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One Minute Reflection – 23 February – ‘The magna carta of Christian non-violence.’ 

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18, Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13, 1 Corinthians 3:16-23, Matthew 5:38-48

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” … Matthew 5:44matthew-5-44-but-i-say-to-you-love-your-enemies-4-aug-2018

REFLECTION – “But what do his words mean?   Why does Jesus ask us to love precisely our enemies, that is, a love which exceeds human capacities?
Actually, Christ’s proposal is realistic, because it takes into account that in the world there is too much violence, too much injustice and, therefore, that this situation cannot be overcome except by countering it with more love, with more goodness.   This “more” comes from God, it is His mercy which was made flesh in Jesus and which alone can “tip the balance” of the world from evil to good, starting with that small and decisive “world” which is the human heart.
This Gospel passage is rightly considered the magna carta of Christian non-violence.   It does not consist in succumbing to evil, as a false interpretation of “turning the other cheek” (cf. Lk 6: 29) claims but in responding to evil with good (cf. Rom 12: 17-21) and thereby breaking the chain of injustice.
One then understands that for Christians, non-violence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that, he is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone.
… Here is the newness of the Gospel which silently changes the world!   Here is the heroism of the “lowly” who believe in God’s love and spread it, even at the cost of their lives.
Dear brothers and sisters, Lent, which will begin this Wednesday with the Rite of Ashes, is the favourable season in which all Christians are asked to convert ever more deeply to Christ’s love.
Let us ask the Virgin Mary, docile disciple of the Redeemer, who helps us to allow ourselves to be won over without reserve by that love, to learn to love as He loved us, to be merciful as Our Father in Heaven is merciful (cf. Lk 6: 36).” … Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus, St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 18 February 2007matthew 5 44 but i say to you love your enemies this gospel passage magna carta - pope benedict 23 feb 2020

PRAYER – O Lord my God, give me the strength to endure with patience the sufferings I encounter in my life.  Teach me to do my daily work for You alone and to do more than that in every way I can, for your greater glory.   Teach me, Holy Father, to obey the words of Your Son, to pray for those who persecute me and to suffer for the glory of the Kingdom.   May our Blessed and loving Mother, who had to bear the pain and forgive those who killed her Son, be at our side to help us to forgive, to pray for our enemies and offer our pain in reparation for our sins and those of the world. Amenmater dolorosa blessed virgin holy mother pray for us 23 feb 2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – ‘Keep a clear eye toward life’s end.’

Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – The Memorial of St Conrad of Piacenza TOSF (c 1290-1351), Today’s Gospel: Mark 8:22-26

Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes
and he looked intently
and was restored and saw everything clearly.

Mark 8: 25mark 8 25 then again he laid his hands upon his eyes - 19 feb 2020

“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)keep-a-clear-eye-st-francis-of-assisi - 19 feb 2017 and 19 feb 2020

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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 – 11 February – The Love of Our Neighbour

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Love of Our Neighbour

“The Gospel not only commands us to love God above all things but also, to love our neighbour as ourselves (Cf Mt 13:35-40).
The Christian love of our neighbour, flows necessarily from the love of God.
Our Creator loves all men as His own sons.
Therefore, we ought to love one another as brothers, even as Our Lord loves us.
We should see, in our neighbour, especially if he is in need, the person of Christ Himself, our elder brother, “the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29).

If men sincerely loved one another, not merely as brothers but as much as they love themselves, what problems would be solved!
Who can say how many evils would be abated and how many sorrows would be assuaged?
To transform the world, it would be enough to put into practice the first great commandment of the Gospel, which is the commandment of charity.
Admittedly, the world would not become an earthly paradise, for any such Utopia is an impossibility.
But, it would become a dignified dwelling place of brothers, loving and helping one another.
“Love is the fulfilment of the law,” St Paul very truly says (Rom 13:10).
“Have charity, which is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

if men sincerely loved one another - bacci 11 feb 2020

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Thought for the Day – 10 February – The Love of God

Thought for the Day – 10 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Love of God

“God’s law is founded on love.
We read in the Gospel how the Pharisees asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment of the Law.
Jesus replied:  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it.   Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Mt 22:37-40).

If a man wants to know if he is living a good Christian life, therefore, all he has to do is ask himself if he loves God above everything and his neighbour as himself.
If he lacks this love, he is not a true Christian – everything else is insignificant, if not useless.
“Love God,” says St Augustine “and do what you will.”
Why so?
Because, if anyone loves God sincerely, he does not offend Him.
Moreover, he serves Him diligently and promotes His honour and glory by every means in his power.
Nor does he find it very difficult to do this.
Love gives wings to his feet and pours enthusiasm and fervour into his heart.
“He who loves does not feel tired,” says St Augustine.
“Where there is love,” adds St Bernard, “there is no weariness but a gentle pleasure instead.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

if a man wants to know if he is living a good christian life - bacci - 10 feb 2020

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Second Thought for the Day – 8 February – Blessed Esperanza’s Spiritual Testament

Second Thought for the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus (1893-1983)

Extract from Blessed Esperanza’s Spiritual Testament

“In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, I write to my beloved sons and my beloved daughters this Testament.

