One Minute Reflection – 14 May – “Mary’s Month” – Feast of St Matthias Apostle, Readings: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26, Psalm 113:1-8, John 15:9-17
“…All that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you.” … John 15:15
REFLECTION – “Among His disciples Christ chose twelve chief ones whom He destined to be the teachers of the nations. Accordingly, after one of these had been struck off, He commanded the eleven others, on His departure to the Father, to “go and teach all nations” who were to be “baptised into the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28,19).
So the Apostles – whom this designation indicates as ‘the sent’ – on the authority of a prophecy which occurs in a psalm of David, immediately chose Matthias by lot in place of Judas. They obtained the promised power of the Holy Spirit for the gift of miracles and tongues and, after first bearing witness to faith in Jesus Christ, throughout Judaea and founding Churches there, they next went out into the world and preached the same teaching of faith to the nations. …
Now what it was they preached – in other words, what it was that Christ revealed to them – can properly be proved, in no other way, than by those very Churches that the Apostles founded in person, by directly declaring the Gospel to them, first by word of mouth and subsequently by their epistles. If, then, these things are so, it is manifest, that all doctrine that agrees with the Apostolic Churches, which are the matrix and source of the faith, must be reckoned as true and as undoubtedly containing that, which those Churches received, from the Apostles, the Apostles from Christ and Christ from God.” … Tertullian, full name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (c 155- c 240) Father of the Church
PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Matthias to complete the number of the twelve. By his prayer, include us among Your chosen ones, since we rejoice to see that the lot marked out for us, is in Your Love. May the Mother of Jesus, the Apostles and our Mother, ever intercede for us all. Through Jesus the Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 12 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”
“It is related in the Gospel, that once a certain occasion, a woman in the crowd, was roused by the preaching and miracles of Jesus and cried out: “Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the breasts that nursed thee.” But Jesus replied: “Rather blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it” (Lk 11:27-28). These words take nothing from the glory of the Mother of God. They were not intended for her but, for us. She was great and holy, not only because she was chosen to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate but also because she perfected herself in virtue by carrying out, in everything, the teaching of her divine Son, Jesus.
We cannot follow her as far as her high dignity of Mother of God but we can follow her in her heroic practice of virtue. Admittedly, we shall not be able to climb to an equal height but, with the help of God and under Mary’s own protection, we can and should, walk in her footsteps.
We can imitate her humility, her purity, her lively faith, her burning love for God and for her neighbour and her spirit of constant prayer and union with God. If we do this, we shall always feel that she is by our side as our loving Mother, who is eager to help us to become holy.”
Thought for the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Theological Virtues of Our Lady
“We also possess the Catholic faith, or at any rate, believe that we possess it, for we often recite the Creed and were received, at Baptism, into the family of the Catholic Church.
But is our faith alive? When a man is living his faith, he has a constant realisation of the presence of God, Who has created him, maintains him in existence, has redeemed him, loves him and commands him to do good. Otherwise, our faith is dead, for as St James writes, “faith, without works, is dead” (Js 2:26). If our faith is not living, neither is our hope nor our charity.
Let us examine ourselves thoroughly. Perhaps we do not think about God enough and, as a result our faith is weak. Perhaps we place all our hope in earthly things and look for these passing pleasures, which cannot satisfy or hearts. Perhaps we love ourselves and our possessions too much and have too little love for God, our only real good. It maybe that we are constantly seeking our own interests and ease and are lacking in sincere and active charity towards our neighbour, when he is in need, even though he is our brother in Jesus Christ and we should love him as ourselves. If this is the way matters stand, we are not genuine Catholics, for we have not the three theological virtues, which should form the basis of our lives. Neither are we sincere sons of Mary, who possessed these three virtues in an outstanding manner. Let us examine ourselves with a view to forming a few good and earnest resolutions.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 16:1-10, Psalm 100:1-3, 5, John 15:18-21
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me first.”
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own but because you are not of the world but I chose you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you.”
“God watches us – we, His children – take part in the combat and Himself gives us a heavenly crown ( 1Cor 9:25). The angels watch us too and Christ comes to our aid. So let us arm ourselves with all our might, let us fight the good fight, with brave hearts and solid faith.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“Do not rejoice in the Cross only in times of peace, preserve the same faith in times of persecution. Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone, only to become His enemy in times of war. You are now receiving forgiveness for your sins and the spiritual gifts lavishly bestowed by your King so, when war breaks out, fight valiantly for your King.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“When insults have no effect on us, when persecutions and penalties, have no terror for us, when prosperity or adversity, has no influence on us, when friend and foe, are viewed in the same light… do we not come close, to sharing, the serenity of God?”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“O man, when the world hates you and is faithless toward you, think of your God, how He was struck and spat upon. You should not accuse your neighbour of guilt but pray to God, that He be merciful to you both.”
