Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 August – “Let the children come to me”

One Minute Reflection – 18 August – Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 19:13–15 and the Memorial of St Clare of the Cross of Montefalco (c 1269-1308)

“Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”…Matthew 19:14

REFLECTION – “Begin and end the day with prayer. Go to God as a child turns to its mother.  If words don’t come spontaneously to you then say, for example: “Come, Holy Spirit, guide me, protect me, enlighten my thoughts so I can pray.”   Or even better, if you speak to the Virgin Mary, say – “Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now and help me to pray.” … Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)matthew-19-14-let-the-children-come-to-me-begin and end your day with prayer-18-aug-2019(1)

PRAYER – God almighty Father, grant that we may be instruments of welcome and of that love with which Jesus, Your Son, embraces the littlest ones.   May we be a society of love and of holy parenting of all children, especially those most in need.   Holy Mother, teach us and guide us in prayer and love of God and neighbour.   St Clare of the Cross, pray for us.   We make our prayer through Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st clare of the cross of montefalco pray for us 17 aug 2019

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 16 August – St Stephen’s letter to St Emeric

Thought for the Day – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Step  hen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

At the turn of the second millenniu  m, St Stephen succeeded his father as leader of the Magyars in Hungary.   Looking to strengthen his authority, he determined to consolidate the state and extend Christianity throughout the land.   In 1001 he arranged to have Pope Sylvester II name him king of Hungary.   The pope obliged.   As an additional sign of support, Sylvester had a special crown fashioned for Stephen that has become world famous.

Stephen extended his control over Hungary by restricting the power of the nobles. By creating dioceses and establishing monasteries, Stephen strengthened the church and positioned it for expansion. Politically, he aggressively used his power to establish Christianity as Hungary’s religion. He ruthlessly abolished pagan customs, outlawing adultery and blasphemy.   Stephen ordered everyone to marry, except religiou, and forbade marriages between Christians and pagans.

But Stephen had a kinder, gentler side.   Like St Louis IX, he made himself accessible to his people.   He also took personal concern for the poor  . He used to walk the streets in disguise so he could give alms to needy people.   Once he barely escaped when some beggars beat and robbed him.   But he refused to stop the practice.   Stephen was a family man.   In 1015 he had married Gisela, the sister of emperor St Henry II. The couple had one son, Emeric, whom Stephen groomed as his successor.   In the following letter to his son, Stephen lays out his vision of what a Christian monarch must be.  His counsel remains a letter to us all.   For this and your intercession, we bless and thank you St Stephen!

“My dearest son, if you desire to honour the royal crown, I advise, I counsel, I urge you above all things to maintain the Catholic and apostolic faith with such diligence and care that you may be an example for all those placed under you by God and that all the clergy may rightly call you a man of true Christian profession.   Failing to do this, you may be sure that you will not be called a Christian or a son of the Church.   Indeed, in the royal palace – after the faith itself – the Church holds second place, first propagated as she was by our head, Christ, then transplanted, firmly constituted and spread through the whole world by His members, the apostles and holy fathers.   And though she always produced fresh offspring, nevertheless in certain places she is regarded as ancient.

However, dearest son, even now in our kingdom, the Church is proclaimed as young and newly planted and for that reason, she needs more prudent and trustworthy guardians, lest a benefit which the divine mercy bestowed on us undeservedly, should be destroyed and annihilated, through your idleness, indolence or neglect.

My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favour not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbours or fellow-countrymen but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness.   Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said:  “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”   Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful but also with the weak.be-merciful-to-all-st-stephen-of-hungary-16-aug-2018.jpg

Finally be strong, lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down.   Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next.   Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.   Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice.   Be honourable so that you may never voluntarily, bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust, like the pangs of death.be-humble-in-this-life-st-stephen-of-hungary-16-aug-2019.jpg

All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.”

Sadly, Emeric died in a hunting accident, leaving Stephen no successor.

In 1038, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Stephen delivered his final words to leaders of the Church and state, telling them to protect and spread the Catholic faith.

