The Cross of Christ is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces – St Pope Leo the Great

Lenten Thoughts – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

The Cross of Christ

is the source of all blessings,

the cause of all graces

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461)
Bishop of Rome and Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his On the Lord’s Passion

Sermon 8

Our understanding, which is enlightened by the Spirit of truth, should receive with purity and freedom of heart the glory of the Cross as it shines in heaven and on earth.   It should see with inner vision the meaning of the Lord’s words when He spoke of the imminence of His passion – The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Afterwards, He said – Now my soul is troubled and what am I to say?   Father, save me from this hour.   But it was for this that I came to this hour.   Father, glorify your Son. When the voice of the Father came from heaven, saying, I have glorified him and will glorify him again, Jesus said in reply to those around him:  It was not for me that this voice spoke but for you.   Now is the judgement of the world, now will the prince of this world be cast out.   And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.

How marvellous the power of the Cross, how great beyond all telling the glory of the passion, here is the judgement-seat of the Lord, the condemnation of the world, the supremacy of Christ crucified.

Lord, you drew all things to Yourself so that the devotion of all peoples everywhere might celebrate, in a sacrament made perfect and visible, what was carried out in the one temple of Judea under obscure foreshadowings.

Now there is a more distinguished order of Levites, a greater dignity for the rank of elders, a more sacred anointing for the priesthood, because Your Cross is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces.   Through the Cross the faithful receive strength from weakness, glory from dishonour, life from death.

The different sacrifices of animals are no more – the one offering of Your body and blood is the fulfilment of all the different sacrificial offerings, for You are the true Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world.   In Yourself, You bring to perfection all mysteries, so that, as there is one sacrifice in place of all other sacrificial offerings, there is also one kingdom gathered from all peoples.

Dearly beloved, let us then acknowledge what Saint Paul, the teacher of the nations, acknowledged so exultantly.  This is a saying worthy of trust, worthy of complete acceptance – Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.   God’s compassion for us is all the more wonderful because Christ died, not for the righteous or the holy but for the wicked and the sinful and, though the divine nature could not be touched by the sting of death, He took to Himself, through His birth as one of us, something He could offer on our behalf.

The power of His death once confronted our death.   In the words of Hosea the prophet, Death, I shall be your death;  grave, I shall swallow you up.   By dying He submitted to the laws of the underworld, by rising again, He destroyed them.   He did away with the everlasting character of death, so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity.   As all die in Adam, so all, will be brought to life in Christ.

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.
Amenhe did away with the everlasting character of deth - st pope leo the great 9 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – “Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

“Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.
Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?
You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.
For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.
Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)

Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-never-sinned-yet-he-was-crucified-for-you-st-cyrilofjerusalem-7feb2019.jpg

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

“The cross of Christ is the true ground
and chief cause of Christian hope.”

“Let no one be ashamed of the cross
by which Christ has redeemed the world.
None of us must be afraid to suffer
for the sake of justice or doubt the
fulfilment of the promises,
for it is through toil that we come to rest
and through death that we pass to life.”

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461) Doctor of the Churchby-baptism-st-leo-the-great-quotes-on-the-cross-10-nov-2018.jpg

“O Blessed Cross,
You are venerated, preached
and honoured by the faith of the Patriarchs,
the predictions of the Prophets,
the senate that judges the Apostles,
the victorious army of Martyrs
and the throngs of all the Saints”
(Sermo XLVII, 14, p. 304)

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churcho-blessed-cross-st-peter-damian-21-feb-2019.jpg

“This is that enviable and blessed cross of Christ . . .
the cross in which alone we must make our boast,
as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”

St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275)
“Father of Canon Law”

this-is-that-enviable-st-raymond-of-penafort-7 jan 2019.jpg

“And if He gave His life for us,
then it should not be difficult
to bear whatever hardships arise for His sake.
If you seek patience,
you will find no better example than the cross.
Christ endured much on the cross and did so patiently,
because “when he suffered he did not threaten,
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter
and he did not open his mouth.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchand-if-he-gave-his-life-for-us-st-thomas-aquinas-28-jan-2018 (1).jpg

“The Cross is God’s chair in the world.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)the-cross-is-gods-chair-in-the-world-st-john-paul-22feb2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 9 April – “You will know that I Am He”

Lenten Reflection – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent, First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9, Gospel: John 8:21–30

The Readings:
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21; John 8:21-30

“Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.”…Numbers 21:9

St Justin Martyr (100-165) Father of the Church and Martyr
comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Tell me, did not God, through Moses, forbid the making of an image or likeness of anything in the heavens or on earth?   Yet didn’t He Himself have Moses construct the brazen serpent in the desert?   Moses set it up as a sign by which those who had been bitten by the serpents were healed.   In doing so, was Moses not free of any sin?   By this, as I stated above, God through Moses announced a mystery by which He proclaimed that He would break the power of the serpent, who prompted the sin of Adam.   He promises that He would deliver from the bites of the serpent (that is, evil actions, idolatries and other sins) all those who believe in Him who was to be put to death by this sign, namely, the Cross.”