St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)
“Catholics are part of the Church Militant. They struggle and they suffer for the triumph of Christ. They must never lose sight of their Divine Model, so that their trials will be turned into joy.”
Quote/s of the Day – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: First Corinthians 15: 1-8; Psalm: Psalms 19: 2-3, 4-5; Gospel: John 14: 6-14 and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
“I am in my Father a nd you in me and I in you.”
“It is no advantage to be near the light, if the eyes are closed.”
“Faith is to believe what you do not see. The reward of this faith, is to see what you believe.”
Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – The Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills!”
“Be strong and kill yourself with the sword of hate and love, then you will not hear the insults and abuse. which the enemies of the Church throw at you. Your eyes will not see anything, which seems impossible, or the sufferings, which may follow but only the light of faith and in that light , everything is possible and remember , God never lays greater burdens on us than we can bear.”
“You are rewarded, not according to your work, or your time but according to the measure of your love.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
Thought for the Day – 21 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian
“It is a great dignity to be a Christian. By Baptism, we become sons of God, heirs to Heaven, temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Mystical Body of Jesus, which is the Church. God’s grace raises us to the supernatural order and makes us, as St Paul expresses it, sharers in the divine nature. By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit fortifies our faith and gives us the strength to resist the temptations of the devil and to fight like loyal soldiers, for the triumph in ourselves and in others, of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Sacrament of Penance, is our plank of salvation in the shipwreck of sin.
Although, we are all wretched sinners, by this give of the divine mercy, we can recover our lost innocence and return to the grace and friendship of God. Moreover, in order to prevent us from falling back into sin, Jesus give us Himself in the Blessed Eucharist, which is called, by St Thomas Aquinas, the greatest miracle of His infinite love (Opusculum 56, Officium de festo Corporis Christi, lectures 1-4).
But this is not all. If it is our vocation for form a family, God consecrates our union at the altar and gives us the graces necessary, to sanctify it, so that it may produce a good Christian family. If God has called us, on the other hand, to become spiritual fathers of the souls redeemed by His Precious Blood, He raises us to this high dignity, by the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Finally, when we shall have come to the end of our mortal lives, the Priest will be still by our side, to wash away, by the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, the last traces of sin and to comfort us in our passage to eternity. The whole life of a Christian, is a chain of favours which accompany him, from the cradle to the grave. We should be grateful to God for the goodness with which He has treated us and continues to treat us. We should co-operate generously with His gifts by recognising the lofty honour it is, to be a Christian and by living in accordance with this dignity.”
Thought for the Day – 19 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Faith and Charity
“Faith is a wonderful thing. As has been said, it is a supernatural gift from God, which we should keep alive by prayer. Faith alone is not enough, however. It is the foundation, on which we must build the structure of our Christian life. It is especially necessary for it to be united to the flame of charity. “Without love,” says St Augustine, “there is only the faith, which the devil has” (De Caritate 10) because, as St James explains, “the devil also believes and trembles” (Js 2:19). We, however, should believe and love. We must combine faith with charity towards God and towards our neighbour. Our faith should be active. As St Paul says, it should work under the influence of charity (Gal 5:6). Without charity and good works, faith is a lifeless thing.
If we really believe, we should love God above all things, even more than we love ourselves and, we should be ready to make any sacrifice for Him, even the sacrifice of our lives.
Faith should induce us to think constantly of God and charity should urge us to do everytig for His sake, rather than for any lesser purpose. If we lack this kind of charity, we cannot claim to be sincere Christians.”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 April – Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 8-15, Psalm: Psalms 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30, Gospel: John 6: 22-29
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.”
“He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“You first loved us so that we might love You— not because You needed our love but because, we could not be what You created us to be, except by loving You.”
William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
“For God, … does not work in those who refuse to place all their confidence and hope in Him alone. But He does impart the fullness of His love upon those who possess a deep faith and hope; for them He does great things.”
