Posted in CCC, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 August – ‘..the archives of truth written in letters of blood…’

One Minute Reflection – 3 August – Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12

And his disciples came and took the body and buried it and they went and told Jesus. ... Matthew 14:12and his disciples came and took the body - 3 august 2019 st john the baptist.jpg

REFLECTION – “Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he “has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth,” (Jn 18:37).   The Christian is not to “be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord,” (2 Tim 1:8).   In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St Paul before his judges.   We must keep “a clear conscience toward God and toward men,” (Acts 24:16).

The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it.   This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds.   Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known: “All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation” (Vatican II).

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith – it means bearing witness even unto death. the martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity.   He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine.   He endures death through an act of fortitude…  The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who persevered to the end in witnessing to their faith. These are the acts of the Martyrs.   They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood…:the church has painstakingly collected - ccc 2472-2474 3 aug 2019 st john the baptist matthew 12 1-12

“I bless You for having judged me worthy from this day and this hour to be counted among Your martyrs….  You have kept Your promise, God of faithfulness and truth. For this reason and for everything, I praise You, I bless You, I glorify You through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son” (St. Polycarp) … CCC #2471-2474lord god you have considered me worth - st polycarp - prayer before martyrdom 9 july 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God, teach us to bear witness to Christ, Your only-begotten Son, who died for our sins. May each moment of our lives radiate the truth of the Word, Christ our Lord.   Through the intercession of our holy Mother, the Channel of all Graces, may our strength be such, that we would bear witness even unto death.   We make our prayer, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary channel of grace - pray for us - 30 may 2018.jpg

Posted in CCC, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TIME, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The LAST THINGS, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

One Minute Reflection – 30 July – “I will come to an end.   I will not remain forever.”

One Minute Reflection – 30 July – Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 13:36–43 and the Memorial of St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.   He who has ears, let him hear.” … Matthew 13:43

REFLECTION – Christians of the first centuries said, “The world was created for the sake of the Church” (Hermas).   God created the world for the sake of communion with His divine life, a communion brought about by the “convocation” of men in Christ and this “convocation” (ecclesia) is the Church.   The Church is the goal of all things and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels’ fall and man’s sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of His arm and the whole measure of the love He wanted to give the world:   “Just as God’s will is creation and is called “the world,” so His intention is the salvation of men and it is called “the Church” (St Clement of Alexandria).

The gathering together of the People of God, began, at the moment when sin destroyed the communion of men with God and that of men among themselves. the gathering together of the Church is, as it were, God’s reaction to the chaos provoked by sin.   This re-unification is achieved secretly in the heart of all peoples:  “In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable” to God (Acts 10,35).   The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when He calls Abraham and promises that He will become the father of a great people (Gn 12,2).   Its immediate preparation begins with Israel’s election as the People of God (Ex 19,5).   By this election, Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of all nations (Is 2,2)….

It was the Son’s task to accomplish the Father’s plan of salvation in the fullness of time. It’s accomplishment was the reason for His being sent… To fulfil the Father’s will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth, the Church “is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery” (Vatican II, LG 3)…   “The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” (LG 48) at the time of Christ’s glorious return…   Until that day, “the Church… longs for the full coming of the Kingdom… The Church and through her, the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials.   Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence” (LG 2). … CCC #760-769matthew 13 43 then the righteous shall shine like the sun - it was the son's task ccc 760-766 30 july 2019.jpg

“This week, let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the wisdom of time, the wisdom regarding the end, the wisdom of the resurrection, the wisdom of the eternal encounter with Jesus, that we are able to understand that this wisdom is in our faith.   It will be a day of joyful encounter with Jesus.   Let us pray that the Lord prepare us for this.   Let each one of us end this week thinking about the end – “I will come to an end.   I will not remain forever. How would I like to come to an end?”… Pope Francis (Santa Marta, 27 November 2018)matthew 13 43 then the righteous shall shine - this week let us ask - 30 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, send forth Your Spirit, that we may be created and Thou shall renew the face of the earth.   O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations.   Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.   St Peter Chrysologus, pray for us! st peter chrysologus pray for us.jpg

Posted in CCC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 July – Let us love to be unknown! 

Thought for the Day – 17 July – Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, C, The memorial of St Alexius of Rome – “the Man of God” “the Beggar Saint”

St Alexius is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology under 17 July in the following terms: “At Rome, in a church on the Aventine Hill, a man of God is celebrated under the name of Alexius, who, as reported by tradition, abandoned his wealthy home, for the sake of becoming poor and to beg for alms unrecognised.”

