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One Minute Reflection – 12 September – ‘… Perfume is not to be found in mud…’

One Minute Reflection – 12 September – Saturday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22Psalms 116:12-1317-18Luke 6:43-49 and The Memorial of The Most Holy Name of Mary

“A good person, out of the store of goodness in his heart, produces good” … Luke 6:45

REFLECTION – “Those who conceal their hypocrisy beneath feigned love, bless outwardly with their mouths but curse inwardly.
Those who have acquired love, endure patiently the injuries and sufferings that their enemies inflict on them.
Love alone harmoniously joins all created things with God and with each other.
A person who does not tolerate suspicion or disparagement of others, possesses true love.
Someone who does nothing to dispel love, is precious in the sight of God and the world.
True words from a pure conscience betoken unfeigned love.
If you tell your brother how someone else is denigrating him, you conceal your own envy under the guise of goodwill. (…)
Guard yourself from hatred and dissipation and you will not be impeded at the time of prayer.
Perfume is not to be found in mud nor the fragrance of love in the soul of a rancorous person. (…)
Anyone who does not envy the spiritually mature and is merciful to the wicked, has attained an equal love for all. (…)
Do not trust a thought that would judge your neighbour: for it is the person who is a store of evil who thinks evil thoughts (Mt 6:21; 12:35).” … St Thalassios the Libyan (5th Century) – Priest and Abbot in Libya (see a little biography of him below).

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, assist us at all times we pray, to obtain a spirit of worthy penance, for our sins and that of all the world. To the invocation of Your Divine Son, Jesus, we call on the intercession of His holy Mother, to aid us on our pilgrimage. With great affection and confidence, we honour the Holy Hearts and invoke the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, to be our constant source of pure assistance and succour that we might bear fruits worthy of their Names. Blessed be the Name of Mary! Amen

Saint Thalassius the Libyan undertook the call of God to life as a hermit in the fifth century.
Thalassius is recorded to have entered into solitude at a young age near a village named Targala in Byzantine Syria. He is dwelt there living the ascetic life with no shelter for nearly forty years.
His was a soul filled with humbleness, simplicity and a gentle nature. God manifested in the saint the gifts of powerful intercession and healing for which he gained considerable renown.
In time, many came to join Thalassius in the eremitic life and he welcomed them as he would welcome Christ, building them cells with his own hands.
Saint Thalassius, Hermit of Syria is said to have died peacefully and is commemorated on 22 February.

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One Minute Reflection – 10 September – “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them..” … Luke 6:31

One Minute Reflection – 10 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ” – Thursday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1b-711-13Psalms 139:1-313-1423-24Luke 6:27-38

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them..” … Luke 6:31

REFLECTION – “Whoever loves me, says the Lord, will keep my commandments” and, “this is my commandment: that you love one another” (cf. Jn 14:15.23; 15:12). Thus whoever does not love their neighbour fails to keep the commandment and so cannot love the Lord. (…)

If “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rm 13:10), anyone who is full of rancour towards a neighbour, laying traps for the neighbour, cursing and exults in their fall, must surely be a transgressor deserving eternal punishment. If “he who speaks evil of his brother and judges him, speaks evil of the law and judges the law” (Jas 4:11) and the law of Christ is love, surely someone who speaks evil of Christ’s love, falls away from it and is the cause of his own perdition.

Do not listen gleefully to gossip at your neighbour’s expense, nor chatter to a person who likes finding fault. Otherwise you will fall away from divine love and find yourself cut off from eternal life. (…) Silence the person who utters slander in your hearing. Otherwise you sin twice over: – first you accustom yourself to a deadly passion and, second, you fail to prevent this gossip against your neighbour. (…)

St Paul says that if we have all the gifts of the Spirit but do not have love, we are no further forward (cf. 1 Cor 13:2). How assiduous, then, we ought to be in our efforts to acquire this love!” … St Maximus the Confessor (c 580–662) Abbot Theologian – First Century on Love, nos. 16, 56-58, 60, 54

PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by Your power and love throughout this day, even as You have enabled us, in Your love to begin it. Do not let us turn aside to any sin but let our every thought, word and deed be done in love for You and Your creatures, our neighbour. Teach us to love as You have loved us and may our Sorrowful and Holy Mother, show us the way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who loved us to the end, with the Holy Spiriti, God now and for all eternity, amen.

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Thought for the Day – 8 July – The Gift of Speech

Thought for the Day – 8 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Gift of Speech

the gift of speech - bacci 8 july 2020

“One of God’s greatest gifts, the spoken word, is the reflection of our thought and the expression of our will.
In God, the Word is something infinitely greater, for it is the substantial image of God, the Eternal Word of the Father, through Whom He knows and, therefore, loves Himself.
It is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Because we have been created in the likeness of God, our Creator has endowed us also, with a limited power to express our thoughts and sentiments.

