Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 January – “Upon this rock I will build my church”

One Minute Reflection – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19

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 – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on WATCHING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – ‘Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning …’ Luke 12:35

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Readings: Ecclus 45:1-6, Luke 12:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36

REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us, if He does not always enter or always remain.,, May your door be open to Him who comes; open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart; run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain, that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves, shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.

So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true, that He could enter but He does not want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day, gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting, for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church – 12th Sermon on Psalm 118

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your Eternal Light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, Who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of St Anthony Abbot, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MIRACLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – ‘ … And yet, we do not wonder … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 16 Januaryr – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:6-16, John 2:1-11.

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him…” – John 2:11

REFLECTION – “The miracle by which our Lord Jesus Christ changed water into wine is not at all astonishing, to those who know, that God is its Author. Indeed, it is exactly the same thing which produced wine in those six jars on that wedding day … and which renews this transformation in the vines each year. That which the servants poured into the jars, was changed into wine by the action of the Lord – in the same way the rain that falls from the clouds is changed into wine, through the same action of the Lord. And yet, we do not wonder at it because it is repeated every year; custom has caused astonishment to disappear. Yet, it is far more worthy of our attention, than what took place in the jars filled with water.
Indeed, who is there who dreams of considering the work of God, Who directs and governs the whole world? Isn’t that person then seized with astonishment and, as it were crushed beneath the weight of these miracles? If they consider the power enclosed within a single seed of the first species to come, they will discover a great reality there, that astounds the observer. But people, otherwise occupied, have become insensible to the works of God, which would daily provide motives for praising the Creator. This is why God reserves to Himself, the work of certain unusual wonders, so as to awaken them from their sleepiness and lead them to praise Him.”…St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people. Open our eyes that we may see, open our ears that we may hear, open our hearts that we may love Your glory, manifest around us in all the great deeds of Your Word. Grant us love and peace in our day and may the prayers of The Holy Mother of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour and all Your Saints and Martyrs, lead us home to You. We make our prayer through Your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – … Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart …’ Matthew 11:29

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – Readings: Phillippians 3:7-12, Matthew 11:25-34

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

For in prosperity,
a man is often puffed up with pride,
whereas tribulations chastens
and humbles him through suffering and sorrow.
In the midst of prosperity,
the mind is elated,
and in prosperity.
a man forgets himself.
In hardship, he is forced to reflect on himself,
even though he be unwilling.
In prosperity, a man often destroys
the good he has done.
Amidst difficulties,
he often repairs what he long since did
in the way of wickedness.

St Alfred the Great (849-899)
King

“How can you become a sharer,
in His glory (1 Pt 5:1)
if you will not consent,
to become a sharer,

in His humiliating death?

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

“Arm yourself with prayer,
instead of a sword;
be clothed with humility,
instead of fine raiment.

St Dominic de Guzman OP (1170-1221)

“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

… If you die with Him,
you shall also likewise
live with Him.
If you are His companion in punishment,
so shall you be in glory.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“If humble souls are contradicted,
they remain calm;
if they are calumniated,
they suffer with patience;
if they are little esteemed,
neglected, or forgotten,
they consider this their due;
if they are weighed down
with occupations,
they perform them cheerfully.

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES on CHILDREN, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – St Hilary

Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

The privilege of our Church is such that
it is never stronger
than when it is attacked,
never better known
than when it is accused,
never more powerful
than when it appears forsaken.

(Treatise on the Trinity)

“The Church is the Ship
outside which
it is impossible to understand
the Divine Word,
for Jesus spoke from the boat
to the people gathered
on the shore.”

No matter how sinful
one may have been,
if he has devotion to Mary,
it is impossible that he be lost.

“Little children follow
and obey their father.
They love their mother.
They know nothing of covetousness,
ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying.
This state of mind,
opens the road to Heaven.
To imitate our Lord’s own humility,
we must return to the simplicity
of God’s little ones.

St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Church

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/13/quote-s-of-the-day-13-january-st-hilary-2/

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – ‘ … No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 5:13-19 and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “In Him, the promise made through the shadows of prophecy, stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the One Who teaches the truth of prophecy, through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”  St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Sermo 51).

PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments. Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. St Hilary was a shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that his prayers may aid us. Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on MISSION, The 1st Glorious Mystery - THE RESURRECTION of OUR LORD, The 5th Joyful Mystery-THE FINDING of JESUS in the TEMPLE, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – “When Jesus was twelve years old …” – Luke 2:42

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – Seventh day in the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:1-5; Luke 2:42-52 and the Memorial of St Benedict Biscop OSB (c 628-690)

When Jesus was twelve years old …” – Luke 2:42

REFLECTION – “The public teaching of the Lord, had as we read, its beginnings from His twelfth year, for herein should be foreshadowed the number of those announcing the faith that was to be preached. Nor was it that He was heedlessly unmindful of His parents according to the flesh, who in the flesh was filled with grace and wisdom, that He was found in the temple after three days but ,for a sign that was believed dead, would present Himself to our faith, risen in heavenly glory and divine honour, after the three days of that triumphal passion.

How is it that you sought me. Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business.” (Lk 2:49) There are two generations in Christ: the one is Paternal, the other Maternal; that which is Paternal is more Divine, the Maternal, that whereby He has stooped to our need and benefit. And, therefore, what was accomplished in the manner above nature, above age, above what was usual, must not be ascribed to His human excellence but must be referred to the power of His Divinity.
Elsewhere, His Mother pleads with Him for a miracle, here she requires of Him a reason, since she still looks to the things that are human. But while here, He is described as being but twelve years old, there, He is spoken of as having disciples. See how the Mother has learnt to know her Son, so that she seeks a miracle from Him now, in His full strength, Who was astonished at this wonder in His Boyhood.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church (Writings Octave of the Epiphany).

PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us. Sanctify our hearts, minds and actions with Your power, that all we are, may speak of Your Light. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin our Mother and the ever-zealous St Benedict Biscop, bring us to peace and confidence. We make our prayer through Your Son, our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 January – ‘Consider the most prudent woman Mary …’

One Minute Reflection – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany

He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them and his mother kept all these things in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION – “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. As before, when she conceived the Word itself in her womb, so now does she hold within her, His ways and words, cherishing them as it were in her heart. That which she now beholds in the present, she waits to have revealed with greater clarity, in the future. This practice she followed as a rule and law through all her life.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our hearts be eternally longing for that time alone with You, our one true Love. May our worldly duties be such, that they never impede our progress in devotion and may the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the Saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – Asking them questions… Luke 2:46

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – The Fifth Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:1-5; Luke 2:42-52

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions…” Luke 2:46

REFLECTION – ”Because He was a small child, He is found “in the midst of teachers,” sanctifying and instructing them. Because He was a small child, He is found “in their midst,” not teaching them but “asking questions.
He did this because it is appropriate to His age, to teach us what befits boys, even if they are wise and learned. They should rather hear their teachers than want to teach them and not show off with a display of knowledge. He interrogated the teachers, not to learn anything but to teach them by His questions.
From one fountain of doctrine, there flow, both wise questions and answers. It is part of the same wisdom, to know what you should ask and what you should answer. It was right for the Saviour first to become a master of learned interrogation. Later He would answer questions according to God’s reason and Word.” – Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father(Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 19).

PRAYER – Holy Father, trusting in the motherly intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Families and under the powerful protection of St Joseph, her spouse, grant we pray, that we may dedicate ourselves tirelessly to this beautiful mission which You have placed in our hands, as mothers and fathers of Your children. Strengthen us to protect and guide them in Your ways. Through the prayers of our Holy Mother and the Guardian of Your divine Son and of His Church, in union with Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, amen.

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, CHRIST the WORD, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The HEART, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 January – “But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20

But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

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 Mary, 4).

PRAYER – Lord open our hearts to Your grace. As You brought joy to the world through the Incarnation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that through the prayer of His Ever-Virgin Mother, our hearts too may grow in virtue and love by learning to reflect constantly on His commandments and counsels. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – ‘ … Can it be true?’

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings:1 John 5: 5-13; Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20; Gospel: Luke 5: 12-16

“Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him” … Luke 5:13

REFLECTION – “Christ said when He came into the world:  ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but a body you prepared for me …  Then I said: Behold I come to do your will’ ” (Heb 10:5.7; Ps 40:7-9 LXX).   Can it be true that God wanted to become man to save us from our wretchedness … and conquer our love?   Yes, it is so true that it is an article of faith:  “Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven… and was made man” (Creed) …   Yes, this is what God has done, so to be loved by us! …  This is how He wanted to make known the immensity of His love for us:  “the grace of God our saviour has appeared to all” (Ti 2:11).   It is, as though, our Lord said:  “Man does not love Me because he cannot see Me, I am going to make Myself visible and talk to him, in that way I shall surely make Myself loved”:  “He has appeared on earth and spoken with us” (cf. Bar 3:38).

