Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LENT 2022, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Friday of the First Week of Lent – 11 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – “The Lord has had pity on us”

Friday of the First Week of Lent – 11 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Ezechiel 18:10-28, John 5:1-15

Bring me out of distress, O Lord; put an end to my affliction and my suffering
and take away all my sins
.” – Psalm 24:17-18

Now a certain man was there
who had been thirty-eight years
under his infirmity.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been
in this state a long time, He said to him,
Do you want to get well?

John 5:5-6

“The Lord has had pity on us”

HAPPY ARE WE if we do the deeds of which we have heard and sung. Our hearing of them means having them planted in us, while our doing them, shows that the seed has borne fruit. By saying this, I wish to caution you, dearly beloved, not to enter the Church fruitlessly, satisfied with mere hearing of such mighty blessings and failing to do good works. For we have been saved by His grace, says the Apostle and not by our works, lest anyone may boast; for it is by His grace that we have been saved. It is not as if a good life of some sort came first and that thereupon, God showed His love and esteem for it from on high, saying: “Let us come to the aid of these men and assist them quickly because they are living a good life.” No, our life was displeasing to Him. He will, therefore, condemn what we have done but He will save, what He Himself has done in us.

WE WERE NOT GOOD but God had pity on us and sent His Son to die, not for good men but for bad ones, not for the just but for the wicked. Yes, Christ died for the ungodly. Notice what is written next: One will hardly die for a righteous man, although perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. Perhaps someone can be found who will dare to die for a good man but for the unjust man, for the wicked one, the sinner, who would be willing to die except Christ alone, Who is so just, that He justifies even the unjust?

AND SO, MY BROTHERS, we had no good works, for all our works were evil. Yet although men’s actions were such, God in His mercy did not abandon men. He sent His Son to redeem us, not with gold or silver but at the price of His Blood poured out for us. Christ, the Spotless Lamb, became the Sacrificial Victim, led to the slaughter for the sheep that were blemished — if indeed one can say that they were blemished and not entirely corrupt. Such is the grace we have received! Let us live so as to be worthy of that great grace and not do injury to it. So mighty is the Physician Who has come to us, that He has healed all our sins! If we choose to be sick once again, we will not only harm ourselves,but show ingratitude to the Physician as well.

LET US THEN FOLLOW Christ’s paths which He has revealed to us, above all, the path of humility, which He Himself became for us. He showed us that path by His precepts, and He Himself followed it by His suffering on our behalf. In order to die for us —because as God, He could not die — the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The immortal One took on mortality, that He might die for us and by dying, put to death our death. This is what the Lord did, this the gift He granted to us. The mighty one was brought low, the lowly one was slain and after He was slain, He rose again and was exalted. For He did not intend to leave us dead in hell but to exalt, in Himself, at the Resurrection of the Dead, those whom He had already exalted and made just by the faith and praise they gave Him. Yes, He gave us the path of humility. If we keep to it we shall confess our belief in the Lord and have good reason to sing: We shall praise You, God, we shall praise You and call upon Your Name.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from a Homily 23).

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Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – Do you want to get well?

Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – Ember Friday of the First Week of Lent – Ezechiel 18:10-28, John 5:1-15

Now a certain man was there
who had been thirty-eight years
under his infirmity.
When Jesus saw him lying there,
and knew that he had been
in this state a long time, He said to him,
Do you want to get well?

John 5:5-6

Rescue Me, Most Merciful God
By Father Martin von Cochem OSFC (c 1630-1712)

Most merciful God,
remember at how great a price
Thou didst purchase me
and how much Thou didst suffer for me.
For the sake of that inestimable price,
do not permit me to be lost,
rescue me,
number me amongst the sheep
of Thy fold.
With them, I will then
praise and magnify Thy loving kindness,
to all eternity.
Amen

Fr Martin von Cochem was a German Capuchin theologian, preacher and prolific ascetic writer. Father Martin’s works embrace a great variety of subjects: a huge volume of apologetics against Protestantism, the life of Christ, lives of the Saints, edifying narratives, the setting forth of certain points in Christian asceticism, forms of prayer, methods to be followed for the worthy reception of the sacraments, etc.
The prayer above is from the renowned “The Four Last Things.”

