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Quote of the Day – 21 January – ‘Let us each examine his conscience…’

Quote of the Day – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 15:16-23, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Mark 2:18-22

“And so, dearly beloved brethren, let us each examine his conscience and when he sees that he has been wounded by some sin, let him first strive to cleanse his conscience by prayer, fasting, almsgiving and so dare to approach the Eucharist.
If he recognises his guilt and is reluctant to approach the holy altar, he will be quickly pardoned by the Divine Mercy, “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt 23:12).
If then, as I have said, a man conscious of his sins, humbly decides to stay away from the altar until he reforms his life, he will not be afraid of being completely excluded from the eternal banquet of heaven.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542)
Bishop of Arles
Father of the Churcha man conscious of his sins-st-caesarius-bishop-and-father-20-jan-2020

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One Minute Reflection – 17 January – ‘Only do not keep away …’

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22, Psalm 89:16-19, Mark 2:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Teresio Olivelli (1916–1945) Martyr “Rebel for Love”

“My son, your sins are forgiven.” … Mark 2:5

REFLECTION – “Why are you downcast?   See.   Someone’s hands are fishy;  a little oil makes them clean.   How much more can God’s compassion purify you.   For just as you have no difficulty in washing your garment, in the same way – and even more – it is not difficult for the Lord to wash you clean from all reproach, even if each day you naturally have to experience temptation.   Indeed, the instant you say:  “I have sinned against the Lord”, the response is given you:  “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2).   “It is I who wipe out and remember no more” (Is 43:25 LXX).   As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your sins.   As a father has compassion on his children, I have had compassion on you” (Ps 102[103], 12-13 LXX).

Only do not keep away, or distance yourself, from He who has chosen you to sing and pray but all your life long, remain close to Him, either through pure confidence, or by a holy audacity and courageous confession.   Then He will hear and purify you.   Is He not God who has justified us in His love for human souls?   Who will condemn us?   (cf. Rm 8:33).   If we invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our conscience is easily purified and nothing separates us from the prophets and other saints.

For God has not destined us for wrath but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us.   So, whether we are awake in virtue, or asleep in some kind of woe, or are bearing certain circumstances according to nature, we will live with Christ (1 Thes 5:9-10), turning our eyes towards Him, sighing deeply, weeping constantly and only breathing Him.   Let us then put on the breastplate of faith and wear the helmet of salvation (cf. 1 Thes 5:8) that the arrows of discouragement and despair may not penetrate us.” … John of Karpathos (7th Century) Monk and Bishop – Texts for the monks in India (The Philokalia)my son your sins are forgiven mark 2 5 - indeed the instant you say I have sinned 17 jan 2020 john of karpathos

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us.   Grant us the grace of approaching You in sorrow and repentance, so that we may hear Your Word, “your sins are forgiven you, go and sin no more.”   May the prayers of Blessed Teresio Olivelli, grants us eyes to see and ears to hear and strength to approach You.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.blessed teresio olivelli pray for us 17 jan 2020(1)

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Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Problem of Suffering

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Second Day after Epiphany

The Problem of Suffering

“Christianity, alone, offers an adequate explanation of the mystery of suffering.   Why is there such a thing as suffering?
The problem is a profound one and the explanations suggested by various schools of philosophy, fail to satisfy the human heart and leave the mind in doubt.
Christian doctrine tells us, that God is infinitely good but also infinitely just.
Being infinitely good, He created man without suffering.
He also gave man the wonderful gift of liberty, which man abused by committing sin.
Once the sin had been committed, God, in His infinite justice, demanded expiation.
Hence, suffering and death … “and through sin, death and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned” (Rom 5:12).
Together with death, came the never-ending series of misfortunes, of physical and moral sufferings, which beset humanity.

Suffering then, does not come directly from God. It is a consequence of and, a punishment for, sin.
But, there is also the aspect of expiation and redemption.
God, in His infinite justice, demands from man a penalty for his sin … but, He does not cease to be infinitely good.   Hence, to the mystery of suffering, there is added, the mystery of Redemption.   The Son of God Himself, is made man and takes upon Himself, all our sins.   For the full expiation of our sins, He, the “Man of Sorrows,” offers to the Eternal Father, His own sufferings of infinite value.

It would not be right, however, if we were to remain inactive in this work of redemption. Like Jesus, we must bow our heads before our Cross and embrace it, with resignation and love.   We must unite our sufferings with those of our Redeemer, for the expiation of our sins.”

Antonio Cardinal Baccilike jesus, we must bow our heads before our cross - bacci - 7 jan 2020.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Now I begin.”

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-28

He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” … 1 John 2:231 john 2 23 i am the voice of one crying in the wilderness 2 jan 2020.jpg

REFLECTION“Prepare a way for the Lord.”   Brethren, however far you journey along it… from the very nature of goodness, there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so… the wise and indefatigable traveller… can say to himself each day:  “Now I begin”… And how many “go astray in the wilderness”… None of them can yet say:  “Now I begin.”

