Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, GOD ALONE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WISDOM, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 28 September – Prudence and Simplicity

Thought for the Day – 28 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Prudence and Simplicity

“Prudence is one of the Cardinal Virtues frequently recommended in the Sacred Scriptures.
If you receive My words and treasure My commands,” the Holy Spirit tells us in the Book of Proverbs, “turning your ear to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding… if you seek her like silver and like hidden treasures, search her out, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, the knowledge of God you will find” (Prov 2:2-61).
Then, He promises, God will counsel and protect you, “for wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will please your soul, discretio will watch over you, understanding will guard you; saving you from the way of evil men” (Cf Prov 2:2-12).

The word ‘prudence,‘ as St Thomas Aquinas explains, is derived from the word ‘providence‘ and it consists in ordering everything correctly towards its proper end (Summa Theologiae II-II, q 49, a 6).
From that we can see how necessary this virtue is.
A man who can order everything correctly, towards its own end, does everything as it ought to be done.
He will have achieved true wisdom, which is the foundation of sanctity.

To speak when we should speak; to be silent when we should be silent; never to leave unsaid what ought to be said but, to know when we should speak and how much; to pay attention mainly to necessary things, that is, to God and to the supernatural; to avoid every thought which would separate us from God and endanger our salvation; to love God more than anything else and more than ourselves because, He is the supreme good and our supreme happiness; to love other things only in God and for Him; solely to direct all our actions proportionately towards God, towards our neighbour and, towards ourselves and, to avoid every act which would alienate us from God, which would be contrary to His precepts, or which would endanger our eternal salvation.

And this is true prudence, which is founded on divine wisdom and must be continually nourished by the grace of God an inspired by charity.
Since this virtue pervades and embraces all the others, a man who achieves perfection in it, has reached the peak of holiness.

But perhaps we are too preoccupied with worldly interests and so, stray from the straight path which leads to God and to sanctity? ”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MODESTY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, QUOTES on the POOR, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The BEATITUDES, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 September – “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 6:20

Quote/s of the Day – 27 September – Wisdpm 5:16-20, Luke 6:17-23

Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the Kingdom of God.”

Luke 6:20

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
.”

Matthew 5:3

The soul must grow and expand
so as to be capable of God.
And its largeness is its love,
as the Apostle says,
“widen yourselves in love”
(2 Cor 6:13).
It grows and extends spiritually,
not in substance but in virtue.
The greatness of each soul is judged
by the measure of love that it has-
he who has great love, is great-
he who has little love is little,
while he who has no love at all –
is nothing!

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

This death … has already levelled
his bow to strike me.
Is it not prudent to prevent its stroke,
by dying now to the world,

that at my death,
I may live to God?”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

Do not live any longer in yourself
but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way
that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent
in all your actions, in order that all may see in you
a true portrait of the Crucified and sense,
the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord,
in interior and exterior modesty,
in patience,
in gentleness,
suffering,
charity,
humility
and in all others that follow.

St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

You leave the land just as it is
when you depart,
you do not carry anything away.
Our first aim
is to go to God,
we are not on earth
for anything but this!

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 24 September – Fundamental Facts

Thought for the Day – 24 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Fundamental Facts

Eternity lies ahead.
Where the tree falls, there it will remain.
So it will be with us.
If we have to our credit works of virtue and of apostolic labour, death will be for us, as it was for St Francis, the good sister, who will release us from the bonds which tie us to this earth, so that the soul can soar to its longed-for haven of everlasting joy, in the company of God.
But, if we are so unfortunate, at this last moment, as to find ourselves in mortal sin, we shall be deprived forever of the sight of God and, as a result, of everlasting happiness.
We shall be hurled into the eternal abyss, where there is no light, nor hope and where torments will have no end!

While there is still time, let us meditate on these truths.
Remember – this hour, might be our last!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/26/thought-for-the-day-25-september-fundamental-facts/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/21/thought-for-the-day-20-january-2/

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 19 July – The Voice of God – The Saints

Thought for the Day – 19 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Voice of God – The Saints

God speaks to us through His Saints.

The Saints are those in whom God dwells in such a special way that their entire personalities reflect Him.
They live the Gospel perfectly.

They have renounced themselves in order to belong completely to God.
Not only have they overcome their evil inclinations but, they have conquered themselves in the process of that Christian annihilation which, sublimates human nature, rather than destroys it.
They have enthroned God in the place of their own will and of their own ego, so that, like St Paul, they can claims:
It is no longer I that live but Christ lives in me.”