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 March – He heals without charge, with one word, He restores to health. 

One Minute Reflection – 5 March – The First Saturday of Lent – Isaiah 58:9-14, Mark 6:47-56

And wherever He went, into village or hamlet or town, they laid the sick in the market places, and entreated Him to let them touch but the tassel of His cloak and as many as touched. Him were saved. ” – Mark 6:56

REFLECTION – “Let us set before our interior consideration, someone gravely wounded who is about to breathe his last. … Now, the soul’s wound is sin, of which Scripture speaks in these terms: “Wound and welt and gaping gash, not drained or bandaged or eased with salve” (Is 1:6). Oh you who are wounded, recognise your Physician within you and show Him the wounds of your sins. May He understand your heart’s groaning, Who already knows its secret thoughts. May your tears move Him. Go as far as a little shamelessness in your beseeching (cf. Lk 11:8). Bring forth deep sighs to Him, without ceasing, from the depth of your heart.
May your grief reach Him so that He may say to you also : “The Lord has pardoned your sin” (2 Sam 12:13). Cry out with David, who said: “Have mercy on me, O God, in … the greatness of your compassion” (Ps 50[51]:3). It is as though one were to say: “I am in great danger because of an enormous wound, that no doctor can cure, unless the all-powerful Physician comes to help me.” For this all-powerful Physician, nothing is incurable. He heals without charge, with one word, He restores to health.  I would have despaired of my wound, were it not that I placed my trust in the Almighty.” – St Pope Gregory the Great (c 540-604) Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Psalm 50[51])

PRAYER – Hear, O Lord, our humble prayers and grant that we may devoutly keep this fast that has been established to cure our souls and bodies. 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).

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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)

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One Minute Reflection – 3 February – ‘ It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm, which tests a pilot’s skill.’

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – St Blaise Martyr (Died c 316) – Romans 13:8-10, Matthew 8:23-27

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves but He was asleep.”- Matthew 8:24

REFLECTION – “The sea offered its heaving back for Christ to walk upon. Now, it leveled its crests to a plain, checked its swelling and bound up its billows. It provided rocklike firmness, so He could walk across the waterway.

Why did the seas heave so and toss and pitch, even as if threatening its Creator? And why did Christ Himself, Who knows all the future, seem so unaware of the present, that He gave no thought to the onrushing storm, the moment of its height and the time of its peril?
While all the rest were awake, He alone was fast asleep, even with utter doom threatening both Himself and His dear ones.
Why?
It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm, which tests a pilot’s skill. When the breeze is mild, even the poorest sailor can manage the ship. But in the crosswinds of a tempest, we want the best Pilot with all His skil!.” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Homilies” (Sermon 20).

PRAYER – O God, You Who know that our human frailty cannot stand fast against the great dangers that beset us, grant us health of mind and body, that with Your help we may overcome what we suffer on account of our sins. 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).

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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/

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Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Behold Me, O Sweet Lord, Behold Me!

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Seventh day in the Octave of Epiphany, “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” and the Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

Behold Me, O Sweet Lord, Behold Me!
By St Aelred of Rievaulx O.Cist. (1110-1167)

Behold me, O Sweet Lord, behold me!
For I hope. that in Your Loving Kindness,
O Most Merciful One,
You will behold me,
either as a loving Physician to heal,
a kind Teacher to correct,
or an indulgent Father to pardon…
confident in Your Sweet Powerful Mercy
and most Merciful Power,
I ask, in virtue of Your Sweet Name
and of the Mystery of Your Sacred Humanity
that, mindful of Your Kindness
and unmindful of my ingratitude,
You forgive me my sins
and heal the languors of my soul.
Amen

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – ‘ … Can it be true?’