God’s love for humankind is vast, vast from all eternity:  “with age-old love I have loved you;  so in mercy I have drawn you to myself” (cf. Jer 31:3).   But we have not yet seen how great and incomprehensible He is.   When the Son of God was seen in the form of a child, lying on the straw in a stable, then He was made known indeed:  “the kindness and generous love of God our saviour appeared” (Ti 3:4).   As Saint Bernard observed:  “The creation of the world made God’s power shine out, the ordering of the world, His wisdom but the Incarnation of the Word, caused His mercy to break forth in the sight of all.” …

By showing disdain towards God,” Saint Fulgentius said, “man was separated from Him forever and, since man could no longer return to God, God deigned to come to find him on earth.”   And as Saint Augustine had already said:  “We were unable to go to the Doctor, therefore, the Doctor had the graciousness, to come to us.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Doctor of the Church – 1st address for the Octave of Christmas.

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, by the guidance of a star, You revealed the Birth of the Saviour of the world. Open our minds and hearts to that revelation and may it bear fruit in our lives. May Your nearness, be understood in our hearts and minds, ‘may the Lord Jesus touch our eyes, as He did those of the blind and may the prayers of His Blessed Mother Mary and ours, grant us strength on our journey. We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – ‘ … Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, …’

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION – “John was there and two of his disciples with him.” John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26). Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord? Not in the least. He, himself showed them, the one they were to follow … He declared: “Why cling to me? I am not the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb of God …… Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John, followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them: ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?” As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him, when He called them to leave their boat …, when He said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him. But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture: “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak; let your feet wear away his doorstep! Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.). So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him.  What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night! Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth? Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church (Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7).

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of eternity. Help me to live each day in such a way that I may deserve to be a child of Yours forever. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all Your Angels and Martyrs and Saints, we may strive always to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, our entry to You, our Shepherd and our Saviour, Who will lead us to You in our eternal home. May we never waiver from Your commandments. Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, Holy Name PRAYERS, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – ‘Rise up!’

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – “Month and Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Readings: John 3: 22 – 4: 6; Psalm 2: 7bc-8, 10-11; Matthew 4: 12-17, 23-25

“The people who sat in darkness, have seen a great light and to them who sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.” – Matthew 4:16

REFLECTION – “Because human nature, petrified by the cult of idols and solidified by the ice of paganism, had lost all its motivation towards the good, because of this, the Sun of Justice rises over that rigorous winter and brings in the spring. Just as the rays are rising in the East, the south wind causes this ice to melt by warming the whole mass, so that man, made rigid by the cold, should be penetrated by the Spirit with heat and melt under the rays of the Word and once again, he might become a spring, bubbling up to life eternal. “A breath from him and the waters flow” (Ps. 147:7 LXX). This is what the Baptist openly proclaimed to the Jews, when he told them that the stones would rise up to become children of the Patriarch (cf. Mt 3:9), imitating his virtue.

This is what the Church learns from the Word, when it receives the brightness of truth, through the windows of the prophets and the trellis of the Law. So long as the wall of doctrine and its figurative expression remains, I mean the Law, (cf. Sg 3:9) it shows the shadow of things to come but not the image itself of the realities. But behind the law stands the Truth that follows the figure. First of all it makes the Word shine out for the Church through the prophets, then the Gospel revelation dissipates all shadowy performance in figures. Through it “the dividing wall is broken down” (Eph 2:14) and the air in the house is invaded by celestial light: there is no more need any longer to receive light through the windows, since the true Light itself lightens everything inside, with the rays of the Gospel.

This is why the Word Who raises the broken cries to the Church through the windows: Rise up (from your fall, of course), you who slid in the mud of sin, who were chained by the serpent, who fell to the ground and whom disobedience dragged into falling. Rise up!” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395) Monk and Bishop, Father of the Church (The Spiritual Spring).

PRAYERThe Love of Your Name

My God, Sweetness beyond words,
make bitter all the carnal comfort
that draws me from love of the eternal
and lures me to its evil self,
by the sight of some delightful good
in the present.
Let it not overcome me, my God.
Let not flesh and blood conquer me.
Let not the world and its brief glory
deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness.
Give me courage to resist,
patience to endure
and constancy to persevere.
Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit,
rather than all the consolations of the world
and in place of carnal love,
infuse into me the love of Your Name.

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ
(Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)

Posted in "Follow Me", Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Jesus is ….

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – and the Feast of the Holy Name celebrated today (Feast 3 January), Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24

“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him and for Him and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace.

PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 31 December – ‘In the beginning …’

Quote/s of the Day – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalms 96:1-2, 11-12, 13, John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

“God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son

John 3:16

“In the beginning,
God created the heavens
and the earth…

Genesis 1:1

“What is the beginning of all things
except our Lord
and “Saviour of all,” Jesus Christ
“the firstborn of every creature?”
In this beginning, therefore, that is,
in His Word, “God made heaven and earth”
as the Evangelist John also says
in the beginning of his Gospel:
“In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him
and without him nothing was made.”
Scripture is not speaking here
of any temporal beginning
but it says that the heavens
and the earth and all things that were made,
were made “in the beginning,”
that is, in the Saviour.

Origen Adamantius (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Exegist,
Writer, Apologist, Father

(Homilies on Genesis, 1)

“Whoever believes in him …
might have eternal life

John 3:16

“God alone is wise and the Son His wisdom,
for “Christ is the power
and the wisdom of God” (Rm 16:27; 1 Cor 1:24).
So, it is in receiving the Spirit of wisdom,
that we possess the Son and gain wisdom in Him. …
The Son is Life.
He said: “I am the Life” (Jn 14:6).
But, it is said,
that we are brought to life by the Spirit,
as Paul wrote: “The one who raised Christ
from the dead will give life
to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit
that dwells in us” (Rm 8:11).
But when we have been brought to life by the Spirit,
then Christ will be our life …
“I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me
” (Gal 2:20).”

St Athanasius (295-373)
Bishop of Alexandria,
Father and Doctor of the Church

( Letters to Serapion, no.1, 19).

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The INCARNATION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – ‘… He sent His own Mind into the world, as its Lord. …’

One (maybe 3 minutes today 😘) Minute Reflection – 31 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalms 96:1-2, 11-12, 13, John 1:1-18

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “There is only one God, brethren and we learn about Him only from Sacred Scripture. It is,therefore, our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son, in the way the Father wills and accepting the teaching He wills to give us, with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that He intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.

God was all alone and nothing existed but Himself, when He determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as He had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact, nothing is co-eternal with God. Apart from God, there was simply nothing else. Yet, although He was alone, He was manifold because He lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in Him and He Himself, was all. At a moment of His own choosing and, in a manner determined by Himself, God manifested His Word and through Him, He made the whole universe.

When the Word was hidden within God Himself, He was invisible to the created world but God made Him visible. First God gave utterance to His Voice, engendering Light from Light and then, He sent His own Mind into the world, as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made Him visible. so that the world could be saved by seeing Him. This Mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through Him but He alone is begotten by the Father.

The Son gave us the law and the prophets and He filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit, to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and His will.

So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through Whom the whole universe was made. He says – In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through Him all things came into being; not one thing was created without Him. And further on he adds: The world was made through Him, and yet the world did not know Him. He entered His own creation and His own did not receive Him.” – St Hippolytus of Rome (Died c 236) Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr (An excerpt from his A Treatise against Noetus, Book 1).

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, POETRY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on WATCHING, The DIVINE INFANT, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – ‘He has come down to earth, to take you to heaven …’

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She [Anna] spoke about the child to all
who were awaiting
the redemption of Jerusalem…

Luke 2:38

“He has come down to earth
to take you to heaven,
He became mortal
that you might become God
and put on your original beauty
.”

St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556)
Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poet

“The Angel said to the shepherds,
“This is a sign for you” (Lk 2: 12),
you who are humble,
you who are obedient,
you who are not haughty (Rom 12: 16),
you who are keeping vigil
and meditating on God’s law,
day and night (Ps 1:2).
“This is a sign for you,” he said.
What is this sign?
The sign the Angels promised,
the sign the people asked for,
the sign the prophets foretold,
the Lord Jesus has now made
and He shows it to you. …

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

“Listen! the reason He is called Saviour
is because, for all those
to whom He is united,
He gains salvation.
Now salvation means,
to be delivered from all ills and,
at the same time,
to find all blessings forever –
Life instead of death,
Light in place of darkness
and, instead of the slavery
of the passions and unworthy deeds,
the complete freedom granted
to all those, who are united to Christ,
Saviour of all beings.
Thus they will possess,
without being able to lose it,
all joy, all happiness, all blessedness (…)
that that none can ever know,
or conceive, or see,
if not sincerely and ardently
attached to Christ
.”

