Posted in CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November

Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November

All Saints Day is connected to the doctrine of The Communion of Saints.   This is the Catholic teaching that all of God’s people, on heaven, earth and in Purgatory are spiritually connected and united.   In other words, Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that the saints of God, are just as alive, as those on earth and are constantly interceding on our behalf.   Our connection with the saints in heaven is grounded in an eucharistic communion.   Because of our common communion with and through Jesus Christ, our prayers are joined with the heavenly community of Christians.   St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387), testifies to this belief:

“We mention those who have fallen asleep, first the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition..”.(Catechetical Lecture 23:9).communionsaints_bon-678x380.jpg

The Catholic Catechism concisely describes this communion among believers, by which we are connected to Christ and thus to one another:

“Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…  They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us…  So, by their fraternal concern, our weakness is greatly helped.”

“…as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace and the life of the People of God itself.   We worship Christ as God’s Son, we love the martyrs as the Lord’s disciples and imitators and rightly so, because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master.   May we also be their companions and fellow disciples.” (CCC 956, 957)

all saints solemnity

There are thousands of Canonised saints, that is, those individuals officially recognised by the Church as holy men and women worthy of our imitation.   Because miracles have been associated with them and their lives have been fully examined and found holy by the Church, we have assurance they are prime examples of holiness and powerful intercessors before God on our behalf.

There are also many patron saints, guardians or protectors of different areas and states of life.   For instance, St Vitus is the patron saint against oversleeping and St Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of air travellers.   It may sound odd to have a patron saint “against oversleeping” but the Church has something meaningful for every area of our human lives.400px-All saints - Estella-_Iglesia_de_San_Juan_Bautista_01

Christians have been officially honouring saints and martyrs since at least the second century.   The Martyrdom of St Polycarp, probably written near the middle of the second century, attests to this reality:

Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, more precious than the most exquisite jewels and more pure than gold and deposited them in a fitting place, so that when being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps (18).Allsaints.jpg

Initially the calendars of saints and martyrs varied by location, with churches honouring local saints.   However, gradually feast days became more universal.   The first reference to a general feast celebrating all saints occurs in St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373).   St John Chrysostom (347-407) assigned a day to the feast, the first Sunday after Pentecost, where in the Eastern Churches the feast is celebrated to this day.

The earliest certain observance of a feast in honour of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of “all the martyrs.”   In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagon-loads of bones and re-interred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods.   The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended “that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honoured in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons” (On the Calculation of Time).

In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls’ Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven.   Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the ‘church penitent’ and the ‘church triumphant’, respectively) and the ‘church militant’ who are the living.

All-Saints-Montage.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CCC, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – ‘What have You ever done to me but good?’

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – Friday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel Luke 11:15–26 and the Memorial of St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you…Luke 11:20

REFLECTION – ” “The finger:   “It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] casts out demons.” If God’s law was written on tablets of stone “by the finger of God” (Ex 31,18), then the “letter from Christ” entrusted to the care of the apostles, is written “with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2Cor 3,3).   The hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus” invokes the Holy Spirit as the “finger of the Father’s right hand.”…CCC 700but-if-it-is-by-the-finger-luke-11-20-the-finger-ccc700-12-oct-2018 and 11 oct 2019

“What things ought I render to Almighty God that He has made me what I am?   It is a matter of grace … I am what I am, not from any excellence or merit of my own but by the grace of God who has chosen me to believe.   Has He not visited me with over-abundant grace?   And was it not necessary for my hardened heart to receive more than other people? …
Lord You have poured on me Your grace.   You have been with me in my perplexities.  You have forgiven me my sins.   You have satisfied my reason.   You have made faith easy. You have given me Your saints, You show before me, day after day, Your own Passion – why should I leave You?   What have You ever done to me but good?” … Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)wht things ought I render to almighty god - john henry newman 11 oct 2019

PRAYER – Almighty Father, let Your light so penetrate our minds, that we may walk always in that light and follow Your Son, the Way, the Truth and the Life.   Fill us with understanding and may the Holy Spirit guide us in love.   Allow the intercession of St Pope John XXIII who followed Your light so faithfully be of help to us all.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st-john-23-pray-for-us-11-oct-2017

Posted in CCC, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 August – ‘..A steward of Providence’

One Minute Reflection – 31 August – Saturday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30

“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property….”…Matthew 25:14

REFLECTION – “The universal destination and the private ownership of goods – In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labour and enjoy their fruits (Gn 1:26-29). The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race.   However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. the appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge.   It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men.   The right to private property… does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind, the universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.
“In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself” (Vatican II, GS 69).   The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.   Goods of production… oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number.   Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.”…Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2402-2405matthew-24-14-for-it-will-be-as-when-a-man-going-on-a-journey-the-ownership-of-property-ccc2402-2405-1-sept-2018 and 31 aug 2019

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us by Your grace, to remain “good and faithful servants” so that we may use all You have bestowed upon us and left to our care, in the loving care of our neighbour and of Your gifts. May Mary, the Mother of Your divine Son and our Mother, walk at our side and teach us to be true children and users of our talents and Your creation.   May we guard Your world with great wisdom.   Holy Mother pray for us, that we may one day enter “into the joy of our Lord”.   We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.holy mary mother of god - pray for us - 13 may 2018

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