Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the PRIESTHOOD, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 December – The Statement of Faith by St John Damascene, Priest

Thought for the Day – 4 December – The Memorial of St John Damascene (676-749) – Father and Doctor of the Church

From The Statement of Faith by St John Damascene, Priest

You have called me, Lord, to minister to Your people.   O Lord, You led me from my father’s loins and formed me in my mother’s womb.   You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey Your commands.

By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You prepared my creation and my existence, not because man willed it or flesh desired it but by Your ineffable grace  . The birth You prepared for me, was such, that it surpassed the laws of our nature  You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as Your son and You enrolled me among the children of Your holy and spotless Church.

You nursed me with the spiritual milk of Your divine utterances.   You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son for our redemption. And He, undertook the task willingly and did not shrink from it. Indeed, He applied Himself to it as though destined for sacrifice, like an innocent lamb.   Although He was God, He became man and in His human will, became obedient to You, God His Father, unto death, even death on a cross.

In this way You have humbled Yourself, Christ my God, so that You might carry me, Your stray sheep, on Your shoulders.   You let me graze in green pastures, refreshing me with the waters of true teaching at the hands of Your shepherds.   You pastured these shepherds and now they, in turn, tend Your chosen and special flock.   Now, You have called me, Lord, by the hand of Your bishop to minister to Your people.   I do not know why You have done so, for You alone know that.

Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart.   Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path.   When I open my mouth, tell me what I should say. By the fiery tongue of Your Spirit make my own tongue ready.   Stay with me always and keep me in Your sight.

Lead me to pastures, Lord and graze there with me  . Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left but let Your good Spirit guide me along the straight path.   Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with Your will, now until the end.

And you, O Church, are a most excellent assembly, the noble summit of perfect purity, whose assistance comes from God.   You in whom God lives, receive from us, an exposition of the faith that is free from error, to strengthen the Church, just as our Fathers handed it down to us.

St John Damascene, Pray for our Priests,

Pray for Us All!
Amen!st john damascene pray for us 4 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 23 November – Live with Christ Crucified – Bl Miguel Pro

Quote/s of the Day – 23 November – The Memorial of Blessed Miguel Pro – Priest and Martyr of the Cristero War (1891-1927)

“We ought to speak,
shout out against injustices,
with confidence
and without fear.
We proclaim the principles
of the Church,
the reign of love,
without forgetting
that it is also a reign of JUSTICE!”we ought to spak shout out against injustrices - bl miguel pro 23 nov 2019.jpg

“Does our life become
from day-to-day more painful,
more oppressive,
more replete with sufferings?
Blessed be He a thousand times,
who desires it so.
If life be harder,
love makes it also stronger
and only this love,
grounded in suffering,
can carry the Cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ.”

does our life become from day to day - bl miguel pro 23 nov 2019.jpg

After he had taken his vows in the Society, he recorded the following meditations in his spiritual notebook. The booklet was entitled My Treasure. The words speak for themselves:

“Deceitful are the ephemeral pleasures and joys of this world.
Our supreme comfort in this life, is to die to the world
that we may live with Jesus crucified.
Let others seek gold and other earthly treasures.
I already possess the immortal treasure
of holy poverty on the Cross of Jesus crucified.
The angelic virtue, growing like a pure, fragrant lily
in the hidden beauteous garden of the cloister,
adorns the forehead with heavenly tints,
for it has roots in the Cross of Jesus crucified.
A third crown completes my oblation,
it is the seal of glory, whereby the obedient, spotless Lamb gained victory. Obedience is the secure science of living with Jesus crucified.
With this triple treasure,
I can hope to pass beyond the fleeting confines of mortal man,
by living poor on this earth and rich in heaven,
united with Jesus crucified.”

Blessed Miguel Agustin Prodeceitful are the ephemeral pleasures and joys of this world - bl miguel pro 23 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOCTRINE, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY, MATER ECCLESIAE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 21 November – She Who Believed by Faith, Conceived by Faith

Thought for the Day – 21 November – The Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

She Who Believed by Faith, Conceived by Faith

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Sermon 25

“Stretching out His hand over His disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother.   I would urge you to ponder these words.   Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her—did she not do the will of the Father?   Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s will and so it was for her, a greater thing, to have been Christ’s disciple, than to have been His mother and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood.   Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb, Him, whom she would obey as her master.

Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said  . The Lord was passing by and crowds were following Him.   His miracles gave proof of divine power and a woman cried out:  Happy is the womb that bore you, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied:  More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.   Mary heard God’s word and kept it and so she is blessed.   She kept God’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying His body in her womb.   The Truth and the Body were both Christ – He was kept in Mary’s mind, insofar as He is Truth, He was carried in her womb, insofar as He is man but, what is kept in the mind, is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.

The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed and yet, the Church is greater than she.   Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent—the most eminent—member but still only a member of the entire body.   The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members.   This body has the Lord for its head and head and body together make up the whole Christ.   In other words, our head is divine—our head is God.

Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ, you also, are the body of Christ.   Consider how you yourselves can be among those, of whom the Lord said:  Here are my mother and my brothers.   Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ?   He Himself said:  Whoever hears and fulfils the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother.   As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this, because, although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, His mercy would not allow Him to remain alone. It was His wish, that we too should be heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Himself.the virgin mary is holy and blessed and yet the church - st augustine - 21 nov 2019 presentation of mary.jpg

Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you His mother?   Much less would I dare to deny His own words.   Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ?   You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ.   Of whom were you born?   “Of Mother Church,”   I hear the reply of your hearts.   You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ.   Now you, in your turn, must draw to the font of baptism as many as you possibly can.   You became sons when you were born there yourselves and now, by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power, to become the mothers of Christ.   Amen!”

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,

Mother of the Church, Pray for Us!

mary pray for us - preesentation 21 nov 2019

mary mater ecclesiae pray for 10 july 2019

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 13 November – St Norbert, St Stanislaus Kostka, Bl Karl Lampert

Quote/s of the Day – 13 November – The Memorial of St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568) and Bl Karl Lampert (1894-1944) Martyr and of all the Saints of the Order of St Norbert, the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines and the White Canons.

On the day of his ordination, St Norbert said:

“O Priest!
You are not of yourself because you are of God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.
O Priest!
Take care, lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!”

St Norbert (c 1080-1134)O Priest! - St Norbert

“What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What ought I do for Christ?”

St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568)what have i done for christ st stanislaus kostka 13 nov 2019

“I love my Church.
I remain faithful to my Church
and to the priesthood.
I am on Christ’s side
and I love His Church.”

Said during his trial, in which the Nazis condemned him to death by guillotining.

Blessed Karl Lampert (1894-1944) Martyri love my church - bl karl lampert 13 nov 2019

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH

Thought for the Day – 9 November – We have All been made Temples of God through Baptism

Thought for the Day – 9 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

We have All been made Temples of God through Baptism

Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543)

An excerpt from Sermon 229feast-of-the-dedication-of-st-john-lateran-9-nov-2017 AND 2019.jpg

My fellow Christians, today is the birthday of this church, an occasion for celebration and rejoicing.   We, however, ought to be the true and living temple of God.  Nevertheless, Christians rightly commemorate this Feast of the Church, their mother, for they know that through her, they were reborn in the spirit.   At our first birth, we were vessels of God’s wrath, reborn, we became vessels of His mercy.   Our first birth brought death to us but our second restored us to life.

Indeed, before our Baptism we were sanctuaries of the devil but after our Baptism we merited the privilege of being temples of Christ.   And if we think more carefully about the meaning of our salvation, we shall realise that we are, indeed, living and true temples of God. God does not dwell only in structures fashioned by human hands, in homes of wood and stone but rather He dwells principally, in the soul made according to His own image and fashioned by His own hand.   Therefore, the apostle Paul says: The temple of God is holy and you are that temple.

When Christ came, He banished the devil from our hearts, in order to build in them a temple for Himself.   Let us, therefore, do what we can with His help, so that our evil deeds will not deface that temple.   For whoever does evil, does injury to Christ.   As I said earlier, before Christ redeemed us, we were the house of the devil but afterward, we merited the privilege of being the house of God.   God Himself in His loving mercy, saw fit, to make of us, His own home.

My fellow Christians, do we wish to celebrate joyfully the birth of this temple?   Then let us not destroy the living temples of God in ourselves by works of evil  . I shall speak clearly, so that all can understand.   Whenever we come to Church, we must prepare our hearts to be as beautiful as we expect this Church to be.   Do you wish to find this Basilica immaculately clean?   Then do not soil your soul with the filth of sins.   Do you wish this Basilica to be full of light? God too, wishes that your soul be not in darkness but that the light of good works shine in us, so that He, who dwells in the heavens, will be glorified. Just as you enter this Church building, so God wishes to enter into your soul, for He promised – I shall live in them and I shall walk the corridors of their hearts.just as you enter into this church - st caesarius of arles - 9 nov 2019 feast of the lateran.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude

Quote/s of the Day – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs, Gospel: Luke 6:12-19

“Simon was worlds apart from Matthew, who, on the contrary, had an activity behind him as a tax collector that was frowned upon as entirely impure.   This shows that Jesus called His disciples and collaborators, without exception, from the most varied social and religious backgrounds.

It was people who interested Him, not social classes or labels!   And the best thing is that in the group of His followers, despite their differences, they all lived side by side, overcoming imaginable difficulties, indeed, what bound them together, was Jesus Himself, in whom they all found themselves united with one another.

This is clearly a lesson for us who are often inclined to accentuate differences and even contrasts, forgetting, that in Jesus Christ, we are given the strength to get the better of our continual conflicts.

Let us also bear in mind, that the group of the Twelve, is the prefiguration of the Church, where there must be room for all charisms, peoples and races, all human qualities that find their composition and unity in communion with Jesus.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Catechesis on Saints Simon and Jude
General Audience
Saint Peter’s Square
Wednesday, 11 October 2006let us bear in the mind that the group of the twelve - sts simon and jude - pope benedict 28 oct 2019.jpg

“Woe to them!
They followed the way of Cain …
These are blemishes …
as they carouse fearlessly
and look after themselves.
They are waterless clouds
blown about by winds,
fruitless trees in late autumn,
twice dead and uprooted.
They are like wild waves of the sea,
foaming up their shameless deeds,
wandering stars,
for whom the gloom of darkness
has been reserved forever.”

Jude 1:11a,12 & 13jude 1 11,12,13 woem to them they followed the way of cain 28 oct 2019.jpg

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