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Quote/s of the Day – 28 January – Our Treasure

Quote/s of the Day – 28 January – St Peter Nolasco OdeM (c 1182–c 1256) Confessor, Founder – 1 Corinthians 4:9-14, Luke 12:32-34 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Sell what you possess and give alms.
Make for yourselves purses which do not grow old,
a treasure unfailing in Heaven,
where neither thief draws near,
nor moth destroys.

Luke 12:33

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.

Matthew 13:44

It was Christ Who was present to all those to whom,
from the beginning, God communicated
His Speech and Word.
If anyone, therefore, reads the Scriptures with attention,
he will find in them, an expression of Christ
and a foreshadowing of this new calling.
For Christ is the Treasure which was hidden in the field,
that is, in this world (Mt 13:38) –
a Treasure hidden in the Scriptures, …”
Thus it was, that the Lord explained the Scriptures
to His disciples, after His Resurrection from the dead,
proving to them, by their means,
that “it was necessary the Christ
should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (Lk 24:26).
So, if anyone should likewise read the Scriptures
that person will become a perfect disciple,
“like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom things
both new and old.
” (Mt 13:52).

St Irenaeus of Lyons ((130-202)
Bishop, Martyr, Father of the Church

If you wish to be perfect,
sell what you have and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in Heaven.

Matthew 19:21

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 difficult for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”
(Mt 19:23).
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.
At the end of the day, you will have seen
no further than insignificant goods,
in place of great wealth – these are no more
than a treasure of coins,
rather than treasures of grace.
By their very nature, they perish,
rather than remaining forever!

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The HEART, The HOLY NAME, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – ‘… He had first to be knocked down and afterwards raised up – first struck, then healed. … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19:27-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” – Acts 9:4.

REFLECTION – “From Heaven’s height Christ’s Voice overturned Saul. He received a command to carry out his persecutions no more and fell face downwards to the ground. He had first to be knocked down and afterwards raised up – first struck, then healed. For Christ would never have come to live in him, if Saul had not died to his former life of sin. Cast down to the earth in this way, what was it he heard? “Saul, Saul, why are thou persecuting Me? It is hard for thou to kick against the goad” (Acts 9:4-5). And he replied: “Who are you, Lord?” Then the voice from on high continued: “I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou art persecuting.” The members are still on the ground, while the Head cries out, from the heights of Heaven. He is not saying: “Why art thou persecuting My servants?” but “Why art thou persecuting Me?

And Paul, who had put all his energy into his persecutions, is already preparing to obey: “What do Thou want me to do?” The persecutor is already transformed into the preacher, the wolf has become a sheep, the enemy, a defender. Paul learns what he is to do – if he has become blind, if this world’s light is held back from him for a while, it is so as to make the light within shine in his heart. Light is taken away from the persecutor, so that it may be given to the preacher; at the very moment he no longer saw anything of this world, he saw Jesus. This symbolises the believer – those who believe in Christ, must fix the eyes of their soul on Him, without paying attention to outward things…

So Saul was led to Ananias – the ravaging wolf is led to the sheep. But the Shepherd, Who guides everything from Heaven above, reassures him… “Do not fear, I will show him what he will have to suffer, for My Name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). What wonder is this! The wolf is led, a captive, to the sheep… The Lamb who died for the sheep, teaches it not to be afraid any more!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church (Sermon 279).

PRAYER – O God, Who taught the whole world by the preaching of Thy blessed Apostle Paul, grant, we beseech Thee that we, who today celebrate his conversion, may draw closer to Thee, by way of hia example.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, OUR Cross, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY NAME, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 24 January – ‘If you will be perfect …’

Quote/s of the Day – 24 January – St Timothy (1st Century) Disciple of St Paul, Bishop and Martyr – 1 Timothy 6:11-16, Luke 14:26-33.– Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

So likewise, everyone of you,
who does not renounce all
that he possesses,
cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33

He seems to demand of us
the most entire renunciation…
So, if we keep back for ourselves ,
any earthly goods or any perishable supplies,
our minds will remain sunk in them,
as though in mud.
Then, inevitably, our souls will become unable
to contemplate God and will be unmoved
by desire for the splendours of Heaven
and for the good things promised us.
We shall only be able to acquire those good things,
if we ask for them unceasingly,
with a burning desire that will, besides,
make easy the effort needed to gain them.”

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

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

True spiritual life consists in this:
that man keep his eyes on God, constantly,
long for nothing but for God,
keep nothing in mind but God,
and begin every single action,
in God’s Name
and direct it to Him.

St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)

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One Minute Reflection – 24 January – ‘Prefer nothing to Christ’

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – St Timothy (1st Century) Disciple of St Paul, Bishop and Martyr – 1 Timothy 6:11-16, Luke 14:26-33.– Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

So likewise, everyone of you, who does not renounce all that he possesses, cannot be My disciple.” – Luke 14:33

REFLECTION – “Our Lord Jesus Christ said to all, on many occasions and while giving many demonstrations of it: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me,” (cf Lk 9:23) and again: “anyone of you who does not renounce all that he possesses cannot be My disciple.” Thus, He seems to demand of us the most entire renunciation… “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be,” He says elsewhere (Mt 6:21). So if we keep back for ourselves any earthly goods or any perishable supplies, our minds will remain sunk in them as though in mud. Then, inevitably, our souls will become unable to contemplate God and will be unmoved by desire for the splendours of Heaven and for the good things promised us. We shall only be able to acquire those good things, if we ask for them unceasingly, with a burning desire that will, besides, make easy the effort needed to gain them.

To renounce ourselves, means to undo the bonds which bind us to this earthly passing life and free ourselves from human contingencies, so that we may become more equal to walking along the way which leads to God. It is to free ourselves from all hindrances, so as to possess and use, the goods that are “far more precious than gold and silver,” (Ps 118:72). And, to sum up, to renounce oneself, is to lift the human heart into the life of Heaven, so as to be able to say: “Our citizenship is in Heaven,” (Phil 3:20). Above all, it is to begin to grow like Christ, Who for our sake became poor although he was rich (2 Cor 8:9). We need to become like Him, if we want to live according to the Gospel.– St Basil the Great (329-379) Monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Father and Doctor of the Church (Greater Monastic Rules Q.8).

