Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – THE BELOVED CROSSES

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

“Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)

The saints, my dear brethren, all loved the Cross and found in it their strength and their consolation.

But, you will say to me, is it necessary, then, always to have something to suffer? …. Now sickness or poverty, or again scandal or calumny, or possibly loss of money or an infirmity?

Have you been calumniated, my friends?   Have you been loaded with insults?   Have you been wronged?   So much the better!   That is a good sign, do not worry, you are on the road that leads to Heaven.   Do you know when you ought to be really upset? I do not know if you understand it but it should be precisely for the opposite reason — when you have nothing to endure, when everyone esteems and respects you.   Then you should feel envious of those who have the happiness of passing their lives in suffering, or contempt, or poverty.

Are you forgetting, then, that at your Baptism you accepted the Cross, which you must never abandon until death and that it is the key that you will use to open the door of Heaven?   Are you forgetting the words of our Saviour: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.   The saints had a great fear of passing any time without suffering, for they looked upon it as time lost.

According to St Teresa, man is only in this world to suffer and when he ceases to suffer, he should cease to live. St John of the Cross asks God, with tears, to give him the grace to suffer more as a reward for all his labours.

What should we conclude, my dear children, from all that?

Just this – Let us make a resolution to have a great respect for all the crosses, which are blessed and which represent to us in a small way all that our God Suffered for us.   Let us recall that from the Cross flow all the graces that are bestowed upon us and that as a consequence, a cross which is blessed is a source of blessings, that we should often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves and always with great respect and, finally, that our houses should never remain without this symbol of salvation.

“Everything is a reminder of the Cross.
We ourselves are made in the shape of a cross.”

Fill your children, my dear brethren, with the greatest respect for the Cross and always have a blessed cross on yourselves, it will protect you against the Devil, from the vengeance of Heaven and from all danger.   This is what I desire for you.everything is a reminder of the cross - st jon vianney 2018.jpg


Quote of the Day – 6 April – Do not be dismayed

Quote of the Day – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

“Do not be dismayed by toil or suffering,
nor by the meagre fruit of your labours.
Remember that God rewards,
not according to results but effort.”

Blessed Zefirino, 1874do not be dismayed by the meagre fruits - bl sefirino agostino 6 april 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 6 April – “No one laid hands on him” Origen

Lenten Reflection – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:  Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7:2-3,9BC-10, 11-12; John 7:40-53

Daily Meditation:
Apart from You we can do nothing.

The conflict around Jesus grows.
And all the while, we are turning to God for mercy.
What Jesus went through is for me,
that I might have mercy and the gift of everlasting life.

We call upon the Lord for help, for strength, for trust.

My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
Psalm 7:10john 7 44 and 7 41 - satfourthweeklent 6 april 2019.jpg

“No one laid hands on him”...John 7:44

Origen (c 185-253)
Father, Priest and Theologian

In Christ we encounter such human characteristics that they have nothing to distinguish them from the weakness common to us mortals.   At the same time, we encounter characteristics so divine, that they can only be appropriate to the sovereign and ineffable divine nature.   Too small to comprehend this, the human mind is so dumbfounded, that it does not know what to take its stand on, nor which path to follow.   Is it aware of God in Christ?   Yet it sees Him die.   Does it take Him to be a man?   But see Him coming back from the dead with the prize of His victory, having destroyed the reign of death.   In the same way our contemplation needs to be practised with such reverence and fear that, in the same Jesus, it considers the truth of the two natures, avoiding attributing to the divine essence those things that are nor worthy of it or do not belong to it but also avoiding seeing only an illusory appearance in historical events.

In truth, causing such things as these to be heard by human ears, trying to express them in words considerably surpasses our ability, talent and language.   I even think it surpasses the capability of the apostles.   More still, the explanation of this mystery probably transcends the entire order of angelic powers.

but see him coming back from the dead - 6 april 2019 - origen.jpg

Closing Prayer:
what You ask of my life seems so right.
It is how I want to live,
following Your Son, Jesus, so closely.
And yet I fail so often to stay on that path.
I cannot do it alone, loving Lord.
I need Your help and guidance.
I need to remember Your love for me
and I want to remember
how very much I need You in my life.

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 April – Others said, “This is the Christ.” 

