Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HEART

Our Morning Offering – 22 May – O God, the House of My Soul is Narrow By St Augustine

Our Morning Offering – 22 May – The Fifth Sunday after Easter

O God, the House of My Soul is Narrow
By St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of Grace

O God,
the Light of the heart, that sees You,
The Life of the soul, that loves You,
The Strength of the mind, that seeks You,
May I ever continue to be steadfast in Your love.
Be the Joy of my heart,
Take all of me to Yourself and abide therein.
The house of my soul is, I confess,
too narrow for You.
Enlarge it, that You may enter.
It is ruinous but do repair it.
It has within it what must offend Your Eyes,
I confess and know it,
But whose help shall I seek in cleansing it
but Yours alone?
To You, O God, I cry urgently.
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep me from false pride and sensuality,
that they not get dominion over me.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The 3rd Glorious Mystery - DESCENT of the HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 May – ‘… The blessing of nobility …’

One Minute Reflection – 18 May – The Memorial of St Venantius (Died c 250) Martyr – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15:1-7

He who abides in Me and I in Him, the same bears much fruit” – John 5:5

REFLECTION – “Because Christ wished to show His disciples, how necessary it is, to be rooted in love of Him and how beneficial it is, to cling to Him, He told them … that He was the vine and that the branches of the vine, were those, who were united to Him and, so to speak, inserted in Him so as to “participate in His nature” (2 Pt 1:4), through a share in the Holy Spirit. For we are made one with Christ the Saviour, by His Holy Spirit …

For we have been reborn from Him and in Him, that is, in the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the old life we used to live but the life that consists of newness of faith and of love for Him. We are preserved in being, if we grow onto Him and cling fast to the holy commandment ,which has been handed down to us and, if we are eager to keep the blessing of nobility, that is to say, if we never consent, in any way, to “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30), Who has come to dwell in us and, through Whom, we believe, God has made His home in us.

For just as the vine-stock supplies and distributes, the virtue of its own inherent natural quality to the shoots, so, too, the Only-Begotten Word of God, implants, in His people, a sort of affinity with His own nature and that of the Father. By the gift of the Spirit, they are united with Him by every kind of holiness. He nourishes them, so that they become devout and He moves them to knowledge of all virtue and good works.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – O God, Who made this day holy by the triumph of blessed Venantius, Your Martyr, listen to the prayers of Your people, and grant that we, who honour his noble deeds, may imitate the constancy of his faith. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – I have chosen you

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23

Well done, good and faithful servant …
Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Matthew 25:23

I have chosen you
and have appointed you,
that you should go
and should bring forth fruit
and your fruit should remain,
says the Lord.

John 15:16

If we follow Christ closely
we shall be allowed,
even on this earth,
to stand, as it were,
on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem
and enjoy the contemplation,
of that everlasting feast,
like the blessed Apostles,
who, in following the Saviour as their leader,
showed and still show,
the way to obtain the same gift from God.
They said – See, we have left all things and followed You.
We too follow the Lord
and we keep His feast
by deeds rather than by words.

St Athanasius (297-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Rejoice and be happy!
Persevere to the end
and prefer to die
rather than abandon the post,
to which God has called you!

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

All Highest, Glorious God

All highest, glorious God,
cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts,
give us true faith, firm hope,
perfect charity and profound humility,
so that with wisdom,
courage and perception, O Lord,
we may do what is truly Your holy will.
Amen.

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

Posted in "Follow Me", CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on REASON/INTELLECT, QUOTES on TRUTH, The CREED, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – “And himself believed and his whole house.” John 4:53

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.

And himself believed
and his whole house.

John 4:53

Believing is:
an act of the intellect
assenting to the divine truth,
by command of the will,
moved by God through grace.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus.
Doctor Communis

Do you also wish to go away?” He asked.
It was then that Simon Peter
made his memorable reply,
“Lord, to whom shall be go?
Thou hast the words of everlasting life.”
(Jn 6:68-69).
We also may experience, at times,
a sense of uncertainty
concerning the words of Jesus Christ.
There are such tremendous mysteries
in the Christian religion.
But, a religion which contained
no mysteries could scarcely be true.
There are mysteries of nature surrounding us
and within us.
How can we imagine that there are
no mysteries in God, the supreme
and most perfect Being?
Could it be possible
for our petty intellects fully
to comprehend God in Himself
and in His revelation?
Let us bow our heads, therefore,
before the mysteries of the Divinity.
Let us adore God and repeat with St Peter:
We cannot go away from You, O God
because You have the words of everlasting life.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OUR Cross, QUOTES on PATIENCE, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Mary’s Patience

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary’s Patience

“Holy Mary, Mother of Sorrows, obtain for me the spirit of loving patience which made you the Queen of Martyrs.
Help me to carry with resignation the cross which God has given me.
Help me to walk like you in the footsteps of Jesus, until I reach my Calvary, so that I may join Him and you, in the glory of Heaven. Amen,”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/10/thought-for-the-day-10-may-marys-patience/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/10/thought-for-the-day-10-may-marys-patience-2/

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUTH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – “Without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15,1-7.

Without Me
you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

Whoever does not gather
with me, scatter
s.”

