Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, NOVENAS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The WORD

Reminder: The Novena to our Guardian Angels begins on 23 September

Reminder:

The Novena to our Guardian Angels
begins on 23 September in preparation
for the Guardian Angels Feast day on 2 October

Guardian Angels are real!
“The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 328) There are countless examples of angels throughout Scripture.
They ministered to everyone from shepherds, to Jesus Himself.

“Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” – St Basil.
Guardian angels are not something that we have to share.
They are so valuable to our spiritual wellbeing, that God has blessed us all with our own.
“Great is the dignity of the human soul, since each one of them has from the very outset of his life, an Angel deputed to safeguard him.”St Jerome

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)
Our Guardian Angels protect us from evil, assist us in prayer, lead us to choose good and represent us before God.
They are able to act upon our senses and our imaginations but not our will.
They cannot chose for us but, encourage us in every way possible, to choose what is true, good and beautiful.

“Christ is the centre of the angelic world. They are His angels: “When the Son of man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him.” (Mt 25:31 – CCC 331)

Angels are superior to man because although they are sent here to serve us, they are constantly in the presence of God.
They are endowed with many spiritual powers and capabilities that humans are not given.
Don’t think of your angel as a pretty cherub. They are prayerful and powerful and they stand beside you, to protect, defend and guard you.

Posted in CCC, GOD ALONE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 4 August – I Love You, O My God by St John Marie Baptiste Vianney

Our Morning Offering – 4 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time and The Memorial of St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

St John Vianney’s prayer which is quoted in the CCC

I Love You, O My God
By St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

I love You,
O my God
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.
I love You,
O my infinitely lovable God
and I would rather die loving You,
than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord
and the only grace I ask,
is to love You eternally
My God,
if my tongue cannot say
in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You
as often as I draw breath.
Ameni love you o my god - st john vianney 4 august 2020

Posted in CCC, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, HOLY COMMUNION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Sunday Reflection – 17 May – The Eucharist in the Plan of Salvation

Sunday Reflection – 17 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter

The Eucharist in the Plan of Salvation

God, infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself, in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created man to make him share His own blessed life. For this reason . . . God draws close to man” (CCC 1).   Out of the pure and unselfish love that is His very essence, God created the universe so that we could exist and enjoy His love forever.
To this end, He revealed Himself to the whole world through a “Chosen People,” established a covenant of love with them, revealed His law to them, sent them prophets and, finally, fulfilled His covenant by sending His eternal Son, who was born, lived, died, resurrected and ascended, so that we could be saved from sin and united to God.
Jesus Christ the Son of God, continued His presence and work among us, by appointing Apostles and establishing the Church, His “Mystical Body.”
God did all this for one reason – for the love-union with us that is achieved most perfectly in this life in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist rests on the authority of Christ, who instituted it (Lk 22:14-20).
“Faithful to the Lord’s command, the Church continues to do . . . what He did . . . ” (CCC 1333).   Those who reject what the Church teaches and does, whether they know it or not, really reject what Christ teaches and does, for the Church’s creed, cult and code – her theology, liturgy and morality – are all in His name, who said to the Apostles, “he who hears you, hears me” (Lk 10:16).
The Eucharist has always been controversial and divisive, as was Christ.
This is supremely ironic, for the Eucharist is the sacrament of unity with Christ and, through Him (the “one bread”), with His whole Body the Church (the “one body”).”
Amen

Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
By St Vincent Strambi (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.
Amen

prayer before the crucifix st vincent strambi 17 may 2020

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY TRINITY, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 May – “I and the Father are one.”

Quote/s of the Day – 5 May – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts11:19-26, Psalm 87:1-7, John 10:22-30

“I and the Father are one.”

John 10:30

john 10 30 - i and the father are one 5 may 2020

Christians are baptised “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:30). Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son and the Spirit: “I do.”   “The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity”( St Caesarius of Arles).   Christians are baptised “in the name” of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – not “in their names,, for there is only one God, the almighty Father, His only Son and the Holy Spirit – the Most Holy Trinity.

