Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48; Psalm: Psalms 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4 (2b); Second: First John 4: 7-10; Gospel: John 15: 9-17
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. “
“It is not that we keep His commandments first and that then He loves but, that He loves us and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace which is revealed to the humble but hidden from the proud.”
“If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
PRAYER – O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church
O my God, I am exceedingly grieved, for having offended Thee and with my whole heart, I repent of the sins I have committed. I hate and abhor them above every other evil, not only because, by so sinning, I have lost heaven and deserved hell but still more because I have offended Thee, O infinite Goodness, who art worthy to be loved above all things. I most firmly resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, never more to offend Thee for the time to come and to avoid those occasions which might lead me into sin. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 16:1-10, Psalm 100:1-3, 5, John 15:18-21
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me first.”
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own but because you are not of the world but I chose you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you.”
“God watches us – we, His children – take part in the combat and Himself gives us a heavenly crown ( 1Cor 9:25). The angels watch us too and Christ comes to our aid. So let us arm ourselves with all our might, let us fight the good fight, with brave hearts and solid faith.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“Do not rejoice in the Cross only in times of peace, preserve the same faith in times of persecution. Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone, only to become His enemy in times of war. You are now receiving forgiveness for your sins and the spiritual gifts lavishly bestowed by your King so, when war breaks out, fight valiantly for your King.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“When insults have no effect on us, when persecutions and penalties, have no terror for us, when prosperity or adversity, has no influence on us, when friend and foe, are viewed in the same light… do we not come close, to sharing, the serenity of God?”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“O man, when the world hates you and is faithless toward you, think of your God, how He was struck and spat upon. You should not accuse your neighbour of guilt but pray to God, that He be merciful to you both.”
St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)
“Catholics are part of the Church Militant. They struggle and they suffer for the triumph of Christ. They must never lose sight of their Divine Model, so that their trials will be turned into joy.”
One Minute Reflection – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 16:1-10, Psalm 100:1-3, 5, John 15:18-21
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me first.”- John 15:18
REFLECTION –“I rejoice with you greatly in our Lord Jesus Christ, that you welcomed the copies of true love [Ignatius of Antioch and his companions]…who were encumbered with saintly chains, which are the diadems of those, truly chosen by God and our Lord. And I rejoice because the deep root of your faith, which has been renowned from early times, still lasts and bears fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, Who for our sins, endured even facing death, and whom “God raised, releasing him from the throes of death” (Acts 2,24). “Though you have not seen him, you believe with unutterable, triumphant joy” (1Pt 1,8)… “He who raised him from the dead will raise us also” (2Cor 4,14), if we do His Will and live by His Commands and love what He loved… Let us be imitators of His endurance and, if we suffer for His sake, let us glorify Him. For He set us this example Himself and this is what we have believed.
So I beg you all, to obey the message of uprightness and to exhibit all endurance, such as you saw with your own eyes, not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus but also, in others of your number and in Paul himself and the rest of the Apostles, being assured, that all these “have not run in vain” (Gal 2,2) but in faith and uprightness and, that they are in the place that they have deserved with the Lord, with and for Whom they suffered. For they did not “love the present world” (2Tm 4,10) but Christ, Who died for us and was raised up by God for our sakes.”- St Polycarp (69-155) Apostolic Father, Bishop and Martyr – Letter to the Philippians, 1-2, 8-9
PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that Your faithful, who rejoice in the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may be delivered from every evil here on earth, put on the armour of Your Son and fight the good faith bearing His standard. Through her prayer and the prayers of Your Angels and Saints, may we come to the enduring joys of heaven. We make our prayer through her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, one God with You, in the union of the Holy Spirit, forever amen.
Thought for the Day – 22 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Divided Heart
“Even if your heart has not become the property of the devil and retains a horror of mortal sin, it is still possible, that you have not given it completely to God. Your heart is divided. Part of it belongs to God and part of it to the world. You are distracted by your own self-love and earthly desires. A heart which is divided in its affections between God and the world, is dazzled by everything around it and tends to forget God, more and more.
We protest that we belong entirely to God but, in practice, we are so absorbed by work, ambition and pleasure, that we neglect God.
A man who is torn between love of God and love of the world is like Cain who, unlike Abel, did not offer God, the best part of his flock but kept this for himself and offered God whatever he had rejected. God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but had no regard for that of Cain, who finally became a murderer and was cursed by his Creator.
Do we offer God the leavings of life while we keep the best part of it for our selves? Do we think of ourselves nearly all the time and give very little thought to God? This is not the way in which God has dealt with us. Not only has He created us but, He loves us with an everlasting love. He came down to earth and lived as our fellow man. He redeemed us by His Precious Blood and gave Himself to us as our food!
Why are we not willing to give ourselves to Him forever in return? Gratitude demands that we should do so. God, moeover, is our supreme and only good.
One Minute Reflection – 19 April – Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 8-15, Psalm: Psalms 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30, Gospel: John 6: 22-29 and the Memorial of Bl Conrad of Ascoli OFM (1234-1289)
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him, whom he hath sent.” – John 6:29
REFLECTION – “The senses are full of curiosity – faith is content to know nothing, it… longs to pass its life motionless before the Tabernacle. The senses love riches and honour – faith holds them in horror… “Blessed are the poor” (Mt 5,3). She adores the poverty and lowliness with which Jesus covered His life, as though with a garment, that He never cast off… The senses take fright at that which they call danger, at all that might mean pain or death – but faith is afraid of nothing, it knows nothing can happen to it but what is the will of God: “I have counted every hair of your head” (Mt 10,30) and whatever God wishes, will always be for its good. “All that happens is for the good of my elect” (Rm 8,28). Thus in everything that may happen, sorrow or joy, health or sickness, life or death, it is content and fears nothing. The senses are anxious about the future and ask how we shall live tomorrow but faith feels no anxiety…
Thus faith illumines everything with a new light, different to the life of the senses, more brilliant, of another kind. Whoever lives by faith, has a soul full of new thoughts, new tastes, new impressions; new horizons open up, marvellous horizons, lit with a new light and with a divine beauty, surrounded with new truths of which the world is not aware. Thus, whoever believes, begins a new life opposed to that of the world, whose acts seem like madness. The world is in the darkness of night, the person of faith is in full light – this light-filled path on which we walk, is not manifest to others. It seems to them, that we want to walk like a madman, in emptiness.” – Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) Hermit and Missionary in the Sahara – Retreat Notes, Nazareth, Nov. 1897
PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us. Let us walk in Your ways and be your lights and thus, by our lives, help others to follow You. Grant that the prayers of our blessed Mother, the Mother of Jesus Your Son and Blessed Conrad of Ascoli, who always lived for You alone, may help us, as we work through each day to reach our heavenly home. Through Jesus the Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 6: 8-15 8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Now there arosesome of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 0 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. 11 Then they suborned men to say, they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the ancients and the scribes and running together, they took him and brought him to the council. 13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us. 15 And all that sat in the council, looking on him, saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel.
Gospel: John 6: 22-29 22 The next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea, saw that there was no other ship there but one and that Jesus had not entered into the ship with his disciples but, that his disciples were gone away alone. 23 But other ships came in from Tiberias, nigh unto the place where they had eaten the bread, the Lord giving thanks. 24 When herefore he multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they took shipping and came to Capharnaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him, on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said: Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles but because you did eat of the loaves and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth but for that which endures unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed. 28 They said, therefore, unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.