Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL DECREE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PEACE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

One Minute Reflection – 9 July – ‘Look for neither gain nor gratitude…’

One Minute Reflection – 9 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 9:32–38 and the Memorial of Saints St Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom…Matthew 9:35

REFLECTION – “The presence of the Christian faithful in human groups, should be inspired by that charity, with which God has loved us and with which, He wills, that we should love one another (cf. 1 Jn 4:11).   Christian charity truly extends to all, without distinction of race, creed, or social condition – it looks for neither gain nor gratitude.   For as God loved us with an unselfish love, so also the faithful should in their charity care for the human person himself, loving him with the same affection with which God sought out man.   Just as Christ, then, went about all the towns and villages, curing every kind of disease and infirmity as a sign that the kingdom of God had come (cf. Matt. 9:35ff; Acts 10:38), so also the Church, through her children, is one with men of every condition but especially with the poor and the afflicted…   She shares in their joys and sorrows, knows of their longings and problems, suffers with them in death’s anxieties.   To those in quest of peace, she wishes to answer in fraternal dialogue, bearing them the peace and the light of the Gospel.
Let Christians labour and collaborate with others in rightly regulating the affairs of social and economic life.   With special care, let them devote themselves to the education of children and young people…   Furthermore, let them take part in the strivings of those peoples who, waging war on famine, ignorance and disease, are struggling to better their way of life and to secure peace in the world…
However, the Church has no desire at all to intrude itself into the government of the earthly city.   It claims no other authority, than that of ministering to men, with the help of God.”…Vatican Council II – Decree on the missionary activity of the Church, “Ad Gentes” # 12matthew 9 35 and jesus went about - christian charity ad gentes no 2 vat II 9 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming, by preparing Your ways of justice and of peace.   Let us invoke Mary Most Holy, who welcomes under her mantle all the tired and worn-out people, so that through an enlightened faith, witnessed in life, we can offer relief, for so many, in need of help, of tenderness, of hope.   And may the prayers of Your Martyrs St Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions, strengthen us on our journey.   Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary most holy pray for us - 9 nov 2018.jpg

st augustine zhao rong martyrs of china pray for us 9 july 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – ‘…Go with him for two miles.’

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – Monday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel : Matthew 5:38–42 and the Memorial of Blessed Joseph-Marie Cassant OCSO (1878-1903)

“Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.”… Matthew 5:41

REFLECTION – “Do you grasp the excellence of a Christian disposition?   After you give your coat and your cloak, even if your enemy should wish to subject your naked body to hardships and labours, not even then, Jesus says, must you forbid him.   For He would have us possess all things in common, both our bodies and our goods, as with them that are in need, so with them that insult us.   For the latter response comes from a courageous spirit, the former from mercy.   Because of this, Jesus said, “If any one shall compel you to go one mile, go with him two.”   Again He leads you to higher ground and commands you to manifest the same type of aspiration.   For if the lesser things He spoke of at the beginning receive such great blessings, consider what sort of reward awaits those who duly perform these and what they become even before we hear of receiving rewards.   You are winning full freedom from unworthy passions in a human and passible body.” … Saint John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop, Father & Doctor (The Gospel of Matthew: Homily 18)matthew 5 41 should anyone press you into service - do you grasp the excellence of a christian disposition- st john chrysostom - 17 june 2019.jpg

PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over or hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us.  Teach us Lord to walk in the ways of the Cross of Your Son, our Saviour, as Blessed Joseph-Marie Cassant so lovingly and willingly inspires us to do.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God, forever, amen.bl joseph marie cassant pray for us 17 june 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PEACE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The PASSION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 28 April – “Receive the Holy Spirit”

Thought for the Day – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Gospel: John 20:19–31

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.   As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”   And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “...John 20:21-22