God still speaks to us through His Saints, for even in this troubled and [digital] age, there are pure and humble souls declared to God and the service of their fellowmen.
Whenever we encounter one of these privileged beings, whether in the pages of a book [or online] or in our actual surrounding world, let us pay attention to them and do our best to imitate their virtues.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/03/10/thought-for-the-day-17-july-the-voice-of-god-2/

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

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

Thought for the Day – 9 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Cardinal Virtues of Mary

“Holy Mary, make the cardinal virtues flourish in my soul, as they did in yours.
May they light my way through life and show me the way to Heaven.
Protect me my Mother, when I am in danger of losing any of these virtues and obtain for me, from your Divine Son, Jesus, the grace which will nourish and restore them.
Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/09/thought-for-the-day-9-may-the-cardinal-virtues-of-mary/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/09/thought-for-the-day-9-may-the-cardinal-virtues-of-mary-2/

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OUR Cross, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 3 April – THE CRUCIFIX

Thought for the Day – 3 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

THE CRUCIFIX

Let us weep for our sins and increase in love for our Divine Redeemer.
When we are oppressed by the weight of our own cross, we shall look at the Crucifix and find comfort.
When we are tempted, we shall grasp the Crucifix and turn away with horror from thoughts of sin and ingratitude.

The Crucifix will teach us, as it taught the Saints, the lesson of charity towards God and towards our neighbour.
It will teach us to hate sin and to love virtue.
If we cherish it during life, it will be our consolation to kiss the Crucifix at the moment of death.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/04/thought-for-the-day-4-august-the-crucifix/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/09/25/thought-for-the-day-25-september-the-crucifix/

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, GOD ALONE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARTYRS, MODESTY, ON the SAINTS, POETRY, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – St Robert Southwell

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)

We … are under an obligation
to be the light of the world
by the modesty of our behaviour,
the fervour of our charity,
the innocence of our lives
and the example of our virtues.
Thus shall we be able
to raise the lowered prestige
of the Catholic Church
and, to build up again,
the ruins that others by their vices have caused.
Others, by their wickedness,
have branded the Catholic Faith
with a mark of shame,
we must strive,
with all our strength, to cleanse it
from its ignominy
and to restore it
to its pristine glory!

Christianity is warfare
and Christians are spiritual soldiers
.”

Not where I breathe
but where I love,
I live.”

When Fortune smiles,
I smile to think,
how quickly she will frown
.”

Where sin was hatched,
let tears now wash the nest
.”

The path to Heaven is narrow,
rough and full of wearisome
and trying ascents,
nor can it be trodden without great toil
and, therefore, wrong is their way,
gross their error
nd assured their ruin,
who, after the testimony
of so many thousands of Saints,
will not learn where to settle their footing!

“The Epiphany”
By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Martyr

To blaze the rising of this glorious sun
A glittering star appeareth in the east
Whose sight to pilgrim toil three sages won
To seek the light they long had in request,
And by this star to nobler star they pace
Whose arms did their desired sun embrace.

Still was the sky wherein these planets shined
And want the cloud that did eclipse their rays,
Yet through this cloud their passage they did find,
And pierced these sages’ hearts by secret ways,
Which made them know, the Ruler of the skies
By Infant tongue and looks of babish eyes.

Heaven at her light, earth blusheth at her pride
And of their pomp these peers ashamed be,
Their crowns, their robes, their train they set aside
When God’s poor cottage, clouts and crew they see,
All glorious things their glory now despise
Since God contempt doth more than glory prize.

Three gifts they bring, three gifts they bear away,
For Incense, Myrrh and Gold, Faith, Hope and Love
And with their gifts the givers’ hearts do stay,
Their mind from Christ, no parting can remove,
His humble state, His stall, His poor retinue
They fancy more than all their rich revenue.

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The 4th Glorious Mystery - The ASSUMPTION, THE ASSUMPTION, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Quote/s of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred

Quote/s of the Day – 12 January – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

If Saul, who “breathed murderous threats
against the disciples of the Lord” …
was the object of such mercy …
that he was “caught up to the third heaven,
whether in the body or out of the body,”
it is not surprising,
that the holy Mother of God –
who stayed beside her Son
through all the trials He endured,
from His cradle onwards –
should have been lifted up to Heaven,
even in her body
and exalted high above the Choirs of Angels.

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.

“Faith is not even a virtue,
unless it is expressed by love;
nor is hope,
unless it loves what it hopes for.

