Quote/s of the Day – 11 May – “Mary’s Month” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter,Readings: Acts 16: 22-34, Psalms 138: 1-2, 2-3, 7-8, John 16: 5-11
“I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all truth.”
“If one of us has a conscience polluted by the stain of avarice, conceit, vain-glory, indignation, irascibility, or envy and the other vices, he has “a daughter badly troubled by a demon” like the Canaanite woman.”
St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church
“A good man is not a perfect man; a good man is an honest man, faithful and unhesitatingly responsive to the Voice of God in his life.”
St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr
“Just as speech has been given to men to be the interpreter of their feelings and desires, so it is through the conscience, that God teaches us, what He judges of everything and what He expects of each one of us. This divine Voice forms various interior words, to express various lessons and the different orders, that it pleases God to give to His creature. It is the bond of communication that the Lord desires to have with us and the most usual organ he makes use of, to touch our hearts and open to us His own.”
St Claude la Colombière SJ (1641-1682)
Christian reflections (Spiritual writings, coll. Christus no 9,)
“The Heart of Jesus is with me.”
“Three things I cannot escape: the eye of God, the voice of conscience, the stroke of death. In company, guard your tongue. In your family, guard your temper. When alone guard your thoughts.”
Venerable Matthew Talbot (1856 – 1925)
“Then steer your ship with steady arm, Trust Me and rest your soul. Your little boat I’ll keep from harm, I’ll guide it toward its goal. … Be therefore, steadfast, calm and true, Your God is at your side. Through storm and night He’ll see you through With conscience as your guide.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross OCD.(1891-1942 Edith Stein “At the Helm”
Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Psalm: Psalms 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4 (2b); Second: First John 4: 7-10; Gospel: John 15: 9-17
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. “
“It is not that we keep His commandments first and that then He loves but, that He loves us and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace which is revealed to the humble but hidden from the proud.”
“If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
PRAYER – O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church
O my God, I am exceedingly grieved, for having offended Thee and with my whole heart, I repent of the sins I have committed. I hate and abhor them above every other evil, not only because, by so sinning, I have lost heaven and deserved hell but still more because I have offended Thee, O infinite Goodness, who art worthy to be loved above all things. I most firmly resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, never more to offend Thee for the time to come and to avoid those occasions which might lead me into sin. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 24 April – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:31-42, Psalm 116:12-17, John 6:60-69
“And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.”
“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit… he who does not obey the Son, shall not see life.”
“When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Never before has anyone spoken like this one”
“God could answer: “My Son is My entire Locution a nd Response, Vision and Revelation, which I have already spoken, answered, manifested and revealed to you, by giving Him to you as a Brother, Companion, Master, Ransom and Reward… ”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Mystical Doctor of the Church
The Saving Word By St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)
No father on earth loves his children as much as You love the beings You created. Lord. Not content with just giving them existence, You inspire them with the means for happiness in this life and someday, having a place in Your House. First through the prophets and then through Your holy Apostles. You have given us the Word of Life. But it was through Jesus. Your beloved Son. that You gave the definitive Word to the world: the “Good News’ that saves us. Strengthen us. Lord, against our weakness; guide our steps along the road You have pointed out – Christ our brother, Who is the Way, He, the Truth and He, the Life. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 7:51–8:1, Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21, John 6:30-35
“My dear souls, let us recognise, I pray you, Christ’s infinite charity towards us in the institution of this Sacrament of the Eucharist. In order that our love be a spiritual love, He wills a new heart, a new love, a new spirit for us. It is not with a carnal heart but with a spiritual one, that Christ has loved us with a gratuitous love, a supreme and most ardent love, by way of pure grace and charity. Ah! One needs to love Him back with one’s whole, whole, whole, living, living, living and true, true, true heart!!”
St Lawrence of Brindisi(1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor of the Church
“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist?
It is God, who, as our Saviour, offers Himself each day for us to His Father’s justice.
If you are in difficulties and sorrows, He will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, He will either cure you or give you strength to suffer, so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world and the flesh are making war upon you, He will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist and to win the victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and for eternity. Let us open the door of His Sacred and Adorable Heart and be wrapped about for an instant, by the flames of His love and we shall see, what a God who loves us, can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”
St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
Sweet Sacrament, We Thee Adore
I see upon the Altar placed The Victim of the greatest love. Let all the earth below adore and join the heavenly choirs above: Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore, Oh! make us love Thee more and more.
