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Thought for the Day – 22 September – Following Jesus, the Divine Model

Thought for the Day – 22 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Following Jesus, the Divine Model

“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate.
In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity.
Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him.
“Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).

After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/24/thought-for-the-day-24-january-following-jesus/
PART TWO HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/11/thought-for-the-day-11-july-following-jesus/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, Quotes on SALVATION, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 29 August – More About Almsgiving

Thought for the Day – 29 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

More About Almsgiving

“The description of the Last Judgement in the twenty fifth chapter of St Matthew’s Gospel would shock many people, if they were to read it.
The principles, in accordance with which, Christ will pronounce sentence are inescapably clear.
Did you feed and clothe the poor for My sake, He will ask because you recognised Me in them?
If, you have done so, you will certainly be saved.
If, you have neglected to do so, you will be condemned for all eternity.
Christ does not ask about anything else because, everything else is subordinate to the precept of charity.

Where there is charity, everything else follows.
Where charity is lacking, there is nothing else because, Christianity is synonymouse with charity.
Charity, says St Paul, “is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14).

If I should speak with the tongue of men and of Angels,” St Paul says elsewhere, “but have not charity, I have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal … and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, yet have not charity, I am nothing. And if I distribute all my goods to feed the poor … yet do not have charity, it profits me nothing” (Cf 1 Cor 13:1-3).

So, our eternal salvation depends on our charity.
But it must be charity in action, not merely in words.

He who has the goods of this world,” says St John “and sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 Jn 3:17).
Charity must be expressed in almsgiving and good works, for otherwise, it would be a matter of idle talk which would be powerless to save us.

Our almsgiving should not be dictated simply by natural feelings of compassion, however, nor by mere philanthropy.
It should be pre-eminently a religious act, springing from supernatural motives.
Because we see the person of Christ in the poor man, we should love and help him as we should our Diving Redeemer
.
This is real Christian charity.

A proud man may also be liberal in giving away money in order to draw attention to himself.
But this is not Christian almsgiving which is never the product of self-love but of the love of God.

Let us be more generous in giving, therefore but, let us always give from the supernatural motive of Christian charity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 August – ‘ … Never place yourself above anyone, not even great sinners. …’ St Basil the Great

One Minute Reflection – 14 August – “The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – The 10th Sunday after Pentecost – 1 Cor.inthians 12:2-11, Luke 18:9-14

“I tell you, this man went back to his home, justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but he who humbles himself, will be exalted” – Luke 18:14

REFLECTION – “The stern Pharisee, who in his overweening pride, not only boasted of himself but also discredited the tax collector, in the Presence of God, made his justice void by being guilty of pride. Instead of the Pharisee, the tax collector went down justified because he had given glory to God, the Holy One. He did not dare lift his eyes but sought only to plead for mercy. He accused himself by his posture, by striking his breast and by entertaining no other motive, except propitiation.

Be on your guard, therefore and bear in min, this example of severe loss, sustained through arrogance. The one guilty of insolent behaviour suffered the loss of his justice and forfeited his reward, by his bold self-reliance. He was judged inferior to a humble man and a sinner because, in his self-exaltation, he did not await the judgement of God but pronounced it himself.

Never place yourself above anyone, not even great sinners. Humility often saves a sinner, who has committed many terrible transgressions!” – St Basil the Great (329-379) Bishop of Caesarea, Father and Doctor of the Church (On Humility)

PRAYER – O God, Thou manifest Thy power, particularly in forbearance and pity, show us Thy mercy again and again, so that hastening toward Thy promises, we may become partakers of the blessings of Heaven. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LAST RITES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 August – “He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting.” – John 12:25

One Minute Reflection – 10 August – St Lawrence (Died 258) Martyr “Keeper of the Treasures of he Church” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, John 12:24-26

He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me and where I Am ,there also shall My servant be.” – John 12:25-26

REFLECTION – “… We are being towed along by a world that passes away, forgetting the world to come. We are greedy for present things but do not take into account the coming judgement. We will not run to meet the Lord as He comes…

Let us turn back, brethren, let us turn back… By the very fact of His delay, of His still waiting, our Lord proves His desire to see us come back to Him, His desire that we should not perish. In His great goodness, He continues addressing these words to us: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather he would change his ways and live ”(Ez 33,11). So let us turn back to Him, brethren, not fearing that time is running short. The time that belongs to time’s Author cannot be shortened. The proof of it lies in the criminal in the Gospel, who, at the moment of dying on the cross, got away with his pardon, grabbed hold of life and, breaking into paradise like a burglar, managed to make his way into the Kingdom (cf. Lk 23,43)!” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Sermons” of the Church (Excerpt from Sermon 167).

PRAYER – Grant us, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our sins, as Thou granted St Lawrence to overcome the fires of his tortures. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in ASPIRATIONS and EJACULATIONS, CHRIST the JUDGE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PARTIAL Indulgence, PLENARY Indulgences, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 June – ‘ … Even if they are signed with His Name

One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” – Within the Octave of Corpus Christi and the Memorial of St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) Bishop, Confessor – 1 Corinthians 23-29, John 6:56-59.