Luke 11:23

We recognise a tree by its fruit
and we ought to be able to recognise
a Christian by his action.
The fruit of faith
should be evident in our lives,
for being a Christian,
is more than making
sound professions of faith.
It should reveal itself
in practical and visible ways.
Indeed, it is better to keep quiet
about our beliefs
and live them out,
than to talk eloquently
about what we believe
but fail, to live by it.

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108)
Father of the Church

… Now is the time in this life of suffering,
when we journey apart from Him.
… So let us fast and pray now
because, we are in the days of childbirth!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

Girded with faith
and the performance of good works,
let us follow in His paths
by the guidance of the Gospel
.”

For at all times, we must so serve Him,
with the good things He has given us,
that he may not, as an angry Father,
disinherit his children,
nor as a dread Lord,
provoked by our evil deeds,
deliver us to everlasting punishment,
as wicked servants,
who refuse to follow Him to glory
.”

St Benedict (c 480-547)

Each one of us has a thirst
for all that is infinite, eternal and perfect.
God alone can satisfy this thirst.
Just as we are created by God,
so we are created for Him.
Just as we came from God,
so we are gradually travelling back towards Him,
for He is the final goal of our earthly journey.
We should meditate on this great truth
which we were first taught in the Catechism,
namely, that we were created
to know, love and serve God
on this earth and to be happy with Him
forever in Heaven.
God alone is the eternal beauty
which will satisfy our hearts.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – “I am the vine, you the branches.” – John 15:5

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – The Memorial of St Stanislas (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15:1-7.

I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself the Vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and, how important it is for us, to remain in His Love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the Vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will, on his part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the Foundation because it is upon Him that we, as living and spiritual stones, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other Foundation than Christ ,can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same Truth, by calling Himself the Vine, since the Vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but, the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment, in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s Presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them, to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Known as “The Pillar of Faith” Archbishop of Alexandria, Father & Doctor of the Church, Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) [Commentary on the Gospel of John].

PRAYER – O God, in defence of Whose honour Stanislaus, the glorious Bishop, died by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech Thee, that all who seek his help may obtain salvation as a result of his prayers. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DEATH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – Why then did He not work the miracle by only a word but also touched the bier?

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – The Memorial of St Monica (322-387) Mother of St Augustine – 1 Timothy 5:3-10, Luke 7:11-16

Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Naim and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.” – Luke 7:11

REFLECTION – “Observe how He joins miracle to miracle. In the former instance, the healing of the centurion’s servant, He was present by invitation but here, He draws near without being invited. No-one summoned Him to restore the dead man to life but He comes to do so of His own accord. He seems to me to have purposely made this miracle also follow upon the former.

The dead man was being buried and many friends were conducting him to his tomb. Christ, the Life and Resurrection, meets him there. He is the Destroyer of death and of corruption. He is the One in whom we live and move and are. He is Who has restored the nature of man to that which it originally was and has set free, our death-fraught flesh, from the bonds of death. He had mercy upon the woman and that her tears might cease,, He commanded saying, “Weep not.” Immediately the cause of her weeping was done away.

Christ raised him who was descending to his grave. The manner of his rising is plain to see. “He touched,” it says, “the bier and said, ‘Young man, I say unto thee, arise.’” How was not a word enough for raising him who was lying there? What is so difficult to it or past accomplishment? What is more powerful than the Word of God? Why then did He not work the miracle by only a word but also touched the bier? It was, my beloved, that you might learn, that the Holy Body of Christ is productive for the salvation of man. The Flesh of the Almighty Word is the Body of Life and was clothed with His Might. Consider, that iron, when brought into contact with fire, produces the effects of fire and fulfills its functions. The Flesh of Christ also has the power of giving life and annihilates the influence of death and corruption because, it is the flesh of the Word, Who gives life to all. May our Lord Jesus Christ also touch us, that delivering us from evil works, even from fleshly lusts, He may unite us to the assemblies of the saints.” St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Luke, Homily 36).

PRAYER – O God, the consoler of those who mourn and the safety of those who put their trust in You; Who mercifully accepted the holy tears of blessed Monica for the conversion of Augustine, her son; grant us through the intercession of both, to bewail our sins and to obtain the grace of Your forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 May – ‘O Good Shepherd, Who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders …’

One Minute Reflection – 3 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and the Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross – 1 Peter 2:21-25, John 10:11-16

“I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me.”- John 10:14

REFLECTION – “Let us consider Christ, our shepherd …. He rejoices in those sheep of His that are around Him and goes in search of those, that stray. Mountains and forests cause Him no fear; He crosses ravines to reach the sheep that is lost. Even if He finds it in a piteous state, He is not angry but touched with pity; He takes it on His shoulders and, from His own weariness, heals the exhausted sheep (Lk 15:4 f.) …

With good reason Christ declares: “I am the Good Shepherd, I seek out the lost sheep, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal (Ez 34:16). I have seen the flock of mankind struck down by sickness; I have witnessed my lambs wander about where demons dwell; I have seen my flock ravaged by wolves. All this I have seen and have not witnessed it from on high. That is why I took hold of the withered hand, gripped by pain as if by a wolf; I have unbound those whom fever had bound; I taught him to see whose eyes had been shut from his mother’s womb; I brought Lazarus out from the tomb where he had lain for four days (Mk 3:5; 1:31; Jn 9; 11). For I am the Good Shepherd and the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” 

