Thought for the Day – 28 April – “Receive the Holy Spirit”

Thought for the Day – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Gospel: John 20:19–31

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.   As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”   And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “...John 20:21-22

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church

First Sermon for Pentecost

‘He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit” ‘
Lord Jesus Christ, once again grant that of us, too, there may be but “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32) for then there will be “a great calm” (Mk 4:39).   My dear listeners, I exhort you to good will and kindness to one another and peace with all.   For were we to have charity among ourselves, we would have both peace and the Holy Spirit.   Let us undertake to become devout and pray to God… since the apostles persevered in prayer… If we set ourselves to fervent prayer then the Holy Spirit will enter us and say:  “Peace be with you!   It is I; be not afraid” (cf. Mk 6:50)…   And what ought we to ask God for, my brethren?   For all that is for His honour and the salvation of your souls and, in a word, for the help of the Holy Spirit – “Send forth your Spirit and they will be created” (Ps 104[103]:30) – peace and tranquillity…mark 6 50 peace be with you it is i be not afraid - div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

We are to ask for this peace so that the Spirit of peace may come down on us.   We should give thanks to God, too, for all His blessings if we want Him to grant us those victories that are the beginning of peace.   And to obtain the Holy Spirit we should give thanks to God the Father for having first of all sent Him upon our Head, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and His Son… – for “from his fullness we have all received” (cf. Jn 1:16) – and for having sent Him upon His apostles that through their hands they might pass Him onto us.   We should give thanks to the Son – as God, He sends the Spirit upon those who prepare themselves to receive Him.   But, most especially, we should thank Him because, as man, He merited for us, the grace of receiving this divine Spirit…

And how has Jesus Christ merited the Holy Spirit’s coming?   When “bowing his head, he gave up his spirit” (Jn 19:30), for, when He gave breathed His last and handed over His spirit to the Father, He merited the Father’s sending His Spirit upon His mystical body.he breathed on them john 20 22 - and to obtain the holy spirit - st francis de sales div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 28 April – How great, is the goodness of God..”

Quote of the Day – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

“Oh, how great, is the goodness of God,
greater than we can understand.
There are moments
and there are mysteries,
of the Divine Mercy
over which, the heavens are astounded.
Let our judgement of souls cease,
for God’s mercy upon them, is extraordinary.”

St Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)oh-how-great-is-the-goodness-of-god-st-faustina-5-october-2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 28 April – “Peace be with you.”

One Minute Reflection – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Gospel: John 20:19–31

“Peace be with you.   As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”   And when he had said this, he 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.”…John 20:21–23john 20 21 - peace be with you - div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “This Sunday, … concludes the week or, more properly, the “Octave” of Easter, which the liturgy considers as a single day: “the day which the Lord has made” (Ps 117[116]: 24).  It is not a chronological but a spiritual time, which God opened in the sequence of days when He raised Christ from the dead.  The Creator Spirit, infusing new and eternal life in the buried body of Jesus of Nazareth, carried to completion the work of creation, giving origin to a “firstfruits” – the firstfruits of a new humanity, which at the same time is a firstfruits of a new world and a new era.

This world renewal can be summed up in a single phrase, the same one that the Risen Jesus spoke to his disciples as a greeting and even more, as an announcement of his victory: “Peace be with you!” (Lk 24: 36; Jn 20: 19, 21, 26).

Peace is the gift that Christ left his friends (see Jn 14: 27) as a blessing destined for all men and women and all peoples.   It is not a peace according to a “worldly” mentality, as an equilibrium of forces but a new reality, fruit of God’s Love, of His Mercy.   It is the peace that Jesus Christ earned, by the price of His Blood and communicates to those who trust in Him.

“Jesus, I trust in you” these words summarise the faith of the Christian, which is faith in the omnipotence of God’s merciful Love.”…Pope Benedict XVI – REGINA CÆLI – Second Sunday of Easter, 15 April 2007jesus i trust in you - pope benedict 28 april 3019 div mercy sun.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, grant we pray that with Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy, that we become renewed in the Spirit, in order to cooperate in the work of peace which You are accomplishing in the world and which is not just talk, but which is actualised in the countless gestures of charity by all his sons and daughters.   Grant we pray, that we taste the beauty of the encounter with the Risen Lord and draw from the source of His merciful love, to be apostles of His peace.   Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.mater misericordiae mother of merct pray for us 8 april 2019.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 28 April – O Sacrament Most Holy

Sunday Reflection – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

Fr Benedict Groeschel CFR (1933-2014)

O Lord Jesus Christ, how am I to prepare myself to attend that holy sacrifice, which You began at Your Last Supper and which You consummated on Calvary?

