Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, The HEART

Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – Pray, pray, pray

Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandmother of Jesus.

St Anne, through her constant prayer,
received, the Mother of God
and then, became the Grandmother of God!

God accepts our desires as though
they were of great value.
He longs ardently for us
to desire to and love Him.
He accepts our petitions for benefits,
as though we were doing Him a favour.
His joy in giving,
is greater than ours in receiving.
So let us not be apathetic in our asking,
nor set too narrow bounds to our requests;
nor ask for frivolous things
unworthy of God’s greatness.

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

“Prayer is the place of refuge
for every worry,
a foundation for cheerfulness,
a source of constant happiness,
a protection against sadness.

When you are weary of praying
and do not receive,
consider how often
you have heard a poor man calling
and have not listened to him.

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

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

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Realise above all,
that you are in God’s presence
and stand there
with the attitude
of one, who stands
before the Emperor.

St Romuald (c 951-1027)

The spirit of prayer
is the spirit of the love of God
and this should inspire
all our vocal prayers.
Flowery petitions are no use
if our minds and hearts
are turned away from God.
God wants our hearts.
Let us pray often
but let our prayers
be sincere acts of the love of God,
coming from the heart.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 May – ‘ … Offer your whole self, your whole life …’

One Minute Reflection – 29 May – Sunday within the Octave of Ascension – 1 Peter 4:7-11, John 15:26-27; 16:1-4 and the Memorial of St Maria Magdalena de’ Pazzi O.Carm (1566-1607)

Yes, the hour is coming, for everyone who kills you, to think he is offering worship to God.” – John 16:2

REFLECTION – “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rm 12,1). With this plea the Apostle Paul raises all men to participation in the priesthood… We do not look outside ourselves for something to offer God but bring with us and within us, something to sacrifice to God for our own advantage… “I urge you by the mercies of God.” Brothers, this sacrifice is in Christ’s image, He Who laid down His life here below and offered it for the life of the world. Indeed He made a living sacrifice of His Body, Who yet lives after being killed. In so great a sacrifice, death was destroyed, removed by the sacrifice… Hence martyrs are born at the time of their death and begin to live as their life ends; they live when they are killed and shine in Heaven when people on earth think they have been snuffed out…

The prophet sang: “You did not ask for sacrifice or oblation but a body you have prepared for me” (Ps 39[40],7). Become both the sacrifice that is offered and the one who offers it to God. Do not lose what God’s power has granted you. Put on the cloak of holiness. Take up the belt of chastity. May Christ be the veil over your head; the cross, the breastplate that gives you perseverance. Keep in your heart the sacrament of Holy Scripture. May your prayer burn constantly, like a sweet-smelling fragrance to God. Take up “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6,17), may your heart be the altar where, without fear, you may offer your whole self, your whole life…

Offer your faith, to make reparation for unbelief; offer your fasting, to put an end to voraciousness; offer your chastity, that sensuality may die; be fervent, that wrongdoing may cease; exercise mercy, to end avarice and to suppress foolishness, offer your holiness. Thus will your life become your offering, if it has not been wounded by sin. Your body lives, yes, it lives, each time that, putting evil to death within you, you offer living virtues to God. ” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)Doctor of Homilies,” Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 108)

PRAYER – O God, lover of chastity, Who endowed with heavenly gifts, blessed Mary Magdalena, a virgin on fire with love for You, grant that we, who keep this feast-day in her honour, may imitate her by purity and love. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES on FASTING, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Second Thought for the Day – 13 May – St Robert Bellarmine’s Personal Devotion to the Mother of God

Second Thought for the Day – 13 May – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

“The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
St Robert’s Personal Devotion
to the Mother of God

“St Robert was devoted to the Blessed Virgin from his earliest years. According to his schoolmate, later Canon Vincent Patiuchelli, as a young boy Bellarmine used to recite daily the Office of the Blessed Virgin, often in company with Vincent as the two of them walked slowly along the road. Bellarmine retained this custom of reciting the Office of Our Lady throughout life. In the same way. he kept the custom into his old age. of daily saying the Rosary. Alexander Jacobelli, who was the Cardinal’s Almoner for twenty years, testified at the Beatification process that, “He never omitted saying the Office and the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, during which he was often found melted in tears.

However, Robert was not satisfied with only a single recitation of the Rosary. The beads were literally his constant companion. In the words of his chaplain, “when fatigued with study, Bellarmine would find recreation in reciting the beads with uncovered head.” And again, “his relaxation was to say the Rosary of Our Lady.” On his frequent journeys as Archbishop of Capua, attendants noticed that he always followed the same ritual – celebrate Mass, say the Itinerarium and, Rosary in hand, enter the carriage for the journey.

Juan de Serayz, a close friend of Robert, left some interesting details on how Bellarmine would say the Rosary. It was 14 June 1618, the Feast of Corpus Christi, when Robert and Juan were returning from a procession at St Peter’s Basilica. “As we got into the carriage,” relates Juan, “he told me that he was able to say the third part of the Rosary exactly three times, from the time the procession left the Sistine Chapel to where it finally ended at the Altar of Exposition in St Peter’s. Which I asked him, out of curiosity, how he said the Rosary, he told me that he separated the decades of the Angelic Salutation with an Our Father, adding to each decade a short prayer corresponding to the different mysteries and preceding with emphasis, he said that he recited the Hail Mary’s slowly, slowly. When I observed that this did not leave much time for keeping his partner company, he answered that during the whole procession, he did not say a single word to his Cardinal companion.

