One Minute Reflection – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs – Readings: Ephesians 2: 19-22; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 6: 12-16
“When day came, he called his disciples to himself and from them, he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles…” – Luke 6:13
REFLECTION – “Our Lord Jesus Christ has appointed certain men to be guides and teachers of the world and stewards of His Divine Mysteries. Now He bids them to shine out like lamps and to cast out their light, not only over the land of the Jews but over every country under the sun and over people, scattered in all directions and settled in distant lands. That man has spoken truly who said – ‘No-one takes honour upon himself, except the one who is called by God,’ for it was our Lord Jesus Christ who called His own disciples before all others, to a most glorious apostolate. These holy men became the pillar and mainstay of the Truth and Jesus said, that He was sending them, just as the Father had sent Him.
… Accordingly, in affirming that they are sent by Him just as He was sent by the Father, Christ sums up in a few words the approach they themselves should take to their ministry. From what He said they would gather that it was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealings never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.
Surely, it is in all these respects, that we find His holy disciples striving to excel. To ascertain this is no great labour, a single reading of the Acts of the Apostles or of Saint Paul’s writings is enough.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Fther & Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)
PRAYER – Lord God, You taught us to call upon Your name, through the preaching of the Apostles. Open our eyes each day, grant that we may see Jesus Your Son at our side, open our ears that we may hear His voice, open our mouths, that we may beg forgiveness and proclaim the good news, as we follow the way Your Son carved out for us. At the intercession of Sts Simon and Jude, may Your Church continue to grow and to hope in Your love. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 26 October – The Memorial of St Alfred the Great (849-899) King
“For in prosperity, a man is often puffed up with pride, whereas tribulations chastens and humbles him through suffering and sorrow. In the midst of prosperity, the mind is elated, and in prosperity. a man forgets himself. In hardship, he is forced to reflect on himself, even though he be unwilling. In prosperity, a man often destroys the good he has done. Amidst difficulties, he often repairs what he long since did in the way of wickedness.”
“He seemed to me, a very foolish man and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world and ever with and long to reach that endless life, where all shall be made clear.”
“The saddest thing about any man, is that he be ignorant and the most exciting thing. is that he knows it!”
“Ah, what shall I be at fifty, should nature keep me alive, if I find the world so bitter when I am but twenty-five?”
“One God, one law, one element, And one far-off divine event, To which the whole creation moves.”
Thought for the Day – 24 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “As We Also Forgive Our Debtors”
“If thou art offering thy gift at the altar,” Jesus tells us “and thou remember that thy brother has anything against thee, leave thy gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled to thy borhter and then come and offer thy gift” (Mt 5:23-24). Prayer is futile, therefore, unless we have first forgiven our enemies!
“Learn from me,” Jesus said when He proposed Himself as a model to be imitated, “for I am meek and humble of heart.” Then He added, “you will find rest for your souls” (Cf Mt 11:29). The foundation of our hatred, anger and resentment, is always our wounded pride. We need Christlike gentleness and humility, if we are to forgive sincerely and generously. Only when we have this gentleness and humility, moreover, shall we find joy in forgiving and only then, shall we have peace. As long as there is room in our hearts for pride and hatred, we can never enjoy peace of soul!”
Quote/s of the Day – 24 October ” – Jeremiah 31: 7-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Hebrews 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 46-52
“And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.”
“Come, follow me”
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.”