The prophet knew this shepherd when, long before His Passion, He declared what would take place: “Like a sheep led to the slaughter or a sheep, dumb before the shearers, he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). Like a sheep, the shepherd has offered His neck for His flock …. By His death, He heals from death; by His tomb, He empties the tomb …. The tombs are full and the prison shut until the shepherd, comes down from the cross, He has come to bring His captive sheep the joyful news of their liberation. We see Him in hell where He gives the order for their release (1 Pt 3:19); we see Him call His sheep once more, giving them the call to life from the dwellings of the dead. “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” This is how He intends to win the affection of His sheep and those who know how to listen to His voice, love Christ.” – Basil of Seleucia (Died 448) Bishop of Seleucia, Writer – Oratio 26

PRAYER – O Good Shepherd,
You Whom My Soul Loves.
By St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

Where are You pasturing Your flock,
O good Shepherd,
Who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders?
(For the whole of human nature is one sheep
and You have lifted it onto Your shoulders).
Show me the place of peace,
lead me to the good grass that will nourish me,
call me by name so that I,
Your sheep, hear Your voice
and by Your speech,
give me eternal life.
Answer me, You Whom my soul loves.
… Show me then (my soul says),
where You pasture Your flock,
so that I can find that saving pasture too
and fill myself with the food of Heaven,
without which, no-one can come to eternal life
and run to the spring
and fill myself with the drink of God.
You give it, as from a spring,
to those who thirst –
water pouring from Your side, cut open by the lance,
water that, to whoever drinks it,
is a spring of water,
welling up to eternal life.
Amen

This is a tiny excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa’s commentary on the Song of Songs (Cap. 2: PG 44, 802), using the imagery of Psalm 23, appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promised green pastures, restful waters and noonday rest that is the final, eternal destination of those who love God and walk in His ways.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – ‘It is not I who undertook this work …’

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – The Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) Bishop, Confessor, Father & Doctor of the Church – 2 Corinthians 4:5-14, Matthew 10:23-28

What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” … Matthew 10:27

REFLECTION – “It is not I who undertook this work but, it is Christ the Lord Who commanded me to come to be with these Irish pagans for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall Will it and shield me from every evil … But I do not trust myself “as long as I am in this mortal body” (2 Pt 1:13; Rm 7:24) … I did not lead a perfect life like other believers but I confess to my Lord and do not blush in His sight because I am not lying, from the time when I came to know Him in my youth, the love of God and fear of Him increased in me and right up until now, by God’s favour, “I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7).

What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes.   I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding “the signs and wonders” (Dn 6:27) that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, He who knew everything, even before the beginning of time.   Thus, I should give thanks unceasingly to God, who has frequently forgiven my folly and my negligence, in more than one instance and has never been angry with me, who am placed as His helper, though I did not easily assent to what had been revealed to me, as the Spirit was urging. The Lord “took pity” on me “thousands upon thousands” of times, (Ex 20:6) because He saw within me, that I was prepared to serve Him. … Many were trying to prevent this mission, they were talking among themselves behind my back and saying, “Why is this fellow throwing himself into danger among enemies who do not know God?”   Not from malice did they say this, as I myself can testify, they perceived my rusticity.   And I was not quick to recognise the grace that was then in me, I now know, that I should have done so earlier.

Now I have put it frankly to my brothers and co-workers, who have believed me because of what “I have proclaimed and still proclaim” (2 Co 13:2) to strengthen and reinforce your faith.   I wish only, that you too, would make greater and better efforts.   This will be my pride, for “a wise son makes a proud father.” (Pr 10:1)” … St Patrick (c 385-461) (The Confessions,# 43-47)

PRAYER – Hear, we beseech You, O Lord, our prayers which we offer You on the feast of blessed Athanasius, Your Bishop and Confessor and absolve us from all our sins by the merits and prayers of him, who had the grace to serve You worthily. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St JOSEPH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 May – “Is not this the carpenter’s son? ”– Matthew 13:55

One Minute Reflection – 1 May – The Second Sunday after Easter – St Joseph the Worker, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 23-24, Matthew 13:54-58

“Is not this the carpenter’s son? ” – Matthew 13:55

REFLECTION – “For if I do not understand the nature placed at my service, I discern Your goodness from the mere fact that it is there to serve me. I perceive that I do not even understand myself but I wonder at You all the more… You have given me intellect, life and human feeling, the source of so many joys, yet I do not begin to understand how I began to be…
So it is through failing to understand what surrounds me, that I grasp what You are and, it is through perceiving what You are, that I come to adore You. That is why, in what concerns Your mysteries, my incomprehension lessens not a bit my faith in Your omnipotence… Your eternal Son’s birth exceeds even the idea of eternity – it is prior to the times everlasting. Before any other thing that exists, He was Son proceeding from You, O God and Father. He is true God… You have never existed without Him… Before ever time was, You are the eternal Father of Your Sole Begotten One.”… St Hilary (315-368) Bishop of Poitiers, Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ of the Church

PRAYER – O God, Creator of all things, Who dost impose on man the law of work, grant in Thy goodness, that, by the example and patronage of blessed Joseph, we may both accomplish the work Thou dost command and attain the reward Thou hast promised. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 30 April – The Three Grades of Perfection – The Third Grade

Thought for the Day – 30 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Three Grades of Perfection – The Third Grade

“The Third Grade of perfection consists in preferring suffering to pleasure, humiliation to honours and the cross, to an easy life.
By these means, we imitate Christ better and show our love for Him.
The way of the cross, is the way of Jesus and is the only path to holiness.
It is easier for those who walk this path to be detached from sin and from the world and to remain close to Jesus.
This is the way which the Saints chose.

