Marian Thoughts – 5 May – ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.’ 

Marian Thoughts – 5 May – “Mary’s Month!”

From the Sermons of St Sophronius (560-638) Father of the Church

(St Sophronius was a courageous leader of the Jerusalem Church during the Islamic conquests of the seventh century, Bishop Saint Sophronius I has his liturgical memorial on 11 March).hail full of grace, the Lord is with you - luke 1 29.jpg

The blessings of the Father shone upon men through Mary

‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.’   Could anything transcend the joy that is yours, O Virgin Mother?   Could anything surpass this race granted by God to you alone?   Is it possible to think of anything more gratifying and more splendid?   Nothing can even approach the marvel that we see in you.   All things lie far below the grace that is yours; in comparison, even the best of them take second place and their brilliance is overshadowed.

‘The Lord is with you’ and who has dared to strive against you?   God has been born of you, who would stand in your way and not gladly give you first place and supremacy? For this reason, when I contemplate the privileges that put you above all creatures I cry out to you in highest praise. ‘Hail O favoured one, the Lord is with you.’   The joy that comes from you is shared not only by mankind but also by the powers of heaven.

Truly, ‘you are blessed among women’ for you have changed the condemnation of Eve into a blessing.   Because of you, and through you, Adam who hitherto was cast down and condemned received a blessing.

Truly, ‘you are blessed among women’ for through you the blessing of the Father came to mankind and reprieved them from the age-old sentence.

Truly, ‘you are blessed among women’, because through you, your ancestors found salvation.   You were to give birth to the Saviour who would win for them God’s salvation.

Truly, ‘you are blessed among women’ for without the seed of man you bore the fruit that gives a blessing to the whole earth and frees it from being condemned to produce only thorns.

Truly, ‘you are blessed among women’, for though you are a woman like any other woman you will in actual fact become the Mother of God.   If the one to be born of you, is in truth God incarnate, you rightly deserve to be called ‘she who gave birth to God’, inasmuch, as you truly did give birth to God.

You have God enclosed within your womb.   He lives in you according to the flesh and comes forth from you like a bridegroom, giving joy to all and sharing His divine light with all mankind.

In you, O Virgin, as in the clear brightness of heaven, God ‘has placed his tent’ and He ‘will come forth from you like a bridegroom from his chamber’.   Like a giant He will run the course of His life to bring salvation to all living things.   That course ‘will stretch from one end of the heavens to the other’ filling all things with the life-giving warmth of God’s radiance.

From the Little Office of Mary

Mary, Rosa Mystica, Pray for Us!mary-rosa-mystica-pray-for-us-8-may-2018


Thought for the Day – 8 May – “A New Life”

Thought for the Day – 8 May – Wednesday Third Week of Easter, C

“A New Life”

“The perfect surrender and humiliation were undergone by Christ – perfect because He is God, surrender and humiliation, because He is man.
Now the Christian belief is that, if we somehow share the humility and suffering of Christ, we shall also share in His conquest of death and find a new life after we ave died and, in it, become perfect and perfectly happy creatures.
This means something much more than our trying to follow His teaching.
People often ask when the next step in evolution – the step to something beyond man – will happen. But, on the Christian view, it has happened already.
In Christ, a new kind of man appeared and the new kind of life which began in Him, is to be put into us.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)

in christ - c s lewis - a new man 8 may 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – “I am the bread of life”

Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – Wednesday 3rd Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:35–40

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”…John 6:35john 6 35 - 11 april 2018.jpg

“A celebration may be flawless on the exterior, very beautiful —
but if it does not lead us to encounter Jesus Christ,
it is unlikely to bear any kind of nourishment
to our heart and our life.
Through the Eucharist, however,
Christ wishes to enter into our life
and permeate it with His grace,
so that in every Christian community
there may be coherence
between liturgy and life.”

Pope Benedict

General Audience, 12 February 2014a celebration may be flawless - pope benedict 8 may 2019.jpg

“Through the Eucharist
we enter Christ’s paschal mystery,
allowing us to pass
from death to life with Him.”

Pope Francisthrough the eucharist - pope francis - 8 may 2019.jpg

“The Eucharist is Jesus Himself
who gives Himself entirely to us.
Nourishing ourselves of that “Bread of Life”
means entering into harmony with the heart of Christ,
assimilating His choices,
His thoughts,
His behaviour.
It means entering into a dynamism of love
and becoming people of peace,
people of forgiveness, of reconciliation,
of sharing in solidarity.
Heaven begins precisely in this communion with Jesus”

Pope Francis

Angelus, 16 August 2015the eucharist is jesus himself - pope francis - 8 may 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 8 May – “We wish to see Jesus”

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:35–40 and the Memorial of Blessed Clara Fey (1815-1894)

“This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life”…John 6:40

REFLECTION – “We wish to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21).   This request, addressed to the Apostle Philip by some Greeks who had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover, echoes spiritually in our ears too…   Like those pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the men and women of our own day — often perhaps unconsciously — ask believers not only to “speak” of Christ but in a certain sense to “show” Him to them.   And is it not the Church’s task, to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His face shine also before the generations of the new millennium?

Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His face…  The contemplation of Christ’s face, cannot fail to be inspired by all that we are told about Him, in Sacred Scripture, which from beginning to end, is permeated by His mystery, prefigured in a veiled way in the Old Testament and revealed fully in the New…  Remaining firmly anchored in Scripture, we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit (cf. Jn 15:26) from whom the sacred texts derive their origin, as well as to the witness of the Apostles (cf. Jn 15:27), who had a first-hand experience of Christ, the Word of life – they saw Him with their eyes, heard Him with their ears, touched Him with their hands (cf. 1 Jn 1:1).   What we receive from them is a vision of faith based on precise historical testimony.”…St John Paul II (1920-2005)Apostolic Letter “ Novo Millennio Inuente ”, §16-17this is the will of my father - john 6 40 - the contemplation of christ's face - st john paul 8 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule us.    Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life.    May the prayers of Mary our Mother and Blessed Clara Fey, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mother mary - pray for us - 6 may 2018.jpg

blessed clara fey pray for us 8 may 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 8 May – Most Holy Virgin, I Choose You this Day

Our Morning Offering – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Easter, C

Most Holy Virgin, I Choose You this Day
By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity

Most Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God,
I am unworthy to be your servant.
Yet moved by your motherly care for me
and longing to serve you,
I choose you this day to be my Queen,
my Advocate and my Mother.
I firmly resolve ever
to be devoted to you
and to do what I can
to encourage others
to be devoted to you.
My loving Mother,
through the Precious Blood
of your Son shed for me,
I beg you to receive me
as your servant forever.
Aid me in my actions
and beg for me the grace
never by thought, word, or deed
to be displeasing in your sight
and that of your most holy Son.
Remember me, dearest Mother,
and do not abandon me at the hour of death.
Amenmost-holy-virgin-i-choose-you-this-day-st-francis-de-sales-5-may-2018 and again 8 may 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 May – Blessed Clara Fey (1815-1894)

Saint of the Day – 8 May – Blessed Clara Fey (1815-1894) – Religious Nun and Founder of the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus.   Her life was dedicated to providing aid to the poor, with particular emphasis on education, first in Aachen, Germany and later in the clara fey4.jpg

Clara Fey was born on 11 April 1815 in Aachen, the fourth of five children of wealthy textile industrialist Louis and his wife Katherine  . Louis was to die following a stroke in 1820, when Clara was aged five years.

She studied under noted teacher, Luise Hensel and became acquainted with the future Blesseds Pauline von Mallinckrodt and Franziska Schevier.   In her childhood she observed the poor conditions in her town and was resolved to aid the poor in their suffering more so because of the importance her mother placed on helping those less fortunate than herself.

To that end she would later set up a school with some like-minded friends in Aachen in 1837 in order to cater to the educational needs of poor children.   Fey’s brother, Andreas would go on to become a priest, later serving as the vicar of the Saint Paul parish in Aachen.

On 2 February 1844, Bl Clara established the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus in Aachen, as a means of leading children to Jesus Christ and educating children in a religious clara fey.JPG

Around 1835 she started to read the works of Saint Teresa of Ávila and professed a desire to become a Carmelite nun.   In 1841, however, her spiritual adviser, Father Wilhelm Sartorius, motivated her to instead read the works of Saint Francis de Sales for greater theological inspiration.

Blessed Clara made her vows as a nun in 1850.   Her order received diocesan approval on 28 January 1848 from the Archbishop of Cologne and a papal decree of praise from Pope Pius IX on 11 July 1862, with full papal approval for the order issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 June 1888.   The Rule of her order would be based on the teachings of Saint Augustine.-Blessed-Clara-Fey.jpg

She served as the order’s first superior general from its founding until her death despite her frail health and frequent bouts of illness.   In 1875, the Kulturkampf forced her and the order, to relocate to the Netherlands where she remained until her death in May 1894.   After her death a devotional cult began at the site of her grave in Simpelveld.

The decree introducing her cause for beatification was issued in 1958 by Pope Pius XII, at which time she became titled a Servant of God.   In 1991, following confirmation of her heroic virtue by Pope John Paul II, she was titled Venerable.   Pope Francis confirmed a miraculous healing attributed to her intercession on 4 May 2017.   Her beatification was celebrated in Aachen on 5 May 2018.Clara_fey.jpg


Memorial of Our Lady of Luján and of the Saints – 8 May

Apparition of Michael the Archangel at Monte Gargano, Italy (492)
About this Apparition:

Our Lady of Luján:  The Virgin is a two feet tall terracotta statue of Our Lady. It was made in Brazil and sent to Argentina in May 1630. Its original appearance seemed inspired by Murillo’s Immaculates. In 1887, to preserve and protect it, the image was given a solid silver covering. It is usually clothed with a white robe and sky blue cloak, the colours of the Argentinian flag. Only the dark oval face with big blue eyes and the hands folded in prayer are now visible.

St Acacius of Byzantium
Bl Aloysius Luis Rabata
St Amatus Ronconi
Bl Angelo of Massaccio
St Arsenio of Mount Scete
St Benedict II, Pope
St Boniface IV, Pope
Bl Clara Fey (1815-1894)

St Desideratus of Bourges
Bl Domenico di San Pietro
St Gibrian
St Helladius of Auxerre
St Ida of Nivelles
St Martin of Saujon
St Metrone of Verona
St Odrian of Waterford
St Otger of Utrecht
St Peter of Besançon
Bl Pietro de Alos
Bl Raymond of Toulouse
Bl Teresa Demjanovich
Bl Ulrika Fransiska Nisch
St Victor Maurus
St Wiro of Utrecht