St Symeon the New Theologian (c 949-1022)

Who lives in Love
By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Martyr

Who lives in Love, loves least to live
and long delays doth rue,
if Him he love by Whom he lives,
to Whom all praise is due,
Who for our love did choose to live
and was content to die,
Who loved our love more than His life
and love with Life did buy.
Let us in life, yea with our life
requite His Living Love,
for best we live when least we live,
if Love our life remove.
Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s death,
life only him annoy
and when he taketh leave of life
then Love begins his joys.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – She spoke about the child to all … Luke 2:38

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” … Luke 2:38

REFLECTION – “Inasmuch as the Word was from above, He was and is, the Divine Source of all things but, inasmuch as He has now received the name Christ, consecrated of old and worthy of power, He has been called by me “a new song” (Pss 33[34], 144[145], 149[150], etc.). This Word, then, the Christ, the Cause of both our being (for He was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared to us – He alone being both God and man—the Author of all blessings to us. Having been taught by Him to live well, we are introduced by Him to life eternal. For, according to that inspired Apostle of the Lord: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly and devoutly in this present age as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit 2,11-13).

This is the new song, the manifestation of the Word, that was in the beginning and Who comes to shine in our midst. The Saviour, Who has existed before all time, has, in recent days, appeared… For the Word,Who “was with God” and by Whom all things were created (Jn 1,10), has appeared, as our Teacher. The Word, Who in the beginning bestowed life on us as our Creator, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher, that, as God, He might afterwards lead us to the life that never ends. It was not only now, that He took pity us because of our sins but, He pitied us from the first, from the beginning.” – St Clement of Alexandria (c 150- c 215) Father, Theologian, Philosopher (Protreptic 1,6-8 ; SC 2)/).

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, the human birth of Your Only-begotten Son, was the beginning of new life. May He set us free from the tyranny of sin. Imitating our Master and following His ways, may His Immaculate Mother, be our hope and our advocate. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Beloved and Most Holy Word of God

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Sixth Day of the Octave of Christmas

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

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The 4th Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘ … light your candles with His Light…’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:3-11, Psalms 96:1-2, 2b-3, 5-6, Luke 2:22-35 and the Memorial of St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

“A light for revelation to the Gentiles” – Luke 2:32

REFLECTION – “Who is there today who, as he holds a lighted candle in his hand, does not immediately think of the old man who today received Jesus in his arms, the Word in the flesh, the Light in the wax and who bore witness ,that He was the Light that shines upon all nations? The old man was himself a burning flame that enlightens and gives witness to the Light, he who, in the Holy Spirit with which he was filled, came to receive, O God, your love within your Temple (Ps 47[48],10) and bear witness, that You are the Love and Light of Your people…

Rejoice, just old man, look now at what you had once foreseen, darkness has disappeared from the world, the nations walk by Your Light (Is 60,3). The whole earth is filled with the glory (Is 6,3) of this Light which, in the past, you used to hide in your heart and which today, illumines your eyes… Embrace the Wisdom of God, O blessed old man and may your youth be renewed (Ps 102[103],5). Receive the mercy of God in your heart and your old age will know the sweetness of mercy. “He will rest in my bosom,” says Scripture (Wsd 1,12). Even when I give Him back to His Mother, He will continue to dwell with me, my heart will be filled with His mercy and, even more, the heart of His Mother… I give thanks and rejoice for you, full of grace, for you gave birth to the Mercy I have received – the Candle which you prepared, I am holding in my hands…

And you, brethren, look at the Candle that burns in the hands of Simeon, light your candles with His Light… Then, not only will you bear a Light in your hands but you yourselves, will be a light for others. A Light in your hearts, a Light in your lives, a Light for your brothers and sisters.” – Bl Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157), Cistercian Abbot (1st Sermon for the Purification, 2-3).

PRAYER – God our Father, our human nature is the wonderful work of Your hands. Your Son took to Himself our manhood, grant us a share in His Sonship, that as co-heirs with Him, we may strive evermore obediently to gain our final home with the Blessed Virgin, St Thomas à Becket and all Your saints. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for evermore, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SACRED HEART QUOTES, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – ‘The Lord Jesus loved this disciple more than all the others …’

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – Feast of St John tApostle and Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:1-4, Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12, John 20:2-8

The disciple who “entered into the mystery of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge …” – Col 2:2-3

REFLECTION – “In proportion to the grace that caused Jesus to love him and enabled him to rest on Jesus’ Breast at the Supper (Jn 13:23), John abundantly received [the Spirit’s gifts] of understanding and wisdom (Is 11:2) – understanding with which to comprehend Scripture, wisdom with which to compose his own books with wonderful skill. As a matter of fact, ,he did not receive this gift right from the time when he rested on our Lord’s Breast,, even if he was subsequently able to draw from that Heart “in which are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). When he says, that when he went into the tomb “he saw and he believed,” he acknowledges that “they did not yet understand the Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (Jn 20:9). Like all the other Apostles, John received its fullness, when the Holy Spirit came [at Pentecost] and when grace had been given to each of them “according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph 4:7). …