In which grade of perfection are we?
Even if we are still far from the peak of the third grade of perfection, we should, nevertheless, work hard to reach it,
It is particularly essential that we should stand firm in the first grade of being faithful to the motto of St Dominic Savio: “Death rather than sin!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/24/thought-for-the-day-24-april-the-three-grades-of-perfection-introduction/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/14/thought-for-the-day-14-february-the-three-grades-of-perfection-one-and-two/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, GOD is LOVE, GOD the FATHER, OUR Cross, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, THE BLESSED TRINITY (Traditional), The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY TRINITY

Quote/s of the Day – 30 April – St Catherine of Siena

Quote/s of the Day – 30 April – The Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Virgin, Doctor of the Church

Enrich your soul in the great goodness of God –
The Father is your Table,
the Son is your Food
and the Holy Spirit waits on you
and then makes His Dwelling in you
.”

Charity is the sweet and holy bond
which links the soul
with its Creator;
it binds God with man
and man with God.

“It is only through shadows
that one comes to know the light
.”

Start being brave about everything!
Drive out darkness and spread light.
Do not look at your weaknesses.
Realise instead, that in Christ Crucified,
you can do all things.

He will provide the way and the means,
such as you could never have imagined.
Leave it all to Him,
let go of yourself,
lose yourself on the Cross
and you will find yourself entirely.”

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on STRENGTH, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – ‘Wholly United to Christ’

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7

I am the vine, you the branches;
whoever remains in me and I in him,
the same bears much fruit;
for without Me
you can do nothing
.”

John 15:5

“My sheep hear My Voice;
and I know them
and they follow Me.

John 10:27

He [Christ], protects their faith
and gives strength to believers,
in proportion to the TRUST,
that each man,
who receives that strength,
is willing to place in Him.

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Martyr, Father of the Church

The way to rest is through toil,
the way to life is through death.
Christ has taken on Himself
the whole weakness of our lowly human nature.
If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him
and in our love for Him,
we win the victory that He has won,
we receive what He has promised.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Place all your trust in God,
let Him be your fear and your love.
He will answer for you,
He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home.
You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be
and you shall have no rest,
until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here
when this is not the place of your repose?

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“For the branch,” says St Augustine,
“there can be no half-measures.
Either it remains united with the vine,
or it is thrown into the fire.”
The same holds true for each one of us.
We must choose, either close union with Jesus,
or separation and spiritual death.
We must decide between a life of fervour in Christ,
or a life of tepidity and sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, POETRY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Joined to Christ

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – The Memorial of St Peter Martyr of Verona OP (1205–1252) Martyr, Priest – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7

I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself, the vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and how important it is for us to remain in His love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on His part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ,and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: – He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation because, it is upon Him that we as living and spiritual stone, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ, can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling Himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us – The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.”St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: Commentary on the Gospel of John).

PRAYERSaint Thomas Aquinas in Eulogy for Saint Peter the Martyr
Here silent is Christ’s Herald;
Here quenched, the People’s Light;
Here lies the Martyred Champion
Who fought Faith’s holy fight.

The voice the sheep heard gladly,
The light they loved to see
He fell beneath the weapons
Of graceless Cathari.

The Saviour crowns His Soldier;
His praise the people psalm.
The Faith he kept adorns him
With Martyr’s fadeless palm.

His praise new marvels utter,
New light he spreads abroad
And now the whole wide city
Knows well the path to God.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRIDE

Thought for the Day – 27 April – PRIDE

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

PRIDE

“Do you remember the occasion when the Apostles, their minds filled with ambitious speculation, approached Jesus and asked Him who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
Our Lord called a little child and placed him in the centre of the group.
“Unless you turn and become like little children,” He said, “you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:3).

How different are God’s designs from the desires of men!
His ways are full of simplicity and humility, in a sharp contrast with our pride and ostentation.
Jesus taught us this lesson, not only in His discourses but, also in His life.
He was God and He became man; He was rich and He became poor.
He left His heavenly mansion and came down ro live in a stable in Bethlehem and to the home of a poor carpenter in Nazareth.
For thirty years He performed a tradesman’s job in this obscure village in Galilee.
It was only when He had already spent thirty years teaching us His love of poverty, that He emerged to preach the Gospel in public.
After He had preached and worked miracles for three years, He sank back into the depths of lowliness and was even condemned to die upon the Cross.
This is a tremendous lesson for us.
This is the road which we must travel, if we ae to follow Jesus!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/20/thought-for-the-day-20-april-pride/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/29/thought-for-the-day-29-april-pride/

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY SATURDAY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Holy Saturday

Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Holy Saturday

“…He Slept,
so that We might be
Awakened,
He Died,
so that We might
Live.

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

The Lord, although He was God, became man.
He suffered for the sake of those who suffer,
He was bound for those in bonds,
condemned for the guilty,
buried for those who lie in the grave
but He rose from the dead and cried aloud:
“Who will contend with Me? Let him confront Me.”
I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life,
raised men from their graves.
Who has anything to say against Me?
I, He said, Am the Christ, I have destroyed death,
triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot,
bound the strong one and taken men up to the heights of Heaven.
I Am the Christ.
Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you.
I Am your Forgiveness.
I Am the Passover which brings salvation.
I Am the Lamb Who was immolated for you.
I Am your Ransom, your Life, your Resurrection, your Light, I am your Salvation and your King.
I will bring you to the heights of Heaven.
With My own Right Hand I will raise you up
and I will show you the Eternal Father.

