Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 9 May – The Cardinal Virtues of Mary

Thought for the Day – 9 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Cardinal Virtues of Mary

“Mary’s soul has been appropriately styled, ‘the Garden of all the Virtues.’
In it, the three theological virtues were wonderfully interwoven with the four cardinal virtues of, justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude.

As St John Chrysostom observed, justice is nothing else but the perfect observance of all the commandments. (Homil 12 super Matth).
The Blessed Virgin obeyed all the commandments in her relations with God, to Whom she dedicated herself, from the moment when she gained the use of reason.
She obeyed them in her relations with her Son, Jesus Christ, for she reared and instructed Him with loving maternal care, even though she knew that He was God and had no need of her attention.
She fulfilled them in her relations with men, for whose salvation, she united her sufferings and her merits, to the infinite sufferings ad merits of our Saviour.

Furthermore, Mary was prudence itself.
This virtue shone forth in all her words and in all her actions.
When the Angel appeared in human form and told her that she was to be the Mother of God, she was not flattered nor complacent.
She thought calmly about the mystery which had been announced to her and asked the Angel how it could come to be, since she had already consecrated her virginity to God.
She pronounced her Fiat only when she was reassured by the Angel that through the intervention of the Holy Spirit, she would be a virgin mother.
This was the beginning of the miracle of the Incarnation.
When she was greeted by St Elizabeth as the Mother of the Lord, she did not boast about her distinction but composed a hymn of gratitude, in which she attributed her glory to God alone.
Mary’s prudence, is equally evident in her words of gentle reproof to Jesus after He had been lost and found again, in the company of the Doctors.
It is again obvious at the wedding celebrations in Cana, when she knew well, how to snatch the first miracle from the heart of Jesus.

Mary possessed the virtue of temperance also, both in her external behaviour and in her perfect internal control over all her faculties.
This was the result of her immunity from original sin, which has created such grave moral disorder in our poor human nature.
This virtue, was further perfected, by the purity and holiness of her daily life.

Finally, the virtue of fortitude was Mary’s to an heroic degree.
But her fortitude was always calm and controlled.
The elderly Simeon had foretold that the sword of sorrow would pierce her heart.
Her whole life was interwoven with suffering and privation.
From the manger in Bethlehem, to the flight into Egypt, from the Circumcision, when Jesus first shed His blood, to the Hill of Calvary, where He gave all He had for our salvation.
Mary offered her sufferings along with those of her divine Son for our redemption.
Her fortitude never wavered but was always serene, for her mind and heart were in constant communication with God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

the garden of all virtues - the cardinal virtues 9 may 2020 bacci

Posted in CATECHESIS, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude

Quote/s of the Day – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs, Gospel: Luke 6:12-19

“Simon was worlds apart from Matthew, who, on the contrary, had an activity behind him as a tax collector that was frowned upon as entirely impure.   This shows that Jesus called His disciples and collaborators, without exception, from the most varied social and religious backgrounds.

It was people who interested Him, not social classes or labels!   And the best thing is that in the group of His followers, despite their differences, they all lived side by side, overcoming imaginable difficulties, indeed, what bound them together, was Jesus Himself, in whom they all found themselves united with one another.

This is clearly a lesson for us who are often inclined to accentuate differences and even contrasts, forgetting, that in Jesus Christ, we are given the strength to get the better of our continual conflicts.

Let us also bear in mind, that the group of the Twelve, is the prefiguration of the Church, where there must be room for all charisms, peoples and races, all human qualities that find their composition and unity in communion with Jesus.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Catechesis on Saints Simon and Jude
General Audience
Saint Peter’s Square
Wednesday, 11 October 2006let us bear in the mind that the group of the twelve - sts simon and jude - pope benedict 28 oct 2019.jpg

“Woe to them!
They followed the way of Cain …
These are blemishes …
as they carouse fearlessly
and look after themselves.
They are waterless clouds
blown about by winds,
fruitless trees in late autumn,
twice dead and uprooted.
They are like wild waves of the sea,
foaming up their shameless deeds,
wandering stars,
for whom the gloom of darkness
has been reserved forever.”

Jude 1:11a,12 & 13jude 1 11,12,13 woem to them they followed the way of cain 28 oct 2019.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 18 October – “I too have decided … to write it down..”

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist, Gospel: Luke 10:1-9

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, pray therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out labourers into his harvest.” … Luke 10:2

Saint Luke’s testimony – “I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately to write it down in an orderly sequence” (Luke 1:3)

REFLECTION – “Among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special pre-eminence and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our Saviour.   The Church has always and everywhere, held and continues to hold, that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin.  For what the Apostles preached in fulfilment of the commission of Christ, afterwards, they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing – the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy, held and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (Acts 1:1-2). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done.   This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ’s life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:26).

The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always, in such fashion, that they told us the honest truth about Jesus.   For their intention in writing, was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who “themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word” we might know “the truth concerning those matters about which we have been instructed” (Lk 1, 1-4). … Vatican Council II – Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation “ Dei Verbum ” # 18-19luke 1 3 - i too have decided - luke 10 2 the harvest is plentiful 18 oct 2019 feast of st luke.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love in his preaching and his writings.   Grant, we pray, that we may grow in love for the Holy Face of Christ, His words and His directions, revealed to us in the Gospels, in the example of your saints.   Today, on his feast, we especially look to St Luke, to guide, teach and pray for us.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.st-luke-pray-for-us-18-oct-2017-no-2.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 2 August – ‘..Jealously guard the faith..’

Thought for the Day – 2 August – The Memorial of St Eusebius of Vercelli (c 283-371)

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s
Catechesis on St Eusebius, October 2007

Ambrose’s admiration for Eusebius was based, above all, on the fact that the Bishop of Vercelli governed his Diocese with the witness of his life:  “With the austerity of fasting he governed his Church.”   Indeed, Ambrose was also fascinated, as he himself admits, by the monastic ideal of the contemplation of God which, in the footsteps of the Prophet Elijah, Eusebius had pursued.   First of all, Ambrose commented, the Bishop of Vercelli gathered his clergy in vita communis and educated its members in “the observance of the monastic rule, although they lived in the midst of the city.”   The Bishop and his clergy were to share the problems of their fellow citizens and did so credibly, precisely by cultivating, at the same time, a different citizenship, that of Heaven (cf. Heb 13: 14).   And thus, they really built true citizenship and true solidarity among all the citizens of Vercelli.