“ … For he who eats and drinks unworthily, … eats and drinks judgement upon himself.”- 1 Corinthians 29

REFLECTION – “Christ has hidden enemies. All those who live unjust and irreligious lives are Christ’s enemies, even if they are signed with His Name and are called ‘Christians’ I mean the ones to whom he is going to say, “I do not know you and they say to him, “Lord, in your name we ate and drank. In your name, we performed many deeds of power. What did we eat and drink in your name?”

You see that they did not value their food very highly and yet, it was with reference to It, that they said they belonged to Christ. Christ is the Food that is eaten and drunk. Even Christ’s enemies eat and drink Him! The faithful know the Lamb without spot on which they feed, if only they fed on It in such a way that they are not liable to punishment! The Apostle says, “Whoever eats and drinks unworthily is eating and drinking judgment upon himself.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Sermon 308).

PRAYER – O God, Who promised to those who forsake all things in this world for Thee, a hundred-fold reward in the world to come and life everlasting, mercifully grant that, following closely in the footsteps of the holy Bishop, Paulinus, we may look upon earthly things as nought and long only for those of Heaven. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
SWEET HEART of my JESUS, Make me love Thee ever more and more!Indulgence 300 Days Everytime – Plenary Once a Month – Raccolta 162 – Pope Pius IX 26 November 1876.

Posted in ASPIRATIONS and EJACULATIONS, CHRIST the JUDGE, GOD is LOVE, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SACRED HEART PRAYERS, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 9 June – The Sacred Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Flaming Cross

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

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Flaming Cross

“Pagans of all times have [spoken of] “the folly of the cross.”
In fact, it is the miracle of the infinite love of God for humanity.
Let us remember, however, that, although His love and goodness are infinite, so also is His justice!
It is an overwhelming miracle of love on the part of God, that He became man and died for us.
It will be our own downfall if we fail to co-operate with this miracle of love!” (Cf {t 1)

Aspiration: Sweetest Jesus, be not my Judge but my Saviour!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/10/thought-for-the-day-10-june-the-sacred-heart-of-jesus-surmounted-by-a-flaming-cross/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/06/10/thought-for-the-day-10-june-the-sacred-heart-of-jesus-surmounted-by-a-flaming-cross-2/

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the JUDGE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TIME, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 3 June – Death is approaching. How many years have we left?

Quote/s of the Day – 3 June – Friday after the Octave of Ascension

I speak out in order to lead Him
into your hearts
but He does not choose to come
where I lead Him,
unless you prepare the way for Him.

Everyone without God,
has a dead soul.
You, who bewail the dead,
rather, should bewail sin.
Bewail ungodliness.
Bewail disbelief.

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

But He still follows behind us and counsels us,
that we have despised Him
but He still does not cease to call us.
We turn our backs on His face, so to speak,
when we reject His words,
when we trample His commandments underfoot
but He who sees that we reject Him,
still calls out to us by His commandments
and waits for us by His patience,
stands behind us and calls us back
when we have turned away.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Death is approaching.
How many years have we left?
How many months?
How many hours?
We do not know.
Perhaps this could be the last day
or the last hour of our lives
and, if that were true,
in what state would we appear before
the majesty of God?
How terrible if we were in mortal sin –
we would be damned for all eternity!
But, even if we find ourselves i
n the state of grace,
what merits have we to present
to the eternal Judge?
What sacrifices have we made
to prove our love for Him?
What mortifications
and penances have we voluntarily undertake
to purify ourselves of our sins?
What good works have we done,
what alms have we given,
what prayers have we said?
We may have to admit,
that we have wasted most of the time
which God has given us
in useless or even sinful occupations.
Let us treasure, at least,
the years, days, or hours
which God still wills to grant us,
for our full conversion
and for our spiritual perfection.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY SATURDAY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Holy Saturday

Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Holy Saturday

“…He Slept,
so that We might be
Awakened,
He Died,
so that We might
Live.

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

The Lord, although He was God, became man.
He suffered for the sake of those who suffer,
He was bound for those in bonds,
condemned for the guilty,
buried for those who lie in the grave
but He rose from the dead and cried aloud:
“Who will contend with Me? Let him confront Me.”
I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life,
raised men from their graves.
Who has anything to say against Me?
I, He said, Am the Christ, I have destroyed death,
triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot,
bound the strong one and taken men up to the heights of Heaven.
I Am the Christ.
Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you.
I Am your Forgiveness.
I Am the Passover which brings salvation.
I Am the Lamb Who was immolated for you.
I Am your Ransom, your Life, your Resurrection, your Light, I am your Salvation and your King.
I will bring you to the heights of Heaven.
With My own Right Hand I will raise you up
and I will show you the Eternal Father.

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Father

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – This is Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

“He loved them unto the end.”

John 13:1

“Born as a Son,
led forth as a Lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
He rose from the dead as a God,
for He was by nature God and man.

