Our Morning Offering – 9 October – Mary’s Saturday
Make Me Like Yourself, Mary My Mother By St Louis-Marie de Montfort (1673-1716)
My powerful Queen, you are all mine, through your mercy and I am all yours. Take away from me, all that may displease God and cultivate in me, all that is pleasing to Him. May the light of your faith, dispel the darkness of my mind, your deep humility, take the place of my pride, your continual sight of God, fill my memory, with His presence. May the love of your heart inflame the lukewarmness, of mine. May your virtues, take the place of my sins. May your merits, be my enrichment and make up for allthat is wanting in me, before God. My beloved Mother, grant that I may have, no other spirit but your spirit, to know Jesus Christ and His Divine will and to praise and glorify the Lord, that I may love God, with burning love like yours. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 25 September – Mary’s Day and The Memorial of Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) the Author of the Salve Regina, the Veni Sancte Spiritus and the Alma Redemptoris Mater amongst others
Salve Regina Hail Holy Queen By Blessed Herman of Reichenau (1013–1054)
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, Poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us; And after this our exile, Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
This line, below, by St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
℣ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, ℟ that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary to become a dwelling-place fit for Thy Son, grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration, so by her fervent intercession, we may be delivered from present evils and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 20 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” and A Monday sanctified by the Holy Spirit
Breathe in Me, O Holy Spirit By St Augustine (354-420) Father and Doctor of the Church
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 18 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” and Mary’s Saturday
O Mother of Sorrows, Stand by Me in My Last Agony By St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)
O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou did stand at the Cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To thy maternal heart I commend the last three hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord, in atonement for my sins. Offer to the Eternal Father the most Precious Blood of Jesus, mingled with your tears on Calvary, that I may obtain the grace of receiving Holy Communion with the most perfect love and contrition before my death and that I may breathe forth my soul in the adorable presence of Jesus. Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death has at last come, present me as your child to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive me for having offended Him, for I knew not what I did. Beg Him to receive me into His kingdom of glory to be united with Him forever. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 10 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
On Fridays in Catholic Time, we honour the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour – Jesus was Scourged, Mocked and Crucified on a Friday. Because of this, the Church has always set aside Fridays as days of penance and sacrifice. While in South Africa, the Bishops have sadly removed abstinence from meat on Fridays, although many still continued the practice, penance is still required in one form or another. This day should always be a day of repentance and a day in which we recall Christ’s complete self-sacrifice to save us from our sins.
I Rise – An Old Morning Prayer – Excerpt From The Blossoms of the Cross — 1894 The Sisters of St Joseph
I rise In God’s strength, In God’s power, In the Agony of Christ, In the Cross of Christ, In Christ’s Precious Blood, These will sustain me against my enemies, visible and invisible. I rise in the blessing of Christ which my dearest Jesus left to the whole world. Protect me, All-Holy Trinity, God the Father, Who created me, God, the Son, Who redeemed me in His Precious Blood, God, the Holy Ghost, Who sanctified me in Holy Baptism. God, the Father, I give myself to Thee! God, the Son, I commend myself to Thee! God, the Holy Ghost, teach me! Mary, Mother of God, assist me! All you Saints of God, pray for me! All you Holy Angels, protect me! The Cross of Christ preserve me! Amen
Our Morning Offering – 9 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
In Catholic Time, Thursday is the day of the Holy Eucharist – Our Lord instituted the most Holy Eucharist on a Thursday, so it is fitting that we remember this greatest of Sacraments on this day. The Eucharist is the greatest gift of God to mankind, as it is nothing less than Jesus Himself. What gift could be greater? Therefore, on Thursdays, many spend an hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as an aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament By The League of the Sacred Heart 1929 (Ireland)
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, overflowing with gentleness, tenderness and charity, I bury in the abyss of The Mercy, all my iniquities and all my negligence. I offer Thee my labours and my sufferings, my sorrows and my miseries, I recommend to Thee my life and my death. Solace my doubts Sweet Jesus, calm my fears and grant, that day by day, I may become more united to Thy Sacred Heart, learning Thy love and Thy holiness. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 23 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Prayer Before a Crucifix
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel and, with burning soul, pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart, lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment. While I contemplate, with great love and tender pity, Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me and calling to mind the words which David, Thy prophet, said of Thee, my Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones.” Amen.
Say – Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be for the Catholic Church and the intentions of the Holy Father. A Plenary Indulgence, under the usual conditions, may be gained by those who shall say this prayer with devotion before an image of our Crucified Redeemer. A Partial Indulgence may also be gained for each devout recitation.
Thought for the Day – 15 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Order of the Day
Monks and nuns can have a fixed daily rule of life but this is not possible for everybody.
However, everybody will find it useful to have a general timetable capable of being varied to suit different circumstances.