The Lord Jesus loved this disciple more than all the others … and opened the secrets of Heaven to him … to make of him the author of that profound Mystery which man can say nothing about, of himself: the Mystery of the Word, God’s Utterance, the Word made flesh. This is the fruit of that love. Yet even though He loved him, it was not to him that Jesus said: “You are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my Church” (Mt 16:18) … While He loved all His disciples and especially Peter, with a love in mind and soul, our Lord loved John with the love of His Heart …. In the order of Apostleship, Simon Peter received the first place and the “keys of the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 16:19) but John, won another inheritance, the spirit of understanding, “a wealth of joy and gladness” (Sir 15:6).” – Rupert of Deutz (c 1075- c 1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian and Writer (The Works of the Holy Spirit, IV, 10 SC 165)

PRAYER – I am grateful to You for the love You have given me. My dear Jesus, I place this love into Your hands: keep it chaste and bless it, so that it may always be rooted in You. And increase in me my love for You. I know that if I love You, I can never get lost. If I want to be Yours with all my heart, You will never let me stray from You. Amen. May St John the Evangelist, beloved of the Lord and Your Blessed Mother intercede for us that we may love You Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls!

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ENEMIES, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” – Acts 7:60

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Psalm31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17, Matthew 10:17-22

“Lord, do not hold this sin against them” – Acts 7:60

REFLECTION – “Let us imitate our Lord and pray for our enemies … He was crucified yet, at the same time, prayed to His Father for the sake of those who were crucifying Him. But how could I possibly imitate our Lord, one might ask? If you want to, you can. If you weren’t able to do it how could He have said: “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”? (Mt 11:29) …

If you have difficulty in imitating our Lord, at least imitate him who is also His servant, His Deacon – I would speak of Stephen. Just as Christ, in the midst of those crucifying Him, without considering the cross, without considering His own predicament, pleaded with the Father on behalf of His tormentors (Lk 23:34), so His servant, surrounded by those who were stoning him, attacked by all, crushed beneath a hail of stones and, without taking any account of the suffering they were causing him, said: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). Do you see how the Son spoke and how His servant prayed? The former said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” and the latter said: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Moreover, to make us realise better the fervour with which he was praying, he did not just pray, as he stood beneath the blows of the stones but, he spoke on his knees with sincerity and compassion …

Christ said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Stephen cried out: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Paul, in his turn, said: “I offer up this sacrifice for my brethren, my kin according to race” (cf. Rm 9:3). Moses said: “If you would only forgive their sin! And if you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written!” (Ex 32:32). David said: “May your hand fall on me and my kindred,” (2 Sam 24:17). … What kind of forgiveness do we think we shall get if we ourselves do the opposite of what is asked of us and pray against our enemies, when the Lord Himself and His servants of both Old and New Testaments, direct us to pray on their behalf?”St John Chrysostom (345-407) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon for Good Friday “The Cross and the bandit”

PRAYER – Grant us Your Grace, Lord God Almighty, to practise what we worship. Teach us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. As we keep the feast of Saint Stephen, may we learn from him, who learned from You and prayed, even for the men who stoned him to death. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – “And the Word became flesh…”

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

“And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

“On this day, on which the Lord of all came among servants, let the lords also bow down, to their servants lovingly.

On this day, when the rich One was made poor for our sake, let the rich man also make the poor man, a sharer at his table.

On this day, a gift came out to us without our asking for it, let us then give alms to those, who cry out and beg from us.

This Lord of natures, today was transformed, contrary to his nature; it is not too difficult for us also to overthrow our evil will.

Bound is the body by its nature, for it cannot grow larger or smaller but powerful is the will, for it may grow to all sizes.

Today the Deity imprinted itself on humanity, so that humanity might also be cut into the seal of Deity.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor

(Homily on Our Lord, 21)

“… Let us keep the Feast,
not after the manner of a heathen festival
but after a godly sort;
not after the way of the world
but in a fashion above the world;
not as our own
but as belonging to Him
who is ours,
or rather as our Master’s;
not as of weakness
but as of healing;
not as of creation
but of re-creation.

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Awake, mankind!
For your sake God has become man.
Awake, you who sleep,
rise up from the dead
and Christ will enlighten you.
I tell you again,
for your sake,
God became man.”

