(REMINDER: St Joseph’s Feast Day is transferred to 20 March this year as 19 March is Laetare Sunday)
Terror of Demons
Look down on us, Saint Joseph, Protector of Our Lord, Who followed you through deserts And gave you blessed reward; Our foes are yet about us, Be our strength now at our side, Be light against the darkness. Saint Joseph, be our guide and protector! We venerate your justice, The gospels praise your name, You are the Saint all humble, Who gained eternal fame. In your devoted family Our souls in trust confide, Direct our way to Heaven. Saint Joseph, be our guide. We implore your powerful intercession, to obtain from the gentle Heart of Jesus all the help and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly protection from the powers of evil and the special grace I now implore: …………….. (Mention your request) O guardian of the Word Incarnate we feel animated with confidence, that your prayers on our behalf, will be graciously heard, before the throne of God. St Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pray for us! Amen
Thought for the Day – 19 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Each one of us is obliged to properly train his own character. Above all, it is necessary to know ourselves as the result of meditation and examination of conscience, so that we may be able to correct and change our temperament. This kind of formation is slow and difficult but, we must overcome difficulties patiently and perseveringly. There is no need to be discouraged. Our main requirement in the battle against our evil instincts is the grace of God, for which we should pray fervently. We need an enlightened spiritual director who will guide and encourage us. Finally, we need the determination to succeed, without which the grace of God cannot achieve the Christian transformation of our character.”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 March – Laetare Sunday / The Fourth Sunday in Lent – Galatians 4:22-31, John 6:1-15 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Jesus then took the loaves of bread and having given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated there; in the same way he gave them some fish, as much as they wanted.”
“… May grace and peace be yours in abundance, through knowledge of God and of Jesus Our Lord…”
2 Peter 1:2
“Let the world turn upside down, let everything be in darkness, in smoke, in uproar – God is with us!”
“I recommend that you look before you but not dwell upon those dangers which you see in the distance.”
“Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear – rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He is your keeper. He has kept you hitherto. Do you but hold fast to His dear hand and He will lead you safely through all things and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. Our Father will either shield you from suffering, or He will give you strength to bear it.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“Must you continue to be your own cross? No matter which way God leads you, you change everything into bitterness by constantly brooding over everything. For the love of God, replace all this self-scrutiny, with a pure and simple glance at God’s goodness!”
“We think not enough of this Truth – that God is present with us that He sees our thoughts, even long before we have them. That He knows what we think and shall think, better than we ourselves that He sees the folds and recesses, of our heart and of this other Truth – that NOTHING HAPPENS to us but by the order of Providence. We should all be Saints, if we well apprehended these Truths. And truly, it is a great consolation, to know that God sees the bottom of our heart.”
St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641) Disciple and Collaborator with St Francis de Sales in Founding the Sisters of the Visitation
Prayer of Abandonment By St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)
O sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God! I abandon myself forever to Thy arms. Whether gentle or severe, lead me henceforth whither Thou will. I will not regard the way through which Thou will have me pass but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee, my God, who guides me. My soul finds no rest without the arms and the bosom of this heavenly Providence, my true Mother, my strength and my rampart. Therefore, I resolve with Thy Divine assistance, 0 my Saviour, to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances, without regarding or examining why Thou does this rather than that but I will blindly follow Thee, according to Thy Divine will, without seeking my own inclinations. Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee, taking no part therein, save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms, desiring nothing, except as Thou incites me to desire, to will, to wish. I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God, beseeching Thee to bless it. I undertake all it includes, relying on Thy goodness, liberality and mercy, with entire confidence in Thee, distrust of myself, and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity. Amen.
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 19 March – Laetare Sunday / The Fourth Sunday in Lent – Galatians 4:22-31, John 6:1-15 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“They who trust in the Lord are like Mount Sion which is immovable; which forever stands.” Psalm 124:1-2
“Jesus then took the loaves of bread and having given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated there; in the same way he gave them some fish, as much as they wanted.” John 6:11
DIVINE PROVIDENCE St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“… WHEN HUMAN AID FAILS US, all is not wanting, for God takes over and takes care of us by His special Providence. This poor multitude who follow Our Lord today were assisted by Him, only after they were all near faint with hunger. He felt an extreme pity for them because, in their love of Him, they had so forgotten themselves that none had brought provisions, except the little Martial who had five barley loaves und two fish. It is as if the Saviour, full of love for the hearts of these good people (who numbered about five thousand), said to Himself: “You have no care whatever for yourselves but I Myself will take care of you.” Therefore, He called St. Philip to Him and asked him: “These poor people will faint on the way, if we do not assist them with some food but where could we find sufficient to sustain them?” He did not ask this through ignorance,but to test him. …
Notwithstanding the fact that St Philip and St Andrew declared that the five barley loaves and two fish were nothing for so many, Our Lord ordered them to be brought to Him and He commanded His Apostles to make the people sit down. They all did so very simply and in this they were certainly admirable, for they sat down to table without seeing anything on it and there was nothing to suggest that anything could be given to them. Then Jesus took the loaves of bread, blessed them, broke them and ordered the Apostles to distribute them. When this was done, there was still some left, even though all had had enough to satisfy their need.