PRAYER – Be mindful of our weakness, Almighty God and because the burden of our sins weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of blessed Timothy, Your Martyr and Bishop, sustain us. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, MARTYRS, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Our Morning Offering – 24 January – O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith – Feast of Saint Timothy,

Our Morning Offering – 24 January – Feast of Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr

O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith

O Fathers of our ancient faith,
With all the heav’n, we sing your fame
Whose sound went forth in all the earth
To tell of Christ and bless His Name.

You took the Gospel to the poor,
The Word of God alight in you,
Which in our day is told again,
That timeless Word, forever new.

You told of God, Who died for us
And out of death triumphant rose,
Who gave the Truth which made us free
and changeless through the ages goes.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Whose gift is faith that never dies,
A light in darkness now, until
The Day-Star in our hearts arise.

O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. In the Divine Office it is sung at Morning Prayer in the Common of Apostles. It is set to the anonymous tune associated with the 7th century Latin hymn, Creator Alme Siderum.

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Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – Light your lamps

Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275) – Sirach 31:8-11, Luke 12:35-40 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Gird your loins and light your lamps

Luke 12:35

The fire of the Lord is Light Eternal;
the lamps of believers are lit at this fire:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps,”
(Lk 12:35).
It is because the days of our life
are still night that a lamp is necessary.
This is the fire which,
according to the testimony
of the disciples at Emmaus,
the Lord Himself set within them:
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while He spoke to us on the way
and opened the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32).
He gives us evident proof of this fire’s action,
enlightening man’s inmost heart.
That is why the Lord will come in fire (Is 66,15)
so as to devour our faults at the resurrection,
fulfil each one’s desires with His Presence
and cast His Light over their merits and mysteries.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

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.

St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)

Lord, Kindle our Lamps
By St Columban (543-615)

Lord, kindle our lamps,
Saviour most dear to us,
that we may always shine
in Thy Presence
and always receive Light
from Thee,
the Light Perpetual,
so that our own
personal darkness,
may be overcome
and the world’s darkness
driven from us.
Amen

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One Minute Reflection – 23 January – ‘ … The Lord desires to have us vigilant, always waiting for the Saviour’s coming… ‘

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275) – Sirach 31:8-11, Luke 12:35-40 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

You also must be ready, for at an hour that you think not, the Son of man will come.” – Luke 12:40

REFLECTION – “I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing”… The Lord desires to have us vigilant, always waiting for the Saviour’s coming… But as the gain is meagre and the merit weak, when fear of pain is what prevents us from straying and as love is what has the greater worth, the Lord Himself…sets on fire our longing to win God, when He says: “I have come to set the earth on fire.” Not the kind of fire that destroys, of course but that which produces an upright will and perfects the golden vessels in the Lord’s House by consuming the chaff and the straw (1 Cor 3:12), by devouring all this world’s veneer, acquired through the taste for earthly pleasures and the perishable works of the flesh.

This was the heavenly fire that burned in the bones of the prophets, as Jeremiah declared: “It becomes, like fire burning…in my bones,” (Jer 20,9). For there is a fire of the Lord of which it is said: “Fire goes before Him,” (Ps 96,3). The Lord Himself is a fire, it says: “which burns without being consumed,” (Ex 3,2). The fire of the Lord is Light Eternal; the lamps of believers are lit at this fire: “Gird your loins and light your lamps,” (Lk 12:35). It is because the days of our life are still night that a lamp is necessary. This is the fire which, according to the testimony of the disciples at Emmaus, the Lord Himself set within them: “Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32). He gives us evident proof of this fire’s action, enlightening man’s inmost heart. That is why the Lord will come in fire (Is 66,15) so as to devour our faults at the resurrection, fulfil each one’s desires with His Presence and cast His Light over their merits and mysteries.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Archbishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church (Treatise on St Luke’s Gospel, 7, 131-132).

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who chose blessed Raymond to be a renowned minister of the Sacrament of Penance and miraculously brought him through the waves of the sea, grant that, by his intercession, we may produce good results from our penance and reach the Heaven of eternal salvation .Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JESUIT SJ, OUR Cross, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 22 January – “Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief,”

Quote/s of the Day – 22 January – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – Romans 12:16-21, Matthew 8:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Amen I say to you,
I have not found
such great faith in Israel
.”

Matthew 8:10

And Jesus, seeing their faith,
said to the paralytic,
Take courage, son,
your sins are forgiven you.

Matthew 9:2

Perhaps, your own faith is feeble.
Nevertheless, the Lord, who is love
will stoop down to you,
provided only that you are penitent
and can say sincerely,
from the depths of your soul:
“Lord, I believe.
Help Thou mine unbelief,”
(Mark 9:23)……

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

If I only touch his garment,
I will be made well.”
Jesus turned and seeing her he said,
“Take heart, daughter,
your faith has made you well.”
And instantly the woman was made well.

Matthew 9:21-22

What determines that the gifts of God
dwells 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. …

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

But whom do you say that I Am?”

Luke 9:20

… How can anyone put on Jesus Christ
and imitate His example,
if he does not study this Jesus,
who must inspire and perfect our faith?
He must run the race to which he is challenged,
the glorious race in which,
he overcomes the enemy of the human family
and follows the Way of the Cross.
Under the lordly banner of that Cross,
he will attain eternal life.

St Vincent Strambi CP (1745-1824)

Prayer for Unbelievers
By St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)

O God, the Everlasting Creator of all things,
remember that the souls of unbelievers
were made by Thee
and formed in Thine own image and likeness.
Remember that Jesus, Thy Son,
endured a most bitter Death for their salvation.
Permit not, I beseech Thee, O Lord
that Thy Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers
but do Thou graciously accept the prayers
of holy men and of the Church,
the Spouse of Thy Most Holy Son
and be mindful of Thy mercy.
Forget their idolatry and unbelief
and grant that they too,
may someday know Him,
Whom Thou hast sent…the Lord Jesus Christ,
Who is our Salvation, our Life and Resurrection,
by Whom we have been [redeemed] and delivered,
to Whom be glory for endless ages.
Amen.

