Posted in Act of SPIRITUAL COMMUNION, DEVOTIO, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 28 June – Spiritual Communion

Thought for the Day – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Spiritual Communion

spiritual communion - bacci 28 june 2020

“Anyone who sincerely loves Jesus Christ, will not be satisfied with receiving Him daily in the Blessed Eucharist.
Often, during the day, he will feel the need of uniting himself again to the divine Spouse in an act of love.
This is what is known as Spiritual Communion.
It is a natural and spontaneous act for a true lover of Jesus.

“I am the vine, you are the branches,” Jesus has told us. “He who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit … as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me” (Cf Jn 15:4).
Since the supernatural life flows into our souls from Jesus, we must maintain our union with Him, even when He is not sacramentally present.
It is true, that the divine grace, remains in us, as long as we do not fall into mortal sin but, it grows weaker under the influence of worldly attractions and temptations.
It is necessary to revive the grace that is in us, when we feel that it is waning.
For this purpose, Spiritual Communion is very useful, for it is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (Summa Theologiae, III, q 8, a 1 ad 3) and, an outpouring of love, in which we beseech Jesus to come and take complete possession of our hearts.
This practice was recommended by the Council of Trent (Session XIII, ch 8) and was frequently used by the Saints in order to keep alive the fire of divine charity in their souls and to guard themselves against the onslaughts of the world, the flesh and the devil.
If we act in the same manner, Jesus will always be within us and we shall always be in Jesus.
If God lives in us, who can harm us?
If God is for us, who is against us? (Rom 8:31).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DEVOTIO, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPARATION, SACRED HEART REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 27 June – The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pierced by a Crown of Thorns

Thought for the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pierced by a Crown of Thorns

there are many ways of showing our love for the sacred heart - bacci - pierced by thorns 27 june 2020

“There are many ways of showing our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of making reparation for our sins and for the sins of mankind.
We can console ourselves with the reflection, that by these acts of love and reparation, we are removing the thorns which encircle and pierce the Heart of Jesus.
The simplest ways of doing this, are by prayers, aspirations and expressions of love, directed towards the adorable Heart of our Redeemer and, by visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
In silence and recollection, before the Tabernacle, we shall feel the Heart of Jesus, beating with love and, shall offer in return, for His infinite love, the affection of our poor hearts.

We can also receive Holy Communion in reparation.
When Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus, it will be easier and more pleasant, to offer Him our love and expiation.
We can make reparation also, by practising the devotion of the First Fridays of the month.
This pious practice, so pleasing to the Heart of Jesus, aims at being a mass offering of love and reparation, for the sins of the entire human race.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

we can also receive holy comm in reparation - sacred pierced by thorns bacci 27 june 2020

Posted in DEVOTIO, IMMACULATE HEART Quotes, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 20 June – The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Quote/s of the Day – 20 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

“I want My Church to…put the devotion
to this Immaculate Heart
beside the devotion to
My Sacred Heart.”

Jesus to Lúcia of Fatima

i want my church to put the devotion - jesus to lucia of fatima 20 june 2020

“Look, my Daughter,”
Our Lady said to Lúcia on 10 December 1925,
“at my heart, surrounded with thorns,
with which ungrateful men pierce me. “

look-my-daughter-at-my-heart-ou-rlady-of-fatima-to-lucia-13-may-2020 and 20 june 2020 imm heart

Our Lady assured Lúcia:
“My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge
and the way that will lead you to God.”
Thus, if we devote ourselves to her Immaculate Heart,
Mary will lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ
and we will be on the way to Heaven.

Our Lady of Fatima

my-immaculate-heart-will-be-your-refuge-our-lady-to-bl-lucia-13-may-2020 and 20 june 2020 imm heart

“This Virgin Mother of the Only begotten of God is called Mary,
worthy of God, Immaculate of the Immaculate, one of the one.”

Origen (c 185-253)

this virgin mother of the only begotten of god is called mary - origen 20 june 2020

“Do you not know,
that not only is Jesus,
resting and dwelling continually
in the Heart of Mary
but that He is, Himself the Heart of Mary … “

St John Eudes
Apostle of the Two Holy Hearts

do you not know that not only is jesus resting and dwelling - st john eudes - imm heart 20 june 2020

“If you put all the love, of all the mothers into one heart,
it still would not equal the love
of the Heart of Mary for her children.”

St Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

if you put all the love of all the mothers - st louis de montfort - 20 june 2020 imm heart

“…Let us continue
Immaculate Mary’s mission.
All is included in it.
May [we].. follow her example
and be the handmaid of the Lord
in everything,
everywhere
and always.”

Blessed Mary of the Passion (1839-1904)

let us continue immaculate mary's mission - bl mary of the passion - 20 june 2020 imm heart

Posted in DEVOTIO, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on TRUTH

Thought for the Day – 6 February – Religion and Devotion

Thought for the Day – 6 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Religion and Devotion

“St Thomas Aquinas concisely expressed the nature of religion in these words: “The object of religion is to give honour to the One God because, He is the first principle of creation and order in the universe” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 81, a 3).