“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
“We will follow You, Lord Jesus. But in order for us to follow You, call us because without You, no-one will ascend towards You. For You are the way, the truth, the life. You are also our help, our trust, our reward. Welcome those who belong to You, You who are the way; strengthen them, You who are the truth; give them life, You who are the life.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Let us listen to the Lord: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6). If you are looking for the Truth, follow the Way which is also the Truth. This is where you are going and it is how you go. It is not by another thing that you go to something; it is not by anything else that you come to Christ; it is through Christ that you come to Christ. How to Christ through Christ? To Christ God through Christ man; through the Word made flesh, to the Word who was with God, from the beginning; through what we have eaten to what the angels eat daily. In fact it is what is written: “He gave them bread from heaven; man ate the bread of angels” (Ps 77:24-25). What is the bread of angels? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was in God and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1-3). How has man eaten the bread of angels? “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
One Minute Reflection – 24 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Jeremiah 31: 7-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Hebrews 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 46-52 and the Feast of Saint Raphael the Archangel
“And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way” .…Mark 10:52
REFLECTION – “[Moses said to the Lord on Mount Sinai]: “Let me see your glory!” He answered: “I will make all my beauty pass before you … but my face you cannot see” (Ex 33:18 f).] Such an experience seems to me to belong to the soul which loves what is beautiful. Hope always draws the soul from the beauty which is seen, to what is beyond … And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire, asks this – to enjoy the Beauty, not in mirrors and reflections but face-to-face. The divine Voice granted what was requested in what was denied … – the munificence of God assented to the fulfilment of the desire but did not promise any cessation or satiety of the desire … The true sight of God consists in this, that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire. For He says: “You cannot see my face and live” …
But when the Lord who spoke to Moses came to fulfil His own law, He likewise gave a clear explanation to His disciples, laying bare the meaning of what had previously been said in a figure, when He said: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine “ (Lk 9:23) and not “If any man will go before me.” And to the one asking about eternal life, He proposes the same thing, for He says: “Come, follow me” (Lk 18:22). Now, he who follows, sees the back. So Moses, who eagerly seeks to behold God, is now taught how he can behold Him – to follow God wherever he might lead, is to behold God (…).
Someone who does not know the way, cannot complete his journey safely in any other way, than by following behind his guide. He who leads, then, by His guidance shows the way to the one following. He who follows, will not turn aside from the right way, if he always keeps the back of his leader in view. For he who moves to one side or brings himself to face his guide, assumes another direction for himself, than the one his guide shows him. Therefore, God says to the one who is led: “My face is not to be seen”, that is, “Do not face your guide”. If he does so, his course will certainly be in the opposite direction …. to follow God wherever He might lead, is to behold God! No longer does any offence which comes about through evil, withstand the one who thus follows Him.” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395) Bishop, Father (Brother of St Basil the Great) – The Life of Moses, II.
PRAYER – Lord God of Hosts, in Your all-wise Providenc, You assign to Angels and to men, the services they have to render You. Grant that the Angels who adore You in Heaven, may protect and guid us here on earth. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God now and for all eternity, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Readings: Romans 8: 1-11; Psalm 24: 1b-6; Luke 13: 1-9
“I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilise it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not, you may cut it down.”
“… This kind Master closes His Church to no-one. He not only receives and pardons those adversaries, those blasphemers, those persistent enemies of His Name, provided they do penance for their offence and acknowledge the crime committed but, He admits them to the reward of the kingdom of heaven. What can be called more patient, what more kind? Even he, who shed the Blood of Christ, is given life, by the Blood of Christ.”
St Cyprian of Carthage – (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“When he has begun to follow Me, according to My teaching and precepts, he will find many people contradicting him and standing in his way, many who not only deride but even persecute him. Moreover, this is true, not only of pagans who are outside the Church but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds. Although these glory, in merely the title of Christian, they continually persecute faithful Christians.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)”
“If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him Who is Crucified, although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and put to death. … If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father “even to death” (Phil 2:8). “For just as through the disobedience of one person, Adam, the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of One, the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). . If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him Who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15), “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). On the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Angelic Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 22 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary”– Readings: Romans 7: 18-25a; Psalm 119: 66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94; Luke 12: 54-59
“You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”… Luke 12:56
REFLECTION – “People focus their attention on things of this kind. From long observation and practice, they tell beforehand when rain will fall or violent winds will blow. One especially sees that sailors are very skillful in this matter. He says that it would be suitable for those, who can calculate things of this sort and may foretell storms that are about to happen, to focus the penetrating eyes of the mind also on important matters. What are these?
