Thought for the Day – 5 April – “A saint of the ordinary?”

Thought for the Day – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio OSA (1905-1983)

Blessed Mariano has been called “a saint of the ordinary”, this giving, loving and holy man who spent all he had for his people.   Is this ‘ordinary’, is this how ‘ordinary’ folk live, though we should be living thus.  Is St Mother Teresa, who likewise, gave all, what we would call an ordinary saint  . For the suffering sheep are the beloved of God, they are not ordinary, they are His most in need of the extraordinary love and charity of us, ‘the ordinary.’

I am reminded of the words of Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996):

“Visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, consoling the dying or sheltering the homeless, may not catch the public eye and are often perceived as irrelevant when put in the perspective of a possible nuclear holocaust. There are many voices that say: ‘These little acts of mercy are a waste of time when we consider the urgency of stopping the arms race, etc etc.” But the peacemaker knows that true peace is a divine gift that has nothing to do with statistics or measures of success and popularity. Peace is like life itself. It manifests itslef quietly and gently.
Who can say that a lost afternoon with a sick friend is in truth not much more than an interruption of ‘true’ peace work?
Who knows?
Jesus’ way is the humble way. He calls out to use – “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.'”

Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio , Pray for Us!bl mariano de la mata aparecio pray for us 5 april 2019.jpg


Lenten Thoughts – 5 April ‘ But You God”

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

And now, my heavy laden soul,
what will you do?
You call with your lips and voice to
God most high,
God, who cares only for deeds and
is not taken in by words.
You, my soul, with a heart always turned toward Egypt,
how can I describe you?

Am I
a Sodom, to be punished likewise with destruction,
or the prosecutor of Ninevah, who was struck dumb?

Am I
more cowardly and barbarous than the
queen of the south,
lower than Canaan,
more stubborn than Amalek,
incurable as the city of idols,
a relic left behind from the rebellion of Israel,
a reminder of the broken covenant of Judah,
more reproachable than Tyre,
more shunned than Zidon,
more immoral than Galilee,
more unpardonable than faithless Capernaum,
maligned like Korazin,
slandered like Bethsaida?

Or am I
immodest as Ephraim as he prayed,
or a dove, whose gentleness seems due to
feeblemindedness and not to inner calm,
or an evil serpent born of lion’s cubs,
or the serpent’s egg filled with decay,
or like the last blow against Jerusalem?

Or am I
in the words of our Lord
and the sayings of the prophets,
an abandoned tabernacle about to collapse,
the unlatched doors of the stronghold,
my speaking edifice stained again,
having given up my rightful inheritance,
my home built by God,
as Moses, David and Jeremiah prophesied?
My thinking body now consumed by disease,
afflicted with carping counsel, rehabilitated by the law,
anointed with the clay of mildness,
incapable of finding my own salvation,
torn away from the maker’s hand,
expelled as just punishment
by order of the Almighty, to an unholy place,
rejected, exiled, greatly shunned, nothing spared,
having buried my gift in the ground,
like the one chastised in the Gospel by
losing his inheritance.

But You, God,
Lord of souls and all flesh,
in the words of one divinely graced,
You are long-suffering and abounding in mercy.
In the voice of blessed Jonah,
grant that I finish to Your delight
this book of prayers, now begun.
And having sown these words with tears
and set forth on this journey toward the dwellings You have prepared,
may I return joyfully in the time of harvest
with the bounty of atonement,
with sheaves of goodness and the fruits of delight.

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) – Fathe & Doctor of the Churchbut-you-god-st-gregory-of-narek-27-feb-2018.jpg

“If you elevate yourself,
God distances Himself from you.
If you humble yourself,
He leans towards you.”

St Augustine (354-430)if you elevate yourself - st augustine - 5 april 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 5 April – “Humility”

Quote of the Day – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419)

“Once humility is acquired,
charity will come to life,
like a burning flame,
devouring the corruption of vice
and filling the heart so full,
that there is no place for vanity.”…

St Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419)once humility is acquired - st vincent ferrer - 5 april 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 5 April – “Love…more powerful than sin.”