St Jerome Emiliani (1486-1537)
“As for me, my God, I am so convinced, that You watch over those who hope in You and, that one cannot lack for anything, when one expects everything from You, that I have resolved, to live in future, without any anxiety and to unload all my worries onto You …”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682)
Lord, May Your kingdom Come Into My Heart By Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
Lord, may Your kingdom come into my heart to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me. How insignificant is the passing moment, to the eye without faith! But how important each moment is, to the eye enlightened by faith! How can we deem insignificant anything which has been caused by You? Every moment and every event is guided by You and so contains Your infinite greatness. So, Lord, I glorify You in everything that happens to me. In whatever manner You make me live and die, I am content. Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences because Your action lies behind them. Everything is heaven to me because all my moments, manifest Your love. Amen
“You leave the land just as it is when you depart; you do not carry anything away. Our first aim is to go to God, we are not on earth for anything but this!”
One Minute Reflection – 19 April – Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 8-15, Psalm: Psalms 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30, Gospel: John 6: 22-29 and the Memorial of Bl Conrad of Ascoli OFM (1234-1289)
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him, whom he hath sent.” – John 6:29
REFLECTION – “The senses are full of curiosity – faith is content to know nothing, it… longs to pass its life motionless before the Tabernacle. The senses love riches and honour – faith holds them in horror… “Blessed are the poor” (Mt 5,3). She adores the poverty and lowliness with which Jesus covered His life, as though with a garment, that He never cast off… The senses take fright at that which they call danger, at all that might mean pain or death – but faith is afraid of nothing, it knows nothing can happen to it but what is the will of God: “I have counted every hair of your head” (Mt 10,30) and whatever God wishes, will always be for its good. “All that happens is for the good of my elect” (Rm 8,28). Thus in everything that may happen, sorrow or joy, health or sickness, life or death, it is content and fears nothing. The senses are anxious about the future and ask how we shall live tomorrow but faith feels no anxiety…
Thus faith illumines everything with a new light, different to the life of the senses, more brilliant, of another kind. Whoever lives by faith, has a soul full of new thoughts, new tastes, new impressions; new horizons open up, marvellous horizons, lit with a new light and with a divine beauty, surrounded with new truths of which the world is not aware. Thus, whoever believes, begins a new life opposed to that of the world, whose acts seem like madness. The world is in the darkness of night, the person of faith is in full light – this light-filled path on which we walk, is not manifest to others. It seems to them, that we want to walk like a madman, in emptiness.” – Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) Hermit and Missionary in the Sahara – Retreat Notes, Nazareth, Nov. 1897
PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us. Let us walk in Your ways and be your lights and thus, by our lives, help others to follow You. Grant that the prayers of our blessed Mother, the Mother of Jesus Your Son and Blessed Conrad of Ascoli, who always lived for You alone, may help us, as we work through each day to reach our heavenly home. Through Jesus the Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 6: 8-15 8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Now there arosesome of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 0 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. 11 Then they suborned men to say, they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the ancients and the scribes and running together, they took him and brought him to the council. 13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us. 15 And all that sat in the council, looking on him, saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel.
Gospel: John 6: 22-29 22 The next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea, saw that there was no other ship there but one and that Jesus had not entered into the ship with his disciples but, that his disciples were gone away alone. 23 But other ships came in from Tiberias, nigh unto the place where they had eaten the bread, the Lord giving thanks. 24 When herefore he multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they took shipping and came to Capharnaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him, on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said: Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles but because you did eat of the loaves and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth but for that which endures unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed. 28 They said, therefore, unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.
Quote/s of the Day – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, mMself.”
“Elizabeth says: ‘Blessed are you because you have believed.’ You also are blessed, because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes, both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.”
St Ambrose of Milan (340-397) Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church
“Have faith and the One you cannot see, is with you.”
“The Lord is near do not be anxious about anything.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)
“Only by faith is He known to be present… He removed His visible presence and left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight, that He might be present in the Sacrament and in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible … ”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 April – “Saturday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 1-7, Psalm: Psalms 33: 1-2, 4-5, 18-19, Gospel: John 6: 16-21
“They saw Jesus, walking upon the sea and drawing nigh to the ship and they were afraid.”
