Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – – 8 October – ‘If it neglects the grace …’

One Minute Reflection – – 8 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Joel 1: 13-15; 2: 1-2; Psalm 9: 2-3, 6 & 8-9; Luke 11: 15-26

When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came…” – Luke 11:24

REFLECTION – “The unclean spirit dwelt in us before we believed, before we came to Christ when our soul was still committing fornication against God and was with its lovers, the demons. Afterward it said, “I will return to my first husband,” and came to Christ, who “created” it from the beginning “in his image.” Necessarily the adulterous spirit gave up his place when it saw the legitimate husband.

Christ received us and our house has been “cleansed” from its former sins. It has been “furnished” with the furnishing of the Sacraments of the faithful, that they who have been initiated know. This house does not deserve to have Christ as its resident immediately, unless its life and conduct are so holy, pure and incapable of being defiled, that it deserves to be the “temple of God.It should not still be a house but a temple in which God dwells. If it neglects the grace that was received and entangles itself in secular affairs, immediately, that unclean spirit returns and claims the vacant house for itself. It brings with it seven other spirits more wicked,” so that it may not be able again to be expelled “and the last state of that kind of person is worse than the first.” It would be more tolerable that the soul would not have returned to its first husband once it became a prostitute, than having gone back after confession to her husband, to have become an adulteress again. There is no “fellowship,” as the Apostle says, “between the temple of God and idols,” no “agreement between Christ and Belial.” – Origen of Alexandria (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Homilies on Exodus, 8)

PRAYER – Lord God and Father, who entrusted the earth to men and each to the other, grant us the grace this day, to see Your Face. Grant us the grace to work faithfully for Your glory, for the salvation of our souls through the light of faith and by the grace which You have given us. We beg the grace of Your love and mercy and the light of love You send with Your Holy Spirit. May the prayers of Mary our Holy Mother, keep us ever in her guiding care. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The HEART, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 29 September – The Death of the Sinner

Thought for the Day – 29 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Death of the Sinner

“The Sinner must also die.
For him death is really terrible.
Imagine him lying on his deathbed, instinctively aware, that his life is over.
The past will rise up to reproach him, a past full of sin and of ingratitude towards his Creator and Redeemer.
The plans which he has centred around profit, ambition and honour, will have vanished like smoke.
His friends, will have either deserted him, or will be at hand, to utter useless words, which will have no power to comfort him.
Now he must stand alone, alone before God!

What will happen, at that moment?
Perhaps, despair will overcome his soul, as it overcame the soul of Judas?
Perhaps, the innumerable graces which he has despised, will tip the balance of Divine Justice towards the abyss of damnation?
Or, will a final ray of mercy pierce his tired mind, burning with remorse, so that, with it’s last throb, his poor heart will torn towards God and implore His pardon?
Who can say?
It is certain, however, that of the two thieves dying beside the Cross of our Redeemer, only one heard Him say:
“This day, you will be with me in Paradise!”
The other, remained obdurate in his sin.
It is the height of stupidity, to wait to be converted, at the hour of death!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION

Thought for the Day – 14 August – The New Life

Thought for the Day – 14 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The New Life

Anyone who takes life seriously in the Christian sense, will regard it as a difficult journey towards perfection and towards God.
This journey will be, at the same time, painful and joyful.

On the way, there will be trouble, which will sadden us and vices, which will impede our progress.
Our falls and defeats will cause us to be disheartened.
But, there will also be the grace of God to enlighten and encourage us.
It is our own loss if we sit down lazily on the side of the road, which should lead us to Heaven.
It is even more disastrous if we acknowledge defeat and lay down the spiritual weapons of prayer and renunciation, in order to surrender ourselves to sin or to indifference.
Everyday we should say to ourselves in the presence of God – A new life is beginning … in You, by Your grac and for You! Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/03/thought-for-the-day-4-july-the-new-life-2/

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on REPARATION, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 12 August – The Blessedness of the Merciful

Thought for the Day – 12 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Blessedness of the Merciful

Let us meditate now on the mercy of God, which is infinite, even as His justice is infinite.
His mercy,” says St Thomas Aquinas, “does not subtract from His justice but, is the fullness and the perfection of that justice”
(Summa Theologica 1,q 21, a 3 ad 2).
All the merits which we can acquire in the sight of God derive from His gratuitous gift of grace.
God’s mercy and justice, therefore, are fused together in a wonderful harmony which claims our gratitude and fidelity.

References to the mercy of God are numerous in Sacred Scripture.
You, Lord, are good and forgiving,” says the Psalmist, “abounding in kindness to all who call upon you” (Ps 85:5).
Blessed be the Lord,” we read elsewhere, “my rock, … my refuge and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer …” (Ps 143:2).
Goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come” (Ps 22:6).