St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)

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One Minute Reflection – 22 January – “Lord, I am not worthy … ”- Matthew 8:8

One Minute Reflection – 22 January – St Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) Protomartyr of Spain and St Anastasius the Persian (Died 628) Martyr – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – Romans 12:16-21, Matthew 8:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Lord, I am not worthy … ”- Matthew 8:8

REFLECTION – “When the Gospel was read, we heard Jesus praise our faith in an act of humility. When the Lord Jesus, you remember, promised He would go to the centurion’s house to heal his servant, the man replied, “I am not worthy that Thou should enter under my roof but only say the word, and he will be healed”. By calling himself unworthy, he showed he was worthy to have Christ enter, not within his walls but within his heart…

There would, after all, have been no great benefit if the Lord Jesus had entered within his walls and had not been in his bosom. Christ, the teacher of humility, by both word and example, had, you may remember, sat down in the house of a certain proud Pharisee called Simon (Lk 7:36). And although He was sitting in his house, there wasn’t anywhere in his heart, where the Son of man might lay His Head (Lk 9,58)… But into this centurion’s house, He did not enter, yet, he took possession of his heart…

So this man’s faith is discerned and praised in an act of humility. He said, “I am not worthy that Thou should enter under my roof” and the Lord said, “Amen I tell you, I have not found such great faith in Israel”… The Lord had come to Israel according to the flesh, that is, to the Jews, there first to seek the sheep that were lost (Lk 15:4)… We, as human beings, can assess the faith of human beings – from the outside; He, Who could look inside, Whom no-one could deceive, bore witness to the faith of this man and on hearing his humble words, He gave him a clean bill of health!” St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 62).

PRAYER – Give heed to our humble prayers, O Lord, that we who know we are guilty of our own sin, may be saved by the intercession of Thy blessed Martyrs Vincent and Anastasius.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", ACT of CONTRITION, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – Our Lamps are going out – Matthew 25:8

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr – Ecclesiasticus 51:1-8, 12, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Our lamps are going out.

Matthew 25:8

I have not become as wise
as those five wise Virgins.
… But I have become the most wretched of the foolish ones
by failing to keep some oil for my lamp,
namely, mercy together with virginity
or, still more, the anointing from Baptism’s Sacred fount

Therefore, the doors of the wedding hall
are closed to me too, in my negligence.
But, O my Bridegroom,
while I am still in my body here below,
listen to my soul, Your Bride…
From now on, I will cry aloud piteously,
“Oh, open to me Your Heavenly Door,
bring me into Your Wedding Chamber on high,
make me worthy of Your Holy Kiss,
Your pure and spotless Embrace.
Oh let me not hear the Voice saying
it does not know me!
I am blind; set alight with Your own Light
my spirit’s extinguished flame!

St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173)
Armenian Bishop

Remove from your lives
the filth and uncleanness of vice.
Your upright lives must make you
the salt of the earth for yourselves
and for the rest of humankind…

St John of Capistrano OFM (1386-1456)

O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition
By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church

O my God,
I am exceedingly grieved,
for having offended Thee
and with my whole heart,
I repent of the sins I have committed.
I hate and abhor them above every other evil,
not only because, by so sinning,
I have lost heaven and deserved hell
but still more because I have offended Thee,
O infinite Goodness,
who art worthy to be loved above all things.
I most firmly resolve,
by the assistance of Thy grace,
never more to offend Thee for the time to come
and to avoid those occasions
which might lead me into sin.
Amen

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OUR Cross, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – Blessed are you who are poor …

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – St Fabian, Pope, and St Sebastian – Martyrs – Hebrews 11:33-39, Luke 6:17-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Luke 6:20

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste
.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor

For everyone who exalts himself,
shall be humbled and he
who humbles himself, shall be exalted.

Luke 14:11

We must erect the mystical ladder of Jacob,
where Angels, ascending and descending,
appeared to him.
Ascent and descent means,
that we go downward when we exalt ourselves
and rise, when we are humbled.
The ladder represents our life in this world,
which our Lord erects to Heaven,
when our heart is humbled.
The sides of the ladder represent our soul and body,
sides between which,
God has placed several rungs of humility and, discipline,
whereby we are to ascend
if we would answer His call.”

(Rule of Benedict #7)

St Benedict (480-547)
Father of the Church

“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

When he Canonised St Thomas,
John XXII declared that
“every article he wrote was a miracle!”
One might say that St Thomas Aquinas
was raised up by God, for he gathered together,
the whole of human knowledge up to his own time
and interpreted it in the new light of Christianity.
… In spite of his greatness, however,
Thomas of Aquin, was a very humble man.
There is a good deal of truth
in Pascal’s remark
that a little knowledge makes the mind proud
but real wisdom, makes it humble.
We cannot all imitate the knowledge
of St Thomas Aquinas but we should all
imitate his humility.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – Blessed are you who are poor

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Fabian, Pope, and St Sebastian – Martyrs – Hebrews 11:33-39, Luke 6:17-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 6:20

REFLECTION – “Blessed,” He says, “are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). It would perhaps be doubtful what poor He was speaking of, if in saying “blessed are the poor ” He had added nothing which would explain the sort of poor and then, that poverty by itself, would appear sufficient to win the Kingdom of Heaven, which many suffer from, hard and heavy necessity. But when he says “blessed are the poor in spirit,” He shows that the Kingdom of Heaven must be assigned to those who are recommended by the humility of their spirit, rather than, by the smallness of their means.

