Posted in CATECHESIS, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – And all will be well, all manner of things shall be well!

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)all will be well - bl julian of norwich ccc 13 may 2019.jpg

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on Julian of Norwich

Wednesday, 1st December 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September.   England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching.   One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.

It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France.   God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave.   After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

“‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing?   Learn it well – Love was His meaning.   Who showed it to you?   Love…. Why did He show it to you?   For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision.   Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.   She may have taken the name of Julian, precisely from that Saint, to whom was dedicated the church, in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us.   But she was not the only one to make such a choice.   In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167).

The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study.   In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people.   Men and women of every age and condition, in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them.   It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice, precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.

We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life.   This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains.   She had become a mother to many.

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others.   As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.

It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love.   Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older and one that is longer.   This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.

In this book we read the following wonderful words:  “And I saw full surely that ere God made us He loved us, which love was never lacking nor ever shall be.   And in this love He has made all His works and in this love He has made all things profitable to us and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning.   And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love.   This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.   The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children.   In fact, the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says:  “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life – God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

I would like to emphasise another point.   The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist?   And the Saints themselves asked this very question.   Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote:   “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations.   If we are present to God, to His immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed.   “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well” – this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today.   Many thanks…Vatican.va

Blessed Julian, Pray for us!bl julian of norwich pray for us 13 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Marian Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – The message of Fatima is simple

Marian Thoughts for the Day – 13 May -Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the 102nd Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima

The message of Fatima is simple – Pray!

Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which, they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary’s request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored.   Sister Lucia agreed that Pope John Paul II’s public consecration in St Peter’s Square on 25 March 1984, fulfilled Mary’s request.   The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000, document explaining the “third secret.”

Mary is perfectly honoured when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38).   Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church’s teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome, for she is the protector of and the perfect type of the Church.   She and the Church are one!

Holy Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for us!our lady of fatima pray for us no 2 - 13 MAY 2019 adjusted from 13oct2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 13 May – A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

Thought for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C – Gospel: John 10:1-10

A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

St John Damascene (675-749)

Monk, Theologian, Doctor of the Church

O Christ, my God, You stooped down to me, poor straying sheep, to take me on Your shoulders (Lk 15:5) and have set me down in green pastures (Ps 23[22]:2).   You have quenched my thirst at the springs of true doctrine, through the mediation of Your pastors, whose shepherd You were, before entrusting to them Your flock… And now, O Lord, You have called me… to serve Your disciples, by what design of Your Providence I know not, only You know.

But, Lord, lighten the heavy burden of those sins of mine that have so gravely offended You, purify my mind and heart.   Lead me by the right way (Ps 23[22]:3) as by a light enlightening me.   Enable me to proclaim Your word boldly, may Your Spirit’s tongue of flame (Acts 2:3) give perfect freedom to my tongue and make me constantly attentive to Your presence.

Be a shepherd to me, O Lord and together with me, be the shepherd of Your sheep, that my heart may not cause me to swerve either to right or to left.   Let Your good Spirit lead me in the right way, that my actions may be carried out, according to Your will – even to the end.”

Amen

a pastor's prayer to the good shepherd - st john damascene 13 may 2019.jpg

 

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, GOD is LOVE, MYSTICS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY TRINITY

Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – Revelations of Divine Love

Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430) – “Revelations of Divine Love”

“He [ Jesus] is our clothing,
that for love wraps us and winds us,
embraces us and totally encloses us,
hanging about us in tender love.”he-jesus-is-our-clothing-julian-of-norwich-2-july-2018.jpg

“Prayer is not
overcoming
God’s reluctance.
It is laying hold
of His willingness.”prayer is not overcoming god's reluctance - bl julian of norwicb 13 may 2019.jpg

“Despite all our feelings of woe or of well-being,
God wants us to understand and to believe,
that we are more truly in heaven than on earth.
…for God is never out of the soul,
in which He will dwell blessedly without end.”despite-all-our-feelings-of-woe-julian-of-norwich-21-aug-20181.jpg

“The fullness of Joy
is to behold God
in everything.”the fullness of joy - bl julian of norwich 13 may 2019.jpg

“Truth sees God
and wisdom contemplates God
and from these two comes a third,
a holy and wonderful delight in God,
who is love.”truth sees god - bl julian of norwich 13 may 2019.jpg

“In You, Father almighty, we have
our preservation and our bliss.
In You, Christ,
we have our restoring and our saving.
You are our mother, brother and Saviour.
In You, our Lord the Holy Spirit,
is marvelous and plenteous grace.
You are our clothing,
for love You wrap us and embrace us.
You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe,
that by Your grace
all shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things
shall be well.
Amen”

Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)all-shall-be-well-julian-of-norwich-2-july-2018.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The GOOD SHEPHERD

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – “…The sheep hear his voice”

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C – Gospel: John 10:1-10 and the 102nd Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima

“… the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”…John 10:3

REFLECTION – “The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His.

We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.   People who hear God are known by Him.   No-one is entirely unknown by God but to be known in this way, is to become part of His family.

Therefore, when Christ says, “I know mine,” He means I will receive them and give them a permanent mystical relationship with Myself.