(Dialogue with Trypho, 94)numbers 21 9 the brazen serpent - st justin martyr did not God - 9 april 2019.jpg

“When you have lifted up the Son of man,
then you will know that I Am He…”… John 8:28

Daily Meditation:
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
which represents the full onslaught of all our sins
and the crushing defeat of death itself.
Praying the Stations again,
might help us grow in a sense
that this is all “for me,” for my freedom.

We grow in a sense of repentance and deep sorrow.
We grow in a desire to celebrate
the glorious Light in the midst of all darkness.

Rid yourself of all your sins
and make a new heart and a new spirit.
Gospel antiphon, based upon Ezekiel 18:31

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
You have heard my complaints, my impatience.
Sometimes I become frightened when I move away from You.
Guide my heart back to You.
Help me to think beyond my own wants
and to desire only to do You will.

Thank You for the many blessings in my life
and for the ways I feel Your presence.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.john 8 28 when yu have lifted up the son of man - tuesdayfifthweeklent 9 april 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – ” And all of our sins were there.”

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent, First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9, Gospel: John 8:21–30

“When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I Am He…”...John 8:28

REFLECTION – “What is the serpent?   The serpent is the sign for sin.   We think of the Book of Genesis – it was the serpent that seduced Eve, that suggested that she sin.   And God commands [Moses] to lift up the serpent, that is sin, as a flag of victory.   It is something that one cannot understand well, if one does not understand what Jesus said in the Gospel.   Jesus says to the Jews – ‘When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me”.   Lifting up the symbol of their sin and transforming it into an instrument of salvation, therefore, represents the redemption which comes from Christ lifted up on the Cross.

“Christianity, is not a philosophical doctrine, it is not a programme of life that enables one to be well formed and to make peace.   These are its consequences.   Christianity is a person, a person lifted up on the Cross.   A person who emptied Himself to save us.   He took on sin.   And so just as in the desert sin was lifted up, here God made man was lifted up for us.   And all of our sins were there.   Therefore, one cannot understand Christianity, without understanding this profound humiliation of the Son of God, who humbled Himself and made Himself a servant unto death, on the Cross.   To serve”.john 8 28 when you have lifted up - what is the serpent - pope francis 9 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy Father, we have sinned against You and beg for Your forgiveness and mercy.   Through the merits of the saving Cross of Your Son, help Your people O Lord, to persevere in obedience to Your will, so that through this obedience, we may reach our eternal home.   We hope for the intercession of your angels and saints and our most loving Mother of Mercy.  Through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary, mothr of mercy - pray for us - 5 oct 2018.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – O Lamb of God

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

O Lamb of God
By St Irenaeus (c 135- c 202)
Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.


Saint of the Day – 9 April – Blessed Thomas of Tolentino OFM (c 1255–1321) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 9 April – Blessed Thomas of Tolentino OFM (c 1255–1321) Martyr, professed Franciscan Friar, thomas of tolentino.JPG

Thomas was born in Tolentino in the March of Ancona within the Papal States around 1250 to 1260.   Becoming a Franciscan early in life, he developed a reputation for his strict adherence to its rule, particularly concerning his vow of poverty.   A fellow of St Nicholas of Tolentino (c 1246–1305) and one of Angelo da Clareno’s Spiritual Franciscans, Thomas was jailed twice for his excessive condemnation of luxury.

After being released through the intervention of Raymond Godefroy, a new minister general who sympathised with the Spiritualists, Thomas travelled with companion Franciscans as missionaries to Lesser Armenia in 1289.   In 1291, its King Haython II directed him to return to the courts of Rome, Paris and London to seek help against his Muslim foes.   His efforts to raise a new crusade were unsuccessful and he returned east, departing a second time to gather more missionaries.
Returning with twelve companions in 1302, he worked in Armenia and Persia.   He debated Armenian Christians he considered heretics and participated in the Council of Sis that partially reunited the Armenian and Roman Catholic churches in 1307.