For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.”   If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness…  It is this that encourages praise…; it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness,ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it:  “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”…

If you are on the way then fear only one thing, lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it so that He would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”…   If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you.   If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation:  “Broad indeed is your command!”   If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could…   “Behold,” he says, “the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads  . They shall obtain also joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”   Those who dwell sufficiently on this end I think will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings, so that he no longer walks but flies…   May He, who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus.” … Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon of Advent, SC 166may he who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winnders guide you along it bl guerric of igny 2 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts.   May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace.   God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory. Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love.   Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sts-basil-and-gregory-pray-for-us-2-jan-2018 AND 2019.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14, Psalm 128:1-5, Colossians 3:12-21, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. … Matthew 2:14joseph rose and took the child and his mother - matthew 2 14.jpg

REFLECTION – “An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph and warned him that Herod was seeking the Child Jesus’ life:  “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt”.   Jesus had hardly been born before he was being persecuted to the death. (…)  Joseph obeyed the angel’s voice without delay and warned his holy wife.   He took such poor tools as he could carry so that he might have the wherewithal to carry on his work in Egypt and have something with which to maintain his little family.   Mary, for her part, gathered together in a bundle the necessary linen for her divine son, then, going to the cradle where He was lying, she went down on her knees, kissed the feet of her beloved child and, weeping tears of tenderness, said to Him:  “Oh my son and my God, You have come into the world to save humankind yet You have scarcely been born and they seek to kill You!”   Then she took Him in her arms and, as they wept, the holy couple shut the door and set out through the night. (…)

Beloved Jesus, You are the king of heaven and now I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.   Tell me, who are You looking for?   I am moved with compassion when I see Your poverty and humiliation.   But what distresses me, even more deeply, is the complete ingratitude with which I see You being treated by the very ones You came to save.   You weep and I weep too for being one of those who have despised and persecuted You.   Yet know, that I would now prefer Your grace to all the kingdoms of the world.

Forgive me all the harm I have caused You.   On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms during the flight to Egypt.   Beloved Redeemer, I have often cast You out of my soul but now, I trust You have repossessed it.   I beseech You, bind it closely to Yourself with the sweet bonds of Your love.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church – Meditations for the Octave of the Epiphany, no. 3on the journey of this life to eternity - st alphonsus liguori 29 dec 2019 holy family feast no 2

PRAYER – O Most merciful Infant Jesus, I give You thanks for all that You suffered for me. O my sweetest Love, I am sorry that I have offended You.   I desire to be always faithful in Your service.   Fill my heart with Your love.   O Mary, grant that I may belong entirely to you and your Son, Jesus. Amen – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)holy family pray for us 29 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, CONFESSION/PENANCE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 16 December – Blessed Mary of the Angels

Quote of the Day – 16 December – The Memorial of Blessed Mary of the Angels Fontanella OCD (1661-1717) “The Fragrant Rose of Turin”

“When you commit some infidelity,
do not be anxious
but with humility and confidence,
immediately turn to the Lord.
Do not flee from the Offended
but embrace Him as a lover
and ask for forgiveness.”

Blessed Mary of the Angels Fontanella (1661-1717)when you commit some infidelity do not be anxious but turn to the Offended -16 dec 2019 - bl mary of the angels fontanella.jpg

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Advent Reflection – 16 December – He made of Him the Way

Advent Reflection – 16 December – Monday of the Third Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 21:23-27

“The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore him.”

“We do not know.”   And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” … Matthew 21:27

REFLECTION – “In truth, brethren, what God promised seemed humanly unbelievable, that starting from this mortal state in which people are corruptible, despicable, weak, dust and ashes, they would become equal to God’s angels!   That is why God wasn’t satisfied with making a scriptural covenant for them, to believe but put forward a mediator as proof of His faith – no prince, no angel or archangel but His only Son.   In this way, He would point out and bestow through His own Son, the way by which He would lead us to the end promised to us.   Yet for God it was too small a thing that His Son should show us the way, He made of Him the Way (cf. Jn 14:6), the Way by which you would go under His direction, the Way you would follow…

How far we were from Him!   He who is so high and we so low!   We were sick, with no hope of healing.   A doctor was sent but the patient did not recognise Him, “for if they had known him they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1Cor 2:8).   But the death of the doctor has been the cure of the patient, the doctor came to visit him and died to heal him.   He made those who believed in Him understand He was God and man, God who created us, man who recreated us.   The one was visible in Him, the other hidden and that which was hidden, far exceeded what was seen…   The patient has been healed by what was visible, that later he might be able to see in full.   God postponed this final vision by concealing it, He did not refuse it.” … St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace – Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 110[109]advent monday of the third week 16 dec 2019 for god it was too small a thing - st augustine .jpg

MEDITATION – “Now is the time to say to Jesus:  “Lord, I have let myself be deceived;  in a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with You. I need you.   Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into Your redeeming embrace”. … Pope FrancisThe Joy of the Gospelnow-is-the-time-to-say-to-jesus-15-dec-2018-from-the-joy-of-the-gospel and 16 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – Let us go to Confession!   Lead your family to the door of God’s love and mercy.

PRAYER – “My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins?   What can I do without Your grace?   I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death!   O my Jesus, help me!” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most zealous Doctormy beloved redeemer - how much did it cost you - st alphonsus - christmas confession.jpg