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings:1 John 5: 5-13; Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20; Gospel: Luke 5: 12-16

“Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him” … Luke 5:13

REFLECTION – “Christ said when He came into the world:  ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but a body you prepared for me …  Then I said: Behold I come to do your will’ ” (Heb 10:5.7; Ps 40:7-9 LXX).   Can it be true that God wanted to become man to save us from our wretchedness … and conquer our love?   Yes, it is so true that it is an article of faith:  “Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven… and was made man” (Creed) …   Yes, this is what God has done, so to be loved by us! …  This is how He wanted to make known the immensity of His love for us:  “the grace of God our saviour has appeared to all” (Ti 2:11).   It is, as though, our Lord said:  “Man does not love Me because he cannot see Me, I am going to make Myself visible and talk to him, in that way I shall surely make Myself loved”:  “He has appeared on earth and spoken with us” (cf. Bar 3:38).

God’s love for humankind is vast, vast from all eternity:  “with age-old love I have loved you;  so in mercy I have drawn you to myself” (cf. Jer 31:3).   But we have not yet seen how great and incomprehensible He is.   When the Son of God was seen in the form of a child, lying on the straw in a stable, then He was made known indeed:  “the kindness and generous love of God our saviour appeared” (Ti 3:4).   As Saint Bernard observed:  “The creation of the world made God’s power shine out, the ordering of the world, His wisdom but the Incarnation of the Word, caused His mercy to break forth in the sight of all.” …

By showing disdain towards God,” Saint Fulgentius said, “man was separated from Him forever and, since man could no longer return to God, God deigned to come to find him on earth.”   And as Saint Augustine had already said:  “We were unable to go to the Doctor, therefore, the Doctor had the graciousness, to come to us.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Doctor of the Church – 1st address for the Octave of Christmas.

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, by the guidance of a star, You revealed the Birth of the Saviour of the world. Open our minds and hearts to that revelation and may it bear fruit in our lives. May Your nearness, be understood in our hearts and minds, ‘may the Lord Jesus touch our eyes, as He did those of the blind and may the prayers of His Blessed Mother Mary and ours, grant us strength on our journey. We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, The HEART

Our Morning Offering – 7 January – May the Lord Jesus Touch Our Eyes

Our Morning Offering – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany

May the Lord Jesus Touch Our Eyes
By Origen (c 185-253)
Father of the Church

May the Lord Jesus touch our eyes,
as He did those of the blind.
Then we shall begin to see in visible things
those which are invisible.
May He open our eyes to gaze,
not on present realities
but on the blessings to come.
May He open the eyes of our heart,
to contemplate God in Spirit,
through Jesus Christ the Lord,
to whom belong,
power and glory,
through all eternity.
Amen.

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”

And this is his commandment,
that we should believe
in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ …

1 John 3:23

Nothing so curbs the onset of anger,
so allays the upsurge of pride.
It cures the wound of envy,
controls unbridled extravagance
and quenches the flame of lust.
It cools the thirst of covetousness
and banishes the itch of unclean desire…
For when I Name Jesus,
I set before myself,
a Man Who is meek and humble of heart,
kind, prudent, chaste, merciful,
flawlessly upright and holy
in the eyes of all
and this same Man is the all-powerful God
Whose way of life heals me,
Whose support is my strength.

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

(Sermon 15 On the Song of Songs)

Was it not through the brilliance
and sweet savour of this Name,
that God called us into
His marvellous Light?

St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)

“If thou art bound down by sickness,
if sorrows weary thee,
if thou art trembling with fear,
invoke the name of Jesus.

St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1456)

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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.

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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.

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Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – O Wisdom …….

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – O Wisdom …….

“Let us fix our thoughts
on the Blood of Christ
and reflect how Precious that Blood is,
in God’s eyes,
inasmuch, as its outpouring f
or our salvation,
has opened the grace of repentance
to all mankind.

St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99)

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!

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

“I send you a very little word,
THE WORD,
made little in the crib,
THE WORD,
made flesh for us ….
THE WORD,
of salvation and grace
THE WORD,
of sweetness and glory
THE WORD
Who is good and gentle –
JESUS CHRIST!

