Thought for the Day – 4 August– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Doing Everything for the Love of God
“The beginning of perfection consists in doing the Will of God, even in our smallest actions. But, to do everything for the love of God, is the summit of Christian perfection. If we aimed always at doing God’s Will and acting from the motive of love for Him, we should be contented and at peace because we should be holy. The Saints are the only people who remain calm and undisturbed in the midst of worldly adversity. They are always content, because they live in God. Their lives are in full conformity with His Will, guided by His Love and dedicated to His Service. As a result, they live in a kind of spiritual stratosphere far above the storms of this world. There, they are above the clouds of pride, ambition, avarice and all the other major vices. There they see and contemplate everything in the Light of God. Let us become saints. Then we shall have solved all the problems of life!.” Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Numbers 12: 1-13; Psalm 51: 3-7, 12-13; 14: 22-36
“Lord, save me.”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
May We Confess Your Name to the End By St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop and Martyr Father of the Church
Good God, may we confess Your Name to the end. May we emerge unmarked and glorious from the traps and darkness of this world. As You have bound us together by charity and peace and as together we have persevered under persecution, so may we also rejoice together in Your heavenly kingdom. Amen
St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258)
“We implore You, O All-Holy, Long-Suffering Life and Restoration, Source of goodness, look down from heaven and visit all those who ever trust in You; rescue our life, Lord, from all constraint and affliction, and, in the faith of truth, guide us all. At the prayers of the Immaculate Mother of God and Virgin, Save your world and those in the world and spare us all, You who, for us, became man without change, only Lover of mankind.”
St Romanos the Melodios (c 490-c 556)
“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 CRSA (1380-1471)
“Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.”
St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
“Throw yourself into God’s arms. He will carry you when the road is rough.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 August – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
“If you wish to charm the loving Heart of your God, set yourself to talk to Him, as often as you can and, after a fashion, continually, together with the fullest and most confident liberty. He will not hold aloof from answering you and participating in the conversation on His part.”
“On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms, during the flight to Egypt.”
“… It is Him you should love and no other. Of Him you could and should say “My Beloved is mine and I am his” (Sg 2:16); my God has given Himself without reserve and, without reserve, I give myself to Him; He has chosen me as the object of His tenderness and He, among thousands, He, the radiant and ruddy one (Sg 5:10), so loveable and so loving, He is the chosen of my heart, the only one I wish to love.”
“Were you to ask, ‘what are the mEans of overcoming temptations’, I would answer: the first means is prayer, the second is prayer, the third is prayer and should you ask me a thousand times, I would repeat the same.”
“Sacrilegious tongues blaspheme the God who preserves their existence! … you should be damned forever and, instead of thanking Him for His goodness, you, at the very time that He bestows His favours upon you, YOU blaspheme His Holy Name!”
“Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest, after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.”
Act of Spiritual Communion By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
I desire, good Jesus, to receive Thee in Holy Communion and since I cannot now receive Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, I beseech Thee to come to me spiritually and to refresh my soul with Thy sweetness. Come, my Lord, my God and my All! Come to me and never let me ever again be separated from Thee by sin. Teach me Thy blessed ways, help me with Thy grace to imitate Thy example, to practise meekness, humility, charity and all the virtues of Thy Sacred Heart. My divine Master, my one desire is to do Thy will and to love Thee, more and more. Help me, that I may be faithful to the end, in Thy service. Bless me in life and in death, that I may praise Thee, forever in heaven, Amen
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 2 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Numbers 11: 4b-15; Psalm 81: 12-17; Matthew 14: 13-21- and the Memorial of St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Churc
“He … saw a great multitude and had compassion on them and healed their sick.” – Matthew 14:14
REFLECTION – “Matthew relates more fully [than Mark] how he took pity on them. He says: “And he had compassion on them and cured their sick.” This is what it means really to take pity on the poor and on those who have no-one to guide them – to open the way of truth to them by teaching, to heal their physical infirmities , . and to make them want to praise the divine generosity by feeding them, when they are hungry, as Jesus did. …
But Jesus tested the crowd’s faith and having done so he gave it a fitting reward. He sought out a lonely place to see if they would take the trouble to follow Him. For their part, they showed how concerned they were for their salvation by the effort they made in going along the deserted road, not on donkeys or in carts of various kinds but on foot.