Jesus! dear Shepherd of the flock, that crowds in love, about Thy feet, Our voices yearn to praise Thee, Lord and joyfully Thy presence greet: Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore, Oh! make us love Thee more and more.
O Precious Blood of Jesus, cleanse my soul from every stain! Most pure Heart of Jesus, purify me! Most humble Heart of Jesus, teach me Thy humility! Sweet Heart of Jesus, communicate to me Thy gentleness and patience! Most merciful Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me! Most loving Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart with love of Thee! Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 19 April – Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 8-15, Psalm: Psalms 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30, Gospel: John 6: 22-29
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.”
“He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“You first loved us so that we might love You— not because You needed our love but because, we could not be what You created us to be, except by loving You.”
William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
“For God, … does not work in those who refuse to place all their confidence and hope in Him alone. But He does impart the fullness of His love upon those who possess a deep faith and hope; for them He does great things.”
St Jerome Emiliani (1486-1537)
“As for me, my God, I am so convinced, that You watch over those who hope in You and, that one cannot lack for anything, when one expects everything from You, that I have resolved, to live in future, without any anxiety and to unload all my worries onto You …”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682)
Lord, May Your kingdom Come Into My Heart By Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
Lord, may Your kingdom come into my heart to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me. How insignificant is the passing moment, to the eye without faith! But how important each moment is, to the eye enlightened by faith! How can we deem insignificant anything which has been caused by You? Every moment and every event is guided by You and so contains Your infinite greatness. So, Lord, I glorify You in everything that happens to me. In whatever manner You make me live and die, I am content. Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences because Your action lies behind them. Everything is heaven to me because all my moments, manifest Your love. Amen
“You leave the land just as it is when you depart; you do not carry anything away. Our first aim is to go to God, we are not on earth for anything but this!”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Friday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 5: 34-42, Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 4, 13-14, Gospel: John 6: 1-15 and the Month of the Blessed Sacrament
“And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them”
“O precious and wonderful banquet that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
“Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews without food in the desert, for fear that they would collapse on the way, it was to teach us, that it is dangerous to try to get to Heaven, without the Bread of Heaven.”
St Jerome (343-420) Father and Doctor of the Church
“O you sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? … Behold – daily He humbles Himself as when from heaven’s royal throne He came down into the womb of the Virgin. Daily, He Himself, comes to us with like humility; daily He descends from the bosom of the Father, upon the altar, in the hands of the priest.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 April – Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 32-37, Psalm: Psalms 93: 1ab, 1cd-2, 5, Gospel: John 3: 7b-15
“And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul”
Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.”
“No-one can have God as his father, if he does not have the Church as his mother… The Lord warned us of this when He said: “Whoever is not with me, is against me and whoever does not gather together with me, scatters.” The person who breaks the peace and concord of Christ, acts against Christ; the person who gathers together, outside of the Church, scatters the Church of Christ.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church On the unity of the Church
“No Christian should think of himself as his own master but each should rather so think and act, as though given by God, to be slave to his fellow brothers and sisters.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor
“By nature, each one of us is enclosed, in his own personality but supernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Him. Therefore, He asked His Father “that they may all be One, as We also are one.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
“And so we pray, that, by the same grace, which made the Church Christ’s Body, all its members may remain firm in the unity of that Body, through the enduring bond of love.”
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) Bishop, Father of the Church
Quote/s of the Day – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“According to your faith, be it done to you.”
“He [Christ], protects their faith and gives strength to believers, in proportion to the TRUST, that each man, who receives that strength, is willing to place in Him.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15
“Preach the gospel to every creature”
“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!”
“There are two ways of keeping God’s word, namely, one, whereby we store in our memory what we hear and the other, whereby we put into practice, what we have heard (and none will deny that the latter is more commendable, inasmuch, as it is better to sow grain, than to store it in the barn).”
