Posted in I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on HERESY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 January – ‘…Blasphemy against the Spirit…’

One Minute Reflection – 27 January – Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10, Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26, Mark 3:22-30 and the Memorial of Blessed George Matulaitis MIC (1871-1927)

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”...Mark 3:22

REFLECTION – “It is characteristic of evildoers, stirred by envy, to shut their eyes as much as they can, to other people’s merits and when, overcome by the evidence, they cannot do so any longer, to depreciate or undervalue it.   Thus, when the crowd rejoiced in devotion and marvelled at the sight of Christ’s works, the scribes and Pharisees either closed their eyes to what they knew to be true, or minimised what is great, or undervalued what is good.   Once, for example, feigning ignorance, they said to Him who had worked so many wonderful signs: “What sign can you do that we may believe in you?” (Jn 6:30).   In this case, unable to blatantly deny the facts, they wickedly depreciate them… and they devalue them by saying:   “It is by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.”
Now this, dear brethren, is the blasphemy against the Spirit that binds all those he has seized with the bonds of an eternal sin.   This is not to say that it would be impossible for the repentant to gain forgiveness for it all if they “produce fruit as evidence of their repentance” (Lk 3:8).   The only thing is that, crushed beneath such a weight of malice, they lack the strength to aspire to that praiseworthy repentance worthy of forgiveness… Those who, perceiving the proofs of grace and the Holy Spirit at work in a brother…, are not afraid to undermine and calumniate and brashly ascribe to the evil spirit what they clearly know to be of the Holy Spirit, such as these have been so forsaken by this Spirit of grace, that they no longer even desire the repentance that would obtain pardon.   They are completely in the dark, blinded by their own malice.   Indeed, what could be more serious than to dare, out of envy for a brother one had been commanded to love as oneself (Mt 19:19), to blaspheme God’s goodness… and insult His majesty by wanting to discredit another?”…Isaac of Stella (c 1100-c.1171) O.Cist. Cistercian monkmark-3-22-he-is-possessed-by-beezlebub-it-is-charactiristic-isaac-of-stella-28-jan-2019 and 27 jan 2020

PRAYER – Lord, our God, keep us free from envy of others, for this is a poison that can destroy all community and love.   Help us to know that to each You have given gifts and all are Your wonder and made to honour You alone.   Help us to appreciate our neighbour’s talents and understand that we are all one in the Mystical Body of Your Son. Grant that by the prayers of Bl George Matulaitis, we may grow in love and sanctity.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.bl george matulaitis pray for us 27 jan 2020

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The HOLY EUCHARIST

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SIN, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The BAPTISM of the LORD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 19 January – ‘He has come down to earth to take you to heaven…’

Quote/s of the Day – 19 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, – Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6, Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, John 1:29-34

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him.”

John 1:32

“He has come down to earth to take you to heaven, He became mortal that you might become God and put on your original beauty.”

St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556)

Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poetjohn-1-32-i-saw-the-spirit-come-down-like-a-dove-he-has-come-down-to-earth-st-romanus-melodios-3-jan-2020

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

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)

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 11 January – The Death of the Sinner

Thought for the Day – 11 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Saturday after Epiphany

The Death of the Sinnerit is the height of stupidity - bacci - 11 jan 2020.jpg

“The Sinner must also die.
For him death is really terrible.
Imagine him lying on his deathbed, instinctively aware, that his life is over.
The past will rise up to reproach him, a past full of sin and of ingratitude towards his Creator and Redeemer.
The plans which he has centred around profit, ambition and honour, will have vanished like smoke.
His friends, will have either deserted him, or will be at hand, to utter useless words, which will have no power to comfort him.
Now he must stand alone, alone before God!

What will happen, at that moment?
Perhaps, despair will overcome his soul, as it overcame the soul of Judas?
Perhaps, the innumerable graces which he has despised, will tip the balance of Divine Justice towards the abyss of damnation?
Or, will a final ray of mercy pierce his tired mind, burning with remorse, so that, with it’s last throb, his poor heart will torn towards God and implore His pardon?
Who can say?
It is certain, however, that of the two thieves dying beside the Cross of our Redeemer, only one heard Him say:
“This day, you will be with me in Paradise!”
The other, remained obdurate in his sin.
It is the height of stupidity, to wait to be converted, at the hour of death!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in GOD is LOVE, HOLY WEEK, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS

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

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on SIN

Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Sin

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Sin

for the sinner hell begins on this earth - bacci 4 jan 2020

In that we prefer our own wayward whims to the law of God, sin is an abuse of liberty.
It is a revolt against right reason, the dictates of which, we refuse to obey.
It is an offence against our Creator and Redeemer, whose commandments we despise and whose redeeming grace, we reject by our actions.
It is moreover, an act of supreme folly, for it extinguishes, not only the supernatural splendour of grace but, also, the natural light of reason.
Through sin, man is brutalised and experiences in himself, as his first punishment, the confusion of his whole being.

In practice, the sinner denies God, Who has created and redeemed him.
He upsets the natural order of things and is violently separated from the source of all truth, beauty and goodness.   As a result, he experiences, in himself, the hell which he has constructed with his own hands – a hell of emptiness, disgust and remorse.
Unless the helping hand of God reaches out to rescue him from the abyss, all this is simply a bitter foretaste of eternal despair.
God, as St Augustine has written, has ordained from all eternity, that every dissolute soul will be it’s own punishment.
For the sinner, hell begins on this earth!   There can be no peace for the wicked.

When we realise, the gravity, stupidity and dire consequences of sin, it seems impossible, that a rational being, enlightened and enriched by divine grace, should continue to sin.
Nevertheless, sad experience teaches us that the lives of individuals, families and human society in general, are often distorted by this evil, which is the root of all other evils.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci