Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers – St Augustine

Lenten Thoughts – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms (Psalm 85)

God could give no greater gift to men than to make His Word, through whom He created all things, their head and to join them to Him as His members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father and one man with all men.  The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from Him and when the body of the Son prays, it does not separate its head from itself, it is the one Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is Himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, He is the object of our prayers as our God.he prays for us as our priest - st augustine 10 april 2019.jpg

Let us then recognise both our voice in His and His voice in ours.   When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Christ that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite Himself with us.   Every creature is His servant, for it was through Him that every creature came to be.

We contemplate His glory and divinity when we listen to these words:   In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made.   Here we gaze on the divinity of the Son of God, something supremely great and surpassing all the greatness of His creatures.   Yet in other parts of Scripture we hear Him as one sighing, praying, giving praise and thanks.

We hesitate to attribute these words to Him because our minds are slow to come down to His humble level when we have just been contemplating Him in His divinity.   It is as though we were doing Him an injustice, in acknowledging in a man the words of one, with whom we spoke, when we prayed to God;  we are usually at a loss and try to change the meaning.   Yet our minds find nothing in Scripture that does not go back to Him, nothing that will allow us to stray from Him.

Our thoughts must then be awakened to keep their vigil of faith.   We must realise that the one whom we were contemplating, a short time before, in his nature as God took to Himself the nature of a servant, He was made in the likeness of men and found to be a man like others, He humbled Himself by being obedient even to accepting death, as He hung on the cross He made the psalmist’s words His own:  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We pray to Him as God, He prays for us as a servant.   In the first case, He is the Creator, in the second a creature.   Himself unchanged, He took to Himself our created nature in order to change it and made us one man, with Himself, head and body.   We pray then to Him, through Him, in Him and we speak along with Him and He along with us.we pray then to him and in him and with him 10 april 2019 st augustine lenten thoughts.jpg


Quote of the Day – 10 April – “…though we may be punished”

Quote of the Day – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

“It is the greatest punishment to commit sin,
though we may remain unpunished –
it is the greatest honour and repose to live virtuously,
though we may be punished.”

St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church

(Homilies Concerning the Statues, 6)it is the greatest punishment - st john chrysostom 10 april 2019.jpg


Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Do as Abraham did

Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Deuteronomy 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; John 8:31-42

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God, this is not what Abraham did....John 8:39-40john 8 39-40 if you were abrahams children - wedfifthweeklent 10 april 2019.jpg

Do as Abraham did

St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Doctor of the Church

Looking wholly to God’s promise and setting aside all human ways of looking at things, knowing God to be capable of accomplishments beyond nature to achieve, Abraham put his trust in the words addressed to him, he let no shadow of doubt cross his mind and did not waver as to the meaning he should give God’s words.   For, it is in the nature of faith to put its trust in the power of the one who promises…  God had promised Abraham that a posterity without number would be born of him.   This promise exceeded the possibilities of nature and all purely human forms of perception and that is why his faith towards God “was credited him as righteousness” (Gn 15:6; Gal 3:6).

Well then, if we are on the watch, yet more wonderful promises have been made to us and we will be satisfied to an even greater extent, than human thought can dream.   And for this we have only to put our trust in the power of Him who has made these promises to us, so as to merit the righteousness, that comes from faith and obtain the promised reward.   For all those good things we are hoping for, far exceed all human conception and thought, so exceedingly wonderful is what we have been promised!

Indeed, these promises do not concern only the present, the flourishing of our lives and the enjoyment of visible goods but they are even more, about the time, when we have left this earth, when our bodies have become subject to corruption, when our remains have been reduced to dust.   God promises us, that He will then raise them up and establish them in glorious splendour, “for that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility,” Saint Paul assures us (1Cor 15:53).   More than this, after the resurrection of our bodies, we have received the promise, of enjoying the Kingdom and of obtaining, throughout endless ages, in the company of the saints, those ineffable goods that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard nor has it not entered the human heart” (1Cor 2:9).   Do you grasp the superabundance of the promises?   Do you grasp the greatness of these gifts?do you grasp the superabundance of the promise - st john chrysostom - wedfifthweeklent 10 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
which represents the full rejection 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 Creator,
I know in Your great love for me,
You see the deep sorrow in my heart.
Hear my prayers which are offered with such trust in You.

Be with me in both mind and heart
as I renew my life in Your spirit.

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

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on FREEDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 April – “…The truth will make you free.”