And if we look more closely,
do we not see,
that temperance is only love,
that no pleasure can seduce
?

that prudence, is only love,
that no error can mislead
;

that fortitude is only love,
courageously enduring adversity

and that justice, is only impartial love.
mitigating the injustices of this life?

Charity, therefore, begins with faith,
is exercised through the other virtues
but achieves perfection in itself
.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx O. Cist. (1110-1167)
St Bernard of the North

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/12/quote-s-of-the-day-12-january-st-aelred-of-rievaulx/

Posted in GOD ALONE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The BEATITUDES, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES, The KINGDOM of GOD

Thought for the Day – 1 December – The Blessedness of Those who Hunger and Thirst for Justice

Thought for the Day – 1 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Blessedness of Those
who Hunger and Thirst for Justice

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice” says Jesus Christ, “for they shall be satified” (Mt 5:6).
These words oblige us to seek justice in our actions, if we desire the happiness which Our Lord promised to the just.

We must understand, of course, what is intended here by the word “justice.
It may be interpreted in two ways.
According to its most common meaning, justice is the cardinal virtue which obliges us to give every man his due.
Often in Sacred Scripture, however, the word is synonymous with perfection or holiness; that is, it is the synthesis of all the virtues.
It is in this sense, that Jesus employs the term when He says: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt 6:33).

In its fullest sense then, justice embraces our relations with God, with ourselves and with our neighbour.
In the first place, we must be just towards God and, therefore, in accordance with the Gospel precepts, we must “render to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).
Since everything belongs to God, our Creator and Redeemer, we must offer everything to Him, including ourselves, all that we are and all that we possess.
We have only obligations in regard to God and no rights because, we have received everything from Him.
We oughts to obey Him, therefore, as our supreme lawgiver.
We ought to adore Him and to love Him, with a greater love than we have for any creature or for ourselves because, He is the highest good, which merits all our love and which alone, can satisfy us.
We should express our love, moreover, by our actions and by the complete dedication of ourselves to His honour and glory.

Justice, then, is in fact, Christian perfection and is the synthesis of all the virtues.
That great pagan writer, Cicero, had already perceived this, when he wrote that “piety is the foundation of all the virtues” (Pro Plancio, 12:29) and that “piety is justice in regard to God” (De natura deorum, I, 4).
Justice in our relations with God, demands, that we adore, love and obey Him.
In this way, we lay the basis of all the virtues. “”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 24 July – The Particular and General Judgements

Thought for the Day – 24 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Particular and General Judgements

It is appointed unto men to die once and after this comes the judgement” (Heb 9:27).

To have to appear before the Face of the Living God is terrifying for everybody.
How much more terrifying will it be for the sinner?
Weighed down by numberless sins, he will stand before the scrutinising gaze of God.
He will be able to hide nothing.
Everything will be evident and clear.
The Countenance of our Divine Redeemer, which was mild and merciful during life, will at that moment be that of a severe and just Judge.
After having scorned so many graces, after having spurned so many calls to conversion and so many secret inspirations to change his life, after dying unrepentant …behold the sinner in the presence of his Eternal Judge.
At that moment, he will hear the irrevocable sentence resounding in his ears “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire chich was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41).

This terrible condemnation will be publicly repeated, moreover, at the general judgement.
Memento mori!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 23 July – Good ground

Quote/s of the Day – 23 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 20: 1-17; Psalms 19: 8, 9, 10, 11; Matthew 13: 18-23

“But he that received the seed upon good ground”

Matthew 13:23

“ If you would rise,
shun luxury,
for luxury lowers and degrades.“

St John Chyrsostum (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“You have made us for Yourself
and our hearts are restless
until they rest in You.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus
our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh but living in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ,
there is death
and in the Cross of Christ, there is life.
The death of death is there
and the life of life.
The death of sins is there
and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there
and the life of the spirit.
… It was fitting, that we,
who had fallen because of a tree,
might rise up because of a tree.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“St Bernard of the North”

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 27 June – Depending Always on Jesus

Thought for the Day – 27 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Depending Always on Jesus

“Virtue is difficult and life holds more trials than consolations.
Sometimes, we feel discouraged because virtue seems impossible and we fall so often, in spite of our best resolutions or because, our cross seems too heavy and we feel that we are overburdened.

Where will we find comfort in our sufferings and strength in our weakness?
“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
Go to Jesus and depend always on Him.