That eternal Eucharist begun in sorrow and agony continues, not simply to the end of the world but throughout all eternity.   It is, the eternal act of obedience and love that You, as the head of our whole human race, offered to the Trinity, even to Yourself, in Your divinity.   These mysteries are completely beyond me.   Yet I know, they are true because You revealed them.

Soon, in the person of a priest, a poor human being, Your divine words will be spoken and each of us, at this Mass, will be lifted beyond this place and be part of the heavenly choirs and the eternal divine liturgy.   How dare we think that we, creatures of earth, could participate in such a thing!   We believe it, because this liturgy began here on earth.   From the very first moment of Your existence, as a human being, the altar was prepared, the linens were laid on the altar.   Throughout Your earthly life, You laboured in the preaching of the Gospel and in calling the faithful to prayer. Then, at the supreme moment of Your earthly existence, You offered Yourself in total obedience and sacrifice to the Father, for all the world.   Your glorious Resurrection and Ascension, point beyond the Cross and beyond the tomb and remind us that this Eucharist, is not only a memorial but an everlasting participation in Your divine and heavenly worship, as priest of the new covenant.

O Lord, give me Your Holy Spirit, that my heart may be lifted up in this Mass, that I may be in one of the choirs that join with You, that I may take my place prayerfully and in reverent attention, with the billions of saints, with the great choirs of angels, with the army of holy souls on their pilgrimage and with all the devout and struggling Christians in the world.   Let this Mass be the beginning of a new moment in my life, one step closer to You.   May I be encouraged by this sacred meal, to know that You will go with me in the wilderness of life, that You will sustain me so that I may, in fact, not only pray as one of those united to You but, that I may live and act, so that it may indeed be true, that I live, no longer I but You, who live in me. Amen, alleluia!

O Sacrament most holy
O Sacrament divine,
All praise and all thanks giving,
Be very moment Thine.+

Jesus, I love You with all my heart. I wish to love You more every day.   Thank You for being with me in this most Holy Sacrament.let this mass be the beginning of anew moment - fr benedict groeschel 28 april 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 28 April – Divine Mercy

Our Morning Offering – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

In the Jubilee Year 2000, St Pope John Paul II proclaimed that from that year forward, the Second Sunday of Easter, where we remember the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday.   This was proclaimed at the Canonisation Mass of St Faustina Kawalska, who worked throughout her life to make all aware of the merciful love of God.   For this is the God who leans in and waits with bated breath for us to whisper through the screen, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”

St Faustina (1905–1938) was born and raised in Poland.   Following a vocation to religious life, she was accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.   As a member of the Congregation, she worked as a cook, gardener and porter.   In her mystical spiritual life, her contemplation on the Mercy of God led her to develop a childlike trust in God and deep love for her neighbour.

In her years in the convent, St Faustina heard a call from God to make God’s mercy known to the world so that the world may more fully receive God’s healing grace.   St Faustina promoted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which consists of the recitation of prayers to the Eternal Father with the use of the rosary for the sake of Christ’s sorrowful passion.

Divine Mercy 3 O’Clock Prayer
St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

You expired, O Jesus,
but the source of life
gushed forth for souls
and an ocean of mercy
opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world
and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water,
which gushed forth
from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in You.
Amendivine mercy 3 oclock prayer div mercy sunday 28 april 2019.jpg

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 April – Blessed Itala Mela ObSB (1904–1957)

Saint of the Day – 28 April – Blessed Itala Mela ObSB (1904–1957) – Laywoman, Mystic, Benedictine Oblate, Theological Writer.

Blessed Itala was an Italian Roman Catholic who was a lapsed Christian until a conversion of faith in the 1920s and as a Benedictine oblate assumed the name of “Maria della Trinità”.   She became one of the well-known mystics of the Church during her life and indeed following her death.   She also penned a range of theological writings that focused on the Trinity, such an integral element of the Christian faith.header - bl itala mela.JPG

Itala Mela was born on 28 August 1904 in La Spezia to Pasquino Mela and Luigia Bianchini, both were atheist teachers.   She spent her childhood in the care of her maternal grandparents from 1905 to 1915, as her parents worked and her grandparents prepared Mela for her First Communion and Confirmation – she made on 9 May 1915 and 27 May 1915 respectively.