When we leave the Old Testament and open the Gospel, we discover tht it is a record of the goodness and mercy of God.
We have only to recall Christ’s forgiveness of the Magdalene when she wept at His feet for her faults; the merciful judgement which He passed on the poor adulteress; His loving glance in the direction of St Peter, who had denied Him; the grace so miraculously granted to St Paul on the road to Damascus and, the parables of the good Samaritan, the prodigal son and the good shepherd who went in search of the lost sheep.
Finally, there are the consoling words to the repentant thief: “This day thou shalt be with me in paradise.”
When we read this chronicle of infinite goodness and mercy, we should experience a boundless hope and confidence.
Even our great sins and gross ingratitude, should not stop us from repenting with true and heartfelt sorrow and with deeds of penance and reparation.
God is ready then to forgive us and to receive us with open arms
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 30 July – Daily Progress

Thought for the Day – 30 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Daily Progress

“There are two ways in which we should make constant daily progress.
The first is in the removal of our defects and imperfections.
As the Imitation of Christ insists, we should soon become holy if we were to conquer, at least one sin, every year.
It is opportune, at this stage, to ask ourselves how many years we have already spent on earth.
During these years, how many personal defects can we claim to have remedied?

Perhaps there was a time when we were better than we are now?
If we have wasted time and have abused our Creator’s gifts and favours, we should humble ourselves and do penance before God.

Finally, we should resolve to do our best to remedy, at least, one Defect everyday.
We should select first of all, whatever imperfection we know to be the most dangerous.
This will be difficult and even heroic work but, it is very necessary.
We must work on our own character as a sculptor works on a block of marble, hammering, cutting and chiselling patiently and perseveringly.
With the help of God, we shall be successful.
Even as the Saints succeeded, so we shall succeed if we depend on God’s grace and make the necessary sacrifices.

Antonio Cardinal BaccI

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/05/thought-for-the-day-5-december-daily-progress/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 July – ‘ … So from now on, run well …’

One Minute Reflection – 27 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 33: 7-11; 34: 5b-9, 28; Psalms 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13; Matthew 13: 36-43

Then the righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” – Matthew 13:43

REFLECTION – “In your imagination see our Lord Jesus Christ seated on a throne of glory; beside Him stand the seraphim, cherubim and each angelic order, serving Him with fear and trembling. Then those who will have finished the combat, without allowing themselves to be drawn by any worldly pleasures or seduced by the attractions of this vain world, will hear the blessed voice of the Master. “Then, he says, “the righteous will shine like the sun” (Mt 13:43) when they have come from east and west, north and south to take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (cf. Mt 8:11) in an indescribable joy (cf. 1 Pt 1:8), when our King and Lord, will distribute gifts according to their merits. Ah! my brothers and children. ah! how great and beautiful is the glory which the thrice blessed will enjoy and the saints who practised asceticism! Yes, most certainly, each will receive the blessings promised, according to the degree to which they have pleased God. …
So from now on, run well (cf. Gal 5:7) and may the devil not bewitch you (cf. Gal 3:1) nor hinder you! … May mercy, peace, charity, freedom from envy, from jealousy and ostentation come upon you, docility, friendly speech, solidarity, compassion towards each other, humility. Live like this, act like this, praying, too, with all your heart for my humble self that I may not be thrown into the eternal fire. May we all escape it, having been judged worthy of the kingdom of heaven, in Christ Himself, our God, to whom belongs all glory, honour, adoration, magnificence, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always, world without end. Amen.” … St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Monk and Theologian – Catechesis 42

PRAYER – All-powerful and ever-living God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, chase away the night of sin and fill our minds with the glory of Your coming. Take away our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, help us in our battle with sin and the devil. By our prayers, Your holy Sacraments and the strength of the Holy Spirit, may we be ever vigilant of the evil one. By our Baptism in Your Son, we are Your children, grant us Your protection. Kindly listen to the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints and Angels, whose prayers we beg, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 July – “Until the harvest” – – Matthew 13:30

One Minute Reflection – 24 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 24: 3-8; Psalms 50: 1b-2, 5-6, 14-15; Matthew 13: 24-30

Suffer both to grow until the harvest” – – Matthew 13:30

REFLECTION – “Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage, only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or, that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. It is owing to the Saviour’s infinite mercy, that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below, for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet (cf. Mt 9:11). For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit and yet, not be deprived of all life, if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on, by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.

Let everyone then abhor sin, which defiles the mystical members of our Redeemer but,, if anyone unhappily falls and his obstinacy has not made him unworthy of communion with the faithful, let him be received with great love and let eager charity see in him a weak member of Jesus Christ. For, as the Bishop of Hippo remarks –
“it is better to be cured within the Church’s community than to be cut off from its Body as incurable members. As long as a member still forms part of the Body, there is no reason to despair of its cure; once it has been cut off, it can be neither cured nor healed.’”- Venerable Pius XII (1876-1958) – Pope from 1939 to 1958 – Encyclical – Mystici Corporis Christi, 1943

PRAYER – All-powerful and ever-living God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, chase away the night of sin and fill our minds with the glory of Your coming. Take away our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, help us in our battle with sin and the devil. By our prayers, Your holy sacraments and the strength of the Holy Spirit, may we be ever vigilant of the evil one. Hear the prayers of our Queen and Mother, the Blessed Virgin of Mercy on our behalf dear Lord. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 19 July – Nineveh

Quote/s of the Day – 19 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 14: 5-18; Exodus 15: 1bc-2, 3-4, 5-6; Matthew 12: 38-42 and the Memorial of St Arsenius s the Great (c 354-c 449)

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement
with this generation and ccondemn it, for they repented …”

Matthew 12:41

If you will, you can make me clean.”

