Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, Pope Francis - MEDITATIONS on the ROSARY, Pope Francis ROSARY MEDITATIONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The 3rd Luminous Mystery - The PROCLAMATION of the KINGDOM

Marian Thoughts –22 May – Pope Francis – The Third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Marian Thoughts – 22May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Wednesday of the fifth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“Through prayer and meditation on the life of Jesus Christ, we see once more his merciful countenance, which he shows to everyone in all the many needs of life. Mary accompanies us along this journey, pointing to her Son who radiates the very mercy of the Father.”...Pope Francis 9 October 2016

The Third Luminous Mystery:

The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Jesus Christ came to proclaim and bring about the Lord’s everlasting time of grace.   He brought good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed (cf. Lk 4:18-19).
Proclaiming the Gospel, forgiving, carrying out His will – when we do these things, we are never alone.   Jesus walks ahead of us, taking our steps before us, preparing the way.

Pope Francis
WYD 2016

pope francis - 3rd luminous proclamation of the kingdom 22 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, FATHERS of the Church, LAPSED Catholics, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, VATICAN Resources, YouTube VIDEOS

Thought for the Day – 22 May – The Christian in the World – You and Me!

Thought for the Day – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me
that does not bear fruit and everyone that does,
he prunes so that it bears more fruit” … John 15:1-2

The Christian in the World

An excerpt from A Letter to Diognetus

(Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)

Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs.   They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life.   Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men.   Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.   With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives.    They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through.   They play their full role as citizens, but labour under all the disabilities of aliens.   Any country can be their homeland but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country  . Like others, they marry and have children but they do not expose them.   They share their meals but not their wives.   They live in the flesh but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth but they are citizens of heaven.   Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all men but all men persecute them.   Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death but raised to life again.   They live in poverty but enrich many, they are totally destitute but possess an abundance of everything.   They suffer dishonour but that is their glory.   They are defamed but vindicated.   A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference, their response to insult.   For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life.   They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body.   As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world but cannot be identified with the world.  As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world but their religious life remains unseen.   The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures.   Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred.   It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together.   The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven.   As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution.   Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself…Vatican.va

Prayer

Father of all holiness,
guide our hearts to You.
Keep in the light of Your truth
all those You have freed from the darkness of unbelief.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Prepared by the Spiritual Theology Department
of the Pontifical University of the Holy Crossdiogentus - the christian in the world - 22 may 2019.jpg

Posted in POETRY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 22 May – Blessed by God

Quote of the Day – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457)

Blessed by God,
you were a light in darkness
through your steadfast courage
when you had to suffer such agony
upon your cross.
You turned aside from this vale of tears
to seek wholeness for your hidden wounds
in the great passion of Christ. . . .
You were not content
with less than perfect healing
and so endured the thorn for fifteen years
before you entered into the joy
of your Lord.

This poem was engraved on the casket of St Rita of Cascia and is one of the few contemporary sources that tell us about her.   St Rita received her “hidden wounds” in an unfortunate marriage.   For eighteen years she endured the abuses and infidelities of a violent husband.   She also suffered the rascality of two sons who were strongly influenced by him.   She was delivered from these miserable circumstances in a horrific way – one day her husband was brought home dead, brutally slashed by his enemies.   Her rambunctious sons planned to get revenge but died before they could obtain it.

At every stage of her life, Rita seems to have bravely endured unendurable circumstances – frustration because her parents overrode her wish to become a nun, married an abuser, refused three times by the Augustinians, afflicted with the pain and embarrassment of the stigmata.   None of these things, however, prevented her from serving God and her sisters. We can pray for her intercession in our desperate need but we should also imitate her love in action.blessed by god you were a light - st rita of cascia pray for us 22 may 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

One Minute Reflection – 22 May – “Holiness is like a sculpture”

One Minute Reflection – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457) and St Julia (5th Centrury) Martyr

“I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.   He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit and everyone that does, he prunes so that it bears more fruit” … John 15:1-2

REFLECTION – “Holiness is like a sculpture.   Leonardo da Vinci defined sculpture as “the art of removing.”   The other arts consist in adding something – colour to the canvas in painting, stone on stone in architecture, note after note in music.
Only sculpture consists of removing, of taking away the pieces of marble that are in excess, so that the figure can emerge that one has in mind.   Christian perfection is also obtained like this, by removing and making useless pieces fall off, namely, desires, ambitions, projects, carnal tendencies that disperse us and do not let us finish anything.
One day, Michelangelo walking through a garden in Florence saw a block of marble in a corner protruding from the earth, half covered by grass and mud.   He stopped suddenly, as if he had seen someone and turning to friends, who were with him, exclaimed:  “An angel is imprisoned in that marble, I must get him out.”   And, armed with a chisel, he began to work on that block until the figure of a beautiful angel emerged.
God also looks at us and sees us this way – as shapeless blocks of stone.   He then says to Himself:  “Therein is hidden a new and beautiful creature that waits to come out to the light, more than that, the image of my own son Jesus Christ is hidden there, I want to bring it out!”   We are predestined to “be conformed to the image of his son” (Romans 8:29).
Then, what does He do?   He takes the chisel, which is the cross and begins to work on us. He takes the pruning shears and begins to prune us.
We must not worry ourselves thinking of what terrible crosses He may send us! Normally, He does not add anything to what life presents us in terms of suffering, effort, tribulations.   He makes all these things serve for our purification.   He helps us to not waste them.”…Father Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM – Preacher to the Papal Householdjohn 15 1-2 i am the true vine - one day michelangelo - fr raneior cantalamessa 22 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us.   Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You.   When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You.   Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love.   St Rita of Cascia, you prayed so earnestly to give yourself totally to the Lord and suffer for Him, please pray for us, amen.st julia pray for us 22 may 2019st-rita-pray-for-us - 22 may 2017