St Augustine 354-430)
Great Latin Father
and Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘ … This indeed is wonderful …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – Mass during the day – Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18

Christ has been born for us, come, let us adore Him!

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. … John 1:14

REFLECTION – “Christ has come from the Father, He has come from the Word, He has come from the Holy Spirit, since the whole Trinity accomplished His conception and His incarnation. For to come from the highest Trinity was, no other, than to be conceived and to become, a human being, by the same Trinity. Therefore, it was said: “His going forth is form the highest heaven.” (cf. Ps 18[19]:6)
The Only-Begotten … begotten of the Father eternally, begotten in time, He came forth from His Mother, remaining invisibly with the Father and dwelling visibly with us. For to go forth from the Father was this – to enter upon our world, to be seen openly and to become what, from the nature of the Father, He was not. This indeed is wonderful, He came from Him from Whom He did not depart, going forth from Him, with Whom He stayed, so that without intermission, He was wholly in eternity, wholly in time, wholly was He found in the Father, when wholly in the Virgin, wholly in His own Majesty and in His Father’s at the time, when He was wholly in our humanity.
If you ask how, gather the truth by means of an illustration. A word conceived in the heart goes forth complete in the voice, so that it comes perfectly to others, yet remains wholly in the heart. So the good Word, spoken forth from the heart of the Father, went forth into the broad plain, yet did not leave the Father.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk and Bishop (On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily II).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts, shine through all that we do and say. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The Word was God in the beginning and before all time, today, He is born to us, the Saviour of the world.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel”

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalms 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29, Acts 13:16-17, 22-25, Luke 2:1-14

Know today that the Lord will come –
in the morning you will see His glory.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

For today in the city of David, a saviour has been born for you, who is Messiah and Lord.” – Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle, let us turn aside to see this unusual sight as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary, the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light, without defilement … Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News! If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the angels is addressed, announcing a great joy … “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!” There where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12). Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind, in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14). God is joined to man, to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold … the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger. A Virgin, after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her Son. Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds: “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem? Why is He sleeping in a manger? Why does He participate in Israel’s census? My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death. He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death. He rests in a manger because ,He is the One Who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14). He is the Bread of Life who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit… What more joyful feast is there than that of today? Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night. What had fallen, is raised up again, what was overcome, is now set free… what was dead is restored to life… Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth: “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through one man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Sermon on the Nativity).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Incarnate Word fills us with the new Light, He brings to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts shine through all that we do and say. And may the Immaculate Virgin Mother of our Saviour, be ever near to help and protect us. Through Christ, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for all time and eternity, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 21 December – The Silence of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 21 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena VI
The Silence of the Divine Infant

Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, made man, the infinite and substantial image of the Divine Intellect.
Nevertheless, the Divine Infant, Whom we adore in the stable at Bethlehem, is mute and silent.
The voluntary humiliation of the Son of God is such, that He, the Word of God, cannot utter a single human syllable.

By this chosen silence, however, He teaches us many things.
In the first place, He teaches us humility and self-denial.
He teaches us, moreover, to recollect ourselves in the Presence of God, so that it may be easier for us to speak with Him and for Him, to make known what He requires of us.
The silence of prayer brings forth divine consolations and inspirations to holiness,

Do we love to be silent?
It is not necessary to become hermits but, it is essential, from time to time, to place ourselves quietly in the Presence of God.
God cannot be heard through the noise and confusion of the world, whereas, He speaks clearly to the soul, which seeks the silence of prayer.
In any case, if we go about looking for the gossip and idle chatter of the world, it is almost impossible not to offend God.
“Avoid profane and empty babblings,” St Paul urges us, “for they contribute much to ungodliness” (2 Tim 2:16).
“If anyone does not offend in word,” adds St James, “he is a perfect man” (Js 3:2).
“The tongue is a little member,” he continues but, goes onto emphasis that it is capable of doing either a great deal of good or a great deal of harm.
“With it, we bless God the Father and, with it, we curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren ought not to be so” (Js 3:5-10).

There are two main lessons which we should learn, therefore, from the silence of the Divine Infant.
We should learn to love recollection and, we should learn to make proper use of the gift of speech, which can be an equally powerful weapon, in the cause of good, or, in the cause of evil!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, POETRY, The ANNUNCIATION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – ‘… Answer quickly, O Virgin. …’

Quote/s of the Day – 20 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 7: 10-14; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke 1: 26-38

“And Mary said,
‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be to me according to your word
.’”

