Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 April – St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 4 April – St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church, Creator of the first encyclopedia – often called “The Last Scholar of the Ancient World” and “The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages.”   His most well known patronage is of computers and the internet (though not officially so_ – his full story with Patronages is here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/saint-of-the-day-4-april-st-isidore-of-seville-father-and-doctor-of-the-church/ but today we will follow his life with Pope Benedict XVI during his Catechetical audiences on the Doctors of the Church.   This was given at St Peter’s on Wednesday, 18 June 2008.saint-isidore-of-sevilla-miguel-zitow wow header

He was a younger brother of St Leander (c 534-c 600) memorial 13 March, Archbishop of Seville and a great friend of St Pope Gregory the Great.   Pointing this out is important, because it enables us, to bear in mind, a cultural and spiritual approach, that is indispensable for understanding Isidore’s personality.   Indeed, he owed much to Leander, an exacting, studious and austere person who created around his younger brother a family context, marked by the ascetic requirements proper to a monk and from the work pace demanded, by a serious dedication to study.   Furthermore, Leander was concerned to have the wherewithal to confront the political and social situation of that time – in those decades in fact, the Visigoths, barbarians and Arians, had invaded the Iberian Peninsula and taken possession of territories that belonged to the Roman Empire.   It was essential to regain them for the Roman world and for Catholicism. Leander and Isidore’s home was furnished with a library richly endowed with classical, pagan and Christian works.   Isidore, who felt simultaneously attracted to both, was, therefore, taught under the responsibility of his elder brother, to develop a very strong discipline, in devoting himself to study with discretion and discernment.st Isidor_von_Sevilla murillo

Thus, a calm and open atmosphere prevailed in the episcopal residence in Seville.   We can deduce this from Isidore’s cultural and spiritual interests, as they emerge from his works themselves, which include an encyclopaedic knowledge of pagan classical culture and a thorough knowledge of Christian culture.   This explains the eclecticism characteristic of Isidore’s literary opus, who glided with the greatest of ease from Martial to Augustine, or from Cicero to Gregory the Great.   The inner strife that the young Isidore had to contend with, having succeeded his brother Leander on the episcopal throne of Seville in 599, was by no means unimportant.   The impression of excessive voluntarism that strikes one, on reading the works of this great author, considered to be the last of the Christian Fathers of antiquity, may, perhaps, actually be due to this constant struggle with himself.   A few years after his death in 636, the Council of Toledo in 653 described him as “an illustrious teacher of our time and the glory of the Catholic Church.”Saint-Isidore---stained-glass.md

Isidore was, without a doubt, a man of accentuated dialectic antitheses.   Moreover, he experienced a permanent inner conflict in his personal life, similar to that which Gregory the Great and St Augustine had experienced earlier, between a desire for solitud, to dedicate himself solely to meditation on the word of God and, the demands of charity to his brethren, for whose salvation, as Bishop, he felt responsible.   He wrote, for example, with regard to Church leaders:  “The man responsible for a Church (vir ecclesiasticus) must on the one hand allow himself to be crucified to the world, with the mortification of his flesh and, on the other, accept the decision of the ecclesiastical order – when it comes from God’s will – to devote himself humbly to government, even if he does not wish to”   (Sententiarum liber III, 33, 1: PL 83, col 705 B).   Just a paragraph later he adds:  “Men of God, (sancti viri), do not in fact desire to dedicate themselves to things of the world and groan when by some mysterious design of God they are charged with certain responsibilities….   They do their utmost to avoid them bu,t accept what they would like to shun and do what they would have preferred to avoid.    Indeed, they enter into the secrecy of the heart and seek there to understand what God’s mysterious will is asking of them.   And when they realise that they must submit to God’s plans, they bend their hearts to the yoke of the divine decision”   (Sententiarum liber III, 33, 3: PL 83, coll. 705-706).st isidore old image