Yet it cannot be doubted, that this possession of humility is more easily acquired by the poor than the rich: for submissiveness is the companion of those, who want, while loftiness of mind dwells with riches. Notwithstanding, even in many of the rich, is found that spirit which uses its abundance, not for the increasing of its pride but on works of kindness and counts that for the greatest gain, which it expends in the relief of others’ hardships. It is given to every kind and rank of men, to share in this virtue, because men may be equal in will, though unequal in fortune and it does not matter, how different they are in earthly means, who are found equal in spiritual possessions. Blessed, therefore, is poverty which is not possessed with a love of temporal things and does not seek to be increased with the riches of the world but is eager to amass heavenly possessions.” – St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 95, PL 54, 461).

PRAYER – Be mindful of our weakness, Almighty God and since the burden of our sins weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of Thy holy Martyrs, Fabian and Sebastian sustain us. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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One Minute Reflection – 19 January – ‘In fact, according to the merit and fervour of each one …’

One Minute Reflection – 19 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Marius and Family of Persia, (Died c 270) Martyrs – Hebrews 10:32-38, Matthew 24:3-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy Coming and of the consummation of the world? ” – Matthew 24:3

REFLECTION – “… In fact, according to the merit and fervour of each one, there is a frequent and familiar advent of the Lord that, in this intermediary period, between His First and Last Coming, models us on one and prepares us to the other.

The Lord comes to us now, so that His First Coming to us, may not be in vain and that the Last One, may not be that of wrath. Through His Present Coming, in fact, He works at reforming our pride, in the image of the humility of His first advent, to then remodel our humble body, in the image of the glorified body He will show us, when He will return. This is why we should desire and fervently ask this personal coming – which gives us the grace of this first advent and promises us the glory of the last. …

The first was humble and hidden, the last will be resounding and magnificent; the one we are talking about is hidden but it is also magnificent. I say it is hidden, not because it is ignored by whom it concerns but because, it happens secretly in him. … He comes without being seen and He leaves without being noticed. His simple Presence is Light for the soul and for the spirit, by it you may see the invisible and get to know the unknown. This coming of the Lord puts the soul of whom, contemplates it, in a gentle and happy state of admiration. Then, from the inmost depths of man, the cry may burst out: “O Lord, Who is like Thee!” (Ps 34:10). Those who have experienced it know, please God, that those who have not yet had this experience, may feel, at least, the desire to!” – Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot (2nd sermon for Advent, 2-4: PL 185, 15-17).”

PRAYER – O Lord, hear Thy people as they humbly pray, in union with the patronal intercession of Thy Saints that Thou wouldst grant us to enjoy peace, during our life on earth and to find help for life eternal. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – St Peter

Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of the Apostle, St Peter at Rome – 1 Peter 1:1-7, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God.

Matthew 16:16

Upon this rock
I will build My Church

Matthew 16:18

“… May grace and peace
be yours in abundance,
through knowledge of God
and of Jesus Our Lord
…”

2 Peter 1:2

So Peter wept and wept bitterly;
he wept so hard
that he washed away his offence with his tears.
And you, too, if you would win pardon,
wipe out your guilt with tears.
At that very moment, in that same hour,
Christ will look at you.
If some kind of fall happens to you,
then He, the ever-present witness
of your intimate life,
looks at you to call you back
and cause you to confess your lapse.
Then do as Peter did, who thrice said:
“Lord, you know that I love you” (Jn 21:15).
He denied three times and three times
he also confessed.
But he denied by night;
he confessed in broad daylight.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Yes, the Apostle chosen
to be His co-worker,
merited to share,
the same Name as Christ.
They built the same Building together –
Peter does the planting,
the Lord gives the increase
and it is the Lord, too,
Who sends those,
who will do the watering
(cf 1 Cor 3:6f).”

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

It is good to admire the fidelity of St Peter
and the designs of Divine Providence
in making him the visible Head of the Church
but, it is far better, to follow his example.
His love for Jesus, led him to leave his family
and his fisherman’s trade, in order to follow Our Lord.
It led him to undertake long voyages,
to endure imprisonment and to face Martyrdom.
What can we do for the love of Jesus?
Remember that, if love is to be sincere,
it must be generous and effective.
… He was not satisfied,
until he was hanging upon the cross
like his Divine Master
and could prove his love for Jesus
by a Martyr’s death.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

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One Minute Reflection – 18 January – ‘… Out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen … ‘ St Leo the Great

One Minute Reflection – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of the Apostle, St Peter at Rome – 1 Peter 1:1-7, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the Wisdom and Power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, Angels served Him. … And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many Priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. …

The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know, what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he, who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say, blessed are you because My Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover Me but He, Whose only Son I Am.

And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested My Divinity to you, so I Am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11). But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My Strength and, what I have by virtue of My Power, you have in common with Me, by the fact,, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build My Church” … On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and My Church, whose summit is to reach to Heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” … Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church ( 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Consecration).

PRAYER – O God, Who together with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven didst bestow on thy blessed Apostle Peter the pontifical power of binding and loosing, grant that by the aid of his intercession, we may be released from the bonds of our sins. ThroughJesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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One Minute Reflection – 17 January – ‘ …This Sacred Household is the Holy, Catholic Church …’

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – St Anthony Abbot (251-356) – Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6, Luke 12:35-40 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Blessed are those servants whom the Master, on His return, shall find watching.” – Luke 12:37

REFLECTION – “Wishing to emphasise the special office of the servants, whom He has placed in charge of His people, the Lord says, ‘Who, do you think, is the faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord sets over His household, to give to them their measure of wheat at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his Master will find so doing when he comes.” Who is that Master, brethren? Without a doubt, it is Christ, Who says to His disciples: “You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right, for so I Am” (Jn 13,13). What, too, is the Master’s Household? Doubtless it is the one which the Lord Himself ransomed… This Sacred Household is the Holy, Catholic Church, which is spread through the whole earth with abundant fertility and glories in the fact, that she has been redeemed by the Precious Blood of her Master. As He Himself says: “The Son of Man came, not to be served but to serve and to give His Life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10,45).

He is, too, the Good Shepherd ”Who laid down His Life for His sheep” (Jn 10,11)…As to who the steward is, who ought to be faithful, as well as wise, the Apostle Paul shows us, when, speaking of himself and his companions, he says: “This is how one should regard us, as the servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be found trustworthy” (1Cor 4,1-2).