In constructing a general rule of life for ourselves, we should keep two things in mind, namely, the division of the day into periods and the way in which we shall behave during these periods.
It is hopeless to begin the day without any pre-arranged plan.
Either, there is gong to be order, or disorder.
If there is disorganisation, it will produce two results.
(1) There will be hurry and confusion in fulfilling those duties which have been left over, until the end of the day.
(2) There will be protracted periods of idleness, during which, we shall persuade ourselves, that there will be plenty of time to get everything done before nightfall.
To avoid such a situation, everyone should have a timetable, adapted to his requirements.
Naturally, it should be capable of any reasonable variations, which circumstances may suggest but, in the meantime, it will help us to get through our day, calmly and with results.
Sunday of the Word of God – 26 January
Making the Scriptures
Part of our Everyday Lives
What is the Word of God?
We often identify the Bible as the Word of God. This is not wrong but God speaks to our hearts in many different ways. For instance, He speaks to us in prayer and through our conscience and often through other people. Hence, the Word of God covers much more than a printed book. Nevertheless, the Bible is the privileged collection of communications between God and His people. These stories and poems have nourished the lives of the people of Israel and the Christian Church, right through the centuries and they continue to nourish us today. They tell the story of God’s love and our salvation from ancient times onwards. The scriptural texts offer us both challenge and encouragement for our lives and are especially valuable to us through the hope they offer us at dark moments.
The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures
The Holy Spirit was at work in the whole process of the formation of the Scriptures. This is why, even though many people across different times and places contributed to the writing, we believe that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. But the Holy Spirit’s work does not come to an end with the writing of the text. The Holy Spirit, who dwells in us by virtue of our baptism, is also at work in us as we listen to the text. Therefore, through the Spirit’s inspiration, the words of Scripture can become a living Word of the Lord to us here and now.
Opening the Law and the Prophets (see Luke 4:17) – On Reading the Old Testament as Christians
When Saint Luke, in his Gospel, portrays the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he does so in the following way:
“Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”(4:16–18).
For Luke, the one in whom Christians place their trust as their Lord and Saviour, who is—in the words of the Nicene Creed—God from God, Light from Light and who sits at the right hand of the Father, was, is and remains, a Jewish male from Galilee. Our Saviour is a Jew from Galilee. To lose sight of His essential and enduring Jewishness is to distort Jesus, it is to divorce Him from His people, and to blind us to the reality and power of the Word made flesh (see John 1:14).
Jesus, the Galilean Jew, began His “public” life with words from His Scriptures. His life ended with word from His Scriptures—in His anguish of the cross, He prays the beginning of Psalm 21 (22): “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” To express what He’s about and to say who He is, Jesus proclaims His Scriptures—what Christians call the Old Testament. Today also, truly to understand what God is doing in Christ (see 2 Cor 5:19), the followers of Christ are called to read and pray the Old Testament so that we may come to a sense of the mysteries that are veiled in all our lives and revealed in Christ (see St Augustine, On the Spirit and the Letter § 27).
Because the Old Testament communicates the mysteries of God’s life and ours, to come to know God’s word in the Old Testament is to know the power of God. This is why St Jerome famously says that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ: – it is not that we gain “information” about Christ that is otherwise inaccessible, rather, to have one’s heart opened by the word of God is to come to know the one in whom the “the power and wisdom of God” has taken flesh. It is to know “Christ—the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24).
This means that Christians are called to read the Old Testament like Christ read it – in a way that opens the heart, that recognises the faithfulness of God to His people and to the everlasting covenant made with them, that sees in the words of the Law, the Prophets and the writings, the threshold of the Word of God.
To read like Christ is to see the Law not as a burden but as the revelation of God’s will. To read like Christ is to see in the Psalms the most wonderful school of prayer. To read like Christ is to submit oneself to the prophets’ call to justice and their witness to the power of God. To read like Christ is to read as one who is “last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35), who avoids all haughtiness and refuses to put the other in the wrong.
Such a person resists the distortions of history which have caused so much suffering to God’s chosen people, the brothers and sisters of our Lord.
…The Proclaimed Word is a Word not just in the past but a Word here and now, given to this liturgical assembly to shape, challenge and sustain their ongoing following of the Lord. Every time a Christian community gathers, it is making a bold statement about where they have come from, who they are and where they hope one day to be. The Scriptures nourish the boldness of the community, once more today, we are urged to allow the Word of God to nourish us as both individuals and communities.