One Minute Reflection – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C. Gospel John 8:31–42

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”...John 8:31-32

REFLECTION – “We learn that there is no opposition between serving God and being free.   The more we act in accord with God’s law and will, the freer we become.   “There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just.   The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to the slavery of sin” (CCC, 1733).   As children of God, we are moved to act righteously not by slavish fear but by the Holy Spirit in freedom and out of love.

Freedom is not an indifferent ability to sin or to do good.   True freedom is a share in God’s freedom and is ordered to the good.   The nearer we approach God through moral progress, the less we are inclined to sin and abuse our freedom.   Knowledge of God (knowing the truth) and love for God (living according to the truth), make us truly free. On our own, we are powerless to break free from the devil and the bondage of sin.  Christ alone can liberate us and make us sons of the Father.  This is the great mystery we contemplate as we approach Holy Week.”…Fr Jason Mitchelljohn 8 31-32 - if you continue in my word - there is no true freedom - 10 april 2019

PRAYER – God of mercy, shed Your light on our hearts that are being purified by penance and in Your goodness, give us a favourable hearing.   Teach us to work with You and for You and thus fill the world with Your Spirit.   In Christ our Saviour, we become a new creation and all things are renewed.   May the prayers of St Magdalena of Canossa, who gave herself completely to You, assist us to do the same.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, magdalena of canossa pray for us 10 april 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS to the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 10 April – Jesus, the very thought of Thee!

Our Morning Offering – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

Jesus, the very thought of Thee!
By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.
No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
The Saviour of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shall be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.
Amenjesus the very thought of thee - st bernard - 10 april 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 10 April – Saint Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835)

Saint of the Day – 10 April – Saint Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835) Virgin, Foundress of the Canossian Family of Daughters and Sons of Charity – additional Memorial 8 May (Canossians) – born on 1 March 1774 in Verona, Italy and died on 10 April 1835 in Verona, Italy of natural causes.   St Magdalena was Canonised on 2 October 1988 by St Pope John Paul II. Patronage – the Canonssian Family.

MAGDALENA OF CANOSSA, was a woman who believed in the love of the Lord Jesus and, sent by the Holy Spirit among those most in need, she served them with a Mother’s heart and an Apostle’s zeal.BL_maddalena_di_canossa

Born in Verona on 1 March 1774, of a noble and wealthy family, she was the third of six children.   By way of painful events such as her father’s death, her mother’s second marriage, illness, misunderstanding, the Lord guided her towards unforeseen paths on which Magdalene tentatively set out.

Drawn by the love of God, at the age of seventeen she planned to consecrate her life to God and twice tried her vocation at a Carmel.   However, the Holy Spirit urged her to follow a new path – to allow herself to be loved by Jesus Crucified, to belong to Him alone, in order to dedicate herself exclusively to those in greatest need.
She returned to her family and, being compelled by sad events and the tragic political circumstances at the end of the 18th century, she nurtured her true vocation in the depth of her heart and went on with life at Canossa Palace, shouldering the burden of running her family’s large estate.

With complete dedication, Magdalene carried out her daily tasks and widened her circle of friends, while at the same time remaining open to the mysterious action of the Holy Spirit, who gradually moulded her heart and enabled her to share in the love of the Father for mankind, revealed by Jesus’ complete and supreme offering of Himself on the Cross and by the example of Mary, the Sorrowful Virgin magdalena of canossa.jpg

Moved by that love, Magdalene responded to the cry of the poor, hungry for food, instruction, understanding and the Word of God.   She discovered them in the suburbs of Verona, where the echoes of the French Revolution, the occupation by various foreign powers and the Verona uprising had left evident signs of devastation and human suffering.

Magdalene sought and found her first companions called to follow Christ, poor, chaste, obedient and who were to be sent out as witnesses of His unconditional Love towards all people.   In 1808, Magdalene overcame her family’s opposition and left Canossa Palace once and for all, to begin in the poorest district of Verona what she knew in her heart to be the Will of God, to serve the neediest persons, with the heart of magdalena of canossa.jpg

Charity is like a blazing fire!   Magdalene opened her heart to the Holy Spirit who guided her to the poor in other cities – Venice, Milan, Bergamo, Trent … In only a few decades the number of her houses increased, her religious family grew in the service of the Kingdom of God.   The Love of the Crucified and Risen Lord burnt in Magdalene’s heart who, together with her companions, became a witness of that same love in five specific areas –
Charity schools, providing an all-round formation geared to pupils status in life. Catechesis, given to all classes of people, with special attention to those most ignorant of the Faith.   Support given to women patients in hospital.   Residential seminars, to train young teachers for rural areas and valuable helpers for parish priests, in their pastoral activities.   Yearly courses of Spiritual Exercises for Ladies of the nobility, with the aim of deepening their spiritual life and involving them in various charitable works.