To understand Isidore better, it is first of all, necessary, to recall the complexity of the political situations in his time to which I have already referred – during the years of his boyhood he was obliged to experience the bitterness of exile.   He was, nevertheless, pervaded with apostolic enthusiasm.   He experienced the rapture of contributing to the formation of a people, that was at last, rediscovering its unity, both political and religious, with the providential conversion of Hermenegild, the heir to the Visigoth throne, from Arianism to the Catholic faith.   Yet we must not underestimate the enormous difficulty of coming to grips with such very serious problems as were the relations with heretics and with the Jews.   There was a whole series of problems which appear very concrete to us today too, especially if we consider what is happening in certain region, in which we seem almost to be witnessing the recurrence of situations, very similar to those, that existed on the Iberian Peninsular, in that sixth century.   The wealth of cultural knowledge that Isidore had assimilated, enabled him to constantly compare the Christian newness with the Greco-Roman cultural heritage, however, rather than the precious gift of synthesis, it would seem that he possessed the gift of collatio, that is, of collecting, which he expressed in an extraordinary personal erudition, although it was not always ordered as might have been desired.Saint-Isidore-by-Ambrosius-Benson1530.md

In any case, his nagging worry not to overlook anything, that human experience had produced, in the history of his homeland and of the whole world, is admirable.   Isidore did not want to lose anything that man had acquired, in the epochs of antiquity, regardless of whether they had been pagan, Jewish or Christian.   Hence, it should not come as a surprise if, in pursuing this goal, he did not always manage to filter the knowledge he possessed sufficiently, in the purifying waters of the Christian faith as he would have wished.   The point is, however, that in Isidore’s intentions, the proposals he made, were always in tune with the Catholic faith, which he staunchly upheld.   In the discussion of the various theological problems, he showed, that he perceived their complexity and often astutely suggested solutions, that summarise and express, the complete Christian truth.   This has enabled believers through the ages and to our times, to profit, with gratitude, from his definitions.   A significant example of this is offered by Isidore’s teaching on the relations between active and contemplative life.   He wrote: “Those who seek to attain repose in contemplation must first train in the stadium of active life and then, free from the dross of sin, they will be able to display that pure heart which alone makes the vision of God possible” (Differentiarum Lib. II, 34, 133: PL 83, col 91A).   Nonetheless, the realism of a true pastor, convinced him of the risk the faithful run, of reducing themselves to one dimension.   He therefore added: “The middle way, consisting of both of these forms of life, normally turns out to be more useful in resolving those tensions, which are often aggravated, by the choice of a single way of life and are instead better tempered, by an alternation of the two forms” (op. cit. 134; ibid., col 91B).st isidore glass

Isidore sought in Christ’s example the definitive confirmation of a just orientation of life and said:   “The Saviour Jesus offers us the example of active life, when during the day He devoted Himself to working signs and miracles in the town but, He showed the contemplative life, when He withdrew to the mountain and spent the night in prayer” (op. cit. 134: ibid.).   In the light of this example of the divine Teacher, Isidore can conclude with this precise moral teaching:  “Therefore let the servant of God, imitating Christ, dedicate himself to contemplation without denying himself active life. Behaving otherwise, would not be right.   Indeed, just as we must love God in contemplation, so we must love our neighbour with action.   It is therefore impossible to live without the presence of both the one and the other form of life, nor can we live without experiencing both the one and the other” (op. cit., 135; ibid. col 91C).   I consider that this is the synthesis of a life that seeks contemplation of God, dialogue with God in prayer and in the reading of Sacred Scripture, as well as action at the service of the human community and of our neighbour.   This synthesis, is the lesson that the great Bishop of Seville has bequeathed to us, Christians of today, called to witness to Christ at the beginning of a new millennium.   Amen … Vatican.va

Pedro Duque Cornejo and Manuel Guerrero de Alca'ntara, St. Isido
St Isidore at Seville Cathedral
576px-San_Isidoro,_Portada_del_Bautismo_de_la_Catedral_de_Sevilla
St Isidore on the Facade of Seville Cathedral

Prayer for the Intercession of St Isidore
before accessing the Internet

Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after all that is good,
true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person
of Thy only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee that,
through the intercession of Saint Isidore,
Bishop and Doctor,
during our journeys through the internet,
we will direct our hands and eyes
only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience,
all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen

Orátio ante colligatiónem in interrete:
*Omnípotens aetérne Deus,
qui secúndum imáginem Tuam nos plasmásti
et omnia bona, vera, et pulchra,
praesértim in divína persóna Unigéniti Fílii Tui
Dómini nostri Iesu Chrísti, quaérere iussísti,
praesta, quaésumus,
ut, per intercessiónem Sancti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Doctóris,
in peregrinatiónibus per interrete,
et manus oculísque ad quae Tibi sunt plácita intendámus
et omnes quos convenímus cum caritáte ac patiéntia accipiámus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Amen

prayer for the intercession of st isidore before internet - 4 april 2020

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of .....