In return, Jesus welcomed those weary, ignorant, sick and hungry people, instructing, healing and feeding them as a kindly Saviour and physician and so, letting them know how pleased He is, by believers’ devotion to Him.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint Mark’s Gospel, 2 ;
PRAYER – Forgive the sins of Your people Lord and since of ourselves, we are unable to do what pleases You, lead us on the way of salvation in Your divine Son who lives in us and gives us life. May the prayers of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and most zealous Saint Alphonsus Liguori, help us to constantly meditate on Your eternal sustenance. Through, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 30 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”– Readings: Leviticus 23: 1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37; Psalms 81: 3-4, 5-6, 10-11ab; Matthew 13: 54-58 and the Memorial of St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“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 – “So long as I enjoy that breath of life granted to me by You, Holy Father, Almighty God, I will proclaim You as God eternal but also as Father eternal. Never will I set myself up as judge of Your almighty power and mysteries; never will I set my limited understanding before the true appreciation of Your infinity; never will I claim You to have existed beforehand without Your Wisdom, Power and Word, God the Only-Begotten, my Lord Jesus Christ. For even though human language is weak and imperfect when it speaks of You, this will not inhibit my mind to the point of reducing my faith to silence, for lack of words able to express the mystery of Your being…” (St Hilary) Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit kindled within us. Grant that the prayers of Your faithful St Peter Chrysologus, may assist us to grow in love. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 28 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 34: 29-35; Psalms 99: 5, 6, 7, 9; Matthew 13: 44-46
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again and out of joy, goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he, who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
“Lay not up for yourselves, treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves, treasures in heaven”
“You are a jailor of your wealth, not its owner, you who bury your gold in the ground (cf Mt 25,25); you are its slave and not its master. Christ said: “Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be” so it is your heart you have buried. Rather, sell your gold and buy salvation; sell what is metal and acquire God’s Kingdom; sell the field and purchase for yourself, eternal life. In saying this I am speaking the truth because I am relying on the words of Him who is Truth: “If you wish to be perfect, sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19,21). Do not be cast down by these words lest the same thing be said to you, as to the rich young man: “It will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (v.23). Still more, when you read this sentence, consider that death can snatch these possessions away from you, that the aggression of someone powerful can carry them away.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church
“Where is the heart that loves? On the thing it loves. Therefore, where our love is, there our heart is held captive. It cannot leave it; it cannot be lifted higher, it cannot go either to the right or the left; see, it is fixed. Where the miser’s treasure is, there is his heart and where our heart is, there is our treasure.”
Thought for the Day – 26 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Eucharistic Life
The Eucharistic life, which is the life of union with Jesus, especially by means of daily Communion, transforms us and makes us holy. It preserves and increases in us, the grace which is the supernatural life of the soul. The Eucharist, of itself, does not bestow grace because it is a Sacrament of the living. It is our food and food is not given to the dead but to the living. For this reason, we should receive Holy Communionb free from the stain of sin. The Eucharist, moreover, remits venial sins, strengthens us in our resolutions and increases our charity. Venial sin is a sickness of the soul. Just as natural food banishes listlessness and vulnerability to disease, our Eucharistic nourishment has the same effect on our spiritual life.
It is because the Blessed Eucharist increases our love for Jesus, that it weakens our evil inclinations. The Eucharist and sin are mutually exclusive of one another because, the Eucharist is Jesus and sin is the devil. Our Eucharistic food, moreover, produces in our souls, a spiritual consolation which is a foretaste of the happiness of Heaven.
Let us listen to Jesus living within us. He will enable us to forget our worldly cares and will raise us to a higher plane where, by God’s infinite goodness, we shall continue to grow in virtue.
May the Most Blessed Sacrament be forever praised and adored!
Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 32: 15-24, 30-34; Psalms 106: 19-20, 21-22, 23; Matthew 13: 31-3
The Leaven of Life
“Just as the Father who has life sent me and I have life because of the Father, so the man who feeds on me will have life because of me.”
“An inborn imperfection in our human dough was removed, thanks to the leaven that comes from His perfect body… To complete what was missing, in these human bodies of ours, He gave something of Himself, just as He gives Himself to be eaten …”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Those who have been tricked into taking poison, offset its harmful effect, by another drug. The remedy, moreover, just like the poison, has to enter the system, so that its remedial effect may thereby spread through the whole body. Similarly, having tasted the poison, that is the fruit, that dissolved our nature, we were necessarily, in need of something, to reunite it. Such a remedy had to enter into us, so that it might, by its counteraction, undo the harm the body had already encountered from the poison. And what is this remedy? Nothing else than the body that proved itself superior to death and became the source of our life.”
St Greogory of Nyssa (c 335– c 395) Father of the Church
“The doctrine of Christ is fittingly called leaven because, the bread is Christ.”
St Anbrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“ … For He did not only give His Body but, just as our flesh, drawn from the earth, had lost its life and died through sin, so He has introduced, so to speak, another substance like a leaven, this is His Body, the Body sharing the same nature as ours but free from sin and abounding in life. And He has given it to all of us, so that, fed with the banquet of this new food … we might enter immortal life.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father ad Doctor of the Church
“Dust, so to speak, had forcibly entered humanity’s eye; earth had entered it, had injured the eye and it could not see the light. … That physician made a salve for you. And because He came, in such a way, that by His flesh, He might extinguish the faults of the flesh and by His death He might kill death … ”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 26 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 32: 15-24, 30-34; Psalms 106: 19-20, 21-22, 23; Matthew 13: 31-35 and the Memorial of Saints Anne and Joachim – Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandparents of Jesus
“Until the whole was leavened” – Matthew 13:33
REFLECTION – “If someone kneads bread without mixing leaven into it, they may well apply themselves to the task, knead and work at it, the dough will not rise and cannot be used as food. But when leaven has been mixed in, it draws all the dough to itself and makes it all rise, as in the parable the Lord applied to the Kingdom… It is the same with meat – no matter how much care you take, if you neglect to put in salt to preserve it,… it will smell badly and become inedible In the same sort of way, imagine the whole of humanity as meat or dough and that the divine nature of the Holy Spirit is salt and leaven from another world. If the heavenly leaven of the Spirit and good salt of the divine nature… are not added to our lowly human nature and mixed into it, the soul will never lose its bad odour of sin and will not rise by losing the heaviness and impurities of the “leaven of wickedness” (1Cor 5,7)…
If a soul only relies on its own strength and thinks itself able to achieve complete success of itself, without the help of the Holy Spirit, it is greatly deceived. It is not made for the dwelling places of Heaven nor made for the Kingdom… If sinful man does not draw near to God, does not renounce the world, does not await in hope and patience a good that is foreign to its own nature, namely, the strength of the Holy Spirit; if the Lord does not instil His own divine life from on high into that soul, that person will never taste the true life… On the other hand, if he has received the Spirit’s grace, if he does not turn away from it, if he does not offend Him by his negligence and wrongdoing, if, after persevering a long time like this in the fight, he does not “grieve the Spirit” (Eph 4,30), he will have the happiness of winning eternal life.” – Attri to St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390) Monk
PRAYER – True light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. Help us Lord, that we may sprout and bear fruit, fitting to grow and be a home of comfort to our neighbour. By the prayers of Sts Anne and Joachim, may we too be beacons of Your Light and of the glory of Your Kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Feast of St James the Greater – Reaqdings: Second Kings 4: 42-44; Psalms 145: 10-11, 15-16, 17-18; Ephesians 4: 1-6; John 6: 1-15
When they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: , “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” – John 6:14
REFLECTION – “Governing the entire universe is a greater miracle than feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread, yet no-one marvels at it. People marvel at the feeding of the five thousand not because this miracle is greater but because, it is out of the ordinary. Who is even now providing nourishment for the whole world if not the God Who creates a field of wheat from a few seeds? Christ did what God does. Just as God multiplies a few seeds into a whole field of wheat, so Christ multiplied the five loaves in His Hands. For there was power in the Hands of Christ. Those five loaves were like seeds, not because they were cast on the earth but because, they were multiplied by the One who made the earth.
This miracle was presented to our senses, in order to stimulate our minds… and so make us marvel at “the God we do not see because of his works, which we do see” (Rom 1,20). For then, when we have been raised to the level of faith and purified by faith, we shall long to behold, though not with our eyes, the invisible God Whom we recognise through what is visible. This miracle was performed for the multitude to see; it was recorded for us to hear. Faith does for us, what sight did for them. We behold with the mind what our eyes cannot see and we are preferred to them because of us, it was said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20,29). – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Homilies on Saint John’s gospel, 24, 1.6.7.
PRAYER – Lord our God, You accepted the sacrifice of St James, the first of Your Apostles to give his life for Your sake. May Your Church find strength in his martyrdom and support in his constant prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Pray for us! Amen
One Minute Reflection – 23 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 20: 1-17; Psalms 19: 8, 9, 10, 11; Matthew 13: 18-23
“A hundred or sixty or thirtyfold”- Matthew 13:23
REFLECTION – “ The sowing was carried out by the Apostles and prophets, yet it is the Lord Himself who sows. The Lord Himself is the One present in them, since it is the Lord Himself Who did the reaping. For without Him they are nothing, whereas, without them, He remains unmoved. As He said to them: “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15,5). And so what does Christ say as He sows among the gentiles? “A sower went out to sow” (Mt 13,3). In another text reapers were sent out to reap but here, the sower goes out to sow and does not complain of his labour. For what, indeed, does it matter if some seed falls on the path, or rocky ground, or among thorns? If He were to let Himself be discouraged by these arid terrains, He would make no progress towards the good soil!…
Now this has a bearing on ourselves – are we that pathway, those rocks, those weeds? Do we want to be good soil? Let us prepare our hearts to yield thirty, sixty, a hundred, a thousandfold. Thirtyfold or a thousandfold – in each case, it is a question of wheat and nothing but wheat. Do not let us any longer be on that path where our sowing is trampled by passers-by and our enemy lays hold of us like a bird. Further, those rocks or that shallow soil, cause seeds that are unable to endure the heat of the sun, to shoot up too quickly. And most especially – not those weeds, the lusts of this world, a focus for wrongdoing. For what, indeed, could be worse than applying all our efforts to a life that hinders us from attaining life? What more miserable than to cultivate our lives in order to lose life? What could be sadder, than to avoid death only to fall into the power of death? Let us cut off the thorns, prepare the soil, receive the seed, hold fast until the harvest and long to be taken into the barn.” – St Augustine (354-430) – Sermon 101; PL 38, 605
PRAYER – A pure heart create for me O God, put a steadfast spirit within me! (Ps 50) Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace to us. Keep us within in the path of Your commandments, help us to work on the earth of our souls, rooting out the weeds and casting forth the stones of malice. Grant that by the prayers of our Blessed and Merciful Mother, we may succeed in attaining sanctity. Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 21 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“It is not enough to read and to meditate on the Gospel. We should do so with the correct dispossition, which are three in number. In the first place, we should read the Gospel with the recollection of one who prays, “Prayer must often interrupt reading,” says St Bonaventure. Now and again, while we are reading, we should lift our minds to God and ask Him to enlighten us and to inspire us, towards greater fervour.