We understand, therefore, how painful were the doctor’s orders during Robert’s last illness, when he was forbidden, not only to say the Breviary but also, the Rosary. For, as his brother explained, the doctor knew with what ardour and devotion he applied himself to these prayers. Finally, the doctor was moved by the dying man’s pleas and mitigated the orders first given to the servant, allowing the sick man “a moderate use of the Rosary,” although everyone knew that, “his intense application to this prayer would be a great strain upon him.”

To the Office and the Rosary, Bellarmine added the Saturday fast in Mary’s honour. He fasted three days a week with the same rigour that he kept the Lenten fast, that is, most strictly. According to a syllogism which he wrote on the subject, he argued in this way:

Our justice should be greater than that of the Pharisees. Matt. 5/20
But the Pharisees fasted two days a week. Luke 18/12
Therefore, I should fast at least three days a week!

So, besides the fasts for the vigils and the Lenten fast and besides the whole of Advent, he kept a sacred fast on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of each week. That he kept the Saturday fast in honour of Our Lady is clear from the sermon which he gave on one occasion for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when he said that among the practices most pleasing to the Blessed Virgin and her Divine Son and most useful to growing in their love and friendship, is the daily recitation of the Rosary and the Saturday fast in Mary’s honour. It was only under express orders from his Confessor to fast only twice a week, that in his old age Bellarmine relinquished the Saturday fast.” [Excerpt by Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)]

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUTH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – “Without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15,1-7.

Without Me
you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

Whoever does not gather
with me, scatter
s.”

Luke 11:23

We recognise a tree by its fruit
and we ought to be able to recognise
a Christian by his action.
The fruit of faith
should be evident in our lives,
for being a Christian,
is more than making
sound professions of faith.
It should reveal itself
in practical and visible ways.
Indeed, it is better to keep quiet
about our beliefs
and live them out,
than to talk eloquently
about what we believe
but fail, to live by it.

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108)
Father of the Church

… Now is the time in this life of suffering,
when we journey apart from Him.
… So let us fast and pray now
because, we are in the days of childbirth!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

Girded with faith
and the performance of good works,
let us follow in His paths
by the guidance of the Gospel
.”

For at all times, we must so serve Him,
with the good things He has given us,
that he may not, as an angry Father,
disinherit his children,
nor as a dread Lord,
provoked by our evil deeds,
deliver us to everlasting punishment,
as wicked servants,
who refuse to follow Him to glory
.”

St Benedict (c 480-547)

Each one of us has a thirst
for all that is infinite, eternal and perfect.
God alone can satisfy this thirst.
Just as we are created by God,
so we are created for Him.
Just as we came from God,
so we are gradually travelling back towards Him,
for He is the final goal of our earthly journey.
We should meditate on this great truth
which we were first taught in the Catechism,
namely, that we were created
to know, love and serve God
on this earth and to be happy with Him
forever in Heaven.
God alone is the eternal beauty
which will satisfy our hearts.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in HYMNS, LENT 2022, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FASTING

Our Morning Offering – 8 April – The Glory of These Forty Days

Our Morning Offering – 8 April – Friday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week in Lent

The Glory of These Forty Days
By St Gregory the Great (540-604)
Pope, Great Father & Doctor of the Church

The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise,
for Christ, by Whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.
Alone and fasting Moses saw
the loving God Who gave the law.
And to Elijah, fasting, came
the steed and chariots of flame.
So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
delivered from the lion’s might.
And John, the Saviour’s friend, became
the herald of Messiah’s Name.
Then grant, O God, that we may, too,
return in fast and prayer to You.
Our spirits strengthen with Your Grace,
and give us joy to see Your Face.
Amen!

Posted in LENT 2022, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FASTING

Our Morning Offering – 5 April – A Lenten Prayer

Our Morning Offering – 5 April – Tuesday in Passion Week

A Lenten Prayer
By St Pope Pius V (1504-1572)

Look with favour, Lord,
on Your household.
Grant that,
though our flesh be humbled,
by abstinence from food,
our souls, hungering after You,
may be resplendent in Your sight.
Amen

St Pius V is the Pope of the Council of Trent, the Counter Reformation, the excommunication of Elizabeth I for Heresy and persecution of English Catholics and of the Battle of Lepanto, amongst many other illustrious and holy achievements.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FASTING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – ‘ … May our Lord Jesus Christ also touch us … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – Thursday of the Fourth week in Lent – 4 Kings 4:25-38, Luke :,11-16.

“And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”- Luke 7:14

REFLECTION – “Observe how He joins miracle to miracle. In the former instance, the healing of the centurion’s servant, He was present by invitation but here, He draws near without being invited. No-one summoned Him to restore the dead man to life, but He comes to do so of His own accord. He seems to me to have purposely made this miracle also follow upon the former.

The dead man was being buried,and many friends were conducting him to his tomb. Christ, the Life and Resurrection, meets him there. He is the Destroyer of death and of corruption. He is the One in Whom we live and move and are. He is Who has restored the nature of man ,to that which it originally was and has set free our death-fraught flesh, from the bonds of death. He had mercy upon the woman and that her tears might be stopped, He commanded saying, “Weep not.” Immediately the cause of her weeping was done away with.