While Eusebius was adopting the cause of the sancta plebs of Vercelli, he lived a monk’s life in the heart of the city, opening the city to God.   This trait, though, in no way diminished his exemplary pastoral dynamism.   It seems among other things that he set up parishes in Vercelli for an orderly and stable ecclesial service and promoted Marian shrines for the conversion of the pagan populations in the countryside.   This “monastic feature,” however, conferred a special dimension on the Bishop’s relationship with his hometown.   Just like the Apostles, for whom Jesus prayed at his Last Supper, the Pastors and faithful of the Church “are of the world” (Jn 17: 11), but not “in the world”.   Therefore, Pastors, Eusebius said, must urge the faithful not to consider the cities of the world as their permanent dwelling place but to seek the future city, the definitive heavenly Jerusalem.   This “eschatological reserve” enables Pastors and faithful to preserve the proper scale of values without ever submitting to the fashions of the moment and the unjust claims of the current political power.   The authentic scale of values – Eusebius’ whole life seems to say – does not come from emperors of the past or of today but from Jesus Christ, the perfect Man, equal to the Father in divinity, yet a man like us.   In referring to this scale of values, Eusebius never tired of “warmly recommending” his faithful “to jealously guard the faith, to preserve harmony, to be assiduous in prayer” (Second Letter, op. cit.).

Dear friends, I too warmly recommend these perennial values to you, as I greet and bless you, using the very words with which the holy Bishop Eusebius concluded his Second Letter:   “I address you all, my holy brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, faithful of both sexes and of every age group, so that you may… bring our greeting also to those who are outside the Church, yet deign to nourish sentiments of love for us.”

St Eusebius of Vercelli, Pray for Us!dy ridrnus of vercelli pray for us no 2 2 aug 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

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Marian Thoughts – 14 May – Pope Francis – The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

Marian Thoughts – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“I want to recommend some medicine for all of you.   It’s a spiritual medicine.   Don’t forget to take it.   “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” (17 November 2013)pope francis' reflections on the joyful mysteries 1st mystery 14 may 2019.jpg

The First Joyful Mystery:   The Annunciation

“The annunciation to Mary can be read alongside the announcement to Zechariah of John the Baptist’s birth.   One annunciation happens to a priest in the Temple of God, during a liturgy, where everyone is waiting outside, while the other, happens to a young woman named Mary, in a small town that did not necessarily have a good reputation.   This contrast is not insignificant.   It serves as a sign that the new Temple of God, the new encounter of God with His people, will happen in places which we normally do not expect, on the margins, on the peripheries.   By now, it will no longer be in a place reserved for the few, while the majority wait outside. Nothing and no-one, will be indifferent, no situation will be deprived of His presence, the joy of salvation began in the daily life of the home of a youth in Nazareth.
Even today, God is still searching for hearts like Mary’s that are open to welcoming His invitation and providing hope, even when it’s hard.
God continues to walk our neighbourhoods and our streets, He pushes in each place in search of hearts capable of listening to His invitation and making it become flesh here and now.
In the end, the Lord continues to seek hearts like that of Mary, disposed to believe even in very extraordinary conditions.
Just like He did with Mary, God also takes the initiative in our lives, inserting Himself into our daily struggles, anxieties and desires.
It is precisely in the daily routine of our lives, that we receive the most beautiful announcement we can hear – “Rejoice, the Lord is with you!”
(Pope Francis, 2017)

Holy Mary of the Annunciation of Emmanuel,

God with us,

Pray for us!mary's fiat - holy mary pray for us 14 may 2019 pope francis and the rosary from Fr Enrico no 1.jpg

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 CATECHESIS, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 9 May – The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Thought for the Day – 9 May – Thursday Third Week of Easter, C

The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Saint Irenaeus (130-202)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from a Against Heresies

If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with His blood, the Eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in His blood and the bread we break, does not make us sharers in His body.   There can be no blood without veins, flesh and the rest of the human substance and this the Word of God actually became – it was with His own blood that He redeemed us.   As the Apostle says – In Him, through His blood, we have been redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.

We are His members and we are nourished by creatures, which is His gift to us, for it is He who causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall.   He declared that the chalice, which comes from His creation, was His blood and He makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from His creation, was His body and He makes it, the nourishment of our body.   When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake, receive the Word of God, the Eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies, live and grow.   How then can it be said, that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by His body and blood, is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?   Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of His body, of His flesh and bones.   He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones.   He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is His body.

The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time.   The grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things.   The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word, they become the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ.   In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the Eucharist, will be buried in the earth and will decay but they will rise again at the appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up, to the glory of God the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s power is shown most perfectly in weakness.we are his members and we are nourished - st ireneus on the eucharist and resurrection 9 may 2019.jpg

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Thought for the Day – 2 May – On the Incarnation of the Word

Thought for the Day – 2 May – Thursday of the Second week of Easter, Gospel: John 3:31–36 and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373)

On the Incarnation of the Word

Saint Athanasius (297-373)
Bishop, Great Eastern Father & Doctor of the Church
Known as “The Father of Orthodoxy”

An excerpt from On the Incarnation of the Word

The Word of God, incorporeal, incorruptible and immaterial, entered our world.   Yet it was not as if He had been remote from it up to that time.   For there is no part of the world that was ever without His Presence; together with His Father, He continually filled all things and places.

Out of His loving-kindness for us, He came to us and we see this in the way He revealed Himself openly to us.   Taking pity on mankind’s weakness and moved by our corruption, He could not stand aside and see death have the mastery over us, He did not want creation to perish and His Father’s work in fashioning man, to be in vain.   He, therefore, took to Himself a body, no different from our own, for He did not wish simply to be in a body or only to be seen.

If He had wanted simply to be seen, He could indeed have taken another and nobler, body.   Instead, He took our body in its reality.

Within the Virgin, He built himself a temple, that is, a body, He made it His own instrument in which to dwell and to reveal Himself.   In this way, He received from mankind, a body like our own and, since all were subject to the corruption of death, He delivered this body over to death for all and with supreme love, offered it to the Father. He did so, to destroy the law of corruption, passed against all men, since all died in Him. The law, which had spent its force on the body of the Lord, could no longer have any power over His fellowmen.   Moreover, this was the way in which the Word was to restore mankind to immortality, after it had fallen into corruption and summon it back, from death to life.   He utterly destroyed the power death had against mankind—as fire consumes chaff—by means of the body He had taken and the grace of the Resurrection.

This is the reason why the Word assumed a body that could die, so that this body, sharing in the Word who is above all, might satisfy death’s requirement in place of all.  Because of the Word dwelling in that body, it would remain incorruptible and all would be freed forever from corruption, by the grace of the Resurrection.

In death, the Word made a spotless sacrifice and oblation of the body He had taken.   By dying for others, He immediately banished death for all mankind.in death the word made a spotless - st athanasius - 2 may 2019

In this way the Word of God, who is above all, dedicated and offered His temple, the instrument that was His body, for us all, as He said and so paid, by His own death the debt that was owed.   The immortal Son of God, united with all men by likeness of nature, thus fulfilled all justice, in restoring mankind to immortality, by the promise of the resurrection.