And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
“What are you afraid of, you men of little faith? That He will not pardon your sins? But with His own hands He has nailed them to the cross. That you are used to soft living and your tastes are fastidious? But He knows the clay of which we are made (Gn 2:7). That a prolonged habit of sinning binds you like a chain? But the Lord loosens the shackles of prisoners. Or perhaps that angered by the enormity and frequency of your sins, He is slow to extend a helping hand? But where sin abounded, grace became superabundant (Rom 5,20). Are you worried about clothing and food and other bodily necessities s o that you hesitate to give up your possessions? But He knows that you need all these things (Mt 6,32). What more can you wish? What else is there to hold you back from the way of salvation? ”
St Bernard (1091-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church Commentary on the Song of Songs, Sermon 38
“Keep Jesus Christ as your dial, at all times, His Cross for mast, on which to hoist your resolutions, as a sail. Let your anchor be, profound trust in Him and set out early!”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church
“Then steer your ship with steady arm, Trust me and rest your soul. Your little boat I’ll keep from harm, I’ll guide it toward its goal. … Be ,therefore, steadfast, calm and true, Your God is at your side. Through storm and night He’ll see you through With conscience as your guide.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Edith Stein “At the Helm”
Thought for the Day – 14 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Tabernacle Lamp
“Look up at the lamp quietly glowin before the Taberncle in honour of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, the Light of the world. We also, should be like living lamps of love.
The lamp burns night and day in the Presence of Jesus and burns itself out for Him. For what do we wear out our lives? In useless and unnecessary projects, perhaps for worldly reasons, for the satisfaction of our ego or of our passions? We shall certainly never find peace this way but only disillusionment and remorse.
The lamp is the light in the darkness. Our lives should be a light of good example to others.
The lamp has a flame which gives heat. We should burn with love for God, our one and only good and, for all men, whom we should regard as our brothers in Jesus Christ.
The lamp is raised above the ground and is suspended from tbe ceiling by three chains. We should be above earthly things and should be attached to Heaven by the three chains of faith, hope ad charity. As the lamp opens out, only on top, so should we be open to Heavenly inspirations and closed to worldly preoccupations. God should be tbe centre of our thoughts and our lives should be dedicated to Him. In this way, we shall find peace on earth and happiness hereafter.”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“According to your faith, be it done to you.”
“He [Christ], protects their faith and gives strength to believers, in proportion to the TRUST, that each man, who receives that strength, is willing to place in Him.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?”
One Minute Reflection – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“… Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands and bring your hand and put it into my side and do not be unbelieving but believe.” – John 20:27
REFLECTION – “After the resurrection, we shall have the same members that we now use, the same flesh and blood and bones, for it is not the nature of these, that is condemned in Holy Scripture but, their works. The true confession of the resurrection declares that the flesh will be glorious but without destroying its reality. And so, when the Apostle says, “This [flesh] is corruptible and mortal,” his words denote this very body, in other words, the flesh that was then seen. But when he further adds, that it “puts on incorruption and immortality,” he is not saying that what was put on [i.e., the clothing] does away with the body that it adorns in glory. Rather, it makes that body glorious that previously lacked glory. When the more worthless robe of mortality and weakness is laid aside, then we can be clothed with the gold of immortality and the blessedness of strength as well as virtue.” – St Jerome (343-420) Father and One of the original four Doctors of the Church- Against John of Jerusalem
PRAYER – God of eternal compassion, each Easter, You rekindle the faith of Your consecated people. Grant still greater grace, so that all may truly understand, the water in which they were cleansed, the Spirit by which they were reborn, the Blood by which they were redeemed. May Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of the Risen Jesus Christ, be always with us. Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
First Reading: Acts 4: 32-35 32 And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. 33 And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them 34 For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them and brought the price of the things they sold 35 And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.
Second Reading: First John 5: 1-6 1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him. 2 In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy. 4 For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which
Gospel: John 20: 19-31 19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples, therefore, said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut and stood in the midst and said: Peace be to you. 27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing. 28 Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord, and my God. 29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed. 30 Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing, you may have life in his name.
One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Easter Friday, Readings: Acts 4:1-12, Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27, John 21:1-14
“It is the Lord!” – John 21:7
REFLECTION – “All creatures that exist, are in the hands of God. The action of the creature can only be perceived by the senses,but faith sees, in all things, the action of the Creator. It believes that in Jesus Christ all things live and, that His divine operation, continues to the end of time, embracing the passing moment and the smallest created atom, in its hidden life and mysterious action. The action of the creature is a veil, which covers the profound mysteries of the divine operation.
After the Resurrection, Jesus Christ took His disciples by surprise in His various apparitions. He showed Himself to them, under various disguises and, in the act of making Himself known to them, disappeared. This same Jesus, ever living, ever working, still takes by surprise, those souls whose faith is weak and wavering. There is not a moment, in which, God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals, His divine action. It is really and truly there present but, invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognise His operation until it has ceased.