It is hard to imagine how unhappy we should be, if we could not express ourselves and were unable to communicate our ideas and feelings to others.
We should feel isolated, as rocks separated from one another by vast expanses of sea, for we could neither give anything of ourselves to other men, nor receive anything in return.
We could not even praise God and tell Him how we love Him.
God could have created us without the gift of speech.
Since He has given it to us, we should show our gratitude by using it for His glory, for our welfare and, for the salvation of our neighbour.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 27 April – Scandal

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Scandal

“The Gospel contains a frightening condemnation of those who give scandal.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandal! … If thy hand or thy foot is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off and cast it from thee! It is better for thee to enter life, maimed or lame, than, having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire …” (Cf Mt 18:6-9).
Why was Christ so strict on scandal-givers?
He condemned them because they are the accomplices of the devil.
Not satisfied with doing evil themselves, they seek by means of bad example, to draw others towards ruin as well.
They try to destroy Christ’s work of Redemption and the fruits of the shedding of His Precious Blood.
Let us examine our own conduct.
If we discover anything which could provide an occasion of sin for others, let us remedy it immediately.
Thoughtlessness in such matters can be very dangerous.
Something which seems perfectly innocent to us, could be a source of scandal to others.
Prudence and delicacy are necessary in our relations with our fellow-men.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

scandal - bacci - 27 april 2020

Posted in CATECHESIS, CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TRUTH

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Repairing the Wrong Done by St John Vianney

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment
greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-32

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

REPAIRING THE WRONG DONE

Having made satisfaction to God, we must then make satisfaction to our neighbour for the wrong which-either in his body or in his soul — we have done him.   I say that it is possible to wrong him in his body, that is to say, in his person, by attacking him either by injurious or insulting words or by bad treatment.   If we have sinned against him by injurious words, then we must apologise to him and make our reconciliation with him.   If we have done him some wrong by belabouring his animals, as sometimes happens when we find that they have been doing damage among our crops, we are obliged to give him all that we have been the cause of his losing: -we could have got compensation without maltreating these animals.   If we have done any harm, we are obliged to repay as soon as we can, otherwise we will be gravely at fault.   If we have neglected to do that, we have sinned and we must confess it.

If you have done wrong to your neighbour in his honour, as, for instance, by scandalous talk, you are obliged to make up by favourable and beneficent talk for all the harm you have done to his reputation, saying all the good of him which you know to be true and concealing any faults which he may have and which you are not obliged to reveal.   If you have calumniated your neighbour, you must go and find the people to whom you have said false things about him and tell them that what you have been saying is not true, that you are very grieved about it and that you beg them not to believe it.

But if you have done him harm in his soul, it is a still more difficult thing to repair and yet it must be done as far as possible, otherwise God will not pardon you.

You must also examine your conscience as to whether you have given scandal to your children or to your next-door neighbours.   How many fathers, mothers, masters and mistresses are there who scandalise their children and their servants, by not saying their prayers morning or evening or by saying them when they are dressing or sitting back in a chair, who do not even make the Sign of the Cross before and after a meal?   How many times are they heard swearing, or perhaps even blaspheming?

How many times have they been seen working on Sunday morning, even before Holy Mass?

You must consider, too, whether you have sung bad songs, or brought in bad books, or whether you have given bad counsel, as, for instance, advising someone that he should take his revenge on someone else, should exact satisfaction by force.

Consider, too, whether you have ever taken anything from a next-door neighbour and neglected to pay it back, whether you have neglected to give some alms which you had been told to give or make some restitution which your parents, who are dead, should have made.   If you wish to have the happiness of having your sins forgiven, you must have nothing belonging to anyone else, which you should and could pay back.   So if you have sullied your neighbour’s reputation, you must do all in your power to repair the damage.   You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God. repairing the wronge done - you must be reconciled - st john vianney 29 march 2019.jpg

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 March – A divided household falls.

