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Lenten Reflection – 30 March – ‘The Holy and sublime ladder …’

Lenten Reflection – 30 March – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62, Psalm 23, John 8:1-11

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.” … John 8:11

Daily Meditation:
Help us to pass from our old life of sin
to our new life of grace.

“The Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, “made himself all things to all men” (1 Cor 9:22) in such a way that He revealed Himself as being smaller than the small, He who was greater than the great.   To save a soul who was surprised in adultery and accused by the demons, He lowered Himself to the point of writing on the ground with His finger…. He, Himself, is the holy and sublime ladder that the traveller Jacob saw in his sleep (Gen 28:12),… the ladder that was set up from the earth to God and that God held out to the earth.   When He wants, He goes up to God. Sometimes He is accompanied by a few people … and sometimes no-one can follow Him.   And when He wants, He joins the crowd… He heals lepers, eats with publicans and sinners… touches the sick to heal them.he himself is the holy and sublime ladder - isaac of stella 30 march 2020

Blessed is the soul that can follow the Lord Jesus wherever He goes, going up to the rest of contemplation… and on the other hand, coming down by the practice of charity, following Him to the point of lowering itself in service, of loving poverty, of bearing with (…) fatigue, work, tears, prayer and finally compassion and the passion.   For He came in order to obey even to death, to serve and not to be served, not to give gold or silver but His teaching and His help to the many, His life for the many (Mk 10:45)…

So, brethren, may this be the model for your life: (…) to follow Christ by going up to the Father… to follow Christ by going down to your neighbour, refusing no practice of charity, making yourselves all things to all persons.” … Isaac of Stella (c 1100-c 1171) Cistercian Monk, theologian, philosopher – Sermon 12

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters,
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3monday of the fifth week 30 march 2020

Intercessions:
Praise to Jesus, our Saviour.
By His death He has opened for us the way of salvation.
Let us ask Him:
Lord, guide Your people to walk in Your ways.

God of mercy, You gave us new life through Baptism,
– make us grow day by day in Your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
– in helping them may we find You.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in Your sight,
– and to seek You always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of Your family,
– make us one in heart and spirit.

Closing Prayer:

I Unite My Sacrifice
Prayer for Submission to Divine Providence
By St Joseph Maria Pignatelli SJ (1737 – 1811)

My God, I do not know
what must come to me today.
But I am certain
that nothing can happen to me
that You have not foreseen, decreed
and ordained from all eternity.
That is sufficient for me.
I adore Your impenetrable
and eternal designs,
to which I submit with all my heart.
I desire, I accept them all
and I unite my sacrifice to that of
Jesus Christ, my Divine Saviour.
I ask in His name
and through His infinite merits,
patience in my trials
and perfect and entire submission,
to all that comes to me
by Your good pleasure.
Ameni unite my sacrifice by st joseph pignatelli sj 30 march 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 29 March – ‘So let the Lord’s call resound in your ears!’

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 37:12-14, Psalm 130:1-8, Romans 8:8-11, John 11:1-45

“Lazarus, come out!” … John 11:43

REFLECTION – “Lazarus, come out!”   Laid to rest in the tomb, you heard the resounding call.   Is there any voice greater than that of the Word?   Then you came out, you who were dead not merely for four days but for a very long time indeed.   You were raised with Christ …, your burial bands fell to the ground.   Do not fall back again now into death, do not rejoin those who dwell in the tombs, do not allow yourself to be stifled by the burial bands of your sins.   For would you be able to come back to life once again? Would you be able to bring out from the death of here below, the resurrection of all men at the end of time? …
So let the Lord’s call resound in your ears!   Do not close them today to the teaching and admonitions of the Lord.   If you used to be blind, without light in your tomb, open your eyes lest you sink into the sleep of death.   In the light of the Lord, behold light, in the Spirit of God, fix your eyes on the Son.   If you take to yourself the Word, in it’s entirety, then you focus onto your soul all the power of Christ, who heals and restores to life …. Don’t be afraid to put some work into preserving your baptismal purity and set the ways that lead to the Lord within your heart.   Take care to preserve the act of acquittal, which you received through pure grace ….
Let us be light, as the disciples learned from He who is the great Light – “You are the light of the world” (Mt 5,14).   Let us be lamps in this world by holding up on high the Word of life, by being a life force for others.   Let us set out in search of God, in search of the One who is the first and purest of lights.” … Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon on Holy Baptism.john 11 43 -so let the lords call resound in your ears! st gregory of nazianzen 29 march 2020

PRAYER – Give us good God, a heart of flesh, that we might resemble the heart of Your love.   For truly following the steps of Your divine Son, we would make peace in the world and give glory to Your kingdom.   Help us Lord, to see with Your eyes and hear with Your ears, that the Word may dwell in us all and bring us to rise with You.   May the immaculate heart of Mary, our Mother dwell in us and help us to reach our eternal home.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-27-july-2018 and 29 march 2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – Bl Didacus Joseph and St Óscar Romero

Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – The Memorial of Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801) and Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

“By means of our penances
we should atone for the sins of our fellowmen
and thus preserve ourselves
and them from eternal death.   
It would hardly be too much
if we shed the last drop of our blood
for their conversion.”

Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz (1743–1801)

by means of our penances bl didacus joseph 24 march 2020

“If we are worth anything,
it is not because we have
more money or more talent,
or more human qualities.
Insofar, as we are worth anything,
it is, because we are grafted onto Christ’s life,
His cross and resurrection.
That is a person’s measure.”

if we are worth anything - st oscar romero 24 march 2020

“There are many things
that can only be seen, 
through eyes that have cried.”

St Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)

Martyr

thee are many things - eyes that have cried - st oscar romero 24 march 2020

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL

Thought for the Day – 23 March – The Christian Formation of Character

Thought for the Day – 23 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Christian Formation of Character

god's grace does not change nature - 23 march 2020 bacci

“Our temperament is often a burden to ourselves and can, at times, be the source of annoyance to others.
If we do nothing about it, it can be the cause of failings or of extremes of behaviour on our part, which we bitterly regret afterwards.
It is necessary, therefore, to form character in accordance with Christian principles.
We are in no danger of losing our individuality, by training our character in this way.
God’s grace does not change nature but elevates and improves it.
It is like a shoot, which we plant in the uncultivated soil of our own being.
The first fruits may be sour but after a while, they grow sweeter, while still preserving the essential taste and aroma of the mother-plant.
St Jerome was a headstrong and austere character and he continued to be so, even after the grace of God had transformed him and made him holy.
But his rugged nature was, at the same time, softened and strengthened by divine grace.
St Augustine had a great intellect and a great heart.
When he abandoned philosophical sophistry and worldly vanity, in order to dedicate these gifts to the service of God, he achieved a profundity of thought, never before attained by Christian wisdom.
We should behave in the same manner.
If we are hot-tempered, we should convert this tendency to anger, into hatred for sin.
If we are enthusiastic by nature, we should turn our enthusiasm into love for God and for our neighbour.
If we are high-spirited and energetic, we should devote ourselves to good works, for our own salvation and to the apostolate of souls.
How far have we advanced in the Christian transformation of our character?
Let us examine our progress and resolve to do better.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Lenten Reflection – 22 March – So he went and washed and came back seeing.

Lenten Reflection – 22 March – Fourth “Laetare” Sunday of Lent, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13, Psalm 23:1-6, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

So he went and washed and came back seeing. … John 9:7

lent - laetare sunday 4th sun of lent 22 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
Laetare Sunday:  Be joyful!

“The man born blind and healed, represents us when we do not realise that Jesus is the light, He is “the Light of the World,” when we are looking elsewhere, when we prefer to entrust ourselves to little lights, when we are groping in the dark.
Acting as children of the light requires a radical change of mindset, a capacity to judge men and things according to another scale of values, which comes from God.   What does it mean to have the true light, to walk in the light?   First of all it means abandoning false lights – the cold, vain light of prejudice against others, because prejudice distorts reality and ladens us with aversion to those whom we judge without mercy and condemn without appeal.
May the Blessed Virgin, who was the first to welcome Jesus, the Light of the World, obtain for us this grace of welcoming anew the light of faith this Lent, rediscovering the inestimable gift of Baptism, which all of us have received.   And may this new illumination transform us in attitude and action, so that we too, beginning with our poverty, our narrow-mindedness, may be bearers of a ray of the light of Christ.” … Pope Francis (Angelus, 26 March 2017)the man born blind and healed represents us - pope francis 22 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us give glory to God, whose kindness knows no limit.
Through Jesus Christ, who lives forever to intercede for
us, let us pray:
Kindle in our hearts the fire of Your love.

God of mercy, let today be a day rich in good works,
-a day of generosity to all we meet.
From the waters of the flood you saved Noah through the ark,
-from the waters of baptism raise up to new life those
under instruction.
May we live not by bread only,
-but by every word falling from Your lips.
Help us to do away with all dissension,
-so that we may rejoice in Your gifts of peace and love.