If we could lift the veil and if we were attentive and watchful, God would continually reveal Himself to us and we should see His divine action, in everything that happened to us and rejoice in it. At each successive occurrence, we should exclaim: “It is the Lord” and we should accept every fresh circumstance, as a gift of God. We should look upon creatures as feeble tools in the hands of an able workman and should discover, easily, that nothing was wanting to us and, that the constant providence of God, disposed Him to bestow upon us, at every moment, whatever we required! ”- Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) Jesuit – Abandonment to divine Providence (ed. J. Ramière, SJ)
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind in the mystery of Easter. Cleanse our hearts by Your truth and guide our lives by Your holiness, may we do what is right and pleasing to You. Open our eyes to see You and our ears to Hear You, that we may follow your commandments and Your Way. Grant that what we celebrate in worship, we may carry out in our lives. May our Holy Mother, ever keep us in her prayers and care. Through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour to You, forever, amen
Acts 4: 1-12 1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests, and the officer of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead: 3 And they laid hands upon them, and put them in hold till the next day; for it was now evening. 4 But many of them who had heard the word, believed; and the number of the men was made five thousand. 5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their princes, and ancients, and scribes, were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. 7 And setting them in the midst, they asked: By what power, or by what name, have you done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: Ye princes of the people, and ancients, hear: 9 If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole: 10 Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.
Gospel: John 21: 1-14 1 After this, Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And he shewed himself after this manner. 2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, who is called Didymus, and Nathanael, who was of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter saith to them: I go a fishing. They say to him: We also come with thee. And they went forth, and entered into the ship: and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus therefore said to them: Children, have you any meat? They answered him: No. 6 He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes. 7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, (for he was naked,) and cast himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the ship, (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9 As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus saith to them: Come, and dine. And none of them who were at meat, durst ask him: Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 And Jesus cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish in like manner. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead.
One Minute Reflection – 6 April – Easter Tuesday Third Day in the Easter Octave, Readings: First: Acts 2: 36-41, Psalm: Psalms 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22, Gospel: John 20: 11-18
Some have requested at least the Epistle and the Gospel in full each day – I am, therefore, posting them below from the Douay-Rheims, Challoner translation. If anyone knows of a link to the original English translation, with chapter and verse, please share it with me. And please let me know whether I should continue to post the readings here.
“Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” – John 20:17
REFLECTION – “Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to my Father.” What are we to say? That Christ is better touched by faith than by flesh. Touching Christ by faith is truly to touch Him. This is what the woman suffering from an issue of blood did: – she drew near to Christ, full of faith and touched His robe … And our Lord, hemmed in by the crowd, was touched by no one but this woman … because she believed (Mk 5:25 f).
My brethren, Jesus is in heaven today. While He was living among His disciples, clothed visibly in flesh and possessing a body that could be touched, He was both seen and touched. But today, now He is seated at the right hand of the Father, which of us can touch Him? And yet, woe to us if we do not touch Him. We all touch Him who believe in Him. He is far away in heaven and the distance separating Him from us cannot be measured. But believe and you touch Him. What am I saying? You touch Him? If you believe, then you have with you, the One in Whom you believe …
Do you know how Mary wished to touch Him? She searched for Him among the dead and did not believe He would rise again: “They have taken my Lord from the tomb!” (Jn 20:2). She wept for a man … “Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to my Father.” You touch me before I have ascended to the Father and see no more than a man in me. What will that sort of faith give you? “Let me ascend to the Father. I have never left Him but, for your sake, I will ascend provided you believe me to be equal to the Father.” Our Lord Jesus Christ ,did not leave His Father when He descended from His side. So neither has He forsaken us, when He went up again from our side. For at the very time of His going up and sitting at the right hand of the Father, He said to His disciples: “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).” – St Augustine (354-430) – Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – 1st sermon for Holy Thursday, Morin Guelferbytanus 13 ; PLS 2, 572
PRAYER – Lord our God and Father, You have brought us solace through the Easter mysteries. Continue to be bountiful to Your people and lead us to perfect freedom, so tht the joy that gladdens our way on earth, will be fulfilled in heaven. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin grant us strength on our journey. Through Your Son, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus the Risen Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with Your, now and forever, amen.
First Reading: Acts 2: 36-41 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified. 37 Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren?
Gospel: John 20: 11-18 11 But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. 13 They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him. 14 When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master). 17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God. 18 Mary Magdalen cometh, and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.
