Thought for the Day – 6 September – Pope Benedict on the Beatitudes – “becoming images of Christ on earth”

Thought for the Day – 6 September – Pope Benedict on the Beatitudes

Pope Benedict XVI
Excerpt from his Homily on the Beatitudes
St Peter’s Square
Sunday, 30 January 2011

” … The Gospel presents the first great discourse that the Lord addresses to the people on the gentle hills encircling the Sea of Galilee. “Seeing the crowds,” St Matthew writes, “he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them” (Mt 5:1-2).

Jesus, the new Moses, “takes his seat on the cathedra of the mountain” (Jesus of Nazareth, Doubleday, New York 2007, p. 65) and proclaims “blessed” the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the merciful, those who hunger for righteousness, the pure in heart, the persecuted (cf. Mt 5:3-10).   It is not a new ideology but a teaching that comes from on high and touches the human condition, the condition that the Lord, in becoming flesh, wished to assume in order to save it.

Therefore “the Sermon on the Mount is addressed to the entire world, the entire present and future and yet it demands discipleship and can be understood and lived out only by following Jesus and accompanying him on his journey” (Jesus of Nazareth, p. 69).

The Beatitudes are a new programme of life, to free oneself from the false values of the world and to open oneself to the true goods, present and future.   Indeed, when God comforts, He satisfies the hunger for righteousness, He wipes away the tears of those who mourn, which means that, as well as compensating each one in a practical way, He opens the Kingdom of Heaven. “The Beatitudes are the transposition of the Cross and Resurrection into discipleship” (ibid., p. 74).   They mirror the life of the Son of God, who let himself even be persecuted and despised until He was condemned to death, so that salvation might be given to men and women.

An ancient hermit says: “The Beatitudes are gifts of God and we must say a great ‘thank you’ to Him for them and for the rewards that derive from them, namely the Kingdom of God in the century to come and consolation here, the fullness of every good and mercy on God’s part … once we have become images of Christ on earth” (St Peter of Damascus, In Filocalia, Vol. 3, Turin 1985, p. 79).

The Gospel of the Beatitudes is commented on with the actual history of the Church, the history of Christian holiness, because, as St Paul writes, “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Cor 1:27-28).

For this reason the Church has no fear of poverty, contempt or persecution in a society which is often attracted by material well-being and worldly power.   St Augustine reminds us that “it serves nothing to suffer these evils but rather to bear them, in the Name of Jesus, not only with a serene soul but also with joy” (cf. De sermone Domini in monte, i, 5,13: ccl 35, 13).

Dear brothers and sisters, let us invoke the Virgin Mary, the Blessed par excellence, asking her for the strength to seek the Lord (cf. Zeph 2:3) and to follow him always, with joy, on the path of the Beatitudes.”

Blessed Virgin of the Beatitudes, Pray for Us!blessed virgin of the beatitudes 6 sept 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 6 September – Becoming new wineskins, following Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 6 September – Friday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time Year C, Gospel: Luke 5:33–39

“But new wine must be put
into fresh wineskins.”

Luke 5:38luke 5 38 but new wine must be put into fresh wineskins 6 sept 2019.jpg

What people don’t realise,
is how much Christianity costs.
They think faith is a big electric blanket,
when of course it is the cross.

Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964)what people don't realise = flannery o'connor - speaking of becoming a saint - 19 april 2018.jpg

The Jesus of the Gospels
is surely not convenient for us.the jesus of the gospels - pope benedict - 25 april 2018.jpg

The Jesus, who makes everything
okay for everyone,
is a phantom,
a dream,
not a real figure…

Pope Benedict XVIthe jesus who makes - pope benedict - 25 april 2018.jpg

Take the crucifixion personally.