Christ raised him who was descending to his grave. The manner of his rising is plain to see. “He touched,” it says, “the bier and said, ‘Young man, I say unto thee, arise.’” … What is more powerful than the Word of God? Why then did He not work the miracle by only a word but also, He touched the bier? It was, my beloved, that you might learn, that the Holy Body of Christ is productive for the salvation of man. The Flesh of the Almighty Word is the Body of Life and was clothed with His might. Consider that iron, when brought into contact with fire, produces the effects of fire and fulfils its functions. The Flesh of Christ also has the power of giving Life and annihilates the influence of death and corruption because it is the Flesh of the Word, Who gives Life to all. May our Lord Jesus Christ also touch us that delivering us from evil works, even from fleshly lusts, He may unite us to the assemblies of the saints.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Luke, Homily 36).

PRAYER – Grant, we beseech You, Almighty God, that we, who are chastising the flesh by fasting, may rejoice in this holy practice and thus, with earthly passions subdued, we may the more readily direct our thoughts to heavenly things. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 18 March – Privation

Thought for the Day – 18 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Privation

“Not only did the Saints accept necessary privation with loving submission to God’s will but they imposed voluntary mortifications on themselves.
Some of them were rich and gave everything they had to the poor.
Some were in positions of esteem and honour and went away to look for humiliation and obscurity.
Many scourged themselves, slept on hard boards or upon the bare ground, wore chains or hairshirts upon their bodies and did without food, in order to give it to the poor.

They imitated Jesus in these things.
He also chose to be poor and fasted for forty days in the desert.
He was mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns and burdened with a heavy cross.
When He was dying for us upon that cross, He asked for a drop of water to slake His thirst and was given vinegar and gall instead.
We have great lessons to learn from the privations and sufferings of Jesus and of the Saints.

If,

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/18/thought-for-the-day-18-march-privation/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on FASTING, The WORD

First Friday of Lent – 4 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘And what kind of Christian is it, who will not fast with the Lord?’

First Friday of Lent – 4 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Isaiah 58:1-9, Matthew 5:43-38,6:1-4

One thing I ask the Lord;
this I seek:
to dwell in the house of the Lord.

Psalm 26:4

Take heed not to do your good before men,
in order to be seen by them;
otherwise you shall have no reward
with your Father in Heaven.

Matthew 6:1

AND WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIAN is it who will not fast, at least until None (the mid-afternoon Breviary hour), during this season?
Recall how the Ninevites required even of children at the breast that they too should fast and their flocks and herds likewise, that all might be delivered from the danger that threatened them.
What kind of Christian is he who, although well and able refuses to fast with … the Lord?
They will say: We cannot both work and fast.
They cannot because they WILL NOT.
Then let them work less that they may fast more.
I warn you and I exhort you in the Lord, that none among you, unless a sick person or a child, eat or drink before the hour of Nones, except on Sundays.

I COUNSEL YOU ALSO, that he who is near the Church and can come, should hear Mass each day. And that he who can, should come each evening to the recitation of Vespers.
Let those who live far from the Church try to come to Vespers each Sunday at least …

LET HIM who has HATE in his heart, or anger, against another, put it wholly from himself, if he wishes to be saved. …
And you must understand, that whatever it is that you deny yourself through fasting must be given entirely to the poor, not kept back for yourselves!

MAY ALMIGHTY GOD grant, that you keep before you what I have told you and that you fulfil it … so that at the end of this life and at the close of your labours, you may enter into eternal rest.
May He grant you this, Who created you and sought at the price of His own Blood to redeem you,
Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in LENT 2021, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MERCY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – Isaiah 58:6-9, Matthew 6:1-4

Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – First Friday of Lent – Isaiah 58:1-9, Matthew 5:43-38,6:1-4

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
clothing the naked when you see them
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you
and the glory of the Lord
shall be your rearguard.
Then you shall call
and the Lord will answer,
you shall cry for help
and He will say:
‘Here I am!’
For I, the Lord your God, am merciful.

Isaiah 58:6-9

Take heed not to do your good before men,
in order to be seen by them;
otherwise you shall have no reward
with your Father in Heaven.
Therefore, when you give alms,
do not sound a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets,
in order that they may be honoured by men.
Amen I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know
what your right hand is doing,
so that your alms may be given in secret
and your Father, Who sees in secret,
will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-4

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on WATCHING, The HEART

Ash Wednesday – 2 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers Begins

Ash Wednesday – 2 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers Begins

In the face of my darkness,
You are Light.
In the face of my mortality,
You are Life.”

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“O Lord, deal with us,
not according to our sins,
nor requite us according to our crimes.”

Psalm 102:10

BEHOLD, DEARLY BELOVED, the Sacred days are drawing near, the acceptable time, of which it is written – Behold, now is the acceptable tome. behold, now is the day of salvation (II Cor vi)
And so you must be more earnest in prayer and in alms-giving, in fasting and in watching. He that until now has given alms, in these days let him give more – for as water quencheth a flaming fire, so does almsgiving wipe out sin (Eccles. iii. 33).
He that until now fasted and prayed, let him fast and pray still more – for there are certain sins which are not cast out, except by prayer and fasting
(Mc. xvii. 20).

SHOULD ANYONE CHERISH ANGER towards another, let him forgive from his heart. Should anyone take, unjustly what belongs to another, let him restore it and if not fourfold, at least that which he has taken, if he desires God to be merciful to himself (Lk. xix. 8).

AND although a Christian should abstain at all times from cursings and revilings, from oaths, from excessive laughter and from idle words, he must do this especially in these holy days, which are set apart, so that during these forty days, he may, by Penance, wipe out the sins of the whole year!