Heavenly truths cannot be penetrated or understood without the light of grace which comes from on high. “I am the way and the truth and the life,” Jesus said, “no-one comes to the Father but through me,” (Jn 14:6). The Gospel, therefore, cannot be read like any other book. It is the word of supernatural life, which cannot be infused into our souls, except by grace, for which we should pray humbly and with fervour.
In the second place, we should read slowly and reflectively. “Read with the heart and not with the eyes,” writes Bossuet. “Profit by that which you understand, adore that which you don’t.”
In the Gospel, there is always something which is applicable to ourselves and to the particular circumstances in which we find ourselves. The Saints found there, their own particular road to sanctity, to which they had been called; from our reflective and devout study of the sacred pages, we also shall find what Jesus wants, in a particular way, from us!”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” and the Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church
“A sower went out to sow”
“When we stand in the light it is not we who illumine the light and cause it to shine but we are illuminated and made shining by the light… God grants His blessings on those who serve Him because they are serving Him and on those who follow Him because they are following Him but He receives no blessing from them because He is perfect and without need.”
St Irenaeus (c 130 – c 202) Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church
“It is no advantage to be near the light, if the eyes are closed.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“… [The Kingdom of God] … is within you. That is, it depends on your own wills and is in your own power, whether or not you receive it. Everyone, that has attained to justification, by means of faith in Christ and decorated by every virtue, is counted worthy, of the kingdom of heaven.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Do you know what those people are like who are not sustained by that holy Word or who abuse it? They are like the sick without a doctor, like a traveller who has gone astray without a guide, like a poor man without means. Let us rather say, my brethren, that it is altogether impossible to love God and please Him, without being nourished by this divine Word!”
St John-Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
O the Word of My Lord Song of a Young Prophet By Brother Damian Lundy FSC (1944-1997)
O the word of my Lord Deep within my being, Oh the word of my Lord, You have filled my mind.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you through and through, I chose you to be Mine. Before you left your mother’s side I called to you, My child, to be My sign. Refrain
I know that you are very young, But I will make you strong. I’ll fill you with My word And you will travel through the land, Fulfilling My command Which you have heard. Refrain
And everywhere you are to go My hand will follow you; You will not be alone. In all the danger that you fear You’ll find Me very near, Your words, My own. Refrain,
This hymn, based on Jeremiah 1, was composed by English Brother and teacher Brother Damian Lundy of the De La Salle Order. It is sometimes referred to as “Song of a Young Prophet.”
One Minute Reflection – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings:Exodus 16: 1-5, 9-15; Psalms 78: 18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28; Matthew 13: 1-9
“Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” – Matthew 13:8
REFLECTION – “Note that Jesus does not say – ‘The careless received some seed and lost it, the rich received other seed and choked it and the superficial received some seed and betrayed it.‘ It is not His intention to rebuke them severely, lest He should cast them into despair. Christ leaves the reproof to the conscience of His hearers. Remember also, in the parable of the net that much was gathered which was unprofitable. But He speaks this parable as if to anoint His disciples and to teach them, that they are not to be despondent ,even though those lost may be more than those who receive the word. It was with this same ease that the Lord Himself continued to sow, even He who fully foreknew the outcomes.
But why would it be reasonable to sow among thorns or on rocks or on the pathway? With regard to the seeds and the earth it cannot sound very reasonable. But in the case of human souls and their instructions, it is praiseworthy and greatly to be honoured. For the farmer might be laughed at for doing this, since it is impossible for a rock to bear fruit. It is not likely that the path will become anything but a path or the thorns anything but thorns. But with respect to the rational soul, this is not so predictable. For here there is such a thing as the rock changing and becoming rich land. Here it is possible, that the wayside might no longer be trampled upon or lie open to all who pass by but that it may become a fertile field. In the case of the soul, the thorns may be destroyed and the seed enjoy full security. For had it been impossible, this sower would not have sown. And if the reversal did not take place in all, this is no fault of the Sower but of the souls who are unwilling to be changed. He has done His part. If they betrayed what they received of Him, He is blameless, the Exhibitor of such love to humanity.
