infirmities,
spiritual darkness,
silence and interior dryness.
Only then, will You know that I love You,
even though I neither know
nor feel it myself
and that is enough for me!

And, may we:

“Be holy by living out your commitment with joy.”

Pope Francisbe holy by living out your commitment with joy - pope francis 1 april 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – St Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180)

Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C – Saint Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180) Early Church Father

Prayer in Praise of Christ

Born as a son,
led forth as a lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
He rose from the dead as a God,
for He was by nature God and man.

He is all things:
He judges and so He is Law,
He teaches and so He is Wisdom,
He saves and so He is Grace,
He begets and so He is Father,
He is begotten and so He is Son,
He suffers and so He is Sacrifice,
He is buried and so He is man,
He rises again and so He is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.born as a son led forth as a lamb no 2 st melito 1 april 2019.jpg

“The Lord, though He was God, became man.   He suffered for the sake of whose who suffer, He was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave but He rose from the dead and cried aloud:  “Who will contend with me?  Let him confront me.”   I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves.   Who has anything to say against me?   I, He said, am the Christ,  I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one and taken men up to the heights of heaven.   I am the Christ.   Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you.   I am your forgiveness.   I am the Passover that brings salvation.   I am the lamb who was immolated for you.   I am your Ransom, your Life, your Resurrection, your Light, I am your Salvation and your King.   I will bring you to the heights of heaven.   With my own right hand I will raise you up and I will show you the eternal Father.”

– from a letter by Saint Melito of Sardis

St Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180)

Early Church Fatheri am the lamb who was immolated for you - st melito 1 april 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 1 April – “Go, your son will live.”

Lenten Reflection – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalms 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12A and 13B; John 4:43-54john 4 50 go your son will live mon fourthweek lent 1 april 2019.jpg

“Go, your son will live.”…John 4:50

Saint Anastasius II of Antioch (550-609)
Monk, then Patriarch of Antioch from 549-570 and from 593-599

Sermon 5, on the Resurrection of Christ, (trans. cf breviary, Office of the Dead)

“To this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Rm 14:9).   But “God is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Lk 20:38). Consequently, the dead over whom He who lives has power are no longer dead but alive. Life has power over them so that they may live without any further fear of death just as “Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Rm 6:9).   Raised up and freed from corruption they shall see death no more.   They will share in the Resurrection of Christ just as He shared in their death.   For no other reason did He descend to earth, whose bars are barriers to eternity, except to “shatter the doors of bronze and cut in two the bars of iron” (Ps 107[106]:16).   He came to lead our lives away from corruption to Himself and gave us freedom in place of slavery.

If the work of this arrangement of providence does not seem to be finished yet, for men still die and their bodies rot in the grave, this should in no way undermine our faith.   In advance of all the good things already mentioned we have even now received a pledge through Christ our first fruits.   Through Him, we attain the highest heaven and take our places with Him who carried us up to the heights with Himself.   That is what Saint Paul says somewhere:  “he raised us up with him and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6).he came to lead our lives away from corruption st anastasius of antioch 1 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
You give us new life.
We now begin the second part of Lent.
The Gospel according to John will be our guide.
Before we enter into the controversy and the sense of being in a court room,
we have a wonderful story of a healing.
In this gospel, the acts of power that Jesus works
are the “signs” that help us see who He is.

We are reminded that He is the one, who will give us new life.

Lo, I am about to create
new heavens and a new earth.
Isaiah 65:17 The First Reading

Closing Prayer:
God who created me,
You offer me new life through Your Son
and through the gift of Your sacraments.
While I see new life all around me,
I don’t always recognise the new life You offer me.
Help me to grow this Lent in an awareness
of the gifts You place in my life
and in a greater appreciation for Your care.
Give me the courage to ask for help.

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


One Minute Reflection – 1 April – The rest is in God’s hands!