It might be said that inasmuch as He has become man, He has made all human beings His relatives, since all are members of the same race.  We are all united to Christ in a mystical relationship because of His incarnation.    Yet those who do not preserve the likeness of His holiness are alienated from Him.   “My sheep follow me,” says Christ.  By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ.   No longer subject to the shadows of the law, they obey the commands of Christ and guided by His words, rise through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called “children of God.

When Christ ascends into heaven, they also follow Him.”… St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church (Commentary on the Gospel of John)john 10 3 he calls his own sheep - the mark of christ's sheep is their willingness to hear - st cyril of alex 13 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You have rescued Your faithful from enslavement to sin, by Your Son’s self-abasement.   You have raised up the world through His suffering. Fill us now with holy joy at His rising and triumph.   Let us hear His voice and follow Him to everlasting life.   Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.pray-for-us-mother-of-god-13-may-2017

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, Our MORNING Offering, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 13 May – Act of Entrustment to Our Lady of Fatima

Our Morning Offering – 13 May – The 102nd Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima

Act of Entrustment to Our Lady of Fatima
By Pope Francis

Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima,
with renewed gratitude for your motherly presence
we join in the voice of all generations that call you blessed.
We celebrate in you the great works of God,
who never tires of lowering Himself
in mercy over humanity,
afflicted by evil and wounded by sin,
to heal and to save it.
Accept with the benevolence of a Mother
this act of entrustment that we make in faith today,
before this your image, beloved to us.
We are certain that each one of us is precious in your eyes
and that nothing in our hearts has estranged you.
May that we allow your sweet gaze
to reach us and the perpetual warmth of your smile.
Guard our life with your embrace,
bless and strengthen every desire for good,
give new life and nourishment to faith,
sustain and enlighten hope,
awaken and animate charity,
guide us all on the path to holiness.
Teach us your own special love for the little and the poor,
for the excluded and the suffering,
for sinners and the wounded of heart,
gather all people under your protection
and give us all to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus.
Amen.

*Act of entrustment to Mary, Virgin of Fátima, at the conclusion of Mass on the occasion of the Marian Day (Saint Peter’s Square, 13 October 2013)act of entrustment to our lady of fatima by pope francis 13 may 2019 102nd anniversary.jpg

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 May – Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416)

Saint of the Day – 13 May – Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416) (aged 73–74) Anchorite, Mystic, Writer, Ascetic, Spiritual director – also known as Dame Julian or Mother Julian – born late 1342 and died after 1416) was the greatest of all the English anchorites of the Middle Ages.   She wrote the earliest surviving book in the English language to be written by a woman, Revelations of Divine Love.header bl julian.png

It was popular in the 14th century for a number of English men and women to withdraw from the world as hermits, they were known as anchorites.   Their hermitage, was a small room attached to a local church.   Each room had two windows.   One through the church wall permitting the anchorite to receive communion.   Through the second window, the anchorite received food brought to him or her by village people.   Thus they at all times had the window of their heart open to Christ and open to the world.

As a young woman, Julian, who was born about 1342, became an anchorite at the Church of St Edmund and St Julian in Norwich.  309px-Julian_of_Norwich.jpgWhen she was 30 Julian suffered from a severe illness.   Whilst apparently on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions of Jesus Christ, which ended by the time she recovered from her illness on 13 May 1373.   Julian wrote about her visions immediately after they had happened (although the text may not have been finished for some years), entitled Revelations of Divine Love.    Twenty to thirty years later, perhaps in the early 1390s, Julian began to write a theological exploration of the meaning of the visions, known as The Long Text.   This work seems to have gone through many revisions before it was finished, perhaps in the first or even second decade of the fifteenth century.   Until her death in about 1416, Julian stayed in her simple room.   Like most anchorites, she prayed, fasted, did penance, studied, sewed clothing for the poor and advised the village people.

In her book, she described her 16 visions of Jesus.   As she wrote this book about God’s great compassion for us, Julian developed a special vocabulary.   She called the Creator, our mother and our father.   She called Jesus the Redeemer, our brother.  bl julian snipRevelations is a celebrated work in Catholicism because of the clarity and depth of Julian’s visions of God.   Julian of Norwich is now recognised as one of England’s most important mystics.

Julian of Norwich lived in a time of turmoil but her theology was optimistic and spoke of God’s love in terms of joy and compassion, as opposed to law and duty.   For Julian, suffering was not a punishment that God inflicted, as was the common understanding. She believed that God loved everyone and wanted to save them all.   Popular theology, magnified by catastrophic contemporary events such as the Black Death and a series of peasant revolts, asserted that God punished the wicked  . Julian suggested a more merciful theology, she believed that behind the reality of hell is a greater mystery of God’s love.   In modern times, she has been classified as a proto-universalist, although she did not claim more than hope, that all might be saved.

At the time of Julian’s death, people from all over Europe travelled to her room, or cell, to ask her advice.   Everyone recognised that she was close to God.   The Church never formally declared her a saint but through the ages, people have called her “Blessed.”

“If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me.   But this was shown – that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.”
Julian of Norwich

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