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Father

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Adoration of the Holy Cross – 15 April – Good Friday

Adoration of the Holy Cross – 15 April – Good Friday – The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Faithful Cross!

Faithful Cross! Above All Other
By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

Faithful Cross! above all other,
one and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
for awhile the ancient rigour
that thy birth bestowed, suspend
and the King of heavenly beauty
gently on thine arms extend.

Praise and honour to the Father,
praise and honour to the Son,
praise and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One:
One in might and One in glory

while eternal ages run.

The Passion of Our Lord
St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope, Father & Doctor
(Excerpt from a Sermon on the Passion and Cross of Christ)

TRUE REVERENCE for the Lord’s Passion means fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus Crucified and recognising in Him our own humanity.
The earth – our earthly nature – should tremble at the suffering of its Redeemer.
The rocks – the hearts of unbelievers – should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future Resurrection, should appear in the Holy City, the Church of God – what is happening to our bodies should now take place in our hearts.

NO-ONE, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the Cross. No-one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against Him. How much more ,does it bring to those, who turn to Him in repentance.
Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The Sacred Blood of Christ has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place to the true Light.
The Christian people are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn, have the way open before them, to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless indeed, they close off for themselves, the path that could be opened, before the faith of a thief.

THE BUSINESS of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive, with all the love of our heart, to be like our Redeemer and to follow His example. Everything that He did or suffered, was for our salvation – He wanted His body to share the goodness of its Head.

in taking our human nature while remaining God, so that the Word became Man, He left no member of the human race, the unbeliever excepted, without a share in His mercy. Who does not share a common nature with Christ, if He has welcomed Christ, Who took our nature, and is reborn in the Spirit, through Whom Christ was conceived?
Again, who cannot recognise in Christ, his own infirmities? Who would not recognise that Christ’s eating and sleeping, His sadness and His shedding tears of love, are marks of the nature of a slave?
It was this nature of a slave that had to be healed of its ancient wounds and cleansed of the defilement of sin. For that reason the Only- Begotten Son of God, became also, the Son of Man. He was to have both the reality of human nature and the fullness of the Godhead.

THE BODY WHICH LAY LIFELESS in the tomb is ours!
The Body which rose again on the third day is ours!
The Body which ascended above all the heights of Heaven to the right hand of the Father’s glory, is ours!
If then, we walk in the way of His commandments and are not ashamed to acknowledge the price He paid for our salvation in a lowly Body, we too, are to rise to share His glory. The promise He made, will be fulfilled in the sight of all – Whoever acknowledges Me, before men, I too will acknowledge him before My Father, Who is in Heaven.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, NOTES to Followers, POETRY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 15 April – Good Friday – ‘Put on Christ’

Quote/s of the Day – 15 April – Friday of the Passion of the Lord

GOOD FRIDAY
A Day of Deep Mourning,
Fasting and Abstinence!

The Word of the Cross

Look on thy God, Christ hidden in our flesh.
A bitter word, the Cross and bitter sight:
Hard rind without, to hold the heart of Heaven.
Yet sweet it is, for God upon that tree
Did offer up His Life upon that rood
My Life hung, that my Life might stand in God.
Christ, what am I to give Thee for my life?
Unless take from Thy Hands the cup they hold,
To cleanse me with the precious draught of death.
What shall I do? My body to be burned?
Make myself vile? The debt’s not paid out yet.
Whate’er I do, it is but I and Thou,
And still do I come short, still must Thou pay
My debts, O Christ, for debts Thyself hadst none.
What love may balance Thine? My Lord was found
In fashion like a slave, that so His slave
Might find himself in fashion like his Lord.
Think you the bargain’s hard, to have exchanged
The transient for the eternal, to have sold
Earth to buy Heaven? More dearly God bought me!

St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431)
Father of the Church

By the Cross, death was slain
and Adam was restored to life.
The Cross is the glory of all the Apostles,
the Crown of the Martyrs,
the Sanctification of the Saints.
By the Cross, we put on Christ
and cast aside our former self.
By the Cross we, the sheep of Christ,
have been gathered into one flock,
destined for the Sheepfold of Heaven.

St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
Father, Abbot, Theologian, Writer

“On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey
All hail, O Cross, our only hope!

St Venantiu Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, The PASSION, The WORD

Maundy Thursday – 14 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – THAT WAY has no room for dirty feet!

Maundy Thursday – 14 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

May God have mercy on us and bless us:
may He cause the light of His countenance, to shine upon us and may He have mercy on us.”
Psalm 66:2

Jesus answered him,
“What I am doing you do not know now
but afterward, you will understand.” P
eter said to him,
“You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“If I do not wash you,
you have no part in me.”

John 13:7-8

O WHAT WAS JESUS DOING in washing the feet of His disciples ? By washing them and wiping them with the towel around His waist, was not Jesus making their feet beautiful, at the moment when they were going to have to proclaim the good news?
It was then, in my opinion, that the prophetic word was fulfilled: “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news!” (Is 52:7; Rm 10:15).
But if, by washing the feet of His disciples, Jesus makes them beautiful, how can we express the genuine beauty in those whom He immerses fully “in the Holy Spirit and in fire” (Mt 3:11)?

