Posted in FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 July – ‘You whom my soul loves’

Thought for the Day – 19 July – Friday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the memorial of St Macrina the Younger – sister of St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–395) Father of the Church

The Full Prayer as paraphrased in our Morning Offering today – This excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa’s commentary on the Song of Songs (Cap. 2: PG 44, 802), using the imagery of Psalm 23, appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promised green pastures, restful waters and noonday rest that is the final, eternal destination of those who love God and walk in His ways.   It is used in the Roman Catholic Office of readings for Thursday in the 33rd week in ordinary time with the corresponding biblical reading taken from Zechariah 11:4-12:8.

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–395)

Father of the Church

A Prayer to the Good Shepherd

Where are You pasturing Your flock, O good Shepherd, who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders?   (For the whole of human nature is one sheep and You have lifted it onto Your shoulders).   Show me the place of peace, lead me to the good grass that will nourish me, call me by name so that I, Your sheep, hear Your voice and by Your speech give me eternal life.   Answer me, You whom my soul loves.

I give You the name ‘You whom my soul loves’ because Your name is above every name and above all understanding and there is no rational nature that can utter it or comprehend it.   Therefore, Your name, by which Your goodness is known, is simply the love my soul has for You.   How could I not love You, when You loved me so much, even though I was black, that You laid down Your life for the sheep of Your flock?   A greater love cannot be imagined, than exchanging Your life for my salvation.

Show me then (my soul says) where You pasture your flock, so that I can find that saving pasture too and fill myself, with the food of heaven, without which no-one can come to eternal life and run to the spring and fill myself with the drink of God.   You give it, as from a spring, to those who thirst – water pouring from Your side cut open by the lance, water that, to whoever drinks it, is a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

If You lead me to pasture here, You will make me lie down at noon, sleeping at peace and taking my rest in light unstained by any shade.   For the noon has no shade and the sun stands far above the mountain peaks.   You bring Your flock to lie in this light, when You bring Your children to rest with You in Your bed.   But no-one can be judged worthy of this noonday rest who is not a child of light and a child of the day.   Whoever has separated himself equally from the shadows of evening and morning, from where evil begins and evil ends, at noon he will lie down and the sun of righteousness will shine on him.

Show me, then (my soul says), how I should sleep and how I should graze and where the path is to my noonday rest.   Do not let me fall away from Your flock because of ignorance and find myself one of a flock of sheep that are not Yours.

Thus my soul spoke, when she was anxious about the beauty that God’s care had given her and wanted to know how she could keep this good fortune forever.

Amen

“I give them eternal life”

John 10:27john 10 27 - i give them eternal life - 12 may 2019 good shepherd sunday.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 18 July – The Light Burden of the Law of Christ…St Jerome

Thought for the Day – 18 July – Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30.

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”…Matthew 11:29-30

The Light Burden of the Law of Christ

Saint Jerome (347-420)

Priest, Translator of the Bible,

Father & Doctor of the Church

“Bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfil the law of Christ.”   Sin is a burden as the psalmist attests when he says:  “My sins weigh heavy upon me.”   But the Lord has carried this burden for us, teaching us, by His example what we ourselves should do.   For it is He who bore the burden of our sins.  He was stricken for our sake (cf Is 53:8) and invites those who are weighed down by the heavy burden of the Law and of their sins to carry the easy burden of virtue, saying:  “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”(Mt 11:30).

Therefore, whoever holds out a hand to the person who begs for support, not despairing of a neighbour’s salvation, who weeps with those who weep, is weak with those who are weak and who regards other’s sins as though they were his own – such a one, fulfils through charity, the law of Christ.   What is this law of Christ?   “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another” (Jn 13:34).   What is the law of the Son of God? “Love one another as I have loved you.”   How has the Son of God loved us?   No one has greater love than this, “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”(Jn 15:13).

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.

Someone who comes to the assistance of the poor weighed down by the burden of destitution and makes friends with dishonest wealth (Lk 16:9), such a one shoulders the needs of his neighbour.   This is the one to whom Jesus will say after the general resurrection:  “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.   For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” (Mt 25:34-35).but-the-lord-has-carried-this-burden-for-us-teaching-us-by-his-example-st-jerome-19-july-2018

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 July – “take my yoke upon you and learn from me” 

One Minute Reflection – 19 July – Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves…” … Matthew 11:29matthew 11 29 take my yoke upon you 18 july 2019

REFLECTION – “You are to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”   You are not learning from me how to refashion the fabric of the world, nor to create all things visible and invisible, nor to work miracles and raise the dead.   Rather, you are simply learning of me: “that I am meek and lowly in heart.”   If you wish to reach high, then begin at the lowest level.   If you are trying to construct some mighty edifice in height, you will begin with the lowest foundation.   This is humility.   However great the mass of the building you may wish to design or erect, the taller the building is to be, the deeper you will dig the foundation.   The building in the course of its erection, rises up high but he who digs its foundation, must first go down very low.   So then, you see even a building is low before it is high and the tower is raised, only after humiliation.”… St Augustine (354-430) Fater & Doctor (Sermon 69)if you wish to reach high then begin at the lowest level st augustine 18 july 2019

PRAYER“Holy God, our Father, we turn to You in confidence as children and pray, give us meekness of heart, make us “poor in spirit” that we may recognise that we are not self-sufficient, that we are unable to build our lives on our own but need You, we need to encounter You, to listen to You, to speak to You.   Help us to understand that we need Your gift, Your wisdom, which is Jesus Himself, in order to do the Your will in our lives and thus to find rest in the hardships of our journey.”   Hear the prayers we request of St Simon of Lipnica dear Lord and holy God, which we pray through Christ, our Light, in the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen. … Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 7 December 2011st simon of lipnica pray for us 18 july 2019

Posted in CCC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 July – Let us love to be unknown! 