We know that everything is the work of God.
Everything depends on Him, both for it’s being and for it’s continued existence.
This is so from man, down to the minutest insect, from the stars in the sky, to the invisible atom.
It is true that man and the other creatures also work.
In fact, the universe is a gigantic workshop.
But God, is the one and only cause of man and of the whole of nature.
We are only instruments of the divine omnipotence.
Now, justice demands that we give everyone his due.
Everything belongs to God.
Therefore, man out to humble himself before God, in an act of adoration and loving obedience.
From the highest mountains to the depths of the valley, from the stars of the firmament to the tiny flowers of the fields, all creation unconsciously sings of the glory of God.
In the same way, man, a creature of intelligence and free will, should offer himself and all his faculties, in an act of complete homage to his Creator and Lord.
But, there is more to it than that.
God is not only our Creator and Lord, He is also our Redeemer.
The eternal Word of God became man out of love for us.
He gave us His teaching and commandments.
He redeemed us with His precious blood and left us the Church, as our mother and our infallible teacher of truth.
So, if religion is to be complete, it will oblige us to be obedient to whatever God has revealed and to whatever the Church, which He founded commands and teaches us.”

Antonio Cardinal Baccigod is not only our creator and lord he is also bacci 6 feb 2020

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thought for the Day – 24 January – Devotion Must be Practised in Different Ways

Second Thought for the Day – 24 January – Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A and The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) “The Gentle Christ of Geneva” – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Devotion Must be Practised in Different Ways

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Introduction to the Devout Life

“When God the Creator made all things, He commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind, He has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of His Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practised in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman.   But even this distinction is not sufficient, for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a Bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian, or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin, about increasing their income, or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious, or on the other hand, for a religious to be constantly exposed like a Bishop to all the events and circumstances, that bear on the needs of our neighbour.   Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganised and intolerable?   Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently but in no way, does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all.   On the contrary, it perfects and fulfils all things.   In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.   True devotion does still better.   Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its colour, so, each person, becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation, when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion.   Through devotion, your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the Prince becomes more faithful and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy, to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households.   I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations but, besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.”

St Francis de Sales, Pray for Us!

in whatever situations we happen to be in - st francis de sales pray for us 24 jan 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DEVOTIO, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – Who lives in Love

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

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.who lives in love - st robert southwell 5 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DEVOTIO, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 19 November – Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Thought for the Day – 19 November – The Memorial of St Matilda/Mechtilde of Hackeborn (c 1241-1298)

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Matilda and Gertrude of Helfta/the Great, became ardent devotees and promoters of Jesus’ heart after it was the subject of many of their visions.   The idea of hearing the heartbeat of God was very important to medieval saints, who nurtured devotion to the Sacred Heart.   Women such as Saint Matilda and Saint Gertrude perceived Jesus’ heart as the breast of a mother. Just as a mother gives milk to nourish her child, so Jesus in the Eucharist gives us His life blood.

In one vision, Mechtilde reported that Jesus said, “In the morning let your first act be to greet My Heart and to offer Me your own.   Whoever, breathes a sigh toward Me, draws Me to himself.”in the morning let your first act be - jesus to st matilda of hackeborn 19 nov 2019.jpg

One of the visions recounted by Mechtilde states that Jesus having appeared to her, commanded her to love Him ardently and to honour His Sacred Heart in the Blessed Sacrament as much as possible.   He gave her His Sacred Heart as a pledge of His love, as a place of refuge during her life and as her consolation at the hour of her death.   From this time Mechtilde had an extraordinary devotion to the Sacred Heart and she received such great graces from It, that she was accustomed to say, that if she had to write down all the favours and all the blessings which she had received by means of this devotion, a large book would not contain them.

In another, Jesus Himself recommended the Gospel.   Opening to her, the wound of His most gentle heart, He said to her:  “Consider how great is my love – if you want to know it well, you will not find it expressed more clearly anywhere, than in the Gospel.   No-one has ever expressed stronger or more tender feelings than these – As my Father has loved me, so have I loved you (John 15:9)”.

Her accounts of these visions were later compiled in the Liber Specialis Gratiae – The Book of Special Grace.

St Matilda of Hackeborn, Pray for Us!st matilda of hackeborn pray for us 19 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 19 November – St Matilda and the Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

Quote of the Day – 19 November – Tuesday of the Thirty Third Week of Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:1–10 and the Memorial of St Matilda/Mechtilde of Hackeborn (c 1241-1298)devotion of the three hail marys - st matilda of hackeborn 19 nov 2019

Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

St Matilda of Hackeborn
was distressed over her eternal salvation
and prayed that the Most Holy Virgin
would assist her at the hour of death.