One Minute Reflection – 7 April – Easter Wednesday, Readings: First: Acts 3: 1-10, Psalm: Psalms 105: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9, Gospel: Luke 24: 13-35
“And they said one to the other: ‘Was not our hearts burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way and opened to us the scriptures?’” – Luke 24:32
REFLECTION – “What is the innermost reason of this fruitfulness of God’s Word? It is that Christ is ever living: He is ever the God who saves and quickens. … All proportion guarded, that which is true of the person of Jesus is true also of His Word and, what was true yesterday, is still true in our days. Christ lives in the soul of the just, under the infallible direction of this inner master, the soul … penetrates into the divine light, Christ gives it His Spirit, the first author of Holy Writ, that it may there “search into the very depths of the infinite” (cf. 1 Cor 2:10). It contemplates God’s marvels with respect to men; it measures, by faith, the divine proportions of the mystery of Jesus and this wonderful spectacle, whereof the splendours enlighten and illuminate it, touches, draws, enraptures, uplifts, transports and transforms the soul. It experiences in its turn, what the disciples of Emmaus felt when Christ Jesus Himself vouchsafed to interpret to them the sacred books: “Was not our heart burning within us whilst he spoke in the way and opened to us the Scriptures.”
What is there astonishing, then, in the fact, that the soul, charmed and won by this living Word, “which penetrates even to the marrow” (Heb 4:12) makes the prayer of these disciples its own – “Stay with us! O Thou the incomparable Master, indefectible Light, infallible Truth, the only true Life of our souls!” Forestalling these holy desires “the Holy Spirit Himself prays for us with unspeakable groanings” which constitute true prayer, these vehement desires to possess God, to live no longer save for the Father’s glory and for that of His Son Jesus. Love becomes great and burning by contact with God, takes possession of all the powers of the soul, renders it strong and generous, to do perfectly, all the Father’s will, to give itself up ,wholly to the divine good pleasure.” – Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – Monastic prayer (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk)
PRAYER – God our Father, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection. Let the word of the Word, our Resurrected Saviour, lead us to our eternal joy. May the intercession of all your Angels, Saints and the Blessed Mother of the Risen Christ, bring us safely home. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for all eternity, amen.
Epistle: Acts 3: 1-10 1 Now Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. 2 And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb, was carried: whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple. 3 He, when he had seen Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. 4 But Peter with John fastening his eyes upon him, said: Look upon us. 5 But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. 6 But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk. 7 And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. 8 And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and went in with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.
Gospel: Luke 24: 13-35 13 And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. 16 But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. 17 And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? 19 To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; 20 And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre, 23 And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive. 24 And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not. 25 Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken. 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him. 28 And they drew nigh to the town, whither they were going and he made as though he would go farther. 29 But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. 30 And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? 33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them, 34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.
A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all! Alleluia! Christós anésti! Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen
[Easter is the Anglo- Saxon word for April, and was derived, as Venerable Bede tells us, (in his book De temporum ratione c. 13,) from Easter, a goddess of our pagan ancestors. Others derive Easter from Oest, Oost the Saxon for rising, or the east: and hence, Osteren, the Resurrection. Tr. from Butler’s Moveable Feasts.]
THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE; LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE THEREIN!
The night between Saturday and Sunday has well nigh run its course and the day-dawn is appearing. The Mother of sorrows is waiting, in courageous hope and patience, for the blissful moment of her Jesus’ return.
… But Jesus is not to tarry in the gloomy sepulchre. Quicker than a ray of light through a crystal, He passes through the stone that closes the entrance of the cave. Pilate had ordered his seal to be put upon this stone and a guard of soldiers is there, to see that no-one touches it. Untouched it is and unmoved and yet, Jesus is free!
Thus, as the holy Fathers unanimously teach us, was it at His birth: -He appeared to the gaze of Mary, without having offered the slightest violence to her maternal womb. The birth and the resurrection, the commencement and the end of Jesus’ mission, these two mysteries bear on them, the seal of resemblance – in the first, it is a Virgin Mother; in the last, it is a sealed tomb giving forth its captive God.