He is all things –
He judges and so, He is Law.
He teaches and so, He is Wisdom.
He saves and so, He is Grace.
He begets and so, He is Father.
He is begotten,and so, He is Son.
He suffers and so, He is Sacrifice.
He is buried and so, He is Man.
He rises again and so, He is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Early Church Father

Posted in "Follow Me", ASPIRATIONS and EJACULATIONS, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on MERCY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – “He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting.” – John 12:25

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Saturday in Passion Week, the Fifth Week in Lent – Jeremias 18:18-23, John 12:10-36

He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me and where I Am ,there also shall My servant be.” – John 12:25-26

REFLECTION – “… We are being towed along by a world that passes away, forgetting the world to come. We are greedy for present things but do not take into account the coming judgement. We will not run to meet the Lord as He comes…

Let us turn back, brethren, let us turn back… By the very fact of His delay, of His still waiting, our Lord proves His desire to see us come back to Him, His desire that we should not perish. In His great goodness, He continues addressing these words to us: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather he would change his ways and live ”(Ez 33,11). So let us turn back to Him, brethren, not fearing that time is running short. The time that belongs to time’s Author cannot be shortened. The proof of it lies in the criminal in the Gospel, who, at the moment of dying on the cross, got away with his pardon, grabbed hold of life and, breaking into paradise like a burglar, managed to make his way into the Kingdom (cf. Lk 23,43)!” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Sermons” of the Church (Excerpt from Sermon 167).

PRAYER – O Lord, may the people dedicated to You, desire to serve You more and more, that, taught by these sacred rites, they may be enriched by more precious gifts, as they grow in favour with Your majesty. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HEART, The WORD

The Third Sunday of Lent – 20 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘The will is drawn also by love. ‘

The Third Sunday of Lent – 20 March – Ou4 Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Ephesians 5:1-9, Luke 11:14-28

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare. Look toward me and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.” – Psalm 24:15-16

He who is not with Me,
is against Me
and he who does not gather
with Me scatters.

Luke 11:23

NO-ONE COMES TO ME unless the Father draws him. Do not think that you are drawn against your will – the will is drawn also by love. We must not be afraid of men who weigh words but are far from understanding what belongs above all to Divine Truth. They may find fault with this passage of Scripture and say to us: “How can I believe of my own free will if I am drawn to believe?” I answer: “It is not enough that you are moved by the will, for you are drawn also by desire.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, to be drawn by desire? Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. The heart has its own desires; it takes delight, for example, in the bread from heaven. The poet could say: “Everyone is drawn by his own desire,” not by necessity but by desire, not by compulsion but by pleasure. We can say then with greater force, that one who finds pleasure in Truth, in Happiness, in Justice, in Everlasting Life, is drawn to Christ, for Christ is all these things.

ARE OUR BOIDLY SENSES to have their desires but not the will? If the will does not have its desires, how can Scripture say: The children of men will find their hope under the shadow of your wings, they will drink their fill from the plenty of your house and you will give them drink from the running stream of your delights, for with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we shall see light.

SHOW ME ONE WHO LOVES; he knows what I mean. Show me one who is full of longing, one who is hungry, one who is a pilgrim and suffering from thirst in the desert of this world, eager for the fountain in the homeland of eternity; show me someone like that and he knows what I mean. But if I speak to someone without feeling, he does not understand what I am saying.

YOU HAVE ONLY to show a leafy branch to a sheep and it is drawn to it. If you show nuts to a boy, he is drawn to them. He runs to them because he is drawn, drawn by love, drawn without any physical compulsion, drawn by a chain attached to his heart. Everyone is drawn by his own desire. ” This is a true saying and earthly delights and pleasures, set before those who love them, succeed in drawing them. If this is so, are we to say that Christ, revealed and set before us by the Father, does not draw us? What does the soul desire more than truth? Why then does the soul have hungry jaws, a spiritual palate as it were, sensitive enough to judge the truth, if not in order to eat and drink Wisdom, Justice, Truth, Eternal Life?

BLESSED ARE THOSE who hunger and thirst for justice, that is, here on earth. They shall be satisfied, that is, in Heaven. Christ says: I give each what he loves, I give each the object of his hope; he will see what he believed in, though without seeing it. What he now hungers for, he will eat; what he now thirsts for, he will drink to the full. When? At the resurrection of the dead, for I will raise him up on the last day.”St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Great Western Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church (An excerpt from his Treatise 26).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – . Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent – Esther 13:8-11; 15-17, Matthew 20:17-28

“You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” … the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” … Matthew 20:22,28

REFLECTION – “It is our task and, in our case, an obligation, to make of you the object of all our care, our zeal, our ministrations, by word and deed, by warnings, encouragement, admonitions and incitement, (…) so that, in this way, we might insert you into the rhythm of the divine will and face you towards the goal set before us – to give pleasure to God. …

He Who is immortal, voluntarily shed His Blood He Who created the host of Angels, was bound at the hands of soldiers and He Who is to judge the living and the dead, was dragged to justice (cf. Acts 10:42; 2 Tm 4:1). Truth was exposed to false witnesses, was slandered, struck, covered with spittle, hung on the wood of the cross – the Lord of glory (cf. 1 Cor 2:8) endured every outrage and suffering without Himself needing these trials. How could this have happened to Him Who, even as Man, was without sin and Who, to the contrary, snatched us away from the tyranny of the sin through which death came into the world and falsely took possession of our first father?

