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Lenten Reflection – 14 March – ‘…Whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!

Lenten Reflection – 14 March – Saturday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18- 20, Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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

“Who is a God like you, who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but instead delights in mercy …” …Micah 7:18luke-15-31-32-sat-of-the-second-week-lent-23-march-2019and 14 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
“For what was it Jesus’ detractors said?   “No man can forgive sins but God alone.” Inasmuch then, as they themselves laid down this definition, they themselves introduced the rule, they themselves declared the law.   He then proceeded to entangle them by means of their own words. “You have confessed,” he says in effect, “that forgiveness of sins is an attribute of God alone;  my equality therefore is unquestionable.”   And it is not these men only who declare this but also the prophet Micah, who said, “Who is a God like you?” and then indicating his special attribute he adds, “pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression.” ..St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor

Intercessions:
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour and ask him with confidence:
Lord, help us with Your grace.

May we keep our bodies pure,
– as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this day to the service of others,
– and do Your will in all things throughout the day.
Teach us to seek the bread of everlasting life,
– the bread that is Your gift.
May Your Mother, the refuge of sinners, pray for us,
– and gain for us Your loving forgiveness.

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
You shower me with limitless gifts in my life.
In my every thought and action today
guide me to the bright and loving light of Your kingdom.
Help me to be aware of
the many ways You allow me
to share in Your life so intimately today.
Thank You for the gifts You have placed in my life.
Let me be grateful every moment of this day.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“For us, a portion of God’s inheritance, is our existence, our freedom, our intellect, our accountability – all of these, are the most sublime goods imaginable, goods that only God could give us.   That we, waste it all and end up in distress and that the distress brings us to our senses, is not really as significant, as the father’s vigil, compassion, extravagant greeting, refurbishing of the prodigal and the feast announced in his honour.
Not even for the refractory and envious brother, does the father have a harsh word – he is not scolding him when he speaks to him, he merely speaks the full truth- whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!”

Servant of God Cardinal Hans Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)

luke-15-20-but-while-he-was-still-at-a-distance-for-us-hans-urs-von-bathasar-31-march-2019 and 14 march 2020

“You are always with me and all that is mine, is yours”

The Elder Brother’s Prayer

Teach me, my Lord,
to be sweet and gentle in all the events of life,
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.
Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others,
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.
Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may make me
patient, not irritable.
That it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty and overbearing.
May no one be less good
for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind,
less noble for having been a fellow traveller
in our journey toward Eternal Life.
As I go my rounds from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time,
a word of love to Thee.
May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.
Amenprodigal-the-elder-brothers-prayer-beautiful-fantastic-8-october-2019-martha-mary-luke-10-42 prodigal son 14 mach 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 13 March – ‘We ourselves are this house …’

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12 -13, 17-28, Psalm 105:16-21, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43matthew 21 43 therefore i tell you the kingdom of god will be taken away from you 13 march 2020

REFLECTION – “The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7).   We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard. So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no-one may say to us:  “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4).   What fruitless soil!   The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns.
In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.   In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…

My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you: “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)… Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns. ” … Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11the-soil-that-should-have-st-maximus-of-turin-22-march-2019-2nd-fri-lent and 13 march 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God, help us dear Father to produce fruits acceptable to You. Help us to reach out of our enclosed spaces in love to all. Even when the road is rocky, grant that we may not falter but always turn back to Your merciful gaze.ay the prayers of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, who fearlessly withstood the fury of evil, be a help in our times of need and fear.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mary pray for us 17 jan 2019

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Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – ‘No-one listens to his own heart …’

Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – the Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

“Happiness is secured through virtue,
it is a good attained by man’s own will.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor

happiness is secured through virtue - st thomas aquinas 13 feb 2020

Meeting a vagabond upon the road who feigned sickness and poverty, Blessed Jordan gave him one of his tunics, which the fellow at once carried straight to a tavern for drink. The brethren, seeing this done, taunted him with his simplicity:

‘There now, Master, see how wisely you have bestowed your tunic.’

‘I did so,’ said he,
‘because I believed him to be in want,
through sickness and poverty
and it seemed, at the moment,
to be a charity to help him.
Still, I reckon it better, to have parted
with my tunic than with charity.’

Blessed Jordan of Saxony (1190-1237)

it is better to have parted with my tunic than with charity - bl jordan of saxony 13 feb 2020

The Heart of Christ

This Heart lives on service.
It does not seek to glorify itself but the Father alone.
It does not speak of its love.
It performs it’s service so unobtrusively,
that it is almost forgotten, as we forget our heart under the stress of our affairs.
We think that life lives of itself.
No-one listens to his own heart, not even for a second —
his heart, that bestows life, hour after hour on him.
We have grown used to the slight tremor in our being,
to the eternal beating of the waves that from within us,
dash on the shore of consciousness.
We accept it as we do our destiny, or nature, or the course of things.
We have grown used to love.
And we no longer hear the tapping finger, that knocks day and night at the gate of our soul, we no longer hear this question, this request to enter.