“With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man,” the Catechism plainly teaches us. “Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from Him, our Creator” (#2007).   The Alexius of lore, who at least could’ve rightfully claimed the privileges associated with his family ties, instead embraced a life of severe deprivation and extravagant piety in absolute concealment.

Why?   Not for points, not to earn salvation but out of a rare plenitude of gratitude and love.   “In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works,” is how St Thérèse of Lisieux expressed the same notion.   “I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own justice and to receive from Your love the eternal possession of Yourself” (CCC 2011).

Even simpler, is St John of the Cross:   “At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love” (CCC 1022) and nobody will be comparing scores.at-the-end-of-your-life-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017.jpg

Let us love to be unknown!   (St Philip Neri).

St Alexius Pray for us!st alexius of rome pray for us no 2 17 july 2019.jpg

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, NOVENAS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day Nine – 8 June

Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day Nine – 8 June

“I believe in the Holy Spirit”

The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles
which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
– in the Scriptures He inspired;
– in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
– in the Church’s Magisterium, which He assists;
– in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols,
in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
– in prayer, wherein He intercedes for us;
– in the charisms and ministries, by which the Church is built up;
– in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
– in the witness of saints, through whom
He manifests His holiness
and continues the work of salvation.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Section Two – Article 8 “I believe in the Holy Spirit” #688

++++++++++++++++++++

“We receive the Spirit of truth
so that we can know the things of God.
In order to grasp this,
consider how useless the faculties of the human body would becom,
if they were denied their exercise.
Our eyes cannot fulfil their task without light, either natural or artificial,
our ears cannot react without sound vibrations
and in the absence of any odour, our nostrils are ignorant of their function.
Not that these senses would lose their own nature, if they were not used. rather, they demand objects of experience in order to function.
It is the same with the human soul.
Unless it absorbs the gift of the Spirit through faith,
the mind has the ability to know God
but lacks the light necessary for that knowledge.”

St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Church

we receive the spirit of truth so that we can know the things of god - st hilary of poitiers 8 june 2019.jpg

For the Traditional Novena, here with the Act of Consecration: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/pentecost-novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts-day-one-11-may-2018/

Begin by reciting the following prayer…

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore You as my True God.
I offer You my whole heart
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and enriched the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
with all favours,
I ask You to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favour
I so earnestly seek…
…………………………………. State your request here…
O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth, come into our hearts.

Let us Pray:

O Lord, Holy Spirit,
grant me sight to see the wondrous promise of divine love,
insight to see my own weakness,
delight in Your divine presence in my soul
which You have made Your temple, through sanctifying grace.
I pray, O Holy Spirit,
that I may be not doubting;
that I be spared the pain of being alone
without trust or hope in Christ,
that my prayer may always be “My Lord and my God!”
I pray that I may acquire a sense of retreat
to prayer and recollection at various times in my daily life,
for prayer is the bond that joins us to Christ.
I pray that I may be aware of the physical needs of the poor
and that I may share what I can with them
in the charitable works of the Church.
I pray, O Holy Spirit,
that You will, in Your mercy
grant me the favour, I have sought in this novena.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.

Amenday-nine-pentecost-novena-19-may-2018-somehow-i-made-two

Posted in CCC, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on FREEDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 April – “…The truth will make you free.”

One Minute Reflection – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C. Gospel John 8:31–42

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”...John 8:31-32

REFLECTION – “We learn that there is no opposition between serving God and being free.   The more we act in accord with God’s law and will, the freer we become.   “There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just.   The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to the slavery of sin” (CCC, 1733).   As children of God, we are moved to act righteously not by slavish fear but by the Holy Spirit in freedom and out of love.

Freedom is not an indifferent ability to sin or to do good.   True freedom is a share in God’s freedom and is ordered to the good.   The nearer we approach God through moral progress, the less we are inclined to sin and abuse our freedom.   Knowledge of God (knowing the truth) and love for God (living according to the truth), make us truly free. On our own, we are powerless to break free from the devil and the bondage of sin.  Christ alone can liberate us and make us sons of the Father.  This is the great mystery we contemplate as we approach Holy Week.”…Fr Jason Mitchelljohn 8 31-32 - if you continue in my word - there is no true freedom - 10 april 2019

PRAYER – God of mercy, shed Your light on our hearts that are being purified by penance and in Your goodness, give us a favourable hearing.   Teach us to work with You and for You and thus fill the world with Your Spirit.   In Christ our Saviour, we become a new creation and all things are renewed.   May the prayers of St Magdalena of Canossa, who gave herself completely to You, assist us to do the same.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st magdalena of canossa pray for us 10 april 2019

Posted in CANON LAW, CCC, MINI SERIES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH – First Precept

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH

These “precepts” are the most important laws of the Catholic Church.   They are meant for each of us.   Through her precepts the Church, our loving Mother and teacher, puts before our minds the minimum participation which is necessary to maintain our Catholic identity.