But mark this carefully: there is more than one road to destruction. There are differing ones and wide apart from one another. For they who are like the wayside are the coarse-minded and indifferent and careless but those on the rock – such as fail from willed weakness only.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor – The Gospel of Matthew: Homily,44
PRAYER – Holy, almighty God, You sent Your prophets and then Your only Son to teach us and lead us to eternal life. Remember Lord, Your solemn covenant, renewed and consecrated by the blood of the Lamb, so that Your people may obtain forgiveness for their sins and a continued growth in grace. Send us Your Spirit, to enlighten our hearts and minds and grow in love for You and the Word made flesh. Guide us in our understanding and living, by the Words of the Word. Holy Mother Mary intercede for us, that we may merit to be co-heirs of His Kingdom. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 20 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 14: 21 – 15: 1; Exodus 15: 8-9, 10 and 12, 17; Matthew 12: 46-50
“Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, … he is my brother and sister and mother.”
“Do whatever he tells you.”
“You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.”
“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
“Neither do I condemn you but, having been made secure concerning the past, be on your guard in the future. I, for My part, will not condemn you, I have blotted out what you have done; keep what I have commanded, that you may gain what I have promised.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
Our Morning Offering – 20 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Our Lord, King of all! By St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church
We pray to You, O Lord, who are the supreme Truth, and all truth is from You. We beseech You, O Lord, who are the highest Wisdom, and all the wise depend on You for their wisdom. You are the supreme Joy, and all who are happy owe it to You. You are the Light of minds and all receive their understanding from You. We love, we love You above all. We seek You, we follow You, and we are ready to serve You. We desire to dwell under Your power for You are the King of all. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 18 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Intimacy with Jesus
“The union of love which should exist between Jesus and ourselves, is modelled on the mysterious union between Jesus and His Heavenly Father.
(1) This intimacy between ourselves and Jesus should be, first of all, in the mind. Our thoughts will be good when we think like God and with the mind of Jesus, “Who is the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world” (Jn 1:9). If we stray away from that light, darkness overwhelms us, even as it pervaded the earth during the agony of Jesus Christ. Our intelligence is a ray of light which comes from God, we should take care not to allow this ray to be separated from its divine source. This heavenly ray always shone on the faces of the saints because they were clean of heart and close to God. That is how we should all be.
(2) In the second place, we should be united intimately with Jesus in our sentiments. “Have this mind in you which was also in Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:5) says St Paul. Our love must not be abstract or partial but must be all-absorbing. Jesus calls us friends and friendship unites two hearts as one. We must give ourselves completely to Jesus without reserving anything for ourselves. True holiness is found when God and man are united like two faithful constant friends.
(3) In the third place, there must be intimacy in action. It is not possible for a man who truly loves God to do anything which would offend Him. Jesus compares the love which we should have for Him with the love which He has for His Heavenly Father, so we should model our lives continuously on the life of Jesus. Jesus must work in us, as He did in St Paul and all the Saints.
St Francis de Sales writes, that Jesus should always be in our minds, in our hearts, in our eyes and on our tongue. We should be living images of Jesus and we must, therefore, live and act for Him, with Him and in Him.”
Quote/s of the Day – 17July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 12: 37-42; Psalms 136: 1 and 23-24, 10-12, 13-15; Matthew 12: 14-21
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen”
“He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is Himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us.”
St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Loving You, O God, brings its own reward here on earth, as well as the eternal reward of heaven. By becoming mirrors of Your love, by wearing the mask of Your likeness and by allowing You to make us perfect, we can know the joy of heaven, even while we abide here on earth.”
William of St Thierry O.Cist (c 1075 – c 1148)
“The life of the body, is the soul, the life of the soul, is Christ.”
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church
“Who is like You, Who founded heaven and earth …, You, Who will Your delight to be with the children of humankind? How great You are, King of kings and Lord of Lords, Who rule the stars and set Your Heart on humankind!”
St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)
“If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments. If you will know the truth, believe in Me. If you will be perfect, sell all. If you will be My disciple, deny yourself. If you will possess the blessed life, despise this present life. If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth. If you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me. For only the servants of the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ Chapter 56
One Minute Reflection – 17July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 12: 37-42; Psalms 136: 1 and 23-24, 10-12, 13-15; Matthew 12: 14-21
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen” – Matthew 12:18
REFLECTION – “This is our faith… God sent His Word (Jn 1,1) to reveal Himself in person before men’s eyes, that the world, when it saw Him, might be saved… We know He became man, of the same clay as ourselves. If it had been otherwise, it would have been futile for Him to command us to imitate Him as our Lord (Jn 13,14-34). If this Man were of a different nature, how could He ask me to do as He did, I, who am weak by nature? Where, then, would be His goodness, His justice?