Now, lest anyone of us should think that it is only the Apostles who have been made stewards…, the blessed Apostle Paul shows us that the Bishops also are stewards, when he says: “For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless” (Tt 1,7)…We, therefore, who are the servants of the Master of the Household, we are the stewards of the Lord, we have received the measure of wheat to disburse to you.” – St Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-532) Bishop in North Africa (Homily 1, on the Lord’s servants) (trans. Breviary Common of Pastors).

PRAYER – May the intercession of the Blessed Abbot Anthony, commend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that what we do not deserve by any merits of our own, we may obtain by his patronage. Through tJesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – “Do whatever He tells you.”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Do whatever He tells you.

John 2:5

Not everyone who says to Me,
‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of Heaven
but only the one who does
the will of My Father in Heaven.”

Matthew 7:21

God is Good but He is also Just…
So do not underestimate God –
His love for men
should not become a pretext,
for negligence on our part.

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

If we fail to live in the Light,
we shall, to our condemnation
and that of others,
be veiling over and obscuring,
by our infidelity,
the Light men so desperately need.
As we know from Scripture,
the man who received the talent
should have made it produce a heavenly profit
but instead, he preferred to hide it away
rather than put it to work
and was punished as he deserved.
Consequently, that brilliant Lamp
which was lit for the sake of our salvation
should always shine in us.
For we have the lamp
of the heavenly commandments
and spiritual grace,
to which David referred:
Your law is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407)
Bishop of Aquileia,
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)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CONFESSION/PENANCE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth … Matthew 16:19

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Saint Pope Marcellus I (Died 309) – 1 Peter 5:1-4, 10-11, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.” – Matthew 16:19

REFLECTION “Bridegroom and Bride, that is Christ and the Church, are as one, be it in receiving confession or in bestowing absolution. All this makes clear why Christ had to tell each of us: “Go, show yourself to the priest” (Mt 8,4)… It follows that apart from Christ, the Church cannot grant forgiveness and that Christ has no will to forgive, apart from the Church. The Church’s authority to forgive extends only to the repentant, to those, that is, whom Christ has already touched; Christ, on His part, has no intention of regarding as forgiven, one who despises the Church.

Doubtless, Christ need accept no restraints to His power of Baptising, Consecrating the Eucharist, Ordaining Priests, forgiving sins and the like but, the humble and faithful Bridegroom, prefers to confer such blessings, with the co-operation of His Bride. “What God,” then, “has joined, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19,6). “I say this is a great mystery and refers to Christ and the Church” (Eph 5,32)… To remove the Head from the Body (Col 1,18) were to ruin the whole Christ, irreparably. Christ, apart from the Church, is no more the whole Christ, than the Church is complete, if separated from Christ. Head and Body go to make the whole and entire Christ.” – Bl Isaac of Stella (c 1100 – c 1170) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher (Sermon 11, §11-814).

PRAYER – O Lord, we beseech Thee, graciously hear the prayers of Thy people, that we may be helped by the merits of blessed Marcellus, Thy Pope and Martyr, whose sufferings we celebrate. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – St Macarius of Egypt

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – The Memorial of St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390) Priest, Abbot, Hermit, Father

The heart itself is only a small vessel,
yet dragons are there and lions,
there are poisonous beasts
and all the treasures of evil,
there are rough and uneven roads,
there are precipices
but there too is God and the Angels,
life is there and the Kingdom,
there too is light and there, the Apostles
and heavenly cities
and treasures of grace.
All things lie within that little space!

Prayer for Mercy
and Forgiveness
By St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390)

Lord, be merciful now
that my life is approaching its end
and the evening awaits me.
There is not enough time
for me to cleanse myself of my sins,
for they are so many.
Heal me while I am still on earth
and I shall be truly healthy.
In Thy mercy,
move me to repent,
so that I shall not be ashamed,
when I meet Thee in Heaven.
Amen

Then go and learn,
neither to be moved with injuries nor flatteries.
If you die to the world and to yourself,
you will begin to live to Christ
.”

The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.
Luke 6:5

… The Lord calls on us to rest,
telling us: “Come to me, all you who labour
and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
And He gives rest to all souls who trust Him
and come to Him,
by delivering them from painful,
oppressive and impure thoughts.
Then they completely stop indulging in evil,
celebrating a true, a delightful and holy Sabbath,
a feast of the Spirit in inexpressible joy
and rejoicing.
They offer a pure and acceptable worship to God,
coming from a pure heart.
That is the true and holy Sabbath.

And as soon as He sees you seek Him fervently,
He will make Himself known to you.
He will appear to you, grant you His help,
bestow the victory on you
and save you from your enemies.
In fact, when He sees how you are looking for Him,
how you continually place all your hope in Him,
then He will instruct you,
teach you true prayer,
give you that authentic charity that is Himself.
Then, He will become everything to you:
your Paradise, Life-giving Tree,
Precious Pearl, Crown, Architect, Farmer,
One subject to suffering
but not afflicted with suffering,
Man, God, Wine, Living Water,
Lamb, Bridegroom, Soldier, Armour,
Christ Who is “All in All” (1Cor 1B,28)
.

St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MIRACLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 January – Why did our Lord change water into wine as His first Sign? – St Ephrem

One Minute Reflection – 15 January – Second Sunday after the Epiphany – Romans 12:6-16, John 2:1-11 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

This, the first of His Signs, Jesus worked at Cana in Galilee and manifested His Glory and His disciples believed in Him…” – John 2:11

REFLECTION – “Why did our Lord change water into wine as His first Sign? It was to show how God, Who transforms nature into something else, also works His transformation in the womb of the Virgin. In the same way, as the crown of His miraculous deeds, Jesus opened a tomb to make known His freedom, with regard to the death, which is hungry to swallow up everything.