One Minute Reflection – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C, Luke Gospel – 11:14–23

“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste and a divided household falls.”…Luke 11:17

REFLECTION – “But this episode contains an admonishment which is useful to all of us. Indeed, it can happen that deep envy of a person’s goodness and good works can drive one to falsely accuse him or her.   Here there is true, lethal poison, the malice with which, in a premeditated manner, one wants to destroy the good reputation of the other. May God free us from this terrible temptation!   And if, by examining our conscience, we realise that this weed is sprouting within us, let us go straight away to confess it in the Sacrament of Penance, before it grows and produces its evil effects, which are incurable. Be careful, because this attitude destroys families, friendships, communities and even society.”...Pope Francis – Angelus, 10 June 2018luke 11 17 every kingdom divided - indeed it can happen - pope francis - 28march2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You love innocence of heart and when it is lost, You alone can restore it.   Turn then our hearts to You and kindle in them the fire of Your Spirit.   Lead us to purity of heart, that we may be true radiant lights of Christ and no longer spread the darkness of unkindness, jealousy, gossip and may we atone for our sins.   May Your Word take flesh in our lives and Your Truth shine forth in our actions.   Mary, Blessed and Merciful, the Refuge of Sinners, help us!   Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary refuge of sinners pray for us 28 march 2019 ora pro nobis.jpg

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Thought for the Day – 18 February – “However, you killed at the beginning”

Thought for the Day – 18 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, First Reading – Genesis 4:1-15

“Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.”   And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.   Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”   He said, “I do not know;  am I my brother’s keeper?”   And the Lord said, “What have you done?   The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.   And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.   When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength;  you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” …Genesis 4:8-12

“Cain favoured instinct – he preferred to let this feeling stew inside him, festering and allowing it to grow. This sin, which he will later commit, which is couching behind the feeling, grows.

This, is how hostilities grow between you – they begin with something small – jealousy, envy and then this grows and I pull away from my brother, saying this person is not my brother, this one is an enemy, this one must be destroyed, driven away… and so people are destroyed -it is thus that animosity destroys families, populations, everything.   It is that eating away at you, that being constantly obsessed with that person.

No!… there is no brother.
It is just me;  there is no brotherhood – it is just me.
What happened at the beginning, can happen to all of us – it is a possibility. For this reason, it is a process which must be stopped immediately, at the beginning, at the first sign of bitterness.   It must be stopped, because bitterness is not Christian – pain, yes, bitterness no.
Indeed, resentment is not Christian – pain yes, resentment no.
Instead, how much hostility and how many cracks exist and it ends in a war that kills.

However, you killed at the beginning.   This is the process of blood and today the blood of many people in the world is crying to God from the ground.

And it is all connected – that blood has some connection, perhaps a small droplet of blood that I caused to ooze out with my envy and jealousy when I destroyed a brotherhood.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 13 February 2017genesis 4 10 and the lord said what have you done - and it is all connected - pope francis 18 feb 2019.jpg

It is not enough to simply “follow the rules” and stay out of trouble.   If that is all we do then we are trying to achieve heaven by our own merits. God wants more from us than that.   God invites us into a relationship of friends and family, a relationship of love.   This type of relationship is a living, dynamic one.   To love Christ and to want to be near Him is to be crucified with Him.

It means standing up for the Truth even when it is unpopular.   It means finding time to pray.   It means that we stay faithful to the teachings of Jesus.   And it means that when we fail, we humbly confess our sins as we would apologise to a friend we have hurt, so that that relationship can be restored.   It means that we must reflect Christ to the whole world, so that when people look at us they do not see us, they see Christ.

But in the end that is what it means to live for Christ and not for ourselves, to love for Christ and not for ourselves, to give of ourselves for Christ!

Blessed Fra Angelico, you gave your all for Christ, please Pray for Us!bl fra angelico pray for us 18 feb 2019.jpg

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Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“Do not fear!   Jesus is more powerful than all hell.”do-not-fear - 23 sept 2017

“Do not be daunted by the cross.
The surest test of love consists in suffering for the loved one
and if God suffered so much for love,
the pain we suffer for Him becomes as lovable as love itself.”

“The greater your sufferings, the greater God’s love for you.”the-greater-your-sufferings-st-pio-23-sept-2017

“God will never permit anything,
to happen to us, that is not for our greater good.”

“The storms that are raging around you,
will turn out to be for God’s glory,
your own merit
and the good of many souls.”the storms that are - god will never permit - st pio - 23 sept 2018

“In all the free time you have,
once you have finished your duties of state,
you should kneel down and pray the Rosary.
Pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament
or before a crucifix.”in-all-the-free-time-st-pio-no-2-23-sept-2017

“Do you not see the Madonna always beside the Tabernacle?”do-you-not-see-st-pio-23-sept-2017

“Listen to the Mass, the way the Virgin Mary, stood at .. Calvary..”listen to the mass - st pio - 23 sept 2018

“We have close to us, an angelic spirit,
who never leaves us for an instant,
from the cradle to the grave,
who guides and protects us,
like a friend or a brother.”we have close to us an angelic spirit - st padre pio - 23 sept 2018

“When you gossip about a person it means
that you have removed the person from your heart.
But be aware, when you remove a man from your heart,
Jesus also goes away from your heart with that man.”

St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)when-you-gossip-st-pio-23-sept-2017