The law showed beforehand the Mystery of Christ, that He would shine out, in the last ages of the world, on the inhabitants of the earth and submit to be a Sacrifice for the Salvation of all. It even commanded a lamb to be sacrificed as a type of Him, Who died towards evening and at lighting of lamps. We might now understand, that when, like the day, this world was declining to its close, the great, precious and truly saving Passion would be fulfilled. The door of salvation would be thrown wide open to those who believe in Him and abundant happiness be their share. In the Song of Songs, we also find Christ calling to the bride described there. The bride personally represents the Church, in these words, “Arise, come, my neighbour, my beautiful dove. Look, the winter is past and the rain is gone. It has passed away. The flowers appear on the ground. The time of the pruning has come.” As I said, a certain springlike calm was about to arise, for those who believe in Him.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor (Commentary on Luke, Homily 95)
PRAYER – Lord God, You fill us with Your grace and teach us true faith. Strengthen in our hearts that faith that no trials may quench the fire, that we may seek Your Face in every moment and accept AND LIVE all of Your will. Send us Your Spirit to keep the fire blazing. By the inspiration and prayers of the Blessed Virgin, may we grow in sanctity and may the humble love and intercession of Mary Mother of our faith, be our succour. Through Jesus Your Son our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 21 October – Readings: Romans 6: 19-23; Psalm 1: 1-4 and 6; Luke 12: 49-53
“I have come to set the earth on fire!”
“Do whatever he tells you.”
“His action is preceded by the beaming rays of His light and knowledge. He comes with the truth of the real Protector; for He comes to save, to lead, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console, to illumine in the first place the mind of the person who receives Him and through that person‘s works, the minds of others.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“ True spiritual life consists in this: that man keep his eyes on God all the time, long for nothing but for God, keep nothing in mind but God, begin every single action,in God’s name and direct it to Him.”
St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
“O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee, for I fear all things, from my own weakness, but I hope for all things, from Thy Goodness.”
Thought for the Day – 20 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The First Part of the “Our Father”
“Our second aspiration is: “Thy kingdom come.” It is true, that God reigns over Heaven, earth and the infernal regions. Everything is subject to His Will – the sun, the stars, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea and the tiniest insects carry out His commands. Even the demons of Hell, who He has condemned to eternal punishment, are obedient to His Will. But what about the human race?
Man possesses the precious but dangerous privilege of free will. which he has power to abuse by rebelling against God. We should pray that the sovereignty of God may be triumphant in all hearts, beginning with our own and, that all men may willingly subject themselves to His commandments and to His grace. This is the only way in which they can find peace. “Take my yoke upon you and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).
We should pray, moreover, for the Church, which is the kingdom of God upon earth. We should pray for her peaceful victory over her enemies, who persecute her and impede her work for the salvation of souls. We should love the Church even as we love Jesus Christ, for the Church is His handiwork and the fruit of His Precious Blood.”
One Minute Reflection – 19 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 5: 12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21; Psalm 40: 7-10, 17; Luke 12: 35-38
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36
REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us if He does not always enter or always remain. May your door be open to Him who comes – open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart, run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.
So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true that He could enter but He doesn’t want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church (12th Sermon on Psalm 118)
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your eternal light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of all Your Angels and Saints, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 17 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Isaiah 53: 10-11; Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-20, 22; Hebrews 4: 14-16; Mark 10: 35-45
“Whosoever will be first among you, shall be the servant of all.” – Mark 10:44
REFLECTION – “What need was there that the Son of God should suffer for us? There was great need and indeed, it can be assigned to two reasons. The first, is that it was a remedy against sin and the second, is for an example of what we should do. … For the Passion of Christ can bring about a complete reformation of our lives. … If you seek an example of charity, then “no-one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). … If you seek an example of patience, you will find it in its highest degree on the Cross. … Christ suffered greatly upon the Cross and with all patience because “when he was insulted, he returned no insult” (1 Pt 2:23), “like a lamb led to the slaughter, he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). … “Let us persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising its shame” (Heb 12:1-2).