MAY YOU BELIEVE and believe firmly, that if, in these days, you have made a thorough Confession of your sins and done Penance as we have told you, you shall receive from Our Most Merciful Lord, the pardon of all your offences, as did the Ninivites, who earned deliverance from their afflictions by doing penance in sackcloth and ashes (Jn. iii).

So you also, following their example, if you cry out with all your heart to the Lord, you will invoke His Mercy on you, so that, serene and joyful, you will celebrate the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, and, thus blessed, you will after this life cross over to your heavenly home, by the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan. Father and One of the Four Original Doctors of the Latin Church

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 2 March – Ash Wednesday

Quote/s of the Day – 2 March – Ash Wednesday

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

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow
.”

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

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Fasting, when rightly practised,
lifts the mind to God
and mortifies the flesh.
It makes virtue easy to attain
and increases our merits
.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 March – ‘ … He strips bare the secret intentions of our souls. …’

One Minute Reflection – 2 March – Ash Wednesday –Joel 2:12-19, Matthew 6:16-21

They have received their reward” – Matthew 6:16

REFLECTION – “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” Why not? If people see them then what will you get out of them? “You will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”  My brethren, the Lord is not bringing judgement here but giving an explanation. He casts light on the wiles of our thoughts, He strips bare the secret intentions of our souls. He draws attention to the measure of a just retribution, to those unrighteous, pondering righteousness. Righteousness that sets itself in the sight of others can expect no divine reward from the Father. It wanted to be seen and it was seen; it wanted to please others and it pleased them. It has received the recompense it wanted – the recompense it did not want, it will not have …

“When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do.” “Blow your trumpet” – this is the exact phrase in that this kind of alms is more like a deed of war than of peace. It passes wholly into its sound but has nothing to do with mercy. It comes from the land of disunion but has not been nourished by goodness. It is a dealing in outward show, not chaste commerce …. “So, then, when you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.” You have taken good note: – alms offered at a meeting, in public square and street corners, is not an offering made for the comforting of the poor but has been set forward in the sight of others to attract their admiration … Flee hypocrisy, my brethren, flee from it …. It does not bring comfort to the poor; the groans of the homeless but is only a pretext for it, to seek out even more busily, a spectacular glory for itself. It inflates its praise of the suffering of the poor. – St Peter Chrysologus (406-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 9).

PRAYER – Grant, O Lord, that Your faithful people may, with true piety, undertake the time-honoured custom of fasting and may carry it out with unwavering devotion. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in LENT 2022, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGELS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Second Thoughts for our immanent entry into Lent – Planting a Lenten Garden

A few last-minute sowing plans
for the garden of our souls.
Planting virtue and good habits
and ascending that steep hill,
day-by-day, with love, faithfulness
and perseverance.

Accompanying our Saviour on His
Journey of our Redemption:

Five Rows of Squash:

  1. Squash gossip
  2. Squash indifference
  3. Squash unkindness
  4. Squash temper
  5. Squash the idols of greed and lust

Six Rows of Peas:

  1. Prayer
  2. Penance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Purity
  5. Patience
  6. Politeness

Seven Heads of Lettuce:

  1. Let us be unselfish
  2. Let us be charitable
  3. Let us be obedient
  4. Let us be truthful
  5. Let us be gentle and kind
  6. Let us be repentant
  7. Let us be renewed

No garden is complete without Turnips:

  1. Turn up for Daily Mass
  2. Turn up fo Eucharistic Adoration
  3. Turn up for Daily Morning and Night Prayer
  4. Turn up for Spiritual reading on Breathing Catholic 🤗🙏💘

Conclude with Thyme:

Thyme with God, thyme for fasting, thyme for generosity and care of the poor, the sick, the suffering.

Water daily with patience
Feed with love
The Beloved Saviour will provide the growth.

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The HEART, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – Chastity

Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – St Agatha (c 231- c 251) Virgin and Martyr – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Matthew 19:3-12

Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart
.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor

Be HUMBLE in this life,
that God may raise you up in the next.
Be truly MODERATE
and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.
Be GENTLE,
so that you may never oppose justice.
Be HONOURABLE,
so that you may never voluntarily
bring disgrace upon anyone.
Be CHASTE,
so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust
like the pangs of death.

St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

(King of Hungary, to his son, St Emeric.
Sadly St Emeric died aged 24 but had
taken a private vow of Celibacy.
)

“Chastity depends on the heart,
as its source
but, it is concerned with the body,
as its matter
and, therefore, it maybe lost,
by all the external senses of the body
and by the thoughts and desires of the heart.
It is immodesty to behold,
to hear, to speak, to smell, to touch,
impure things,
when the heart occupies itself with them
and takes pleasure in them.

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

(Introduction to the Devout Life
Part Three Chap 13
).

“To defend his purity,
Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow,
Saint Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush
and Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond…
You – what have you done?

Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975)

Posted in EMBER DAYS, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES on FASTING, SAINT of the DAY

Nuestra Señora de Monguí / Our Lady of Mongui, Monguí, Boyacá, Colombia (16th Century), Memorials of the Saints and an Ember Day – 15 December

Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ember Wednesday – Fast and Partial Abstinence
In case you have forgotten about Ember Days as they are not promoted or encouraged since Vatican II, here is a reminder:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/16/today-is-an-ember-day-did-you-remember/

Nuestra Señora de Monguí / Our Lady of Mongui, Monguí, Boyacá, Colombia (16th Century) – 15 December:

Highly venerated, the Virgin of Monguí, is the Patroness of Boyacá. When King Charles I of Spain retired from his throne, he went to the Monastery of Yuste in the Spanish Province of Cáceres to prepare for death. He went into the Monastery looking for painted works of the Virgin Mary to send to the New World, in order to express gratitude to indigenous leaders for their loyalty to the Spanish Crown. 
In 1558, King Philip II, his son and successor, sent two paintings: one of St Martín which was to be presented to the leader of Monguí and another of the Holy Family, for Sogamoso. Although the works were marked, there was confusion and the destinations were reversed. Given the error, the inhabitants of Sogamoso protested and asked for the exchange. But the pictures inexplicably returned to the same places and the exchange, through divine intervention, could, therefore, not be accomplished. All agreed that this was a miraculous occurence and the great devotion to the Blessed Virgin began to grow. This painting still includes its original frame, a rare but fortunate occurrence and the fine gold-leaf embellishments.
It is because of miraculous events like these, among others, that the Virgin Mary is present in the history of Boyacá and its inhabitants feel entrusted to her protection. Between 1694 and 1760, the present Church was built to house the image and still draws thousands of pilgrims to its Shrine each year. The Church has been elevated to the status of a Basilica.

Blessed Karl Steeb (1773 – 1856) Priest. Blessed Karl founded the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy in support of the needy and the sick of which he is the Patron.
The Story of Blessed Karl:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december-blessed-karl-steeb-1773-1856/

St Margaret of Fontana
Bl Maria della Pace

Blessed Maria Vittoria De Fornari Strata (1562–1617) Widow, Nun, Foundress of the Order of the Annunciation – or Blue Nuns, of which she is the Patron.
Her Lifestory:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december-blessed-maria-vittoria-de-fornari-1562-1617/

Blessed Marino of Cava OSB (1146-1170) Monk, Abbot

St Mary Crocifissa di Rosa (1813–1855) Religious, Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity/Sisters of Charity.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december/

St Maximinus of Micy
St Offa of Essex
Bl Pau Gracia Sánchez
St Paul of Latros
Bl Ramón Eirin Mayo
St Silvia of Constantinople
St Urbicus
St Valerian of Abbenza
Blessed Victoria Strata (1562-1617) Widow,

St Virginia Centurione Bracelli (1587-1651) Religious, Founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of Refuge in Mount Cavalry.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/saint-of-the-day-15-december-st-virginia-centurione-bracelli-1587-1651/

Martyrs of Drina – (5 beati): Also known as
• Daughters of Divine Charity of Drina
• Drina Martyrs
Five members of the Daughters of Divine Charity who were martyred while fighting off Chetnik rapists. They were –
Jozefa Bojanc
Jozefa Fabjan
Karoline Anna Leidenix
Kata Ivanisevic
Terezija Banja
Their martyrdom occured in December 1941 in Gorazde, Bosansko-Podrinjski, Bosnia-Herzegovina
They were Beatified on 24 September 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Martyrs of North Africa – (7 saints): A group of Christians martyred together for their faith in North Africa. The only details about them that survive are their names – Caelian, Candidus, Faustinus, Fortunatus, Januarius, Lucius and Mark.

Martyrs of Rome – (22 saints): A group of 22 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Valerian. The only details we have are five of their names – Antonius, Irenaeus, Saturnin, Theodorus and Victor. c 258 in Rome, Italy.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HEART, The HOLY CROSS, The KINGDOM of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 December – “Golden Words”

Quote/s of the Day – 4 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Saturday of the First Week of Advent – The Memorial of St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church

The Kingdom of Heaven, says the gospel,
is like a mustard seed …
Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven!
Sown like a mustard seed
in the garden of the Virgin’s womb,
He grew up into the Tree of the Cross,
whose branches,
stretch across the world …
Christ is the Kingdom
because all the glory of His Kingdom,
is within Him.
Christ is a Man
because all humanity is restored in Him.
Christ is a Mustard Seed
because the infinitude of divine greatness,
is accommodated to
the littleness of flesh and blood!”

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

“If you want God to know that you are hungry,
know that another is hungry.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.
If you ask for yourself what you deny to others,
your asking is a mockery.”

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

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
“Golden Words”
Father & Doctor of the Church

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/30/quote-s-of-the-day-30-july-golden-words-st-peter-chrysologus/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 September – ‘… The absolute demand of the precept….’

One Minute Reflection – 3 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Colossians 1: 15-20; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 5: 33-39

Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?” – Luke 5:34

REFLECTION – “We had left Syria for the Province of Egypt, anxious to learn there, the teachings of the old Monks and were astonished by the great warmth with which we were received.