The corruption of death, no longer holds any power over mankind, thanks to the Word, who has come to dwell among them through His one body.

St Athanasius, Pray for Us!st athanasius pray for us no 2 - 2 may 2019 adapted.jpg

 

Posted in BAPTISM, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 25 April- Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Congratulations to those who entered
the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation,
(Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion)
at the Easter Vigil.
You are now members with us,
in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Welcome Home!

congrats to new catholics - welcome home - 25 april 2019 easter thurs

Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolised the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water, it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again, it was like coming into broad daylight   In the same instant, you died and were born again, the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse – a time to die and a time to be born, although, in fact, both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!   It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.  We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails, He suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet, by the share that I have in His sufferings, He freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.  This is why Paul exclaims:  Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in His death?   By baptism we went with Him into the tomb.we know perfectly weel that baptism - st cyril of jerusalem - 25 april 2019 easter thurs.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, LENT 2019, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints and Palm Sunday 2019 – 14 April

Palm Sunday *2019

St Abundius the Sacristan
St Antony of Vilna
St Ardalion the Actor
St Benezet the Bridge Builder
St Bernhard of Tiron
St Domnina of Terni
St Eustace of Vilna
St Fronto of Nitria
Bl Hadewych
St John of Monte Marano
St John of Vilna
St Lambert of Lyon
Bl Lucien Botovasoa (1908-1947) Martyr
Blessed Lucien’s life:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/saint-of-the-day-14-april-blessed-lucien-botovasoa-o-f-s-1908-1947-martyr/

St Lydwina of Schiedam (1380-1433)

St Maximus of Rome
St Peter Gonzalez OP (1190 – 1246)
About St Peter:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/saint-of-the-day-14-april-blessed-peter-gonzalez-o-p/

St Tassach of Raholp
St Thomaides of Alexandria
St Tiburtius of Rome
St Valerian of Trastevere

Posted in CATECHESIS, CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TRUTH

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Repairing the Wrong Done by St John Vianney

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment
greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-32

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

REPAIRING THE WRONG DONE

Having made satisfaction to God, we must then make satisfaction to our neighbour for the wrong which-either in his body or in his soul — we have done him.   I say that it is possible to wrong him in his body, that is to say, in his person, by attacking him either by injurious or insulting words or by bad treatment.   If we have sinned against him by injurious words, then we must apologise to him and make our reconciliation with him.   If we have done him some wrong by belabouring his animals, as sometimes happens when we find that they have been doing damage among our crops, we are obliged to give him all that we have been the cause of his losing: -we could have got compensation without maltreating these animals.   If we have done any harm, we are obliged to repay as soon as we can, otherwise we will be gravely at fault.   If we have neglected to do that, we have sinned and we must confess it.

If you have done wrong to your neighbour in his honour, as, for instance, by scandalous talk, you are obliged to make up by favourable and beneficent talk for all the harm you have done to his reputation, saying all the good of him which you know to be true and concealing any faults which he may have and which you are not obliged to reveal.   If you have calumniated your neighbour, you must go and find the people to whom you have said false things about him and tell them that what you have been saying is not true, that you are very grieved about it and that you beg them not to believe it.

But if you have done him harm in his soul, it is a still more difficult thing to repair and yet it must be done as far as possible, otherwise God will not pardon you.

You must also examine your conscience as to whether you have given scandal to your children or to your next-door neighbours.   How many fathers, mothers, masters and mistresses are there who scandalise their children and their servants, by not saying their prayers morning or evening or by saying them when they are dressing or sitting back in a chair, who do not even make the Sign of the Cross before and after a meal?   How many times are they heard swearing, or perhaps even blaspheming?

How many times have they been seen working on Sunday morning, even before Holy Mass?

You must consider, too, whether you have sung bad songs, or brought in bad books, or whether you have given bad counsel, as, for instance, advising someone that he should take his revenge on someone else, should exact satisfaction by force.

Consider, too, whether you have ever taken anything from a next-door neighbour and neglected to pay it back, whether you have neglected to give some alms which you had been told to give or make some restitution which your parents, who are dead, should have made.   If you wish to have the happiness of having your sins forgiven, you must have nothing belonging to anyone else, which you should and could pay back.   So if you have sullied your neighbour’s reputation, you must do all in your power to repair the damage.   You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God. repairing the wronge done - you must be reconciled - st john vianney 29 march 2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 21 March- The rich man and Lazarus

Lenten Reflection – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple
and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…”
Luke 16:19–20Luke 16 19–20 rich man and lazarus turs2ndweeklent-21march2019.jpg

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church

Sermon 122, On the rich man and Lazarus

“Abraham was very rich,” Scripture tells us (Gn 13:2)… My brethren, Abraham wasn’t rich for himself but for the poor, rather than keeping hold of his fortune, he intended to share it…This man, who was himself a stranger, did not hesitate to do all he could so that the stranger might not feel himself to be a stranger.   Living in a tent, he was unable to let a passer-by remain without shelter.   Perpetual traveller, he unfailingly welcomed the travellers who came his way…  Far from taking his ease in God’s bounty, he knew himself called to spread it abroad, he used it to protect the oppressed, set prisoners free, even to snatch those about to die from their fate (Gn 14:14)…  Abraham did not sit but remained standing before the stranger he had received.   He was not his guest’s host but made himself his servant.   Forgetting that he was master in his own home, he himself brought the food and, concerned that it should be carefully prepared, called on his wife.   Where he himself was concerned he relied entirely on his servants, but for the stranger he had received he thought it barely enough to entrust it to his wife’s skill.
What more could I say, my brothers?   It was so perfect a consideration… that drew God himself to Abraham’s home and compelled him to become his guest.   Thus the very one who would later claim to be welcomed in the person of the poor and the stranger, came to Abraham, rest for the poor, refuge of strangers.   “I was hungry,” he said, “and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).
And again, we read in the Gospel:  “When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.”   Isn’t it only right, brethren, that Abraham should welcome all the saints even into his own rest and should exercise, even in the blessedness of heaven, his service of hospitality?…  Doubtless, he could not have considered himself wholly happy unless, even in glory, he was able to continue to practice his ministry of sharing.”