THE FEET of the Apostles were made beautiful, so that … they might set out along the holy road and walk in Him Who said: “I am the Way” (Jn 14:6).
For whoever has had his feet washed by Jesus and he alone, follows that living Way that leads to the Father.

THAT WAY has no room for dirty feet! … In order to follow this living, spiritual Way (Heb 10:20) … they had to have their feet washed by Jesus, Who set aside His garments … so as to take upon His own Body, the dirtiness of their feet, with the towel, which was His only garment, for “he bears our infirmities” (Is 53:4). … ” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Commentary on St John’s Gospel)

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Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – This is Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

“He loved them unto the end.”

John 13:1

“Born as a Son,
led forth as a Lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
He rose from the dead as a God,
for He was by nature God and man.

He is all things –
He judges and so, He is Law.
He teaches and so, He is Wisdom.
He saves and so, He is Grace.
He begets and so, He is Father.
He is begotten,and so, He is Son.
He suffers and so, He is Sacrifice.
He is buried and so, He is Man.
He rises again and so, He is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Early Church Father

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – ‘… Place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified …’

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

“Jesus, knowing that his hour was come, … he loved them unto the end.” – John 13:1

REFLECTION – “Be obedient to the death, following the example of the spotless Lamb who obeyed His Father even to a shameful death on the Cross. Reflect that He is the way and the rule you are to follow. Always hold Him present before the eyes of your spirit. See how obedient He is, this Word, this Utterance of God! He does not refuse to take up the burden of suffering laid on Him by His Father; to the contrary, He throws Himself into it, spurred on by His great desire. Isn’t this what He reveals during the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, when He says: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15)? By “eat this Passover” He means, the accomplishment of the Father’s will and His desire. Seeing that scarcely any time lies before Him (He was already looking ahead to the end, when He would sacrifice His body for our sake), He rejoices, He is glad and joyfully says: “I have greatly desired.” Here is the Passover He is speaking about – that which consists in giving His own self as food, in laying down His own body in obedience to the Father.

Jesus had celebrated many another Passover with His disciples but never this one, O unspeakable, sweet and burning charity! You think neither of Your suffering nor of Your humiliating death – if You had thought of them, You would not have been so joyful, You would not have called it a Passover. The Word sees ,that it is He Himself Who has been chosen, He Himself Who has received all our humanity as His spouse. He has been asked to give us His own Blood so that God’s will might be accomplished in us, so that it might be His Blood that sanctifies us. This is, indeed, the sweet Passover, this Lamb without blemish accepts (cf. Ex 12:5) and it is with great love and great desire that He fulfils the Father’s will and wholly carries out His design. What unspeakably sweet love! …

That is why, my beloved, I beg you never to entertain the least dread and to place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified … May all servile fear be banished from your spirits. You will say with Saint Paul …: “I can do all things through Christ crucified, since he is within me by desire and love and he strengthens me” (cf. Phil 4:13; Gal 2:20). Love, love, love! By His Blood, the gentle Lamb has made an unassailable rock of your soul.” – St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, Co-patron of Europe – Letter 129

PRAYER – O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency, that even as in His Passion, our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each a retribution according to his merits, so having taken away our old sins, He may bestow upon us the grace of His Resurrection. Who with Thee lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, HOLY WEEK, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on TRUTH, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 13 April – The Night of the Passion

Thought for the Day – 13 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Night of the Passion

“The night of the Passion of Jesus Christ began in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here the tired Apostles left Him to pray alone and to endure the agonising pre-vision of the torments and death which awaited Him, as well as of the ingratitude with which men would repay His Infinite love.
Soon afterwards, abandoned by everyone, He was led before the Sanhedrin as a criminal and a disturber of the public peace.
Not only was the accusation false but, it was, of course, a complete inversion of the truth.

Jesus had, in fact, taught the noblest and most elevating of doctrines for all humanity.
He had proved the truth of His teaching by His miracles.

He restored sight to the blind, health to the lepers, to the lame and to the paralysed and even, life to the dead.
He had stated quite clearly, “Render to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).
Nevertheless, in the presence of His wicked judges, He showed Himself to be meek and humble.
But when He was confronted with an obvious falsehood, He spoke out in defence of the truth of His teaching.
For this, He was struck by one of the High Priests’s attendants , who said: “Is that the way thou dost answer the high priest?
If I have spoken ill,” Jesus replied quietly, “bear witness to the evil but if well, why dost thou strike me?” (Jn 18:19-23).

Let us learn from our Divine Redeemer to conquer self-love and to bear insults humbly and peacefully.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on PATIENCE, Quotes on SALVATION, The PASSION, The WORD

Tuesday of Holy Week – 12 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘… If we put Him on, if He is the Way of our salvation …’

Tuesday of Holy Week – 12 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Jeremias 11:18-20, Mark 14:32-72; 15, 1-46

“May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He cause the Light of His Countenance to shine upon us and may He have mercy on us.” – Psalm 66:2

“And some began to spit on Him
and to cover His face
and to buffet Him
and to say unto Him: Prophesy;
and the servants struck Him
with the palms of their hands.