If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him Who is Crucified, although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and put to death. … If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father “even to death” (Phil 2:8). “For just as through the disobedience of one person, Adam, the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of One the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). . If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him Who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15), “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). On the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall. – St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Dominican Theologian, Doctor of the Church (On the Apostles’ Creed – Collationes In Symbolum apostolorum, art. 4 # 64.70.72-76; [trans. Joseph Collins])
PRAYER – Holy Father, grant me an operative faith, a faith that will move mountains. Enlighten my soul with Your Light, Goodness, Power and Wisdom. Let my faith be an image of You by lively deeds and love and by conforming myself to Your Will in all things. As the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your only-begotten Son, longed only to serve the God of all in complete self-denial and humility, may we always strive to imitate her Fiat in serving You, with upright hearts and thus manifest a true faith, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 10 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11, Psalms 90:12-13,14-15, 16-17, Hebrews 4:12-13, Mark 10:17-30
“You lack one thing – go, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come, follow me.”…Mark 10:21
REFLECTION – “This, beloved, is the way in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest who offers our gifts, the patron and helper in our weakness (Heb 10:20; 7:27; 4:15). It is through Him, that we look straight at the heavens above. Through Him, we see mirrored, God’s faultless and transcendent countenance. Through Him, the eyes of our heart were opened. Through Him, our unintelligent and darkened mind shoots up into the light. Through Him, the Master was pleased to let us taste the knowledge that never fades, He who is “the radiance of His splendour, who towers as much above the angels, as the title He has inherited, is superior to theirs” (He 1:3-4) (…)
Let us take our body. The head is nothing without the feet and the feet are nothing without the head. The smallest organs of our body are necessary and valuable to the whole body, in fact, all parts conspire and yield the same obedience, toward maintaining the whole of the body (cf.1 Co 12:12f.). Therefore, let the whole of our body be maintained in Christ Jesus and let each submit to their neighbour’s rights in the measure determined by the special gift bestowed on them. Let the strong care for the weak and the weak respect the strong; let the rich support the poor and the poor render thanks to God for giving them the means of supplying their needs; let the wise show their wisdom, not in words but in active help; the humble must not testify to themselves but leave it to another to testify in their behalf. Those who are continent must not boast, knowing that it is another who confers on them the ability to remain continent.
Let us, therefore, reflect brethren, of what clay we were made, what and who we were when we entered the world, out of what grave and darkness, our Maker and Creator has brought us into the world, where He has prepared His benefits before our birth. Since, then, we owe all these blessings to Him, we are obliged to thank Him in every way.” … St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99) – Pope from c 90 to c 99 – Letter to the Corinthians, § 36-38
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, you sent St Francis Borgia to be Your witnesses and to bring Your Church to all for the salvation of souls. Sustain us by their prayers that by our lives we may lead all to You through Holy Mother Church. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 7 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fifth Joyful Mystery The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“To search for Jesus is the principal obligation of the soul, to find Him, is the highest happiness! If we are without Jesus, our minds are in darkness and scared with false ideas. Separated from Him, our hearts are filled with remorse, emptiness and yearning. Only when Jesus is with us, have life and death any meaning. Then we can set our journey towards the unfading star of Christian hope.
When Jesus promised to give us His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink, He saw that His listeners were going away, scandalised. “Do you also wish to go away?” He asked His Apostles. “Lord,” replied St Peter, “to whom shall we go? Thou hast wprds of everlasting life” (Jn 6:69).”
Quote/s of the Day – 6 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Jonah 4: 1-11; Psalm 86: 3–6, 9-10; Luke 11: 1-4
“Lord, teach us to pray …”
“For what reason did God send Him to preach to the poor? “To preach release to captives.” We were the captives. For many years Satan had bound us and held us captive and subject to himself. Jesus has come “to proclaim release to captives and sight to the blind.” By His word and the proclamation of His teaching, the blind see.”
Origen (c 185-253)
“He did not treat us as our sins deserved. For we are now sons of God. How do we show this? The only Son of God died for us, so that He might not remain alone. He who died as the only Son, did not want to remain as the only Son. For the only Son of God made many sons of God. He bought brothers for Himself by His blood, He made them welcome by being rejected, He ransomed them by being sold, He honoured them by being dishonoured, He gave them life by being put to death.”
