Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 27 November – What is the surest kind of witness?

Thought for the Day – 27 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:12–19

“But not a hair of your head shall perish.” … Luke 21:9

What is the surest kind of witness?

St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church

“You can be a witness to Christ every day.   You were tempted by the spirit of impurity but… you considered that chastity of spirit and body should not be soiled – you are a martyr or, in other words, a witness to Christ…  You were tempted by the spirit of pride but, seeing the poor and needy, you were seized by tender compassion and preferred humility to arrogance – you are a witness to Christ.   Better still – you have not given your witness in word alone but in deed as well.
What is the surest kind of witness?   “Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2) and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…  How many there are each day of these hidden martyrs of Christ who confess the Lord Jesus! The apostle Paul knew that kind of martyrdom and witness of faith rendered to Christ, he who said:  “Our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience” (2Cor 1,12).   For how many people have made a confession of faith exteriorly but denied it interiorly!…   So be faithful and courageous in interior persecutions so that you may also win the victory in exterior persecutions.   There are “kings and rulers,” judges of formidable power, in the persecutions within, likewise.   You have an example of these in the temptations undergone by our Lord (Mt 4,1ff.)”… (Sermon 20 on Psalm 118)what-is-the-surest-kind-of-witness-st-ambrose-13-july-2019 and 27 nov 2019

“When I feel overwhelmed by misfortune,
the greatest joy that the Lord can give me,
is to go to the altar, to put my forehead against it
(as on the day of my ordination to the priesthood)
and to feel the presence of the only reality.
Not only does calm return
but my body seems to be annihilated,
the only true life begins,
the life of that which is intangible.”

Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyrwhen-i-feel-overwhelmed-by-misfortune-bl-leonid-feodorov-7-march-2019 and 27 nov 2019

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 November – In Thy Hands

One Minute Reflection – 27 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:12–19 and the Memorial of Saint Virgilius of Salzburg (c 700-784)

“But not a hair of your head shall perish.” … Luke 21:9

REFLECTION – “I cry out to Thee and entreat Thee, first that Thou would keep me from myself and from following any will but Thine.
Next, I beg of Thee, that in Thy infinite compassion Thou would temper Thy will to me, that it may not be severed but imdulgent to me.
Visit me not, O my loving Lord – if it be not wrong so to pray – visit me not those trying visitations which saints alone can bear!
Still, I leave all in Thy hands, my dear Saviour – I bargain for nothing.   Only, if Thou shall bring heavier trial on me, give me more grace – flood me with the fulness of Thy strength and consolation, that they may work in me, not death but life and salvation. Amen” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890), Priest, Founder of the Oratory in England, Theologian, Writer, Poet, Apologistluke 21 9 but not a hair of your head - visit me not loving lord - st john henry newman 27 nov 2019

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts O Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be afraid, never be deceived or misled but by Your strength, stand firm in our faith.   For Your Son, walks before us, beside us and behind us.   The Holy Spirit of Your love fills us.   Let nothing put us to shame.   Grant that by the prayers of St Virgilius of Salzburg and all Your saints, we may be strengthened for the journey.   Through our Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, God eternally and forever, amen.st virgilius of salzburg pray for us 27 nov 2019

Posted in MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 19 October – “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ”

Thought for the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyr

This beloved and unassuming young priest of Poland was a true hero of that tortured land during the Soviet Communist occupation.   Now a Blessed, Father Jerzy was beloved by everyone in his homeland, believers and non-believers alike, because of his bravery in the face of extreme hatred on the part of the Communist officials.   His story should be much more widely known than it is.

Never in good health, the strongest part of Father Jerzy were his hands.   His most beloved possessions were the crucifix and Rosary sent to him by St Pope John Paul II, a fellow countryman.   He was sickly his whole life, yet he never complained of illness or injury.   One day, when he was making toys with his brothers and sisters, a nail pierced his palm. Later, one of the children noticed blood dripping from his hand.   One of his siblings told the parents because young Jerzy did not want to bother anyone.