Mark 14:65

“HE RECREIVED the spittings of insulters, who with His spittle had a little before made eyes for a blind man.
And He in Whose Name the devil and his angels is now scourged by His servants, Himself suffered scourgings!
He was crowned with thorns, Who crowns Martyrs with eternal flowers.
He was smitten on the Face with palms, Who gives the true palms to those who overcome.
He was despoiled of His earthly garment, Who clothes others in the vesture of immortality.
He was fed with gall, Who gave heavenly food.
He was given to drink of vinegar, Who appointed the cup of salvation.
That guiltless, that just One—nay, He who is Innocency itself and Justice itself—is counted among transgressors and Truth is oppressed with false witnesses.

HE, WHO SHALL JUDGE, is judged and the Word of God is led silently to the slaughter.
And when, at the Cross, of the Lord the stars are confounded, the elements are disturbed, the earth quakes, night shuts out the day, the sun… He speaks not, nor is moved, nor declares His Majesty even in His very Passion itself.
Even to the end, all things are borne perseveringly and constantly, in order that in Christ, a full and perfect patience may be consummated.

AND AFTER ALL THESE THINGS, He still receives His murderers, if they will be converted and come to Him.
And with a saving patience, He who is benignant to preserve, closes His Church to none.
Those adversaries…, if they repent of their sin, if they acknowledge the crime committed, He receives, not only to the pardon of their sin but to the reward of the Heavenly Kingdom.

WHAT CAN BE SAID, more Patient, what more Merciful? Even he is made alive by Christ’s Blood, who has shed Christ’s Blood!
Such and so great is the Patience of Christ and had it not been such and so great, the Church would never have possessed Paul as an Apostle.

BUT IF WE ALSO, beloved brethren, are in Christ.
If we put Him on, if He is the Way of our salvation, who follow Christ in the footsteps of salvation, let us walk by the example of Christ, as the Apostle John instructs us, saying, He who says, he abides in Christ, ought himself also, to walk even as He walked.

Peter also, upon whom by the Lord’s condescension the Church was founded, lays it down in his epistle and says:

CHRIST SUFFERED FOR US, leaving you an example, that ye should follow His Steps, Who did no sin, neither was deceit found in His Mouth; Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not but gave Himself up to him that judged Him unjustly.” – St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop of Carthage and Martyr, Father of the Church (On Patience, 7-9).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, The WORD

Wednesday of Passion Week – 6 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘The mark of Christ’s sheep …’

Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent – 6 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38

O Lord, deal with us not according to our sins, nor requite us according to our crimes.” – Psalm 102:10

“My sheep hear My Voice;
I know them and they follow Me.”

John 10:27

THE MARK OF CHRIST’S SHEEP is their willingness to hear and obey, just as the sign of those who are not His, is their disobedience. We take the word “Hear” to imply obedience to what has been said. People who hear God are known by Him. No-one is entirely unknown by God but to be known in this way, is to become His Kin. Thus, when Christ says, “I know mine,” He means, “I will receive them and give them permanent Mystical Kinship with Myself.” It might be said, that inasmuch as He has become man, He has made all human beings His Kin, since all are members of the same race; we are all united to Christ in a Mystical relationship because of His Incarnation. Yet, those who do not preserve the likeness of His holiness are alienated from Him… .

MY SHEEP FOLLOW ME, says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law, they obey the commands of Christ and, guided by His Words rise, through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into Heaven, they also follow Him.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 7, 10, 26).

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Quote/s of the Day – 6 April – Obedience

Quote/s of the Day – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38

My sheep hear My Voice;
I know them and they follow Me.

John 10:27

“The mark of Christ’s sheep
is their willingness to hear and obey,
just as disobedience
is the mark of those who are not His.
We take the word ‘hear’
to imply obedience
to what has been said.

My sheep follow me,” says Christ.
By a certain God-given grace,
believers follow in the footsteps of Christ.
No longer subject to the shadows of the Law ,
they obey the commands of Christ,
and guided by His words,
rise through grace,
to His own dignity,
for they are called children of God.
When Christ ascends into heaven,
they also follow Him
.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)

Chosen soul, how will you bring this about?
What steps will you take to reach the high level
to which God is calling you?
The means of holiness and salvation,
are known to everybody,
since they are found in the Gospel,
the masters of the spiritual life have explained them,
the Saints have practised them…
These means are –
sincere Humility,
unceasing Prayer,
complete Self-denial,
abandonment to Divine Providence
and obedience to the Will of God
.”

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

“Peace in us is the result
of two kinds of necessary obedience,
the obedience to right reason
of the lower faculties
and the obedience of right reason
to God, our Creator.
“This is the peace which God
gives on earth to men of goodwill;
this is the most perfect wisdom,”
St Augustine.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

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One Minute Reflection – 4 April ‘ … As long as we keep the seed of Truth … and His commandments …’

One Minute Reflection – 4 April – Monday in Passion Week – Jonas 3:1-10, John 7:32-39 and the Memorial of St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

You shall seek me and shall not find me …” – John 7:34

REFLECTION – “To seek Jesus is often something good, for it is the same as to seek the Word, the Truth and Wisdom. But you will say, that the words “to seek Jesus” are sometimes said about those who want to harm Him. For example: “They tried to seize Him but no-one laid a finger on Him because His hour had not yet come.” … He knows from whom He distances Himself and with whom He remains, without being found yet, so that if someone seeks Him, that person will find Him at the favourable time. The Apostle Paul said to those, who did not yet possess Jesus in this way and, who did not contemplate Him: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who shall go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who shall go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). What is it He does say? ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.” (Rom 6:6-8)