To make us thoroughly understand, that He is no different from us, He desired to bear fatigue and know hunger (Jn 4,6); He did not refuse thirst or to find rest in sleep. He did not refuse suffering, He became subject to death and openly manifested His Resurrection. In all these things, He offered His own humanity as a first-fruits, so that you, in your own suffering, might not lose courage but, recognising that you, yourself, are man, might also wait for what the Father has given to Him…
Thanks to your knowledge of the true God, you will have an immortal and imperishable body like the soul itself. You will receive the Kingdom of Heaven as your inheritance because you acknowledged the King of Heaven, while you lived on earth. You will live in the presence of God, “co-heir with Christ” (Rm 8,17). You will no longer be dominated by desires, suffering and sickness because you have become divine in nature… “Christ is God above all” (cf Rm 9,5)… and has given the perfection of the new Man to the old man (Col 3,9). He called it His image from the beginning (Gn 1,27) and, through this likeness, He has shown His loving kindness for you. If you obey His holy commandments, if you imitate He who is good in being Good, you will become like Him.” – St Hippolytus of Rome (c 170-c.235) Bishop, Martyr, Theologian, Father – The Refutation of all heresies, 10, 33-34
PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us, by Your Providence, You rule us. Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service and childlike trust in You. Grant that by the intercession of our most Holy and Blessed Virgin Mother, we may always follow behind Your Son, obey His Words and grasp His hand, to lead us to You, Through Jesus Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God now and for all eternity, amen
Thought for the Day – 16 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“In a radio message which he broadcast on the occasion of the Beatification of Pope Innocent XI, the Supreme Pontiff, Pius XII, defined holiness as “the intimate awareness of loyal subjection to God, Who is adored and loved, as the beginning, end and norm of every thought, affection, word and action.”
Let us meditate on this definition, which helps to shed some light on the true nature of sanctity. A holy man must always have a keen awareness of his own dependence upon God, his Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier and his hoped for reward and happiness in the next life. This awareness must be vivid, for it should not be possible for it to be obscured by worldly distractions or obliterated by sensual allurements. It should be active, so that it may not be a merely theoretical acknowledgement of our dependence which leads to nothing more than lip-worship; on the contrary, it must be capable of transforming our lives into an act of obedience and of love. Finally, it should be a faithful awareness, a complete and voluntary subjection to God, which is the driving force behind all our words and actions and, which inspires us alike, in joy and in sorrow, in victory and in defeat. If we wish to be perfect Christians, we must cultivate this kind of consciousness of our dependence upon God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – “Month of the Most Precious” – Readings: Exodus 11: 10 – 12: 14; Psalms 116: 12-13, 15 and 16bc, 17-18; Matthew 12: 1-8
“I say to you, something greater than the temple is here …”
“Evangelical faith lived in Christ, transcends the law.”
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ
“May Christ be heard in our language, may Christ be seen in our life, may He be perceived in our hearts”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Father and Doctor of the Church
“If, then, you seek to know what path to follow, take Christ because He is the way.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church
“Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the Gospel. This is what St Paul says to the Corinthians. Our heart is the parchment; through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer because ‘my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe’ (Psalm 45:1).”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” and the Memorial of St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
“As “pride is the beginning of all sin,” (Eccl. 10:15) so humility is the foundation of all virtue. Learn to be really humble and not, as the hypocrite, humble merely in appearance.”
“Run with eager desire to this Source of Life and Light, all you who are vowed to God’s service.”
St Bonaventure’s Sermon of 4 October 1255
“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard , more than that proceeding from the mouth.”
“Have Mercy on Me, O Lady
Have mercy on me, O Lady, for thou art called the Mother of Mercy. And according to thy mercy, cleanse me from all my iniquities. Pour forth thy grace upon me and withdraw not from me thine accustomed clemency. For I will confess my sins to thee and I will accuse myself of all my crimes before thee. Reconcile me to the Fruit of thy womb: and make peace for me with Him, Who has created me. Amen.”
The Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St Bonaventure
“Mary seeks for those who approach her devoutly and with reverence, for such she loves, nourishes, and adopts as her children. ”
One Minute Reflection – 15 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” and the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church – Readings: Exodus 3: 13-20; Psalms 105: 1 and 5, 8-9, 24-25, 26-27; Matthew 11: 28-30
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls…” – Matthew 11:29
REFLECTION – “You are to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” You are not learning from Me, how to re-fashion the fabric of the world, nor to create all things visible and invisible, nor to work miracles and raise the dead. Rather, you are simply learning of Me: “that I am meek and lowly in heart.”If you wish to reach high, then begin at the lowest level. If you are trying to construct some mighty edifice in height, you will begin with the lowest foundation. This is humility. However great the mass of the building you may wish to design or erect, the taller the building is to be, the deeper you will dig the foundation. The building in the course of its erection rises up high but he who digs its foundation must first go down very low. So then, you see, even a building is low before it is high and the tower is raised only after humiliation.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 69.