Young Jerzy’s great hero was Saint Maximillian Kolbe, another Polish priest who gave his life to save another prisoner – a man with a family – at Auschwitz.   He determined early on to become a priest but kept it a secret so that the authorities could not alter his examination results or pressure the family to keep him out of the seminary.

In 1966, his entire seminary class was drafted into the special indoctrination unit in violation of a church-state agreement.   This cruel treatment was reserved for the most outspoken church leaders, including the future St Pope John Paul II.

The horrible treatment he received in this “special unit” broke his health but not his spirit.   He wrote to his father “It turned out to be very tough but I can’t be broken by threats or torture.”   His seminary professors demanded that he take a period of rest but he refused.   “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ,” was his reply.

St Pope John Paul said, on his apostolic journey to Poland in 1999:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10).

“Our century too has written a great martyrology.   I myself, in the course of the twenty years of my papacy, have raised to the glory of the altars many groups of martyrs: Japonese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican.   And how many martyrs there were during the time of the Second World War and under Communist totalitarianism!   They suffered and gave their lives in the death camps of Hitler or those of the Soviets.   In a few days, in Warsaw, I will beatify 108 martyrs who gave their lives for the faith in the concentration camps.   Now is the time to remember all these victims and to grant them the honour which is their due.   These are “the martyrs, many of them nameless, ‘unknown soldiers’ as it were of God’s great cause”, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (No. 37).   And it is good that we speak of them in Poland, since this country had a special role in this contemporary martyrology.   It is good that we speak of them in Bydgoszcz!   All gave testimony of fidelity to Christ in spite of sufferings which horrify us by their cruelty.   Their blood was poured out on our land and made it fertile for growth and for the harvest.   That same blood continues to bring forth fruit a hundredfold for our nation, which perseveres faithfully alongside Christ and the Gospel.   Let us persevere unceasingly in union with them.   Let us thank God that they emerged victorious from their labours:   “God … tried them like gold in the furnace, and like a sacrificial offering he accepted them” (Wis 3:6).   They represent for us a model to be followed.   From their blood we ought to draw strength for the sacrifice of our own life, which we must offer to God each day.   They are an example for us, so that, like them, we may give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ.

4. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you … on my account” (Mt 5:11).

Christ does not promise an easy life to those who follow Him.   Instead, He proclaims that, by living according to the Gospel, they are to become a sign of contradiction.   If He Himself suffered persecution, so too will His disciples:   “Beware of men”, he says, “for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues” (Mt 10:17).

Dear Brothers and Sisters!   Every Christian, united to Christ through the grace of Holy Baptism, has become a member of the Church and “no longer is his own” (cf. 1 Cor 6:19) but belongs to the one who died and rose for our sake.   From that moment on, the baptised enter into a particular bond of community with Christ and His Church.   They, therefore, have the duty of professing before others the faith they have received from God through the Church.   At times this demands great sacrifice on our part, to be offered each day and sometimes for an entire lifetime.   This firm perseverance alongside Christ and His Gospel, this readiness to face “sufferings for righteousness’ sake”, often involve acts of heroism and can take the form of an authentic martyrdom, carried out every day and at every moment of life, drop by drop, until the final “it is finished”.” – Homily in Bydgoszcz – Monday, 7 June 1999 (Excerpt)

The enemies of Christ rule Poland no more!

Blessed Jerzy, Pray, for us!one doesn't suffer when one suffers for christ bl jerzy pray for us 19 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 5 October – St Faustina

Quote/s of the Day – 5 October – The Memorial of St Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)

“Oh, how great, is the goodness of God,
greater than we can understand.
There are moments
and there are mysteries,
of the Divine Mercy
over which, the heavens are astounded.
Let our judgement of souls cease,
for God’s mercy upon them, is extraordinary.”oh-how-great-is-the-goodness-of-god-st-faustina-5-october-2018and 2019

“I know well that the greater
and more beautiful the work is,
the more terrible will be the storms,
that rage against it.”

St Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)i-know-ell-st-faustina-11-june-2018-seeking-sainthood and 5 oct 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MARTYRS, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 3 October – ‘That is, the joy of being His disciples.’

Thought for the Day – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy (1911-1953) Martyr

“Let us thank God for this heroic pastor of the Church who followed the Lamb to the very end!   May his witness bring comfort to those, who even today, are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.”

