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Thought for the day – 6 December – Each is the Administrator of Their Own Grace

Thought for the day – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Matthew 9:27-31 and the Memorial of St Nicholas (270-343)

Each is the Administrator of Their Own Grace

Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian

Fifth Century on Theology, nos. 34-35, 42, 45

“Each one of us possesses the manifest energy of the Spirit in proportion to the faith within them (cf Rm 12:6).  And so, each is the administrator of their own grace.  Someone, who is well disposed, could never be envious of anything, in the one who is honoured with graces, provided that the disposition towards receiving God’s graces, rests upon him.   What determines that the gifts of God dwell in us, is the measure of each one’s faith.   Because it is to the extent that we believe, that the enthusiasm to act is given us.   And so those who act, reveal the measure of their faith proportionate to their action, they receive their measure of grace according to what they have believed. (…)

By means of the incomplete elevations of the virtues, we make the charisms that have been shared out to us, converge towards their cause, with the help of God, so that, by letting ourselves drift little by little into negligence, we might make our faith blind and sightless, deprived of the lights that the works of the Spirit gives us and may be justly punished for endless ages, for having blinded the divine eyes of faith in ourselves, insofar as it was in our power. (…)

The person who does not fulfil the divine commands of faith, has a faith that is blind.  For if God’s Commands are lights (cf Is 26:9), this means, that whoever does not fulfil the Commands of God, is without divine light.   He leaves the divine call without an answer. He does not really respond to him.”

Nicholas was loved for one reason. He loved.   He loved God and God’s people so much that he would do anything for them.   He was so grateful for the life God had given him that he just couldn’t stop giving joy and hope to others—no matter how far he had to travel or how many roofs he had to climb!

St Nicholas, Pray for Us!st nicholas - pray for us - 5 dec 2017.jpg

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Advent Reflection – – 6 December – “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

Advent Reflection – – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Matthew 9:27-31

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”   And their eyes were opened.

Matthew 9:28-30

REFLECTION – “We too have been “illuminated” by Christ in Baptism and thus  we are called to behave as children of the light.   Acting as children of the light requires a radical change of mind-set, a capacity to judge men and things according to another scale of values, which comes from God.   The Sacrament of Baptism, in fact, requires the choice of living as children of the light and walking in the light.

MEDITIATION – If I were to ask you:  “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?   Do you believe that He can change your heart?   Do you believe that He can show reality as He sees it, not as we see it?   Do you believe that He is light, that He gives us the true light?”   How would you answer?   Each of you, respond in your heart.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 March 2017matthew 9 28 - 30 do you believe - pope francis 6 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – Faith engenders hope, which is a future-oriented virtue.   It acknowledges that there is a future awaiting us that is much, much better than the present.   The virtue of hope, with its orientation to the future, enables us to handle present distresses and struggles in a positive way.
Pope Benedict reminds us in Spe Salvi that this perspective. does not mean for one moment. that we live only for the future (4).   People in hope are building up the kingdom on earth but, they are also on pilgrimage, to that eternal kingdom, God has in store for those who follow Him.

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people who come to You in confidence.   Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.   Give courage to those who falter because of their failures.   In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in faith and hope, by the power of your Holy Spirit.   May they proclaim Your saving acts of kindness here on earth and one day, in Your eternal kingdom.    Amen.friday of the first week of advent - 6 december 2019.jpg

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Thought for the Day – 4 December – The Statement of Faith by St John Damascene, Priest

Thought for the Day – 4 December – The Memorial of St John Damascene (676-749) – Father and Doctor of the Church

From The Statement of Faith by St John Damascene, Priest

You have called me, Lord, to minister to Your people.   O Lord, You led me from my father’s loins and formed me in my mother’s womb.   You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey Your commands.

By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You prepared my creation and my existence, not because man willed it or flesh desired it but by Your ineffable grace  . The birth You prepared for me, was such, that it surpassed the laws of our nature  You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as Your son and You enrolled me among the children of Your holy and spotless Church.

You nursed me with the spiritual milk of Your divine utterances.   You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son for our redemption. And He, undertook the task willingly and did not shrink from it. Indeed, He applied Himself to it as though destined for sacrifice, like an innocent lamb.   Although He was God, He became man and in His human will, became obedient to You, God His Father, unto death, even death on a cross.

In this way You have humbled Yourself, Christ my God, so that You might carry me, Your stray sheep, on Your shoulders.   You let me graze in green pastures, refreshing me with the waters of true teaching at the hands of Your shepherds.   You pastured these shepherds and now they, in turn, tend Your chosen and special flock.   Now, You have called me, Lord, by the hand of Your bishop to minister to Your people.   I do not know why You have done so, for You alone know that.

Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart.   Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path.   When I open my mouth, tell me what I should say. By the fiery tongue of Your Spirit make my own tongue ready.   Stay with me always and keep me in Your sight.

Lead me to pastures, Lord and graze there with me  . Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left but let Your good Spirit guide me along the straight path.   Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with Your will, now until the end.

And you, O Church, are a most excellent assembly, the noble summit of perfect purity, whose assistance comes from God.   You in whom God lives, receive from us, an exposition of the faith that is free from error, to strengthen the Church, just as our Fathers handed it down to us.