Daily Meditation:
Bring us back to you.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is our lesson today.
We beg to be open to the workings of the Spirit,
that we might not settle for the consolations of this life alone.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers
but his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOUR

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“All of our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone, for the good and for the bad, for the poor people as well as for the rich, for all those who do us harm as much as for those who do us good.
No, my dear brethren, there is no virtue which will let us know better whether we are the children or God than charity.
The obligation we have to love our neighbour is so important, that Jesus Christ put it into a Commandment, which He placed immediately after that by which He commands us to love Him with all our hearts.   He tells us that all the law and the prophets are included in this commandment to love our neighbour.   Yes, my dear brethren, we must regard this obligation as the most universal, the most necessary and the most essential to religion and to our salvation.   In fulfilling this Commandment, we are fulfilling all others.   St Paul tells us that the other Commandments forbid us to commit adultery, robbery, injuries, false testimonies.   If we love our neighbour, we shall not do any of these things because the love we have for our neighbour would not allow us to do him any harm.”

all of our religion is but a false - st john vianney thurs2ndweeklent 21 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I hear your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to You.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in Your name
and send Your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel Your love in my life today and if You are with me, how can I not love my neighbour?

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in CATECHESIS, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the day – 19 January – The Memorial of Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre, Cardinal-Priest (1835-1906)

Thought for the day – 19 January – The Memorial of Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre, Cardinal-Priest (1835-1906)

Blessed Marcelo was a pious man, of intense prayer and mortification, extremely sensitive to the needs and suffering of his faithful and an untiring apostle.   Homes, workers’ societies, centres where food was given to those who needed it, orphanages, night schools, creation of the faculty of theology of Seville, etc., were all part of his mark. He toured all the dioceses in which he exercised his ministry, travelling on a mule, he fought against the attempt to displace the teaching of religion from public centres as a senator from Granada, consoled the afflicted and took the gospel to every corner, preaching and confessing.

And at the centre of the heart of Blessed Marcelo was the Holy Eucharist.   He wrote:

“The masterpiece of Jesus Christ’s love for humanity is the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is within our reach.
We can all get close to Christ the guest and talk with Him
and perceive the warmth of His word.
The word!   How it inflames the spirits!
How will the word of Christ inflame them!
We can all get to the altar when He immolates Himself and shouts at us:
Look how much I have loved and loved you!
And we can all sit at His table
and eat the bread
and drink the intoxicating wine of charity. “

he immolates himself and shouts at us - bl marcelo spinola 19jan2019.jpg

Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre, Pray for Us!blessed-marcelo-pray-for-us.19 jan 2018.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – The Sign of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time and The Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)

Speaking of:  The Sign of the Cross

“The illusions of this world soon vanish,
especially if a man arms himself with
the Sign of the Cross.
The devils tremble
at the Sign of the Cross of our Lord,
by which He triumphed over
and disarmed them.”

St Anthony Abbot (251-356)the-illusions-of-this-world-st-anthony-abbot-17-jan-2018.jpg

“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified.
Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers
on our brow and in everything;
over the bread we eat and the cups we drink;
in our comings in and goings out;
before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake;
when we are in the way and when we are still.
Great is that preservative;
it is without price, for the poor’s sake;
without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God.
It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of evils;
for He has triumphed over them in it,
having made a shew of them openly;
for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified;
they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon.
Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift
but for this rather honour thy Benefactor.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctorbe the cross our seal - st cyril of jerusalem - 17 jan 2019.jpglet-us-not-then-be-ashamed-st-cyril-of-jerusalem-17-jan-2018.jpg

“The sign of the cross
is the most terrible weapon
against the devil.
Thus the Church wishes not only,
that we have it continually
in front of our minds,
to recall to us
just what our souls are worth
and what they cost Jesus Christ
but also that we should make it
at every juncture ourselves:
when we go to bed,
when we awaken during the night,
when we get up,
when we begin any action,
and, above all,
when we are tempted.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)the sign of the cross - st john vianney.- new version - 17 jan 2018 jpg

“The cross is the badge that shows who we are –
our speaking, thinking, looking, working,
we are under the sign of the cross,
that is, the love of Jesus, to the end.”the cross is the badge - pope francis 17 jan 2019.jpg

“Making the sign of the cross when we wake up,
before meals, before a danger, to defend against evil,
at night before sleep means to tell ourselves
and others who we belong to, who we want to be.”

Pope Francismaking the sign of the cross - pope francis 17 jan 2019.jpg

3 Things to Know about the Cross – Fr Mike Schmitz

Posted in CATECHESIS, FRANCISCAN OFM, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The LAST THINGS, YouTube VIDEOS

Thought for the Day – 27 November – The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

Thought for the Day – 27 November – The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

“Conclusion”
Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today.   So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is:  Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be.   And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well.   As for the rest, compare these two opinions – the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned, the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved.   Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved.   If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.

Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion.   He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved.   If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.

What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved?   Saint Peter says to us, “Strive by good works to make your election sure.”   When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, “You will be saved if you want to be.”   I say the same thing to you and here is proof of my declaration.   No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin – that is of faith.   And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to – that is an undeniable theological proposition.   Therefore, no one goes to hell, unless he wants to – the consequence is obvious.   Does that not suffice to comfort you?

Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future and you will all be saved.   Why torment yourself so?   For it is certain, that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell and that to commit mortal sin, you must want to and that consequently, no one goes to hell, unless he wants to.   That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth – may God give you to understand it and may He bless you.   Amen.”

The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved
by St Leonard of Port Maurice
Full Sermon here: https://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/fewness.shtml

St Leonard of Port Maurice, Pray for Us!st leonard of port maurice pray for us no 2 - 27nov2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 8 November – Pope Benedict on Blessed John Duns Scotus

Thought for the Day – 8 November – The Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus OFM (c 1265-1308)

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s

Catechesis on Blessed John Duns Scotus
General Audience – 7 July 2010

“The Immaculate Conception”

This morning, after several Catecheses on various great theologians, I would like to present to you another important figure in the history of theology.   He is Blessed John Duns Scotus, who lived at the end of the 13th century.   An ancient epitaph on his tombstone sums up the geographical coordinates of his biography:  “Scotland bore me, England received me, France taught me, Cologne in Germany holds me”.   We cannot disregard this information, partly because we know very little about the life of Duns Scotus.   He was probably born in 1266 in a village called, precisely, “Duns”, near Edinburgh.
Attracted by the charism of St Francis of Assisi, he entered the Family of the Friars Minor and was ordained a priest in 1291.   He was endowed with a brilliant mind and a tendency for speculation, which earned him the traditional title of Doctor subtilis, “Subtle Doctor”.

Mary is the subject of the Doctor subtilis’ thought.   In the times of Duns Scotus the majority of theologians countered with an objection that seemed insurmountable, the doctrine which holds that Mary Most Holy was exempt from original sin from the very first moment of her conception – in fact, at first sight the universality of the Redemption brought about by Christ might seem to be jeopardised by such a statement, as though Mary had had no need of Christ or His redemption.   Therefore the theologians opposed this thesis.   Thus, to enable people to understand this preservation from original sin Duns Scotus developed an argument that was later, in 1854, also to be used by Bl Pope Pius IX when he solemnly defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.   And this argument is that of “preventive Redemption”, according to which the Immaculate Conception is the masterpiece of the Redemption brought about by Christ because the very power of His love and His mediation obtained, that the Mother be preserved from original sin.   Therefore Mary is totally redeemed by Christ but already before her conception.   Duns Scotus’ confreres, the Franciscans, accepted and spread this doctrine enthusiastically and other theologians, often with a solemn oath, strove to defend and perfect it.