Contrary to what we had been taught in the Monasteries of Palestine, they did not observe the Rule of waiting for the hour appointed for the meal but, except on Wednesday and Fridays, wherever we went, the fast was broken. One of the elders, from whom we asked why the daily fasts were so easily set aside among them, replied: “My fast is always with me but you, whom I shall shortly be refreshing, I cannot keep with me unceasingly. So the fast, although useful and necessary, is nevertheless the voluntary offering of a gift, whereas the fulfilment of a work of charity, is the absolute demand of the precept. That is why, receiving Christ in you, it is He whom I sustain and, having given you refreshment, I shall be able, by a stricter fast, to pay back in myself, the humanity that I have shown you for Christ’s sake. In fact “the friends of the bridegroom cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them,” but when he has departed, then they can do so.” – St John Cassian (c 360- c 435) Monk, Founder of Monasteries – Institutes

PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of Your |Angels and Saints and the Most Sorrowful Mother of Your Son, that we may be granted the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word. Grant that by the light of the Your Word made flesh, we may know our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 June – ‘If you want God to know …’

Quote/s of the Day – 10 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Readings: First: Second Corinthians 3: 15 — 4: 1, 3-6, Psalm: Psalms 85: 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14, Gospel: Matthew 5: 20-26

“Go first and be reconciled with your brother”

Matthew 5:24

“Then Peter came up and said to him,
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me
and I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him,
“I do not say to you seven times
but seventy times seven.”

Matthew 18:21-22

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

“If you want God to know that you are hungry,
know that another is hungry.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.
If you ask for yourself what you deny to others,
your asking is a mockery.”

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

“To the extent that you pray, with all your soul,
for the person who slanders you,
God will make the truth known
to those who have been scandalised
by the slander.”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580–662)

“See to it that you refrain from harsh words.
But if you do speak them,
do not be ashamed to apply the remedy
from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”

St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday – ‘… We do little or nothing …’

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

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

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

Consider the glowing examples of the holy Fathers, in whom shone true religion and perfection; compared with them, we do little or nothing. Alas, how can our life be compared with theirs!
The Saints and friends of Christ served Our Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in toil and weariness: in watching and fasting, in prayer and meditation, in persecutions and insults without number (Heb.9:38, 1 Cor.4:11).

How countless and constant were the trials endured by the Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins and all those others, who strove to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
These all hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them to life eternal (Jn 12:35).
How strict and self-denying was the life of the holy Fathers in the desert! How long and grievous the temptations they endured!
How often they were assaulted by the Devil!
How frequent and fervent their prayers to God! How strict their fasts! How great their zeal and ardour for spiritual progress!
How valiant the battles they fought to overcome their vices!
How pure and upright their intention towards God!

All day long they laboured and the night they gave to continuous prayer; even as they worked, they never ceased from mental prayer.
They spent all their time with profit, every hour seeming short in the service of God.
They often forgot even their bodily needs in the great sweetness of contemplation.
They renounced all riches, dignities, honours, friends and kindred; they desired to possess nothing in this world.
Scarcely would they take the necessities of life and only with reluctance would they provide for the needs of the body.
Thus, though destitute of earthly goods, they were abundantly rich in grace and all virtues.
Outwardly they were poor but inwardly they were refreshed with grace and heavenly consolation.
They were strangers to the world but to God, they were dear and familiar friends (Ex 33:11).
To themselves they were nothing but in the eyes of God, they were precious and beloved.
Grounded in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and patience; (Eph 5:2) and thus daily increased in the Spirit, and received great grace from God.

… Oh, the carelessness and coldness of this present time!
Sloth and lukewarmness makes life wearisome for us and we soon lose our early fervour!
May the longing to grow in grace not remain dormant in you …
(Book 1, Ch 18:1-4a,6)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, LENT 2021, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – Fast!

Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

“Then they will fast”

Matthew 9:15

“The days will come,
when the bridegroom is taken away from them
and then they will fast in that day.”

Mark 2:20

“Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

“Prayer, mercy and fasting:
These three are one
and they give life to each other.
Fasting is the soul of prayer;
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no-one try to separate them;
they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them,
or not all together, you have nothing.”

“So if you pray, fast;
if you fast, show mercy;
if you want your petition to be heared,
hear the petition of others.
When you fast, see the fasting of others.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.”

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna
Father and Doctor of Homilies

“Let my fasting be based on temperance,
my soul in a state of grace,
my intention solely to please God,
then my efforts will ring true,
fit to enlarge my store of charity.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva OFM, Cap.
Doctor Caritatis

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 February – “Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

One Minute Reflection – 19 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9Psalms 51:3-45-618-19Matthew 9:14-15 and the Memorial of Blessed Alvarez of Cordova OP (c 1350–c 1430)

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

REFLECTION – “Although it is true, that the washing of regeneration is what chiefly makes “people new” (cf. Eph 4,24 – Col 3,10) nevertheless, because there is still for all of us, a daily renewal against the rust of mortality and in the path of progress, there is no-one, who ought not always to be better. In general, we still have to struggle, so that in the Day of Redemption, no-one may be found in sins of long standing.

What, therefore, dearly beloved, any Christian ought, at all times to do, should now be pursued more carefully and more devotedly, to fulfil the apostolic institution of forty days of fast, not only by scant food but especially by fasting from sins…To these reasonable and holy fasts, nothing is joined more carefully, than the works of almsgiving, which under the one name of mercy, includes many praiseworthy acts of devotion, so that the spirits of all the faithful can be equal in merit, even with unequal means.” – St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor – 6th Sermon for Lent, 1-2; SC 49

PRAYER – Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace upon us, who seek to make our lenten journey fruitful. Confirm us in Your service and help us to bear witness to You in the society in which we live by our lives, our fasting and prayer, our gift of self. Listen kindly we pray, to the prayers of Bl Alvarez who so avidly followed in the footsteps of our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name, with the Holy Spirit, we pray, one God forever, amen.

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, HYMNS, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY TRINITY

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – O God, Creator of Us All

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday

O God, Creator of Us All,
Deus, Creator Omnium
Stanbrook Abbey

O God, Creator of us all,
From Whom we come, to Whom we go,
You look with pity on our hearts,
The weakness of our wills You know.