When in His love for humankind, the Saviour said: “You will look for me,” (Jn 8:21) He let us glimpse the things pertaining to the reign of God, so that those, who look for Him, do not do so outside of themselves saying: “’Here, He is here’, or ‘He is there.’ The Gospel tells them: “The reign of God is already in your midst.” (Lk 17:21) As long as we keep the seed of Truth that has been placed in our soul and His commandments, the Word will not distance Himself from us. But if evil spreads in us to corrupt us, Jesus will tell us: “I am going away. You will look for me but you will die in your sins.Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father (Commentary on Saint John, 19,12).

PRAYER – O God, Who granted to Your people blessed Isidore, as a minister of salvation, grant, we beseech You, that we who cherished him on earth as a teacher of life, may be found worthy to have him as an intercessor in Heaven. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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One Minute Reflection – 2 April – ‘I will be with those who love Me.’

One Minute Reflection – 2 April – Saturday of the Fourth Week in Lent – Isaias 49:8-15, John 8:12-20 and the Memorial of St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)

You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would then know My Father also.” – John 8:19

REFLECTION – “[Christ speaks:]
I became useless to those who knew Me not
because I shall hide Myself, from those who possessed Me not.
And I will be with those who love Me.

All my persecutors have died
and they, who trusted in Me, sought Me because I am living!
I arose and am with them and will speak by their mouths.
For they have rejected those who persecute them
and I threw over them, the yoke of My love.

Like the arm of the bridegroom over the bride (cf Sg 2,6),
so is My yoke over those who know Me.
And as the bridal feast is spread out by the bridal pair’s home,
So is My love, by those who believe in Me.

I was not rejected,
although I was considered to be so
and I did not perish,
although they thought it of Me.
Sheol saw Me and was shattered
and Death ejected Me and many with Me.
I have been vinegar and bitterness to it
and I went down with it as far as its depth.
Death was released
because it was not able to endure My Face.

And I made a congregation of living, among his dead (1P 3,19; 4,6)
and I spoke with them, by living lips;
in order that My word may not fail.
And those who had died ran toward Me
and they cried out and said, “Son of God, have pity on us.
And deal with us according to Your kindness
and bring us out from the chains of darkness.
And open for us, the door
by which we may go forth to You,
for we perceive, that our death does not approach You.
May we also be saved with You
because You are our Saviour
.”

Then I heard their voice
and placed their faith in My Heart.

And I placed My Name upon their forehead (Rv 14,1)
because they are free and they are Mine
! – Odes of Solomon (Hebrew Christian text from the beginning of the 2nd century) N° 42

PRAYER – O God, the greatness of the humble, Who raised blessed Francis, Your Confessor, to the glory of Your Saints, grant, we beseech You, that, by his merits and our imitation of his life, we may happily attain the rewards promised to the humble.
Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – I Am the Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent – 3 Kings 17:17-24, John 11:1-45

I Am
the Resurrection
and the
Life

John 11:25

We have had Your treasure
hidden within us,
ever since we received baptismal grace,
it grows ever richer
at Your sacramental table.

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Love Him, then, keep Him as a friend.
He will not leave you as others do,
or let you suffer lasting death.
Sometime, whether you will or not,
you will have to part with everything.
Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death,
trust yourself to the glory of Him,
Who alone can help you
when all others fail.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“This death … has already levelled
his bow to strike me.
Is it not prudent to prevent its stroke,
by dying now to the world,
that at my death,
I may live to God?

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – 30 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘… Let us do what He commands, so that we may not blush to covet what He promises… ‘

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – 30 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Isaias 1:16-19, John 9:1-38

Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from My eyes, cease to do perversely, Learn to do well: seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow.” – Isaias 1:16-17

“And Jesus passing by, saw a man
who was blind from his birth. …
As long as I am in the world,
I am the Light of the world.
When He had said these things,
He spat on the ground
and made clay of the spittle
and spread the clay upon his eyes,

John 9:1,5-6

“THE LORD TELLS USI am the Light of the world; he who follows Me, will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
In these few words He gives a COMMAND and makes a PROMISE.
Let us do what He commands, so that we may not blush to covet what He promises and to hear Him say on the day of judgement: “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining My promises. Have you fulfilled them?

If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” He will tell you: “I commanded you to follow Me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life. What life, if not the life about which it is written: With you is the fountain of life?

LET US DO NOW what He commands.
Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord.
Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following Him.
Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the One addressed in these words: You have broken my chains? Another psalm says of Him: The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.

THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FREED and raised up follow the Light.
The Light they follow speaks to them: I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me, will not walk in darkness.
The Lord gives Light to the blind.
Brethren, that Light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith.
His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind.
We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth; we need Him to give us Light.
He mixed saliva with earth and so it was prophesied: Truth has sprung up from the earth.

He Himself has said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

IF YOU LOVE ME, follow Me. “I do love you,” you protest “but how do I follow you?
If the Lord your God said to you: “I am the truth and the life,” in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask Him to show you the way to reach them.
You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality – if only it were possible for my soul to find them!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: On John [Treatise 34]).