Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for April 2019

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for April 2019

Universal

Doctors and their Collaborators in War-Torn Areas.

For doctors and their humanitarian collaborators

in war-torn areas,

who risk their lives to save the lives of others.

the holy father's prayer intention april 2019 .jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

April Devotion – The Blessed Sacrament

April Devotion – The Blessed Sacrament

Other Christians, most notably the Eastern Orthodox, some Anglicans and some Lutherans, believe in the Real Presence, that is, they believe, as we Catholics do, that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ in the sacrament of the altar (though only Catholics define this change as transubstantiation).

However, only the Catholic Church has developed the practice of Eucharistic adoration. Every Catholic Church contains a Tabernacle in which the Body of Christ is reserved between Masses and the faithful are encouraged to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.   Frequent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a path to spiritual growth.april-devotion

Eucharistic Adoration
The practice of Eucharistic adoration on earth not only brings us grace but prepares us for our life in Heaven.   As Ven Pope Pius XII wrote in Mediator Dei (1947):

“These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are reechoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb “who was slain.”

This month, why not make a special effort to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament?   It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate – You can start simply by making the Sign of the Cross and uttering a short profession of faith, such as “My Lord and my God!” as you pass a Catholic church.   If you have the time to stop for five minutes, all the better.

“A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent
in sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“When you want to find me, come near the tabernacle.”

St Pio of Pietrelcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)a thousand years and when you want to find me - st padre pio 3 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – O Fountain of Everlasting Love

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471): Book 3, Chapter 10

That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God.

Now, will I speak again, O Lord and will not be silent, I will say in the hearing of my God and my King Who is on high:  Oh, how great is the abundance of Your sweetness, O Lord, which You have hidden for those that fear You!

But what are You, for those who love You?   What, to those who serve You with their whole heart?   Unspeakable indeed, is the sweetness of Your contemplation, which You bestow on those who love You.   In this most of all, have You shown me the sweetness of Your love, that when I had no being, You did make me and when I was straying far from You, You brought me back again, that I might serve You and You have commanded me to serve You.

O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of You?   How can I forget You, Who have vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost?

Beyond all hope, You show mercy to Your servant and beyond all desert, have You manifested Your grace and friendship.   What return shall I make to You for this favour? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world and to assume the monastic life  . Is it much that I should serve You, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve?   It ought not to seem much to me to serve You but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that You vouchsafe to receive one so wretched and unworthy as Your servant.   It is a great honour, a great glory, to serve You and to despise all things for You for they who willingly subject themselves to Your holy service, shall have great grace.   They shall experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of You, have cast aside all carnal delight.o fountain of everlasting love - thomas a kempis 3 april 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 3 April – I am unable to live a mere earthly life!

Quote of the Day – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)

“I feel within my soul an impulse
which spurs me onto God.
I am unable to live a mere earthly life!…
I must raise myself above all worldly things
in order to live for God alone,
to sacrifice myself for priests
and to console the Pierced Heart of Jesus.
Thus fulfilling His desire of love
toward me and toward souls.”

Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)i feel within my soul - bl maria teresa casini 3 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – “The dead will hear his voice”

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalms 145:8-9, 13CD-14, 17-18; John 5:17-30

Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming, when all who are in the tombs, will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement.…John 5:28-29wed of the fourth week lent - john 528-29 3 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Grant us Your forgiveness.

We know that this whole journey is about our reconciliation.
We know that God wants to forgive us.
We know we are preparing to renew our Baptismal promises,
and “refuse to be mastered by sin.”
Today we hear the invitation and ask more earnestly.

In the marvellous discourse that follows His sign of healing,
Jesus says, “I am not seeking my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
I am filled with a sense of sorrow and gratitude,
as I see what He did for me.

I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message
and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life
and will never be condemned.
They have already gone from death to life.
John 5:24

“The dead will hear his voice”  – “Lazarus, come forth” (Jn 11:43)

Saint Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church

Our Lord had raised Jairus’s daughter but while the body was still warm and death was only halfway through its work (Mt 9:18f.)… He also raised the widow’s only son but by halting the stretcher and forestalling the tomb… before the dead man had fallen completely under the law of death (Lk 7:11f.).   But the whole event that takes place with regard to Lazarus is unique.. Lazarus, in whom all death’s power had been completed and in whom, equally, a complete image of the resurrection shone out… Christ, indeed, returned as Lord on the third day; Lazarus, as servant, was called back to life on the fourth day…

The Lord said and repeated to His disciples:  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified” (Mt 20:18f.).   And when He said this, He saw them growing uncertain, sad, comfortless.   He knew they had to be crushed by the weight of His Passion until nothing of their own life, their own faith, their own light would remain within them but, to the contrary, their hearts would be darkened with the almost total darkness of their lack of faith.   That is the reason why He let Lazarus’s death continue for four days… From this follows what our Lord said to His disciples:  “Lazarus has died.   And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe” (vv.14-15).   Therefore Lazarus’s death was necessary so that the disciples’ faith might rise from the tomb along with Lazarus.