Day Twenty Seven of our Lenten Journey – 15 March – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 65:17-21, Psalms 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12 and 13, John 4:43-54
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)
“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” … John 4:48
“Whoever examines the majesty of God will be crushed by His glory” (Prv 25:27 Vg). God can do works that pass man’s understanding. … Faith is required of you and sincerity of life, not high intelligence, nor penetrating knowledge of the mysteries of God. If you do not understand nor grasp what is below you, how will you comprehend what is above you? Be subject to God, submit your feeling to the faith and the light of knowledge will be given to you, as much as you need and can use.
Some have grave temptations concerning faith in the Blessed Sacrament, which are not to be imputed to them but rather, to the enemy. Take no notice, do not argue with your thoughts, nor answer the doubts with which the devil attacks you, believe God’s word, believe His saints and prophets and the wicked enemy will be routed. It is often most profitable to God’s servant to endure such things. For the devil does not tempt the infidel or sinner, of whom he has already secure possession but, he uses various means to tempt and harass the devout faithful.
Go on then, with simple unquestioning faith and approach the Sacrament with reverent beseeching. Anything you cannot understand, commit it surely to God who is omnipotent. God does not deceive you, the over-confident person deceives himself. God walks in step with the simple ones, He shows Himself to the humble ones, He grants understanding to the little ones, “He reveals hidden meanings to little ones” and hides away His grace from the inquisitive and the proud. Human reason is feeble and fallible but true faith cannot be deceived. All use of reason, all human inquiry should walk in the footsteps of faith, it should not go on, in front of it, nor call it in question. (Book4 Ch 18)
“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17
REFLECTION – “In Him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of prophecy through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace. In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed. No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised. When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) – An excerpt from Sermo 51
PRAYER – Shed your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. May your Angels and the FortyHoly Martyrs of Sebaste, pray for us. May the Mother of Our God and our Mother, be at our side and guide our way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 8 March – Monday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15,Psalms 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4, Luke 4:24-30 and the Memorial fo St John of God (1495-1550) and Blessed Vincent Kadlubek O.Cist (c 1160-1223)
“There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months and a great famine came over all the land. Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.” – Luke 4:25-26
REFLECTION – “The poor widow had gone out to look for two blocks of wood to bake some brea,: it is at this time that Elijah meets her. This woman is the symbol of the Church because a cross is made of two pieces of wood, the woman, who was destined to die, searches for something by which to live eternally. There is a hidden mystery in this … Elijah tells her: “Go, feed me first with your poverty and you will not run out of your goods.” What a blessed poverty! If the widow received here on earth such retribution, what a reward may she hope to receive in the life to come!
I insist on this point – let us not expect to harvest the fruit of our sowing now, at the time we sow. Here on earth, we sow with difficulty what will be the harvest of our good works but only later on, will we gather the fruits of this with joy, according to what is said: “Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves” (Ps 125:6). Actually Elijah’s act towards this woman was not her reward, but only a symbol of it. For if this widow would have been rewarded here on earth for having fed the man of God, what a miserable sowing, what a poor crop! She received just a temporal good – a jar of flour that did not empty and a jug of oil that did not run dry, until the day the Lord watered the earth with His rain. This sign that was given to her by God, for a few days was, therefore, the symbol of the future life where our reward could not be lessened. Our flour will be God himself! As the flour of this woman did not run out in these days, we will not be deprived of God for all the rest of eternity … Sow with faith and your harvest will surely come; it will come later on but when it will come, you will reap it endlessly.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father, Doctor of the Church – Sermon 11, 2-3
PRAYER – Lord our God, make us love You above all things and all our fellow-men, with a love that is worthy of You. May we look to Your Divine Son in love and imitation. Grant we pray, that by the prayers of the St John of God and Bl Vincent Kadlubek we too may be granted the grace to follow Your only Son, no matter our sufferings. We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.