St John Damascene, Pray for our Priests,

Pray for Us All!
Amen!st john damascene pray for us 4 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote of the Day – 2 December – ‘He it is who comes …’

Quote of the Day – 2 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A

“The very Son of God,
older than the ages,
the invisible,
the incomprehensible,
the incorporeal,
the beginning of beginning,
the light of light,
the fountain of life and immortality,
the image of the archetype,
the immovable seal,
the perfect likeness,
the definition and word of the Father:
He it is who comes to His own image
and takes our nature for the good of our nature
and unites Himself to an intelligent soul
for the good of my soul,
to purify like by like.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

Father and Doctor of the Churchthe-very-son-of-god-st-gregory-of-naziazen.17dec2017.gaudete-sunday-2017 and 2 dec 2019 quote of the day.jpg

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Advent Reflection – 13 December – How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? 

Advent Reflection – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 4:2-6, Psalm 122:1-9, Matthew 8:5-11

“Amen, I say to you, in no-one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 8:10-11

Vatican Council II – “Gaudium et Spes” #45
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

“While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention – that God’s kingdom may come and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass.   For every benefit, which the People of God, during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family, stems from the fact, that the Church is “the universal sacrament of salvation”, (Lumen Gentium), simultaneously manifesting and actualising the mystery of God’s love.

For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh, so that, as perfect man, He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself.   The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilisation, the centre of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.   He it is, Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead.   Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love:  “To re-establish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth” (Eph. 1:10).

The Lord Himself speaks:   “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works.   I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end,” (Rv 22:12-13).”matthew 8 10-11 amen i say to you in no-one in israel - centurion - for gods words - gaudium et spes no 45 2 dec 2019.jpg

Reflections
Christ is the ultimate centre of meaning in the universe.   It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father.   How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God?   Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.

“The Lord always goes beyond, goes first.   We take one step and He takes ten.   Always.   The abundance of grace, of His love, of His tenderness that never tires of seeking us.   Even, at times, with small things – we think that encountering the Lord would be something magnificent, like that man of Syria, Naaman, who was a leper [did].   And it’s not simple… And he too had a great surprise at God’s way of acting.
And our God is the God of surprises, the God that is seeking us, is awaiting us and asks of us only the little step of good will.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 28 November 2016monday firsdt week advent 2 dec 2019 the lord always goes first - pope francis.jpg

Advent Action
Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.

Our Lives Multiply by Giving Them Away
Fr Henri Nouwen

“The fruitfulness of our little life, once we recognise it and live it, as the life of the Beloved, is beyond anything we can imagine.   One of the greatest acts of faith is to believe that the few years we live on this earth are like a little seed planted in very rich soil.   For this seed to bear fruit, it must die.   We often see, or feel, only the dying but, the harvest will be abundant, even when we ourselves are the harvesters.
How different would our life be, were we truly able to trust, that it multiplied in being given away?
How different would our life be, if we could believe, that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace, will multiply and multiply, as long as there are people to receive it … and that – even then – there will be left-overs!”

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Quote/s of the Day – 1 December – St Edmund Campion and Bl Charles of Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 1 December – The Memorial of St Edmund Campion (1540-1581) and Bl Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916) Both Martyrs

“To be a Catholic is my greatest glory.”

St Edmund Campion SJ (1540-1581)to be a catholic is my only glory st edmunc campion 1 dec 2019.jpg

“In order to save us,
God came to us
and lived among us,
from the Annunciation
to the Ascension,
in a close and familiar way.
God continues to come to us
and to live with us
in a close and familiar way,
each day and at every hour,
in the holy Eucharist.
So we too must go
and live among
our brothers and sisters
in a close and familiar way.”in order to save us god came to us and lived among us - bl charles de foucauld - 1 dec 2019

“Whether our life
be that of Nazareth,
the Public Life
or the Desert…
it should cry the Gospel..”whether our life be that of nazareth - 1 dec 2019 - bl charles de foucauld

“To pray,
is to think about Jesus
and love Him.
The more we love,
the better we pray.”to pray is to think about jesus and to love him - bl charles de foucauld 1 dec 2019

“God who is infinite, all powerful,
has become man,
the least of men.
My way is always to seek the lowest place,
to be as little as my Master,
to walk with Him,
step-by-step as a faithful disciple.
My way, is to live with my God
who lived this way all His life
and, who has given me,
such an example,
from His very birth.

Blessed Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916)god who is infinite all powerful has become man - bl charles de foucauld - 1 dec 2019

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One Minute Reflection – 30 November – ‘To carry the Word to all the peripheries!’

One Minute Reflection – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ, Gospel: Matthew 4:18–22

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” … Matthew 4:19

REFLECTION – “The call reaches them in the middle of their daily activity – the Lord reveals Himself to us, not in an extraordinary or impressive way but in the everyday circumstances of our life.   There we must discover the Lord and there, He reveals Himself, makes His love felt in our heart and there — with this dialogue with Him in the everyday circumstances of life — He changes our heart.   The response of the four fishermen is immediate and willing – “Immediately they left their nets and followed him” (v. 20).   On the shores of the lake, in an inconceivable land, the first community of disciples of Christ was born.   May the knowledge of these beginnings give rise in us to the desire to bear Jesus’ word, love and tenderness in every context, even the most difficult and resistant.   To carry the Word to all the peripheries! … Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 January 2017matthew 4 19 - follow me and I will make you fishers of men - the lord calls them in the middle - 30 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, in Your kindness hear our petitions.   You called Andrew the Apostle, to preach the Gospel and guide Your Church in faith.   May he always be our friend in Your presence, to help us with his prayers.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amenst andrew apostle pray for us-30nov2018.jpg