Mark 1:40

“I have come, to warn the faithful,
to amend their lives
and ask pardon for their sins.
They must not continue to offend Our Lord,
Who is already too much offended.”

Our Lady of Fatima
1917

There is still time for endurance,
time for patience,
time for healing,
time for change.
Have you slipped?
Rise up!
Have you sinned?
Cease!
Do not stand among sinners
but leap aside!”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Today, for those who will not repent
at the approach of the kingdom of heaven,
the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same…
As for when the end of the world will be,
that is God’s concern…
Even so, the time is very near for each of us,
for we are mortal.”

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

“Brethren, the just man shall scarcely be saved.
What, then, will become of the sinner?

St Arsenius s the Great (c 354-c 449)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 July – “Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness.”

One Minute Reflection – 13 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 2: 1-15a; Psalms 69: 3, 14, 30-31, 33-34; Matthew 11: 20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, for their failure to repent.” – Matthew 11:20

REFLECTION – “Let us cry out with David; let us hear him weep and let us shed tears with him. Let us see how he rises up again and let us rejoice with him: “Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness.” (Ps 51:3)

Let us place before the eyes of our soul a man who is seriously injured, almost on the point of breathing his last breathe and who is lying naked in the dust. In his desire to see a doctor arrive, he is moaning and begging the person who understands his condition, to have pity. Now sin is a wound to the soul. You who are this wounded person, learn that your Doctor is within you and show Him the wounds of your sins. May He, to whom every secret thought is known, hear the moaning of your heart. May your tears move Him and, if you have to seek Him with some insistence, let deep sighs rise up to Him from the bottom of your heart. May your pain come to Him and may you also be told, like David: “The Lord… has forgiven your sin.” (2 Sam 12:13)…

“Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness.” The people who belittle their fault because they do not know this great tenderness, only draw a little tenderness to themselves. As for me, I fell far, I sinned with full knowledge. But You, Almighty Doctor, correct those who scorn You; You teach those who do not know their fault and You forgive those who admit it to You.” – St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father and Doctor of the Church – Presentation on the seven penitential Psalms

PRAYER – God our Father, we are Your children and You have set us aside to come home to You by the light of the way of Your divine Son. Fill us with knowledge of our need to turn to You in sorrow and repentance, that we may one day attain our final home with You. Grant we pray, that by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, we may too become lights announcing Your Glory and our great need for repentance. and penance. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 5 July – Faith and Hope

Thought for the Day – 5 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Faith and Hope

“Christian hope derives from faith.
When we believe in the infinitely good and merciful God, Who was made man for us and Who shed His Precious Blood, for our salvation, we experience a great hope and a great confidence.
No matter how numerous our sins and our defects, as long as we are sincerely repentant, we should continue to hope for the forgiveness of God.
Despair, which led Judas to commit suicide, should never be allowed to enter our minds.
Like the penitent Magdalen, like the prodigal son, like the lost sheep and, like the good thief, let us trust in Jesus with faith, hope and sorrow for our sins.
Let us remember, that He is infinitely good and merciful and ardently desires to pardon us.
Together with this hope of God’s forgiveness, we should nurture the hope of gaining Heaven, which the Lord, in His infinite goodness, has promised, not only to innocent souls but, also to repentant sinners.
In order that this hope may not be in vain, however, we should include, in our repentance for our sins, a firm purpose of amendment.

Let us remember, that the more we hope for, the more we shall obtain!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/04/thought-for-the-day-4-july-faith/

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – 24 June – Mortification and Penance

Thought for the Day – 24 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mortification and Penance

“Our Lord reiterates many times, the command to do penance.
“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mt 4:17).
He even insists on penance as a necessary condition for salvation.
“Unless you repent, you will all perish in the same manner” (Lk 13:3).
It is a stern command and it may even seem cruel to some.
Why does the infinitely good God, Who is our loving Father, wish us to impose penances and sufferings on ourselves?
The answer is simple.
God makes us suffer and do penance because He knows that it is necessary for our salvation.
It is because He loves us and desires our welfare.

Mortification and suffering are necessary for two reasons.
They are particularly necessary because, we are all sinners and must expiate our sins.
Secondly, they are necessary because, without penance and suffering, we become attached to the world and forget all about Heaven, which is our real home.
In His love for us, therefore, God commands us to do penance.

The Saints were gluttons for penance and mortification and went as far as imposing on themselves, sufferings which horrify us today.
What are we doing in the way of penance?
Let us remember the command of Jesus and His precursor, St John the Baptist: “Unless you repent, you will all perish!” 
(Ibid).”

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/25/thought-for-the-day-25-march-mortification-and-penance/

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 23 June – St Joseph Cafasso

Quote/s of the Day – 23 June – The Memorial of St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)

“A single word from him –
a look, a smile, his very presence –
sufficed to dispel melancholy,
drive away temptation
and produce holy resolution in the soul.”

St John Bosco, writing about St Joseph

“All a person’s holiness,
perfection and profit
lies in doing God’s will perfectly….
Happy are we, if we succeed
in pouring out our heart into God’s,
in uniting our desires
and our will to His,
to the point,
that one heart and one will are formed,
wanting, what God wants,
wanting, in the way,
in the time
and in the circumstances,
what He desires
and willing it all,
for no other reason,
than that God wills it.”