Quotes of the Day – 15 October – St Teresa of Jesus of Avila “Speaking of Prayer”

Quotes of the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church – “Doctor of Prayer”

Speaking of:   Prayer

“Mental prayer, in my opinion,
is nothing else, than an intimate sharing
between friends.
It means taking time frequently,
to be alone with Him,
who we know loves us.
The important thing is,
not to think much but to love much
and so do, that which best stirs you to love.
Love is not great delight
but desire to please God in everything.”mental prayer is nothing else - st teresa of jesus of avila 15 oct 2019.jpg

“A beginner, must look on himself, 
as one setting out to make a garden
for his Lord’s pleasure, on most unfruitful soil
which abounds in weeds.
His Majesty roots up the weeds
and will put in good plants instead.
Let us reckon that this is already done,
when the soul decides to practice prayer
and has begun to do so.”a beginner must look on hmself - st teresa of jesus of avila 15 oct 2019.jpg

“Prayer is an act of love,
words are not needed.
Even if sickness distracts from thoughts,
all that is needed is the will to love.”

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/15/quotes-of-the-day-15-october-the-memorial-of-st-teresa-of-jesus-avila-1515-1582-doctor-of-the-church/

St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582)prayer is an act of love - st teresa of jesus of avila 15 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – ‘But let us continue on our way …’

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Goaspel: Luke 10:38–42

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious
and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Luke 10:42

“Our Lord’s words teach us that though we labour
among the many distractions of this world,
we should have but one goal.
For we are but travellers
on a journey without as yet a fixed abode,
we are on our way, not yet in our native land,
we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment.
But let us continue on our way
and continue without sloth or respite,
so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor
(Sermo 103, 1-2, 6: PL 38, 613, 615)our-lords-words-teach-us-st-augustine-martha martha luke 10 42 8 oct 2019.jpg

“Action and contemplation
are very close companions;
they live together in one house on equal terms.
Martha and Mary are sisters.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Doctor of the Churchaction-and-contemplation-st-bernard-20-aug-2017-and-2019 and 8 oct 2019.jpg

“In bustling about and busying herself,
Martha risks forgetting —
and this is the problem —
the most important thing,
which is the presence of the Guest…
Most importantly He ought to be listened to. “

Pope Francisin busdtling about - forgets the guest - pop francis martha and mary - 8 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 21 August – St Bernard

Quote/s of the Day – 21 August – Tuesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”

“The measure of love
is love without measure.”the-measure-of-love-is-love-without-measure-st-bernard-20-aug-2018 and 2019 (1)

“Action and contemplation are very close companions;
they live together in one house on equal terms.
Martha and Mary are sisters.”action-and-contemplation-st-bernard-20 aug 2017 and 2019

“The three most important virtues are:
humility,
humility
and humility.”the-three-most-important-virtues-st-bernard-20-aug-2018 and 2019

“If the hurricanes of temptation rise against you,
or you are running upon the rocks of trouble,
look to the star – call on Mary!”if-the-hurricanes-of-temptation-st-bernard-5-may-2018 and 2019

“Let us not imagine that we obscure
the glory of the Son by the great praise
we lavish on the Mother –
for the more she is honoured,
the greater is the glory of her Son.
There can be no doubt that whatever we say
in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Doctor of the Churchlet us not imaine that the praise - st bernard - 20 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 26 October – Prayer is the Light of the Soul

Thought for the Day – 26 October

Prayer is the Light of the Soulst john chrysostom on prayer - 26 oct 2018

“There is nothing more worthwhile than to pray to God and to converse with Him, for prayer unites us with God as His companions.   As our bodily eyes are illuminated by seeing the light, so in contemplating God our soul is illuminated by Him.   Of course, the prayer I have in mind is no matter of routine, it is deliberate and earnest.   It is not tied down to a fixed timetable – rather it is a state which endures by night and day.

Our soul should be directed in God, not merely when we suddenly think of prayer but even when we are concerned with something else.   If we are looking after the poor, if we are busy in some other way, or if we are doing any type of good work, we should season our actions with the desire and the remembrance of God.   Through this salt of the love of God we can all become a sweet dish for the Lord.   If we are generous in giving time to prayer, we will experience its benefits throughout our life.

Prayer is the light of the soul, giving us true knowledge of God.   It is a link mediating between God and man.   By prayer the soul is borne up to heaven and in a marvellous way embraces the Lord.   This meeting is like that of an infant crying on its mother and seeking the best of milk.   The soul longs for its own needs and what it receives is better than anything to be seen in the world.

Prayer is a precious way of communicating with God, it gladdens the soul and gives repose to its affections.   You should not think of prayer as being a matter of words.   It is a desire for God, an indescribable devotion, not of human origin but the gift of God’s grace.   As Saint Paul says : we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.

Anyone who receives from the Lord the gift of this type of prayer possesses a richness that is not to be taken from Him, a heavenly food filling up the soul.   Once he has tasted this food, he is set alight by an eternal desire for the Lord, the fiercest of fires lighting up his soul.

To set about this prayer, paint the house of your soul with modesty and lowliness and make it splendid with the light of justice.   Adorn it with the beaten gold of good works and, for walls and stones, embellish it assiduously with faith and generosity.   Above all, place prayer on top of this house as its roof so that the complete building may be ready for the Lord.   Thus He will be received in a splendid royal house and by grace, His image will already be settled in your soul.”

A reading from the homilies of St John Chrysostom  (347-407) Father & Doctor, (Hom 6 on Prayer)

Prayer:  Give us the grace, Lord, to be in constant prayer so all of our lives, may be accomplished in sincerity of heart.

St John Chrysostom, Pray for Us!st john chrysostom pray for us - 13 sept 2018

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY NAME

Quote/s of the Day – The Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”

Quote/s of the Day – The Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

“Doctor of Light”

“The measure of love is love without measure.”the measure of love is love without measure - st bernard - 20 aug 2018

“Are you troubled?
Think but of Jesus,
speak but the name of Jesus,
the clouds disperse
and peace descends anew from heaven.
Have you fallen into sin?
So that you fear death?
..invoke the name of Jesus
and you will soon feel life returning.
No obduracy of the soul, no weakness,
no coldness of heart can resist this holy name –
there is no heart which will not soften
and open in tears at this holy name.”are you troubled - st bernard - 20 aug 2018

“Action and contemplation are very close companions;
they live together in one house on equal terms.
Martha and Mary are sisters.”action and contemplation - st bernard - 20 aug 2018

“The three most important virtues are:
humility,
humility
and humility.”the three most important virtues - st bernard - 20 aug 2018

“There are those who seek knowledge
for the sake of knowledge – that is curiosity.
There are those who seek knowledge
to be known by others – that is vanity.
There are those who seek knowledge
in order to serve – that is Love.”there-are-those-who-seek-knowledge-st-bernard-20 aug 2017

“Let us not imagine that we obscure
the glory of the Son by the great praise
we lavish on the Mother –
for the more she is honoured,
the greater is the glory of her Son.
There can be no doubt that whatever we say
in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son.”let-us-not-imagine-st-bernard 20 aug 2017

“If the hurricanes of temptation rise against you, or you are running upon the rocks of trouble, look to the star – call on Mary!”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”

if the hurricanes of temptation - st bernard - 5 may 2018

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 11 August – The Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

Quote/s of the Day – 11 August – The Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.
If we love things, we become a thing.
If we love nothing, we become nothing.
Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ,
rather it means becoming the image of the beloved,
an image disclosed through transformation.
This means we are to become vessels of God’s
compassionate love for others.”

St Clare’s second letter to Blessed Agnes of Praguewe-become-what-we-love-st-clare-11 aug 2017

“ Blessed be You, O God, for having created me. ”

St Clare’s Last Wordsblessed-be-you-o-god-st-clare-11 aug 2017

“Cling to His most sweet Mother,
who carried a Son whom the heavens could not contain;
and yet she carried Him in the little enclosure of her holy womb
and held Him on her virginal lap.”cling-to-his-most-sweet-mother-st-clare-11 aug 2017

“Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him,
as you desire to imitate Him.
….Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love.”

“They say that we are too poor
but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?
We should remember this miracle of the Blessed Sacrament when in Church.
Then we will pray with great Faith to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist:
‘Save me, O Lord, from every evil – of soul and body.’”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)gaze-upon-him-consider-him-st-clare.11 aug 2017

St Pope John Paul II said of Saint Clare:
“her whole life was a Eucharist because …
from her cloister she raised up a continual ‘thanksgiving’ to God
in her prayer, praise, supplication, intercession, weeping, offering and sacrifice.

She accepted everything from the Father in union with the infinite ‘thanks’ of the only begotten Son.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)her-whole-life-was-a-eucharist-st-john-paul - 11 aug 2017