Thus Our Lord made all the five thousand men eat of the same five loaves and two fish, reproducing them as often as was necessary, that each one might have a portion according to his need. All ate then of five loaves and two fish miraculously multiplied—all but St Martial who, not participating in this miracle, ate his own bread all alone and not that of the Saviour because He had brought His own provision. For as long as we have our own bread, God does not work prodigies to sustain us.” – (Excerpt from the Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, 6 March 1622).
One Minute Reflection – 19 March – Laetare Sunday / The Fourth Sunday in Lent – Galatians 4:22-31, John 6:1-15 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“When the people, therefore, had seen the sign which Jesus had worked, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet Who is to come into the world..” – John 6:14
REFLECTION – “Governing the entire universe, is a greater miracle, than feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread, yet no-one marvels at it. People marvel at the feeding of the five thousand, not because this miracle is greater but because, it is out of the ordinary. Who is even now providing nourishment for the whole world if not the God Who creates a field of wheat from a few seeds? Christ did what God does. Just as God multiplies a few seeds into a whole field of wheat, so Christ multiplied the five loaves in His Hands. For there was power in the Hands of Christ. Those five loaves were like seeds, not because they were cast on the earth but because, they were multiplied by the One Who made the earth.
This miracle was presented to our senses, in order to stimulate our minds… and so make us marvel at “the God we do not see because of his works, which we do see” (Rom 1,20). For then, when we have been raised to the level of faith and purified by faith, we shall long to behold, although not with our eyes, the invisible God Whom we recognise, through what is visible. This miracle was performed for the multitude to see; it was recorded for us to hear. Faith does for us, what sight did for them. We behold with the mind, what our eyes cannot see and we are preferred to them because of us it was said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20,29).” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on Saint John’s gospel, 24).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who justly suffer for our sins may find relief in the help of Thy grace.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 19 March – Laetare Sunday / The Fourth Sunday in Lent
God of Mercy and Compassion By Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) Composer
God of mercy and compassion, Look with pity upon me, Father, let me call Thee Father, ‘Tis Thy child returns to Thee.
Refrain: Jesus, Lord, I ask for mercy. Let me not implore in vain, All my sins, I now detest them, Never will I sin again.
By my sins I have deserved Death and endless misery, Hell with all its pains and torments, And for all eternity. (Refrain)
By my sins I have abandoned Right and claim to heav’n above. Where the saints rejoice forever In a boundless sea of love. (Refrain)
See our Saviour, bleeding, dying, On the cross of Calvary; To that cross my sins have nail’d Him, Yet He bleeds and dies for me. (Refrain)
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi 4 January 1710 – 16 or 17 March 1736 was an Italian Baroque composer, violinist and organist. His best-known works include his Stabat Mater and the opera La serva padrona (The Maid Turned Mistress). His compositions include operas and sacred Masses and music. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 26.
Saint of the Day – 19 March – Blessed Clement of Dunblane OP (1200-1258) Bishop, Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers, a great and humble carer of the poor and needy, a zealous Administrator but just as much, a shepherd of souls, Reformer, Writer, a highly renowned Preacher and Linguist, a very learned man indeed. Clement was the first member of the Dominican Order in Britain and Ireland to become a Bishop. Born in Scotland in 1200 and died in 1258 in Dunblane, Scotland of natural causes. Also known as – Clement of Scotland.
Not much is recorded of his birth, childhood, or adolescence. Whether it was due to loss of documentation or no documentation at all, the only information that has survived the test of time was that Clement of Dunblane was born in Scotland in the year of 1200. He was a Scotsman by birth and his native tongue was Gaelic (Rabenstein, 1998). He later went on to pursue an education at the University of Paris, during this time he received his habit and grew fairly close to a man who is now known as Saint Dominic de Guzman.
The Chronicles of Melrose Abbey, which was in what is now Roxburghshire, says: “The Jacobin [Dominican] Fathers first came to Scotland in 1230. King Alexander brought them into the country. As he had great love for them, he proved a generous benefactor to them; for he not only gave them places, but also built and furnished convents for them.”(2) We do not doubt that the young monarch met Dominic at the time mentioned, or that the saint promised to send him a colony of the Order of Preachers. But the founder died before he could carry out his intention. Indeed, it would seem that several years had passed, when Blessed Jordan found it feasible to put the design into execution.