So, there is nothing surprising about it, if we submit to even one of these trials since such is our condition … Therefore, we too have to be offended and tempted, afflicted by the cutting off of our wills. According to the interpretation of our Fathers, there is in this, a shedding of blood for this is what it means to be a monk. And we must gain the Kingdom of Heaven in that way, by spending our lives in imitation of the Lord. … Apply yourselves zealously to your duties, in the thought that by means of them, far from being slaves of men, you are serving God.” … St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople (Catecheses 1).

PRAYER – Look mercifully upon Your people, we beseech You, O Lord and grant that they whom You command to abstain from food, may also refrain from harmful vices. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CARMELITES, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, OUR Cross, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 12 February – You who have followed me

Quote/s of the Day – 12 February – The Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (1233) – Ecclus 44:1-15, Matthew 19:27-29

… You who have followed me …”

Matthew 19:28

“Let us listen to the Lord:
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6).
If you are looking for the Truth,
follow the Way which is also the Truth.
This is where you are going and it is how you go.
It is not by another thing that you go to something;
it is not by anything else that you come to Christ;
it is through Christ, that you come to Christ.
How to Christ through Christ?
To Christ God through Christ Man;
through the Word made flesh,
to the Word Who was with God, from the beginning;
through what we have eaten, to what the angels eat daily.
In fact, it is what is written:
“He gave them bread from heaven;
man ate the bread of angels” (Ps 77[78]:24-25).
What is the bread of angels?
“In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was in God
and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1-3).
How has man eaten the bread of angels?
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

The love of Jesus is noble and generous,
it spurs us on to do great things
and excites us to desire always,
that which is most perfect.
Love will tend upwards
and is not to be detained by things beneath.
Love will be at liberty
and free from all worldly affections…
for love proceeds from God
and cannot rest but in God,
above all things created.
The lover flies, runs and rejoices,
he is free and not held.
He gives all for all and has all in all,
because he rests in One Sovereign Good above all,
from Whom all good flows and proceeds
.”

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

(Book III, Chapter V, 3-4)

He gives according to the love He bears us …,
according to the courage He sees in each
and the love each has for His Majesty.
He will see, that whoever loves Him much,
will be able to suffer much for Him;
whoever loves Him little,
will be capable of little.
I myself hold,
that the measure for being able to bear,
a large or small cross, is love …

Those who risk all for God,
will find. that they have
both lost all and gained all
.”

St Teresa of Jesus of Ávila (1515-1582)
Doctor of Prayer of the Church

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, DIVINE MERCY, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 10 February – “Our lamps are going out.” – Matthew 25:8

Quote/s of the Day – 10 February – The Memorial of St Scholastica (c482-547) Virgin – 2 Cor 10:17-18; 11:1-2, Matthew 25:1-13

“Our lamps are going out.”

Matthew 25:8

I have not become as wise
as those five wise Virgins.
… But I have become the most wretched of the foolish ones
by failing to keep some oil for my lamp,
namely, mercy together with virginity
or, still more, the anointing from Baptism’s Sacred fount…

Therefore, the doors of the wedding hall
are closed to me too, in my negligence.
But, O my Bridegroom,
while I am still in my body here below,
listen to my soul, Your Bride…
From now on, I will cry aloud piteously,
“Oh, open to me Your Heavenly Door,
bring me into Your Wedding Chamber on high,
make me worthy of Your Holy Kiss,
Your pure and spotless Embrace.
Oh let me not hear the Voice saying
it does not know me!
I am blind; set alight with Your own Light
my spirit’s extinguished flame!

St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173)
Armenian Bishop

If we wish to make any progress
in the service of God,
we must begin everyday of our life,
with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves,
in the presence of God,
as much as possible
and have no other view or end,
in all our actions
but the divine honour.

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

“Come, O come, for without You
there will be no happy day
or hour because You are my happiness
and without You my table is empty.
I am wretched, as it were imprisoned
and weighted down with fetters,
until You fill me
with the Light of Your Presence,
restore me to liberty
and show me a friendly countenance
.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

(Book 3 Ch 21:1,4-6)

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 February – St Cyril of Alexandria

Quote/s of the Day – 9 February – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church

“Christ has dominion
over all creatures,
a dominion not seized
by violence
nor usurped but His,
by essence and by nature
.”

For one Lamb died for all,
to restore the whole flock on earth
to God the Father;
“one died for all”
to make all subject to God;
“one died for all”
to gain all, so that
“all might live,
no longer for themselves
but for Him who died
and was raised to life for them

(2 Cor 5:14-15).”

The mark of Christ’s sheep
is their willingness to hear and obey,
just as disobedience
is the mark of those who are not His.
We take the word ‘hear’
to imply obedience
to what has been said
.”