Pope Benedict XVI

We must always pray to the “Lord of the harvest”, namely, God the Father, that He send labourers into His field which is the world.
These imperatives show that the mission is based on prayer, that it is itinerant – it is not idle, it is itinerant, that it requires separation and poverty, that it brings peace and healing, signs of the closeness of the Kingdom of God, that it is not proselytism but proclamation and witness and that, it also requires frankness and the evangelical freedom, to leave, while highlighting the responsibility of having rejected the message of salvation but without condemnation and cursing.

If lived in these terms, the mission of the Church will be characterised by joy.
And how does this passage end?   The 72 “returned with joy” (cf. v. 17).   It is not an ephemeral joy, which flows from the success of the mission – on the contrary, it is a joy rooted in the promise that — as Jesus says – “your names are written in heaven” (v. 20).

That is, the joy of being His disciples.

Pope Francis
(Angelus 7 July 2019)

Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy
Pray for Us!bl szilard bogdanffy pray for us no 2 3 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 October – ‘..They were made perfect..’

One Minute Reflection – 1 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:51–56 and The Memorial of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus OCD (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

“Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. … Luke 9:54-55

REFLECTION – “When someone has been made worthy to taste God’s love, he usually forgets everything else by reason of its sweetness.   For once that person has tasted that love, anything visible seems of no interest.   The soul joyfully draws near to the beautiful love of all people without distinction.   It is never troubled by their weaknesses, which do not frighten it.   Just like the blessed apostles who, in the midst of all the evils which they had to bear from their torturers were completely incapable of hating them and did not tire of loving them, this was shown by the fact that, in the end, they even bore death so as to meet them again one day in heaven.

And yet these were the very same people who, a little earlier, had begged Christ to make fire come down from heaven on the Samaritans, who had only refused to welcome them in their village.   But once they had received the gift of tasting God’s love, they were made perfect even to the point of loving the wicked.” … St Isaac the Syrian (c 613-c 700) – Spiritual Discourses, 2nd Series, no. 10,36luke 9 54-55 lord do you want us to bid fire - once they had received st isaac the syrian 1 oct 2019.jpg

PRAYER – God, our Father, Your promised Your Kingdom to the little ones and the humble of heart.   May we love You and our neighbour, even those who hate us.   Give us grace to walk confidently in the way of St Thérèse, so that helped by her prayers, we may see Your eternal glory.   Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amenst therese of the child jesus pray for us 1 oct 2019

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – 29 August – St Bede -Precursor of Christ in Birth and Death

Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Beheading of St John the Baptist

Precursor of Christ in Birth and Death

Saint Bede (673-735)
Priest, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Homily 23

As forerunner of our Lord’s birth, preaching and death, the blessed John showed in his struggle, a goodness worthy of the sight of heaven.   In the words of Scripture:  Though in the sight of men he suffered torments, his hope is full of immortality.   We justly commemorate the day of his birth with a joyful celebration, a day which he himself made festive for us through his suffering and which he adorned with the crimson splendour of his own blood.   We do rightly revere his memory with joyful hearts, for he stamped with the seal of martyrdom, the testimony, which he delivered, on behalf of our Lord.

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was and gave his life for Him.   His persecutor had demanded, not that he should deny Christ but only, that he should keep silent about the truth.   Nevertheless, he died for Christ.   Does Christ not say – I am the truth? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.

Through his birth, preaching and baptising, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ and by his own suffering, he showed, that Christ also would suffer.

Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment.   He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men, he was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.  John was baptised in his own blood, though he had been privileged to baptise the Redeemer of the world, to hear the voice of the Father above him and to see the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon him.   But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John, rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.he preached the freedom of heavenly peace - st john the baptist - by st bede 29 aug 2019.jpg

Since death was ever near at hand through the inescapable necessity of nature, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name.   Hence the apostle Paul rightly says:  You have been granted the privilege, not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.   He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for Him:  The sufferings of this present time, are not worthy, to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.

St John the Baptist, Pray for us!st john the baptist - pray for us - 24 june 2018.jpg