“We are born to love,
we live to love
and we will die,
to love still more.”

“Never do anything
that your heart tells you,
is displeasing to Mary
and, in addition,
never deny her anything
that you know she would welcome
and desire from you.”

Heaven is filled
with converted sinners ,
of all kinds
and there is room
for more!”

St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, SAINT of the DAY, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 June – St John Francis Régis SJ (1597-1640)

Quote/s of the Day – 16 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” and The Memorial of St John Francis Régis SJ (1597-1640)

“The Catholic religion was the religion of your forefathers
and the only one Jesus Christ founded; –
the one which He promised would endure
till the end of time.
It is in the Catholic religion alone
that you can save your soul.”

“How long are you going to be deaf to His call?
Or are you going to lose your soul,
which Jesus Christ bought at the price
of His Precious Blood?”

“My child, it is indeed
the Voice of God you have heard.
He has given you a great grace
in thus calling you into His one true Church.
While you live,
never cease to thank Him
and bless Him for it.”

(All the above from – Rev Fr D. Chisholm,
The Catechism in Examples
(London: R & T Washbourne, Ltd

“Brother, I see our Lord and our Lady
opening the gates of Paradise for me.
Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

St John Francis Regis on his deathbed

St John Francis Régis (1597-1640)

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 May – ‘Take heart, I have conquered the world.’ John 16:33

One Minute Reflection – 17 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Seventh week of Easter, Readings: Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68:2-7, John 16:29-33 and the Memorial of St Paschal Baylon OFM (1540-1592)

“In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart, I have conquered the world.” ... John 16:33

REFLECTION – “Let nothing intervene to hinder the progress of any who travel alongside each other, in this evangelical life but let us walk with agile step though the road be rough and hard, let us show a brave and manly spirit, overcome obstacles, pass along from pathway to pathway, from hill to hill, until we climb onto the mountain of the Lord and make a home for ourselves in the holy place of His impassibility.

Now, companions assist each other on the way;  so then, my brothers, as the apostle says: “Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6:2) and make up for whatever is lacking to others (cf. 2 Cor 8:14 ; Phil 2:30).   To the negligence that perhaps holds sway today, noble courage will succeed tomorrow, now one is in gloom and then suddenly one rises to the surface and discovers joy again, at one moment our passions rise up but soon God comes to help us, they are broken and calm returns.   For you will only be seen like this yesterday and the day before but, dear friend, you will not always remain the same but the grace of God will draw near you, the Lord will fight for you and perhaps, like the great Antony, you will say:  “Where were you just now?” and he will answer: “I wanted to see your combat.”

For now, let us persevere, children, dear children, let us be patient for a little, brothers, dear brothers.…   Who will be crowned without having fought?   Who will go to rest if he is not tired (cf. 2 Tim 2:5-6)?   Who will gather the fruits of life without having planted virtues in his soul?   Cultivate them, prepare the earth with the greatest care, take trouble over it, sweat over it, children, God’s workers, imitators of the angels, competitors with incorporeal beings, lights for those who are in the world (cf. Phil 2:15)!” … St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Monk – Catechesis 28

PRAYER – Lord God, let the grace of the Holy Spirit come upon us, so that we may hold fast to Your Will with fidelity and love and show it forth by a holy life. May the Mother of our Lord and our Mother and St Paschal Baylon, Servant of the Blessed Sacrament, pray that we may live in the light of our Saviour. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and the glory of God the Father forever and ever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The WILL of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 5 May – Conversion

Quote/s of the Day – 5 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 15: 1-6; Psalm: Psalms 122: 1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5; Gospel: John 15: 1-8 and the Memorial of the Conversdion of St Augustine

“Without Me you can do nothing”

John 15:5

“You do not know
when your last day may come.
You are an ingrate!
Why not use the day, today,
that God has given you
to repent?”

“What do you possess
if you possess not God?”

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

“A saint is not someone, who never sins,
but one who sins less and less frequently
and gets up more and more quickly.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Each day then, we ought to renew our resolutions
and arouse ourselves to fervour,
as though it were the first day
of our turning back to God.
We ought to say: “Help me, O Lord God,
in my good resolution
and in Your holy service.
Grant me now, this very day,
to begin perfectly,
for thus far I have done nothing.”
… Just men depend on the grace of God
rather than on their own wisdom
in keeping their resolutions.
In Him they confide every undertaking …”

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

“A soul makes room for God
by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures,
by uniting its will perfectly to God’s,
for to love is to labour,
to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God .
When this is done,
the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Mystical Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The GOOD SHEPHERD

Thought for the Day – 25 April – The Good Shepherd

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Good Shepherd

“The Good Shepherd is the theme of two of the most moving passages in the Gospel.
“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus says. “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. But, the hireling, who is not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. and the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep … I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me, even as the father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for my sheep” (Jn 10:11-15).

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep,” He says elsewhere “and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after that which is lost, until he finds it?   And when he has found it, he lays it upon his shoulders rejoicing.   And on coming home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me because, I have found my sheep that was lost.”
“I say to you that, even so, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety nine just, who have no need of repentance” (Cf Lk 15:4-7).