If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart
.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.

“My sheep follow me,” says Christ.
By a certain God-given grace,
believers follow in the footsteps of Christ.
No longer subject to the shadows of the Law ,
they obey the commands of Christ,
and guided by His words,
rise through grace,
to His own dignity,
for they are called children of God.
When Christ ascends into heaven,
they also follow Him.”

That anyone could doubt the right
of the holy Virgin
to be called the Mother of God,
fills me with astonishment.
Surely she must be the Mother of God,
if our Lord Jesus Christ is God
and she gave birth to him
!”

Hail, O Mary, Mother of God
By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Virgin and Mother!
Morning Star, perfect vessel.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Holy Temple in which God Himself was conceived.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Chaste and pure dove.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
who enclosed the One Who cannot be encompassed
in your sacred womb.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
From you flowed the true light, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Through you the Conqueror
and triumphant Vanquisher of hell, came to us.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Through you, the glory of the Resurrection blossoms.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
You have saved every faithful Christian.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.
Amen

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD

Thought for the Day – 24 January – Following Jesus, the Divine Model

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

Following Jesus, the Divine Model

“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate.
In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity.
Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him.
“Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).

After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/24/thought-for-the-day-24-january-following-jesus/
PART TWO HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/11/thought-for-the-day-11-july-following-jesus/

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TIME, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 11 January – The Particular and General Judgements

Thought for the Day – 11 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Particular and General Judgements

“How consoling, on the other hand, the last judgement will be for those who have led good lives.
They will see God looking upon them with love and mercy and will hear from Him the wonderful invitation: “Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:35).

On the day of the general judgement, these words willl be repeated for the confusion of the wicked and the consolation of the good.

Now that we have considered both sides of the picture, let us think deeply about it.
We shall have to render an account for all the evil we have done, of all the good things we did badly or from distorted motives, of all the good actions we omitted to do and of all the time we wasted.
Let us examine our consciences carefully before God, our supreme Judge.
Let us form whatever firm and worthwhile resolutions which seem to be demanded by the circumstances of our lives.
Remember that, as we have lived, so shall we die and we shall be judged accordingly.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/24/thought-for-the-day-24-july-the-particular-and-general-judgements/

Posted in "Follow Me", Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Jesus is ….

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – and the Feast of the Holy Name celebrated today (Feast 3 January), Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24

“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him and for Him and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace.

PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The INCARNATION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – ‘… He sent His own Mind into the world, as its Lord. …’

One (maybe 3 minutes today 😘) Minute Reflection – 31 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalms 96:1-2, 11-12, 13, John 1:1-18

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “There is only one God, brethren and we learn about Him only from Sacred Scripture. It is,therefore, our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son, in the way the Father wills and accepting the teaching He wills to give us, with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that He intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.

God was all alone and nothing existed but Himself, when He determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as He had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact, nothing is co-eternal with God. Apart from God, there was simply nothing else. Yet, although He was alone, He was manifold because He lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in Him and He Himself, was all. At a moment of His own choosing and, in a manner determined by Himself, God manifested His Word and through Him, He made the whole universe.

When the Word was hidden within God Himself, He was invisible to the created world but God made Him visible. First God gave utterance to His Voice, engendering Light from Light and then, He sent His own Mind into the world, as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made Him visible. so that the world could be saved by seeing Him. This Mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through Him but He alone is begotten by the Father.

The Son gave us the law and the prophets and He filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit, to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and His will.

So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through Whom the whole universe was made. He says – In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through Him all things came into being; not one thing was created without Him. And further on he adds: The world was made through Him, and yet the world did not know Him. He entered His own creation and His own did not receive Him.” – St Hippolytus of Rome (Died c 236) Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr (An excerpt from his A Treatise against Noetus, Book 1).

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on WISDOM, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Gaudete Sunday” –

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Gaudete Sunday” – Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Psalm Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4: 4-7; Luke 3: 10-18

“Gaudete in Domino semper”

“Rejoice in the Lord always”

Philippians 4:4

The very Son of God,
Older than the ages,
the Invisible,
the Incomprehensible,
the Incorporeal,
the Beginning of beginning,
the Light of light,
the Fountain of Life and Immortality,
the Image of the Archetype,
the Immovable Seal,
the Perfect Likeness,
the Definition and Word of the Father:
He it is, Who comes to His Own Image
and takes our nature, for the Good of our nature
and unites Himself to an intelligent soul
for the good of the soul,
to purify like by Like.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Awake, you who lie in the dust,
awake and give praise.
Behold, the Lord comes with salvation.
He comes with salvation,
He comes with unction,
He comes with glory.
Jesus cannot come without salvation,
Christ cannot come without unction,
nor the Son of God without glory.
For He Himself is salvation,
He is unction,
He is glory,
as it is written,
‘A wise son is the glory of his father.
‘”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
MellifluousDoctor of the Church

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One Minute Reflection – 25 November – ‘ … The redemption you have sought, is coming near!’