Thought for the Day – 17 July – Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, C, The memorial of St Alexius of Rome – “the Man of God” “the Beggar Saint”

St Alexius is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology under 17 July in the following terms: “At Rome, in a church on the Aventine Hill, a man of God is celebrated under the name of Alexius, who, as reported by tradition, abandoned his wealthy home, for the sake of becoming poor and to beg for alms unrecognised.”

“With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man,” the Catechism plainly teaches us. “Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from Him, our Creator” (#2007).   The Alexius of lore, who at least could’ve rightfully claimed the privileges associated with his family ties, instead embraced a life of severe deprivation and extravagant piety in absolute concealment.

Why?   Not for points, not to earn salvation but out of a rare plenitude of gratitude and love.   “In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works,” is how St Thérèse of Lisieux expressed the same notion.   “I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own justice and to receive from Your love the eternal possession of Yourself” (CCC 2011).

Even simpler, is St John of the Cross:   “At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love” (CCC 1022) and nobody will be comparing scores.at-the-end-of-your-life-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017.jpg

Let us love to be unknown!   (St Philip Neri).

St Alexius Pray for us!st alexius of rome pray for us no 2 17 july 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 July – Childlike

Quote/s of the Day – 17 July – Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, C – Today’s Gospel Matthew 11:25-27.

“You have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned,
you have revealed them,
to the childlike”

Matthew 11:25matthew 11 25 you have revealed them to the childlike 17 july 2019.jpg

“He will provide
the way and the means,
such as you
could never have imagined.”

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Churchhe will provide the way and the means such as you - st catherine of siena 17 july 2019.jpg

“Love to be unknown.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)love to be unknown st philip neri - 17 july 2019.jpg

“The two kinds of people
that go around,
seeing the world
as absolutely fascinating,
are children and saints.”the two kinds of people - fr mike schmitz 17 july 2019.jpg

“God has a plan
to get to you
but how many people
have a plan,
to get to God?”

Father Mike Schmitzgod has a plan to get to you - fr mike schmitz 17 july 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – “Speaking of Mary”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“Speaking of Mary”

“In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.”

Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctorin-her-god-spun-st-pehrem-annunciation-25-march-2019.jpg

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren,
she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world
but to God.”what-shall-we-say-brethren-st-aelred-9-may-2019

“But what are we to do for her?
What sort of gifts shall we offer her?
O that we might at least repay to her,
the debt we owe her!
We owe her honour,
we owe her devotion,
we owe her love,
we owe her praise.
We owe her honour
because she is the mother of Our Lord.
He who does not honour the mother,
will without doubt dishonour the son.
Besides, scripture says:
‘Honour your father and your mother.’”but what are we to do for her - st aelred - 16 july 2019.jpg

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in her,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

Saint Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

From his sermons – Sermon 20

scripture-says-praise-the-lord-st-aelred-on-mary-9-may-2019

“Who is the flower but our Blessed Lord?
Who is the rod, or beautiful stalk
or stem or plant out of which the flower grows
but Mary, Mother of our Lord, Mary, Mother of God?”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)who-is-the-flower-but-our-blessed-lord-bl-john-henry-newman-1-may-2018.jpg

“Honouring Mary,
no matter how sacred,
is only the door
leading to Jesus.
Mary is the means,
Jesus is the end.
Mary is the road,
Jesus is the destination.”

Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad (1875-1954)honouring mary - bl jacques ghazir haddid 26 june 2019.jpg

mary is the road jesus is the destination - 26 june 2019 .jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 15 July – ‘Meditation on Christ in His humanity …’

Thought for the Day – 15 July – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11,1 and The Memorial of St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church

Saint Bonaventure saw the spires of the great cathedrals reaching up to heaven as a reflection of the human soul’s reaching up to God in his The Soul’s Journey into God. Likewise, the streams of light coming into the church through the stained-glass windows, reflect God expressing Himself, in the wide variety of creatures upon whom He showers His gifts of grace.

And the images go on and on as the saint reaches into human experience of creation and cultural artifacts and finds vestigium (the footprints) of God since everything in creation, reflects in some way, the grandeur of God.   Human beings, of course, are the actual image of God.

It was this ability to take the spirituality of Saint Francis—as reflected in Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Sun, for instance—and place it at the heart of his writings, keeping the simplicity of the Franciscan insights and creating a sublime theology, that truly deserves the name “Seraphic.”

When Bonaventure was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V, he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”   Merriam-Webster defines a seraph as one of the highest-ranking angels as well as “one of the six-winged angels standing in the presence of God.”   It was as a seraph that Christ appeared to Saint Francis when he received the stigmata on Mount La Verna.   Therefore, it is fitting to use the term to describe the soaring mysticism of Saint Bonaventure.

In his General Audience on 3 March 2010, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the life of St Bonaventure.   He called to mind the great works of literature, art, philosophy and theology that were inspired by the Christian faith during the time period in which the saint lived.

“Among the great Christian figures who contributed to the composition of this harmony between faith and culture, Bonaventure stands out, a man of action and contemplation, of profound piety and prudent government,” Pope Benedict said.

The Pope called on the faithful to take note of “the central role that Christ always played in Bonaventure’s life and teaching,” and to imitate the way in which “the whole of his thinking was profoundly Christocentric.”

“Meditation on Christ in His humanity is corporeal in deed, in fact but spiritual in mind. . . . By adopting this habit, you will steady your mind, be trained to virtues and receive strength of soul….Let meditation of Christ’s life be your one and only aim, your rest, your food, your desire, your study.” – St Bonaventure

St Bonaventure, Pray for us!let meditationof christ's life - st bonaventure pray for us 15 july 2019.jpg