One Minute Reflection – 9 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 46: 1-7, 28-30; Psalms 37: 3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40; Matthew 10: 16-23
“Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be, therefore, wise as serpents and simple as doves.” –Matthew 10:16
REFLECTION – “I urge you, by the grace in which you are clothed, to press on in your race and urge everyone to be saved. Assert your office with all the diligence of flesh and spirit. Give your attention to unity, for there is nothing better. carry your brethren as the Lord also carries you. Patiently, bear with them all in love, as indeed you do bear with them. Devote yourself to unceasing prayer. Ask for greater understanding than you have. Be watchful, possessing a wakeful spirit. Speak to each one individually, concerning God’s way. “Bear the infirmities” (cf Mt 8,17) of each as a perfect athlete. Where there is more toil, there is greater gain. If you only love the good disciples, this wins you no advantage. Rather, subdue by meekness the more annoying. Not every wound is cured by the same salve. Ease sharp pains with a hot compress. In everything “be wise as serpents” and always “harmless as doves”. You who are of flesh and spirit, humour those things visibly present before you but pray, too, that what is invisible may be manifested to you, so that you may lack nothing and may abound in every spiritual gift.
As pilots invoke the winds and tempest-tossed mariners call for haven, this season invites you to return to God. Be temperate, as God’s athlete. The prize is incorruption and life eternal… It is the part of a great athlete to suffer blows and to conquer. It is above all for God’s sake we ought to endure all things, that He too, may endure us. Become more zealous than you are already. Consider the times. Look for Him Who is above all times, Who is timeless, invisible but made visible for our sakes – He Who, beyond the touch of our hands, beyond suffering, yet knew the Passion for our sakes and endured every suffering.” – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108) Father of the Church, Martyr, Bishop – Letter to St Polycarp (69-155) Bishop and Martyr), 1-3 ; SC 10
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. May our lives be the source of enlightenment to others and our faith and love every remain strengthened by Your grace. Listen to the prayers of our Blessed Mother on our behalf, as we long for our eternal home. 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. Amen
Thought for the Day – 17 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Contemplation and Our Lady
“We must try and unite the active, with the contemplative life, as far as circumstances will allow. St Thomas Aquinas says, that the perfection of the spiritual life consists precisely in this union of activity and contemplation. One, with the other, falls short of perfection. “It is greater to enlighten than simply to shine,” writes St Thomas Aquinas “and greater to pass on the fruits of contemplation to others, than merely to contemplate.” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 6, a 3).
Contemplation on its own, can degenerate into useless day dreaming. It is necessary that it should produce a genuine interior transformation, as a result of which, the subject, under the guidance of the Holy Sprit, becomes, in his speech and his conduct, a man of God. Now, the man of God is not satisfied with enjoying spiritual consolations but, is moved by his zeal for the glory of God, to try and extend His Kingdom, by every possible means. It is in this way, that contemplation becomes apostolic action.
We must remember, on the other hand, that neither is action on its own, sufficient. It can become barren when it is not nourished by the interior life of grace, which is the source of prayer and contemplation. It cannot be held, that this last, is the exclusive gift of a few privilege souls. Anyone can have it, as long as he allows himself to be penetrated by the love of God and as long as he succeeds, in securing moments of recollection and silence, at intervals during life. In these moments, he will grow closer to God and will enjoy a foretaste of the happiness of heaven. We must strive, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, for complete union with God, each day of our lives!”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalms 19:8-11, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25
“Zeal for your house will consume me.”
“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.”
“This is the glory of man – to persevere and remain in the service of God. For this reason, the Lord told His disciples: ‘You did not choose Me but I chose you.’ He meant that His disciples did not glorify Him by following Him but, in following the Son of God, they were glorified by Him. As He said: ‘I wish that where I am they also may be, that they may see My glory.’”
St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Church and Martyr
“… There is one Road and one only, well secured against all possibility of going astray and, this Road is provided by One Who is Himself both God and man. As God, He is the Goal, as man, He is the Way.”
St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo Father and Doctor of Grace
“… It was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick, whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealing, never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and, as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church
Our life is: “To breathe God in and out. To find God in everything. To reveal God to all. To radiate the presence of God.”
Come O Holy Spirit! By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
You made Mary full of grace and inflamed the hearts of the Apostles with a holy zeal, enflame our hearts with Your love. You are the Spirit of goodness, give us the courage to confront evil. You are Fire, set us ablaze with Your love. You are Light, enlighten our minds, that we may see what is truly important. You are the Dove, give us gentleness. You are a soothing Breeze, bring calm to the storms that rage within us. You are the Tongue, may our lips ever sing God’s praises You are the Cloud, shelter us under the shadow of Your protection. O Holy Spirit, melt the frozen, warm the chilled and enkindle in us, an earnest desire to please You. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Thought for the Day – 13 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Grace of God
“It is astonishing to consider how much St Paul accomplished when he had been transformed by the grace of God. Formerly, a persecutor of Christians, he became the Apostle of the Gentiles. Enlightened by faith and inspired by charity, he travelled the globe, spreading everywhere, the religion of Jesus Christ.
He feared neither the anger of the hostile Jews, nor the tribunals of the Roman judges, neither long and difficult journeys, nor scourging, shipwreck and imprisonment. “The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14) he said. It was the love of God which drove him on and on, until he met his martyrdom. But what about ourselves? We also have received grace from God. Often we hear His voice appealing to us to abandon our sinful ways, to practise virtue, to love Him more ardently and to prove our love, by deeds. If we co-operate, we shall be able to say with St Paul: “by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless,” (1 Cor 15:10) and “I have laboured … yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (ibid).
It is wise to recall, however, that Judas also received special graces from God. He did not correspond with them and was probably damned for eternity. If we fail to correspond with God’s graces, the result will be tragic for ourselves.”
“Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.”…Luke 11:43
REFLECTION – “Forms of zeal, taking the appearance of good, are to be met with. There is, for example, the zeal of the Pharisee, strict observers of the outward law. This bitter zeal (…) has its source, not in the love of God and of our neighbour but in pride. Those who are tainted with it are filled with inordinate esteem for their own perfections; they do not conceive of any other ideal than their own; they want to bend everyone to their own way of seeing and doing; hence arise dissensions. This zeal tends to hatred.
See with what acrimony the Pharisees, moved by this zeal, pursue the Lord Jesus, putting insidious questions to Him, setting snares to entrap Him, seeking not to know the truth but to find Christ in fault. See how they press Him, how they try to induce Him to condemn the woman taken in adultery: “Now Moses in the Law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest Thou?” (Jn 8:5). (…) See, too, how they reproach Him for healing on the Sabbath day (Lk 6:7); how they complain of the disciples for rubbing the ears of corn in their hands on the day of rest (Mt 12:2); how they are scandalized at seeing the Divine Master sit down at dinner with the sinners and publicans (Mt 9:2). These are so many manifestation of this bitter zeal into which hypocrisy so often enters.” – Blessed Columba Marmion OSB (1858-1923) Abbot – Good Zeal (Christ the Ideal of the Monk
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant that I may believe what I have learned, never presuming to know better than the teachings of Holy Mother Church and that I may put into practice what I believe. Let my commitment be like unto the Bishop, St Fortunatus of Todi, who lived Your Word with joy and great zeal for faith in Christ, Your Son, God with You and the Holy Spirit, amen.
Quote of the Day – 7 April – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 8:1–11 and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)
“Be driven by the love of God because Jesus Christ died for all, that those who live. may live not for themselves but for Him, who died and rose for them. Above all, let your charity and zeal show how you love the Church. Your work is for the Church, which is the body of Christ.”