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Thought for the Day – 22 May – The Christian in the World – You and Me!

Thought for the Day – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me
that does not bear fruit and everyone that does,
he prunes so that it bears more fruit” … John 15:1-2

The Christian in the World

An excerpt from A Letter to Diognetus

(Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)

Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs.   They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life.   Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men.   Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.   With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives.    They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through.   They play their full role as citizens, but labour under all the disabilities of aliens.   Any country can be their homeland but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country  . Like others, they marry and have children but they do not expose them.   They share their meals but not their wives.   They live in the flesh but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth but they are citizens of heaven.   Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all men but all men persecute them.   Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death but raised to life again.   They live in poverty but enrich many, they are totally destitute but possess an abundance of everything.   They suffer dishonour but that is their glory.   They are defamed but vindicated.   A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference, their response to insult.   For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life.   They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body.   As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world but cannot be identified with the world.  As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world but their religious life remains unseen.   The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures.   Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred.   It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together.   The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven.   As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution.   Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself…Vatican.va

Prayer

Father of all holiness,
guide our hearts to You.
Keep in the light of Your truth
all those You have freed from the darkness of unbelief.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Prepared by the Spiritual Theology Department
of the Pontifical University of the Holy Crossdiogentus - the christian in the world - 22 may 2019.jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MARIAN QUOTES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 21 May – St Eugene de Mazenod

Quote/s of the Day – 21 May – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C and The Memorial of St Eugene de Mazenod OMI (1782-1861)

“I wish I could pass my life
at the foot of the Holy Tabernacles
in which our adorable Saviour dwells.”i wish I couldpass my life at the foot of the holy tabernacles - st eugene de mazenod 21 may 2019.jpg

“To love the Church
is to love Jesus Christ
and vice versa.”to-love-the-church-is-to-love-jesus-christ-st-eugene-de-mazenod-21-may-2018

“What more glorious occupation than to act
in everything and for everything only for God,
to love Him above all else,
to love Him all the more,
as one who has loved Him too late.”what-more-glorious-occupation-st-eugene-de-mazenod-21 may 2017

“Practice well among yourselves:
charity, charity, charity
and outside,
zeal for the salvation of souls”practice-well-among-yourselves-charity-st-eugene-de-mazenod-21-may-2018

“We glorify God in the masterpiece
of His power and love…
it is the Son whom we honour
in the person of His Mother.”

St Eugene de Mazenod (1782-1861)we-glorify-god-in-the-masterpiece-st-eugene-de-mazenod-21-may-2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on UNITY

Thought for the Day – 27 April – The Preservation of Unity

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter C, – Gospel: John 14:1-6

The Preservation of Unity

“And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”...John 14:3

Saint Pope Clement I (Died 99)
Apostolic Father, Bishop of Rome and Martyr

An excerpt from his Letter to the Corinthiansthrough him our gaze penetrates the heights of heaven - st pope clement 1 17 may 2019.jpg

Beloved, Jesus Christ is our salvation, He is the high priest through whom we present our offerings and the Helper, who supports us in our weakness.   Through Him, our gaze penetrates the heights of heaven and we see as in a mirror, the most holy face of God. Through Christ, the eyes of our hearts are opened and our weak and clouded understanding, reaches up toward the light.   Through Him, the Lord God willed, that we should taste eternal knowledge, for Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and as much greater than the angels, as the name God has given Him is superior to theirs.

So then, my brothers, let us do battle with all our might, under His unerring command. Think of the men serving under our military commanders.   How well disciplined they are!   How readily and submissively they carry out orders!   Not everyone can be a prefect, a tribune, a centurion, or a captain of fifty but each man, in his own rank, executes the orders of the emperor and the officers in command.   The great, cannot exist, without those of humble condition, nor can those of humble condition, exist without the great.   Always, it is the harmonious working together, of its various parts, that insures the well-being of the whole.   Take our own body as an example –  the head is helpless without the feet and the feet can do nothing without the heart.   Even our least important members, are useful and necessary, to the whole body and all work together for its well-being in harmonious subordination.

Let us, then, preserve the unity of the body that we form in Christ Jesus and let everyone give his neighbour the deference, to which his particular gifts, entitle him.   Let the strong care for the weak and the weak respect the strong.   Let the wealthy assist the poor and the poor man thank God for giving him someone to supply his needs.   The wise man should show his wisdom, not by his eloquence but by good works, the humble man should not proclaim his own humility but leave others to do so, nor must the man who preserves his chastity, ever boast of it but recognise that the ability to control his desires has been given him by another.

Think, my brothers, of how we first came into being, of what we were at the first moment of our existence.   Think of the dark tomb, out of which our Creator brought us into His world, where He had His gifts prepared for us, even before we were born.   All this we owe to Him and for everything, we must give Him thanks.   To Him be glory forever and ever. Amenso then my brothers let us do battle under His - st pope clement I - 17 may 2019.jpg

Posted in Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, LAPSED Catholics, MINI SERIES, PRAYER WARRIORS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 16 May – “The Lost Catholic”

Thought for the Day – 16 May – Thursday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 13:16–20

Archbishop Alban Goodier, SJ (1869-1939)

“The Lost Catholic”
Part One

1.   Introduction
No-one who has once realised what it is to be a Catholic can feel anything but sadness for one who has lost the Catholic faith, who once was a Catholic and is now a Catholic no more, no matter what may have been the reason.

It is sad enough to know so many who, through no fault of their own, have not the Catholic faith, whose forefathers lost it for them and deprived them of their inheritance, who do not know and have never known, all that it means.

But one who has once known it and has lost it, who has been argued or cajoled out of it, whose life has led him to drop it, who has been careless and let it go, who has surrendered it for something else, those who know and love such a one, know also that he has lost, thrown away, something for which nothing else can compensate, something more dear than life itself.

Let, then, such a one not be surprised if those who love him are troubled and sad about him; they cannot help it.   They long to give him back what he has lost, they spare no pains that he may be as he was before, they look on that reward as worth all the labour and suffering it may entail.

2. The Catholic no more

Who are they and how has it all come about?

First, there are the children:

who have never learnt to appreciate the value or beauty of their inheritance;

or whose parents have set them a sorry example and so spoilt them;

or who have learnt their religion as a schoolroom lesson only and it has withered;

or who have never seen that it mattered much one way or the other.

Second, there are young boys and girls:

who have been deluded by the prospect of a happy and free life before them.

or who have lived among godless companions and through shame, through human respect, through banter, through a

little coaxing, through temptation, perhaps through sin, have become as they;

or who have been carried away by their surroundings and the faith of their childhood has been ignored or forgotten,

and finally rejected.

Third, there are young men and women:

whose study and, reading, it may be, in the days when they were not yet mature, nor able to form a proper judgement,

has led them to wonder, to doubt, at last to be dissatisfied and turn away;

or who have come under some influence stronger than themselves and they have surrendered;

some unbelieving teacher or friend, whose arguments they could not answer;

some man or woman whom they have loved and who has made them sacrifice their faith for that love some companion who has led them on, till they have lost the reality for the shadow;

or who have found the practice of the faith a hindrance to their ambition in life, to promotion, to association with those who would help them, to the use of such means as their faith will not allow.

Fourth, there are the grown-up:

who are married and who find the laws of their faith concerning married life a burden;

or who, having once, slipped away, or having been away so long, are unable to bring themselves back, and prefer to

remain where they are;

or who have been antagonised by some opposition, by some scandal, by some regulation, which they have resented.

Fifth, and last, among all these classes, among young and old, there are those,

whom, in a proud and passionate moment, self-will has mastered and they have said:

‘I will not serve; or whom this world with its false fascination has mastered and they have said:   ‘I will have here my ‘reward; or whom sin and passion have conquered and they hardened conscience and said:  ‘I will be free, I will have my own way, I will do my own pleasure.

to be continued…/

Let us Pray:

For the Return of Lapsed Catholics to the Sacraments
By Ven Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)

Almighty Father,
You desire not the death of the sinner
but that he may be converted and live.
Pour out upon us Your mercy
and hear the prayers of Your servants.
Soften the hearts of Your children who have strayed,
from the true path, which You established for their salvation.
They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics
and pursue the pleasures of the world.
Grant that they may quickly return
to the practice of every Christian virtue,
so that their lives may shine
with the integrity of faith,
the fervour of piety
and the ardour of charity.
Restore them to Your sacraments
and the life of Your grace,
through the merits
of the most precious blood of Your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amenprayer for the return of lapsed catholics to the sacraments - ven sof john a hardon sj 16 may 2019 part one.jpg

 

Posted in C S LEWIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Christ and His Church

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Thursday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 13:16–20

“Whoever receives
the one I send,
receives me..”

John 13:20whoever receives the one i send receives me john 13 20 16 may 2019.jpg

“In her voyage
across the ocean of this world,
the Church is like a great ship
being pounded by the waves
of life’s different stresses.
Our duty is not to abandon ship
but to keep her on her course.”

St Boniface (672-754)in her voyage across the ocean of this world - st boniface 16 may 2019

“The Church exists,
for nothing else
but to draw men into Christ,
to make them little Christs.
If they are not doing that,
all the cathedrals, clergy,
missions, sermons,
even the Bible itself,
are simply a waste of time.
God became man
for no other purpose.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)the church exists for nothing else = c s lewis - 16 may 2019

“How sad it is,
when someone
comes to you,
looking for Jesus
and all they see.
is you.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)how sad it is when someone comes to you lookin for jesus and all they see is you st mother teresa 16 may 2019

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 11 May – “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..”

Thought for the Day – 11 May – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:60–69

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..”…John 6:68

Excerpt on Pope Benedict’s Catechesis
on Christ and the Church

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

“In choosing the Twelve, introducing them into a communion of life with Himself and involving them in His mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6: 7-13; Mt 10: 5-8; Lk 9: 1-6; 6: 13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, His Church.

With their very own existence, the Twelve – called from different backgrounds – become an appeal for all of Israel to convert and allow herself to be gathered into the new covenant, complete and perfect fulfilment of the ancient one.   The fact that He entrusted to His Apostles, during the Last Supper and before His Passion, the duty to celebrate His Pasch, demonstrates how Jesus wished to transfer to the entire community, in the person of its heads, the mandate to be a sign and instrument in history of the eschatological gathering begun by Him.   In a certain sense we can say that the Last Supper itself is the act of foundation of the Church, because He gives Himself and thus creates a new community, a community united in communion with Himself.

In this light, one understands how the Risen One confers upon them, with the effusion of the Spirit, the power to forgive sins (cf. Jn 20: 23).   Thus, the Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of Jesus’ will. regarding the existence and mission of His Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church, they are inseparable.

Therefore, a slogan that was popular some years back: “Jesus yes, Church no”, is totally inconceivable with the intention of Christ.   This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus.

We cannot have Jesus without the reality He created and in which He communicates Himself.   Between the Son of God-made-flesh and His Church there is a profound, unbreakable and mysterious continuity by which Christ is present today in His people.

He is always contemporary with us, He is always contemporary with the Church, built on the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles.
And His very presence in the community, in which He Himself is always with us, is the reason for our joy.
Yes, Christ is with us, the Kingdom of God is coming.”he is al;ways contemporary with us - pope benedict john 6 68 11 may 2019.jpg