St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Great Western Father and Doctor of Grace
“For the Author and Giver of divine blessings could not but be our Teacher as well, providing the words of this prayer, as precepts of life, for those disciples who believe in Him and follow the way He taught in the flesh. Through these words, He has revealed the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3) that exist in Him as pure form. And, in all who offer this prayer, He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Monk and Theologian
Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer
“Prayer is nothing other than union with God. … This union of God with his little creature is something beautiful. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. We had deserved not to pray but God, in His goodness, allows us to speak to Him. Our prayer is incense, which He receives with tremendous pleasure.”
St John-Marie Vianney (1786-1859)
(Catechism on Prayer]
“Immediately after rising and throughout the day, all make the Sign of the Cross and renew their trust in God: to be strengthened by the power of the Father, to be enlightened by the wisdom of the Son and to be sanctified by the love of the Holy Spirit. And as they bless themselves, they may say: Of myself I can do nothing, with God I can do everything, I want to do everything for love of God.”
One Minute Reflection – 4 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Jonah 1: 1 – 2: 1-2, 11; Psalm Jonah 2: 3, 4, 5, 8; Luke 10: 25-37 The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)
“But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds …” – Luke 10:33-34
REFLECTION – “ How good You are, O Divine Samaritan, to gather up this wounded world so sadly fallen along the way, trapped in such mire and so unworthy of Your Goodness!
The more wicked the world, the more Your Mercy shines forth: to be infinitely good to the good, is a thousand times less admirable, than to be infinitely good to souls, who, even though lavished with graces, are simply ungrateful, unfaithful, perverse. The more wicked we are, the more the marvel of Your infinite Mercy gleams and shines. This in itself, suffices to explain, the great good that sin produces on the earth and explains, why You permit it. It makes way for an incomparable greater good – the exercise and manifestation of Your divine Mercy. This divine attribute could not be put into practice without it; goodness could be exercised and shown without sin but failure is needed, if mercy is to be manifested. Ah! My Lord and God, how Good you are! How Merciful! Mercy is, so to speak, the overflow of Your Goodness and what is most passionate in Your Goodness, the weight by which Your Goodness overcomes Your Justice. How divinely good You are! (…)
Be kind to sinners, since God is so kind to us – pray for them, love them. … “Be merciful as our Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). God “prefers mercy to sacrifice” (cf. Mt 12:7).” – Bl Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) Hermit and Missionary in the Sahara – (Meditations on the psalms 103, psalm 52)
PRAYER – 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
Quote/s of the Day – 3 October – Readings: Genesis 2: 18-24; Psalm 128: 1-6; Hebrews 2: 9-11; Mark 10: 2-16
“Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a little child, shall not enter it.”
“Father, I am seeking, I am hesitant and uncertain but will You, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive all that you ask.”
St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church
“Do not have any anxiety about the future. Leave everything in God’s hands for He will take care of you.”
St John Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719)
“Those whose hearts are enlarged by confidence in God run swiftly on the path of perfection. They not only run, they fly because, having placed all their hope in the Lord, they are no longer weak as they once were. They become strong with the strength of God, which is given to all who put their trust in Him.”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
“The Holy Spirit leads us like a mother. He leads His child by the hand… as a sighted person leads a blind person.”