Difficulties will be overcome, the cross will grow lighter, the pain will be less severe, if we rely always on Jesus.
Isaias, the Prophet, placed these words on the lips of God: “I have made you and I will bear-I will carry and I will save” (Is 46:3).
At that time, Jesus had not yet come; He was not yet present among us with His doctrine, with His consoling spirt and with His Divine Eucharist.
Now things are different; we have Emmanuel, God with us!
Why, therefore, do we not allow ourselves to be carried by Him?
It is necessary for us to allow ourselves to be “Carried by the grace of God,” (Bk II, Ch 9) as The Imitation of Christ puts it.

If God is with us, who or what can prevail against us?

We must, as St Francis de Sales writes, lean on the arm of Jesus, as the child leans securely on the arm of it’s mother.
“It matters little,” he adds, “where she walks, on a grassy plain or on a steep path surrounded by precipices.”
She, is his mother and she carries him; that is enough to make him happy and content.
We must trust Jesus in this way, relying always on His support in joy and in sorrow, in moments of trial and in moments of satisfaction, in life and in death.
Let us not be afraid; Jesus is better and stronger than our earthly mother.
If He guides and supports us, we can be sure of Heaven, no matter what happens!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", 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

Let us compare ourselves with Mary and consider how far we have succeeded in acquiring these virtues.
If we are to possess fully, the Cardinal virtue of JUSTICE, we must direct all our thoughts, desires and actions, towards God.

Since everything comes from God, we should offer everything back to Him.
If we fail to do this, we are guilty of injustice towards God.
We take for ourselves, something which belongs to Him.
We must also be just to our neighbour.
It is not enough to be charitable only because there can be no charity, unless, it is founded on justice.
This justice should characterise our thoughts and judgements, as well as our words and actions.

Have we the Virtue of PRUDENCE?
Prudence demands constant self-control.
How often do we lose control over ourselves and say things which we ought not to say, or do things, which we ought not to do?

Prudence is a splendid virtue, which can be obtained by the grace of God, by living a life of union with Him.
It necessitates constant vigilance over our faculties and passions, in order to ensure, that nothing will interfere with our rational conduct and with our observance of the commandments of God.

Interior TEMPERANCE, is simply the result of prudence, insofar, as it obliges us to master ourselves and to abstain from everything which could upset the proper order of our faculties, in relation to one another and to God.
If we are inwardly temperate, we shall show external temperance in our words and deeds.
We shall abstain, in other words, from everything suggested by our lower nature, which is contrary to the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church.
This means, we shall observe among other things, the Church’s laws of fasting and abstinence.
We shall keep away from dangerous amusements and from anything else which could be harmful to ourselves or to our neighbour.

Finally, we must imitate the FORTITUDE of Mary.
We must be brave in the face of temptation to sin, in suffering and in all the diffculties of life.
Looking always towards Heaven, our true home, we shall find at last, the peace and happiness, which have no end.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/09/thought-for-the-day-9-may-the-cardinal-virtues-of-mary/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 6 May – The Virginal Purity of Mary

Thought for the Day – 6 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Virginal Purity of Mary

“Purity is the most beautiful of virtues.
It is a virtue which is admired by God and by men, even by the most corrupt.
It is often said, that it makes us like the angels but in fact, looking at it in a particular way, it makes us superior to the angels.
Since they have no bodies, the angels cannot sin against purity, while we have to fight many battles and overcome many temptations, in order to preserve our chastity.
Jesus had a very special love for this virtue.
He chose to be born of a virgin and, He showed a particular affection for St John, who was a dedicated celibate.
On one occasion, He placed His Hands on the head of a little child and said: “Unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of Heaven “(Mt:18.3)

Unfortunately, the virtue of purity is as fragile as it is beautiful.
It can be lost in a single moment of weakness.
We must love ths virtue as Mary loved it.
We must be prepared to make any sacrifice, even the most heroic, rather than lose it.
Worldly charm and beauty attract us and the devil works hard to control our imagination and our affections.
On account of the disturbance of original sin, the flesh is like a terrible weight retarding our spiritual advancement.
Sometimes it seems as if it is irresistibly drawing us towards the abyss of impurity.
But we need not be dragged down, if we are prepared to fly from the occasions of sin and to pray to God and to our heavenly Mother for her intercession.
We must always act at once, for there is no time to dally.
It is fatal to remain inactive and to allow temptation to make its way into our soul.
This kind of battle, said St Francis de Sales, is won only by soldiers who flee.
We must fly from the occasions of sin, no matter what sacrifice this entails.
Jesus has warned us, that it is better to enter Heaven without a hand or a foot, than to be cast into hell.

