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Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Holy Eucharist and Hope – Let us approach Him

Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

The Holy Eucharist and Hope

The greatest source of hope this side of eternity is the Sacrament of hope, the Sacrament of encounter with Christ that is the Holy Eucharist.   The document of the Second Vatican Council that begins with the words “joy” and “hope,” Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution On The Church in the Modern World), says:

“Christ left to His followers a pledge of . . . hope and food for the journey in the sacrament of faith, in which natural elements, the fruits of human cultivation, are changed into His glorified body and blood, as a supper of brotherly and sisterly communion and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet (38).”

Those who frequent this Sacrament — receiving it often, if not daily — know that one of the fruits of the Sacrament, is the virtue of hope.   Gaudium et Spes refers to this sacrament as a “pledge of hope and food for the journey” that Christ left to His followers.

This document of Vatican II opened with these words:

“The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.   Nothing that is genuinely human, fails to find an echo in their hearts.   For theirs is a community of people united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in their pilgrimage towards the father’s kingdom, bearers of a message of salvation for all of humanity (1).”

In the general intercessions at Holy Mass, we bring the “joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted.”   We name those needs and address them to God our Father, through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.   We know that those pleas to God register with Him, as they come directly to God through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the compassionate and merciful heart of Christ.

When we bring our prayers and petitions to Holy Mass, we should trust that they are heard by God and that God will bring a most fitting response — in His good time, His unique way and His providential plan — to all the prayers of our hearts.   We might take them to Christ, with the added prayer:  “Jesus, I trust in you.”

“Let us, at this season, approach Him with awe and love, in whom resides all perfection and from whom we are allowed to gain it.   Let us come to the Sanctifier to be sanctified….
May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who as at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)let us as this season approach him in awe and love - st john henry newman 24 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in GOD is LOVE, I BELIEVE!, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote of the Day – 20 December – ‘Awaken hope!’

Quote of the Day – 20 December – The Memorial of Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr

“The blessed martyrs cry to our hearts.
Believe in God who is love!
Believe in Him in good times and bad!
Awaken hope!
May it produce in you,
the fruit of fidelity to God,
in every trial!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

At the Beatification of the 108 Martyrs of World War Two in Poland, 13 June 1999the blessed martyrs cry to our hearts believe in god who is love - st john paul 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – Faith and Hope

Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Matthew 9:27-31

“According to your faith be it done to you.”

Matthew 9:30

matthew 9 30 according to your faith - healing the blind man 6 dec 2019

“Faith lifts the soul.
Hope supports it.
Experience says it must.
And Love says let it be!”

St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)faith lifts the soul hope supports it experience says - st elizabeth ann seton 6 dec 2019.jpg

“Pray, hope and don’t worry.”

St Pius of Pietrelcina/Padre Pio (1887-1968)

pray hope and dont worry - st padre pio 6 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, The WORD

Advent Reflection – – 6 December – “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

Advent Reflection – – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Matthew 9:27-31

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”   And their eyes were opened.

Matthew 9:28-30

REFLECTION – “We too have been “illuminated” by Christ in Baptism and thus  we are called to behave as children of the light.   Acting as children of the light requires a radical change of mind-set, a capacity to judge men and things according to another scale of values, which comes from God.   The Sacrament of Baptism, in fact, requires the choice of living as children of the light and walking in the light.

MEDITIATION – If I were to ask you:  “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?   Do you believe that He can change your heart?   Do you believe that He can show reality as He sees it, not as we see it?   Do you believe that He is light, that He gives us the true light?”   How would you answer?   Each of you, respond in your heart.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 March 2017matthew 9 28 - 30 do you believe - pope francis 6 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – Faith engenders hope, which is a future-oriented virtue.   It acknowledges that there is a future awaiting us that is much, much better than the present.   The virtue of hope, with its orientation to the future, enables us to handle present distresses and struggles in a positive way.
Pope Benedict reminds us in Spe Salvi that this perspective. does not mean for one moment. that we live only for the future (4).   People in hope are building up the kingdom on earth but, they are also on pilgrimage, to that eternal kingdom, God has in store for those who follow Him.

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people who come to You in confidence.   Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.   Give courage to those who falter because of their failures.   In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in faith and hope, by the power of your Holy Spirit.   May they proclaim Your saving acts of kindness here on earth and one day, in Your eternal kingdom.    Amen.friday of the first week of advent - 6 december 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on MISSION, SAINT of the DAY

Advent Reflection – 3 December – Proclaiming the Hope of Christ

Advent Reflection – 3 December – Tuesday of the First week of Advent, Year A and the Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)- Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-2, 7-9, 12-13, Luke 10:21-24

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Isaiah 11:6

Reflection
“In these passages, the meaning of Christmas shines through – God fulfils the promise by becoming man, not abandoning His people, He draws near to the point of stripping Himself of His divinity.   In this way God shows His fidelity and inaugurates a new Kingdom, which gives a new hope to mankind.   And what is this hope?   Eternal life. ”
... Pope Francis – General audience 21 December 2016Tuesday of the first week of advent - 3 dec 2019.jpg

Advent Action
Advent is a time to practice discipleship and the joy of sharing the message given to us! Today, share just a little of this joy of the Gospel and the hope of Christ, with those around you.   Giving this gift is immense, as the Lord shared His Father in the Gospel of today, so we share Him.   Spiritual love is tender, it is holy ground.   There is simply no greater investment.