I leave entrusted to the Most Holy Virgin, all my sons and daughters and my two beloved Congregations and all the poor people received in them.

I wish to leave to my sons and daughters the precious inheritance that I have, freely and without any merit, received from the Good Jesus.

Recommendations that I make to my beloved sons and to my beloved daughters:
Be humble, love one another, eradicate from your heart the rash judgements, never look for responsibilities or high positions, stay in the hands of obedience like little children; never have discussions or quarrels, never occupy yourselves with things for which you are not responsible, be very charitable and attached to prayer, because the means to obtain grace and glory is prayer;  always follow the narrow path of mortification; work to acquire detachment and disdain with respect to yourselves; you will succeed in this with the knowledge of Our God, His love and the knowledge of your nothingness and your miseries; always and in everything, try to accomplish the Will of Our God and always seek His glory and not yours.

Keep yourselves free, my children, from all greed, try hard to have no attachment to earthly things, because the Son and Handmaid of Merciful Love must be occupied with charity, divine and spiritual things and you will arrive there easily if your hearts are strongly attached to the Good Jesus.

Walk with great attention in order to not become implicated in cares foreign to your vocation and to your state, never get involved in secular business contrary to your vocation, not even in the name of charity or prudence.

The Request I address to the Good Jesus, at the time of the death of my body and the life of my soul, by the mercy and the love of my God. I ask that the Good Jesus personally and the glory of God be the cause of the actions of all the sons and daughters and that He always be their Advocate and defend them against the enemies of the respective Congregations, always repeating in their favour: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing!”

Jesus, at the time of death, see to it that all the sons and daughters can say, full of love and confidence, what I say to You in these moments, with hope in Your charity, love and mercy:  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Blessed Esperanza de Jesus, Pray for Us!

bl esperanza de jesus pray for us no 2 8 feb 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 4 February – “The child is not dead but asleep”

One Minute Reflection – 4 February – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3, Psalm 86:1-6, Mark 5:21-43 and the Memorial of St John de Britto SJ (1647-1693) Martyr

“The child is not dead but asleep” … Mark 5:39

REFLECTION -“My dear young people, the future depends on you, the completion of this millennium and beginning of another depend on you.   So do not be passive, assume your responsibilities in every area that opens itself up to you in this world. (…)   Take up your responsibilities!   Inspired by faith in the Lord “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 Pet 3:15) (…)   What is the reason for your confidence?   Your faith, recognition and acceptance of the tremendous love God is constantly showing towards humankind.(…)   Jesus Christ, “the same today, yesterday and forever” (Heb 13:8), continues to show to all young people the same love the Gospel describes when he met up with a young man or woman.

So we can contemplate the raising of Jairus’ daughter who “was twelve years old” (…) Jairus frankly exposes his anguish to the Master, he earnestly beseeches his heart:  “My daughter is at the point of death.   Please, come lay hands on her that she may get well and live”.    “Jesus went off with him”.   The heart of Christ, which is moved before this man and his daughter’s human suffering, cannot remain heedless before our suffering.   Christ always hears us but He asks us to turn to Him with faith (…).   The Lord’s every gesture and word express this love.

I would like especially to pause over the words drawn from Jesus’ own lips:   “The child is not dead but asleep”.   These words that are so deeply illuminating, prompt me to think of the mysterious presence, of the Lord of life, in a world that appears to have succumbed to the shameless promptings of hate, violence and injustice.   Yet, no, this world of yours is not dead but sleeps.   In your hearts, dear young people, we perceive the strong beat of life and the love of God.   Youth is not dead when it is close to the Master.   Yes, when it is close to Jesus, you are all close to Jesus.   Listen to all His words, every word, each one. Young people, love Jesus, seek Jesus, meet Jesus.” … Saint John Paul II (1920-2005), Pope from 1978 to 2005 – Speech to the youth of Chile, 02/04/1987mark 5 39 the child is not dead but sleeps - listen to his words every one - st pope john paul 4 feb 2020

PRAYER – Increase in us, O Lord, the gift of faith, so that we may arise and offer our praise to You and by Your grace, yield fruit from heaven, for the glory of Your Kingdom. Lord God, may St John de Britto, who became precious in Your sight through his pure life and valiant martyrdom, plead for our forgiveness.   Through Jesus Christ, Your divine Son, in unity with the Spirit, one God forever.   St John de Britto, pray for us, amen.st john de britto pray for us 4 feb 2019