We know the remedies – instant flight, heroic sacrifice and constant prayer.
We can leave the rest to the grace of God and to the maternal protection of Mary.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/06/thought-for-the-day-6-may-the-virginal-purity-of-mary

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY COMMUNION, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 April – “I am the bread of life” John 6:35

One Minute Reflection – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anselm ‬(1033-1109) Doctor of the Church

“I am the bread of life” John 6:35

REFLECTION – “When Christ Himself has said of the bread: “This is my body” who could waver? And when He asserts that “This is my blood” who could be in doubt? Once, in Cana of Galilee, Jesus changed water into wine – which is akin to blood. So who could now refuse to believe it, if He transforms wine into blood? He wrought this amazing miracle when invited to an earthly marriage, so how could anyone refuse to acknowledge that He might grant the happiness of His own Body and Blood, to “the friends of the Bridegroom,” (Mt 9,15)?

For His body, has been given to you under the appearance of bread and His blood, under the appearance of wine, so that, when you have partaken of the body and blood of Christ, you might be one body and one blood with Him. So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”]. His body and blood are diffused through all our members – see, then, how we become participants in the divine nature! Formerly, when He was talking to the Jews, Christ said: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life in you” (Jn 6,53. If the bread and wine only seem to be purely natural substances to you, don’t stop at that… If your senses lead you astray, let your faith reassure you.

So when you draw near to receive him do not do so without respect, holding out the palms of your hands with your fingers spread apart. But since the King is about to rest in your right hand, make a Throne for Him with your left. Receive the Body of Christ in the hollow of your hand and answer: Amen!” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father & Doctor of the Church – Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptised, 22

PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule and feed us with the bread of life, Your Divine Son Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life. May the prayers of Mary our Mother and St AAnselm, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Acts 8: 1b-8
1 There was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all dispersed through the countries of Jude, and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral, and made great mourning over him.
3 But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison.
4 They. therefore. that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God.
5 And Philip going down to the City of Samaria, preached Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing and seeingthe miracles which he did.
7 For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out.
8 And many, taken with the palsy and that were lame, were healed.

Gospel: John 6: 35-40
35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life,-he that comes to me, shall not hunger and he that believeth in me, shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, that you also have seen me and you believe not.
37 All that the Father gives to me, shall come to me; and him that comes to me, I will not cast out.
38 Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him that sent me.
39 Now this is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing but should raise it up agaiin, the last day.
40 And this is the will of my Father that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him, may have life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day.

Posted in CATECHESIS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHASTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Saint of the Day – 27 December – The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved, the Eagle by Dom Prosper Guéranger

Saint of the Day – 27 December – St John the Apostle and Evangelist.

The days following Christmas are full of symbolic meaning, as on 26 December we honour the first Martyr, St Stephen, who shed his blood for Jesus. 27 December, honours St John the Evangelist, the Disciple of Jesus who wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. Interestingly enough, he is the only Gospel writer to omit a narrative of Jesus’ birth. Based on this fact alone, it seems strange to include him during the Octave of Christmas. What is the Church’s reason behind this choice? Servant of God, Dom Prosper Guéranger in his Liturgical Year, points to St John’s pure chastity and his focus on the Divinity of Christ, as the reasons why he is honoured now at the Crib of Christ.

Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved, the Eagle

“Nearest to Jesus’ Crib, after Stephen, stands John, the Apostle and Evangelist. It was only right, that the first place should be assigned to him, who so loved his God, that he shed his blood in his service; for, as this God Himself declares, greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends [1 John, 15:13] and Martyrdom has ever been counted, by the Church, as the greatest act of love and as having, consequently, the power of remitting sins, like a second Baptism. But, next to the sacrifice of Blood, the noblest, the bravest and, which most wins the heart of Him, who is the Spouse of souls, is the sacrifice of Virginity. Now, just as St Stephen is looked upon as the type of Martyrs, St John is honoured as the Prince of Virgins. Martyrdom won for Stephen the Crown and palm; Virginity merited for John most singular prerogatives, which, while they show how dear to God, is holy Chastity, put this Disciple among those, who, by their dignity and influence, are above the rest of men.