One Minute Reflection – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 7:40–53

Others said, “This is the Christ.”   But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee?...John 7:41others said this is the christ john 7 41 - 6 april 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him:  ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’   That is the one thing we must not say.   A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else He would be the Devil of Hell.   You must make your choice.   Either this man was and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.   You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher.   He has not left that open to us.   He did not intend to.”…Prof C S Lewisi am trying here - c s lewis john 7 41 6 april 2019 no 2.jpg

PRAYER – In Your gentle mercy Lord, guide our wayward hearts, for we know that left to ourselves, we cannot do Your will.   Almighty God, turn our hearts to Yourself, so that we, seeking the one thing necessary, may worship You in spirit and in truth.   We give You thanks for our faith, increase our faith O our God!   May the prayers of all your saints and the Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, obtain the gift of humility and fidelity for us and for every believer, so that our prayer may always be genuine and pleasing to the Lord. Through Christ our Lord and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.virin mary queen of all saints no 2 pray for us 6 april 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 6 April – Prayer to the Sorrowful Mother

Our Morning Offering – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C
‘Marian Saturdays’

Prayer to the Sorrowful Mother
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church

My sorrowful Mother,
by the merit of that grief
which you felt at seeing your beloved Jesus
led to death,
obtain for me the grace to bear with patience,
those crosses which God sends me.
I will be fortunate if I also shall know
hot to accompany you with my cross until death.
You and Jesus,
both innocent,
have borne a heavy cross
and shall I,
a sinner who has merited hell,
refuse mine?
Immaculate Virgin,
I hope you will help me
to bear my crosses with patience.
Amenprayer to the sorrowful mother by st alphonsus liguori 6 april 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896) Priest, Apostle of the Poor and Founder of the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici and the Ursuline Sisters of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate of which orders he is the zefirino.jpg

Blessed Zefirino Agostini was born in Verona, Italy on 24 September 1813.   He was the oldest son of his parents, his father was a physician, who died when Zefirino was very young.

Blessed Zefirino commenced his studies for the priesthood at the age of eighteen and was Ordained on 11 March 1837.    He was then and was assigned to a very poor parish in Verona.   There he established an after-school programs for girls, religious education for mothers and education for women.

He began a devotion to Saint Angela Merici for the female parishioners and founded the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici whose rule was approved by Bishop Ricabona in 1856.

On All Souls Day of that same year, he opened his first charitable school of poor girls.  In 1860, local women who worked in the school chose community life and Father Agostini prepared the first rule for the community and on 24 September 1869, the first 12 Ursulines made their profession.   On 18 November 1869, they founded the Congregation of Ursulines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate.zefirino agostini

Father Agostini died on 6 April 1869 in Verona, Italy of natural causes.   His order received diocesan approval on 24 June 1923 while the papal decree of praise of Pope Pius XI was issued on 14 March 1932 and full papal approval for the institute came on 3 April 1940 from Pope Pius XII during World War II.   The order now operates in places such as Switzerland and Benin and as of 2005 has 628 religious in 78 houses.

He was Beatified on 25 October 1998 by St Pope John Paul II, after approval of the required miracle.   At the Beatification St John Paul said:

“The Lord stood by me and gave me strength” (2 Tm 4:17).

“These words of the Apostle to Timothy certainly apply to Fr Zefirino Agostino, who never lost heart despite countless difficulties.   He stands before us today as a humble, steadfast witness to the Gospel in the latter half of the 19th century, a fruitful period for the Church in Verona.   His faith was steadfast, his charitable work effective and ardent was the priestly spirit that distinguished him.

The love of the Lord spurred him in his apostolate to the poor, especially in the Christian education of girls, particularly the most needy.   He understood well the important role women play in the rehabilitation of society by teaching the values of freedom, honesty and charity.

He advised the Ursulines, his spiritual daughters:  “Poor girls, let them be the favourite object of your care and attention.   Awaken their minds, teach their hearts virtue and save their souls from malignant contact with the wicked world” (Scritti alle Orsoline, 289).   May his example strongly encourage those who honour him today as blessed and invoke him as their protector.”


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 April

St Agrarius the Martyr
St Amand of Grisalba
St Berthanc of Kirkwall
St Brychan of Brycheiniog
Bl Catherine of Pallanza
St Diogenes of Philippi
St Elstan of Abingdon
St Galla of Rome
St Gennard
St Irenaeus of Sirmium
Bl Jan Franciszek Czartoryski
St Marcellinus the Martyr
Bl Maria Karlowska (1865-1935)
About Blessed Maria:

Bl Michele Rua
Bl Notker Balbulus OSB (c 840-912)

St Phaolô Lê Bao Tinh
St Philaret of Calabria
Bl Pierina Morosini
St Platonides of Ashkelon
St Prudentius of Troyes
St Pope Sixtus I
St Timothy of Philippi
St Ulched
St Urban of Peñalba
St William of Eskilsoe
St Winebald
Bl Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

Martyrs of Sirmium : 7 saints – A group of fourth century martyrs at Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). We know little more than seven of their names – Florentius, Geminianus, Moderata, Romana, Rufina, Saturus and Secundus.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Enric Gispert Domenech
Bl Josep Gomis Martorell