Forgive us all the wrong we do
And purify each sinful soul.
What we have darkened, heal with light
And what we have destroyed, make whole.

The fast by law and prophets taught,
By You, O Christ, was sanctified.
Bless all our penance, give us strength,
To share the Cross on which You died.

O God of mercy, hear our prayer,
With Christ Your Son and Spirit blest,
Transcendent Trinity in Whom,
Created things all come to rest.

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, LENT 2021, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday

“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

“He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end.
Do not forget your purpose
and destiny as God’s creature.
What you are in His sight,
is what you are and nothing more.
Remember that when you leave this earth,
you can take nothing that you have received…
but only what you have given – a full heart
enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

“Fasting, when rightly practised,
lifts the mind to God
and mortifies the flesh.
It makes virtue easy to attain
and increases our merits.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 18 January – External Mortification

Thought for the Day – 18 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

External Mortification

“The interior mortification of self-love and of our sensual inclinations is not enough.
Bodily mortifiation is also necessary.
St Paul provides the reason. “the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh” (Gal 5:17)

Original sin disturbed the perfect harmony which existed between man’s body and soul.
“I see another law in my members,” said the Apostle Paul, “warring against the law of my mind” (2 Cor 12:7).

There is no such struggle between the flesh and the spirit in brute animals, which are concerned only with the satisfaction of their sensible appetites.
It is because he is endowed with reason and an immortal soul, that man experiences this conflict.
The result is, that either the soul is conquered and becomes the slave of man’s lower instincts, or, the soul is victorious and uses the body as a instrument of virtue.

We can see from this, how necessary it is to mortify our bodies, so that they will not rebel against the mastery of the soul.
Our body will be either the faithful servant, or the relentless tyrant of the soul!

What penances do I perform?
When do I fast?
Little or never, perhaps?
If so, it is not surprising that my body rebels and causes me to fall into sin.
We must follow the example of Jesus and the Saints in this matter, if we wish to remain in the state of grace.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The HEART, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – The Spiritual Power of Fasting

Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: Hebrews 5:1-10,Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4, Mark 2:18-22

The Spiritual Power of Fasting

“The days will come,
when the bridegroom is taken away from them
and then they will fast in that day.”

Mark 2:20

“… Now is the time in this life of suffering,
when we journey apart from Him.
… So let us fast and pray now
because, we are in the days of childbirth!”

“Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

“Let us offer our souls in sacrifice
by means of fasting.
There is nothing more pleasing
that we can offer to God,
as the psalmist said in prophecy –
A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit,
God does not despise
a bruised and humbled heart.”

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

“Let my fasting be based on temperance,
my soul in a state of grace,
my intention solely to please God,
then my efforts will ring true,
fit to enlarge my store of charity.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva OFM, Cap.
Doctor Caritatis

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One Minute Reflection – 9 September – “Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.” … Luke 6:21

One Minute Reflection – 9 September –Wednesday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 7:25-31Psalms 45:11-1214-1516-17Luke 6:20-26 and the Memorial of St Peter Claver SJ (1581-1654) “Slave of the slaves” and Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor” and Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society

“Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.” … Luke 6:21

REFLECTION – “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt 5:5). By this saying the Lord wants us to understand that the path of joy lies in tears. It is through desolation one goes to consolation; in losing one’s life that one finds it; in forsaking it that one possesses it; in hating it that one loves it; in despising it that one keeps it (cf. Mt 16:24 f.). If you would know and have the mastery over yourself, enter within yourself and do not seek yourself without (…) Return to yourself, you sinner, return to where you are, to your heart (…) Will not the one who returns to himself discover himself to be far away, like the prodigal son, in a region of unlikeness, in a foreign land, where he sits and weeps at the memory of his father and his native country? (Lk 15,17) (…)

“Adam, where are you? “(Genesis 3:9) Perhaps still in the shadows, so as not to see yourself, you are sewing leaves together in a vain desire to cover your shame, looking at what is around you and what belongs to you (…). Look inside, look at yourself (…) Return within yourself, you sinner, return to your soul. See and weep for this soul subject to vanity and restlessness who cannot set himself free from his captivity (…) It is clear, my brethren, that we live outside ourselves, we are forgetful of ourselves whenever we fritter our lives away in empty pursuits or distractions decked out with trifles. That is why Wisdom is more concerned to invite us to the house of repentance than the house of feasting, that is to say to call back into himself the man outside himself, saying: “Blessed are they that mourn” and in another passage: “Woe to you who laugh now.”

My brethren, let us groan in the presence of the Lord whose goodness moves Him to forgive; let us turn to Him “with fasting, weeping and mourning “ (Joel 2:12) so that one day His (…) consolation may delight our souls. Blessed indeed are those who weep now, not because they are weeping but because they shall be comforted. Weeping is the way, blessedness the consolation.” Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist (c 1100 – c 1170) Sermon 2 for All Saints, 13-20

PRAYER – God of mercy and love, You offer all peoples the dignity of sharing in your life. Rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, may our hands be held out to our neighbour in imitation of Your love and mercy. By the example and prayers of St Peter Claver and Bl Frederic Ozanam, strengthen us to overcome all racial hatreds and to love each other as brothers and sisters. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever amen.

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One Minute Reflection – 4 September – So let us fast and pray now because, we are in the days of childbirth!

