Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us.

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us

This year, as before, I will post daily Advent Reflections drawn from diverse Saints and Holy people – please join me in prayer and in awakening our souls to hope.

advent reflections - o come o come emmnuel - begins 1 dec - posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Memory Awakens Hope

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Pope Benedict XVI)

In one of his Christmas stories Charles Dickens tells of a man who lost his emotional memory, that is, he lost the whole chain of feelings and thoughts he had acquired in the encounter with human suffering.   This extinction of the memory of love is presented to him as liberation from the burden of the past but it becomes clear, immediately, that the whole person has been changed, now, when he meets with suffering, no memories of kindness are stirred within him…   Since his memory has dried up, the source of kindness within him has also disappeared.   He has become cold and spreads coldness around him.

Goethe deals with the same ideas as Dickens, in his account of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Roch in Bingen, after the long interruption caused by the Napoleonic wars. He observes the people as they press, tightly packed, through the church past the image of the saint and he watches their faces – the faces of the children and the adults are shining, mirroring the joy of the festal day.   But with the young people, Goethe reports, it was otherwise.   They went past unmoved, indifferent, bored.   And he gives an illuminating explanation – they were born in evil times, had nothing good to remember and consequently had nothing to hope for. In other words, it is only the person who has memories who can hope.   The person who has never experienced goodness and kindness simply does not know what such things are.

Recently a counsellor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair, was speaking in similar terms about his own work, if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope, then there is a way out of despair.   Memory and hope are inseparable.   To poison the past does not give hope, it destroys its emotional foundations.

Sometimes Charles Dickens’ story strikes me as a vision of contemporary experience. This man who let himself be robbed of the heart’s memory by the delusion of a false liberation — do we not find him with us today, in a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope?   When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why?   Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope?   By outlawing the emotions, by satirising joy, have we not trampled on the root of hope?

These reflections bring us straight to the significance of the Christian season of Advent. For Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man.   Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God Who became a Child.   This is a healing memory, it brings hope.   The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.   All the feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.   These events, of such great significance for mankind, which are preserved and opened up by faith’s calendar, are intended to become personal memories of our own life history, through the celebration of holy seasons by means of liturgy and custom.   Our personal memories are nourished by mankind’s great memories, in turn, it is only by translating them into personal term,s that these great memories are kept alive.   Man’s ability to believe always depends in part on faith having become dear on the path of life, on the humanity of God having manifested itself through the humanity of men.   No doubt each of us could tell his own story here as to what the various memories of Christmas, Easter or other festivals mean in his life.

It is the beautiful task of Advent, to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

“Those who run
toward the Lord,
will never lack space…
One who is climbing
never stops,
he moves from
beginning to beginning,
according to beginnings,
that never end.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395)
Brother of St Basil the Greatadvent - those who run toward the Lord - st gregory of Nyssa 28 nov 2019

Posted in CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC Quotes, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – “I too have decided … to write it down..”

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist, Gospel: Luke 10:1-9

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, pray therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out labourers into his harvest.” … Luke 10:2

Saint Luke’s testimony – “I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately to write it down in an orderly sequence” (Luke 1:3)

REFLECTION – “Among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special pre-eminence and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our Saviour.   The Church has always and everywhere, held and continues to hold, that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin.  For what the Apostles preached in fulfilment of the commission of Christ, afterwards, they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing – the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy, held and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (Acts 1:1-2). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done.   This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ’s life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:26).

The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always, in such fashion, that they told us the honest truth about Jesus.   For their intention in writing, was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who “themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word” we might know “the truth concerning those matters about which we have been instructed” (Lk 1, 1-4). … Vatican Council II – Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation “ Dei Verbum ” # 18-19luke 1 3 - i too have decided - luke 10 2 the harvest is plentiful 18 oct 2019 feast of st luke.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love in his preaching and his writings.   Grant, we pray, that we may grow in love for the Holy Face of Christ, His words and His directions, revealed to us in the Gospels, in the example of your saints.   Today, on his feast, we especially look to St Luke, to guide, teach and pray for us.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.st-luke-pray-for-us-18-oct-2017-no-2.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on TIME, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 15 October – Let us begin!

Quote/s of the Day – 15 October – Monday of the Twenty Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 11:29–32

“Our Saviour’s words
are not of a nature
to be heard once
and no more
but that to understand them,
we must feed upon them
and live in them,
as if by, little and little,
growing into their meaning.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)our saviour's words - st john henry newman 14 oct 2019.jpg

“Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today.
Let us begin.”

Saint Mother Teresa (1910-1997)yesterday is gone tomorrow has not yet come - st mother tresa 14 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD

Quotes of the Day – 30 September – St Jerome – Speaking of Holy Scripture

Quotes of the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of Saint Jerome (347-419), Priest, Father and Doctor of the Church

St Jerome – Speaking of Holy Scripture

“The Scriptures are shallow enough,
for a babe to come and drink,
without fear of drowning
and deep enough,
for theologians to swim in,
without ever reaching the bottom.”the scriptures are shallow enough for a babe - st jerome 30 sept 2019.jpg

“Make knowledge of the Scripture your love …
Live with them,
meditate on them,
make them the sole object
of your knowledge
and inquiries.”make knowledge of the scripture your love - st jerome - 30 sept 2019.jpg

“A false interpretation of Scripture,
causes, that the Gospel of the Lord,
becomes the gospel of man,
or, which is worse,
of the devil!”a false interpreation of scripture causes - st jerome 30 sept 2019.jpg

“It is worse still
to be ignorant
of your ignorance.”

St Jerome (347-419)
Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

Many more here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/quote-s-of-the-day-30-september-memorial-of-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor/
AND here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/quotes-of-the-day-30-september-the-memorial-of-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctorit is worse stilll to be ignorant of your ignorance - st jerome - 30 sept 2019.jpg