One Minute Reflection – 25 November – Readings: Daniel 6: 12-28; Psalm: Daniel 3: 68-74; Luke 21: 20-28 – The Memorial of St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305)

Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” – Luke 21:28

REFLECTION –The powers of heaven will be moved.” What does the Lord mean by the powers of heaven if not the Angels and Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Rulers and Powers? (Col 1,6). At the coming of the severe Judge, they will appear visibly before our eyes… “Then they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great authority and majesty.” In other words, they are going to see, in power and majesty, Him Whom they chose not to hear in a state of humility… He said these things about the condemned; words of consolation for the elect follow at once: “When these things begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near. Truth is exhorting His elect by saying: When the disasters of the world become more frequent… let your hearts exult! While the world, which is not your friend, is coming to an end, the redemption you have sought ,is coming near.!”

Those who love God are ordered to rejoice and be merry at the world’s end. They will soon find Him Whom they love, while what they have not loved is passing away. It should be far from the hearts of all the faithful who long to see God to grieve over the disasters of a world, for they know, these very disasters, are soon to end. It is written that: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world, makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas 4,4). Someone who does not rejoice as the end of the world approaches, testifies, that he is its friend and this itself convicts him, of being God’s enemy!

Let this be far from the hearts of the faithful, let it be far from those who believe ,by their faith, that there is another life and who love it by their activities… What is our mortal life except a way? Consider carefully, my friends, what sort of thing it is to grow weary with the exertions of the way and yet to be unwilling, that the way be ended!… Therefore, my friends, do not love what you see cannot long exist.” – St Gregory the Great (c 540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church – [Homilies on the Gospel, n.3 (Migne; trans. ©Cistercian publications Inc.]

PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption. May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St Catherine of Alexandria be a help in our struggle. Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to the banquet which awaits us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 13 November – St Augustine

Quote/s of the Day – 13 November – The Memorial of All Saints of the Augustinian Order and the Anniversary of the Birth of St Augustine (354-430)

Man’s Maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars,
might nurse at His mother’s breast,
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey,
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood,
that Strength might grow weak,
that the Healer might be wounded,
that Life might die.

Faith gives rise to prayer
and this prayer obtains
an increase of faith.

Pray as though everything
depended on God.
Work as though everything
depended on you.

Our pilgrimage on earth
cannot be exempt from trial.
We progress by means of trial.
No-one knows himself except through trial,
or receives a crown,
except after victory,
or strives,
except against an enemy or temptations.

Do you desire security?
Here you have it.
The Lord says to you, “I will never abandon you,
I will always be with you.”
If a good man made you such a promise,
you would trust him.
God makes it and do you doubt?
Do you seek a support, more sure
than the Word of God, which is infallible?
Surely, He has made the promise,
He has written it,
He has pledged His Word for it, it is most certain!

If you believe what you like in the Gospels
and reject what you don’t like,
it is not the Gospel you believe
but yourself.

Wherever you are on earth,
however long you remain on earth,
the Lord is near,
do not be anxious about anything!

Gracious Lady, Mother and Virgin
By St Augustine (354-430)
Doctor of Grace

Gracious Lady,
you are a Mother and Virgin.
You are the Mother of the body and soul
of our Head and Redeemer.
You are also truly Mother
of all the members
of Christ’s Mystical Body.
For through your love,
you have co-operated
in the begetting of the faithful in the Church.
Unique among women,
you are Mother and Virgin,
Mother of Christ and Virgin of Christ.
You are the beauty and charm of earth, O Virgin.
You are forever, the image of the holy Church.
Through a woman came death,
through a woman came life,
yes, through you, O Mother of God.
Be with us through this life.
Amen

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, DIVINE MERCY, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 November – ‘… What He is referring to as judgement….’

One Minute Reflection – 8 November – “Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Wisdom 1: 1-7; Psalm 139: 1b-10; Luke 17: 1-6

If your brother sins, rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” – Luke 17:3-4

REFLECTION – “O you who are hard-hearted, incapable of gentleness, learn of your Creator’s goodness and do not be bitter judges and arbitrators of your fellow servants, as you wait for the coming of Him, Who will disclose the hidden places of the heart and will Himself, the all-powerful Lord, determine each one’s place in the world to come. Do not assign severe judgements, that you may not be judged in the same way and rent by the words of your own mouth, as if by sharp teeth. For it is against this kind of crime that these words of the Gospel seem to warn us: “Do not judge and you will not be judged” (Lk 6:37). In saying this, He is not doing away with discernment and wisdom; what He is referring to, as judgement, is over-severe condemnation. As far as possible, then, lighten the weight of your measure if you do not want your actions to weigh too heavily on the scales, when our lives are weighed, as on a balance, at God’s Judgement! … Never refuse to show mercy that you may not be denied forgiveness when you are in need of it yourself.” – St Asterius of Amasea (c 350– c 410) Bishop (Sermon 13)

PRAYER – O Lord our God, grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love and to be only good influences to our neighbour. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, all the Saints and Angels, ever intercede for the Church Militant and the Church Suffering, Amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – ‘ … just as the Father had sent Him. …’

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs – Readings: Ephesians 2: 19-22; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 6: 12-16

When day came, he called his disciples to himself and from them, he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles…” – Luke 6:13

REFLECTION – “Our Lord Jesus Christ has appointed certain men to be guides and teachers of the world and stewards of His Divine Mysteries. Now He bids them to shine out like lamps and to cast out their light, not only over the land of the Jews but over every country under the sun and over people, scattered in all directions and settled in distant lands. That man has spoken truly who said – ‘No-one takes honour upon himself, except the one who is called by God,’ for it was our Lord Jesus Christ who called His own disciples before all others, to a most glorious apostolate. These holy men became the pillar and mainstay of the Truth and Jesus said, that He was sending them, just as the Father had sent Him.