The death of her brother Enrico at the age of nine (27 February 1920) challenged Mela’s perception of her Christian faith and she wrote of her feelings to the loss:  “After his death, nothing”.   As a result, she eschewed her Christian faith and slipped into atheism. However, at the age of 18 she had a profound spiritual experience whichresulted in the reawakening of her faith, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8 Dec. 1922).   After rediscovering God, her faith deepened with the motto she took being:  “Lord, I shall follow You unto the darkness, unto death”.bl Itala_Mela

Bl Itala became a member of FUCI (Federation of Catholic Students) in 1923, where she met future pope Giovanni Battista Montini (St Paul VI) and Bl Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster OSB (1880-1954) at the meetings there.   She also met the priests Divo Barsotti and Agostino Gemelli OFM.    At such meetings, Monsignor Montini and both the politicians Aldo Moro and Giulio Andreotti, both of the Christian Democracy Party served as major influences upon her.

She passed her studies in 1922 with recognition of being a brilliant student and was enrolled at the University of Genoa on the following 11 November, where she later received a degree in letters in 1928 as well as in classical studies.

Bl Itala experienced her first vision of God on 3 August 1928 as a beam of light at the tabernacle, in a church of a seminary at Pontremoli.   She wrote afterwards, “The will of Christ, which I feel in the depths of my soul, is to drag me, to immerse myself with Himself in the abysses of the Holy Trinity … It is useless to look for other ways, this is what He has chosen for my sanctification.”   Feeling called to the religious life, she tried to enter a Benedictine convent but health did not allow her to remain.   Instead she became a Benedictine Oblate and consecrated herself to the Holy Trinity.

She departed for Milan at this time and chose as her confessor Adriano Bernareggi., who later became the Archbishop of Bergamo.

Her true calling as a Benedictine oblate came in 1929 and solidified to the point, where she commenced her novitiate.   It concluded on 4 January 1933 when she made her profession in Rome in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura making her four vows.   As a sign of her new life, Mela assumed the name of “Maria della Trinità – Maria of the Trinity”.    She composed many profound spiritual writings and continued to have spiritual visions and ecstasies.    She even proposed a special memorial to Mary of the Trinity to Pope Pius XII, which he approved in 1941. bl itala mela sml

In Genoa from 5–15 October 1946, Mela composed a series of spiritual exercises for the benefit of the faithful, the exercises were well received.

Bl Itala died on 29 April 1957 aged 52.   Her remains were later transferred to the La Spezia Cathedral in 1983.

She was proclaimed Venerable on 12 June 2014 after Pope Francis approved her life of heroic virtue.   On 14 December 2015 the pope also approved a miracle attributed to her intercession which allowed for her Beatification to take place.   Bl Itala was beatified in La Spezia on 10 June 2017 and Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the celebration on the pope’s behalf.    The miracle in question concerned the revival of an Italian newborn, whose body was in state of clinical brain death.

Pope Francis said on Sunday, 11 June 2017, the day after her Beatification:

Dear brothers and sisters, yesterday in La Spezia, Itala Mela was Beatified.

She was raised in a family far removed from the faith, in her youth she professed to be an atheist but converted after an intense spiritual experience.    She worked among Catholic university students, she then became a Benedictine Oblate and followed a mystic path centred on the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, which we celebrate today in a special way.   May the witness of the new Blessed encourage us, during our days, to turn our thought often to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who abides in the chamber of our heart.

bl itala mela

The Spiritual Experience of Itala Mela, a Life Incandescently Immersed in the Trinity

This present translation in English is the most recent development of an ongoing study regarding Itala Mela and the profound mysteries that our Lord revealed to her regarding the Inhabitation of the Most Blessed Trinity.  This is a most telling narrative describing the work of God in each individual soul for the fulfilment of the destiny of mankind.   A work achieved by co-operation to grace and acceptance of the circumstances of life with an eye to advancing the Kingdom within oneself and the world around us.

Itala is an example of an ordinary life of an ordinary person and how God takes this ordinariness and makes it extraordinary.   Yes, sanctity is for everyone, if only we see to understand and act in love.   The journey begins today with a light for each step of our path.spiritual exp of bl itala mela.jpg


Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday *2019 & Memorials of the Saints – 28 April

Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday *2019

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716) (Optional Memorial)
St Louis’s story:

St Peter Chanel SM (1803-1841) Martyred aged 37 (Optional Memorial)

St Adalbero of Augsburg
St Agapio of Cirtha
St Artemius of Sens
Bl Itala Mela ObSB (1904–1957)
St Benedict of the Bridge
St Cronan of Roscrea
St Cyril of Turov
Bl Gerard of Bourgogne
St Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962)

Bl Józef Cebula
Bl Luchesius
St Pamphilus of Sulmona
St Prudentius of Tarazona

St Alexander
St Aphrodisius of Beziers
St Berthold
St Buonadonna
Carino Peter of Balsamo
St Firmiano
St Germaine
St Guido Spada
St Luchtighern of Ennistymon
St Marie Louise Trichet Jesus
St Mark of Galilee
St Peter of Bearn
St Primianus
St Probe
St Tellurium