PRAYER – Holy God, our Father, we turn to You in confidence as children and pray, give us meekness of heart, make us “poor in spirit” that we may recognise that we are not self-sufficient, that we are unable to build our lives on our own but need You, we need to encounter You, to listen to You, to speak to You. Help us to understand that we need Your gifts, Your wisdom, which is Jesus Himself, in order to do the Your will in our lives and thus to find rest in the hardships of our journey. Grant we pray that the prayers of our Blessed Mother, St Bonaventure and all Your Angels and Saints, may carry us home to You. Through Christ our Lord, one God with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 11 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus. We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth. The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects. Still less, can they satisfy our hearts. What they teach is either incomplete or false. This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of mean have succeeded and replaced one another, down through the centuries while “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).
The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family and in society. It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation. There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity. This gulf would be even wider, only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe. There is only one reform necessary. This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere. We must begin by carrying it out ourselves. Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). “He who follows Me does not walk in darkness” (Jn 8:12).
Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven!”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Amos 7: 12-15; Psalms 85: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 (8); Ephesians 1: 3-14; Mark 6: 7-13
“He began to send them out two by two”
“Love one another as I have loved you”
“My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it and by your progress in it, make your ascent together.”
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (460-533)
“Love is watchful. Sleeping, it does not slumber. Wearied, it is not tired. Pressed, it is not straitened. Alarmed, it is not confused but like a living flame, a burning torch, it forces its way upward and passes unharmed through every obstacle.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“We are born to love, we live to love and we will die, to love still more.”
One Minute Reflection – 11 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Amos 7: 12-15; Psalms 85: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 (8); Ephesians 1: 3-14; Mark 6: 7-13
“He began to send them out two by two” – Mark 6:7
REFLECTION – “Dearly beloved brethren, our Lord and Saviour teaches us, sometimes by His words and sometimes by His actions. His actions themselves are commandments, for when He does something without saying anything, He shows us how we must act. So here, He is sending His disciples out, two by two to preach because there are two commandments of love – love of God and of neighbour. The Lord sent His disciples to preach, two by two, to suggest to us without saying it, that the person who does not have love for the other, must absolutely not take on the ministry of preaching!
It is very good that He “sent them in pairs before him to every town and place he intended to visit.” (Lk 10:1) For the Lord comes after His preachers because preaching is a prerequisite – the Lord comes to dwell in our soul when the words of exhoration have come as a forerunner and have caused us to welcome the truth in our soul. That is why Isaiah said to the preachers: “Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” (Isa 40:3) And the psalmist also told them: “Prepare the way for him who rises up to the west.” (Ps 67:5 Vulgate) The Lord rises up to the west [the lying down of the sun] because in lying down in His Passion, He showed Himself in greater glory in His resurrection. He rose up to the lying down because in rising, He trampled underfoot the death that He suffered. Thus, we prepare the way for Him who rises up to the lying down, when we preach His glory to your souls, so that when He comes after, He might enlighten them by the presence of His love.” – St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Gospel, 17,1-3
PRAYER – Human weakness finds its anchor in You, Lord and our faith is built on You as on a rock. Supported by the teachings, lives and prayers of our fathers, Your Apostles, may we always answer Your call and live in ever-closer union with You. And may the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother and all your Angels, Martyrs and Saints, pray for Holy Mother Church and for us all. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spiirt, God forever and ever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 9 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 46: 1-7, 28-30; Psalms 37: 3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40; Matthew 10: 16-23
“Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be, therefore, wise as serpents and simple as doves.” –Matthew 10:16
REFLECTION – “I urge you, by the grace in which you are clothed, to press on in your race and urge everyone to be saved. Assert your office with all the diligence of flesh and spirit. Give your attention to unity, for there is nothing better. carry your brethren as the Lord also carries you. Patiently, bear with them all in love, as indeed you do bear with them. Devote yourself to unceasing prayer. Ask for greater understanding than you have. Be watchful, possessing a wakeful spirit. Speak to each one individually, concerning God’s way. “Bear the infirmities” (cf Mt 8,17) of each as a perfect athlete. Where there is more toil, there is greater gain. If you only love the good disciples, this wins you no advantage. Rather, subdue by meekness the more annoying. Not every wound is cured by the same salve. Ease sharp pains with a hot compress. In everything “be wise as serpents” and always “harmless as doves”. You who are of flesh and spirit, humour those things visibly present before you but pray, too, that what is invisible may be manifested to you, so that you may lack nothing and may abound in every spiritual gift.