… Accordingly, in affirming that they are sent by Him just as He was sent by the Father, Christ sums up in a few words the approach they themselves should take to their ministry. From what He said they would gather that it was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealings never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.

Surely, it is in all these respects, that we find His holy disciples striving to excel. To ascertain this is no great labour, a single reading of the Acts of the Apostles or of Saint Paul’s writings is enough.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Fther & Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)

PRAYER – Lord God, You taught us to call upon Your name, through the preaching of the Apostles. Open our eyes each day, grant that we may see Jesus Your Son at our side, open our ears that we may hear His voice, open our mouths, that we may beg forgiveness and proclaim the good news, as we follow the way Your Son carved out for us. At the intercession of Sts Simon and Jude, may Your Church continue to grow and to hope in Your love. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – ‘This kind Master’

Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Readings: Romans 8: 1-11; Psalm 24: 1b-6; Luke 13: 1-9

I shall cultivate the ground around it
and fertilise it; it may bear fruit in the future.
If not, you may cut it down.

Luke 13:8-9

… This kind Master
closes His Church to no-one.
He not only receives
and pardons those adversaries,
those blasphemers,
those persistent enemies of His Name,
provided they do penance for their offence
and acknowledge the crime committed
but, He admits them to the reward
of the kingdom of heaven.
What can be called more patient,
what more kind?
Even he, who shed the Blood of Christ,
is given life,
by the Blood of Christ.

St Cyprian of Carthage – (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr,
Father of the Church

When he has begun to follow Me,
according to My teaching and precepts,
he will find many people contradicting him
and standing in his way,
many who not only deride but even persecute him.
Moreover, this is true,
not only of pagans who are outside the Church
but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly
but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds.
Although these glory,
in merely the title of Christian,
they continually persecute faithful Christians
.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)”

If you seek an example of humility,
look upon Him Who is Crucified,
although He was God, He chose to be judged
by Pontius Pilate and put to death. …
If you seek an example of obedience,
imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father
“even to death” (Phil 2:8).
“For just as through the disobedience
of one person, Adam,
the many were made sinners,
so through the obedience of One,
the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). .
If you seek an example of contempt
for earthly things,
imitate Him Who is “King of kings
and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15),
“in whom are hidden
all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge” (Col 2:3).
On the Cross He was stripped naked,
ridiculed, spat upon, bruised,
crowned with thorns,
given to drink of vinegar and gall.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor of the Church

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One Minute Reflection – 19 October – ‘Expand your heart, run to meet the Sun of the Eternal Light …’

One Minute Reflection – 19 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 5: 12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21; Psalm 40: 7-10, 17; Luke 12: 35-38

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36

REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us if He does not always enter or always remain. May your door be open to Him who comes – open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart, run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.

So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true that He could enter but He doesn’t want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church (12th Sermon on Psalm 118)

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your eternal light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of all Your Angels and Saints, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

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One Minute Reflection – 10 October – You lack one thing – the road that leads to life

One Minute Reflection – 10 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11, Psalms 90:12-13,14-15, 16-17, Hebrews 4:12-13, Mark 10:17-30

You lack one thing – go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come, follow me.”…Mark 10:21

REFLECTION – “This, beloved, is the way in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest who offers our gifts, the patron and helper in our weakness (Heb 10:20; 7:27; 4:15). It is through Him, that we look straight at the heavens above. Through Him, we see mirrored, God’s faultless and transcendent countenance. Through Him, the eyes of our heart were opened. Through Him, our unintelligent and darkened mind shoots up into the light. Through Him, the Master was pleased to let us taste the knowledge that never fades, He who is “the radiance of His splendour, who towers as much above the angels, as the title He has inherited, is superior to theirs” (He 1:3-4) (…)

Let us take our body. The head is nothing without the feet and the feet are nothing without the head. The smallest organs of our body are necessary and valuable to the whole body, in fact, all parts conspire and yield the same obedience, toward maintaining the whole of the body (cf.1 Co 12:12f.).
Therefore, let the whole of our body be maintained in Christ Jesus and let each submit to their neighbour’s rights in the measure determined by the special gift bestowed on them. Let the strong care for the weak and the weak respect the strong; let the rich support the poor and the poor render thanks to God for giving them the means of supplying their needs; let the wise show their wisdom, not in words but in active help; the humble must not testify to themselves but leave it to another to testify in their behalf. Those who are continent must not boast, knowing that it is another who confers on them the ability to remain continent.