And while this Jesus, this Man-God, thus breaks the sceptre of death, the stillness of the night is undisturbed. His and our victory has cost Him no effort. 0 death! where is now thy kingdom? Sin had made us thy slaves; thy victory was complete and now, lo! thou thyself art defeated! Jesus, whom thou didst exultingly hold under thy law, ( 1 Apec. 1, 5. 2 I. Cor xv, 26. ‘Ibid. 56) has set Himself free and we, after thou hast domineered over us for a time, we too shall be free from thy grasp. The tomb thou makest for us, will become to us the source of a new life, for He that now conquers thee is ‘the First-born among the dead ~ and to-day is the Pasch, the Passover, the deliverance, for Jesus and for us, His brethren.
He has led the way, we shall follow and the day will come, when thou, the enemy, that destroys all things, shalt thyself be destroyed by immortality. Thy defeat dates from this moment of Jesus’ Resurrection,and, with the great Apostle, we say to thee:
‘O death! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?‘
Servant of God Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875) Abbot of Solesmes
Quote/s of the Day – 2 April – Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord
“O SACRED HEAD” By St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
O Sacred Head surrounded By a crown of piercing thorn! O bleeding Head, so wounded, Reviled and put to scorn! Death’s pallid hue comes o’er Thee, The glow of life decays, Yet angel hosts adore Thee And tremble as they gaze.
I see Thy strength and vigour All fading in the strife, And death, with cruel vigour, Bereaving Thee of life; O agony and dying! O love to sinners free! Jesus, all grace supplying, O turn Thy face on me!
In this Thy bitter Passion, Good Shepherd, think of me, With Thy most sweet compassion, Unworthy though I be. Beneath Thy Cross abiding, ‘Forever would I rest, In Thy dear love confiding, And will Thy presence blest.
“Do not pass one day without devoting a half hour, or at least a quarter of an hour, to meditation on the sorrowful Passion of your Saviour. Have a continual remembrance of the agonies of your crucified Love and know, that the greatest saints, who now, in heaven, triumph in holy love, arrived at perfection in this way.”
Quote/s of the Day – 23 March – Tuesday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21, John 8:21-30
“Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”
“…And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
“The servant is not greater than his Master”
“He conquered death, broke the gates of hell, won for Himself a people to be His co-heirs, lifted flesh from corruption up to the glory of eternity.”
“The Son of God is nailed to the Cross but on the Cross, God conquers human death. Christ, the Son of God, dies but all flesh is made alive in Christ. The Son of God is in hell but man is carried back to heaven.”
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
The Word of the Cross by Saint Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431)
Look on thy God, Christ hidden in our flesh. A bitter word, the cross and bitter sight: Hard rind without, to hold the heart of heaven. Yet sweet it is, for God upon that tree Did offer up His life upon that rood My Life hung, that my life might stand in God. Christ, what am I to give Thee for my life? Unless take from Thy hands the cup they hold, To cleanse me with the precious draught of death. What shall I do? My body to be burned? Make myself vile? The debt’s not paid out yet. Whate’er I do, it is but I and Thou, And still do I come short, still must Thou pay My debts, O Christ, for debts Thyself hadst none. What love may balance Thine? My Lord was found In fashion like a slave, that so His slave Might find himself in fashion like his Lord. Think you the bargain’s hard, to have exchanged The transient for the eternal, to have sold Earth to buy Heaven? More dearly God bought me.
“How can you become a sharer, in His glory (1 Pt 5:1) if you will not consent, to become a sharer, in His humiliating death?”
St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus our proper way of living. Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’? Rather, both living and dying. Dying to the world, living for God. Dying to vices and living by the virtues. Dying to the flesh, but living in the spirit. Thus in the Cross of Christ, there is death and in the Cross of Christ there is life. The death of death is there and the life of life. The death of sins is there and the life of the virtues. The death of the flesh is there and the life of the spirit.”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“ … If you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.”