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 22 May – My Lady, My Refuge and My Strength

Our Morning Offering – 22 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Easter

My Lady, My Refuge and My Strength
By St Germanus (638-730)
First Bishop of Cyzicus,
Patriarch of Constantinople

My refuge and my strength
My Lady,
my refuge, life and help,
my armour and my boast,
my hope and my strength,
grant that I may enjoy
the ineffable,
inconceivable gifts of your Son,
your God and our God,
in the heavenly kingdom.
For I know surely
that you have power to do as you will,
since you are Mother of the most High.
Therefore, Lady most pure,
I beg you
that I may not be disappointed
in my expectations
but may obtain them,
O Spouse of God,
who bore Him,
who is the expectation of all,
Our lord Jesus Christ,
true God and master of all things,
visible and invisible,
to whom belongs all glory, honour and respect,
now and always and through endless ages.
Amenmy lady my refuge my strength - st germanus no 2 - 22 may 2019

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 May – St Julia (5th Century) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 22 May – St Julia (5th Centrury) Martyr and Virgin – also known as Julia of Corsica and Julia of Carthage.   Patronages – Corsica, Livorno, Brecia, torture victims, pathologies of the hands and the feet.st julia lg.jpg

St Julia was a virgin martyr who is venerated as a saint.   The date of her death is most probably on or about 439.   She along with St Devota (Died c 303), are the patron saints of Corsica.   She was declared a patroness of Corsica by the Church on 5 August 1809 and St Devota on 14 May 1820.   Both of these were martyred in pre-Christian Corsica under Roman rule.   Although Julia is included in most summary lives of the saints, the details somewhat vary.   A few basic accounts emerge, that tell us the story.  st julia statueA Bishop of Africa wrote most of the story, from her time.   She was captured as a slave from Carthage and was taken to Africa to serve her Master.   When refusing to make sacrifices to their pagan gods, she was beaten, flogged and crucified.   She was a beautiful young girl that didn’t compromise her faith and an early saint of our Church.

Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 439, was sold as a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria named Eusebius.   Under the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not have afforded.   All the time she was not employed in her master’s business was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety. Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to carry her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul.St Julia

Having reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor and went on shore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival.   Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies which she openly reviled.   Felix, the governor of the island, who was a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods.   Eusebius informed him that she was a Christian and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail with her to renounce her religion but that he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her.   The governor offered him four of his best female slaves in exchange for her.   But the merchant replied, “No, all you are worth will not purchase her, for I would freely lose the most valuable thing I have in the world, rather than be deprived of her.”

However, the governor, while Eusebius was drunk and asleep, took upon him to compel her to sacrifice to his gods.   He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply.  The Saint made answer that she was as free as she desired to be as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ.   Felix, thinking himself derided by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport of rage caused her to be struck on the face and the hair of her head to be torn off and, lastly, ordered her to be hanged on a cross till she expired.Santa_julia - Giulia_E

Certain monks of the isle of Gorgon carried off her body but in 763 Desiderius, King of Lombardy, removed her relics to Brescia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion.   The Basilica of Santa Giulia near Bergamo is dedicated to her.st julia 363px-Meaux_Vitrail_1867_30808_2

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of Saints -22 May

St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457) (Optional Memorial)
About St Rita:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/saint-of-the-day-22-may-st-rita-of-cascia-patron-of-impossible-causes-abused-wives-and-widows/

St Aigulf of Bourges
St Atto of Pistoia
St Aureliano of Pavia
St Ausonius of Angoulême
St Baoithin of Ennisboyne
St Basiliscus of Pontus
St Bobo of Provence
St Boethian of Pierrepont
St Castus the Martyr
St Conall of Inniscoel
Bl Diego de Baja
Bl Dionisio Senmartin
St Emilius the Martyr
St Faustinus the Martyr
St Francisco Salinas Sánchez
St Fulgencio of Otricoli
Bl Fulk of Castrofurli
Bl Giacomo Soler
Bl Giusto Samper
St Helen of Auxerre
St Humility of Faenza
Bl John Baptist Machado
Bl John Forest OFM (1471-1538) Martyr of Oxford University
Biography:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/saint-of-the-day-22-may-bl-john-forest-o-f-m-1471-1538-martyr/
St John of Parma
St José Quintas Durán
St Julia (5th century) Martyr

St Lupo of Limoges
St Marcian of Ravenna
St Margaret of Hulme
Bl Maria Rita Lopes Pontes de Souza Brito
Bl Pedro of the Assumption
St Quiteria
St Romanus of Subiaco
St Timothy the Martyr
St Venustus the Martyr

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francisco Salinas Sánchez
• Blessed José Quintas Durán