One Minute Reflection – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 4:43–54

So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine.   And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill...John 4:46

REFLECTION – “The mention of Cana and a summary of the first miracle of turning water into wine, anticipates another miracle.   The healing in this miracle, however, is done at a distance.   Though the people will base their faith in Him, merely on signs and wonders, Jesus invites them to realise that these are not what will motivate Him to act. He will act only in accordance with the will of God.   Human expectation cannot determine His action.
Sickness and brokenness are very much visible in our world today and most are in need of some form of repair or consolation.   At times, doctors are not able to diagnose an illness and at other times, when they are and perform a complicated procedure, ask the patient and family members to pray and have faith!   There is only so much that they and the doctors can do, the rest is in God’s hands.”…Fr Errol Fernandes SJand at capernum there was an official wose son was sick john 4 46 1 april 2019 gods word.jpg

PRAYER – Teach us Holy Father to do Your will!   Grant us Your guiding hand and Your grace, that we may trust You in all things.   Strengthen us by Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by the love of Your Son, who so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake.   For if we love as He loved, nothing will lead us from You.  Grant that the prayers of our most loving and merciful Mother, may intercede in our necessities.   We make our prayer through the Christ, our Lord, one God with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for all eternity, amen.loving and merciful mother ora pro nobis 1 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 1 April – Grant that I may love You and be loved by You

Our Morning Offering – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

“I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and be glad in my people…”
Isaiah 65:19

Grant that I may love You
and be loved by You
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

O God of love,
You are
and shall be forever,
the only delight of my heart
and the sole object of my affections.
Since Jesus said,
‘Ask and you shall receive,’
I do not hesitate to say,
‘Give me Your love
and Your grace.’
Grant that I may love You
and be loved by You.
I want nothing else.
Amengrant that I may love you and beloved by you - st alphonsus liguori 1 april 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 April – St Melito (Died c 180)

Saint of the Day – 1 April – St Melito Early Church Father – Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180), ecclesiastical Writer, Confessor, Apologist, Defender of Christ’s dual nature.   Saint Melito is believed to have been martyred around the time he wrote his apology to Marcus Aurelius circa 180.Saint Melito of Sardis

Saint Melito of Sardis was Bishop of the Church in Sardis and a prominent ecclesiastical writer in the latter half of the second century.   Indications are that he was the second Bishop of Sardis and was successor to “the angel of the Church of Sardis” (the apostle of that Church) to whom was addressed one of the apocalyptic messages.   Very little is known of his life and the majority of his writings exist only in fragments and quotations from Eusebius, Polycrates, Tertullian and others.   A letter of Polycrates of Ephesus to Pope Victor about 194 states that “Melito the eunuch (this is interpreted “the virgin” by Rufinus in his translation of Eusebius), whose whole walk was in the Holy Spirit”, was interred at Sardis and had been one of the great authorities in the Church of Asia who held the Quartodeciman theory (this was those Churches, primarily in Asia Minor, who celebrated Easter according to the Jewish calendar for Passover).

Saint Melito gave us the earliest indications of the Canon of the Old Testament in his writings and Saint Jerome, speaking of this canon, quotes Tertullian that Melito was esteemed as a prophet by many of the faithful.   Saint Melito, also wrote an apology to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, in which he defended the Christians against accusations made against them, urged the emperor to end the persecutions of the Christians and even urged Aurelius to proclaim Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire!

In the early 20th century, there was great excitement among Christian scholars when a homily by Saint Melito on Easter, “Peri Pascha”, was discovered.   This homily shows how the early Christians saw Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection foreshadowed throughout The Old Testament.   Indeed, in the writings attributed to Saint Melito by Eusebius, the prolific writer Melito gave a listing of the books of The Old Testament, which Saint Melito referred to as “The Old Books”, which indicates to many scholars that the Church of Melito’s time may well have had a New Testament as well.   There is also a strong indication from the fragments of Melito’s writing that exist in references by Tertullian, Eusebius, Polycrates, and others, that Saint Melito made extensive use of the Gospel of Saint John and he may have been acquainted with Saint Polycarp, Saint Ignatius of Antioch and other Early Church Fathers of his day.   His writings influenced the thinking of St Irenaeus of Lyons, St Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian.