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church

First Sermon for Pentecost

‘He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit” ‘
Lord Jesus Christ, once again grant that of us, too, there may be but “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32) for then there will be “a great calm” (Mk 4:39).   My dear listeners, I exhort you to good will and kindness to one another and peace with all.   For were we to have charity among ourselves, we would have both peace and the Holy Spirit.   Let us undertake to become devout and pray to God… since the apostles persevered in prayer… If we set ourselves to fervent prayer then the Holy Spirit will enter us and say:  “Peace be with you!   It is I; be not afraid” (cf. Mk 6:50)…   And what ought we to ask God for, my brethren?   For all that is for His honour and the salvation of your souls and, in a word, for the help of the Holy Spirit – “Send forth your Spirit and they will be created” (Ps 104[103]:30) – peace and tranquillity…mark 6 50 peace be with you it is i be not afraid - div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

We are to ask for this peace so that the Spirit of peace may come down on us.   We should give thanks to God, too, for all His blessings if we want Him to grant us those victories that are the beginning of peace.   And to obtain the Holy Spirit we should give thanks to God the Father for having first of all sent Him upon our Head, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and His Son… – for “from his fullness we have all received” (cf. Jn 1:16) – and for having sent Him upon His apostles that through their hands they might pass Him onto us.   We should give thanks to the Son – as God, He sends the Spirit upon those who prepare themselves to receive Him.   But, most especially, we should thank Him because, as man, He merited for us, the grace of receiving this divine Spirit…

And how has Jesus Christ merited the Holy Spirit’s coming?   When “bowing his head, he gave up his spirit” (Jn 19:30), for, when He gave breathed His last and handed over His spirit to the Father, He merited the Father’s sending His Spirit upon His mystical body.he breathed on them john 20 22 - and to obtain the holy spirit - st francis de sales div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – St Bernard – “The liquid myrrh of mercy”

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – Monday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 12:1–11

Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard and with it, anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was filled with the scent of the ointment…John 12:3john-12-3 mary ointments jesus feet.jpg

REFLECTION – “Anointing the feet of Christ with perfumed oil of compassion
I have already discussed two ointments with you – one of contrition, that takes account of numerous sins — it is symbolised by the perfumed oil with which the sinful woman anointed the feet of Lord: “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”, the other of devotion, that embodies numerous blessings…  But there is another ointment, far excelling these two, to which I give the name, loving-kindness, because the elements that go into its making, are the needs of the poor, the anxieties of the oppressed, the worries of those who are sad, the sins of wrong-doers and finally, the manifold misfortunes of all people who endure affliction, even if they are our enemies.   These elements may seem rather depressing but the ointment made from them, is more fragrant, than all other spices.   It bears the power to heal, for “Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5:7)

A collection therefore of many miseries, on which the eye rests with loving-kindness, represents the ingredients from which the best ointments are made…  Happy the soul that has been wise enough to enrich itself with an assortment of spices such as these, pouring upon them the oil of mercy and warming them with the fire of charity!   Who, in your opinion, is “the good man who takes pity and lends” (Ps 112:5), who is compassionate, quick to render assistance, who believes that there is “more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35), who forgives easily but is not easily angered, who never seeks to be avenged and in all things takes thought for his neighbour’s needs as if they were his own?

Whoever you may be, if your soul is thus disposed, if you are saturated with the dew of mercy, overflowing with affectionate kindness, making yourself “all things to all people” (1 Co 9:22) yet considering your deeds, like a discarded flask, in order to be always ready to supply to others what they need, in a word, so dead to yourself, that you live only for others — if this be you, then you possess the third and best of all ointments.   Your hands have dripped with liquid myrrh that is utterly enchanting (cf Sg 5:5).   It will not run dry in times of stress nor evaporate in the heat of persecution but God will perpetually “remember all your oblations and find your holocaust acceptable.” (Ps 20:4)”...Saint Bernard (1091-1153) Doctor of the Churchbut there is another ointment - st bernard- mon holy week - the annointing of jesus feet - 15 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that we who are constantly betrayed by our own weakness, may draw the breath of new life from the passion and death of Your only-begotten Son.  May our hands to drip with the liquid myrrh of mercy to all our neighbours and may our hearts be ever open to forgiveness.   Listen, we pray, to the prayers of Your Holy angels and Saints and grant that the Blessed Virgin may guide our steps in this vale of tears. Through our Lord and Saviour, who suffered and died for us, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl virgin mother of sorrows pray for us 15 april 2019.jpg

Posted in PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 April – “A saint of the ordinary?”