Father Mike Schmitztake the crucifixion - fr mike schmitz - 19 april 2018.jpg

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 September – The Christian style

One Minute Reflection – 6 September – Friday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time Year C, Gospel: Luke 5:33–39

“And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same but yours eat and drink.” … Luke 5:33

REFLECTION – “The accusatory style is the style of those believers who always try to accuse others, who live by accusing and always disqualify others.   A style, I would say, of failed promoters of justice, they are always trying to accuse others.   But they don’t realise that it is the style of the devil – in the Bible the devil is called the “great accuser”, who is always accusing others.
The Lord has offered you the new wine but you have not changed the bottles, you have not changed.   Worldliness is what ruins so many people, so many people!   Good people, but this spirit of vanity, pride, of being seen, enters in…  The Christian style is that of the Beatitudes – meekness, humility, patience in suffering, love for justice, ability to endure persecution, not judging others…  If you want to know what the Christian style is like, so as not to fall into this accusatory style, the worldly style and the selfish style, read the Beatitudes.   The Beatitudes are the new wineskins, they are the way to get there.” … Pope Francis -Santa Marta, 21 January 2019luke 5 33 the disciples of john - new wineskins - the accussatiry style - pope francis 6 sept 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word as our guide and map.   Open our hearts to learn and to become new in holiness.   Strengthen in our hearts the faith You have given us, so that we may glow anew in the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us.   May the prayers of Your holy saints and the love of our blessed Mother, be a help as we seek to live in holiness.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever amen.virin mary queen of all saints no 2 pray for us 6 april 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 6 September – Holy Spirit, Fire of Love

Our Morning Offering – 6 September – Friday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Holy Spirit, Fire of Love
By St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church

Holy Spirit,
fire of love,
come rest over each of us,
make our tongue ready
to confess our sins,
that in revealing everything
and concealing nothing,
we may attain heavenly life
to sing eternal praise
with the angels.
With your help,
You who live
and reign through all ages.
Amenholy spirit fire of love - by st anthony of padua -6 sept 2019.jpg

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 September – Blessed Bertrand de Garrigues OP (c 1195-1230)

Saint of the Day – 6 September – Blessed Bertrand de Garrigues OP (c 1195-1230) Dominican Priest, Preacher, Evangeliser, Confessor – known as “The Second Dominic” was one of the first companions of Saint Dominic. Born c 1195 at Garrigue, diocese of Nîmes, France and died on 18 April 1230 at Garrigue, diocese of Nîmes, France of natural causes.   It has been said of him that he was ” a true reflection of the holiness of his master.”   Aside from being known as “the beloved companion of Dominic,” “the dearest associate in all his labours, the sharer in his devotions” “the imitator of his sanctity” and “the inseparable companion of his journeys” Bl Bertrand was one of the first 16 followers of St Dominic.Blessed-Bertrand-of-Garrigue-Dominican

Blessed Bertrand was born in c 1195 at Garrigue, France.   Blessed Bertran’s parents were the friends of the Cistercian Sisters of the Convent of Notre Dame of the Woods at Bouchet.   This association of his family must have made a strong impression on the young Bertrand, as we was known to be a pious youth and from an early age expressed a desire to serve as a member of the clergy and fight the heresy of the Albigenses.

As a young priest, Blessed Bertrand was assigned to a band of missionaries, under the direction of Cistercian fathers, who were charged by the Holy See to bring the Albigenses back to a civilised life and to the Church.   It was during this mission work that Blessed Bertrand met Saint Dominic.   The two at once became close friends and spiritual brothers.

“Cast in the same mould and filled with the same spirit, they laboured, prayed and fasted together – all for the glory of God, the benefit of the Church, the good of religion and the salvation of souls  . Doubtless they effected more by their saintly lives and supplications before the throne of mercy than by their sermons, however eloquent and earnest these were.

The early writers speak of none of Saint Dominic’s first disciples more frequently, or in terms of higher praise, than of Blessed Bertrand de Garrigue.   They represent him as pious, candid, humble, zealous, much given to prayer, extremely mortified.

If we may judge by their representation of him, he was a true Israelite in whom there was no guile, greatly beloved by Saint Dominic, one of his most frequently chosen companions in labour and travel.   For this reason, as well as because they had toiled together for years, one can but believe that Bertrand was one of the first to whom Dominic made known his design of establishing an apostolic order, whose primary object should be the salvation of souls through an active ministry and whose field of operation should embrace the world.