St. John was of the family of David, as was our Blessed Lady. He was, consequently, a relation of Jesus. This same honour belonged to St James the Greater, his Brother; as also to St James the Less and St Jude, both Sons of Alpheus. When our Saint was in the prime of his youth, he left, not only his boat and nets, not only has lather Zebedee but, even his betrothed, when everything was prepared for the marriage. He followed Jesus and never once looked back. Hence, the special love which our Lord bore him. Others were Disciples or Apostles, John was the Friend, of Jesus. The cause of this our Lord’s partiality, was, as the Church tells us in the Liturgy, that John had offered his Virginity to the Man-God. Let us, on this his Feast, enumerate the graces and privileges that came to St John from his being The Disciple whom Jesus loved.

This very expression of the Gospel, which the Evangelist repeats several times — The Disciple whom Jesus loved [John, 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 21:20] — says more than any commentary could do. St Peter, it is true, was chosen by our Divine Lord, to be the Head of the Apostolic College and the Rock whereon the Church was to be built – he, then, was honoured most but St John was loved most. Peter was bid to love more than the rest loved and he was able to say, in answer to Jesus’ thrice repeated question, that he did love Him in this highest way and yet, notwithstanding, John was more loved by Jesus than was Peter himself, because his Virginity deserved this special mark of honour.

Chastity of soul and body brings him, who possesses i,t into a sacred nearness and intimacy with God. Hence it was, that at the Last Supper – that Supper, which was to be renewed on our Altars, to the end of the world, in order to cure our spiritual infirmities and give life to our souls – John was placed near to Jesus, nay, was permitted, as the tenderly loved Disciple, to lean his head upon the Breast of the Man-God. Then it was, that he was filled and from their very Fountain, with Light and Love, it was both a recompense and a favour and became the source of two signal graces, which make St John an object of special reverence to the whole Church.

Divine wisdom, wishing to make known to the world, the Mystery of the Word and commit to Scripture, those profound secrets, which, so far, no pen of mortal had been permitted to write — the task was put upon John. Peter had been crucified, Paul had been beheaded and the rest of the Apostles had laid down their lives in testimony of the Truths they had been sent to preach to the world; John was the only one left in the Church. Heresy had already begun its blasphemies against the Apostolic Teachings; it refused to admit the Incarnate Word as the Son of God, Consubstantial to the Father. John was asked by the Churches to speak and he did so in language heavenly above measure. His Divine Master had reserved to this, his Virgin-Disciple, the honour of writing those sublime Mysteries, which the other Apostles had been commissioned only to teach — THE WORD WAS GOD, and this WORD WAS MADE FLESH for the salvation of mankind.

Thus did our Evangelist soar, like the Eagle, up to the Divine Sun and gaze upon Him with undazzled eye, because his heart and senses were pure and, therefore, fitted for such vision of the uncreated Light. If Moses, after having conversed with God in the cloud, came from the divine interview with rays of miraculous light encircling his head – how radiant must have been the face of St John, which had rested on the very Heart of Jesus, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! [Col. 2:3] how sublime his writings! how divine his teaching! Hence, the symbol of the Eagle, shown to the Prophet Ezechiel, [Ezechiel 1:10, 10:14] and to St John himself in his Revelations, [Apoc. 4:7] has been assigned to him by the Church and, to this title of The Eagle has been added, by universal tradition, the other beautiful name of Theologian. This was the first recompense given by Jesus to his Beloved John, a profound penetration into divine Mysteries. The second was the imparting to him a most ardent charity, which was equally a grace consequent upon his angelic purity, for purity unburdens the soul from grovelling egotistic affections and raises it to a chaste and generous love. John had treasured up in his heart the Discourses of his Master, he made them known to the Church and, especially, that divine one of the Last Supper, wherein Jesus had poured forth His whole Soul to His own, whom he had always tenderly loved but most so, at the end [John, 13:1]. He wrote his Epistles and Charity is his subject – God is Charity — he that loveth not, knoweth not God — perfect Charity casteth out fear — and so on throughout, always on Love. During the rest of his life, even when so enfeebled by old age as not to be able to walk, he was forever insisting upon all men loving each other, after the example of God, who had loved them and so loved them! Thus, he that had announced more clearly than the rest of the Apostles the divinity of the Incarnate Word, was by excellence, the Apostle of that divine Charity, which Jesus came to enkindle upon the earth.