Our Morning Offering – 3 October – The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
O Jesus, Sweetest Love, Come Thou to Me 1940 Fr Francis Xavier Lasance (1860–1946)
O JESUS, sweetest Love, come Thou to me. Come down in all Thy beauty unto me. Thou Who didst die for longing of me And never, never more depart from me. Free me, O beauteous God, from all but Thee; Sever the chain that holds me back from Thee; Call me, O tender Love, I cry to Thee; Thou art my all! O bind me close to Thee. O suffering Love, Who hast so loved me; O patient Love, Who wearies not of me. You alone O Love! You weary not of me! Ah! Weary not till I am lost in Thee, Nay, weary not, till I am found in Thee. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 28 September – – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”
Steer the Ship of My Life, Lord By St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Church
Steer the ship of my life, Lord, to Your quiet harbour, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that, through enduring hardship and danger, in Your Name we shall find comfort and peace. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 27 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Zechariah 8: 1-8; Psalm 102: 16-21, 29 and 22-23; Luke 9: 46-50
“Whoever receives this little child in my name, receives me” – Luke 9:48
REFLECTION – “As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you,” (Is 66:12-13). The mother embraces her children and we seek out our own mother, the Church. Anything weak and helpless, whose weakness needs supporting, is sweet and vulnerable and endearing: -God does not refuse His help to anything so young. Parents devote particular gentleness to their little ones; … in the same way, the Father of all creation gathers to Himself all who take refuge in Him, regenerates them by His Spirit and adopts them as His sons. He knows how gentle they are and they are the ones He loves, helps and protects;,that is why He calls them His little children, (cf. Jn 13:33).
The Holy Spirit, speaking through the mouth of Isaiah, applies the expression “child” to the Lord Himself: “For a child is born to us, a son is given us (…)” (Is. 9,5). Who is this Child, then? This newborn Infant in whose image we, too, are children? Through the same prophet, the Spirit describes His greatness: “Wonder-CounselLor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace,” (v. 6).
Oh great God! Oh perfect Child! The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. How could the teaching this Child gives, not be irreproachable? It includes us all to guide us all, His children. He has stretched out His hands to us and we have placed in them all our faith. To this little Child, John the Baptist himself also gave testimony – “Behold,” he said, “the Lamb of God,” (Jn 1:29). Since Scripture has called children ‘lambs’, it has called “Lamb of God” the Word of God Who became man for us and Who wanted to become like us in all things, the Son of God Himself, the child of the Father. – St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) Theologian, Father – (Paedagogus I, 21-24)
PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Word made flesh and His sorrowful Mother, grant the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word, Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by the healing Word our repentant hearts may know our way to our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Haggai 1: 1-8; Psalm 149: 1b-6a and 9b; Luke 9: 7-9
“… Who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.”
“Prayer is the wing, wherewith the soul flies to heaven and meditation, the eye, wherewith we see God.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith, is to see what you believe.”
“A person can do other things against his will but belief is possible, only in one who is willing.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church
“He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes; he who asks for anything but Christ, does not know what he is asking; he who works and not for Christ, does not know what he is doing.”
St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
“Only one thing is necessary: Jesus Christ! Think unceasingly of Him. ”
St John Gabriel Perboyre CM (1802-1840) Martyr for Christ
“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly. Let scientists go on asking – Where is God? He is where those clever ones, arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”
Thought for the Day – 21 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Following Jesus, the Divine Model
“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate. In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity. Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him. “Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29). After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).
If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist – Readings: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13; Psalm 19: 2-5; Matthew 9: 9-13
“He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.”
“Our Lord chose Matthew, the tax collector, to encourage his fellows to join him. He looked on sinners, called them and brought them to sit beside Him. What a wonderful sight! Angels stand trembling, while publicans, seated, rejoice!”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Why did Jesus not call Matthew at the same time as He called Peter and John and the rest? He came to each one at a particular time when He knew that they would respond to Him. He came at a different time to call Matthew when He was assured that Matthew would surrender to His call. For He Who is acquainted with our inmost hearts and knows the secrets of our minds, knows when each one of us is ready to respond fully.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist- Readings: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13; Psalm 19: 2-5; Matthew 9: 9-13
“As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.”And he got up and followed him.” – Matthew 9:9
REFLECTION – “It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. There are four zones of the world in which we live and four principal winds and the Church is scattered throughout all the world and her “pillar and ground” (1 Tm 3:15) is the Gospel and the Spirit of life; therefore, it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side and vivifying us afresh. The Word, the Shaper of all things, Who sits upon the cherubim and upholds all things (Ps 79:2; Heb 1:3), Who was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four aspects but bound together by One Spirit. David says, when entreating this manifestation, “You that sit between the cherubim, shine forth.”(Ps 79:2) For the cherubim, too, were four-faced (Ez 1:6) and their faces were images of the dispensation of the Son of God.