In spite of his modesty and retiring manners, Bertrand was the kind of a man who would espouse such a cause with his whole heart, for the grace of God ever impelled him to do all in his power to increase the harvest of heaven.” – (The First Disciples of Saint Dominic, The Very Reverand Victor F. O’Daniel, O.P., S.T.M., Litt.D., 1928)dominicans

Blessed Bertrand received the habit of the Order from Saint Dominic.   It was apparent that in the very early days of the Order, Blessed Bertrand was considered second in rank only to Saint Dominic himself.   This may be evidenced by the fact that Saint Dominic left Blessed Bertrand in charge of the community when he went to Rome in the fall of 1215 to seek papal confirmation of the Order. In 1216 Saint Dominic named Blessed Bertrand as the third prior of the Order, in the Church of St Romanus, when St Dominic travelled to the Vatican to receive final approbation of the order.

Blessed Bertrand was known for his austere life and his obedience.   In fact, Bertrand was often known to wail aloud over his own sins, until Saint Dominic forbade him from wailing for his own sins but instructed him to bemoan the grave sins of the wicked.   In obedience, he immediately took on a life of prayer for the wicked of the world.

The last journey of Saint Dominic and Blessed Bertrand was in 1219 when the pair travelled to Paris where, upon arrival, the two spent the entire night in prayer at the Notre Dame Church, at Roe-Amadour.   Tradition tells us that during this journey the Holy Spirit gave Saint Dominic and Blessed Bertrand the gift of tongues and they were thus able to converse with German pilgrims in their native language.

In obedience to Saint Dominic, it appears that Blessed Bertrand did not speak of any of the miracles of Saint Dominic until after his death and then only to Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the first Master General of the Order after our Father Saint Dominic.

The last apostolic work of Blessed Bertrand was for the Cistercian Sisters of Notre Dame of the Woods at Bouchet, in the Diocese of Valence, where he was giving to these austere sisters a course of sermons on the spiritual life.   At only the age of about 35, Blessed Bertrand grew sick and died while with the Cistercian Sisters in 1230.   His body was buried in the conventual cemetery of the Cistercian Nuns near the apse of the abbatial church.dominican monks and sisters

However, shortly after his death marvellous cures began to come forth through his intercession.   As a consequence, the Cistercian Nuns had an altar erected in his honour in their church and placed a statute of Blessed Bertrand upon the altar.   Blessed Bertrand’s remains, found wholly intact, were afterwards exhumed and placed beneath the altar.   However, the remains of Blessed Bertrand were destroyed by fire in 1561 during the religious wars that followed the Protestant bernard de garrigue

Years later the cemetery of Notre Dame of the Woods became known as “Saint Bertrand’s Cemetery,” a name that endures to this day.   Blessed Bertrand was beatified when his cultus was confirmed on 14 July 1881 by Pope Leo XIII.

O God,
you joined to the holy patriarch Dominic
a companion and wonderful imitator in Blessed Bertrand.
With the help of his prayers
may we follow in life the faith which he preached
and so obtain the promised rewards in heaven.
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.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 September

St Arator of Verdun
St Augebert of Champagne
St Augustine of Sens
St Beata of Sens
St Bega
Blessed Bertrand de Garrigues OP (c 1195-1230) “The Second Dominic”
St Cagnoald
St Consolata of Reggio Emilia
St Cottidus of Cappadocia
St Eleutherius the Abbot
St Eugene of Cappadocia
St Eve of Dreux
St Faustus of Alexandria
St Faustus of Syracuse
St Felix of Champagne
St Frontiniano of Alba
St Gondulphus of Metz
St Imperia
St Macarius of Alexandria
St Maccallin of Lusk
St Magnus of Füssen (Died c 666?)
St Mansuetus of Toul
St Onesiphorus
St Petronius of Verona
St Sanctian of Sens
St Zacharius the Prophet

Martyrs of Africa – 6 saints: There were thousands of Christians exiled, tortured and martyred in the late 5th century by the Arian King Hunneric. Six of them, all bishops, are remembered today; however, we really know nothing about them except their names and their deaths for the faith – Donatian, Fusculus, Germanus, Laetus, Mansuetus and Praesidius.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Diego Llorca Llopis
• Blessed Felipe Llamas Barrero
• Blessed Pascual Torres Lloret
• Blessed Vidal Ruiz Vallejo