One Minute Reflection – 4 September – Friday of the Twenty Second week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40, Luke 5:33-39 and the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation

“Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then, they will fast in those days.” … Luke 5:34-35

REFLECTION – “Let our “loins be girded and our lamps lit;” let us be like “servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast” (Lk 12:35). Don’t let us be like those unbelievers who say: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor 15:32).
The more unsure the day of our death is, the more painful are the trials of life and the more, too, we should fast and pray, since, to all intents and purposes, tomorrow we die. Our Lord said to His disciples: “Yet a little while and you will no longer see me and again a little while and you will see me” (Jn 16,16). Now is the time of which He said : “You will grieve but the world will rejoice” (v. 20); now is the time in this life of suffering, when we journey apart from Him. “But,” He adds, “I shall see you again and your hearts will be full of joy and no-one will take your joy away from you” (v. 22).

Even now, the hope we thus put in the one who is faithful to His promise, will not leave us without some joy, until we are filled with overwhelming joy on the day when “we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2), when “no-one shall take your joy away from us” (…)
“A woman in labour,” says our Lord, “is in anguish because her hour has arrived. But when she has given birth to a child she feels immense joy because a child has been born into the world” (Jn 16:21).
This is the joy no-one can take away from us and with which, we will be filled, when we pass from our present understanding of faith, into eternal light. So let us fast and pray now because, we are in the days of childbirth!” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 210, 5 (7)

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that Your faithful, who rejoice in the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may be delivered from every evil here on earth. By her example, may we ever keep Your heavenly Kingdom in our hearts for “What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” and run in haste to the enduring joys of heaven. Mary, our Consolation and Comforter, pray for us! Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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One Minute Reflection – 4 July – So let us fast and pray since we are still on the threshold of birth.

One Minute Reflection – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Saturday of the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings:  Amos 9:11-15Psalm 85:11-14Matthew 9:14-17 and the Memorial of Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Prist and Martyr and Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati TOSF (1901-1925)

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?   The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast.” … Matthew 9:15

REFLECTION – “However, our mourning is right if we burn with desire to see Him.   How happy they were who were able to enjoy His presence before His Passion, to question Him as they wished and listen to Him as necessary… As for us, we see the fulfilment of what He said: “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it” (Lk 17:22)… “A little while and you will no longer see me and again a little while and you will see me” (Jn 16:19).

But now this is the hour of which He said:  “You will weep and mourn but the world will rejoice… But, He added, I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no-one will take your joy away from you” (v.22). The hope thus given us by Him, who is faithful in His promises, never now leaves us, without a certain joy — until that overwhelming joy comes on the day when we will be like Him because we will see Him as he is (1Jn 3:2)… “When a woman is in labour, she has pain because her hour has come,” says the Lord, “but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world” (Jn 16:21).   This is the joy no-one can take away from us and with which we will be satisfied when we pass to eternal light from our present conception in faith.   So let us fast and pray since we are still on the threshold of birth.“…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctormatthew 9 15 can the wedding guests mourn - however our morurning is right if we burn with desire to see him - st augustine 4 july 2020

PRAYER – Father almighty, as we wait and work and pray and fast in joyful hope of our eternal life with You, grant we pray that we may always remain steadfast in Your love.   Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe, you of intrepid perseverance and faith and Pier Giorgio Frassati, you whose faith could move mountains, pray for us, that we will fully utilise the many gifts our Almighty God has bestowed on us as we journey home. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl petrus kasui kibe pray for us 4 july 2020

bl-pier-pray-for-us - 4 july 2017

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One Minute Reflection – 17 June – ‘Purity of intention…’

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14, Psalm 31:20, 21, 24, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

“Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” … Matthew 6:1

REFLECTION – “Our Lord, so the early Fathers say, used to tell His disciples to be well-proved bankers, proving all things, holding fast what is of value.   No coin finds acceptance commercially if the gold is below standard, underweight, of it the piece is illegally struck;  nor can our actions have any value spiritually, unless they are suitable, graced with charity and have a pious motive.

Take fasting, for instance – if I fast simply for the purpose of slimming, my fasting is for debased spiritual coinage;  if temperance underlies it but I am not in a state of grace, it is still deficient, for charity alone gives weight to what we do;  if I do it merely out of courtesy for the company in which I find myself, it lacks the stamp of right intention. Let my fasting be based on temperance, my soul in a state of grace, my intention solely to please God, then my efforts will ring true, fit to enlarge my store of charity.

Given utmost purity of intention and a firm resolve to please God, little actions are well done.   In these circumstances they lead to great holiness.   Some people, in spite of eating all they can, remain only skin and bone, weak, listless, their powers of digestion are poor.   Others may eat next to nothing yet be fit as fiddles, full of energy — nothing is wrong with their digestion!   Some folk there are, in the same way, who do many good things, yet have little extra charity to show for it – coldness and carelessness, or instinct and inclination rather than grace or zeal, is where the blame lies.   On the other hand, there are those who accomplish little but to perfect is their will, their intention, however, that their growth in charity is great.   They have only a little talent but they make such careful use of what they have that the Lord rewards them for it generously.” … St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva, Doctor Caritatismatthew 6_1 - beware of practising - let my fasting be based on temperance my soul in a state of grace - st francis de sales 17 june 2020

PRAYER – Litany of Humility
By Servant of God Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) – who was accustomed to recite this prayer daily after the celebration of Holy Mass.

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honoured, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Amenlitany of humility by card merry del val 17 june 2020