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life.   It is the mystery of God in Himself.   It is, therefore, the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them.   It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of faith.   The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means, by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals Himself to men and reconciles and unites with Himself, those who turn away from sin. …

The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God.   To be sure, God has left traces of His Trinitarian Being in His work of creation and in His Revelation throughout the Old Testament.   But His inmost Being, as Holy Trinity, is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone, or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

CCC – Catechism of the Catholic Church
# 232-234, 237

the mystery of the most holy trinity is the central mystery of christian faith and life ccc232-234 5 may 2020

“Paul says:   I appeal to you by the mercy of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy.   The prophet said the same thing:  Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but you have prepared a body for me.
Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and His priest.
Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you.
Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity.
Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection.
Your breastplate, should be the knowledge of God, that He Himself has given you.
Keep burning continually, the sweet smelling incense of prayer.
Take up the sword of the Spirit.
Let your heart be an altar.
Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice.
God desires, not death but faith;
God thirsts, not for blood but for self-surrender;
God is appeased, not by slaughter but by the offering, of your free will.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church
“Doctor of Homilies”

each of us is called to beoth a sacrifice to god and his priest - st peter chrysologus 5 may 2020

“…Therefore, never allow yourself to start brooding again
but always be brave and trust.
Serve your good Master with an open heart full of joy.
The right way is to see all events and all obstacles
in the spirit of faith as being in the hands of Our Lord
and to hear Him say to you, on every occasion,
as He did to the disciples
‘It is I. Do not fear. Have faith.’”

St Michael Garicoïts (1797-1863)

therefore never allow yourself to start brooding - st michel garicoits 14 may 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CCC, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning offering – 13 March – My Lord and my God

Our Morning offering – 13 March – Friday of the Second Week of lent

My Lord and my God
By St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

My Lord and my God,
take from me everything
that distances me from You.
My Lord and my God,
give me everything
that brings me closer to You.
My Lord and my God,
detach me from myself
to give my all to You.
Amen

The above prayer of St Nicholas, is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph #226.
CCC 226It means making good use of created things – faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God, only insofar as it brings us closer to Him and to detach ourselves from it, insofar, as it turns us away from Him.my lord and my god by st nicholas of lue ccc 226 13 march 2020

Posted in CCC, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

One Minute Reflection – 14 January –  Have you come to destroy us?

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – Tuesday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Samuel 1:9-20, Responsorial psalm 1, Samuel 2:1, 4-8, Mark 1:21-28

“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?   Have you come to destroy us?   I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” … Mark 1:24

REFLECTION – “Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.   Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”.   The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God:  “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God but they became evil by their own doing.”
Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels (2 Pt 2:4).   This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and His reign.   We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: “You will be like God” (Gn 3:5).   The devil “has sinned from the beginning” (1 Jn 3:8), he is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44).   It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable.   “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death” (St. John Damascene).

Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning” (Jn 8:44), who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father (Mt 4:1-11).   “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8).   In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite.   He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit but still a creature.   He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign.” … Catechism of the Catholic Church #391-395mark 1 24 have you come to destory us - ccc 391 395 the power of satan.jpg

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. Sanctify our hearts, minds and actions with Your power, that all we are may speak of Your Light.   May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin our Mother and all your Angels and Saints, bring us to peace and confidence.   We make our prayer through Your Son, our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mother mary pray for us - 27 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CCC, CONFIRMATION, DOGMA, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – Fourth Day after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 4:19-5:4, Psalm 72:1-2, 14-15, 17, Luke 4:14-22 and the Memorial of Blessed Alix le Clerc/Teresa of Jesus CND (1576-1622) known as Mother Alix

“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…”…Luke 4:18the-spirit-of-the-lord-luke-4-18-10-jan-2019 and 9 jan 2020.jpg

REFLECTION – “Symbols of the Holy Spirit:  Anointing.   The symbolism of anointing with oil signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit.   In Christian initiation, anointing is the sacramental sign of Confirmation, called ‘chrismation’ in the Churches of the East.   Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit, that of Jesus.   Christ (in Hebrew ‘messiah’) means the one ‘anointed’ by God’s Spirit.

There were several anointed ones of the Lord in the Old Covenant, pre-eminently King David.   But Jesus is God’s Anointed in a unique way – the humanity the Son assumed, was entirely anointed by the Holy Spirit.   The Holy Spirit established Him as ‘Christ’.   The Virgin Mary conceived Christ by the Holy Spirit who, through the angel, proclaimed Him the Christ at His birth and prompted Simeon to come to the Temple to see Christ the Lord.   The Spirit filled Christ and the power of the Spirit went out from Him in His acts of healing and saving.