“He was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzling white” – Mark 9:2-3
REFLECTION – “Three persons were chosen to climb the mountain, two to appear with the Lord … Peter, who received the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, was one of those who climbed up and John, to whom was entrusted the Mother of Jesus and James, who would be the first to be elevated to the Episcopal dignity. Then Moses and Elijah, the Law and the prophets, appeared together with the Word … Let us, too, climb the mountain, let us beg the Word of God to appear to us in His “splendour and beauty,” to “be strong, go forth in majesty and reign” (Ps 45:4). …
For if you do not ascend to the peak of a higher knowledge, Wisdom will not appear to you, understanding of the mysteries will not make itself known. The splendour and beauty to be found in the Word of God will not appear to you but God’s Word will seem like a body “without grace or beauty” (Is 53:2). He will seem to you like a man of suffering, “accustomed to infirmity” (v. 3) and like a word born of man, covered with the veil of the letter and not shining with the power of the Spirit (cf. 2 Cor 3:6-17). …
His clothing takes one appearance at the foot of the mountain, another at the top. It might be said that the garments of the Word are Scripture’s words that, so to speak, clothe the divine thoughts. And just as He appeared to Peter, James and John under another aspect, His garment dazzling white, so the meaning of the divine Scriptures is already explained in your mind’s eye. Thus the divine words become like snow “such as no one on earth could bleach them” …
Then followed a cloud, that hid them under its shadow. This shadow is the divine Spirit, which does not cover over men’s hearts but brings to light, what lies hidden … You see, perfect faith is knowledge of the Son of God, not just for beginners but for the perfect and even for the inhabitants of heaven.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, VII9 f.
PRAYER – God our Father, You bid us listen to Your Son, the well-beloved. Nourish our heats on Your Word, purify the eyes of our mind and fill us with joy, at the vision of Your glory. May our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary accompan us and intercede for us as we strive to purify our lives. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 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.
And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?” – Mark 8:12
REFLECTION – “Admire God’s wonderful work, come out of your sleep. Are you only going to admire extraordinary miracles? But are they any greater than those that daily take place before your eyes? Are people astonished because our Lord Jesus Christ satisfied several thousand persons with five loaves (Mt 14,19f) and are not surprised that a few seeds are enough to cover the ground with abundant harvests? They are filled with wonder when they see our Saviour change water into wine (Jn 2,19); isn’t it the same thing when rain goes through the roots of the vine? The author of both these miracles is the same…
Our Lord worked miracles and yet many despised him… They said to themselves : ‘The works are divine but, as for Him, he is only a man.’ Therefore, you see two things: divine works on the one hand and a Man on the other. If those divine works can only be carried out by God, could it not be because God is hidden in this Man? Yes. Be very attentive to what you see and believe what you do not see. He who calls on you to believe, has not abandoned you to yourself, even if He asks you to believe what you cannot see, He has not left you without anything to see, to help you believe what is unseen. Isn’t creation itself a faint sign, a faint manifestation of the Creator? In addition, look at Him who comes into the world and works miracles. You were unable to see God but you were able to see a Man – therefore God became Man, so that what you see and what you believe, should be but One!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo (North Africa), Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 126, 4-5
PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by Your power throughout the course of this day, even as You have enabled us to begin it. Your grace is all that we need, to see the loving kindness of Your Son, our Lord Jesus in all we see and do and think. Do not let us turn aside from His path but by the faith You have granted us, let us find meaning in all, which is the sign of Your glory. Do not let us turn aside to sin and may the intercession of St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682), grant us courage and peace. Through Jesus Christ, our Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
REFLECTION – “You must never fail to trust in God, nor despair of His mercy. I should not like you to doubt, or despair of becoming better. For even if the devil were able to throw you down, from the heights of virtue, to the depths of wickedness, how much more, can God recall you to the summit of goodness. And, not just bring you back to the state you were in before your fall but He can make you much happier, than you seemed to be before. Do not lose heart, I beg you and do not close your eyes to the hope of good, for fear that what happens to people, who don’t love God, should happen to you. For it is not, the great number of one’s sins, that leads the soul to despair but disdain for God. As the Wise man says: “It is the characteristic of the impious to despair of salvation and hold it in contempt since they have fallen into the pit of sin” (cf. Prv 18,3 Vg).