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 December – “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard …” – Luke 7:23

One Minute Reflection – 15 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent, Readings: Zephaniah 3: 1-2, 9-13; Psalms 34: 2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23; Luke 7:19-23

Go and tell John what you have seen and heard – the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” – Luke 7:23

REFLECTION – “The sun’s light as seen by our bodily eyes proclaims the spiritual Sun, the “Sun of Justice” (Mal 3,20). This was truly the gentlest of Suns to have arisen on those who, at that time, had the happiness of being His disciples and of seeing Him with their own eyes, while He was sharing man’s life, as though He were an ordinary man. And yet, by nature, He was also truly God, which was why He was capable of restoring sight to the blind, of making the lame to walk and the deaf to hear; He cleansed lepers and, with a word, brought back the dead to life.

And now, too, there is truly nothing sweeter than to fix our spiritual eyes on Him, so as to contemplate and picture to ourselves, His inexpressible, divine beauty. There is nothing sweeter than to be enlightened and made beautiful, by this participation and communion in the Light, to have one’s heart softened, one’s soul sanctified and to be filled with a holy joy all the days of this present life… Truly, this Sun of Justice is, for those who gaze at it, the transmitter of joy according to the prophecy of David: “The just rejoice and exult before God, they are glad and rejoice! And again: “Exult you just in the Lord, praise from the upright is fitting!” (Ps 68[67],4; 33[32],1).” – St Gregory of Agrigente (c 559-c 630) Bishop (Commentary on Ecclesiastes, 10, 2).

PRAYER – Almighty God, let the splendour of Your glory dawn in our hearts. May the coming of Your only Son dispel all darkness and reveal that we are children of Light. By the care and love of the Mother of Your Son and our Mothers, may we be ever strong as we carry our own crosses after Jesus, our Master and our Saviour. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 December – ‘ …The Royal Seal …’

One Minute Reflection – 13 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Monday of the Third week of Advent, Readings: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a; Psalm 25:4-9; Matthew 21:23-27

Then why did you not believe him?” – Matthew 21:25

REFLECTION“The prophets had been sent, along with Moses, to heal Israel but they ministered in tears, failing to overcome evil, as one of them said: “Woe is me! For the faithful have vanished from the earth” (Mi 7:1-2). … Humanity’s wound was great indeed – from the sole of the foot to the head, no sound place, no spot to put bandage or oil or dressing (cf. Is 1:6). Drained with weeping, the prophets said: “Who will send from Zion the healing saviour?” (cf. Ps 14[13]7) … And another prophet pleads thus: “Incline your heavens, Lord and come down” (Ps 144[143]:5). The wounds of humanity surpass our healing . They have killed the prophets and destroyed your altars (cf. 1 Kgs 19:10). We cannot cure our own wretchedness; it is You we need to raise us up.

The Lord heard the prayer of the prophets. The Father has not despised our broken race but has sent His own Son from Heaven as our physician. “The Lord whom you seek is coming and he will come speedily” said one of the prophets. Where? “Into his Temple” (cf. Mal 3:1) where you stoned His prophet (2 Chr 24:21) … And again, God Himself said: “See, I am coming to dwell among you and many nations shall take refuge in the Lord” (cf. Zech 2:14-15) … Now I am coming to gather together all people of all languages because “he came to his own and his own people did not receive him” (Jn 1:11).

You come and what do You give to the nations? “I come to gather nations and I will set my sign among them” (Is 66:18-19). For, following My combat on the Cross, I am giving each one of My soldiers, the Royal Seal to wear on his forehead (Ap 7:3). Another prophet said: “He inclined the heavens and came down, a dark cloud under his feet” (Ps 18[17]:10). However, His descent from Heaven remained unknown to people.” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father and Doctor of the Church (Baptismal catechesis 12, 6-8).

PRAYER – “My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins? What can I do without Your grace? I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death! O my Jesus, help me!” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most zealous Doctor.

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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 – 6 December – ‘ … Each day He sees our lack of faith …’

One Minute Reflection – 6 December – Monday of the Second Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10, Psalms 85:9 and 10, 11-12, 13-14, Luke 5:17-26

“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts?” – Luke 5:22

REFLECTION – “Thanks to the faith of others the cripple’s soul would be cured before his body. “Seeing their faith,” the Gospel says. Note here, my brethren, that God is not interested in what foolish people want and does noy expect to find faith among the ignorant … among those who conduct themselves badly. On the other hand he does not refuse to come to the help of others’ faith. Such faith is a gift of grace, at one with God’s will … In His divine goodness, Christ the Physician, strives to draw to salvation, even in spite of themselves, those affected by sickness of soul, those whom the burden of their sins and offences overwhelms, even to delirium. Yet they do not want to submit.