Closing Prayer:

“All-powerful God, Benefactor and Creator of the universe,
hearken to my groaning in my peril.
Deliver me from fear and anguish,
free me by the strength of Your might, You who can do all…
O Lord Christ, cut the threads of my net 
with the sword of Your triumphant Cross, with the weapon of life.
This net encompasses me on every side, 
holding me captive so as to bring me to my death.
Guide to their rest, my tottering and unsteady steps,
heal the stifling fever of my heart.
I stand guilty before You,
take away from me my distress, the devil’s ploy;
remove the darkness of my anguished soul…

Renew in my soul the light-filled image of the glory of Your name, 
so great and so powerful.
Intensify the brilliance of Your grace upon the image of my face
and on the eyes of my spirit, I who am born of the earth (Gn 2:7).
Let my darkness vanish in a radiant purity, sinner that I am.
Drown my soul in Your living, eternal, heavenly divine light
so that the likeness of God the Trinity may increase within me.
You alone, O Christ, are blessed, together with the Father
for the praise of your Holy Spirit
for endless ages. 
Amen

Saint Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010)
Doctor of the Church
Book of prayers, no 40

Posted in I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – Jesus worked a new creation.

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – The Fourth “Laetare” Sunday of Lent, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13, Psalm 23:1-6, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

“He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay” … John 9:6

john 9 6 he spat on the ground and made clay - 22 march 2020

REFLECTION – “Let us reflect briefly on the account of the man born blind (Jn 9: 1-41). According to the common mentality of the time, the disciples take it for granted that his blindness was the result of a sin committed by him or his parents.   Jesus, however, rejects this prejudice and says – “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents but that the works of God might be made manifest in him” (Jn 9: 3).
… And He immediately takes action – mixing a little earth with saliva he made mud and spread it on the eyes of the blind man.   This act alludes to the creation of man, which the Bible recounts using the symbol of dust from the ground, fashioned and enlivened by God’s breath (Gn 2: 7).   In fact, “Adam” means “ground” and the human body was in effect formed of particles of soil.   By healing the blind man, Jesus worked a new creation.
But this healing sparked heated debate because Jesus did it on the Sabbath, thereby, in the Pharisees’ opinion, violating the feast-day precept.   Thus, at the end of the account, Jesus and the blind man are both cast out, the former because he broke the law and the latter because, despite being healed, he remained marked as a sinner from birth.
Jesus reveals to the blind man whom He had healed that He had come into the world for judgement, to separate the blind who can be healed, from those who do not allow themselves to be healed because they consider themselves healthy.   Indeed, the temptation to build himself an ideological security system is strong in man – even religion can become an element of this system, as can atheism or secularism but in letting this happen, one is blinded by one’s own selfishness.” … Pope Benedict XVI – 2 March 2008

and he immediately takes action - pope benedict man born blind - 22 march 2020

PRAYER – Holy Father, we are sinners who stand in Your presence and serve You.   Grant us Your mercy and forgiveness, for we are all Your prodigal children.   Your Word, our Christ, came to redeem us, to relieve our blindness and open our eyes, to open our ears, that we might hear.   May Mary Most Holy, who, by conceiving Christ in the flesh, gave the world the true light, help us to conquer the ‘great transgression’ of our pride.   May we honour, love and serve You through His example and by following in His steps. Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

MARY immaculate pray for us 22 march 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 16 March – ‘When His place becomes our place …’

Lenten Reflection – 16 March – Monday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15, Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4, Luke 4:24-30

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.” … Luke 4:24

luke 4 24 no prophet is accepted - when his place becomes our place - pope francis 16 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
We cannot be saved without you.

“When His place becomes our place,
when His time becomes our time,
when His person becomes our life,
then the prophecies come to fulfilment in us.
Then Jesus is born within us.
He becomes the living God for me.” 

Pope Francis
6 January 2019

Today we are reminded of the terrible irony – a prophet is not well received at home.
Jesus was not accepted by those who saw Him as all too human.
And, He was unable to act with power in their lives.
Is this Lenten season getting us out of our comfortable complacency,
and helping us see the prophetic one in our midst?
Is it helping us listen better, reach out with deeper longing,
find a greater intimacy with the only one who can save us?.

lent monday of the third week 14 march 2020

My soul is thirsting for the living God:
when shall I see God face to face?
Psalm 42

Intercessions:
Blessed be Jesus our Saviour.
Through His death He has opened up for us
the way of salvation.
Direct Your people Lord, in the path of true life.

Merciful God, in baptism, You gave us a life that is new
– may we ever grow in Your likeness.
Let us bring joy this day to those who are in need
– and draw us nearer to You, through the help we give them.
Help us to do what is right and good
– let us seek You always with all our heart.
Forgive us for the times we have hurt other people
– Lord have mercy on us.

Closing Prayer:
Merciful God,
Free Your Church from the sins of this world
and protect us from evil we see
and the evil we prefer to ignore.
We need Your guidance, Lord
for we cannot do this alone.
Only with Your help can we be saved.
Thank You for Your desire to save us and love us.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“He is the Gospel of God,
He is the Mercy of God,
He is the liberation of God,
He is the One who became poor
so as to enrich us with His poverty.”

Pope Francis – Angelus, 24 January 2016

he-is-the-gospel-of-god-pope-francis-27-jan-2019 and 16 march 2020