Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – ‘… Let us work our hearts…’

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23 and the Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty and in another thirty.”…Matthew 13:23

REFLECTION – “Indeed, you all know how land is cultivated.   First of all you pull out the weeds and throw away the stones, then you work the ground itself.   You do it again a second time, a third time and finally… you sow.   Oh, let it be like this in our souls!   First of all let us uproot the weeds, that is to say our evil thoughts, then take out the stones, in other words, all our malice and obstinacy.   Finally, let us work our hearts with the plough of the Gospel and the ploughshare of the cross.   Let us break it by repentance, turn over the soil with almsgiving and with charity, prepare it for the seed of Our Lord… that it may joyfully receive the seed of the divine word and bring forth fruit, not just thirty but sixty and a hundredfold.”...St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Monk & Bishop (Sermons to the people, no.6 passim ; SC 175)as-for-what-was-sown-matthew-11-23-st-caesarious-of-arles-finally-let-us-work-our-hearts-27-july-2018.jpg

PRAYER – O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of Your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may work hard to deserve the grace You send us and thus attain the salvation You have promised to Your people.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.   Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us! Amensts joachim and anne pray for us 26 july 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives – St Peter Chrysologus

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures.   They are prayer, fasting and mercy.   Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.   Prayer, mercy and fasting: – these three are one and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.   Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.   If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.   So if you pray, fast;  if you fast, show mercy;  if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.   If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.fasting is the soul of prayer - st peter chryasologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent

When you fast, see the fasting of others.   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.if you want to receive give - st peter chrysologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent.jpg

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy – show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer in our favour.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others.   Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting.   There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy – A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make Him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.   Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give Him yourself, you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added.   Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy.   Fasting dries up when mercy dries up.   Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth.   However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin, when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.   Therefore, do not lose by saving but gather in by scattering.   Give to the poor and you give to yourself.   You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“Speaking of Charity”

“The bread which you use
is the bread of the hungry;
the garment hanging in your wardrobe
is the garment of him who is naked;
the shoes you do NOT wear,
are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;
the acts of charity that you do NOT perform,
are so many INJUSTICES that you commit.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-bread-you-store-up-st-basil-the-great-1-jan-2019.jpg

“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God,
if we have given what we could.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Churchgive-something-however-small-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2016.jpg

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity-may-be-a-very-short-word-st-aelred-12-jan-2019.jpg

“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy,
we can never fail to do good,
so long as we have the strength.
For if we share with the poor,
out of love for God,
whatever He has given to us,
we shall receive according to His promise,
a hundredfold in eternal happiness.
What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!
With outstretched arms He begs us
to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins
and to become the servants of love,
first for ourselves, then for our neighbours.
Just as water extinguishes a fire,
so love wipes away sin.”

St John of God (1495-1550)with-outstretched-arms-he-begs-us-st-john-of-god-8-march-2019.jpg

“Nothing makes us
so prosperous
in this world,
as to give alms.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchnothing-makes-us-so-prosperous-st-francis-de-sales-24jan2019.jpg

“Help me, O Lord, …
that my eyes may be merciful,
so that I will never be suspicious
or judge by appearances
but always look for what is beautiful
in my neighbours’ souls
and be of help to them…
That my ears may be merciful,
so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs
and not indifferent to their pains and complaints.…
That my tongue may be merciful,
so that I will never speak badly of others
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.…
That my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds.…
That my feet may be merciful,
so that I will hasten to help my neighbour,
despite my own fatigue and weariness.…
That my heart may be merciful,
so that I myself will share
in all the sufferings of my neighbour.”

St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

(Extract from Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, 163)
This prayer was used by Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy 2015 to be universally prayed by the Church.help-me-o-lord-that-i-may-be-merciful-st-faustina-15-feb-2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on MERCY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 26 March

Lenten Reflection – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Daniel 3:2534-43Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK 26 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in Your kindness and great mercy.

Azariah asks God to remember His mercies.
He places his complete trust in God.
These days, we place our lives in God’s hands,
and we let God forgive us.

The challenge of the Gospel is to forgive
as we have been forgiven.
How often we are so very much harder on others
than our God is on us!
An important Lenten examination of conscience.

“So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
Matthew 18:35

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33

“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 poor in accordance with your means.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)

Sermon 25

matthew 18 35 should you not have pitty - what sort of people are we - st caesarius of arles 26 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
I thank You for this reminder of Your love
and Your call that we be more patient,
gentle and compassionate with others.
Here in the middle of Lent,
I turn to You to beg for Your help.
Please soften my heart.
Help me to let go of judging others.
I ask You this, through Christ our Lord.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD

Lenten Reflection – 22 March –

Lenten Reflection – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God
will be taken away from you
and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43lent - friday of the second week matthew 21 43 22 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Help us open our hearts to you.

We hear of the vineyard owner whose tenants killed his servants and then his son.
Let us open our hearts and lives
to the challenge of Your Gospel.

“Let us serve God but let us do so according to His will.
He will then take the place of everything in our lives.
He will be our strength and the reward of our labours.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)let us serve god but let us do so according to his will st vincent de paul 22 march 2019.jpg

“The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7).   We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard.   So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no one may say to us:  “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4).   What fruitless soil!   The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns.   In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.   In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…

My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you:   “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)…   Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns.   There are thorns in the heart that have even wounded the word of God, as our Lord says in the gospel when he relates how the sower’s seed fell among thorns that grew and choked what had been sown (Mt 13:7)…  So take care that your vineyard does not bring forth thorns instead of grapes and your vintage produce vinegar instead of wine.   Anyone who gathers in the grapes, without sharing them with the poor, is collecting vinegar instead of wine and anyone who stores his harvests, without sharing them with the needy, is not setting aside the fruit of almsgiving but the briars of greed.”

Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)

Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11the soil that should have - st maximus of turin 22 march 2019 2nd fri lent.jpg

Closing Prayer:

Loving God, caring parent,
I am a child who so often turns my back
on Your love.
Please accept my small acts of sorrow today
and help to release me from the self-absorption
that closes my heart to You.
As I journey through Lent,
let me remember the feast You have prepared for me
in the resurrection
and let me be filled with gratitude to You.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Posted in CATECHESIS, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 21 March- The rich man and Lazarus

Lenten Reflection – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple
and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…”
Luke 16:19–20Luke 16 19–20 rich man and lazarus turs2ndweeklent-21march2019.jpg

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church

Sermon 122, On the rich man and Lazarus

“Abraham was very rich,” Scripture tells us (Gn 13:2)… My brethren, Abraham wasn’t rich for himself but for the poor, rather than keeping hold of his fortune, he intended to share it…This man, who was himself a stranger, did not hesitate to do all he could so that the stranger might not feel himself to be a stranger.   Living in a tent, he was unable to let a passer-by remain without shelter.   Perpetual traveller, he unfailingly welcomed the travellers who came his way…  Far from taking his ease in God’s bounty, he knew himself called to spread it abroad, he used it to protect the oppressed, set prisoners free, even to snatch those about to die from their fate (Gn 14:14)…  Abraham did not sit but remained standing before the stranger he had received.   He was not his guest’s host but made himself his servant.   Forgetting that he was master in his own home, he himself brought the food and, concerned that it should be carefully prepared, called on his wife.   Where he himself was concerned he relied entirely on his servants, but for the stranger he had received he thought it barely enough to entrust it to his wife’s skill.
What more could I say, my brothers?   It was so perfect a consideration… that drew God himself to Abraham’s home and compelled him to become his guest.   Thus the very one who would later claim to be welcomed in the person of the poor and the stranger, came to Abraham, rest for the poor, refuge of strangers.   “I was hungry,” he said, “and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).
And again, we read in the Gospel:  “When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.”   Isn’t it only right, brethren, that Abraham should welcome all the saints even into his own rest and should exercise, even in the blessedness of heaven, his service of hospitality?…  Doubtless, he could not have considered himself wholly happy unless, even in glory, he was able to continue to practice his ministry of sharing.”

Daily Meditation:
Bring us back to you.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is our lesson today.
We beg to be open to the workings of the Spirit,
that we might not settle for the consolations of this life alone.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers
but his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOUR

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“All of our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone, for the good and for the bad, for the poor people as well as for the rich, for all those who do us harm as much as for those who do us good.
No, my dear brethren, there is no virtue which will let us know better whether we are the children or God than charity.
The obligation we have to love our neighbour is so important, that Jesus Christ put it into a Commandment, which He placed immediately after that by which He commands us to love Him with all our hearts.   He tells us that all the law and the prophets are included in this commandment to love our neighbour.   Yes, my dear brethren, we must regard this obligation as the most universal, the most necessary and the most essential to religion and to our salvation.   In fulfilling this Commandment, we are fulfilling all others.   St Paul tells us that the other Commandments forbid us to commit adultery, robbery, injuries, false testimonies.   If we love our neighbour, we shall not do any of these things because the love we have for our neighbour would not allow us to do him any harm.”

all of our religion is but a false - st john vianney thurs2ndweeklent 21 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I hear your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to You.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in Your name
and send Your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel Your love in my life today and if You are with me, how can I not love my neighbour?

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 March –  To ignore a poor man is to scorn God!

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.   And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…”… Luke 16:19–20

REFLECTION – “Lazarus is a good example of the silent cry of the poor throughout the ages and the contradictions of a world in which immense wealth and resources are in the the hands of the few.   To ignore a poor man is to scorn God!   We must learn this well – to ignore the poor is to scorn God.  to ignore a poor man is to scorn god - pope francis 21 march 2019 thurs2ndweeklent

There is a detail in the parable that is worth noting – the rich man has no name but only an adjective – ‘the rich man’, while the name of the poor man is repeated five times and ‘Lazarus’ means ‘God helps’.   Lazarus, who is lying at the gate, is a living reminder to the rich man to remember God but the rich man does not receive that reminder.   Hence, he will be condemned not because of his wealth but for being incapable of feeling compassion for Lazarus and for not coming to his aid.

God’s mercy toward us is linked to our mercy toward our neighbour, when this is lacking, also that of not finding room in our closed heart, He cannot enter.   If I do not thrust open the door of my heart to the poor, that door remains closed.   Even to God. This is terrible.”….Pope Francis – General Audience, 18 May 2016luke 16 19-20 there was a rich man - there is a detail - pope francis - 21 march 2019 thurs2ndweeklent

PRAYER – Lord God, You love innocence of heart and when it is lost, You alone can restore it.   In Your bounty, You give us all that is good, You give us Your Spirit who teaches us to think and do what is right.   Turn then our hearts to You and to our neighbour, especially those who are in need, so that we, may be unwearied in good works.   Always helped by the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Charity, we strive to make our lenten journey, one of total self-giving.   Through Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary mother of charity pray for us 21 march 2019.jpg