O my brethren, if only we wanted to, if only we all wanted to perceive our soul’s paralysis in all its depth! Then we would see that it is lying on a stretcher of sins, deprived of strength. Christ’s action within us, would be a source of light and we would understand that each day He sees our lack of faith, harmful as it is, that He draws us towards healing remedies and sharply presses our rebellious wills. “My son” He says, “your sins are forgiven you. – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 50 ; PL 52, 339).

PRAYER Prayer of St Ambrose (340-397)
O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake.
Amen

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One Minute Reflection – 4 December – ‘ … If He is within us, who can lead us astray?…’

One Minute Reflection – 4 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Saturday of the First Week of Advent – Readings: : Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Psalm 147: 1-6; Matthew 9:35-10:1,5a,6-8

At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36

REFLECTION – “From now on we are celebrating, with all our hearts, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and this is nothing other than what we ought to do, since He has not just come TO us but FOR us. As for the Lord, He has no need of good things from us: the greatness of the grace He has shown us, clearly manifests the depth of our need. We assess the gravity of a sickness by what it costs to cure it …

So we needed a Saviour to come to us, for the state in which we found ourselves, rendered His presence indispensable. May the Saviour come quickly, then! May He come to live in our midst, by faith, with all the wealth of His grace. May He come to draw us out of our blindness and free us from our infirmities, taking control of our weakness! If He is within us, who can lead us astray? If He is on our side, what can we not do in Him, Who is our strength? (Phil 4:13). “If he is for us who can be against us?” (Rm 8:31). Jesus Christ is an unfailing Advocate who can neither be deceived not deceive; He is a powerful Helper Whose Strength can never be spent … . He is the very Wisdom of God, the very Strength of God (1 Cor 1:24) … So let us all run together to such a Master, in every undertaking implore His aid, in the midst of our struggles entrust ourselves to so certain a Defender. If He has come into the world, already it is to live in our midst, WITH us and FOR us.” – St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk and the last Father and Doctor of the Church – 7th Sermon for Advent

PRAYER – Lord, to free man from his sinful state, You sent Your only Son into this world. Grant to us, who in faith and love, wait for His coming, Your gift of grace and the reward of true freedom. Be born in us O Lord! We ask our most pure Virgin Mary to guide us in her ways. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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One Minute Reflection – 16 November – ‘Here is a sweet remedy, when downhearted and small … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 16 November – Readings: 2 Maccabees 6: 18-31; Psalm 3: 2-7; Luke 19: 1-10 – The Memorial of St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)

So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus …”- Luke 19:4

REFLECTION – “Here is a sweet remedy when downhearted and small – we should do what Zaccheus did. He was not tall and climbed a tree in order to see God. His zeal merited him to hear these sweet words: “Zaccheus, go home for today I need to dine with you.

We should do the same when we are low, when our hearts are constricted and lacking in charity – we should climb the Tree of the most Holy Cross and there we shall see, we shall touch God! There we shall find the fire of His ineffable charity, the love which caused Him to run, even to the insults of the Cross which raised Him up and made Him ardently desire the honour of His Father and our salvation, with hunger and thirst. … If we wish, if we are not prevented by our negligence, we may accomplish these words in ourselves, emanating from the lips of Truth, when we mount the Tree of the Cross: “when I am lifted up on high, I shall draw all things to myself” (Jn 12:32). Indeed, when the soul is thus raised up, it sees the blessings of the Father’s goodness and power…, it sees the mercy and lavishness of the Holy Spirit, that is to say, the inexpressible love holding Jesus bound to the Wood of the Cross. Nails and bonds cannot hold Him there, only charity… O climb this most holy Tree where hang the ripe fruits of all the virtues, that the body of the Son of God bears – ardently hasten. Dwell within the holy and sweet love of God. O sweet Jesus, Jesus love.” – St Catherine of Siena OP (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church, Co-Patron of Europe (Letter 119 to the prior of the Olivetans

PRAYER – Lord our God, You made the heart of St Gertrude, the dwelling place of Your love. Lighten our darkness so that through her intercession, we may experience the joy of Your presence in our hearts and with Zaccheus, we may have you stay in our home. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of 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

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One Minute Reflection – 10 November – ‘He is satisfied with being loved.’