For, as Scripture says, “The first living creature was like a lion,” (Rev 4:7) symbolising His effectual working, His leadership and royal power; “the second was like a calf,” signifying His sacrificial and priestly order but, “the third had, as it were, the face as of a man,” – an evident description of His coming as a human being; “the fourth was like a flying eagle,” pointing out the gift of the Spirit hovering with its wings over the Church. And, therefore, the Gospels of John, Luke, Matthew and Mark are in accord with these living things, among which Christ Jesus is seated. …
Such was the form of the living creatures, so was also the character of the Word of God Himself – the Word of God Himself conversed with the patriarchs before Moses, in accordance with His divinity and glory but, for those under the law, He instituted a priestly and liturgical service. Afterwards, being made Man for us, He sent the gift of the Spirit over all the earth, protecting us with His Wings (Ps 16:8). … These things being so, all who reject the form the Gospel has taken – that is, those who say the Gospels should be more or fewer in number – are futile, ignorant, and presumptuous.” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr – (Against Heresies c. Book III, 11, 8-9).
PRAYER – We thank You, heavenly Father, for the witness of Your Apostle and Evangelist, Matthew, to the Gospel of Your Son, our Saviour and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts, obey the calling of our Lord, to follow Him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 20 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Ezra 1: 1-6; Psalm 126: 1b-6; Luke 8: 16-18
Christ the Light
“In You is the source of life and in Your Light Lord, we see light”
“You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world.”
“Light came into the world.”
“I am the light of the world he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
“This, beloved, is the way in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest Who offers our gifts, the Patron and Helper in our weakness (Heb 10:20; 7:27; 4:15). It is through Him, that we look straight at the heavens above. Through Him, we see mirrored, God’s faultless and transcendent countenance. Through Him, the eyes of our heart were opened. Through Him, our unintelligent and darkened mind shoots up into the light. Through Him, the Master was pleased to let us taste the knowledge that never fades,”
St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99)
“He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the Great Light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the Light of Heaven.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“It is no advantage to be near the light, if the eyes are closed.”
“Proclaim the Good News! What good news is that? Day is born from Day… Light from Light – the Son from the Father, the saving power of God!”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“He is the Light of Truth, the Path of life, the Power and Mind, Hand and Strength of the Father. He is the Sun of Justice, Source of Blessings, Flower of God, God’s Son, Creator of the world, Life of our mortality and Death to our death. He is the Master of the virtues. He is God to us …!”
St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) Father of the Church
“Run with eager desire to this Source of Life and Light, all you who are vowed to God’s service.”
St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 20 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Ezra 1: 1-6; Psalm 126: 1b-6; Luke 8: 16-18
“No-one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed, rather, he places it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.” – Luke 8:16
REFLECTION – “The Lamp set upon the Lampstand is Jesus Christ, the true Light from the Father, the Light that enlightens every man who comes into the world. In taking our own flesh, He has become and is rightly called, a Lamp, for He is the connatural Wisdom and Word of the Father. … He is lifted up and resplendent among the nations, through the lives of those who live virtuously, in observance of the commandments. So He gives light to all in the house (that is, in this world), just as He Himself, God the Word, says – no-one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. Clearly He is calling Himself the Lamp, He who is by nature God and became flesh according to God’s saving purpose. …
Lamp-like indeed, He alone dispelled the gloom of ignorance and the darkness of evil and became the Way of salvation for all men. Through virtue and knowledge, He leads to the Father those who are resolved to walk by Him, Who is the way of righteousness, in obedience to the divine commandments. He has designated holy Church the Lampstand, over which the Word of God sheds Light through preaching and illumines with the rays of truth, whoever is in this house which is the world and fills the minds of all men with divine knowledge.