To the Virgin Mary, the king directed one of his final prayers:
“To thee, O Queen of heaven
and to thy guardianship,
I commend the holy Church,
all the bishops and the clergy,
the whole kingdom, its rulers and inhabitants
but before all, I commend my soul to thy care.”

St Stephen of Hungary died on Aug. 15, 1038. He was buried alongside his son St Emeric and the two were Canonised together in 1083.

St Stephen the Great, King of Hungary, Pray for us!st-stephen-of-hungary-with prayer to mary pray-for-us-16-aug-2019.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, DIVINE MERCY, GOD is LOVE, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN

Quote of the Day – 16 August – “We are ever but beginning…”

Quote of the Day – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

“We are ever but beginning,
the most perfect Christian,
is to himself but a beginner,
a penitent prodigal
who has squandered God’s gifts
and comes to Him,
to be tried over again,
not as a son
but as a hired servant.”

Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)we are ever but beginning - bl john henry newman 16 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 August – ‘And the two shall become one flesh’

One Minute Reflection – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 19:3–12 and The Memorial of St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

‘And the two shall become one flesh’ … Matthew 19:5

REFLECTION – “Lord our God,
look with kindness on N. and N.,
whom You have united in marriage,
and pour out Your blessings upon them,
may they be united in one love
as they progress together
towards one holiness of life.
May they rejoice to share in Your creative love
and bring up their children together.
May they live in justice and charity,
showing Your light to all who seek You.
May their household be ever open to the service of their brothers and sisters
and may they be always ready to answer to their needs.
May they be strengthened by the joys and sacrifices of their life together
and bear witness to the Gospel.
May they have a long life together, without misfortune or sickness
and may the work of both be blessed.
May they see their children grow up in peace
and enjoy the support of a happy family.
May they come at last, with all those who have gone before them,
to the dwelling where their love will last eternally.

N. and N. and all you who are present here,
may God the all-powerful bless you,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” … The Roman Missal – Ritual of Marriage : Solemn blessingmatthew 19 5 and the two shall become one flesh - lord our god - roman missal ritual of marriage blessing 16 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, let Your light so penetrate our hearts and minds, that walking by Your commandments, we may always follow You, our teacher and our guide. Grant that the prayers of St Stephen of Hungary may continue to defend us, as he did in the world. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st stephen of hungary pray for us 16 aug 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, THE ASSUMPTION

Thought for the Day – 15 August -You have Borne for us the Clothing of Immortality

Thought for the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

You have Borne for us the Clothing of Immortality

Saint John Damascene (675-749)
Priest and Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Homily 9 – On the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Once indeed God ejected the mortals and first parents of the human race from the paradise of Eden, when they had drunk deeply, from the wine of disobedience and had become so affected by the hangover of sin, through the intoxication of that transgression, which led to the sleepiness of the mind’s eye.   Now, however, shall not paradise receive her who repelled the onslaught of all sin, producing the seed of obedience to God and Father and bringing forth life, for all races of mortal men?   How can death devour this truly blessed woman, who gave birth to the whole person of the Word of God through union with God?   How can hell receive her?   When Christ, who is the way and the truth, said Where I am, there will my servant be also, why would there not be a dwelling for His own mother with Him with an even greater justification?   It is well said that precious in the sight of the Lord God of Hosts, is the death of His saints but even more precious, is the passing of the Mother of God from this life.

Then Adam and Eve, the founders of our race, exclaimed with a loud voice in great rejoicing: “Blessed are you, O daughter, who bore for us the penalties of the commands that had been broken.   When you had gained a mortal body from us, you gave birth to a covering of immortality for us.   You repaid us so that it might be well with us, since you received birth from our loins.   From beyond the grave you have called us back to our ancient seat, we closed paradise for ourselves but you made open the way of the tree of life.   Through our actions, sadness came forth from happiness, through you even more joyful things have returned from sorrow.   In what possible way could you be acceptable to death, O Immaculate one?   You are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven, you are a boat over the sea of death reaching to immortality.