Hans Cardinal Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

~From Heart of the World

we no longer hear this tapping finger - hans urs von balthasar 13 feb 2020

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Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Problem of Suffering

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Second Day after Epiphany

The Problem of Suffering

“Christianity, alone, offers an adequate explanation of the mystery of suffering.   Why is there such a thing as suffering?
The problem is a profound one and the explanations suggested by various schools of philosophy, fail to satisfy the human heart and leave the mind in doubt.
Christian doctrine tells us, that God is infinitely good but also infinitely just.
Being infinitely good, He created man without suffering.
He also gave man the wonderful gift of liberty, which man abused by committing sin.
Once the sin had been committed, God, in His infinite justice, demanded expiation.
Hence, suffering and death … “and through sin, death and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned” (Rom 5:12).
Together with death, came the never-ending series of misfortunes, of physical and moral sufferings, which beset humanity.

Suffering then, does not come directly from God. It is a consequence of and, a punishment for, sin.
But, there is also the aspect of expiation and redemption.
God, in His infinite justice, demands from man a penalty for his sin … but, He does not cease to be infinitely good.   Hence, to the mystery of suffering, there is added, the mystery of Redemption.   The Son of God Himself, is made man and takes upon Himself, all our sins.   For the full expiation of our sins, He, the “Man of Sorrows,” offers to the Eternal Father, His own sufferings of infinite value.

It would not be right, however, if we were to remain inactive in this work of redemption. Like Jesus, we must bow our heads before our Cross and embrace it, with resignation and love.   We must unite our sufferings with those of our Redeemer, for the expiation of our sins.”

Antonio Cardinal Baccilike jesus, we must bow our heads before our cross - bacci - 7 jan 2020.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 20 November – ‘For there is God’s gift but also our contribution. ‘

One Minute Reflection – 20 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:11–28 and the Memorial of Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti OSB (1827-1922)

“He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.'” … Luke 19:13

REFLECTION – “What have we to offer God?   Faith and love.   That is where we find what God asks of us, as it is written:  “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul” (Dt 10:12).   These are the offerings and these the gifts we should make to the Lord.   And if we are to offer Him these gifts with all our heart, then first of all, we must get to know Him.   We must have drunk of the knowledge of His goodness from the deep waters of His well…

People who deny that salvation lay within the power of the our freedom, should be ashamed on hearing these words!   Would God ask something from us if we weren’t capable of responding to God’s demand and giving Him what he owed?   For there is God’s gift but also our contribution.   For example, it was well within that man’s power that one gold coin should make ten or five more but, that the man should possess that gold coin, with which to produce ten more, in the first place, belonged to God.   Once he had given God the ten gold coins he had made, the man received a new sort of gift – not money this time but the power and sovereignty over ten cities.

In the same way, God asked Abraham to make an offering of his son, Isaac, on the mountain He would show him.   And Abraham, without hesitation, offered his only son – he laid him on the altar and drew out his knife to slay him.   But at once a voice restrained him and a ram was given him to be sacrificed in his son’s place (Gn 22).   So you see – what we offer God depends on us but, this offering is asked of us, so that, in making our gift, we might witness to our love for God and faith in Him.” … Origen (c185-253) Priest and Theologian – Homilies on the Book of Numbers, no. 12, #3luke 19 13 - he called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins - would god ask of us something which we were not able to give - origen 20 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, true Light and Creator of light, grant that faithfully pondering on all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence.   Protect us by Your power throughout our days, that even as You enable us to begin, do not let us turn aside to any sin but let our every thought, word and deed, aim at doing what is pleasing in Your sight.   Listen, we pray, to the intercession of Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti on our behalf.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.bl maria fortunata viti pray for us 20 nov 2019.jpg

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Quote/s of the Day – 21 October – ‘Each of us …’

Quote/s of the Day – 21 October – Monday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi (1937-1993) Priest, Martyr

“Let us consider that mosaic
of Jesus in Monreale Cathedral.
Each of us is like a little glass tile in that great mosaic.
Therefore, each of us must understand our role
and help others understand theirs,
so that together,
we can make up the unique face of Christ.”let us consider that mosaic of jesus - bl pino puglisi 21 oct 2019.jpg

“If everyone does something,
then we can do a lot.”

“Each of us feels an inclination,
a charism within ourselves.
A project, which makes each of us
unique, irreplaceable.
This call, this vocation,
is the sign of the Holy Spirit in us.
Only by listening to this voice
can we make sense of our lives.”if everyone does something - each of us feels a charism - bl pino puglisi 21 oct 2019.jpg

“No man is far from the Lord.
The Lord loves freedom,
does not impose His love.
He does not force the heart of any of us.
Every heart has its own time,
which, even we, cannot understand.
He knocks and stands at the door.
When the heart is ready it will open.”

Blessed Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisino man is far from the Lord - bl pino puglisi 21 oct 2019.jpg

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Thought for the Day – 24 September – An Affair of the Will – C S Lewis

Thought for the Day – 24 September – Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 8:19-21

An Affair of the Will
C S Lewis (1898-1963)

“In this is love, not that we loved God
but that he loved us
and sent his Son ….”

1 John 4:10

On the whole, God’s love for us, is a much safer subject to think about, than our love for Him.
Nobody can always have devout feelings and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about.
Christian love, either toward God, or toward man, is an affair of the will.
If we are trying to do His Will, we are obeying the commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.”   He will give us the feelings of love if He pleases.   We cannot create them for ourselves and we must not demand them as a right.
But the great thing to remember, is that, though our feelings come and go, His Love for us does not.   It is not wearied by our sins or our indifference and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him!

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,

have mercy on me a sinner!

the jesus prayer 24 sept 2019.jpg