Thought for the Day – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio OSA (1905-1983)

Blessed Mariano has been called “a saint of the ordinary”, this giving, loving and holy man who spent all he had for his people.   Is this ‘ordinary’, is this how ‘ordinary’ folk live, though we should be living thus.  Is St Mother Teresa, who likewise, gave all, what we would call an ordinary saint  . For the suffering sheep are the beloved of God, they are not ordinary, they are His most in need of the extraordinary love and charity of us, ‘the ordinary.’

I am reminded of the words of Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996):

“Visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, consoling the dying or sheltering the homeless, may not catch the public eye and are often perceived as irrelevant when put in the perspective of a possible nuclear holocaust. There are many voices that say: ‘These little acts of mercy are a waste of time when we consider the urgency of stopping the arms race, etc etc.” But the peacemaker knows that true peace is a divine gift that has nothing to do with statistics or measures of success and popularity. Peace is like life itself. It manifests itslef quietly and gently.
Who can say that a lost afternoon with a sick friend is in truth not much more than an interruption of ‘true’ peace work?
Who knows?
Jesus’ way is the humble way. He calls out to use – “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.'”

Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio , Pray for Us!bl mariano de la mata aparecio pray for us 5 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives – St Peter Chrysologus

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures.   They are prayer, fasting and mercy.   Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.   Prayer, mercy and fasting: – these three are one and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.   Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.   If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.   So if you pray, fast;  if you fast, show mercy;  if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.   If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.fasting is the soul of prayer - st peter chryasologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent

When you fast, see the fasting of others.   If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.   If you hope for mercy, show mercy.   If you look for kindness, show kindness.   If you want to receive, give.   If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.if you want to receive give - st peter chrysologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent.jpg

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy – show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer in our favour.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others.   Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting.   There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy – A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make Him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.   Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give Him yourself, you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added.   Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy.   Fasting dries up when mercy dries up.   Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth.   However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin, when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.   Therefore, do not lose by saving but gather in by scattering.   Give to the poor and you give to yourself.   You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“Speaking of Charity”

“The bread which you use
is the bread of the hungry;
the garment hanging in your wardrobe
is the garment of him who is naked;
the shoes you do NOT wear,
are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;
the acts of charity that you do NOT perform,
are so many INJUSTICES that you commit.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-bread-you-store-up-st-basil-the-great-1-jan-2019.jpg

“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God,
if we have given what we could.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Churchgive-something-however-small-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2016.jpg

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity-may-be-a-very-short-word-st-aelred-12-jan-2019.jpg

“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy,
we can never fail to do good,
so long as we have the strength.
For if we share with the poor,
out of love for God,
whatever He has given to us,
we shall receive according to His promise,
a hundredfold in eternal happiness.
What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!
With outstretched arms He begs us
to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins
and to become the servants of love,
first for ourselves, then for our neighbours.
Just as water extinguishes a fire,
so love wipes away sin.”

St John of God (1495-1550)with-outstretched-arms-he-begs-us-st-john-of-god-8-march-2019.jpg

“Nothing makes us
so prosperous
in this world,
as to give alms.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchnothing-makes-us-so-prosperous-st-francis-de-sales-24jan2019.jpg

“Help me, O Lord, …
that my eyes may be merciful,
so that I will never be suspicious
or judge by appearances
but always look for what is beautiful
in my neighbours’ souls
and be of help to them…
That my ears may be merciful,
so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs
and not indifferent to their pains and complaints.…
That my tongue may be merciful,
so that I will never speak badly of others
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.…
That my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds.…
That my feet may be merciful,
so that I will hasten to help my neighbour,
despite my own fatigue and weariness.…
That my heart may be merciful,
so that I myself will share
in all the sufferings of my neighbour.”

St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

(Extract from Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, 163)
This prayer was used by Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy 2015 to be universally prayed by the Church.help-me-o-lord-that-i-may-be-merciful-st-faustina-15-feb-2019.jpg