As pilots invoke the winds and tempest-tossed mariners call for haven, this season invites you to return to God. Be temperate, as God’s athlete. The prize is incorruption and life eternal… It is the part of a great athlete to suffer blows and to conquer. It is above all for God’s sake we ought to endure all things, that He too, may endure us. Become more zealous than you are already. Consider the times. Look for Him Who is above all times, Who is timeless, invisible but made visible for our sakes – He Who, beyond the touch of our hands, beyond suffering, yet knew the Passion for our sakes and endured every suffering.” – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108) Father of the Church, Martyr, Bishop – Letter to St Polycarp (69-155) Bishop and Martyr), 1-3 ; SC 10
PRAYER – Father of all holiness, guide our hearts to You. Keep in the light of Your truth, all those You have freed from the darkness of unbelief. May our lives be the source of enlightenment to others and our faith and love every remain strengthened by Your grace. Listen to the prayers of our Blessed Mother on our behalf, as we long for our eternal home. 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. Amen
Thought for the Day – 8 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Living the Gospel
“The Gospel teaches perfection. It teaches the perfection of the interior life, as well as the exterior life, of private, as well as of domestic and social life. There is no problem in the universe, which has not been solved in the Gospel. In regard to the spiritual life, its command is clear. “You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with they whole mind … Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, Lk 10:27). “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). “Blessed are the poor in spirit … the clean of heart … the peacemakers …” (Mt 5:3-10). “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell what thou hast and give to the poor and thou shall have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19:21). “Our Father who art in heaven … thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10). “Father … not my will but thine be done” (Lk 22:42). Anyone who identifies himself with these maxims, rises above the level of a man, to that of an angel. His interior life soars to such a peak, that he seems to be leading a heavenly, rather than an earthly existence. If he is living the Gospel, moreover, his external behaviour will be a faithful mirror of his interior life, for it is not enough to say “Lord, Lord” but a man must also do the will of the Father (Cf Mt 7:21). A man’s domestic and social life, will follow the pattern of his private life.
When he has reached the summit of perfection, an invisible force will emanate from him, the force of good example. This force will transform everything, within him and around him. Like Mary and the Saints, he will become the loyal and powerful co-worker of Christ in the redemption of the human race and in the Christian transformation of society. Redemption and restoration, can come only through the Gospel. Other theories are always bound up with and impeded by, human egoism. The doctrine of the Gospel is reinforced by the love of God and our neighbour. In the Gospel, public and private justice is transformed into the charity of Christ which cannot be impeded by any earthly difficulty, nor by any human barrier, not even by death. “Who shall separate us from the charity of Christ?” (Rom 8:35) asks St Paul. Let us meditate on this.”
Quote/s of the Day– 6 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 32: 23-33, Psalms 17: 1b, 2-3, 6-7ab, 8b and 15, Matthew 9: 32-3
We are not without a Shepherd!
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours. All mine are yours and all yours are mine and I am glorified in them. … Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
“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). I t 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)
“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.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Pray in the spirit and sentiment of love, in which the royal prophet said to Him, ‘Thou, O Lord, are my portion.’ Let others choose to themselves, portions among creatures, for my part, You are my portion, You alone I have chosen for my whole inheritance.”
St Augustine of Canterbury (Died c 605)
And if by chance you do not know Where to go in quest of Me, Do not go far My Face to see, Searching everywhere high and low, But in yourself must seek for Me.
For, soul, in you I am confined, You are My dwelling and My home; And if one day I chance to find Fast-closed the portals of your mind I ask for entrance when I come.
Oh, do not seek me far away, For, if you would attain to Me, You only need My Name to say And I’ll be there, without delay. Look in yourself to seek for Me!”
One Minute Reflection – 6 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 32: 23-33, Psalms 17: 1b, 2-3, 6-7ab, 8b and 15, Matthew 9: 32-38 and the Memorial of St Maria Goretti
“And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them because they were distressed and living like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
REFLECTION – “Look around you, my brethren, on every side … Look around, I say and answer why it is that there is so much change, so much strife, so many parties and sects, so many creeds? because men are dissatisfied and restless; and why restless, with everyone his psalm, his doctrine, his tongue, his revelation, his interpretation? they are restless because they have not found … It has not yet brought them into the Presence of Christ, in which “is fulness of joy” and “pleasure for evermore” (Ps 16:11).
Had they been fed with the bread of life (Jn 6:35) and tasted of the honeycomb, their eyes, like Jonathan’s (1 Sam 14:27), had been enlightened, to acknowledge the Saviour of men but having no such real apprehension of things unseen, they have still to seek and are at the mercy of every rumour from without.
O sad and pitiable spectacle, when the people of Christ wander on the hills as “sheep which have no shepherd;” and instead of seeking Him in His ancient haunts and His appointed home, busy themselves in human schemes, follow strange guides, are taken captive by new opinions, become the sport of chance, or of the humour of the hour, or the victims of self-will, are full of anxiety and perplexity,and jealousy and alarm, “tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph 4:14) —and all because, they do not seek the “one body” and the “one Spirit,” and the “one hope of their calling,” the “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all,” (Eph 4:5-6) and “find rest for their souls” (Mt 11:29)! – St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, Founder of the Oratory in England, Theologian, Writer, Poet, Hymnist – Sermon “Invisible Presence of Christ” Sermons on Subjects of the Day, no 21
PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming, by preparing Your ways of justice and of peace. We lift our hearts and eyes in prayer and beg of You that we may always offer You the souls of those in need of You. And may the prayers of Bl At Maria Goretti, strengthen us on our journey. Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.