This Word is most unwilling to be kept under a bushel; it wills to be set in a high place, upon the sublime beauty of the Church. …” – St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420) Bishop and Father of the Church – (An excerpt from An Inquiry Addressed to Thalassius)
PRAYER – Lord, be the beginning and the end of all that we do, all that we say, in every moment be our Light. Prompt our actions with Your grace and complete them with Your all-powerful love. May we always seek Your Face in every circumstance, in every moment, so that Your Light may become our life. Holy and Mother, you lived your life in the Presence of the Holy Face of Christ our Lord, please intercede for us and for all the world. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 18 September – Readings: Timothy 6: 13-16; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 8: 4-15
“And as for that in the good ground they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bring forth fruit with patience.”
“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit… he who does not obey the Son, shall not see life.”
“And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.”
“Scripture brought me to the Gate of Paradise and the mind stood in wonder as it entered.”
“When you begin to read or listen to the Holy Scriptures, pray to God thus: “Lord Jesus Christ, open the ears and eyes of my heart so that I may hear Thy words and understand them and may fulfill Thy will.” Always pray to God like this, that He might illumine your mind and open to you, the power of His words. Many, having trusted in their own reason, have turned away into deception.”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights, is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). … As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge … Without this Light, which is Christ, no-one can penetrate the secrets of faith.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor
“Not content with sending His servants, He came Himself, He marked out the way we should take, He came to make known His holy Word. … Brethren, it is absolutely impossible to love and please God, unless we are fed by this divine Word.”
One Minute Reflection – 18 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Timothy 6: 13-16; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 8: 4-15
“And some seed fell on good ground” – Luke 8:8
REFLECTION – “In my view it was to Mary that the blessed Prophet Joel was speaking when he exclaimed: “Fear not, O land! Exult and rejoice! For the Lord has done great things in you” (2,21). For Mary is a land – that ground on which Moses, the man of God, heard the command to remove his sandals (Ex 3,5), an image of the Law now replaced by grace. She is also that land on which, through the Holy Spirit, He was built up of whom we sing that He “fixed the earth on its foundations” (Ps 104,5). She is a land which, without being sown, brings forth the fruit that feeds all flesh (Ps 136,25). A land on which the thorns of sin have never sprung up, to the contrary, she has given birth to Him who pulled it up by the roots. And she is a land that is not cursed as the first one was, to bring forth a harvest of thorns and thistles (Gn 3,18) but on whom rests the Lord’s blessing and who bears in her breast, a “blessed fruit” as sacred scripture says (Lk 1,42)…
Rejoice, O Mary, House of the Lord, earth trodden by the Footsteps of God… Rejoice, O Paradise more happy than the Garden of Eden, where every virtue has been seeded and where the Tree of Life has grown.” – St Theodore the Studite (750-826) Father, Abbot, Theologian, Writer (Homily 2 for the Nativity of Mary, 4, 7; PG 96, 683f)
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, turn our ears and hearts to Your Word, that we may hear and live by the seed You have sown. May all that grows in us be of Your good seed and yield fruit a hundredfold. Grant us the grace of imitating the virtues of Mary, the Mother of Your only-begotten Son and our Mother and may her prayers intercede on our behalf. May we may be filled with courage and love and spread Your Word by our lives. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord and Word, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ”
Jesu, be You my Life! By Msgr Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)
I cannot live alone another hour, Jesu, be You my Life! I have not power to strive, be You my Power In every strife! I can do nothing – hope, nor love, nor fear. But only fail and fall. Be You my soul and self, O Jesu dear. My God and all! Amen
Robert Hugh Benson AFSC KCSG KGCHS (18 November 1871 – 19 October 1914) was an English Anglican reverend who in 1903 was received into the Catholic Church in which he was Ordained Priest in 1904. He was a prolific writer of fiction and wrote the notable dystopian novel Lord of the World (1907). His output encompassed historical, horror and science fiction, contemporary fiction, children’s stories, plays, apologetics, devotional works and articles. He continued his writing career at the same time as he progressed through the hierarchy to become a Chamberlain to Pope Saint Pius X in 1911 and gain the title of Monsignor. He was a LaSallian Brother (AFSC) and a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher (KCSG KGCHS).