Recalling Our Lord’s words that the wise man “built his house upon the rock” (Matt 7:24), we can ask ourselves this Lent how far we are built on the rock of Christ, who is present in his Church and active in her life-giving sacraments, how firmly rooted we are in the community of faith which is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:1-13).

The Precepts of the Church are to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Nos. 2042-2043.

First Precept:

“You shall attend Mass on Sundays

and Holy Days of Obligation and Rest from Servile Labour.”the precept of the church - first precept - 18 feb 2019

From the earliest times the Christians celebrated the Eucharist on the Day of the Lord’s resurrection (see Acts 20:7).   It is no surprise that the vision of St John in the book of Revelation, a vision deeply linked to the Christian liturgy, occurred “on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10).

St Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the first Church Fathers, wrote in about 150 AD:   “on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place …”.

He goes on to explain the reading of the Scriptures and the consecration of the bread and wine and concludes:  “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God … made the world and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.”   Christians understood that, now, the Old Testament commandant to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exod. 20:8) applied to Sunday rather than the Jewish Saturday.

It was also clear to Christians that, developing the tradition of the Jews, the Christian sabbath calls for rest from our usual occupations, “to abstain from those labours and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.”  (Code of Canon Law 1247).

The Catechism challenges us also when it adds:  “Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week.” (CCC 2186)
Sunday is rightly a time for recreation, yet a Catholic must prioritise the Sunday Mass for the simple reason that God himself must be given first place.

The precept to be present at Mass on Sundays (or Saturday evening) is non-negotiable for Catholics – it is a “grave” obligation (CCC 2181).   If it happens that we fail to observe it through negligence or without a serious reason, we should confess it in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion again.
If, on the other hand, we did have a sufficient reason not to be present, for instance we were ill, had to stay at home to look after young children, or were a great distance from a church, or have no choice but to work on Sunday during Mass, then we’re not obliged BUT let us not ‘look for excuses’ and let us choose our work carefully and do all we can to make it known to our employers that we only need ONE HOUR per week – could we perhaps EXCHANGE our lunch- or off-times for this ONE HOLY HOUR ON SUNDAYS?!

We must further attend Mass on holy days of obligation that usually fall during the week, such as Christmas Day.

The precepts of Church are not regulations trying to catch us out but crucial reminders of what it means to be a Christian.   Saint John Paul II, in his encyclical letter on the Lord’s Day, wrote:

“Sunday is a day which is at the very heart of the Christian life.   From the beginning of my Pontificate, I have not ceased to repeat – ‘Do not be afraid!  Open, open wide the doors to Christ!’.   

In the same way, today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday –

Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ!   Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that He may cast light upon it and give it direction. …

Time given to Christ is never time lost but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.”

(Dies Domini 7)

 

time given to christ is never time lost but rather it is time gained - st john paul - 18 feb 2019 first precept.jpg

Posted in CCC, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 January – The Memorial of Sts Timothy and Titus

One Minute Reflection – 26 January – The Memorial of Sts Timothy and Titus, Disciples and Companions of the Apostle Paul and Bishops of the Catholic Church

“And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.   Go your way, behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”...Luke 10:2-3

REFLECTION – 1562 “Christ, whom the Father hallowed and sent into the world, has, through His apostles, made their successors, the bishops namely, sharers in His consecration and mission and these, in their turn, duly entrusted in varying degrees various members of the Church with the office of their ministry.”   43 “The function of the bishops’ ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so that they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfilment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ.”...CCC 1562 The ordination of priests – co-workers of the bishops
Another observation concerns the willingness of these collaborators.   The sources concerning Timothy and Titus highlight their readiness to take on various offices that also often consisted in representing Paul in circumstances far from easy.   In a word, they teach us to serve the Gospel with generosity, realising that this also entails a service to the Church herself.”…Pope Benedict XVI 13 December 2006luke 10 3 - go our way behold i send you out - ccc 1562 Christ whom the father hallowed 26 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, You endowed Saints Timothy and Titus with power to preach Your Word.   Grant that, living a life of integrity and holiness in this world, reaching out to teach the Gospel both by our lives and our words, we may, through their prayers, come to our true home in heaven.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.sts-timothy-and-titus-pray-for-us-no-2-26-jan-2018.jpg