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Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – ‘When Paul is blinded, he gets his vision.’

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

“I have appeared to you for this purpose,
to appoint you as a servant and witness, 
of what you have seen and what you will be shown.
I shall deliver you from this people
and from the Gentile,s to whom I send you,
to open their eyes, that they may turn
from darkness to light
and from the power of Satan to God,
so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins
and an inheritance among those, who have been consecrated by faith in me.”

Acts 26:16-18

acts-26-16 I have appeared to you for this purpose - conversion of st paul - 25 jan 2020

“Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us,
what man really is and in what our nobility consists
and of what virtue this particular animal is capable.
Each day he aimed ever higher,
each day he rose up with greater ardour
and faced with new eagerness,
the dangers that threatened him.
He summed up his attitude in the words:
“I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”…
The most important thing of all to him, however,
was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.
Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church

chrysostum-on-paul-2018 25 jan 2020

“When Paul is blinded,
he gets his vision.
God has mysterious ways
of entering our life.
With Paul,
God seemingly gate-crashed.
With us, God might need
a little more time!”

Msgr Alex Rebello

Diocese of Wrexham, Waleswjen paul is blinded he gets his vision - gatecrashed msgr alex rebello bible diary 25 jan 2020

“I live, no longer I
but Christ lives in me,”

Galasians 2:20

galasians 2 20 i live no longer i but christ lives in me 25 jan 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 25 January – ‘He had lived for himself…’

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Reading: Acts 22:3-16, Psalm 117:1-2, Mark 16:15-18

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” … Mark 16:15mark 16 15 go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation - 25 jan 2020

REFLECTION – “Paul’s encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus literally revolutionised his life (…)   Thus, it is important to realise what a deep effect Jesus Christ can have on a person’s life, hence, also on our own lives (…)  how does a human being’s encounter with Christ occur?   And of what does the relationship that stems from it consist? (…)   Paul helps us to understand the absolutely basic and irreplaceable value of faith.   This is what he wrote in his Letter to the Romans:  “We hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (3:28).   This is what he also wrote in his Letter to the Galatians: “[M]an is not justified by works of the law but only through faith in Jesus Christ” (2:16) (…)   “Being justified” means being made righteous, that is, being accepted by God’s merciful justice to enter into communion with Him and, consequently, to be able to establish a far more genuine relationship with all our brethren and this takes place on the basis of the complete forgiveness of our sins.   Well, Paul states with absolute clarity that this condition of life does not depend on our possible good works but on the pure grace of God – “[We] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

With these words St Paul expressed the fundamental content of his conversion, the new direction his life took as a result of his encounter with the Risen Christ.  Before his conversion, Paul had not been a man distant from God and from his Law.   On the contrary, he had been observant, with an observance, faithful to the point of fanaticism. In the light of the encounter with Christ, however, he understood that with this, he had sought to build up himself and his own justice and that with all this justice, he had lived for himself.   He realised that a new approach in his life was absolutely essential.   And we find this new approach expressed in his words:  “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

Paul, therefore, no longer lives for himself, for his own justice.   He lives for Christ and with Christ.” … Pope Benedict XVI – General audience of 08/11/06before his conversion paul - pope benedict 25 jan 2020

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world.   Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day.   Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st-paul-pray-for-us-25-jan2018-catechesis-of-pope-benedict-no-1

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Thought for the Day – 24 January – Following Jesus

Thought for the Day – 24 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Following Jesus

John 14 6 i am the way - there is only one reform necessary - bacci 24 jan 2020

“When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus.
We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth.
The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects.
Still less, can they satisfy our hearts.
What they teach is either incomplete or false.
This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of mean have succeeded and replaced one another, down through the centuries while “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family and in society.
It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation.
There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity.
This gulf would be even wider, only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe.
There is only one reform necessary.
This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere.
We must begin by carrying it out ourselves.
Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us:  “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). “He who follows Me does not walk in darkness” (Jn 8:12).

Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote of the Day – 21 January – ‘Let us each examine his conscience…’

Quote of the Day – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 15:16-23, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Mark 2:18-22

“And so, dearly beloved brethren, let us each examine his conscience and when he sees that he has been wounded by some sin, let him first strive to cleanse his conscience by prayer, fasting, almsgiving and so dare to approach the Eucharist.
If he recognises his guilt and is reluctant to approach the holy altar, he will be quickly pardoned by the Divine Mercy, “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt 23:12).
If then, as I have said, a man conscious of his sins, humbly decides to stay away from the altar until he reforms his life, he will not be afraid of being completely excluded from the eternal banquet of heaven.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542)
Bishop of Arles
Father of the Churcha man conscious of his sins-st-caesarius-bishop-and-father-20-jan-2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 19 January – ‘He has come down to earth to take you to heaven…’

Quote/s of the Day – 19 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, – Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6, Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, John 1:29-34

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him.”

John 1:32

“He has come down to earth to take you to heaven, He became mortal that you might become God and put on your original beauty.”

St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556)

Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poetjohn-1-32-i-saw-the-spirit-come-down-like-a-dove-he-has-come-down-to-earth-st-romanus-melodios-3-jan-2020

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Thought for the Day – 17 January – “The Vicissitudes of Life”

Thought for the Day – 17 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

“The Vicissitudes of Life”

life is a battle we must be armed - bacci 17 jan 2020

“There are times, when life is like a stream which flows peacefully between two flower-strewn grassbanks.
The sun shines brightly overhead and the whole world seems to smile.
The days pass pleasantly and the future is full of fair promise.
Virtue itself, seems to flower effortlessly, in our hearts.
But God grants these intervals of rest during our earthly voyage, so that we may renew our energy.

Life is a battle.
Therefore, we have to be armed and ready and always on the alert (Job 7:1)
“Wait here and watch” (Mt 26:38).
We must resolve to be prepared, from the earliest hour of the morning, to face the difficulties and temptations which can arise at any moment.
We must be armed with the weapons of the spirit, which we can easily obtain, if we live all the time, in the presence of God.
If we fail to acquire this habit of spiritual watchfulness, the trials and temptations of the day, will catch us off our guard and there is a danger that we may yield.’

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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One Minute Reflection – 17 January – ‘Only do not keep away …’

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22, Psalm 89:16-19, Mark 2:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Teresio Olivelli (1916–1945) Martyr “Rebel for Love”

“My son, your sins are forgiven.” … Mark 2:5

REFLECTION – “Why are you downcast?   See.   Someone’s hands are fishy;  a little oil makes them clean.   How much more can God’s compassion purify you.   For just as you have no difficulty in washing your garment, in the same way – and even more – it is not difficult for the Lord to wash you clean from all reproach, even if each day you naturally have to experience temptation.   Indeed, the instant you say:  “I have sinned against the Lord”, the response is given you:  “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2).   “It is I who wipe out and remember no more” (Is 43:25 LXX).   As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your sins.   As a father has compassion on his children, I have had compassion on you” (Ps 102[103], 12-13 LXX).

Only do not keep away, or distance yourself, from He who has chosen you to sing and pray but all your life long, remain close to Him, either through pure confidence, or by a holy audacity and courageous confession.   Then He will hear and purify you.   Is He not God who has justified us in His love for human souls?   Who will condemn us?   (cf. Rm 8:33).   If we invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our conscience is easily purified and nothing separates us from the prophets and other saints.

For God has not destined us for wrath but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us.   So, whether we are awake in virtue, or asleep in some kind of woe, or are bearing certain circumstances according to nature, we will live with Christ (1 Thes 5:9-10), turning our eyes towards Him, sighing deeply, weeping constantly and only breathing Him.   Let us then put on the breastplate of faith and wear the helmet of salvation (cf. 1 Thes 5:8) that the arrows of discouragement and despair may not penetrate us.” … John of Karpathos (7th Century) Monk and Bishop – Texts for the monks in India (The Philokalia)my son your sins are forgiven mark 2 5 - indeed the instant you say I have sinned 17 jan 2020 john of karpathos

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us.   Grant us the grace of approaching You in sorrow and repentance, so that we may hear Your Word, “your sins are forgiven you, go and sin no more.”   May the prayers of Blessed Teresio Olivelli, grants us eyes to see and ears to hear and strength to approach You.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.blessed teresio olivelli pray for us 17 jan 2020(1)