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I AM” – John 8:28
REFLECTION – “Isaiah the prophet describes an exalted vision for us: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne” (Is 6:1). What a wonderful sight, my brethren! Happy the eyes that saw it! Who would not want with all their heart, to behold the splendour of so great a glory? … Yet here, I am listening to that same prophet give us an account of a very different vision of the same Lord: “We saw Him; He had no beauty, no splendour – we took Him for a leper” (Is 53:2f. Vg.) (…)
And so, if you desire to see Jesus in His glory, try, first of all, to contemplate Him in His humiliation. Begin by gazing on the serpent raised up in the desert, (cf. Jn 3:14) if you wish to see the King seated on His throne. Let the first vision fill you with humility, so that the second, may raise you from your humiliation. Let the former, reprove and heal your pride, before the latter fulfils and satisfies, your desire. Do you see the Lord “emptied?” (Phil 2:7). Do not let this vision leave you untouched, or you will not be able to behold Him later on, in the glory of His exaltation, without anxiety.
“You will be like Him,” indeed, when you see Him “as He is” (1 Jn 3:2); so, be like Him now, as you see what He became for your sake. If you do not refuse to become like Him in His humiliation, He will certainly give you, the likeness of His glory in return. He will never allow someone who has shared His Passion, to be excluded from communion in His glory. So little does He refuse, to admit someone who has shared His Passion, into the Kingdom with Him, that the thief found himself in paradise that very day with Him because he confessed Him on the cross (Lk 23:42) … Yes indeed, “if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him” (Rm 8:17). – St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk and Mellifluous Doctor of the Church – Sermon 1 for the first Sunday of November.
PRAYER – Holy Father, we have sinned against You and beg for Your forgiveness and mercy. Through the merits of the saving Cross of Your Son, help Your people O Lord, to persevere in obedience to Your will, so that through this obedience, we may reach our eternal home. May the eyes of our hearts, never cease contemplating the Holy Cross and following the way of its humiliation. We hope for the intercession of your angels and saints and our most loving Mother Mary. Through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41-62, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, John 8:1-11
“Go and from now on, sin no more”
“The sky and the earth and the waters and the things that are in them, the fishes and the birds and the trees are not evil. All these are good; it is evil men who make this evil world.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father, Doctor of Grace
“Our God, … being good and merciful, wants us to confess [our sins] in this world, so that we may not be ashamed because of them in the next. So if we confess them them, He, on His part, shows Himself to be merciful; if we acknowledge them, then He forgives … ”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk
“Oh, what peril attaches to sin, wilfully committed! For it is so difficult for man to bring himself to penance and without penitence, guilt remains and will ever remain, so long as man retains unchanged, the will to sin, or is intent upon committing it.”
Quote/s of the Day – – 28 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53
“Never before, has anyone spoken, like this one”
“Come along then, every human family, full of sin as you are and receive the forgiveness of your sins. For I Myself, am your Forgiveness, I am the Passover of salvation, the Lamb slain for your sakes, your redemption, life and resurrection; I am your Light, your Salvation and your King. It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven, I, who will raise you up; it is I, who will bring you to see the Father who is from all eternity; it is I, who will raise you up by My all-powerful Hand.”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist
“Christ is the artist, tenderly wiping away all the grime of sin that disfigures the human face and restoring God’s image to its full beauty.”
St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church
“He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights, is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). … As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge … Without this Ligh, which is Christ, no-one can penetrate the secrets of faith.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor
“… Make use of Our Lord as an armour which covers [us] all about, by means of which [we] shall resist every device of [our] enemies. You shall then be my Strength, O my God! You shall be my Guide, my Director, my Counsellor, my Patience, my Knowledge, my Peace, my Justice and my Prudence.”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“Where, then, is true freedom? It is in the heart of one who loves nothing more than God. It is in the heart of one who is attached neither to spirit nor to matter but only to God. It is in that soul which is not subject to the “I” of egoism, which soars above its own thoughts, feelings, suffering and enjoyment. Freedom resides in the soul whose one reason for existence is God, whose life is God and nothing else but God.”