But, our Lord had a further gift to bestow and it was sweetly appropriate to the Virgin-Disciple. When dying on His cross, Jesus left Mary upon this earth. Joseph had been dead now some years. Who, then, shall watch over His Mother? who is there worthy of the charge? Will Jesus send His Angels to protect and console her? — for, surely, what man could ever merit to be to her as a second Joseph? Looking down, he sees the Virgin-Disciple standing at the foot of the Cross – we know the rest, John is to be Mary’s Son — Mary is to be John’s Mother. Oh! wonderful Chastity, that wins from Jesus such an inheritance as this! Peter, says St Peter Damian, shall have left to him the Church, the Mother of men; but John, shall receive Mary, the Mother of God, whom he will love as his own dearest Treasure and to whom, he will stand in Jesus’ stead; whilst Mary will tenderly love John, her Jesus’ Friend, as her Son.

The Blessed Virgin in the House of St John by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1859

Can we be surprised after this, that St John is looked upon by the Church as one of her greatest glories? He is a Relative of Jesus in the flesh; he is an Apostle, a Virgin, the Friend of the Divine Spouse, the Eagle, the Theologian, the Son of Mary; he is an Evangelist, by the history he has given of the Life of his Divine Master and Friend; he is a Sacred Writer, by the three Epistles he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; he is a Prophet, by his mysterious Apocalypse, wherein are treasured the secrets of time and eternity. But, is he a Martyr? Yes, for if he did not complete his sacrifice, he drank the Chalice of Jesus [Matt. 20:22], when, after being cruelly scourged, he was thrown into a caldron of boiling oil, before the Latin Gate, at Rome. He was, therefore, a Martyr in desire and intention, though not in fact. If our Lord, wishing to prolong a life so dear to the Church, as well as to show how he loves and honours Virginity, — miraculously stayed the effects of the frightful punishment, St John had, on his part, unreservedly accepted Martyrdom.

Such is the companion of Stephen at the Crib, wherein lies our Infant Jesus. If the Protomartyr dazzles us with the robes he wears of the bright scarlet of his own blood — is not the virginal whiteness of John’s vestment fairer than the untrod snow? The spotless beauty of the Lilies of Mary’s adopted Son and the bright vermilion of Stephen’s Roses — what is there more lovely than their union? Glory, then, be to our New-Born King, whose court is tapestried with such heaven-made colours as these! Yes, Bethlehem’s Stable is a very heaven on earth and we have seen its transformation. First, we saw Mary and Joseph alone there — they were adoring Jesus in his Crib; then, immediately, there descended a heavenly host of Angels singing the wonderful Hymn; the Shepherds soon followed, the humble simple-hearted Shepherds; after these, entered Stephen the Crowned and John the Beloved Disciple; and, even before there enters the pageant of the devout Magi, we shall have others coming in and there will be, each day, grander glory in the Cave and gladder joy in our hearts. Oh! this Birth of our Jesus! Humble as it seems, yet, how divine! What King or Emperor ever received, in his gilded cradle, honours like these shown to the Babe of Bethlehem? Let us unite our homage with that given him by these the favoured inmates of his court. Yesterday, the sight of the Palm in Stephen’s hand animated us and we offered to our Jesus the promise of a stronger Faith: to-day, the Wreath, that decks the brow of the Beloved Disciple, breathes upon the Church the heavenly fragrance of Virginity — an intenser love of Purity must be our resolution and our tribute to the Lamb.

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 August – “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb!”

One Minute Reflection – 20 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Thursday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ezekiel 36: 23-28Psalms 51:12-1314-1518-19Matthew 22:1-14 and the Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” – Matthew 22:2