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22; Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

The Paschal Mystery is Christ at the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of God.   It is precisely then that the words pronounced in the Upper Room are completely fulfilled:  “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).   In fact, Christ, whom the Father “did not spare” (Rm 8:32) for the sake of man and who in His passion and in the torment of the cross did not obtain human mercy, has revealed in His resurrection, the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people. “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mk 12:27).

In His resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them, and said to them:  ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).

Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.and it is also the same christ - st john paul - encyclical frifourtheweeklent 5 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

We keep acknowledging that God is the source of our life.
We realise that we have been seeking other sources of life.
We recognise our weakness and turn to God for help.
Though our hearts are being opened up to their depths,
though we cry out to God for help, we are not discouraged.

The Lord is near to broken hearts.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:18-19

Closing Prayer:
Loving God of forgiveness,
I come before You humbled and sad
in the face of my own repeated failings.
I hold out my hands as a petitioner would,
asking for mercy.
It is then that I feel You reach out and take my hand
in Your loving grasp.
Thank You for the love You pour out on me so lavishly.
Help me to follow more closely
in the path You have set for me,
the path of Your Son.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenjohn 7 28 you know me - fridayfourtheweeklent 5 april 2019


One Minute Reflection – 5 April – “You know me?”

One Minute Reflection – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 and celebrating St Vincent Ferrer and Blessed Mariano de la Mata

“You know me and you know where I come from?   But I have not come of my own accord;  he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

REFLECTION – “The crowds are surprised to see Jesus teaching in public, despite the death threats and so wonder if He could indeed be the Messiah.   The crucial question here is, whether or not one perceives Jesus as having been sent by God.   The answer to this question determines whether one is on the right track or engaged in only superficial reflection.   God, in Jesus, continues to come to us in various disguises and forms. If we decide in advance how He must come, then there is the danger that we too might continue to miss Him.   The way to be able to find Him in all things and all things in Him, is to be open and receptive and let God be God.   It is to open our eyes, ear and every fibre of our being to the revelation that He will make and to be prepared for that revelation, in the most unexpected persons, places and events!”…Fr Errol Fernandes SJjohn 7 28 you know me - god in jesus continues to come - gods word 5 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Loving God and Father, open our eyes and ears and our hearts.   Help us to recognise the Light of Christ in the world around us.   Too often we are hard of heart and closed up in our ‘rites’ – He is there but He is not only there and we are blind.   May the prayers of the saints and angels help us to be open to Him.   Mary, the Mother He gave us, pray for us.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.mother mary pray for us - 5 oct 2018.jpg


Posted in DOMINICAN OP, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 5 April – Grant me, O my God

Our Morning Offering – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419)

Grant me, O my God
By St Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419)

Good Jesus,
let me be penetrated with love
to the very marrow of my bones,
with fear and respect toward You;
let me burn with zeal for Your honour,
so that I may resent terribly all the outrages
committed against You, especially those
of which I myself have been guilty.
Grant further, O my God,
that I may adore
and acknowledge You humbly, as my Creator
and that, penetrated with gratitude
for all Your benefits,
I may never cease to render You thanks.
Grant that I may bless You in all things,
praise and glorify You
with a heart full of joy and gladness
and that, obeying You with docility
in every respect, I may one day,
despite my ingratitude and unworthiness,
be seated at Your table
together with Your Holy Angels and Apostles
to enjoy ineffable delights.
Amengrant me o my god by st vincent ferrer - 5 april 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 April – Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio OSA (1905-1983)

Saint of the Day – 5 April – Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio OSA (1905-1983) was a Spanish Priest, a professed religious of the Order of Saint Augustine, Missionary, Apostle of Charity, Eucharistic and Marian devotee, Spiritual Director, Teacher and Professor.   He joined the missions in Brazil where he served until his death and was known for his educational work with the poor.   His age and diminishing health was no obstacle for him throughout his time in Brazil and it did not hinder his efforts to visit the sick or go out to be with the people he looked after.blessed-mariano-de-la-mata-aparicio