Let us, therefore, reflect brethren, of what clay we were made, what and who we were when we entered the world, out of what grave and darkness, our Maker and Creator has brought us into the world, where He has prepared His benefits before our birth. Since, then, we owe all these blessings to Him, we are obliged to thank Him in every way.” … St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99) – Pope from c 90 to c 99 – Letter to the Corinthians, § 36-38

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, you sent St Francis Borgia to be Your witnesses and to bring Your Church to all for the salvation of souls. Sustain us by their prayers that by our lives we may lead all to You through Holy Mother Church. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – St Bridget

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October– The Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

O Lord, make haste
and illumine the night.
Say to my soul
that nothing happens
without You permitting it
and that nothing of what You permit,
is without comfort.

O Mary,
you give assistance
to everyone endeavouring
to rise to God!

There is no sinner in the world,
however much at enmity with God,
who cannot recover God’s grace,
by recourse to Mary
and by asking her assistance
.”

Let everyone who has
the grace of intelligence,
fear that because of it,
he will be judged more heavily,
if he is negligent.”

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

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Quote/s of the Day – 6 October – “Lord, teach us…”

Quote/s of the Day – 6 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Jonah 4: 1-11; Psalm 86: 3–6, 9-10; Luke 11: 1-4

Lord, teach us to pray …”

Luke 11:1

For what reason did God send Him to preach to the poor?
“To preach release to captives.”
We were the captives.
For many years Satan had bound us
and held us captive and subject to himself.
Jesus has come
“to proclaim release to captives and sight to the blind.”
By His word and the proclamation of His teaching,
the blind see.

Origen (c 185-253)

He did not treat us as our sins deserved.
For we are now sons of God.
How do we show this?
The only Son of God died for us,
so that He might not remain alone.
He who died as the only Son,
did not want to remain as the only Son.
For the only Son of God made many sons of God.
He bought brothers for Himself by His blood,
He made them welcome by being rejected,
He ransomed them by being sold,
He honoured them by being dishonoured,
He gave them life by being put to death.

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Great Western Father and Doctor of Grace

For the Author and Giver of divine blessings
could not but be our Teacher as well,
providing the words of this prayer,
as precepts of life,
for those disciples who believe in Him
and follow the way He taught in the flesh.
Through these words,
He has revealed the hidden treasures
of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3)
that exist in Him as pure form.
And, in all who offer this prayer,
He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian

Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer is nothing other than union with God.
… This union of God with his little creature
is something beautiful.
It is a happiness that we cannot understand.
We had deserved not to pray
but God, in His goodness, allows us to speak to Him.
Our prayer is incense,
which He receives with tremendous pleasure.”

St John-Marie Vianney (1786-1859)

(Catechism on Prayer]

“Immediately after rising
and throughout the day,
all make the Sign of the Cross
and renew their trust in God:
to be strengthened by the power of the Father,
to be enlightened by the wisdom of the Son
and to be sanctified by the love of the Holy Spirit.
And as they bless themselves, they may say:
Of myself I can do nothing,
with God I can do everything,
I want to do everything for love of God.

St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)

From the Rule of the Pallottines

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One Minute Reflection – 4 October – ‘ … The weight by which Your Goodness, overcomes Your Justice. …’

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Jonah 1: 1 – 2: 1-2, 11; Psalm Jonah 2: 3, 4, 5, 8; Luke 10: 25-37 The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)

But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds …” – Luke 10:33-34

REFLECTION –How good You are, O Divine Samaritan, to gather up this wounded world so sadly fallen along the way, trapped in such mire and so unworthy of Your Goodness!

The more wicked the world, the more Your Mercy shines forth: to be infinitely good to the good, is a thousand times less admirable, than to be infinitely good to souls, who, even though lavished with graces, are simply ungrateful, unfaithful, perverse. The more wicked we are, the more the marvel of Your infinite Mercy gleams and shines. This in itself, suffices to explain, the great good that sin produces on the earth and explains, why You permit it. It makes way for an incomparable greater good – the exercise and manifestation of Your divine Mercy. This divine attribute could not be put into practice without it; goodness could be exercised and shown without sin but failure is needed, if mercy is to be manifested. Ah! My Lord and God, how Good you are! How Merciful! Mercy is, so to speak, the overflow of Your Goodness and what is most passionate in Your Goodness, the weight by which Your Goodness overcomes Your Justice. How divinely good You are! (…)

Be kind to sinners, since God is so kind to us – pray for them, love them. … “Be merciful as our Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). God “prefers mercy to sacrifice” (cf. Mt 12:7).” – Bl Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) Hermit and Missionary in the Sahara – (Meditations on the psalms 103, psalm 52)

PRAYER – All highest, glorious God,
cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts,
give us true faith, firm hope,
perfect charity and profound humility,
so that with wisdom,
courage and perception, O Lord,
we may do what is truly Your holy will.
Amen. – St Francis of Assisi