One Minute Reflection – 10 November – Readings: Wisdom 6: 1-11; Psalm 82: 3-4, 6-7; Luke 17: 11-19

Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” – Luke 17:17

REFLECTION – “After having offended our Benefactor by our indifference to His signs of goodwill, we have, nevertheless, not been forsaken by the Lord’s goodness nor cut off from His love but we have been rescued from death and restored to life by our Lord Jesus Christ. And the way in which we have been saved, is even more worthy of wonder. “Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” (Phil 2,6-7).

He carried our weakness and bore our sufferings, He was put to death for our sake that we might be saved by His Wounds, He redeemed us from the curse, by becoming accursed for us (cf Is 53,4-5; Gal 3,13). He endured the most degrading of deaths, to lead us to life and glory. And it was not enough for Him to restore to life, those who lay in death. He clothed them again in the divine dignity and prepared for them, in everlasting rest, a happiness that exceeds all human imagining.

How, then, shall we repay the Lord for all He has given us? His goodness is such, that He asks nothing in return for His blessings – He is satisfied with being loved.” – St Basil (330-379) Monk, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Father and Doctor of the Church (Great monastic Rules, # 2)

PRAYER – You Lord, Holy Father, never forget Your solemn covenant and grant us new life each day. We though in our hearts of stone do forget and cease to thank and bless You. Make our hearts turn in gratitude, for all we are and have is by Your grace and we are as nothing without You. May our minds, hearts and souls sing with love and thanks to You, Lord our God. Grant us new hearts by the prayers of Your Saint Leo the Great and all the saints in heaven, who always lived with grateful hearts, praising You always. We ask this this through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 7 November – The Order of Preachers

Quote/s of the Day – 7 November – The Memorial of
All Saints of the Order of Preachers

Arm yourself with prayer,
instead of a sword;
be clothed with humility,
instead of fine raiment.

We must sow the seed,
Not hoard it
.”

St Dominic’s Blessing
By St Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221)

May God the Father,
who made us, bless us.
May God the Son,
send His healing among us.
May God the Holy Spirit,
move within us
and give us eyes to see with,
ears to hear with,
and hands, that Your work,
might be done.
May we walk and preach
the word of God to all.
May the angel of peace
watch over us
and lead us at last,
by God’s grace,
to the Kingdom.
Amen

St Dominic de Guzman OP (1170-1221)

“I send you a very little word,
THE WORD,
made little in the crib,
THE WORD,
made flesh for us ….
THE WORD,
of salvation and grace
THE WORD,
of sweetness and glory
THE WORD
Who is good and gentle –
JESUS CHRIST!

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

It is by the path of love,
which is charity,
that God draws near to man
and man to God.
But where charity is not found,
God cannot dwell.
If, then, we possess charity,
we posses God,
for ‘God is Charity’
(1 John 4:8).

St Albert the Great OP (1200-1280)
Doctor of the Church

To convert somebody,
go and take them by the hand
and guide them
.”

Charity is
the form,
mover,
mother
and root
of all
the virtues.

To love is to
will the good
of the other.

The greatest kindness
one can render
to any man
consists in leading him
from error to truth.

O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
By St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus, Doctor communis

Hail to Thee! True body sprung
From the Virgin Mary’s womb!
The same that on the cross was hung
And bore for man the bitter doom.
Thou Whose side was pierced and flowed
Both with water and with blood.
Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life’s last agony.
O kind, O loving One!
O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
Amen

St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274)

Be strong and kill yourself
with the sword of hate and love,
then you will not hear the insults
and abuse. which the enemies
of the Church throw at you.
Your eyes will not see anything,
which seems impossible,
or the sufferings,
which may follow
but only the light of faith
and in that light ,
everything is possible
and remember ,
God never lays greater burdens
on us than we can bear.