In regard to the death of Melito, there is not much information preserved or recorded. Polycrates of Ephesus, in a letter addressed to Pope Victor (AD. 196) preserved in Eusebius’ history, says, “What shall I say of Melito, whose actions’ were all guided by the operations of the Holy Spirit?   Who was interred at Sardis, where he waits the resurrection and the judgement?”.   From this it may be inferred that he had died some time previous to the date of this letter at Sardis, which is the place of his interment and it is believed he might have been martyred.

Melito was especially skilled in the literature of the Old Testament and was one of the most prolific authors of his time.   Eusebius furnished a list of Melito’s works.   While many of these works are lost, the testimony of the fathers remains to inform us how highly they were viewed.   Eusebius presents some fragments of Melito’s works and some others are found in the works of different writers.   Melito was a Chiliast, and believed in a Millennial reign of Christ on Earth and followed Irenaeus in his views.  St Jerome and Gennadius both affirm that he was a decided millennarian and as such believed that Christ would reign for 1000 years before the coming of the final judgement.

The following was written by Saint Jerome, in his book, Lives of Illustrious Men :

Melito the Bishop

Melito of Asia, bishop of Sardis, addressed a book to the emperor Marcus Antoninus Verus, a disciple of Fronto the orator, in behalf of the Christian doctrine.   He wrote other things also, among which are the following:   On the passover, two books, one book On the lives of the prophets, one book On the church, one book On the Lord’s day, one book On faith, one book On the psalms, one On the senses, one On the soul and body, one On baptism, one On truth, one On the generation of Christ, On His prophecy, one On hospitality and another which is called the Key, one On the devil, one On the Apocalypse of John, one On the corporeality of God and six books of Eclogues.   Of his fine oratorical genius, Tertullian, in the seven books which he wrote against the church on behalf of Montanus, satirically says that he was considered a prophet by many of melito

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 1 April

Blessed Abraham of Bulgaria
Blessed Alexander of Sicily
Saint Anastasio
Blessed Antonius of Noto
Saint Berhard of Amiens
Blessed Bernhardin of Noto
Saint Celsus of Armagh
Saint Dodolinus of Vienne
Blessed Gerard of Sassoferrato
Saint Gilbert de Moray
Blessed Giuseppe Girotti
Blessed Hugh of Bonnevaux
Saint Hugh of Grenoble
Saint Jacoba of Rome
Blessed John Bretton
Saint Leucone of Troyes
Saint Ludovico Pavoni
Blessed Marcelle
Saint Mary of Egypt
Saint Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180) Early Church Father

Blessed Nicolò of Noto
Saint Prudentius of Atina
Saint Tewdrig ap Teithfallt
Saint Theodora of Rome
Saint Valery of Leucone
Saint Venantius of Spalato
Blessed Vinebault
Blessed Zofia Czeska-Maciejowska

Apostles of Picardy:
Saint Caidoc
Saint Fricor

Martyrs of Dalmatia and Istria – 9 saints: A group of Christians martyrs who died at various locations in Dalamtia and Istria (in modern Croatia, whose relics were later taken to Rome, Italy, and who are remembered together. We know the names Anastasio, Antiochiano, Asterius, Gaiano, Mauro, Paoliniano, Septimius, Telio and Venantius.
• on the Adriatic coast of modern Croatia
• relics translated to Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Thessalonica – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred. We know nothing about them but the names Alexander, Dionysius, Ingenianus, Panterus, Parthenius and Saturninus.
Thessalonica, Greece, date unknown

Martyred Sisters of Thessalonica:
Saint Agape
Saint Chionia

Martyred in Alexandria:
Saint Stephen
Saint Victor

Martyred in Armenia:
Saint Irenaeus
Saint Quintian

Martyred in Heraclea:
Saint Castus
Saint Victor

Martyred in the Mexican Revolution
Blessed Anacleto González Flores
Blessed Jorge Vargas González
Blessed Luis Padilla Gómez
Blessed Ramón Vargas González