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, 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


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


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

Saint of the Day – 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

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.


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, aug 2017


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