Finally, it was the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.   Now fully established as ‘Christ’ in His humanity victorious over death, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit abundantly until the ‘saints’ constitute, in their union with the humanity of the Son of God, the perfect man “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” – “the whole Christ”, in St Augustine’s expression.” … CCC #695CCC 695 jesus is god's anointed one 9 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, through Christ, Your Son, You made of us a new creation. Shape us then, in His likeness, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, since in Him, our human nature now lives with You.   Lord God, let Blessed Alix le Clerc ever commend us to Your love and care.   May her charity and wisdom inspire us to treasure Your teaching and express it in our lives.   Through our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl aliz le clerc pray for us 9 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CCC, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus without end!

Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – Christmas Weekday

and the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

“And whatever you ask in my name,
I will do, so that the Father
may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me,
in my name,
I will do it.”

John 14:14-14john-14-13-14-10-jan-2018 and 2020 and whatever you ask in my name i will do, so that.jpg

“And you shall call His name Jesus,
because in His Name we adore
the entire majesty of the Godhead.
All who dwell in the heavens,
those who abide upon the earth
and everyone of those
who are held in the depths of hell,
bow down prostate to this Name.
This is the Name which gave sight to the blind,
hearing to the deaf,
agility to the lame,
speech to the mute
and life to the dead,
The power of this Name
forced the mastery of the devil entirely,
from the bodies of the possessed.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthis is the name - st peter chrysologus - 3 jan 2020.jpg

“The Holy Name of Jesus is, first of all, an all-powerful prayer.
Our Lord, Himself, solemnly promises,
that whatever we ask the Father in His Name,
we shall receive.
God never fails to keep His word.
Each time we say “Jesus,”
it is an act of perfect love,
for, we offer to God,
the infinite love of Jesus”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Churchthe holy name of jesus is first of all an all powerful prayer - st alphonsus liguori 3 jan 2020.jpg

”The invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus,
is the simplest way of praying always.
When the Holy Name is repeated often
by a humbly attentive heart,
the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty praises
but holds fast to the Word and
”brings forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).
This prayer is possible at all times
because it is not one occupation among others
but the only occupation –
that of loving God which animates
and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus”

CCC 2668ccc2668-the-invocation-of-the-holy-name-3-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“We, Jesuits, want to be conferred the name of Jesus,
militate under the standard of His Cross and this means,
to have the same sentiments of Christ.
It means to think like Him,
love like Him, see like Him, walk like Him.
It means to do what He did
and with His same sentiments,
with the sentiments of His Heart.
The heart of Christ is the heart of a God
who, out of love, “emptied” Himself.

Pope Francis

(3 January 2014)we-jesuits-want-to-be-pope-francis-on-3-jan-2014-my-image-3-jan-201 and 2020 in quotes.jpg

Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus without end!

blessed be the most holy name of jesus without end - 3 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December- The Holiness of the Family

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

“God, to whom angels submit themselves
and who principalities and powers obey,
was subject to Mary;
and not only to Mary
but Joseph also for Mary’s sake [….].
God obeyed a human creature;
this is humility without precedent.
A human creature commands God;
it is sublime beyond measure.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Churchgod-obeyed-a-human-creature-st-bernard-31-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

“If you want to bring happiness
to the whole world,
go home and love your family.”

St Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)if you want to bring happiness to the whole world go home and love your family st mother teresa 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

“The human family, in a certain sense,
is an icon of the Trinity
because of its interpersonal love
and the fruitfulness of this love.”

Pope Benedict XVIthe human family in a certain sense is an icon of the trinity - pope benedict 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

“By His obedience to Mary and Joseph,
as well as by His humble work
during the long years in Nazareth,
Jesus gives us the example of holiness
in the daily life of family and work.”

CCC 564by his obedience to mary and joseph ccc 564 - 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

“The Christian family is a communion of persons,
a sign and image of the communion
of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.
In the procreation and education of children,
it reflects the Father’s work of creation….”

CCC 2205the christian family is a communion of persons - ccc 2205 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

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

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

Posted in CCC, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:15–26

One Minute Reflection – 12 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:15–26 – Friday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Wilfrid (c 633-709)

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

Jesus reacted with firm and clear words, He did not tolerate this, because those scribes, perhaps without realising it, were falling into the gravest sin – denying and blaspheming against God’s Love which is present and active in Jesus.
And blasphemy, the sin against the Holy Spirit, is the one unforgivable sin— as Jesus said — because it comes from closing the heart to God’s mercy which acts in Jesus….Pope Francis – Angelus, 10 June 2018and blasphemy the sin against the holy spirit - pope francis - 12 oct 2018

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 Wilfrid who learnt of Your light and brought it to his land and taught his people, to help 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 wilfrid pray for us - 12 oct 2018

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, CATHOLIC Quotes, CCC, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on ANGELS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 2 October – The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

Thought for the Day – 2 October – The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined.   Yet guardian angels are not only for children.   Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death.

The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it.   Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:10 best support the belief:  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

Devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God’s enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out.

The Catholic Church believes there is a link among believers, angels and the God who made us all:   “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’   Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God” (CCC 336).

Holy Guardian Angels, Pray for us!guardian angels pray for us 2 oct 2018

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, CCC, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 29 September – Today’s Gospel: John 1:47–51 – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

One Minute Reflection – 29 September – Today’s Gospel: John 1:47–51 – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”…John 1:51

REFLECTION“I believe in one God…, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all that is, visible and invisible.”   The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith.   The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.   St Augustine says:  “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature.   If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’;  if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’:  from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.  ” With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God.   Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 18:10), they are the “mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word” (Ps 103:20).   As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will:  they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendour of their glory bears witness (cf Dan 10:9).
Christ is the centre of the angelic world.   They are his angels:  “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him” (Mt 25:31).   They belong to Him because they were created through and for Him:  “for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him,” (Col 1:16).   They belong to Him still more because He has made them messengers of His saving plan:  “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” (Heb 1:14).
Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan.”...Catechism of the Catholic Church #328-332you will see heaven opened and the angels - john 1 51 - angels have been present since creation ccc 328-332 - 29 sept 2018

PRAYER – God of all Wisdom, You direct the ministry of angels and of human beings. Grant that the angels who always minister to You in heaven may defend us during our life on earth and protect us from evil.  Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amenholy-archangels-pray-for-us 29 sept 2017

Posted in CCC, MORNING Prayers, The WORD, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

One Minute Reflection – 1 September – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30 and The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

One Minute Reflection – 1 September – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30 – Saturday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

“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

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 of Montevergine, 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.our lady of montevergine pray for us - 1 sept 2018

Posted in CCC, MARTYRS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 August – The Martyrdom of St John the Baptist

Saint of the Day – 29 August – The Martyrdom of St John the Baptist

Catechism of the Catholic Church
IV. The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time
John, Precursor, Prophet and Baptist

719    John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”   In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets.   John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel;  he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.   As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”   In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.   “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit and I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”john-the-Baptist-carvilli

BENEDICT XVI
GENERAL AUDIENCE
Castel Gandolfo
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

This last Wednesday of the month of August is the liturgical Memorial of the martyrdom of St John the Baptist, the Precursor of Jesus.   In the Roman Calendar, he is the only saint whose birth and death, through martyrdom, are celebrated on the same day (in his case, 24 June).   Today’s Memorial commemoration dates back to the dedication of a crypt in Sebaste, Samaria, where his head had already been venerated since the middle of the fourth century.   The devotion later extended to Jerusalem, both in the Churches of the East and in Rome, with the title of the Beheading of St John the Baptist.   In the Roman Martyrology reference is made to a second discovery of the precious relic, translated for the occasion to the Church of San Silvestro in Campo Marzio, Rome.beheading Salome-with-the-head-of-St-john-the-Baptist

These small historical references help us to understand how ancient and deeply-rooted is the veneration of John the Baptist.   His role in relation to Jesus stands out clearly in the Gospels.   St Luke in particular recounts his birth, his life in the wilderness and his preaching, while in today’s Gospel St Mark tells us of his dramatic death.   John the Baptist began his preaching under the Emperor Tiberius in about 27-28 A.D. and the unambiguous invitation he addressed to the people, who flocked to listen to him, was to prepare the way to welcome the Lord, to straighten the crooked paths of their lives through a radical conversion of heart (cf. Lk 3:4).

However, John the Baptist did not limit himself to teaching repentance or conversion. Instead, in recognising Jesus as the “Lamb of God” who came to take away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29), he had the profound humility to hold up Jesus as the One sent by God, drawing back so that he might take the lead and be heard and followed.   As his last act the Baptist witnessed with his blood to faithfulness to God’s commandments, without giving in or withdrawing, carrying out his mission to the very end.   In the 9th century the Venerable Bede says in one of his Homilies:  “St John gave his life for [Christ].   He was not ordered to deny Jesus Christ but was ordered to keep silent about the truth” (cf. Homily 23: CCL 122, 354).   And he did not keep silent about the truth and thus died for Christ who is the Truth.   Precisely for love of the truth he did not stoop to compromises and did not fear to address strong words to anyone who had strayed from God’s path.st_john

We see this great figure, this force in the Passion, in resistance to the powerful.   We wonder, what gave birth to this life, to this interiority so strong, so upright, so consistent, spent so totally for God in preparing the way for Jesus?   The answer is simple – it was born from the relationship with God, from prayer, which was the thread that guided him throughout his existence.   John was the divine gift for which his parents Zechariah and Elizabeth had been praying for so many years (cf. Lk 1:13), a great gift, humanly impossible to hope for, because they were both advanced in years and Elizabeth was barren (cf. Lk 1:7), yet nothing is impossible to God (cf. Lk 1:36).   The announcement of this birth happened precisely in the place of prayer, in the temple of Jerusalem, indeed it happened when Zechariah had the great privilege of entering the holiest place in the temple to offer incense to the Lord (cf. Lk 1:8-20).   John the Baptist’s birth was also marked by prayer, the Benedictus, the hymn of joy, praise and thanksgiving which Zechariah raises to the Lord and which we recite every morning in Lauds, exalts God’s action in history and prophetically indicates the mission of their son John – to go before the Son of God made flesh to prepare His ways (cf. Lk 1:67-79).

The entire existence of the Forerunner of Jesus was nourished by his relationship with God, particularly the period he spent in desert regions (cf. Lk 1:80).   The desert regions are places of temptation but also where man acquires a sense of his own poverty because once deprived of material support and security, he understands that the only steadfast reference point is God Himself.   John the Baptist, however, is not only a man of prayer, in permanent contact with God but also a guide in this relationship.   The Evangelist Luke, recalling the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, the Our Father, notes that the request was formulated by the disciples in these words:  “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his own disciples” (cf. Lk 11:1).

Dear brothers and sisters, celebrating the martyrdom of St John the Baptist reminds us too, Christians of this time, that with love for Christ, for His words and for the Truth, we cannot stoop to compromises.   The Truth is Truth; there are no compromises.   Christian life demands, so to speak, the “martyrdom” of daily fidelity to the Gospel, the courage, that is, to let Christ grow within us and let Him be the One who guides our thought and our actions.   However, this can happen in our life only if we have a solid relationship with God.   Prayer is not time wasted, it does not take away time from our activities, even apostolic activities but exactly the opposite is true only if we are able to have a faithful, constant and trusting life of prayer will God Himself give us the ability and strength to live happily and serenely, to surmount difficulties and to witness courageously to Him.   St John the Baptist, intercede for us, that we may be ever able to preserve the primacy of God in our life.   Thank you.

Posted in CARMELITES, CCC, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 16:13–23

One Minute Reflection – 9 August – Thursday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel:  Matthew 16:13–23 and the Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.“…Matthew 16:19whatever you bind on earth - matthew 16 -19

REFLECTION – “Sin is before all else, an offence against God, a rupture of communion with Him.   At the same time it damages communion with the Church.   For this reason, conversion entails, both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically, by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

Only God forgives sin (Mk 2,7).   Since He is the Son of God, Jesus says of Himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mk 2,10) and exercises this divine power:  “Your sins are forgiven” (v.5; Lk 7,48).   Further, by virtue of His divine authority He gives this power to men to exercise in His name (Jn 20,21).   Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action, His whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that He acquired for us at the price of His blood.   But He entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution, to the apostolic ministry, which He charged with the “ministry of reconciliation” (2Cor 5,18).   The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: ”  Be reconciled to God” (v.20).

During His public life, Jesus not only forgave sins but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness, He reintegrated forgiven sinners, into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them.   A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at His table (Mk 2,16), a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way, both God’s forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God (cf. Lk 15; 19,9).”…Catechism of the Catholic Church – § 1440-1443ccc 1440 - sin is before all else, an offence against god - 9 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord our God, the Light and Creator of Light, grant that faithfully pondering on all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence.   By the help and intercession of St Teresa Benedicta, You may never permit us to separate ourselves from You and thus we may come, to completion in You, Through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-teresa-benedicta-pray-for-us-9 aug 2017

Posted in CCC, CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER

Contemplative Prayer – Listening to the Catechism, Part One

Contemplative Prayer – Listening to the Catechism, Part One

2709   What is contemplative prayer?
St Teresa answers: “Contemplative prayer [oracion mental] in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends;  it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”   Contemplative prayer seeks Him “whom my soul loves.”
It is Jesus and in Him, the Father. We seek Him, because to desire Him is always the beginning of love and we seek Him in that pure faith which causes us to be born of Him and to live in Him.
In this inner prayer we can still meditate but our attention is fixed on the Lord Himself.

2710   The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart.
One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time:  one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter.
One cannot always meditate but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state.
The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith.

2711   Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we “gather up:” the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of Him who awaits us.
We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to Him as an offering to be purified and transformed.

Christ be in my heart and mind,
Christ within my soul enshrined;
Christ control, my wayward heart;
Christ abide and ne’er depart.

 

contemplative prayer - ccc part one - 7 august 2018 - christ be in my heart and mind

Posted in CCC, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

Our Morning Offering – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

St John Vianney’s prayer which is quoted in the CCC

I Love You, O My God
By St John Vianney (1786-1859)

I love You,
O my God
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.
I love You,
O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You,
than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord
and the only grace I ask,
is to love You eternally
My God,
if my tongue cannot say
in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You
as often as I draw breath.
Ameni love you o my god - st john vianney and the CCC - 4 august 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, CCC, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Thought for the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church
III.  Only One Faith (#172-175)

172   Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism and grounded in the conviction, that all people have only one God and Father.   St Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:

173   “Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. . . guards [this preaching and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house and similarly believes as if having but one soul and a single heart and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth.”

174   “For though languages differ throughout the world, the content of the Tradition is one and the same.   The Churches established in Germany have no other faith or Tradition, nor do those of the Iberians, nor those of the Celts, nor those of the East, of Egypt, of Libya, nor those established at the centre of the world. . .” The Church’s message “is true and solid, in which one and the same way of salvation appears throughout the whole world.”

175   We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God’s Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed.”JESUS taught a new sacrifice - st irenaeus

From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus

“The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to His Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to His own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.   If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God.   Since we have our accuser, we need an Advocate as well.

And so the Lord in His pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having Himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins, bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit.   Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.”

St Irenaeus, Pray for us!st irenaeus - pray for us no 2 - 28 june 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, CCC, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, PAPAL DECREE, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 June – The Memorial of St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

Thought for the Day – 14 June – The Memorial of St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

Iconoclasm is still with us today, within and without the Catholic Church. Let us consider this statement from the Second Council of Nicaea that St Methodius fought all his life to defend:

“Following the divinely inspired teaching our of holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her), we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.”

And, from our present-day Catechism of the Catholic Church, we have these words:

“The contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration, so that the mystery celebrated, is imprinted in the heart’s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful”…CCC 1162.

St Methodius, “Defender of Icons”, Pray for usst methodius - pray for us - 14 june 2018

Posted in CCC, DOGMA, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, The HOLY TRINITY

Announcing a Novena to the Most Holy Trinity Begins – Friday,18 May

Announcing a Novena to the Most Holy Trinity
Begins – Friday,18 May

Perhaps the deepest, the most profound of all mysteries is the mystery of the Trinity.   The Church teaches us, that although there is only one God, yet, somehow, there are three Persons in God. ,,The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, yet we do not speak of three Gods but only one God. ,,They have the same nature, substance, and being.

We came to know this immense mystery because Christ revealed it to us. ,,Just before ascending He told them:, “Go teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). ,,We know that these Three are not just different ways of looking at one person. ,,For at the Last Supper, Jesus told us:  “I came forth from the Father.”   So He is different from the Father.   But He also promised: “If I go, I will send Him [the Paraclete] to you. . . . He will guide you to all truth” (John 16:28, 7, 13).   So the Holy Spirit is also different.

Even though the Three Persons are One God, yet they are distinct:  for the Father has no origin, He came from no one.   But the Son is begotten, He comes from the Father alone. The Holy Spirit comes or proceeds from both the Father and the Son.   These different relations of origin tell us there are three distinct Persons, who have one and the same divine nature.

Even though everything the Three Persons do outside the Divine nature is done by all Three, yet it is suitable that we attribute some works specially to one or the other Person. So we speak of the Father especially as the power of creation, of the Son as the wisdom of the Father, of the Holy Spirit as goodness and sanctification.

The two doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation are the foundation of Christian life and worship.   By becoming man, God the Son offered us a share in the inner life of the Trinity.   By grace, we are brought into the perfect communion of life and love which is God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   This sharing in the life of the Trinity is meant to culminate in heaven, where we will see the three Persons face to face, united to them in unspeakable love….Fr William G Most (from the Catechism of the Catholic Church 232-267).announcing a novena to the holy spirit - begins 18 may