But the woman herself, as she did not shrink from the truth, said: “Into Your hands, my Son, I commend my spirit.   Receive this soul which is dear to You, which You have preserved free from any sin.   I hand over my body, not to the earth but to You.   Take me to Yourself, that where You are, You, the child of my womb, so there I also may be Your companion.   I am hastening to You, who have often come to me on this side of that long distance.”

When she had said this, she heard in reply:   “Come to my rest, my blessed Mother, arise, come, my beloved, most blessed among all women.   Behold, the winter is ended.   You are all fair, my beloved and there is no spot of stain found in you, the odour of your ointments are more precious than all other aromas.”you are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven 15 aug 2019 assumption.jpg

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There is an invocation in a Litany to Our Lord in which we ask: ut ad celestia desideria erigas, te rogamus, audi nos – that our souls be raised to the desire for celestial things, we pray Thee, hear us.   This invocation should be the conclusion of our meditation on the Assumption of Our Lady.   We should ask, that we may love the celestial happiness of Our Lady, to give her glory and that we may one day be with her in Paradise.   We should also love and meditate on her joys, as a way to accept with peace and resignation the sorrows and sufferings God sends us, so that we might prove our love for Him.

Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, Pray for Us!our lady assumed into heaven pray for us 15 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 14 August – ‘Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts.’

Thought for the Day – 14 August – Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”

Apostolic Zeal for the Salvation and Sanctification of Souls

An excerpt from the Letters of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

“The burning zeal for God’s glory that motivates you fills my heart with joy.   It is sad for us to see in our own time that indifferentism in its many forms is spreading like an epidemic not only among the laity but also among religious.   But God is worthy of glory beyond measure and, therefore, it is of absolute and supreme importance, to seek that glory with all the power of our feeble resources.   Since we are mere creatures we can never return to Him all that is His due.

The most resplendent manifestation of God’s glory is the salvation of souls, whom Christ redeemed by shedding His blood.   To work for the salvation and sanctification of as many souls as possible, therefore, is the preeminent purpose of the apostolic life.   Let me, then, say a few words that may show the way toward achieving God’s glory and the sanctification of many souls.

God, who is all-knowing and all-wise, knows best what we should do to increase His glory.   Through hHs representatives on earth, He continually reveals His will to us, thus it is obedience and obedience alone, that is the sure sign to us of the divine will.   A superior may, it is true, make a mistake but it is impossible for us to be mistaken in obeying a superior’s command.   The only exception to this rule is the case of a superior commanding something, that in even the slightest way, would contravene God’s law. Such a superior would not be conveying God’s will.

God alone is infinitely wise, holy, merciful, our Lord, Creator and Father; He is beginning and end, wisdom and power and love, He is all.   Everything other than God, has value to the degree, that it is referred to Him, the maker of all and our own redeemer, the final end of all things.   It is He who, declaring His adorable will to us through His representatives on earth, draws us to Himself and whose plan is, to draw others to Himself through us and to join us all to Himself in an ever-deepening love.

Look, then, at the high dignity that by God’s mercy belongs to our state in life.   Obedience raises us beyond the limits of our littleness and puts us in harmony with God’s will.   In boundless wisdom and care, His will guides us to act rightly.   Holding fast to that will, which no creature can thwart, we are filled with unsurpassable strength.

Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence, for us to offer glory to God  . If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example.   Scripture, however, summed up His entire life at Nazareth in the words:  He was subject to them, Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of His life, repeatedly declaring that He came into the world, to do His Father’s will.

Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts.   Let our obedience increase that love, above all, when it requires us to surrender our own will.   Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.

We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of His mercy.   It is beyond all doubt, that Mary’s will represents to us, the will of God Himself.   By dedicating ourselves to her, we become in her hands, instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands.   We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit, she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.”

St Maximillian Kolbe, Pray for Us!st-max-pray-for-us-14-aug-2017