Luke 1:38

The price of our salvation
is offered to you.
We shall be set free at once, if you consent.
In the eternal Word of God, we all came to be
and behold, we die.
In your brief response,
we are to be remade.
in order to be recalled to life.

… Answer quickly, O Virgin.
Reply in haste to the Angel,
or rather, through the Angel to the Lord.
Answer with a word,
receive the Word of God.
Speak your own word,
conceive the Divine Word.
Breathe a passing word,
embrace the Eternal Word!

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
The Last Father and
the Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

The Annunciation
By Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.

Air, earth and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.

These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom’s house, and Ark and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.)

Fifteen years old –
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden’s wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prays in her possession

Until her Jesus, makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand.

Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist Monk and Priest. Thomas Merton expressed his vision in his poetry, novels, essays, devotionals and autobiographical writings.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – O Wisdom …….

Quote/s of the Day – 17 December – O Wisdom …….

“Let us fix our thoughts
on the Blood of Christ
and reflect how Precious that Blood is,
in God’s eyes,
inasmuch, as its outpouring f
or our salvation,
has opened the grace of repentance
to all mankind.

St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99)

Do you desire security?
Here you have it.
The Lord says to you,
“I will never abandon you,
I will always be with you.”
If a good man made you such a promise,
you would trust him.
God makes it and do you doubt?
Do you seek a support, more sure
than the Word of God, which is infallible?
Surely, He has made the promise,
He has written it,
He has pledged His Word for it,
it is most certain!

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

“I send you a very little word,
THE WORD,
made little in the crib,
THE WORD,
made flesh for us ….
THE WORD,
of salvation and grace
THE WORD,
of sweetness and glory
THE WORD
Who is good and gentle –
JESUS CHRIST!

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom … O Sapientia …

One Minute Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom … O Sapientia … – Friday of the Third Week of Advent, Readings: Genesis 49: 2, 8-10; Psalm 72: 1-4, 7-8, 17; Matthew 1: 1-17

O Wisdom
O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia-
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth
from the Mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things-
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

REFLECTION – “The Incarnation of the Word only contributed to the doing of those things that were done and the mystery of humankind’s salvation was never, even in the remotest age, at a standstill.   What the propehts foretold, the apostles announced, nor were those things fulfilled too late, which had always been believed.   But the wisdom and goodness of God, made us all the more receptive of His call …  as the foretelling of it had been ancient and oft-repeated.

And so it was no new counsel, no tardy pity, whereby God took thought for us but from the foundation of the world, He ordained one and the same cause of Salvation for all.   For the grace of God, by which the whole body of the saints is continually made righteous, was increased, not initiated, when Christ was born.   And this mystery of God’s great love, with which the whole world is now filled, was so effectively pre-signified, that those who believed the promise, obtained no less, than those who were the actual recipients.

And so, dearly beloved, since that loving-kindness is now manifest with which all the wealth of divine goodness has been showered on us, Whose call to eternal life has been promoted, not only by the supportive example of those who went before us but, by the visible and bodily appearance of Truth itself, we are bound to keep the day of our Lord’s Nativity with a joy beyond this world…   By the illumination of the Holy Spirit consider who it was who received us into Himself and Whom we have received, since as the Lord Jesus became our flesh by being born, so we also became His Body by being re-born…  For God suggested to us the standard of His own gentleness and humility…  Let us imitate His humility, then, to whose glory we would wish to be conformed.   He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (3rd sermon on the Feast of the Nativity, 4-5).

PRAYER – Collect:
O God, Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
Who willed that Your Word should take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb, look with favour on our prayers,
that Your only Begotten Son, having taken to Himself our humanity, may be pleased to grant us a share in his divinity.
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 12 December – The Word of God

Thought for the Day – 12 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Word of God

“The supernatural power of the Word of God derives from God Himself, not from the particular person who utters it.

Remember what Jesus Christ said to His Apostles when He told them to convert the world to faith and holiness.
Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised, shall be saved but he who does not believe, shall be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16).

The Salvation of the world must come from the preaching of the Apostles and their successors but, only because their preaching contains the Word of God.
There have been many philosophers throughout the centuries who taught their own particular doctrines with great eloquence and persuasiveness.
Their teaching did little to make men better, however.
Perhaps men did not listen to them, or perhaps they heeded them for a while and soon forgot them.
That is always the fate of human achievement.
After the initial noise and flourish, comes silence and oblivion!
But the Word of God remains forever.

The word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

The Light of the Gospel never fades because it is a Light which comes from God.
The goodness which emanates from its inspired pages, will move and transform human hearts until the end of time.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci