Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MOTHERHOOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 27 August -St Monica’s ‘Nunc Dimittis”

Thought for the Day – 27 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Monica (322-387)

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Sermons preached on various occations

“Many a mother, who is anxious for her son’s bodily welfare, neglects his soul.
So, did NOT the Saint of today – her son might be accomplished, eloquent, able and distinguished – all this was nothing to her, while he was dead in God’s sight, while he was the slave of sin, while he was the prey of heresy.
She desired his true life.
She wearied heaven with prayer
and wore out herself,
with praying –
she did not at once prevail.
He left his home,
he was carried forward by his four bearers –
ignorance,
pride,
appetite
and ambition –
he was carried out into a foreign land,
he crossed over from Africa to Italy.
She followed him,
she followed the corpse,
the chief,
the only mourner-
she went where he went, from city to city.
It was nothing to her to leave her dear home and her native soil, she had no country below;  her sole rest, her sole repose, her Nunc dimittis, was his new birth.
So while she still walked forth in her deep anguish and isolation
and her silent prayer,
she was at length rewarded by the long-coveted miracle.
Grace melted the proud heart
and purified the corrupt breast of Augustine
and restored
and comforted
his mother!”

“How many difficulties there are also today in family relationships
and how many mothers are anguished because their children choose mistaken ways!
Monica, a wise and solid woman in the faith, invites us not to be discouraged
but to persevere in our mission of wives and mothers,
maintaining firm our confidence in God and clinging with perseverance to prayer.”

Pope Benedict XVI (27 August 2006)monica-a-wise-and-solid-woman-pope-benedict 27 aug 2017

St Monica, Pray with us for our sons, Pray for Us!st-monica-pray-for-us-27 aug 2017

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES on the FAMILY

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for August 2019

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention
for August 2019

FAMILIES

That families,
through their life of prayer and love,
become ever more clearly
“schools of true human growth.”

holy father's prayer inention august 2019 families

“The family is the foundation of co-existence
and a remedy against social fragmentation.
Children have a right to grow up in a family,
with a father and a mother,
capable of creating a suitable environment,
for the child’s development and emotional maturity.”

Pope Francis, Humanum Conference, November 17, 2014

Pope Francis Prayer for the Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division.
May all who have been hurt or scandalised
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness
and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, true God and true man,
graciously hear our prayer.
Mary and Joseph,
co-operators with God’s plan,
pray for us.
Amen!

(composed for the Synod on the Family and therefore, slightly adapted)prayer-for-the-family-by-pope-francis-1-aug-2018 and 1 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in PAPAL PRAYERS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES on GRANDPARENTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 26 July – Prayer for Grandparents By Pope Benedict XVI

Thought for the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Grandparents of Jesus

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises.   Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed.   Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures.   Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfilment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah but remain obscure.

This is the “feast of grandparents.”   It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come – they must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children.   But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well.   It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms, are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

Prayer for Grandparents
By Pope Benedict XVI

Lord Jesus,
You were born of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on, to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which You give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of live without end.
Amen!prayer for grandparents by pope benedict xvi 26 july 2019 sts joachim and anne.jpg

Saints Joachim and Anne, Pray for Us All!sts joachim and anne pray for us no 2 26 july 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 July -‘… but not more than you love your God!’

One Minute Reflection – 15 July – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1 and The Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Church and Bl Anne-Marie Javouhey (1779-1851)

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me…” … Matthew 10:37

REFLECTION – “It is to those who are on fire with love or, rather, those He wants to set on fire with this love, that our Saviour addresses these words.   For our Saviour has not done away with but regulated, the love we owe to parents, spouse, children.   He did not say:  “Those who love them” but “Those who love them more than me”…   Love your father but love the Lord even more,  love him who brought you into the world but love yet more he who gave you being.   It was your father who brought you into the world but it was not he who created you, since he did not know, when he bred you, who you would be or what you would become.   It was your father who fed you but he is not the origin of the food that staunched your hunger.   Finally, your father must die if you are to inherit his goods but you will share the inheritance God intends for you, while living with him eternally.

So love your father but not more than you love your God, love your mother but love still more the Church who has begotten you into eternal life…   Indeed, if you owe such gratitude to those who begot you for mortality, what kind of love do you owe to those who begot you for eternity?   Love your spouse, love your children as God does, to lead them to serve God together with you and then, when you are reunited, you will not be afraid of being separated.   Your love for your family would indeed fall short if you did not lead them to God…

Take up your cross and follow the Lord.   Your Saviour Himself, wholly God as He was in the flesh, clothed with your flesh, He, too, showed human feelings when He said – “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me,” (Mt 26:39)…   The servant’s nature with which He clothed Himself for your sake caused His human voice, the voice of His flesh, to be heard.   He took your voice so as to express your weakness and give you His strength… and to show you, whose will to prefer.”… St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermon 344, #2-3matthew 10 37 whoever lovs father or mother - so love your father but not more - st augustine 15 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – God our Father, we are Your children and You have set us aside to come home to You by the light of the way of Your divine Son.   Grant we pray, that we may grow in faith and love daily, by the intercession of Saint Bonaventure and Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey (1779-1851) and may be a light of love, to all around us, as they were.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st bonaventure pray for us 15 july 2019

bl anne-marie javouhey pray for us 15 july 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the FAMILY

Monthly Catholic Devotions: FEBRUARY is the Month of THE HOLY FAMILY

FEBRUARY – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY FAMILYfeb-the-month-of-the-holy-family-1-feb-2018

In January, the Catholic Church celebrated the Month of the Holy Name of Jesus and in February, we turn to the entire Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The special devotion which proposes the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the model of virtue of all Christian households began in the 17th century.   It started almost in France – the Association of the Holy Family was founded  by the Daughters of the Holy Family in Paris in 1674.

This devotion soon spread and in 1893 Pope Leo XIII expressed his approval of a feast under this title and himself composed part of the Office.   On account of the flight into Egypt this feast has been observed by the Copts from early times.

The feast was welcomed by succeeding Pontiffs as an efficacious means for bringing home to the Christian people the example of the Holy Family at Nazareth and by the restoration of the true spirit of family life, stemming, in some measure, the evils of present-day society.

In the words of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII, “Nothing truly can be more salutary or efficacious for Christian families to meditate upon than the example of this Holy Family, which embraces the perfection and completeness of all domestic virtues.”feb the month of the holy family 1 feb 2019.jpg

Prayer to the Holy Family
By Pope Francis
Angelus, 29 December 2013

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in You we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to You we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalised
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may we be made
once more mindful
of the sacredness
and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.
Amen

(This prayer was composed for the Synod of the Family in 2014, so it has been very slightly adapted to remove the reference to the said Synod).prayer to the holy family by pope francis - written 2013 for the 2014 synod - 1 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – The family is called to become a daily offertory

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“Actually, the experience of the family is called to become a daily offertory, as a holy offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.
The Gospel of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, suggests us this same idea.
Jesus, the light of the world but also “a sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:32.34), desires to receive this offering of each family as He receives the bread and wine in the Eucharist.
He wants to join to the bread and wine destined to transubstantiation,
these human hopes and joys but also the inevitable sufferings and preoccupations of each family,
by incorporating them to the mystery of His Body and his Blood.
He then in turn gives them back – the same Body and Blood – in the communion,
as a source of spiritual energy,
not only for each single person but also for each family.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the experience of the family - st pope john paul 30 dec 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 30 December – St Pope Paul VI – The School of Nazareth

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Saint Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Nazareth (Homily)

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand His Gospel.   Here we can observe and ponder, the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning.   And gradually, we may even learn to imitate Him.

Here we can learn to realise who Christ really is.   And here we can sense and take account, of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected His life on earth – the places, the tenor of the times, the culture, the language, religious customs, in brief, everything which Jesus used to make Himself known to the world.   Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning.   Here we can learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ and to live by the teachings of His Gospel.

How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth!   How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths.   But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in the Gospel, for that education is never finished.   But I cannot leave without recalling, briefly and in passing, some thoughts I take with me from Nazareth.

First, we learn from its silence.   If only we could once again appreciate its great value. We need this wonderful state of mind, beset as we are by the cacophony of strident protests and conflicting claims so characteristic of these turbulent times.   The silence of Nazareth should teach us, how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of His true teachers.   Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life and of silent prayer that is known only to God.

Second, we learn about family life.   May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be.   May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplify its basic function in society – a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings, in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children—and for this there is no substitute.

Finally, in Nazareth, the home of a craftsman’s son, we learn about work and the discipline it entails.   I would especially like to recognise its value—demanding yet redeeming—and to give it proper respect  . I would remind everyone, that work has its own dignity.   On the other hand, it is not an end in itself.   Its value and free character, however, derive not only from its place in the economic system, as they say but rather from the purpose it serves.

In closing, may I express my deep regard for people everywhere who work for a living. To them I would point out their great model, Christ their brother, our Lord and God, who is their prophet in every cause that promotes their well-being.

Holy Family of Nazareth, Pray for Us!holy-fam-pray-for-us-31 dec 2016