While in Persia, two letters dated 1305 and 1306 arrived from John of Montecorvino, the Franciscan missionary to China and Thomas again travelled to Europe, delivering the correspondence to Rome in 1307.   While there, he addressed a public consistory of the pope and cardinals, praising John’s work in China and asking for assistance in developing his mission.   He also discussed the matter with Clement V at Poitiers in 1308, after which an ecclesiastical hierarchy was established for the Roman Catholics in China. The pontiff named John archbishop of Khanbaliq (now within modern Beijing) and seven Franciscan bishops and many friars were sent to join him.   Only three of the bishops and a few friars, however, successfully completed the journey.   Thomas seems to have then travelled a fourth time to Armenia and Persia.

There is a gap until 1320, during which Thomas may have laboured in India or China.   In 1320, Thomas left from Hormuz with his fellow Franciscan, Blessed James of Padua and Blessed Peter of Siena, the Dominican Blessed Jordan of Severac and the layman Blessed Demetrio da Tifliz.   A Georgian or Armenian, Demetrius was proficient at languages and served as the group’s interpreter.   A storm en route, forced the party to land at Thane on the island of Salsette Island near Mumbai in India. Jordan left them to preach at Bharuch, before he heard Demetrius and the Franciscans had been arrested.

The family with whom they were staying had fallen into a quarrel and the husband had beaten his wife.   When she went to the magistrate to report this abuse, she had mentioned the four clerics as witnesses and they were called before him.   Thomas, James and Demetrius had gone to the court while Peter remained behind to look after their things.   Having begun a discussion of religion, the magistrate had asked them their opinion of Muhammad and Thomas replied bluntly that he was “the son of perdition and had his place in Hell with the Devil his father”.   At this, the Muslims around the court called for their death for blasphemy.   Some accounts claim they were scourged and tortured before their execution by beheading on 8 April 1321. Peter was martyred three days later on 11 April.

Bernardino Licini Franciscan Martyrs

The local Christians may have buried Thomas and his companions but Jordanus Catalani, arriving too late to save them, removed their bodies to the church at Supera with the help of a Genovese youth.   In 1323 or 1326, Blessed Odoric of Pordenone (1286-1331) passed through the region.   Having learned about Thomas and his companions, he took their relics with him to Quanzhou in Fujian.   Thomas’s skull he took back to Europe, where he bestowed it on the Franciscan chapter in Tolentino in 1330.   It was later moved to the town’s cathedral by a Pisan merchant in the late 14th century, who erected a chapel there in the martyr’s honour with the approval of Boniface IX.   It is now kept in the central cathedral in a silver bust.

Thomas and his companions had been unofficially reckoned beatified since the 14th century.   Jordan claimed to have miraculously healed the dysentery of his Genovese companion with one of Thomas’s teeth  . Thomas’s cult was approved by Pius VII in 1809 and again by Leo XIII in 1894.   He is venerated sometimes together with his companions as the Four Martyrs of Thane, on 9 April.franciscan saints

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 9 April

St Acacius of Amida
St Aedesius of Alexandria
Bl Antony of Pavoni OP (1326-1374) Priest and Martyr
St Brogan
St Casilda of Toledo
St Concessus the Martyr
St Demetrius the Martyr
St Dotto
St Eupsychius of Cappadocia
St Gaucherius
St Hedda the Abbot
St Heliodorus of Mesopotamia
St Hilary the Martyr
St Hugh of Rouen
Bl James of Padua
Bl John of Vespignano
Bl Katarzyna Faron
St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th century – 397)
St Liborius’ story:
St Madrun of Wales
St Marcellus of Die
Bl Marguerite Rutan
St Maximus of Alexandria
Bl Pierre Camino
St Prochorus
Bl Thomas of Tolentino OFM (c 1255–1321) Martyr
Bl Ubaldo Adimari
St Waltrude of Mons

Martyrs of Croyland – 9 saints: A group of Benedictine monks martyred by pagan Danes – Agamund, Askega, Egdred, Elfgete, Grimkeld, Sabinus, Swethin, Theodore and Ulric. Croyland Abbey, England.

Martyrs of Masyla: Massylitan Martyrs Group of Christians martyred in Masyla in northwest Africa.

Martyrs of Pannonia: Seven virgin-martyrs in Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).

Martyrs of Thorney Abbey – 3+ saints: A group of Hermits, hermitesses and monks who lived in or around Thorney Abbey who were martyred together during raids by pagan Danes. We know little more than the names of three – Tancred, Torthred and Tova. 869 by raiders at Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, England.