“That I was not there.”   Now was there anywhere where Christ was not?… My brethren, Christ as God was there but Christ the man was not.   Christ God was there when Lazarus was dying but now Christ man was going to the dead man because Christ our Lord was going enter into death:  “It is there, in death, in the tomb, in hell, that all the power of death is to be crushed through me and my death.”he knew they had to be crushed - st peter chrysologus 3 april 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving and merciful God,
I am so aware of my sins and weaknesses.
But as painfully aware of my faults as I am,
Let me also remember Your tender love,
Your gentle and limitless forgiveness.
I come before You filled with pain and guilt
but look into Your eyes and see the forgiving love of my Father,
I so long for in my life.
Help me to forgive the same way.
Teach me to love as You love.

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

Posted in GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 April – “Father”

One Minute Reflection – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 5:17–30

Jesus answered them, “My Father is working still and I am working.” This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father...John 5:17-18

REFLECTION – “Father – with this word I express my certainty that someone is there who hears me, who never leaves me alone, who is always present.   I express my certainty that God, despite the infinite difference between Him and me, is such that I can speak to Him, may even address Him familiarly as “thou” (German du).
His greatness does not overwhelm me, does not reject me as insignificant and unimportant.   Certainly I am subject to Him as a child is subject to his father, yet there is such a fundamental similarity and likeness between Him and me, yes, I am so important to Him, I belong so closely to Him, that I can rightly address Him as “Father”.
My being born is not a mistake, then but a grace.   It is good to live even though I do not always perceive it.   I am wanted. not a child of chance or necessity but of choice and freedom.
Therefore, I shall also have a purpose in life, there will always be a meaning for me, a task designed just for me, there is a conception of me that I can seek and find and fulfil. When the school of life becomes unbearably hard, when I would like to cry out as Job did, as the psalmist did – then I can transform this cry into the word “Father” and the cry will gradually become a word, a reminder to trust, because from the Father’s perspective it is clear that my distress, yes, my agony, is part of the greater love for which I give thanks.”…Pope Benedict XVIjohn 5 17 - jesus answered my father is working - father with this word pope benedict 3 april 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father!   We give You thanks for cleansing our hearts and strengthening us in love through the Holy Spirit.   May we always be grateful for all the goodness You have shown us and may we bear our trials with patience.   You gave us Your only Son, in His life You have shown us the way of love, teach us to follow His steps in the great and small events of our life.   Move us always to hear the cries of our brothers.   May the prayers of all the angels and saints and the guiding hand of our Mother, the Mother of Christ, grant us strength.   Through Jesus our Lord, in the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mater dei ora pro nobis mary pray for us 3 april 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – 3 April – Jesu, be You my Life!

Our Morning Offering – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

Jesu, be You my Life!
Msgr Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)

I cannot live alone another hour,
Jesu, be You my Life!
I have not power to strive,
be You my Power
In every strife!
I can do nothing
– hope, nor love, nor fear.
But only fail and fall.
Be You my soul and self,
O Jesu dear.
My God and all!
Amenjesu-be-you-my-life-msgr-robert-hugh-benson-maundy-thurs-29-march-2018.jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937) – Religious Sister and Founder of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Priests known as Little Friends of Jesus , Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration, of Prayer especially for priests.   Also known as Sister Maria Serafina of the Heart of Jesus Pierced and Mother Maria Teresa. Additional Memorial – 29 October (Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, diocese of Frascati, Italy, based on the date of her baptism).   Born on 27 October 1864 in Frascati, Italy and died around 5am on 3 April 1937 at Oblate monastery on the via del Casaletto in Grottaferrata, Rome, Italy of natural causes, aged 72.

Maria Teresa Casini was born on 27 October 1864 to Tommaso Casini and Melania Rayner as their first born daughter, she was baptised on 29 October.

She travelled to Rome for her studies at the Santa Rufina boarding school that the nuns of the Madams of the Sacred Heart conducted. She received her First Communion on 7 May 1878 which solidified her vocation.   Due to a period of ill health, she had to leave school and return home for recuperation.bl maria teresa casini young

Shortly after she turned eighteen, she responded to her vocation and met Father Arsenio Pellegrini who became her guide and her spiritual director and who served as the Abbot of the Basilian Monks of Grottaferrata.   Despite entering the convent, ill health forced her to leave, though she attempted to enter once again yet failed due to the death of the foundress after which the institute she joined ceased to exist.

In due time, she became a nun after entering the monastery of Sepolte Vive in Rome on 2 February 1885.   Casini only started to live in Grottaferrata with fellow entrants from 17 October 1892 onwards.   On 2 February 1894, she founded the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It was not until 1925 that Casini started the special work of the “Little Friends of Jesus” in order to promote and to cultivate the vocations of prospective priests.   The group’s special character came to life when Cardinal Francesco Satolli requested Casini and her congregation to take up new and vigorous apostolic work.   This group also worked for the sanctification of all priests and so the group opened a boarding school for males in order to please the Lord’s request for good and wholesome priests.

Throughout her life, Casini offered “the oblation of herself, in faithful response to the Love that overflows from the open Heart of the Savior, and which she imparted to so many daughters and priests”. This even earned the praise of Pope Pius X in 1904 who wrote:  “In order to bring about the reign of Jesus Christ, nothing is more necessary than the sanctity of the clergy.   God bless these sisters for their selfless love for these men of God, for through them, through the sacraments, we are fortified and purified for the journey”.bl maria teresa casini

Casini grew ill in the final years of her life and she died in 1937.   Her final words were: “I am peaceful.   I feel God is near me”.

Casini’s order continues to flourish on an international level in places such as Africa, the United States of America, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, India, Guinea Bissau.  The Generalate is in Rome and the Motherhouse is in Grottaferrata, Italy.

The first of the males of the Little Friends of Jesus that Casini herself oversaw was ordained as a priest in 1938.bl maria teresa casini 2

Blessed Maria Teresa was buried in the chapel of the Zealots of the Sacred Heart in a nearby cemetery and her remains were re-interred at the Generalate of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart in Grottaferrata on 20 May 1965.   She was Beatified on 31 October 2015 by Pope Francis.   The Beatification recognition was celebrated at the Piazza San Pietro at the cathedral in Frascati, Italy, presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato.   Her Beatification miracle involved the 25 – 27 June 2003 healing of the brain lesions and trauma of Jacob “Jack” Ronald Sebest, a five year old drowning victim in Youngstown, Ohio.canonisation bl maria teresa maxresdefault.jpg

The Oblate Sisters are called to live and to participate intimately in the Oblation of Jesus to the Father, to repair and console His Pierced Heart, with an intense life of prayer and unconditional gift of ourselves, so that Priests may be holy.   They also care for retired and convalescent priests in special homes which they administer.

From their Constitution:
“The exclusive pursuit of God – which is the goal of our community life – is the foundation of that spirit of prayer that must characterise our whole existence as
Christians, religious and Oblates.   From the spirit of prayer, springs prayer itself as the source and fundamental expression of our community and personal life because “the Oblate’s life is intimately tied to the altar.”   In founding the Institute, Mother
Teresa wanted to root it in faith, prayer and that unconditional gift of herself to priests, which knew no limits in our first sisters, if not in the consummation of life itself.

In silent and adoring prayer we express the typical attitude of our consecration and
Oblate spirituality, because with it, we join our feelings to the feelings of Jesus Himself, which are an endless act of love and an unceasing supplication to the Father for the Church and for its priests.   Our individual prayer finds its climax in daily adoration.   It brings us close to the altar, seen as the true source of our specific mission in the Church: suppliant and atoning prayer for the holiness of priests.”

“The life Jesus leads in the Sacrament of His love and which the Oblate must imitate and make her own is this – a life of generous and limitless sacrifice… a life of incessant prayer …a life of obedience… a life of poverty…”….Blessed Mother Maria Teresa

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 3 April

Bl Alexandrina di Letto
St Attala of Taormina
St Benatius of Kilcooley
St Benignus of Tomi
St Burgundofara
St Chrestus
St Comman
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas
Bl Gandulphus of Binasco
Bl Iacobus Won Si-bo
St John I of Naples
Bl John of Penna
St Joseph the Hymnographer
Bl Juan Otazua Madariaga
Bl Lawrence Pak Chwi-deuk
St Luigi Scrosoppi Cong. Orat. (1804-1884)
About St Luigi:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-st-luigi-scrosoppi/

A little Note about St Luigi – his Canonisation Miracle occurred in my Parish in Oudtshoorn!

Bl Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)
St Nicetas of Medicion
St Papo
Bl Piotr Edward Dankowski
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
Biography:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-st-richard-of-chichester-1197-1253/

Bl Robert Middleton
St Sixtus I, Pope
Bl Thurstan Hunt
St Vulpian of Tyre