In this regard I would like to highlight a fact that I consider relevant.   Concerning the teaching on the Immaculate Conception, important theologians like Duns Scotus enriched what the People of God already spontaneously believed about the Blessed Virgin and expressed in acts of devotion, in the arts and in Christian life in general with the specific contribution of their thought.   Thus faith both in the Immaculate Conception and in the bodily Assumption of the Virgin was already present in the People of God, while theology had not yet found the key to interpreting it in the totality of the doctrine of the faith.   The People of God therefore precede theologians and this is all thanks to that supernatural sensus fidei, namely, that capacity infused by the Holy Spirit that qualifies us to embrace the reality of the faith with humility of heart and mind. In this sense, the People of God is the “teacher that goes first” and must then be more deeply examined and intellectually accepted by theology.

May theologians always be ready to listen to this source of faith and retain the humility and simplicity of children!   I mentioned this a few months ago saying: “There have been great scholars, great experts, great theologians, teachers of faith who have taught us many things.   They have gone into the details of Sacred Scripture… but have been unable to see the mystery itself, its central nucleus…. The essential has remained hidden!… On the other hand, in our time there have also been “little ones” who have understood this mystery.   Let us think of St Bernadette Soubirous; of St Thérèse of Lisieux, with her new interpretation of the Bible that is “non-scientific’ but goes to the heart of Sacred Scripture”

Dear brothers and sisters, Bl Duns Scotus teaches us that in our life the essential is to believe that God is close to us and loves us in Jesus Christ and, therefor,e to cultivate a deep love for Him and for His Church.   We on earth are witnesses of this love.   May Mary Most Holy help us to receive this infinite love of God, which we will enjoy eternally to the full in Heaven, when our soul is at last united to God for ever in the Communion of Saints.

Blessed John Duns Scotus, Pray for Us!bl john duns scotus pray for us - 8 nov 2018 no 2

Posted in CATECHESIS, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church

Saint of the Day – 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Ignatius
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Today, we will be speaking of St Ignatius, who was the third Bishop of Antioch from 70 to 107, the date of his martyrdom. At that time, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were the three great metropolises of the Roman Empire.   The Council of Nicea mentioned three “primacies”: Rome but also Alexandria and Antioch participated in a certain sense in a “primacy”.

St Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch, which today is located in Turkey.   Here in Antioch, as we know from the Acts of the Apostles, a flourishing Christian community developed.   Its first Bishop was the Apostle Peter – or so tradition claims – and it was there that the disciples were “for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11: 26). Eusebius of Caesarea, a fourth-century historian, dedicated an entire chapter of his Church History to the life and literary works of Ignatius (cf. 3: 36).

Eusebius writes:  “The Report says that he [Ignatius] was sent from Syria to Rome and became food for wild beasts on account of his testimony to Christ.   And as he made the journey through Asia under the strictest military surveillance” (he called the guards “ten leopards” in his Letter to the Romans, 5: 1), “he fortified the parishes in the various cities where he stopped by homilies and exhortations and warned them above all to be especially on their guard against the heresies that were then beginning to prevail, and exhorted them to hold fast to the tradition of the Apostles”.header - st ignatius

The first place Ignatius stopped on the way to his martyrdom was the city of Smyrna, where St Polycarp, a disciple of St John, was Bishop.   Here, Ignatius wrote four letters, respectively to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralli and Rome.   “Having left Smyrna”, Eusebius continues, Ignatius reached Troas and “wrote again”:  two letters to the Churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna and one to Bishop Polycarp.   Thus, Eusebius completes the list of his letters, which have come down to us from the Church of the first century as a precious treasure.   In reading these texts one feels the freshness of the faith of the generation which had still known the Apostles.   In these letters, the ardent love of a saint can also be felt.

Lastly, the martyr travelled from Troas to Rome, where he was thrown to fierce wild animals in the Flavian Amphitheatre.st ignatius of antioch 2

No Church Father has expressed the longing for union with Christ and for life in Him with the intensity of Ignatius.   We therefore read the Gospel passage on the vine, which according to John’s Gospel is Jesus.   In fact, two spiritual “currents” converge in Ignatius, that of Paul, straining with all his might for union with Christ and that of John, concentrated on life in Him.   In turn, these two currents translate into the imitation of Christ, whom Ignatius several times proclaimed as “my” or “our God”.

Thus, Ignatius implores the Christians of Rome not to prevent his martyrdom since he is impatient “to attain to Jesus Christ”.   And he explains, “It is better for me to die on behalf of Jesus Christ than to reign over all the ends of the earth…. Him I seek, who died for us:  Him I desire, who rose again for our sake…. Permit me to be an imitator of the Passion of my God!” (Romans, 5-6).Sant_Ignazio_di_Antiochia_E

One can perceive in these words on fire with love, the pronounced Christological “realism” typical of the Church of Antioch, more focused than ever on the Incarnation of the Son of God and on His true and concrete humanity:  “Jesus Christ”, St Ignatius wrote to the Smyrnaeans, “was truly of the seed of David”, “he was truly born of a virgin” “and was truly nailed [to the Cross] for us” (1: 1).   Ignatius’ irresistible longing for union with Christ was the foundation of a real “mysticism of unity”.   He describes himself:  “I therefore did what befitted me as a man devoted to unity” (Philadelphians, 8: 1).

For Ignatius unity was first and foremost a prerogative of God, who, since He exists as Three Persons, is One in absolute unity.   Ignatius often used to repeat that God is unity and that in God alone is unity found in its pure and original state.   Unity to be brought about on this earth by Christians is no more than an imitation as close as possible to the divine archetype.ST IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH MYPIC

Ignatius was the first person in Christian literature to attribute to the Church the adjective “catholic” or “universal” –  “Wherever Jesus Christ is”, he said, “there is the Catholic Church” (Smyrnaeans, 8: 2).   And precisely in the service of unity to the Catholic Church, the Christian community of Rome exercised a sort of primacy of love: “The Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness… and which presides over love, is named from Christ and from the Father…” (Romans, Prologue).

StIgnatius-SouthColonnade-a
St Ignatius on the South Colonnade St Peter’s Basilica c 1669-1670

As can be seen, Ignatius is truly the “Doctor of Unity” – unity of God and unity of Christ (despite the various heresies gaining ground which separated the human and the divine in Christ), unity of the Church, unity of the faithful in “faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred” (Smyrnaeans, 6: 1).