Therefore, every thought that takes our hope away, follows on from a lack of faith, like a heavy stone around our neck, it forces us to be always looking downwards, to the earth and doesn’t allow us to raise our eyes to the Lord. But those with a brave heart and enlightened mind, know how to release their necks from this horrid weight. “Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so our eyes are on the Lord our God till he have pity on us” (Ps 123,2). – St Rabanus Maurus OSB (776-856) Archbishop, Monk, Abbot,Theologian, Poet – Three books dedicated to Bonosus, Bk 3, 4
PRAYER – To those who love You, Lord, You promise to come with Your Son and make Your home within them. If You will, You can make us clean, come then with Your purifying grace and make our hearts a place where You can dwell. May the prayers of intercession of Saints Cyril and Methodius, help us to reach our everlasting home with You. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 13 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Religion and Action
“Anyone who fails to correspond with the grace of God, is not living the life of Jesus. Without the life of Jesus, he is a dead limb, a withered branch cut away from the vine. It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven, but, it is necessary to do the will of our Heavenly Father (Cf Mt 7:21). The grace of God must produce an abundant harvest of good works, no matter what sacrifices this may cost us. Otherwise, God’s gift would have been bestowed in vain and, before the Supreme Judge one day, would be a reason for a terrible retribution, instead of a reward. Let us think seriously about this. Has the spirit of religion become reduced to an empty form of belief and ritual action, or are we really living what we believe? Meditate with attention to these words of St James: “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but does not have works? Can the faith save him? And if a brother or a sister be naked and in want of daily food and, one of you say to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ yet you do not give them what is necessary for the body, what does it profit? So faith too, unless it has works, is dead in itself” (Js 2:14-17).
Even the devil believes but he is damned forever (Cf Js 2:18). “Religion pure and undefiled before God the Father is this – to give aid to orphans and widows in their tribulation and to keep oneself unspotted from this world!” (Js 1:27).
Thought for the Day – 24 September – 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!”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)
“For God, … does not work in those who refuse to place all their confidence and hope in Him alone. But He does impart the fullness of His love upon those who possess a deep faith and hope; for them He does great things.”
“With your patience you will save your soul.”
(Letter 3 #1)
“Therefore, having done what you could, the Lord will be satisfied with you because for Him, who is the most benign, goodwill compensates for the lack of success.”
(Letter 5 #4)
“…If I do not speak the truth, I become a slave of the father of lies and become a member of this father of lies.”
Thought for the Day – 3 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Religion and Devotion
“Religion, should not be a cold, mehcanical practice of obedience to the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Deep spiritual devotion and supernatural charity are necessary, as well as religion. In other words, religion should not be merely external but, should spring from the mind and heart, this is devotion, which is the spirit of religion. “Devotion,” wites Aquinas, “seems to be the determination to give one’s self readily to the service of God” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 82, a 2, ad 1). But this determination should be loving and effective because, as St Thomas also observes, “charity generates devotion” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 82, a 2, ad 2).
St Francis de Sales analysed and expanded these ideas. “True and living devotion,” he writes, “presupposes the love of God – indeed, it really is a true love of God… but a love… which has reached that height of perfection at which it not only causes us to act but, to act zealously, frequently and promptly…” (Introduction to the Devout Life, Bk I, C 1). He continues: “Since devotion consists in an unique degree of charity, it not only makes us prompt, active and zealous in the observance of all the divine commands but, incites us, furthermore, to perform readily and lovingly, as many good works as we can… even if they are only recommended or suggested” (Ibid). From this solid and sincere devotion flows, that taste for divine things, that inner gentleness and peace of spirit which the Saints enjoyed, even in the midst of sorrow and disillusionment. It is the spontaneous homage of the mind and heart, that God wants most of all.”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 February – “Month of the Holy Family of Nazareth”
“Thus, parents, I say, are more vicious, more cruel than child-murderers; for, a murderer of children, as Herod was, separates only the body from the soul; while the others, give the souls and bodies of their children to eternal flames! Further, those who are killed would have died in the course of time, though they had not been murdered; while children, neglected by their parents, might have avoided eternal death, had not the wickedness of their parents prepared it for them. Besides this, the general resurrection would have compensated for the bodily death, while the death and destruction of the soul, nothing can restore. A child, condemned by the parent’s fault, has no hope of salvation but has to suffer eternal pains. Hence I am right in saying, that such parents are worse than child-murderers.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor
“We become what we love and who we love, shapes what we become.”
St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
“On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms, during the flight to Egypt.”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church
“To hand onto your children. the faith you received from your parents, is your first duty and your greatest privilege as parents. The home should be the first school of religion, as it must be the first school of prayer.”
Bl Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance (1820-1885) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“The family is the basis in the Lord’s plan and all the forces of evil aim to demolish it. Uphold your families and guard them against the grudges of the evil one, by the Presence of God.”
St Charbel Makhlouf OLM (1828-1898)
“ … The family is not made for society; rather, it is society, which is made for the family.”
“God did not create a human family made up of segregated, dissociated, mutually independent members. No; He would have them all united by the bond of total love of Him and consequent self-dedication to assisting each other to maintain that bond intact.”
“There is no surer means of calling down God’s blessing upon the family, than the daily recitation of the Rosary.”