Doubtless Clement, who belonged to this sturdy race, was placed at the head of the little band of missionaries dispatched to labour among the Scotsmen and to establish the Order in his country. Prior to this time, he had shown himself to be possessed of rare talent and had become a learned man, no less than a model, pious and zealous religious. He had a special gift for languages and oratory. According to the Rev. D. O. Hunter-Blair, O. S. B. (Catholic Encyclopedia, V, 286), these Friar Preacher must have first set up their standard at Edinburgh. In Scotland, as in all Europe, marvellous success attended the efforts of the fathers and they were soon scattered throughout the northern Kingdom of the British Isle.
None of them, we may take it for granted, manifested greater ability, more zeal, or a truer religious spirit, than Father Clement. Early Scottish historians assure us that his labours and evident capacity for good, suggested him at once for the See of Dunblane, which became vacant in 1231. Possibly his own humble repugnance to such an honour combined with that of Blessed Jordan to delay his appointment, for he was not Consecrated until two years later. The Chronicles of Melrose Abbey state: “In the year of our Lord 1233, Clement, a Canon of the Order of Preachers, was elected Bishop of Dunblane. He was Consecrated in Wedale, in the southeastern part of County Edinburgh, on the Feast of the Translation of Saint Cuthbert, 4 September by William Malvoisin, Bishop of Saint Andrews.”
From the start, Clement began to give clear proofs of his executive talent; nor did he relax in his zeal throughout his long government of some twenty-five years. He found the Diocese in a deplorable condition. Under his watchful care it soon became a spiritual garden which blossomed with every virtue. Vigorous were his efforts to enkindle fervour and piety in hearts that had grown cold and indifferent from neglect, no less than to uproot vices that had become all too prevalent. Equally active and firm was he in defending the rights of the Church and in putting her laws into execution. God crowned the labours of His faithful servant with success, for in all things, he set the example which he asked others to follow.
Thus, while the model life of the Friar-Preacher prelate won the esteem and admiration of his flock, his kindness and affable ways brought him the affection of their hearts. One of his most prominent traits was charity towards the poor, of whom there were many in the Diocese. Although his varied learning and ability, no less than his virtue, caused all to look up to him as a man of marked distinction, his humility and zeal for souls never let him forget the lowly, or those in distress. These, indeed, were the objects of the holy man’s keenest interest. Like Saint Paul, he became all things to all men in order to gain all to Christ. In this, no doubt, we have the secret of the love in which the people of the Diocese of Dunblane held him.
It would seem, in fact, that Clement of Dunblane possessed a character which won him the good will of all with whom he came into contact. It would be difficult to find a better proof of the affection entertained for him by his Order, than that given by the General Chapter held at London in 1250. Although he had, in a measure, severed his relations with the Order seventeen years before, by his Consecration, the fathers of this assemblage enacted by formal decree: “We grant Brother Clement, Bishop in Scotland, (after his death) one Mass by every Priest throughout the Order and, by those in the Province of England, the same number which they say for any member of the Province.” Certainly this signal Act of benevolence is an unequivocal indication of the high esteem which he enjoyed among his former confrères, the world over. It inclines one to believe that his services, prior to his appointment to Dunblane, must have been far more than ordinary.
Another document, contained in a contemporary Scottish Chronicle which escaped the craze for the destruction of all things Catholic, speaks in no less high praise of the subject of this sketch. Here we read:
“In the year of our Lord 1258 died Clement, Bishop of Dunblane, a celebrated Preacher, even in the Order of Preachers. He was a skilled linguist and spoke several tongues with eloquence. So was he a man powerful in word and deed, before both God and man. Because of the carelessness of his predecessors, he found the Cathedral Church in a deplorable condition, both spiritually and temporally. Mass was said in it scarcely three times a week, as if it were no more than a rural Chapel. Under him, it became a renowned Sanctuary. Furthermore, he enriched it with lands and prebends (stipends) and supplied it with Canons.”
As a writer, we may attribute to his pen a Life of Saint Dominic, a History of the Establishment of the Friars Preacher in Scotland, a Book on Pilgrimages to Holy Places and a Collection of Sermons. None of these works have ever appeared in general print. They are still in Manuscripts, stored away in archives or libraries, or have, like many other things of the kind, been destroyed by the hand of time. Our Saint also worked on the Cause for the Canonisation of Saint Margaret of Scotland.
One of Clement’s stamp, could hardly have failed to leave a lasting impress on his Order and the Church of Scotland, by neither of which, we may rest assured, will his memory ever cease to be cherished.
Blessed Clement’s Relics are enshrined in the Choir of Dunblane Cathedral.
Martyrs of Sorrento: A group of three sisters and a brother who were Martyred together. We have little more than their names – Mark, Quartilla, Quintilla and Quintius. They were Martyred in Sorrento, Italy, date unknown.
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