Ultimately, Ignatius’ realism invites the faithful of yesterday and today, invites us all, to make a gradual synthesis between configuration to Christ (union with Him, life in Him) and dedication to His Church (unity with the Bishop, generous service to the community and to the world).

Posted in CARMELITES, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Thérèse – 6 April 2011

“Today I would like to talk to you about St Thérèse of Lisieux, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, who lived in this world for only 24 years, at the end of the 19th century, leading a very simple and hidden life but who, after her death and the publication of her writings, became one of the best-known and best-loved saints. “Little Thérèse” has never stopped helping the simplest souls, the little, the poor and the suffering who pray to her.

I would like to invite you to rediscover this small-great treasure, this luminous comment on the Gospel lived to the full!   The Story of a Soul, in fact, is a marvellous story of Love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader cannot but be fascinated by it!   But what was this Love that filled Thérèse’s whole life, from childhood to death?   Dear friends, this Love has a Face, it has a Name, it is Jesus!   The Saint speaks continuously of Jesus.

Dear friends, we too, with St Thérèse of the Child Jesus must be able to repeat to the Lord every day that we want to live of love for Him and for others, to learn at the school of the saints to love authentically and totally.  Thérèse is one of the “little” ones of the Gospel who let themselves be led by God to the depths of his Mystery.   A guide for all, especially those who, in the People of God, carry out their ministry as theologians.   With humility and charity, faith and hope, Thérèse continually entered the heart of Sacred Scripture which contains the Mystery of Christ.   And this interpretation of the Bible, nourished by the science of love, is not in opposition to academic knowledge.   The science of the saints, in fact, of which she herself speaks on the last page of her The Story of a Soul, is the loftiest science.

In the Gospel Thérèse discovered above all the Mercy of Jesus, to the point that she said: “To me, He has given His Infinite Mercy and it is in this ineffable mirror, that I contemplate His other divine attributes.   Therein all appear to me radiant with Love.   His Justice, even more perhaps than the rest, seems to me to be clothed with Love” (Ms A, 84r).

In these words she expresses herself in the last lines of The Story of a Soul:   “I have only to open the Holy Gospels and at once I breathe the perfume of Jesus’ life and then I know which way to run;  and it is not to the first place but to the last, that I hasten…. I feel that even had I on my conscience every crime one could commit… my heart broken with sorrow, I would throw myself into the arms of my Saviour Jesus, because I know that He loves the Prodigal Son” who returns to Him. (Ms C, 36v-37r).

“Trust and Love” are therefore the final point of the account of her life, two words, like beacons, that illumined the whole of her journey to holiness, to be able to guide others on the same “little way of trust and love”, of spiritual childhood (cf. Ms C, 2v-3r; LT 226).

Trust, like that of the child who abandons himself in God’s hands, inseparable from the strong, radical commitment of true love, which is the total gift of self for ever, as the Saint says, contemplating Mary:   “Loving is giving all, and giving oneself” (Why I love thee, Mary, P 54/22).

Thus Thérèse points out to us all that Christian life consists in living to the full the grace of Baptism in the total gift of self to the Love of the Father, in order to live like Christ, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, His same love for all the others.”…Pope Benedict XVI

“Trust and trust alone,
should lead us to love”trust and trust alone - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

St Thérèse of Lisieux, Pray for Us!st t of l pray for us - 1 oct 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

Thought for the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

Pope Benedict XVI – 7 November 2007 –

Catechesis on St Jerome (1)

What can we learn from St Jerome?   It seems to me, this above all – to love the Word of God in Sacred Scripture.

St Jerome said:  “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”.   It is therefore important that every Christian live in contact and in personal dialogue with the Word of God given to us in Sacred Scripture.   This dialogue with Scripture must always have two dimensions:  on the one hand, it must be a truly personal dialogue because God speaks with each one of us through Sacred Scripture and it has a message for each one.   We must not read Sacred Scripture as a word of the past but as the Word of God that is also addressed to us and we must try to understand what it is that the Lord wants to tell us. However, to avoid falling into individualism, we must bear in mind that the Word of God has been given to us precisely in order to build communion and to join forces in the truth on our journey towards God.   Thus, although it is always a personal Word, it is also a Word that builds community, that builds the Church.   We must, therefore, read it in communion with the living Church.   The privileged place for reading and listening to the Word of God is the liturgy, in which, celebrating the Word and making Christ’s Body present in the Sacrament, we actualise the Word in our lives and make it present among us.   We must never forget that the Word of God transcends time  . Human opinions come and go.   What is very modern today will be very antiquated tomorrow.   On the other hand, the Word of God is the Word of eternal life, it bears within it eternity and is valid for ever.   By carrying the Word of God within us, we therefore carry within us eternity, eternal life.ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of christ - st jerome - 30 sep 2018

I thus conclude with a word St Jerome once addressed to St Paulinus of Nola (354-431).  In it the great exegete expressed this very reality, that is, in the Word of God we receive eternity, eternal life.   St Jerome said: “Seek to learn on earth those truths which will remain ever valid in Heaven” (Ep. 53, 10)…. Pope Benedict XVI – 7 November 2007 – Catechesis on St Jerome (1)

St Jerome, Pray for us!st-jerome-pray-for-us-30-sept-2017

Posted in CATECHESIS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

Thought for the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“My little children, reflect on these words:
the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven.

Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where out treasure is.
This is the glorious duty of man – to pray and to love.
If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.
Prayer is nothing else but union with God.   In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits of wax that no one can every pull apart.   This union of god with a tiny creature is a lovely thing. It is a happiness beyond understanding.

My little children, your hearts, are small but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God.
Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us.
Prayer never leaves us without sweetness.   It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet.

When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.   Some men immerse themselves as deeply in prayer as fish in water, because they give themselves totally to God.   O, how I love these noble souls!   How unlike them we are!  How often we come to church with no idea of what to do or what to ask for.   And yet, whenever we go to any human being, we know well enough why we go.
And still worse, there are some who seem to speak to the good God like this:  “I will only say a couple of things to You and then I will be rid of You.”
I often think that when we come to adore the Lord, we would receive everything we ask for, if we would ask with living faith and with a pure heart.

Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.”

– from the catechetical instructions by Saint John Vianney

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney, the poor boy from Dardilly, ordained a priest “through compassion” and in charge of an isolated parish, the one who prepared himself to die every day:  because of the strange logic of God who chooses the little to depose the mighty, it was this man who became a teacher and model even for the Popes who sit on the Chair of Peter, who are inspired by him and hold him up for emulation to the entire Church.   We must make ourselves ‘little’ in prayer, in total self-giving to God!