” …. Paul does not seek himself, he does not want to make a fan club for himself, he does not wish to go down in history as the head of a school of great knowledge, he is not self-seeking, rather, St Paul proclaims Christ and wants to gain people for the true and real God.   Paul’s wish is to speak of and preach the One who entered his life and who is true life, who won him over on the road to Damascus.
Therefore, talking about God means making room for the One who enables us to know Him, who reveals His face of love to us; it means emptying ourselves of our own ego, offering it to Christ, in the awareness that it is not we who can win over others for God but, that we must expect God to send them, we must entreat God for them.
Talking about God, therefore, stems from listening, from our knowledge of God which is brought about through familiarity with Him, through the life of prayer and in accordance with the Commandments.”Pope Benedict XVI (Excerpt – How to speak about God – The Year of Faith – 28 November 2012)

Prayer
Lord, it is my hope that I may always be in “Your will
and way.”
Sometimes I am selfish with my time and my own desires.
Today, help me sort out things in my life.
I need to make You the first priority in my life
and not the things that really do not matter.
Assist me in conducting myself in ways that are most pleasing to You.
Lord, it is my desire to live more for You this day
and share the joy of Your love with all I meet.

And today, we remember St Francis Xavier, the “second Paul”

please pray for us!
Amenst francis xavier pray for us 3 dec 2019.jpg

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Advent Reflection – 13 December – How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? 

Advent Reflection – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 4:2-6, Psalm 122:1-9, Matthew 8:5-11

“Amen, I say to you, in no-one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 8:10-11

Vatican Council II – “Gaudium et Spes” #45
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

“While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention – that God’s kingdom may come and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass.   For every benefit, which the People of God, during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family, stems from the fact, that the Church is “the universal sacrament of salvation”, (Lumen Gentium), simultaneously manifesting and actualising the mystery of God’s love.

For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh, so that, as perfect man, He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself.   The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilisation, the centre of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.   He it is, Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead.   Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love:  “To re-establish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth” (Eph. 1:10).

The Lord Himself speaks:   “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works.   I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end,” (Rv 22:12-13).”matthew 8 10-11 amen i say to you in no-one in israel - centurion - for gods words - gaudium et spes no 45 2 dec 2019.jpg

Reflections
Christ is the ultimate centre of meaning in the universe.   It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father.   How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God?   Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.

“The Lord always goes beyond, goes first.   We take one step and He takes ten.   Always.   The abundance of grace, of His love, of His tenderness that never tires of seeking us.   Even, at times, with small things – we think that encountering the Lord would be something magnificent, like that man of Syria, Naaman, who was a leper [did].   And it’s not simple… And he too had a great surprise at God’s way of acting.
And our God is the God of surprises, the God that is seeking us, is awaiting us and asks of us only the little step of good will.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 28 November 2016monday firsdt week advent 2 dec 2019 the lord always goes first - pope francis.jpg

Advent Action
Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.

Our Lives Multiply by Giving Them Away
Fr Henri Nouwen

“The fruitfulness of our little life, once we recognise it and live it, as the life of the Beloved, is beyond anything we can imagine.   One of the greatest acts of faith is to believe that the few years we live on this earth are like a little seed planted in very rich soil.   For this seed to bear fruit, it must die.   We often see, or feel, only the dying but, the harvest will be abundant, even when we ourselves are the harvesters.
How different would our life be, were we truly able to trust, that it multiplied in being given away?
How different would our life be, if we could believe, that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace, will multiply and multiply, as long as there are people to receive it … and that – even then – there will be left-overs!”

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Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – Serve, Love, Trust, Hope – The Third World Day of the Poor

Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – The Third World Day of Prayer for the Poor and the Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Luke 21:5–19

So if I, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash
one another’s feet.

John 13:14john 13 14 - so if I your lord and teacher have washed your feet - 17 nov 2019 3rd world day of the poor.jpg

“A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another,
even as I have loved you,
that you also lone one another …”

John 13:34

a new commandment I give to you - john 13 34 - 19 may 2019.jpg

Blest are the Pure in Heart” – From the Breviary
(A perfect hymn/prayer for the Feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary)

Blest are the pure in heart,
for they shall see our God,
the secret of the Lord is theirs,
their soul is Christ’s abode.

The Lord, who left the heavens,
our life and peace to bring,
to dwell in lowliness with men,
their pattern and their King.

Still to the lowly soul,
He does Himself impart
and for His dwelling and His throne,
chooses the pure in heart.

Lord, we Thy presence seek,
May ours this blessing be:
give us a pure and lowly heart,
a temple fit for Theeblest-are-the-pure-in-heart-on-feast-of-st-elizabeth-of-hungary-17-nov-20171.jpg

Hope means to keep living
amid desperation
and to keep humming
in the darkness.
Hoping is knowing that there is love,
it is trust in tomorrow
it is falling asleep
and waking again
when the sun rises.
In the midst of a gale at sea,
it is to discover land.
In the eyes of another
it is to see that you are understood….
As long as there is still hope
There will also be prayer….
And you will be held in God’s hands.

Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)

Priest, Writer, Professor, Spiritual Director

With Open Handshope - henri nouwen 17 oct 2019 world day of the poor 3rd.jpg