Jesus also calls to Himself a group of disciples in today’s gospel account. He invites them to come and walk in His ways. Through their response, they set out on a path of discipleship leaving all behind them, it is a way that will lead some of His followers to martyrdom and others to betrayal: words of fidelity and words of treachery. The Scriptures nurture the path of the disciples in their following of Jesus and walking in His ways, by taking the word and allowing it to shape and mould our identity as Christians. The Word proclaimed every Sunday in our Eucharistic celebration, the Word heard in the very ordinary circumstances of our daily lives, the words that we speak every moment, let all of them be, for us, moments of salvation and gifts to others….Catholic Bishops of Ireland
Official logo for the Sunday of the Word of God unveiled at Vatican
An icon of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus was chosen as the official logo for the worldwide celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God.
The colourful logo is based on an icon written by the late-Benedictine Sr Marie-Paul Farran, a member of the Our Lady of Calvary Congregation, who lived and worked at its monastery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
The logo was presented to the press at a Vatican news conference on 17th January, ahead of the newly established Sunday of the Word of God, which is being celebrated on 26th January this year.
The logo was presented to the press at a Vatican news conference on 17th January, ahead of the newly established Sunday of the Word of God, which is being celebrated on 26th January this year.
The logo shows the Resurrected Christ holding in his left hand a scroll, which is “the sacred Scripture that found its fulfilment in his person,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, told reporters.
By his side are two disciples: Clopas and his wife, Mary. They both fix their gaze on Christ while Clopas holds a stick to indicate “a pilgrimage,” the archbishop said.
Mary is holding one hand upward and with her other hand seems to be touching the Lord, reaffirming that he has fulfilled the ancient promises and is the living Word that must be proclaimed to the world, he said.
Holding the stick in one hand, Clopas’ free hand is pointing the road ahead, which all disciples are called to take in order to bring the Good News to everyone, Archbishop Fisichella said.
There is a star overhead symbolising evangelisation and the “permanent light” that guides their journey and shows them the way, he added.
It is also important, he said, to notice the feet of all three are depicted as being in motion, representing that the proclamation of the Risen Christ cannot be accomplished by “tired or lazy disciples” but only by those who are “dynamic” and ready to find new ways to speak so that sacred Scripture may become the living guide of the life of the church and its people.
Our Morning Offering – 19 October – Saturday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday in October!
An October Prayer
Mother, at thy feet is kneeling
One who loves thee–it’s thy child
Who has sighed so oft’ to see thee,
Bless me, Mother, Mother mild.
And when storms are raging round me,
And when tempests hover near,
In thy own sweet arms enfold me,
Shield me, Mother, Mother dear.
Mother, when my Saviour calls me
From this world of sin and strife,
Clasp me upon thy spotless bosom,
Let me bid farewell to life.
Plead for me when Jesus judges,
Answer for me when He asks
How I’ve spent so many moments,
How performed so many tasks.
Tell Him I was weak and feeble,
Yes, that I so often strayed
From the thorny path of virtue
To the one with roses laid.
Yet, O Mother, tell my Jesus
That I loved Him fond and true
And, O Mother, dearest Mother,
Tell Him I belong to you.
Then He’ll place me (yes, I feel it)
Close to thee, O Mother dear,
Then I’ll praise and bless and thank thee
Thru eternity’s long years.
Our Morning Offering – 13 September – Friday of the Twenty third week in Ordinary Time, Year C
Catholic Time – Friday: Day of The Passion – Jesus was scourged, mocked and crucified on a Friday. Because of this, the Church has always set aside Fridays of days of penance and sacrifice. Many countries still practise what has become known as “Fish Fridays” whilst in others, another form of sacrifice has been instituted. In most places, the Stations of the Cross, are prayed on Fridays, as a standard devotion.
Prayer Before The Crucifix By St Vincent Strambi CP (1745-1824)
Jesus, by this saving sign,
bless this listless soul of mine.
Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast,
mend the missteps of my past.
Jesus, with Your riven hands,
bend my will to love’s demands.
Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare,
warm my inner coldness there.
Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head,
still my pride till it is dead.
Jesus, by Your muted tongue,
stay my words that hurt someone.
Jesus, by Your tired eyes,
open mine to faith’s surprise.
Jesus, by Your fading breath,
keep me faithful until death.
Yes, Lord, by this saving sign,
save this wayward soul of mine.
Our Morning Offering – 9 September – Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Monday the Angels Day
In Catholic Time, Monday is the day in which we remember the Angels. Angels are powerful guardians and each of us is protected by one. Many of the saints had a great devotion to the Angels in general and to their Guardian Angel in particular.
My Oldest Friend By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
My oldest friend, mine from the hour
When first I drew my breath,
My faithful friend, that shall be mine,
Unfailing, till my death….
Mine when I stand before the Judge,
And mine, if spared to stay
Within the golden furnace, till
My sin is burn’d away.
And mine, O Brother of my soul,
When my release shall come,
Thy gentle arms shall lift me then,
Thy wings shall waft me home.