Mariano was born into a simple Christian family from Barrio de la Puebla de Valdavia (Palencia), Spain, on 31 December 1905.   Three of his brothers preceded him into the Order of Saint Augustine.   He himself studied in Valladolid and La Vid.   He was vested in the habit on 9 September 1921 and in 1922 made his initial profession, he had received the habit from the Blessed Anselm Polanco (1881–1939) Martyr.   In 1926 he was transferred back to Santa María de la Vid where he completed his theological courses.  He made his solemn profession on 23 January 1927 and he was later ordained to the priesthood on 25 July 1930.   After two years ministering in Spain, he left for Brazil, where he carried out an extensive apostolate in the field of education and especially in the daily care of the poor, the infirm and children.mariano-de-la-mata-d3ba9213-80cf-48f5-bb2c-1b699d374a9-resize-750.jpg

In 1961 he went to teach at the Saint Augustine college and also took on the duties of a spiritual director at the Saint Rita of Cascia Workshop as well as the parochial vicar of the Saint Augustine church.   He tended to the needs of those who surrounded him and went to visit the sick on a regular basis as was the case with Sergio Teixera. He visited this student of his for twelve months and gave him private lessons during his illness. Another student – Horacio Gentile – was visited during his two month stay in the hospital, notwithstanding the great distance and steep climb, the prelate had to endure to get to mariano-de-la-mata-b272cc97-4609-4d6a-8add-37c47860ef4-resize-750

In character he was remembered as an active and enterprising prelate who was open and communicative to all, a person of affection and kindness.   He organised more than 200 of the Saint Rita Workshops, which attracted poor people to make clothing that the poor could afford.   He was often seen walking down the streets of São Paulo to pastoral visits, though, even as he aged and his strength waned and his vision grew dim he still continued all his pastoral practices.

Fr Mariano may be called ‘a saint of the ordinary.’   He possessed a strong character but was at the same time, a generous and sensitive individual, friendly and approachable with all.   He was devoted to the Blessed Virgin, thoroughly committed to his priestly vocation and fervent in his love for the mariano-de-la-mata-1a576c19-e4b0-485d-8879-190b26f8a2b-resize-750

Mariano was diagnosed with cancer in early 1983.   He underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumour but the cancer continued to spread.   He died on 5 April 1983 and was Beatified on 5 November 2006 in the Cathedral of Sao Paulo, Brazil by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, who said of the new blessed:

“Fr Mariano was poor with the poor, humble among children and compassionate towards the infirm and the elderly.   He was conscientious with his students, the faithful and the association of Workshops of Saint Rita (he founded over 200 such workshops which employ people to make affordable clothing for the poor).   He was merciful toward his penitents, pure of heart and a lover of peace in his Augustinian community and in his family, overcoming difficulties through prayer and sacrifice, constantly having recourse to the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Consolation up until the moment he departed this life.”

His body rests beside the altar of his beloved Virgin of Consolation in the Church of Saint Augustine in Sao mariano-de-la-mata-867f9ef2-1e49-4ed8-9cab-afeab82c250-resize-750

As a “saint of the ordinary,” Father Mariano reminds us that the path to holiness is essentially simple – it consists in living the Gospel message in a spirit of faith, freedom and generosity, loving God and neighbour as Jesus instructed us.   Mariano is a modern saint, a saint who lived surrounded by the challenges of our contemporary world but with the timeless truth and wisdom of the two great mariano de la mata.jpg

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 5 April

St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419) (Optional Memorial)
Biography of St Vincent:

St Albert of Montecorvino
Bl Antonius Fuster
St Becan
Bl Blasius of Auvergne
St Claudius of Mesopotamia
St Derferl Gadarn
St Gerald of Sauve-Majeure
St Irene of Thessalonica
St Maria Crescentia Hoss
Bl Mariano de la Mata Aparicio OSA (1905-1983)
St Pausilippus
Bl Peter Cerdan
St Theodore the Martyr

Martyrs of Lesbos: 5 saints – Five young Christian women martyred together for their faith. We don’t even know their names. island of Lesbos, Greece.

Martyrs of North-West Africa: Large group of Christians murdered while celebrating Easter Mass during the persecutions of Genseric, the Arian king of the Vandals. They were martyred in 459 at Arbal (in modern Algeria).

Martyrs of Seleucia: 120 saints – One-hundred and eleven (111) men and nine (9) women who, because they were Christians, were dragged to Seleucia and martyred for refusing to worship the sun or fire or other pagan idols during the persecutions of King Shapur II. They were burned alive in 344 in Seleucia, Persia.