What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body?
Why? For God is in love with all those things
and He might weep when they are gone!

St Catherine of Siena OP (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

Compassion, my dear Brother,
is preferable to cleanliness.
Reflect that with a little soap,
I can easily clean my bed covers
but even with a torrent of tears,
I would never wash from my soul,
the stain, that my harshness toward
the unfortunate would create
.”

St Martin de Porres OP (1579-1639)

Just a few of the great Dominicans – Ana OP – with Love

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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 – 24 October ” – “And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.”

Quote/s of the Day – 24 October ” – Jeremiah 31: 7-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Hebrews 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 46-52

And immediately
he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

Mark 10:52

Come, follow me”

Matthew 19:21

“I am the light of the world;
he who follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

Whatever you do, do from the heart,
as for the Lord and not for others,
knowing that you will receive
from the Lord
the due payment of the inheritance;
be slaves of the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

If we follow Christ closely we shall be allowed,
even on this earth,
to stand, as it were,
on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem
and enjoy the contemplation,
of that everlasting feast,
like the blessed Apostles,
who, in following the Saviour as their leader,
showed and still show,
the way to obtain the same gift from God.
They said – See, we have left all things and followed You.
We too follow the Lord
and we keep His feast
by deeds rather than by words.

St Athanasius (297-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

We will follow You, Lord Jesus.
But in order for us to follow You,
call us because without You,
no-one will ascend towards You.
For You are the way, the truth, the life.
You are also our help,
our trust, our reward.
Welcome those who belong to You,
You who are the way;
strengthen them, You who are the truth;
give them life, You who are the life.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

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.

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

“Jesus is happy to come with us,
as Truth is happy to be spoken,
as Life to be lived,
as Light to be lit,
as Love is to be loved,
as Joy to be given,
as Peace to be spread.

St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)

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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 – 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 – 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

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Our Morning Offering – 28 September – Steer the Ship of My Life, Lord

Our Morning Offering – 28 September – – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”

Steer the Ship of My Life, Lord
By St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Steer the ship of my life, Lord,
to Your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from
the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can see the right direction
in which I should go.
And give me the strength
and the courage
to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough
and the waves are high,
knowing that, through enduring hardship
and danger, in Your Name
we shall find comfort and peace.
Amen

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One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Oh great God! Oh perfect Child!

One Minute Reflection – 27 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Zechariah 8: 1-8; Psalm 102: 16-21, 29 and 22-23; Luke 9: 46-50

Whoever receives this little child in my name, receives me” – Luke 9:48

REFLECTION – “As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you,” (Is 66:12-13). The mother embraces her children and we seek out our own mother, the Church. Anything weak and helpless, whose weakness needs supporting, is sweet and vulnerable and endearing: -God does not refuse His help to anything so young. Parents devote particular gentleness to their little ones; … in the same way, the Father of all creation gathers to Himself all who take refuge in Him, regenerates them by His Spirit and adopts them as His sons. He knows how gentle they are and they are the ones He loves, helps and protects;,that is why He calls them His little children, (cf. Jn 13:33).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the mouth of Isaiah, applies the expression “child” to the Lord Himself: “For a child is born to us, a son is given us (…)” (Is. 9,5). Who is this Child, then? This newborn Infant in whose image we, too, are children? Through the same prophet, the Spirit describes His greatness: “Wonder-CounselLor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace,” (v. 6).

Oh great God! Oh perfect Child! The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. How could the teaching this Child gives, not be irreproachable? It includes us all to guide us all, His children. He has stretched out His hands to us and we have placed in them all our faith. To this little Child, John the Baptist himself also gave testimony – “Behold,” he said, “the Lamb of God,” (Jn 1:29). Since Scripture has called children ‘lambs’, it has called “Lamb of God” the Word of God Who became man for us and Who wanted to become like us in all things, the Son of God Himself, the child of the Father. – St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) Theologian, Father – (Paedagogus I, 21-24)

PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Word made flesh and His sorrowful Mother, grant the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word, Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by the healing Word our repentant hearts may know our way to our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.