To both authenticate and confirm, the twofold reversal of nature, brought by His Birth and His Resurrection, Jesus changed water into wine, without in any way altering the stone water-jars. This was the symbol of His own Body, miraculously conceived and wonderfully created in a virgin, without the working of a man… Contrary to their normal use, the jars… brought new wine into the world, without ever repeating the same miracle again. In the same way the Virgin conceived and brought Emmanuel into the world, (Is 7,14) without afterwards conceiving again. The miracle of the stone water-jars was that what was small, became great, sparseness was changed into superabundance, plain water into sweet wine… In Mary, on the other hand, the greatness and glory of the Godhead changed its appearance to take on the aspect of weakness and humiliation.

Those jars were used for the Jewish purifications; into them our Lord poured His teaching: He demonstrated that He came according to the Law and the prophets but with the purpose of changing them all, through His teaching, as the water became wine… «The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ» (Jn 1,17). The bridegroom who lived in Cana, invited the Bridegroom from Heaven and the Lord, Who was ready for that wedding, answered His invitation. Those seated at table invited Him, Who sets worlds in His Kingdom, and He sent them a wedding gift, able to delight them… They had no wine, even of an ordinary sort; He poured a little from His own abundance for them. In return for their invitation, He Himself, invited them to His own wedding!” – St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on the Diatessaron, 5, 6f).

PRAYER – Almighty, everlasting God, Thou Who govern both the heavens and the earth, graciously hear the humble prayers of Thy people and grant us Thy peace, all the days of our lives. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – ‘ … The Father’s true Light …’

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – St Hilary (315-368) Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church – 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Matthew 5:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but upon a candlestick that it may shine to all that are in the house. … ” – Matthew 5:15

REFLECTION – “The lamp placed on the lampstand, of which Scripture speaks, is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s true Light, Who enlightens everyone coming into the world, (Jn1,9). As for the lampstand, it is the holy Church. It is upon her preaching that God’s resplendent Word rests, enlightening men the world over as inhabitants of His House and filling every soul with knowledge of God…

The Word has no wish to remain under a bushel; it longs to be set well in view, on the Church’s summit. Concealed beneath the letter of the Law, as under a bushel, the Word would have deprived everyone of Eternal Light. It would have been unable to grant spiritual contemplation to those who try to disengage themselves from the seduction of the senses, which are subject to illusion and quick to see only material, passing things. But if placed on the lampstand of the Church, that is to say, founded on worship in spirit and truth (Jn 4,24), it enlightens everyone… For the letter, unless it is understood according to the spirit, has only a material and limited value; of itself, it does not allow the mind to grasp the import of the written word…

So, let us not place the lighted lamp, that is to say the Word of God, under the bushel, by means of our thoughts and actions. Let us not be guilty of concealing, beneath the letter, the incomprehensible force of Divine Wisdom. Let us rather, set the Word on the lampstand of the Church, at the summit of pure contemplation which causes the light of Divine Revelation to shine out for everyone!” – St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Abbot, Theologian, Father (Question 63 to Thalassius: PG 90, 667-670).

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

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The BAPTISM of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – ‘ … Make ready then the vessel of your soul that you may become a son of God … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – Octave Day of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, John 1:29-34 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And I knew Him not but he who sent me to Baptise with water said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, He it IS, Who Baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I saw and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God.” – John 1:33-34

REFLECTION – “Jesus Christ was the Son of God, yet He preached not the Gospel before His Baptism. If the Master Himself followed the right time in due order, ought we, His servants, to venture out of order? From that time Jesus began to preach (Matthew 4:17) , when the Holy Ghost had descended upon Him in a bodily shape, like a Dove, (Luke 3:22) not that Jesus might see Him first, for He knew Him even before He came in a bodily shape but that John, who was Baptising Him, might behold Him. For I, says he, knew Him not but He that sent me to Baptise with water, He said to me, Upon whomsoever you shall see the Spirit descending and abiding on Him that is He (John 1:33).

If you too have unfeigned piety, the Holy Ghost comes down on you also and a Father’s voice sounds over you from on high — not, ‘This is My Son’ alone because ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ To Him belongs the ‘IS’ since He is always the Son of God – but to you, has now been made, since you have not the sonship by nature but receive it by adoption. He eternally ‘IS’ but you receive the grace progressively.

Make ready then the vessel of your soul that you may become a son of God and an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17); if, indeed, you are preparing yourself that you may receive; if you are drawing near in faith that you may be made faithful; if of set purpose, you are putting off the old man!” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father and Doctor of the Church (Catechetical Lecture 3: 14-15).

PRAYER – O God, Whose Only-begotten Son appeared in the substance of our flesh, grant, we pray Thee that we, who acknowledge His outward likeness to us, may deserve to be inwardly refashioned in His Image. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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One Minute Reflection – 12 January – ‘ … Let us too, with the holy Magi, adore our little King. …’ Jesus

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And seeing the Star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” – Matthew 2:10

REFLECTION – “Jesus is born poor in a stable; the Angels of Heaven indeed acknowledge Him but men abandon and forsake Him on earth. Only a few shepherds come and pay Him homage. But our Redeemer was desirous of communicating to us the grace of His redemption and begins, therefore, to manifest Himself to the Gentiles, Who knew Him least. Therefore, He sends a Star to enlighten the holy Magi, in order that they may come and acknowledge and adore their Saviour. This was the first and sovereign grace bestowed upon us–our vocation to the Faith which was succeeded by our vocation to grace, of which men were deprived.

Behold the wise men, who immediately, without delay, set off upon their journey. The Star accompanies them as far as the cavern where the Holy Infant lies. On their arrival, they enter and what do they find? They found the Child with Mary. They find a poor maiden and a poor Infant wrapped in poor swaddling-clothes, without anyone to attend on Him or assist Him. But, lo! on entering into the little shed, these holy pilgrims feel a joy which they had never felt before; they feel their hearts chained to the dear little Infant Whom they behold. The straw, the poverty, the cries of their little Saviour–oh, what darts of love! Oh, what blessed flames are they to their enlightened hearts! The Infant looks upon them with a joyful countenance and this is the mark of affection, with which He accepts them amongst the first-fruits of His Redemption.