These texts vividly describe God’s mercy towards poor sinners.

We may often have been amongst the lost sheep which are separated from the flock of Jesus Christ.
We found, perhaps, the poisoned pastures of error and vice and strayed from the path of truth and goodness.
But what happened?
We experienced disillusionment and remorse and knew that we had lost our only real good, which is God.
How sad our fate would have been, if the Good Shepherd, Jesus, had not come to look for us and to enlighten us with His grace.
We should have been lost forever, in the desert of sin!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The LAST THINGS, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – – 12 April – ‘… A second life ‘

Quote/s of the Day – – 12 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 23-31, Psalm: Psalms 2: 1-3, 4-7a, 7b-9, Gospel: John 3: 1-8

“Nicodemus said to him,
“How can a person once grown old, be born again?
Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb
and be born again, can he?”

John 3:4

“We are a compound of both body and soul.
The one part is visible, the other invisible.
In the same way, our cleansing also is twofold,
that is, by water and the Spirit.
The one is received visibly in the body,
the other concurs with it invisibly
and apart from the body.
The one that comes to the aid of our first birth
makes us new, instead of old
and like God, instead of what we now are.
It recasts us, without fire
and creates us anew, without breaking us up.
For the virtue of Baptism,
is to be understood, as a covenant with God
for a second life and a purer conversation.”

St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice,
make me clothe myself with You,
so that I may be able to live
according to Your will.
Make me, under Your guidance,
preserve my robe of baptismal innocence,
white, holy and spotless
and present it undefiled,
before Your tribunal,
so that I may wear it,
for eternal life.”

St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Make room for God …

One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 23-31, Psalm: Psalms 2: 1-3, 4-7a, 7b-9, Gospel: John 3: 1-8 * readings below and the Memorial of St Alferius of La Cava (930–1050) Priest, Abbot, Founder

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
– John 3:3

REFLECTION – “We read in Saint John – No-one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life, is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection. Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation. A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light. It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished… The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but, on the window. If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances, the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray. Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window. A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God . When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.” – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) – Mystical Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Your Son in baptism, may by His Resurrection and intercession, at Your right hand, obtain for us eternal life. Send Your Spirit upon Your adopted children and lead us in Your way. Grant that by the intercession of Your Angels and Saints and holding on always, to our Blessed Virgin Mother, our path may be straightened and glow with Your light. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Acts 4: 23-31
23 And being let go, they came to their own company and related all that the chief priests and ancients had said to them.
24 Who having heard it, with one accord lifted up their voice to God and said: Lord, thou art he that didst make heaven and earth, the sea,and all things that are in them.
25 Who, by the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, hast said: Why did the Gentiles rage and the people meditate vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up and the princes assembled together against the Lord and his Christ.
27 For of a truth, there assembled together in this city against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, 28 To do what thy hand and thy counsel decreed to be done.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings and grant unto thy servants, that with all confidence they may speak thy word, 30 by stretching forth thy hand to cures,and signs and wonders to be done, by the name of thy holy Son Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was moved wherein they were assembled and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the word of God with confidence.

Gospel: John 3: 1-8
1 And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night,and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come, a teacher from God, for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him.
3 Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born again?
5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.
7 Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again.
8 The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice but thou knowest not ,whence he cometh and whither he goeth, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.

Posted in EASTER, GOD ALONE!, HOLY COMMUNION, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD

Thought for the Day – 7 April – The Meaning of Easter, Part Two

Thought for the Day – 7 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Meaning of Easter, Part Two

“In the course of this battle for our spiritual resurrection, it is necessary for us to grow continually in Jesus.
When we make a good Confession t Easter, He favours us anew, by means of His grace.
When we receive Holy Communion, He comes to us and is renally present in our souls.
But, in what way is He present?
Sometimes, He is silent and hidden.
He may seem to be asleep, as He slept n the Apostles’ boat o the ea of Galilee, when the waves were raging violently all around them.
Often, we have Jesus within us but do not listen to His Voice.
He does not live actively in us; He does not speak to us.
Why is this?
It is because, we are distracted and indifferent, absorbed in the petty affairs of this world.
We must be fervent!
It is necessary to LISTEN for His Voice, to be united to Him and, above all, to LOVE Him.
Then, our actions will not be our own but, HIS.
He will grow in us by His grace and we shall act in Jesus, with Jesus and for Jesus.
Then, Jesus will be everything to us and we shall be able to say with St Paul, “It is now, no longer I that live but, Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Does this goal seem too difficult to attain?
Does it seem that it is not meant for us?
Such a doubt is an insult to Our Lord, Who, has told us to be perfect, as His heavenly Father is perfect. (Cf Mt 5:48).
It is enough, however, that we should earnestly desire to reach this goal and should try, with the help of God’s grace, to come gradually nearer to it everyday.
THIS is the resurrection which should take place in us this Easter!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/06/thought-for-the-day-6-april-the-meaning-of-easter/

Posted in EASTER, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 6 April – The Meaning of Easter

Thought for the Day – 6 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Meaning of Easter