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney, Pray for us!st john vianney pray for us no 2 - 4 aug 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, CCC, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Thought for the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church
III.  Only One Faith (#172-175)

172   Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism and grounded in the conviction, that all people have only one God and Father.   St Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:

173   “Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. . . guards [this preaching and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house and similarly believes as if having but one soul and a single heart and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth.”

174   “For though languages differ throughout the world, the content of the Tradition is one and the same.   The Churches established in Germany have no other faith or Tradition, nor do those of the Iberians, nor those of the Celts, nor those of the East, of Egypt, of Libya, nor those established at the centre of the world. . .” The Church’s message “is true and solid, in which one and the same way of salvation appears throughout the whole world.”

175   We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God’s Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed.”JESUS taught a new sacrifice - st irenaeus

From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus

“The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to His Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to His own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.   If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God.   Since we have our accuser, we need an Advocate as well.

And so the Lord in His pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having Himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins, bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit.   Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.”

St Irenaeus, Pray for us!st irenaeus - pray for us no 2 - 28 june 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

“Our way of thinking,
is attuned to the Eucharist
and the Eucharist in turn,
confirms our way of thinking.”our-way-of-thinking-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018

“Jesus Christ, in His infinite love,
has become what we are,
in order that He may make us
entirely what He is.”jesus christ in his infinite love - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“It is not you that shapes God.
It is God that shapes you.
If then you are the work of God
await the Hand of the artist who does
all things in due season.
Offer Him your heart,
soft and tractable
and keep the form in which the artist
has fashioned you.
Let the clay be moist
lest you go hard
and lose the imprint of His Fingers.”it-is-not-you-that-shapes-god-strenaeus-28 june 2018

“As long as anyone has the means
of doing good to his neighbours
and does not do so,
he shall be reckoned a stranger
to the love of the Lord.”as-long-as-any-one-has-the-means-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018.no.2

The business of the Christian
is nothing else but to be
ever preparing for death.the business of the christian - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority.”

the universal church - st irenaeus

“Being obedient she (Mary)
became the cause of salvation for herself
and for the whole human race.
The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied
by Mary’s obedience:
what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief,
Mary loosened by her faith.”

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202)being-obedient-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018 - no 2

Posted in CATECHESIS, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 17 June – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday Reflection – 17 June – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

….What happens in Spring?   Plants blossom, trees flower.   I will ask you some questions. Can a sick tree or plant fully blossom if it is sick?   No!   Can a tree, a plant which is not watered by rain or artificially, blossom nicely?   No.   And can a tree and a plant whose roots have been removed or which have no roots flower?   No.   Without roots, can they flower?   No!   And this is a message:  Christian life has to be a life that must blossom in works of charity, in doing what is good.   But if you have no roots, you cannot blossom, and who is the root?   Jesus  ! If you are not with Jesus, there in the roots, you will not blossom.   If you do not water your life with prayer and the sacraments, will you bear Christian flowers?   No!   Because prayer and the sacraments water the roots and our life blossoms.   I hope that your Spring may be bloom beautifully, as blooming as Easter will be;  blossoming with good works, virtue and doing good to others.   Remember this, this is a very beautiful verse from my country:   “What blossoms a tree bears come from what lies underneath it”.   Never cut off Jesus’ roots.

During Mass, after breaking the consecrated Bread, that is the Body of Christ, the priest shows it to the faithful, inviting them to participate in the Eucharistic banquet.   We know the words that ring out from the sacred altar:  “Happy are those who are called to his Supper.   This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”.   Inspired by a passage in the Book of Revelation — “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9): it says “marriage” because Jesus is the Spouse of the Church — this invitation calls us to experience intimate union with Christ, the source of joy and holiness.   It is an invitation which brings happiness and at the same time spurs us to an examination of conscience enlightened by faith.

Although we are the ones who stand in procession to receive Communion;  we approach the altar in a procession to receive communion, in reality it is Christ who comes towards us to assimilate us in Him.   There is an encounter with Jesus!   To nourish oneself of the Eucharist means to allow oneself to be changed by what we receive.   Saint Augustine helps us understand this when he talks about the light he received when he heard Christ say to him:   “I am the food of strong men;  grow and you shall feed upon me;  nor shall you convert me, like the food of your flesh, into you but you shall be converted into me” (Confessions VII, 10, 16: pl 32, 742).

Each time we receive Communion, we resemble Jesus more;  we transform ourselves more fully into Jesus.   As the Bread and the Wine are converted into the Body and Blood of the Lord, so too those who receive it with faith, are transformed into a living Eucharist.

You reply “Amen” to the priest who distributes the Eucharist saying “the Body of Christ”; that is, you recognise the grace and the commitment involved in becoming the Body of Christ.   Because when you receive the Eucharist, you become the Body of Christ.  This is beautiful;  it is very beautiful.   As it unites us to Christ, tearing us away from our selfishness, Communion opens us and unites us to all those who are a single thing in Him.   This is the wonder of Communion:  we become what we receive!

Let us approach the Eucharist:  receiving Jesus who transforms us into Him makes us stronger.   The Lord is so good and so great!

Pope Francis, General Audience, 21 March 2018each time we receive communion - pope francis - 17 june 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, CCC, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, PAPAL DECREE, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 June – The Memorial of St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

Thought for the Day – 14 June – The Memorial of St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

Iconoclasm is still with us today, within and without the Catholic Church. Let us consider this statement from the Second Council of Nicaea that St Methodius fought all his life to defend:

“Following the divinely inspired teaching our of holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her), we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.”

And, from our present-day Catechism of the Catholic Church, we have these words:

“The contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration, so that the mystery celebrated, is imprinted in the heart’s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful”…CCC 1162.

St Methodius, “Defender of Icons”, Pray for usst methodius - pray for us - 14 june 2018

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATECHESIS, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

Thought for the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

“If the damned were asked:   Why are you in Hell? they would answer: ‘ For having resisted the Holy Spirit.’
And if the saints were asked:  Why are you in Heaven? they would answer:  ‘For having listened to the Holy Spirit.’
When good thoughts come into our minds, it is the Holy Spirit who is visiting us.
The Holy Spirit is a power.
The Holy Spirit …. sustained the martyrs.   Without the Holy Spirit, the martyrs would have fallen like the leaves from the trees.   When the fires were lighted under them, the Holy Spirit extinguished the heat of the fire by the heat of divine love.
The good God, in sending us the Holy Spirit, has treated us like a great king who should send his minister to guide one of his subjects, saying, “You will accompany this man everywhere and you will bring him back to me safe and sound.”
How beautiful it is, my children, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit!
He is indeed a good Guide and to think, that there are some, who will not follow Him!
The Holy Spirit is like a man with a carriage and horse, who should want to take us to Pans.   We should only have to say “yes,” and to get into it.   It is indeed an easy matter to say “yes”!… Well, the Holy Spirit wants to take us to Heaven; we have only to say “yes,” and to let Him take us there.“