St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) Spanish Trappist Monk
“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” … John 4:48
REFLECTION – “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe!” The royal official seems not to believe that Jesus has the power to raise the dead. “Come down before my son dies!” He seems to believe that Jesus does not know how serious his child’s illness is. That is why Jesus reproaches him, to show him that miracles are done, above all, in order to win and heal souls. Thus, Jesus heals the father, who is no less spiritually ill, than the son, who is physically ill and He does so, in order to teach us, that we must be attached to Him, not because of miracles but because of His teaching, which the miracles confirm. For He does not work miracles for those who believe but for those who do not believe …
When the man returned home, “he and his whole household became believers.” People who had neither seen nor heard Jesus … believed in Him. What teaching can we draw from this? We must believe in Him without demanding miracles; we must not demand of God that He prove His power. In our own day, how many people show greater love of God, when their children or wife have received some sort of relief in their illness. But even if our wishes are not heard, we must persevere, just as much, in thanksgiving and praise. Let us remain attached to God in adversity, as much as, in prosperity.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Gospel of Saint John, no. 35
PRAYER – Teach us Holy Father to do Your will! Grant us Your guiding hand and Your grace, that we may trust You in all things. Strengthen us by Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by the love of Your Son, who so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake. For if we love as He loved, nothing will lead us from You. Grant that the prayers of St Pope Zachary, may intercede in our necessities. We make our prayer through the Christ, our Lord, one God with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for all eternity, amen.
“…For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but he who humbles himself, will be exalted” – Luke 18:14
REFLECTION – “You know what our divine Saviour, who is very truth and goodness, said to His disciples: “Unless your justice abound more than that (…) of the Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20). These words are truly those of Christ. He who would not condemn the woman taken in adultery; who vouchsafed to speak to the Samaritan woman and reveal heavenly mysteries to her in spite of her guilty life; He who consented to eat with the publicans, socially disqualified as sinners; who allowed Magdalen to wash His feet and wipe them with the hairs if her head; He who was so “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29), publicly hurled anathemas at the Pharisees: “Woe to you (…) hypocrites, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 23:13). (…)
Call to mind the Pharisee whom Christ depicts going up to the Temple to pray. What is his prayer? “My God, I am a man altogether irreproachable; I fast, I give tithes (Lk 18:11-12); You cannot find me in fault on any point; You ought to be proud of me.” And in the literal sense, what he said was true – he did observe all these things.
However, what judgement does Jesus pass upon him? This man went out of the Temple without being justified, his heart empty of God’s grace. Why this condemnation? Because the unhappy man glorified himself, for his good actions and placed all his perfection, in merely outward observance, without troubling himself about the inward dispositions of his heart. Therefore, our Lord tells us: “Unless your justice is greater than that of the Pharisees, you will have no part in the Kingdom of heaven.” (…) It is in the heart that perfection lies; for love is the supreme law.” – Bl Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – The “instruments of good works” (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk)
PRAYER – We turn to You our God and Father and seek Your comfort and assurance. Jesus, our Lord, Your Son, taught us how to pray in humility and all we need to be and do, to reach You. Be patient good Father, as we grow by Your grace. May the prayers of the Mother of Christ, help us to attain our home Through Jesus our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33
REFLECTION – “What is human mercy like? It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like? It forgives sinners… In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)… What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42). Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven… What He receives on earth He returns in heaven. I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to Church? What indeed if not mercy? Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven. A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so, when you come to Church, give whatever alms you can to the poo,r in accordance with your means.” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Sermon 25
PRAYER – Infinite Lord, help me to serve You always in accord with Your holy will. Show us how to make You our Lord and our All. St Frances of Rome, you showed us all the way of holiness within the confines of our lives, always seeking to do the will of God and serve all His children, most especially those in need but remaining always true to the vows of your marriage. Please pray for us all, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalms 1: 1-2, 3, and 6, Luke 16: 19-31
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously everyday. And at his gate was laid, a poor man named Lazarus …”
“You, who think that you have a healthy hand, beware lest it is withered by greed or by sacrilege. Hold it out often. Hold it out to the poor person who begs you. Hold it out to help your neighbour, to give protection to a widow, to snatch from harm one whom you see subjected to unjust insult. Hold it out to God for your sins.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“… Let us be afraid, my beloved, lest we also see the poor and pass them by, lest instead of Lazarus, there be many to accuse us hereafter.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church
“God resists the proud” whether they are covered with silk or with rags but “he gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6) whether or not, they have possessions in this world. God looks at what is within, it is there He assesses, there He examines.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food.” Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven… What He receives on earth, He returns in heaven.”
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. … Luke 16:22-23
REFLECTION – By St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173) Armenian Bishop – Jesus, Only Son of the Father, 624 f.