REFLECTION – “There are three kinds of marriage – the one that concerns union, the one that is about justification and the one that is about glorification. The first kind were celebrated within the temple of the Virgin Mary; the second kind are celebrated daily within the temple of faithful souls and the third, will be celebrated in the temple of heavenly glory.
The purpose of a wedding is to unite two people, the bridegroom and the bride. If two families are against each other, marriage usually unites them, when a man from one side marries a woman from the other. Between ourselves and God, there used to be a great division – to wipe it out and establish peace, the Son of God had to take His bride from someone of our lineage. To realise this marriage, numerous intermediaries and peacemakers intervened who, through their insistent prayers, were able to win it, at great cost. Finally, the Father Himself gave His consent and sent His Son, who joined Himself to our nature in the marriage chamber of the Virgin Mary’s womb. Thus the Father “gave a marriage feast for his Son.”
In the same way, the second kind of marriage is celebrated when the grace of the Holy Spirit intervenes and the soul is converted (…) The grace of the Holy Spirit is the bridegroom of the soul. When He calls it to repentance with His interior inspiration, all appeal from the vices is without effect.
Finally, the third kind of marriage will be celebrated at the coming of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, on the Day of Judgement. Of Him it is written: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him” (Mt 25:6). He will take the Church itself as bride, as John says in the Book of Revelation: “Come here. I will show you the Bride, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, gleaming with the splendour of God” (cf. Rv 21:9-11). The Church of the Faithful comes down from heaven, from beside God, for it has obtained from God that it’s dwelling should be in the heavens.
And so, at present, it lives by faith and hope but very soon it will celebrate it’s espousals with it’s bridegroom: “Blessed,” says the Book of Revelation, “are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb!” (Rv 19:9).” … St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – All-knowing God, let me be able to stand in Your presence with a good conscience. Send Your Holy Spirit to fill my soul with the enlightenment of repentance and then to guide my steps towards the wedding feast You have prepared for Your Son. You made St Bernard burn with zeal for Your house and gave him the grace to enkindle and enlighten others in Your Church. Grant that by his prayer, we may be filled with the same spirit and always live as children of the Light. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY COMMUNION, I BELIEVE!, MIRACLES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Sunday Reflection – 12 July – The Sacrament that You Receive is Effected by the Words of Christ – St Ambrose

Sunday Reflection – 12 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – The Fifteenth Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 65:10-14, Romans 8:18-23, Matthew 13:1-23

“But blessed are your eyes, for they see
and your ears, for they hear.
For truly, I say to you,
many prophets and righteous people,
longed to see what you see and did not see
and to hear what you hear and did not hear it.”

Matthew 13:16-17

The Sacrament that You Receive is Effected by the Words of Christ

Saint Ambrose (340-397)
Bishop and Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his work, On the Mysteries

and this body which we make present - sun reflection 12 july 2020 st ambrose

We see that grace can accomplish more than nature, yet so far we have been considering instances of what grace can do through a prophet’s blessing.   If the blessing of a human being had power even to change nature, what do we say of God’s action in the Consecration itself, in which the very words of the Lord and Saviour are effective?   If the words of Elijah had power even to bring down fire from heaven, will not the words of Christ have power to change the natures of the elements?   You have read that in the creation of the whole world He spoke and they came to be;  He commanded and they were created.   If Christ could by speaking create out of nothing what did not yet exist, can we say that His words are unable to change existing things into something they previously were not?   It is no lesser feat to create new natures for things than to change their existing natures.

What need is there for argumentation?   Let us take what happened in the case of Christ Himself and construct the truth of this mystery from the mystery of the incarnation.   Did the birth of the Lord Jesus from Mary come about in the course of nature?   If we look at nature we regularly find that conception results from the union of man and women.    It is clear then, that the conception by the Virgin was above and beyond the course of nature.   And this Body, which we make present, is the Body born of the Virgin.   Why do you expect to find in this case, that nature takes its ordinary course in regard to the Body of Christ, when the Lord Himself was born of the Virgin in a manner above and beyond the order of nature?   This is indeed the true flesh of Christ, which was crucified and buried.   This is then, in truth, the Sacrament of His Flesh.

The Lord Jesus Himself declares – This is my Body.   Before the blessing contained in these words, a different thing is named;   after the Consecration a Body is indicated.   He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the Consecration something else is spoken of;  after the Consecration Blood is designated.   And you say: “Amen,” that is: “It is true.”   What the mouth utters, let the mind within, acknowledge, what the word says, let the heart ratify.

So the Church, in response to grace so great, exhorts her children, exhorts her neighbours, to hasten to these mysteries – Neighbours, she says, come and eat;  brethren, drink and be filled.   In another passage the Holy Spirit has made clear to you what you are to eat, what you are to drink.   Taste, the prophet says and see, that the Lord is good;  blessed is the man who puts his trust in Him.   Christ is in that sacrament, for it is the Body of Christ.   It is, therefore, not bodily food but spiritual.   Thus the Apostle too says, speaking of its symbol – Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink.   For the body of God is spiritual;  the body of Christ is that of a divine spirit, for Christ is a spirit.   We read – The spirit before our face is Christ the Lord.   And in the letter of Saint Peter we have this – Christ died for you.   Finally, it is this food that gives strength to our hearts, this drink which gives joy to the heart of man, as the prophet has written.

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

Posted in CATECHESIS, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, 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

Posted in CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC Quotes, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

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, 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

Posted in CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The 1st Joyful Mystery - the ANNUNCIATION, The ANNUNCIATION, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The INCARNATION

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, 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

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

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