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“O Divine Spirit, draw us to the highest heaven where Jesus lives forever, interceding for us.   Come, fill our hearts with Your fire, show us the way to the Lord that we may find Him shining with beauty and love.   Amen”o-divine-spirit, draw us to the highest heaven - 4 june 2017 - pentecost sunday

My most Holy Lord and Sanctifier,
If I differ at all from the world,
it is because You have chosen me out of the world
and have lit up the love of God, in my heart.
If I differ from Your Saints, it is because I do not ask
earnestly enough for Your grace and for enough of it
and because I do not diligently improve
what You have given me.
Increase in me this grace of love,
in spite of all my unworthiness.
It is more precious than anything else in the world.
I accept it in place of all the world can give me.
O give it to me! It is my life.
Come Holy Spirit, Come!
Amen

Bl John Henry Newman – 1801-1890my most holy lord and sanctifier - bl j h newman - 20 may 2018 - pentecost

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

“A fiery sword, barred of old,
the gates of Paradise,
a fiery tongue, which brought salvation,
restored the gift.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Doctor of the Church
(Catechetical Lectures:  Lecture 17 no. 15)

a fiery sword, barred of old - st cyril of jerusalem - 20 may 2018 - pentecost sunday

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling
and scatter there, Your cheerful beams.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace

o holy spirit descend plentifully - st augustine - 20 may 2018 - pentecost

“A soul, that possesses the Holy Spirit,
tastes such sweetness, in prayer,
that it finds the time, always too short,
it never loses, the holy presence of God.”

“The Holy Spirit forms thoughts
and suggests words, in the hearts of the just.”

“The Holy Spirit is like a gardener,
cultivating our souls.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

a soul that posseses - the holy spirit is like a gardener - the holy spirit forms - st john vianney - 20 may 2018 pentecost sunday

“Pentecost is the moment
when a heart of stone is
shattered and a heart of
flesh takes its place.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa
(Preacher to the Papal Household)

pentecost-is-the-moment-fr-raneiro-cantalamessa-20 may 2018. pentecost sunday

Posted in CATECHESIS, EASTER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 12 May – Saturday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel John 16:23-28.

Thought for the Day – 12 May – Saturday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel John 16:23-28.

Saint John-Mary Vianney (1786-1859) Curé of Ars

“Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” (Jn 16:23)

Children, your heart is small but prayer expands it and make is capable of loving God. Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, an outflow from paradise.  Never does it leave us without sweetness.   It is a honey that comes into the soul and sweetens everything.   All our troubles melt away before a well-made prayer like snow before the sun.   Prayer makes the time pass speedily and with such enjoyment that we don’t notice its length…

You can tell well enough who they are who lose themselves in prayer like a fish in water because they belong entirely to God.   There is no division in their hearts.   How I love generous souls like those!   Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Collette saw our Lord and talked to him as we talk to each other.   But as for us, how often do we come to church not knowing what we’ve come for and what we want to ask!   And yet, when we visit someone’s house we know perfectly well why we’re going there.   There are some people who appear to be saying to the good God:  “I’ve just come to say a word or two so that I can be done with you.”   How often I have thought that we would obtain everything we want if, when we come to worship our Lord, we were to ask him for it with a truly living faith and pure heart.john 16 23 - whatever you ask the father in my name - 12 may 2018

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOGMA, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Marian Thought for the Day – 3 May – Mary’s Month! – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs

Marian Thought for the Day – 3 May – Mary’s Month! – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs

On the Immaculate Conception
Mary is the “Virgo Purissima,” the Most Pure Virgin
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

BY the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin is meant the great revealed truth that she was conceived in the womb of her mother, St Anne, without original sin.

Since the fall of Adam all mankind, his descendants, are conceived and born in sin. “Behold,” says the inspired writer in the Psalm Miserere—“Behold, I was conceived in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me”.   That sin which belongs to every one of us and is ours, from the first moment of our existence, is the sin of unbelief and disobedience, by which Adam lost Paradise.   We, as the children of Adam, are heirs to the consequences of his sin and have forfeited in him, that spiritual robe of grace and holiness, which he had given him by his Creator at the time that he was made.   In this state of forfeiture and disinheritance we are all of us conceived and born and the ordinary way, by which we are taken out of it, is the Sacrament of Baptism.

But Mary never was in this state, she was by the eternal decree of God exempted from it. From eternity, God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, decreed to create the race of man and, foreseeing the fall of Adam, decreed to redeem the whole race by the Son’s taking flesh and suffering on the Cross.   In that same incomprehensible, eternal instant, in which the Son of God was born of the Father, was also the decree passed of man’s redemption through Him.   He who was born from Eternity was born by an eternal decree to save us in Time and to redeem the whole race and Mary’s redemption, was determined in that special manner which we call the Immaculate Conception.   It was decreed, not that she should be cleansed from sin but that she should, from the first moment of her being, be preserved from sin, so that the Evil One never had any part in her.   Therefore, she was a child of Adam and Eve as if they had never fallen, she did not share with them their sin, she inherited the gifts and graces (and more than those) which Adam and Eve possessed in Paradise.   This is her prerogative and the foundation of all those salutary truths, which are revealed to us concerning her.

Let us say then with all holy souls, Virgin most pure, conceived without original sin, Mary, pray for us.virgin most pure - pray for us - 3 may 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 3 May – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs

Quote/s of the Day – 3 May – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs

Speaking of:  Seeking Augustine

A Christian is:
a mind through which Christ thinks,
a heart through which Christ loves,
a voice through which Christ speaks
and a hand through which Christ helps.a christian is - st augustine - 3 may 2018

Since love grows within you,
so beauty grows.
For love is the beauty of the soul.since love grows within you - st augustine - 3 may 2018

Remember this.
When people choose to withdraw far from a fire,
the fire continues to give warmth
but they grow cold.
When people choose to withdraw far from light,
the light continues to be bright in itself
but they are in darkness.
This is also the case when people withdraw from God.remember this - st augustine - 3 may 2018

He who denies the existence of God,
has some reason for wishing
that God did not existhe who denies - st augustine - 3 may 2018

It is no advantage
to be near the light,
if the eyes are closed.it is no advantage - st augustine - 3 may 2018

Faith is to believe
what you do not see.
The reward of this faith,
is to see what you believe.faith is to believe what you do not see - st augustine - 3 may 2018

God provides the wind,
man must raise the sail.god provides the wind man must raise the sail - st augustine - 3 may 2018

God is always trying to give good things to us
but our hands are too full to receive them.

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Gracegod is always trying - st augustine - 3 may 2018