Later on, this last activity was offered to all those who had a desire for it.

Contemporary to Magdalene and her apostolic work, flourished other witnesses of Charity – Leopoldina Naudet, Antonio Rosmini, Antonio Provolo, Carlo Steeb, Gaspare Bertoni, Teodora Campostrini, T. Eustochio Verzeri, Elisabetta Renzi, Cavanis brothers, Pietro Leonardi, all of whom founded Religious Institutes and all of whom are now Saints or on the path to the heights of magdalena

The Institute of the Daughters of Charity, between 1819 and 1820, received its ecclesiastical approval in the various dioceses where the communities were present.

His Holiness Pope Leo XII approved the Rule of the Institute with the Brief Si Nobis, of 23 December 1828.

Towards the end of her life, after unsuccessful attempts with A Rosmini and A Provolo, Magdalene was able to start the male branch of the Institute which she had planned to set up from the very beginning.   On 23 May 1831 in Venice, she began the first Oratory of the Sons of Charity for the Christian formation of boys and men.   She entrusted it to the Venetian priest Don Francesco Luzzo, helped by two laymen from Bergamo, Giuseppe Carsana and Benedetto magdalena maxresdefault.jpg

Magdalene’s active and fruitful life ended when she was 61 years of age.   She died in Verona surrounded by her Daughters on 10 April 1835.   It was the Friday of Passion Week.

Above all, make Jesus Christ known!   This heartfelt concern of Magdalene’s was the great inheritance that the Daughters and Sons of Charity are called to live, a life of complete availability to God and service towards others, willing to go to the most distant countries for the sake of this holy work. (MAGDALENE, Ep. II/I, p. 266).

The Daughters of Charity travelled for the Far East in 1860.   Today, there are about 4000 sisters throughout the world, grouped into 24 provinces.

The Sons of Charity number about 200.   They work in various cities in Italy, Latin America and the Philippines.

Canossian Religious, called to a missionary vocation, “ad gentes” “to nations”, make themselves receptive to those basic Christian values, “the seeds of the Word”, present in every culture while giving witness to and proclaiming, what the “have seen, heard, contemplated…” the Love of the Father who, in Christ, reaches out to every person so that they may have life.   Through this giving and receiving, the charism is enriched and bears fruit for God’s Kingdom.

The charism which the Holy Spirit brought to life in Magdalene did not exhaust itself in the vitality of the two Institutes.   Subsequently, various groups of lay people have found in Magdalene and in her ideals, their special way of living the faith, of witnessing charity, in all walks of Christian magdalena statue

The Church draws our attention, especially that of her Sons and Daughters, to Magdalene, a Witness of the constant and freely given love of God.

We give thanks to Him for the gift of this Mother and Sister of ours and through her intercession we ask that we may love Him, as she did, above all other things and make Him known, to our fellow men by living our specific vocation…

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 10 April

Bl Antony Neyrot OP (1425-1460) Martyr

Bl Antonio Vallesio
St Apollonius of Alexandria
Bl Archangelus Piacentini
St Bademus
St Bede the Younger
St Beocca of Chertsey
Bl Boniface Zukowski
Bl Eberwin of Helfenstein
St Ethor of Chertsey
St Ezekiel the Prophet
St Fulbert of Chartres (c 960-1029) Bishop
About St Fulbert:

St Gajan
St Hedda of Peterborough
St Macarius of Antioch
St Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835)

St Malchus of Waterford
Bl Marco Mattia
Bl Mark Fantucci
St Michael de Sanctis
St Palladius of Auxerre
St Paternus the Scot

Martyrs of Carthage – 50 saints: A group of 50 Christians who were imprisoned in a pen of snakes and scorpions, and then martyred, all during the persecutions of Decius. Only six of their names have come down to us – Africanus, Alessandro, Massimo, Pompeius, Terence and Teodoro. Beheaded in 250 at Carthage.

Martyrs of Georgia: Approximately 6,000 Christian monks and lay people martyred in Georgia in 1616 for their faith by a Muslim army led by Shah Abbas I of Persia.

Martyrs of Ostia: A group of criminals who were brought to the faith by Pope Saint Alexander I while he was in prison with them. Drowned by being taken off shore from Ostia, Italy, in a boat which was then scuttled, c 115.