“Today the Church adorns herself in festival array.
Gone are the lengthy lamentations of Holy Saturday and the sorrowful recitations of the Passion and in their place, is the glad cry of Alleluia, the hymn of vitory over death and sin.
The true joy of Easter, lies, not merely in external celebration, however but in the spiritual gladness of the soul.
As Jesus has conquered death and sin, so we must purify ourselves of every trace of guilt by a good confession and must be sure, that it will result in a practical renovation of our lives.
We should approach Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist with greater fervour and humility and with greater trust in His goodness and mercy.
When we have received Him into our hearts, we should ask Him to renew and transform us in Himself.
He is everything and we are nothing without Him.
He is strong, we are weak.
We are capable only of feeble desires to do good but He can make them effective by His grace.
We should not be satisfied with forming general resolutions when we go to confession and receive Holy Communion at Easter.
We should examine the depths of our soul and discover the sin which we are most accustomed to commit and the virtue which we are principally lacking.
As a result of our investigation, we should form a particular resolution to combat this sin and to practise this virtue.
It is only in this way, that our celebration of Easter can inaugurate the beginning of a genuine self-renewal which will gain momentum daily, until it becomes a true spiritual resurrection.
It will be a hard battle, which will necessitate a constant vigilance and a readiness to begin again, everytime we realise, that we have fallen.
It will require an unfailing spirit of prayer but, the final victory, will bring us such happiness, that worldly pleasures will seem empty and illusory, by comparison.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, INDULGENCES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, NOVEMBER - Month of the SOULS in PURGATORY, PURGATORY, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 16 March – Purification

Thought for the Day – 16 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Purification

“God has given us two supernatural means of purifying ourselves after we have sinned – the Sacrament of Penance and Indulgences.
The Sacrament of Penance is the plank of salvation to which we can cling when we have been shipwrecked by sin and, by means of Indulgences, we can draw on the infinite treasury of the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, in order to make partial or total satisfaction for the temporal punishment due to our sins.
In this way, we can shorten our purgatory in this life and escape it in the next!

We should make good use of the Sacrament of Penance.
If we fall into mortal sin, let us have recourse at once to this fount of grace.
Even when we are not in mortal sin, let us be faithful to the practice of weekly or at least, fortnightly, confession.

We should not abuse this great gift simply because it seems such a simple method of obtaining pardon.
God is infinitely just, we must remember and, He expects us to co-operate with His graces.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/25/thought-for-the-day-25-july-purification/Adv

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING

Thought for the Day – 13 March – Mortification and Penance

Thought for the Day – 13 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mortification and Penance

“Our Lord reiterates many times, the command to do penance.
“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mt 4:17).
He even insists on penance as a necessary condition for salvation.
“Unless you repent, you will all perish in the same manner” (Lk 13:3).
It is a stern command and it may even seem cruel to some.
Why does the infinitely good God, Who is our loving Father, wish us to impose penances and sufferings on ourselves?
The answer is simple.
God makes us suffer and do penance because He knows that it is necessary for our salvation.
It is because He loves us and desires our welfare.

Mortification and suffering are necessary for two reasons.
They are particularly necessary because, we are all sinners and must expiate our sins.
Secondly, they are necessary because, without penance and suffering, we become attached to the world and forget all about Heaven, which is our real home.
In His love for us, therefore, God commands us to do penance.

The Saints were gluttons for penance and mortifiation and went as far as imposing on themelves, sufferings which horrify us today.
What are we doing in the way of penance?
Let us remember the command of Jesus: “Unless you repent, you will all perish!
(Ibid).”

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/25/thought-for-the-day-25-march-mortification-and-penance/

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HEART, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Eighteen of our Lenten Journey – “I will arise and go to my father ” – Luke 15:18

Day Eighteen of our Lenten Journey – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

I will arise and go to my father and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you” – Luke 15:18

In that day every trial borne in patience will be pleasing and the voice of iniquity will be stilled; the devout will be glad; the irreligious will mourn and the mortified body will rejoice far more than if it had been pampered with every pleasure. Then the cheap garment will shine with splendour and the rich one become faded and worn; the poor cottage will be more praised than the gilded palace. In that day persevering patience will count more than all the power in this world; simple obedience will be exalted above all worldly cleverness; a good and clean conscience will gladden the heart of man far more than the philosophy of the learned and contempt for riches will be of more weight than every treasure on earth.

Then you will find more consolation in having prayed devoutly than in having fared daintily; you will be happy that you preferred silence to prolonged gossip.

Then holy works will be of greater value than many fair words; strictness of life and hard penances will be more pleasing than all earthly delights.

Learn, then, to suffer little things now that you may not have to suffer greater ones in eternity. Prove here what you can bear hereafter. If you can suffer only a little now, how will you be able to endure eternal torment? If a little suffering makes you impatient now, what will hell fire do? In truth, you cannot have two joys: you cannot taste the pleasures of this world and afterward reign with Christ.

If your life to this moment had been full of honours and pleasures, what good would it do if at this instant you should die? All is vanity, therefore, except to love God and to serve Him alone.

He who loves God with all his heart does not fear death or punishment or judgement or hell, because perfect love assures access to God.

It is no wonder that he who still delights in sin fears death and judgment.