Like the rich man who loved a life of pleasure I, too, have loved pleasures that pass away With this animal body of mine, In the pleasures of that fool.
And from so many and such great blessings That You have so freely given me I have not paid back the tenth From Your own gifts.
But, out of everything under my roof, Gathered from earth and sky and sea, I believed Your numberless blessings To be my own possession.
Nothing of these have I given to the poor, Nor set anything aside for his needs: Neither food for the hungry Nor covering for the naked body,
Neither shelter for the homeless Nor abode for the foreign guest, Nor visit to the sick Nor even concern for the prisoner (cf. Mt 25:31 f.).
I was not saddened for the sorrow Of the one cast down by his burdens, Nor shared the joy of the joyful But burned with jealousy against him.
All of them were another Lazarus, (…) They lay outside at my gate; … Yet I, deaf to their appeal, Never gave them the crumbs from my table. …
The dogs of your Law outside Comforted them, at least with their tongues; Yet I, who listened to Your commandment, Wounded the one who bore Your likeness with my tongue (Mt 25:45). (…)
Yet only grant me repentance here below That I may make reparation for my sins, … That these tears may extinguish the blazing furnace With its burning flames. …
And, instead of acting like the merciless, Set merciful compassion within me, That, by showing mercy to the poor, I may obtain Your mercy.
PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that by the intercession of St Casimir we may grow in charity us during our life on earth. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 3 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20,Psalms 31: 5-6, 14, 15-16, Matthew 20: 17-28
“Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”
“Only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ, that I may suffer together with Him! I endure everything because He Himself, Who is perfect man, empowers me.”
St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35–107) Martyr
“Do not rejoice in the Cross only in times of peace, preserve the same faith in times of persecution. Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone, only to become His enemy in times of war. You are now receiving forgiveness for your sins and the spiritual gifts lavishly bestowed by your King so, when war breaks out, fight valiantly for your King.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Do not live any longer in yourself but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent in all your actions, in order that all may see in you a true portrait of the Crucified and sense, the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord, in interior and exterior modesty, in patience, in gentleness, suffering, charity, humility and in all others that follow.”
St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
“To labour and to suffer for the One we love, is the greatest proof of our love.”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 March – Monday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20,Psalms 50: 8-9,16-17, 21 and 23, Matthew 23:1-12
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
“My brothers, keep away from the beast of boasting and concern for one’s reputation, for these destroy and weaken, every good work.”
Bl Raymond of Capua (c 1330-1399)
“The one sole thing, in myself, in which I glory, is that I see in myself, nothing, in which I can glory.”
St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
“Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God. Distrusting ourselves and our own strength produces trust in God and from that trust, generosity of soul is born.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all, how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it.”
St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“There is more value in a little study of humility and, in a single act of it, than in all the knowledge in the world.”
St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer
Quote/s of the Day – 1 March – Monday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 9:4-10, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11 and 13, Luke 6:36-38
“Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give, will be the measure you get back.”
“Someone who shows no clemency, who is not clothed with the bowels of mercy and tears, no matter what sort of student he is in spirituality, such a one does not fulfil the law of Christ.”
St Jerome (343-420) “The Man of the Bible” Father and Doctor of the Church
“Lift up and stretch out your hands, not to heaven but to the poor… if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with the poor, it is worth nothing.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you, nothing that you have received— only what you have given – a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)
“Let us learn of Him, that holy preference, which shows most love, to those who suffer most.”
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 February – The Memorial of St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) Father & Doctor of the Church and St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows CP (1838-1862)
“In the face of my darkness, You are light. In the face of my mortality, You are life.”
“The soul’s every movement is a reminder of God, the taking of a step, the extension of the right hand, the raising of the arm, with thanks for good works, with shame for bad, for familiar conversation and public addresses, in rational discourse, in works of success, in the fervour of virtue, day and night, we are guided by You in the useful movements for our spirit, asleep or awake … ”
Assist me by the wings of your prayers, O you who are called the Mother of the living, so that on my exit from this valley of tears I may be able to advance without torment, to the dwelling of life that has been prepared for us to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.
Healer of the sorrows of Eve, change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness. Be my Advocate, ask and supplicate. For as I believe in your inexpressible purity, so do I also believe in the good reception that is given to your word.