The holy kings then look at Mary, who does not speak –she remains silent but with her blessed countenance which breathes the sweetness of paradise, she welcomes them and thanks them for having been the first to come and acknowledge Her Son (as indeed He is) for their Sovereign Lord. See also how, out of reverence, they adore Him in silence and acknowledge Him for their God, kissing His Feet and offering Him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Let us too, with the holy Magi, adore our little King Jesus and let us offer Him all our hearts.” – St Alphonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop, Founder of the Redemptorists, Most Zealous Doctor (The Adoration of the Magi),

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Thy Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may come to behold Thee in glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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One Minute Reflection – 11 January – Could such a One as this, be King?

One Minute Reflection – 11 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And entering into the house, they found the Child with Mary, His Mother and falling down, they adored Him …” – Matthew 2:11

REFLECTION – “God’s intention was not only to come down to earth but to become known there; not only to be born but to be recognised. In fact, it is with this recognition in mind that we hold this celebration of the Epiphany, the great day of His manifestation. For it was today that the Magi came from the East in search of the Sun of Justice at its rising (Mal 3,20), He of Whom we read: “Behold a Man whose name is the Orient,” (Zec 6,12 Vul.). Today they have adored the Virgin’s newborn Child, following the guidance of a New Star. What great cause for joy do we not find here, my brethren, as also in those words of the Apostle Paul: “The kindness and generous love of God our Saviour have appeared,” (Tit 3,4)…

What is this you are doing, you Magi? What is this you are doing? Are you adoring an Infant at the breast in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags? Can a Child such as this really be God? Yet, “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in Heaven.” (Ps 11:4) while you are looking for Him in a common stable, held in His Mother’s arms! Whatever are you doing? Why are you offering Him gold? Could such a One as this be King? Where, then, is His Royal Court, His Throne, His crowd of courtiers? Can a stable be a palace, a crib a throne, Mary and Joseph members of His Court? How on earth could wise men be so foolish as to adore a Baby, as contemptible by reason of His age, as for the poverty of His Family?

Mad? Yes, they have become so in order to be wise. The Holy Spirit has taught them already what the Apostle Paul would later proclaim: “Whoever would be wise, let him become a fool. For since the world, in all its wisdom, did not come to know God in His Wisdom, it has pleased God to save those who believe, through the foolishness of the Gospel we proclaim, (cf 1 Cor 1:21)… And so, they prostrate themselves before this poor Child; they do Him homage as to a King; they adore Him as a God. He Who outwardly guided them by a Star, has cast His Light into the interior of their hearts!” – St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk, Father and Doctor of the Church (1st Sermon for the Epiphany).

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Thy Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may come to behold Thee in glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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Quote/s of the Day – 10 January – ‘The Armour of Light.’

Quote/s of the Day – 10 January – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Behold, the star
which they had seen in the east,
went before them
until it came and stood
over where the Child was…

Matthew 2:9

The night is passed and the day is at hand.
Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of Light.

Romans 12:12

I implore you to live with me and,
by believing, to run with me;
let us long for our Heavenly Country,
let us sigh for our Heavenly Home,
let us truly feel that here, we are strangers.
What shall we then see?
Let the gospel tell us:
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
You will come to the fountain,
with whose dew you have already been sprinkled.
Instead of the ray of Light
which was sent through slanting
and winding ways, into the heart of your darkness,
you will see the Light Itself,
in all its purity and brightness.
It is to see and experience this Light
that you are now being cleansed. …
It has been good for us to share
the common Light,
good to have enjoyed ourselves,
good to have been glad together.
When we part from one another,
let us not depart from Him!

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

Prayer of Blessed Severinus Boethius
(c 475-524) Martyr

O Father, enable our minds,
to rise to Thy ineffable dwelling place.
Let us find the light
and direct the eyes of our soul to Thee.
Dispel the mists and the opaqueness
of the earthly mass
and shine out with Thy splendour.
Thou art the serene and tranquil abode
of those who persevere
in their goal of seeing Thee.
Thou art, at the same time,
the Beginning, the Vehicle,
the Guide, the Way and the Goal.
Amen.

Run with eager desire
to this Source of Life and Light,
all you who are vowed to God’s service.
Come, whoever you may be
and cry out to Him,
with all the strength of your heart.
O indescribable Beauty of the most high God
and purest Radiance of Eternal Light!
Life that gives all life,
Light that is the Source of every other light,
preserving, in everlasting splendour,
the myriad flames that have shone
before the throne of Thy Divinity
from the dawn of time!

St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DIVINE MERCY, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on GRACE, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – … Behold, the Star which they had seen in the east, went before them … Matthew 2:9

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” –Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

… Behold, the Star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. ” – Matthew 2:9

REFLECTION – “Christ appeared in the world and, bringing beauty out of disarray, gave it lustre and joy. He bore the world’s sin and crushed the world’s enemy. He sanctified the fountains of waters and enlightened the minds of men. Into the fabric of miracles, He interwove ever greater miracles.

For on this day, land and sea share between them, the grace of the Saviour and the whole world is filled with joy. Today’s Feast of the Epiphany manifests even more wonders than the Feast of Christmas.

On the Feast of the Saviour’s birth, the earth rejoiced because it bore the Lord in a manger but on today’s Feast of the Epiphany, it is the sea that is glad and leaps for joy; the sea is glad because it receives the blessing of holiness in the river Jordan.

At Christmas we saw a weak Baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today’s Feast, we see a perfect Man, hinting at the perfect Son Who proceeds from the All-perfect Father. At Christmas the King puts on the Royal Robe of His Body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds and, as it were, clothes the river.

Come then and see new and astounding miracles – the Sun of Righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man.

Today every creature shouts in resounding song – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is He who comes in every age, for this is not His first coming. And Who is He? Tell us more clearly, I beg you, blessed David – the Lord is God and has shone upon us. David is not alone in prophesying this; the Apostle Paul adds his own witness, saying: the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all men and instructing us. Not for some men but for all. To Jews and Greeks alike God bestows salvation through Baptism, offering Baptism as a common grace for all.

Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day. Then, the water of the flood destroyed the human race but now, the water of Baptism has recalled the dead to life, by the power of the One Who was Baptised. In the days of the flood, the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odour of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a Dove, reveals the Lord of mercy.” – St Proclus of Constantinople (Died c 446) Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople, Father (An excerpt from On the Holy God-showing, Sermon 7)

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Thy Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may come to behold Thee in glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Our Morning Offering – 10 January – Beloved and Most Holy Word of God

Our Morning Offering – 10 January – Within the Octave of Epiphany – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”

Beloved and Most Holy Word of God
By St James of the Marches (1391-1476)

Beloved and most holy Word of God!
You enlighten the hearts of the faithful,
You satisfy the hungry,
console the afflicted.
You make the souls of all,
productive of good
and cause all virtues to blossom.
You snatch souls
from the devil’s jaw.
You make the wretched holy
and men of earth,
citizens of Heaven!
Amen

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – Like Mary, put on the Lord Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – The Holy Family – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 13:14

You are walking now by faith,
still on pilgrimage in a mortal body
away from the Lord
but He, to Whom your steps are directed,
is Himself the sure and certain Way for you –
Jesus Christ, Who, for our sake became man.
For all who fear Him,
He has stored up abundant happiness
which He will reveal to those
who hope in Him, bringing it to completion,
when we have attained the reality
which, even now, we possess, in hope.
Set your hearts on heavenly things,
not the things that are on earth.
For you have died and your life
is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, your Life, appears,
then you too will appear with Him in glory.

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

And His Mother kept all
these words in her heart.

Luke 2:51

Consider the most prudent woman Mary,
Mother of true Wisdom,
as the pupil of her Son.
For she learned from Him,
not as from a child or man but as from God.
Yes, she dwelt in meditation
on His words and actions.
Nothing of what was said
or done by Him, fell idly on her mind.
… That which she now beholds in the present,
she waits to have revealed
with greater clarity, in the future.

St Bede the Venerable (673-735)
Father and Doctor of the Church

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.

Luke 8:15

The more you devote yourself,
to study of the Sacred utterances,
the richer will be your understanding of them,
just as the more the soil is tilled,,
the richer is the harvest.

St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Be Thou My Vision
By St Dallan Forgaill (c 530- 598)

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light.

Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Son,
Heart of my heart, whatever befall

Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – ‘ … She, who carried Him, Who carries the universe … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – The Holy Family – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And His Mother kept all these words in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION – “Often, it seems to us, Mary forgot to eat and to drink, keeping vigil in order to think about Christ, to see Christ in His flesh. She burned with love of Him and passionately loved to serve Him. She often did what the Song of Songs sings about: “I was sleeping but my heart kept vigil.” (Song 5:2) Even when she was resting, she continued to dream of Him Who filled her thoughts throughout the day. Whether she was keeping vigil or resting in peace, she always lived in Him, was always occupied with Him.

Where her treasure was, there also was her heart (Mt 6:21); where her glory was, there also was her mind. She loved her Lord and her Son with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength (Mt 22:37). She saw with her eyes, touched with her hands, the Word of Life (1 Jn 1:1). How blessed was Mary, to whom it was given to embrace Him who embraces and nourishes everything! How happy was she, who carried Him, Who carries the universe (Heb 1:3), she, who nursed a Son, Who gives her life, a Son Who nourishes her and all beings on earth (Ps 145:15).

The One Who is the Wisdom of the Father, put His arms around her neck, the One Who is the strength, that gives movement to everything, sat in her arms. He Who is the rest of souls, (Mt 11:29) rested on her motherly breast. How gently He held her in His hands, peacefully looked at her, He Whom the angels wish to contemplate (1 Pet 1:12) and He gently called her, He Whom every being calls upon when in need. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she held Him close to her heart … She never had enough of seeing Him or of hearing Him, Whom “many prophets and kings wished to see … but did not see.” (Lk 10:24) Thus Mary grew evermore in love and her mind was unceasingly attached to Divine contemplation.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop (Homily on the Motherhood of Mary, 4).

PRAYER – O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Who while subject to Mary and Joseph, hallowed family life with virtues beyond description, grant us by their combined intercession, that, having been taught by the example of the Holy Family, we may attain unto their everlasting companionship. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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One Minute Reflection – 8 January – “He was subject to them.” Luke 2:51

One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Holy Family – Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany – Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them.” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION –He was subject to them.” With these words let all pride dissolve, all rigidness crumble, all disobedience submit. “He was subject to them.” Who? In brief, He Who created all things from nothing; He Who, as Isaiah says, “has cupped in His Hand the waters of the sea and marked off the heavens with a span; Who has held in a measure the dust of the earth, weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance” (40:12). He Who, as Job says, “shakes the earth and the pillars beneath it tremble. He commands the sun and seals up the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea; He Who made the constellations; He does marvellous things beyond reckoning” (9:6-10)… This is He who, great and powerful though He be, was subject. And subject to whom? To a workman and a poor young maid.

O “First and Last”! (Apoc 1:17). O Leader of Angels, subject to men! The Creator of Heaven, subject to a workman; God of eternal glory, subject to a poor young maid! Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Has anyone heard such a thing before?

So no longer hesitate to obey or be submissive… Come down, come to Nazareth, be subject, obey perfectly: all Wisdom lies in this… This is what it means to be soberly wise. Simplicity that is pure, is “like the waters of Shiloah that flow silently” (Is 8:6). There are people of wisdom within religious orders but it is by means of simple men that God brought them there. God chose the foolish and weak, the lowly and ignorant to bring together those who were wise, powerful and of noble birth through them, “so that no human being might boast in itself” (cf 1 Cor 1:26-29) but in Him Who came down, Who came to Nazareth,and Who was subject!” – St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan, Doctor of the Church (Sermons for Sundays and Feasts of the Saints).

PRAYER – O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Who while subject to Mary and Joseph, hallowed family life with virtues beyond description, grant us by their combined intercession, that, having been taught by the example of the Holy Family, we may attain unto their everlasting companionship. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).