It is good, however, that even if love does not as yet restrain you from evil, at least the fear of hell does. The man who casts aside the fear of God cannot continue long in goodness but will quickly fall into the snares of the devil.
(Book 1 Ch 24:5-7)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 March – ‘Why not use the day, today?’

Quote/s of the Day – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

“Quickly bring the finest robe
and put it on him”

Luke 15:22

‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Luke 18:13

“You do not know
when your last day may come.
You are an ingrate!
Why not use the day, today,
that God has given you
to repent?

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself. ”

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

“A saint is not someone, who never sins,
but one who sins less and less frequently
and gets up more and more quickly.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Aspire to God with short
but frequent outpourings of the heart,
admire His bounty,
invoke His aid,
cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His Cross,
adore His goodness,
treat with Him of your salvation,
give Him your whole soul –
a thousand times in the day.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, LENT, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – ‘You, Who desire that all should be saved.’ Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

“Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him” – Luke 15:22

REFLECTION – “How many there are who, through repentance, have been worthy to receive the love You hold for humankind. You justified the anguished publican and the weeping woman who was a sinner (Lk 18.14; 7,50) for, through a predetermined design, You foresee and grant pardon. Convert me also together with them, You, Who desire that all should be saved.

My soul was soiled as it put on the garment of its sins (Gn 3,21). O let me make fountains flow from my eyes that I may purify it by repentance. Clothe me with the shining robe worthy of Your wedding (Mt 22,12), You, Who desire that all should be saved…

O heavenly Father, have compassion for my cry as You did for the prodigal son, for I, too, am throwing myself at Your feet and crying aloud as he cried: “Father, I have sinned!” Do not reject me Your unworthy child, O my Saviour but cause Your angels to rejoice also on my behalf, O God of goodness You, Who desire that all should be saved.

For you have made me Your child and Your own heir through grace (Rm 8,17). Yet as for me, because I have offended You, am here a prisoner, an unhappy slave sold over to sin! Take pity on Your own image (Gn 1,26) and call it back from exile, O Saviour, You, Who desire that all should be saved…

Now is the time for repentance… The words of Paul urge me to persevere in prayer (Col 4,2) and await You. Therefore, with trust I pray, for I well know Your mercy, I know You come the first towards me and I am calling out for help. Should You delay, it is to give me the reward for perseverance, You, Who desire that all should be saved.

Grant me always to extol You and give You glory by leading a life that is pure. Grant that my deeds may be in accord with my words, that I may sing to You, Almighty… with pure prayer, Christ alone who desires that all should be saved.” – St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556) Monk, Composer of hymns, Poet – Hymn 55; SC 283

PRAYER – Almighty God, Whose sanctifying grace, even here on earth, brings us the gifts of heaven, guide us in this present life and lead us, in the footsteps of that Light the Christ, Whom You sent to lead us in His Light to the light of Your dwelling. May the prayers of all Your angels with the Blessed Virgin our Mother, St John the Baptist, St Joseph, Blessed Sylvester of Assisi and all the Saints strengthen and lighten our way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Fifteen of our Lenten Journey – 3 March – ‘Each day we ought to renew our resolutions …’

Day Fifteen of our Lenten Journey – 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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” – Matthew 20:22

Each day we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervour, as though it were the first day of our turning back to God.
We ought to say: “Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution and in Your holy service. Grant me now, this very day, to begin perfectly, for thus far I have done nothing.”

As our intention is, so will be our progress and he who desires perfection must be very diligent.
If the strong-willed man fails frequently, what of the man who makes up his mind seldom or half-heartedly?
Many are the ways of failing in our resolutions …

Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions.
In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes and God’s way is not man’s.
If a habitual exercise is sometimes omitted out of piety or in the interests of another, it can easily be resumed later.
But if it be abandoned carelessly, through weariness or neglect, then the fault is great and will prove hurtful.
Much as we try, we still fail too easily in many things.
Yet we must always have some fixed purpose, especially against things which beset us the most.
Our outward and inward lives alike, must be closely watched and well ordered, for both are important to perfection.
(Book 1 Ch 19:1-2)

Posted in "Follow Me", CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PURGATORY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Eight of our Lenten Journey – 24 February – Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis – On the Last Judgement and the Punishment for Sins

Day Eight of our Lenten Journey – 24 February – – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Jonah 3:1-10,Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19, Luke 11:29-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of Jonah.” – Luke 11:29

IN ALL things consider the e,d; how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgement in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgement when no man can be excused or defended by another because each, will have enough to do, to answer for himself? In this life your work is profitable, your tears acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and purifying.

The patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when he grieves more over the malice of one who harms him than for his own injury; when he prays readily for his enemies and forgives offenses from his heart; when he does not hesitate to ask pardon of others; when he is more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent violence to himself and tries to bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.

It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.

For a man will be more grievously punished in the things in which he has sinned. There the lazy will be driven with burning prongs and gluttons tormented with unspeakable hunger and thirst; the wanton and lust-loving will be bathed in burning pitch and foul brimstone; the envious will howl in their grief like mad dogs.

Every vice will have its own proper punishment. The proud will be faced with every confusion and the avaricious pinched with the most abject want. One hour of suffering there, will be more bitter, than a hundred years of the most severe penance here. In this life men sometimes rest from work and enjoy the comfort of friends, but the damned have no rest or consolation.