O you who are blessed among women, help me with your tears for I am in danger. Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation, O Mother of God.
Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, O Tabernacle of the Most High. Hold out your hand to me as I fall, O heavenly Temple.
Glorify your Son in you, may He be pleased to operate Divinely in me the miracle of forgiveness and mercy. Handmaid and Mother of God, may your honour be exalted by me and may my salvation be manifested, through you. Amen.
St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) Father & Doctor of the Church
“I will attempt, day by day, to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own”
“Do not bestow your love on the world!”
“Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand, to accompany you on the trip to eternity.”
(From a letter to his brother).
St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)
“But I say to you, love your enemies” – Matthew 5:44
REFLECTION – “One of you will say: “I’m not able to love my enemies at all.” All through Holy Scripture God has said to you that you can and do you answer Him that, to the contrary, you can’t? Now think about it – who are we to believe? God or you? Since He who is Truth itself cannot lie, let human weakness leave off its futile excuses forthwith! He who is just, cannot demand something impossible and He who is merciful, will not condemn someone for something that person could not avoid. So why these evasions then? There is no-one who knows better, what we are capable of, than He who has given us the ability. Such numbers of men, women, children, tender young girls, have borne flames, fire, sword and the wild beasts for Christ’s sake, without flinching and we, do we say that we cannot bear the insults of unintelligent persons?…
Indeed, if only the good are to be loved, what are we to say of the action of our God, of whom it is written: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son?”(Jn 3,16). For what good deeds are they, that the world had done, for God to love it so? Christ our Lord, found us all to be not only evil but even dead, on account of original sin and yet… “he loved us and handed himself over for us” (Eph 5,2). In so acting He loved even those who did not love Him, as the Apostle Paul also says: “Christ died for the guilty” (Rm 5,6). And in his inexpressible mercy, He gave this example to all humankind, saying: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Mt 11,29).” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the people, no 37
PRAYER – Almighty God, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully, to begin this day for Christ Your Son, in Him and with Him and to fill it, with an active love for all Your children, even those who may not like or who do us harm. Help us to love as You do, so that we may become like You. St Gabriel Posenti, you who spread your charity abundantly in your short life and continue to do so now from Heaven, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 26 February – Friday of the First Week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 18:21-28, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, Matthew 5:20-26
“Go first and be reconciled with your brother”
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.”
“This is what I proclaim, what I testify, what I cry out with a resounding voice: Let n- one who has an enemy, draw near the holy table, to receive the Body of the Lord! Let no-one who does approach it, have an enemy! Do you have an enemy? Do not come near! If you want to do so, then first go and be reconciled, then receive the Sacrament.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Someone who shows no clemency, who is not clothed with the bowels of mercy and tears, no matter what sort of student he is in spirituality, such a one does not fulfil the law of Christ.”
St Jerome (347-420) Father & Doctor of the Church
“If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”
“If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.”
St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“See to it that you refrain from harsh words. But if you do speak them, do not be ashamed to apply the remedy from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”
St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)
“You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God.”
“Go first and be reconciled with your brother” – Matthew 5:24
REFLECTION – “In heaven there is a mercy that we attain by mercy here on earth… And there are two kinds of almsgiving: one good, the other better. The first consists in offering a morsel of bread to the poor; the other in at once forgiving the brother who has sinned against you. With our Lord’s help let us hasten to put into practice these two kinds of almsgiving that we may be fit to receive eternal pardon and the true mercy that is Christ’s. For He Himself has said: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you will not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Mt 6,14-15). And elsewhere the Holy Spirit cries aloud: “Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the Lord? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows yet seek God’s pardon for his own sins?” (Sir 28,3-4)…
Let us make haste as much as we can and, for as long as we live, to acquire these two kinds of alms and distribute them to others. Then, on the day of judgement, we shall be able to say with full assurance: “Give, Lord, because we have given.” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the people no.25
PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant that faithfully following the instructions of Your Son and pondering all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence. By the gifts of the Holy Spirit, may we always be light to our neighbour. Mary, Mother of Love and our loving mother, by your prayers, may we grow in charity and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord amen.