You must, therefore, take care and repent of your sins now so that on the day of judgement you may rest secure with the blessed. For on that day, the just will stand firm against those who tortured and oppressed them and he, who now submits humbly to the judgement of men, will arise to pass judgement upon them. The poor and humble will have great confidence, while the proud will be struck with fear. He who learned to be a fool in this world and to be scorned for Christ, will then appear to have been wise.
(Book 1 Ch 24:1-4)

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Quote/s of the Day – 24 February – Repent!

Quote/s of the Day – 24 February – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Jonah 3:1-10,Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19, Luke 11:29-32

“The sign of Jonah”

Luke 11:29

“Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Rend your hearts, not your garments
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger,
rich in kindness
and relenting in punishment.”

Joel 2:12-13

“… In the conceitedness of our souls,
without taking the least trouble
to obey the Lord’s commandments,
we think ourselves worthy
to receive the same reward
as those who have resisted sin to the death!”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Today, for those who will not repent
at the approach of the kingdom of heaven,
the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same…
As for when the end of the world will be,
that is God’s concern…
Even so, the time is very near for each of us,
for we are mortal.”

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

“My children, eternal life is being offered to us,
the kingdom of heaven is made ready
and Christ’s inheritance awaits us …
So let us run from now on with increased energy
and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant,
dull of heart, friends of murmuring who,
unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree.
… Let us seek out the fight,
bravely pour with our sweat,
adorn ourselves with crowns,
gain praises and gather up,
like a treasure,
“what eye has not seen
and ear has not heard
and what has not entered the human heart”
(1 Cor 2:9).

St Theodore the Studite (759-826)

“And when I hear it said,
that God is good and He will pardon us
and then see, that men cease not from evil-doing,
oh, how it grieves me!
The infinite goodness
with which God communicates with us,
sinners as we are,
should constantly make us love and serve Him better
but we, on the contrary,
instead of seeing in His goodness
an obligation to please Him,
convert it into an excuse for sin,
which will, of a certainty,
lead in the end,
to our deeper condemnation.”

St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

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Day Four of our Lenten Journey – ‘A man must fight long and bravely against himself …’

Day Four of our Lenten Journey – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

The holy Martyr, Lawrence, with his priest, conquered the world because he despised everything in it that seemed pleasing to him and for love of Christ patiently suffered the great high priest of God, Sixtus, whom he loved dearly, to be taken from him. Thus, by his love for the Creator, he overcame the love of man and chose instead of human consolation the good pleasure of God.
So you, too, must learn to part with an intimate and much-needed friend for the love of God.
Do not take it to heart when you are deserted by a friend, knowing that in the end we must all be parted from one another.

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human consolation.
The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor seek such pleasures of sense but prefers severe trials and hard labours for the sake of Christ. …

In what can I hope, then, or in Whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout brethren, faithful friends, holy books, beautiful treatises, sweet songs and hymns, all these help and please but little when I am abandoned by grace and left to my poverty.
At such times there is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God.

The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead, therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest. (Book 2, Ch9, 2-3,6,8)

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One Minute Reflection – 20 February – ‘. I, Levi …’ Luke 5:27-32

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings Isaiah 58: 9-14Psalms 86:1-23-45-6Luke 5:27-32 and the Memorial of St Elutherius of Tournai (c 456-532) Bishop and Martyr and Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920)

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

REFLECTION – “The Apostle Paul said: “Take off the old self with its practices and put on the new self” (Col 3,9-10)… This was the work Christ accomplished when He called Levi; He refashioned him into a new man. Similarly, it is as a new person, that the former publican prepares a banquet for Christ since Christ takes pleasure in him and he himself, merits to have a share in happiness with Christ… He followed him now, happy, light-hearted and overflowing with joy.

“I have the aspect of a publican no more,” he said, “I don’t carry around the old Levi any longer; I put off Levi when I put on Christ. I flee from my earlier life; my Lord Jesus, you alone, who heal my wounds, I desire to follow. Who shall separate me from the love of God … ? tribulation? anguish? hunger? (Cf Rom 8,35). I am bound to You by faith as by nails, I am held fast by the worthy bonds of love. All Your commandments will be like a cautery that I will apply firmly to my wound; the remedy stings but it takes away the ulcerous infection. Lord Jesus, with Your powerful sword, cut away the corruption of my sins: come quickly, lance my hidden and varied passions. Purge away all infection in the new bath.

“Listen to me, you people who are fixed to the earth, you whose thoughts are intoxicated by your sins. I, Levi, was also wounded by similar passions. But I found a doctor who dwells in heaven and pours out His remedies on earth. He alone can cure my wounds since He Himself has none. He alone can remove the heart’s pain and the soul’s lethargy, for He knows everything that lies hidden.”St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, 5, 23.27

PRAYER – Come my all-powerful, ever-living God, look with compassion on our frailty and for our protection, stretch out to us Your strong right hand. Grant that by the prayers of Mary, our Mother and all your angels and saints we may change our ways, leave everything behind, proclaim the glory of Your kingdom and come safely home to You. St Eleutherius and Sts Jacinta and Francisco, pray for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.