The Blessed Virgin appeared to her
and reassured her, saying:

“Yes, I will!
But I wish, for your part,
that you recite three Hail Marys
everyday, remembering,
in the first,
the power received
from the Eternal Father,
in the second,
the wisdom received from the Son,
with the third one,
the love that has filled the Holy Spirit”.

The Blessed Virgin taught her to pray
and to understand especially,
how the Three Hail Mary’s,
honour, the three persons
of the Blessed Trinity.

the hail mary - 19 nov 2019.jpg

 

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DEVOTIO, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MINI SERIES, SPEAKING of ....., The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The FIVE FIRST Saturdays, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Thought for the Day – 26 October – Speaking of:   Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady – Part Three

Thought for the Day – 26 October – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Marian Saturdays

Speaking of:   Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady

Part Three

By Sr M Jean Frisk SSM

The Sorrowful Heart of Mary Saturdays

and the Five First Saturdayssaturday devotions in honour of our lady part three the sorrowful heart and the five first saturdays 26 oct 2019.jpg

In the message of Fatima, especially in the apparitions of 13 June and 13 July 1917, Mary drew attention to the custom of devoting Saturdays to her and praying the Rosary in reparation.   Lucia, the eldest of the three children heard the following on 13 June:

“My child, behold my heart surrounded with thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.   You, at least, try to console me and tell them that I promise to help, at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”

On 13 July, the children were again admonished to say the rosary.   At this time, the Blessed Mother asked for the Consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart and for communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month.   These messages were accompanied by an appeal and a promise – an appeal for prayer and reparation by the people for their transgressions against the divine law; a promise of peace and love in this life and eternal happiness in the next on the twofold condition of prayer and amendment.

In 1925, Lucia vouched for this message, saying that Mary would assist us at the hour of death if the first Saturdays of five consecutive months were sanctified with Confession, Holy Communion, praying the Rosary and meditation.

This practice refreshed the custom known as the Rosary Saturdays, popular since the seventeenth century and continued to the present at places of pilgrimage.   Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII fostered this custom.   St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort also fostered the Rosary in connection with his missions, which often encompassed Saturdays.

To be continued/…

Find Part One and Two by searching:
Saturday devotions

Mary, Faithful Mother, Pray for Us,

Now and at the Hour of our Death, amen!faithful mother pray for us now and at the hour of our death amen 26 oct 2019 no 2

Posted in DEVOTIO, MYSTICS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 16 October – The Twelve Promises of Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Thought for the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)

The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary
for those Devoted to His Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life
and especially at the hour of their death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart
shall be exposed and honoured.
10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names
written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those
who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months
the grace of final repentance, they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments;
My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

From Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Vision of Jesus

the-12-promises-of-the-sacred-heart-16-oct-2017.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DEVOTIO, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENA, NOVENAS

Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary – Day Two – 29 September

Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary – Day Two – 29 September

Day Two – We pray for the Persecuted Church
and our personal intention:

The joy of the Spirit, which was in the heart of Jesus and Mary, is ours in the experience of sincere prayer.
1. We pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit for the leaders of the Church and all the baptised, that we may walk faithfully the way of Jesus Christ.
2. We pray for a deep devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus
and in our prayer to her know that we are primarily opening our hearts to the God of love.
3. We pray for those who are oppressed by war and poverty,that they
may take courage from God who loves us constantly and unconditionally.
Let us pray to the Lord.

Daily Prayer along with our Daily Rosary:

My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet.
Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart and for this special favour which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena: ………………………….. (Mention your request).

I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son.
If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused.
I know, dearest Mother, that you want me
to seek God’s holy Will concerning my request.
If what I ask for should not be granted,
pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

I offer you this spiritual Bouquet of Roses because I love you.
I put all my confidence in you,
since your prayers before God are most powerful.
For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus,
your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer.
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

Our Lady of the Rosary,
pray for our Holy Mother Church
and for our country.

Our Lady of Fatima,
obtain for humanity a lasting peace.

Sweet Heart of Jesus,
be my love.

Sweet Heart of Mary,
at the hour of my death,
lead me home.day two novena to our lady of the rosary 29 september 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DEVOTIO, DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Catholic Devotion for December – The Immaculate Conception

Catholic Devotion for December – The Immaculate Conception

The Solemnity of the The Immaculate Conception, is celebrated on 8 December.december month of the imm conception - 1 dec 2018

In 1854, Pope Pius IX’s solemn declaration, Ineffabilis Deus, clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin.   In proclaiming the Immaculate Conception of Mary, as a dogma of the Church, the pope expressed precisely and clearly that Mary was conceived free from the stain of original sin.   This privilege of Mary’s, derives from God’s having chosen her as Mother of the Saviour, thus she received the benefits of salvation in Christ, from the very moment of her conception.

This great gift to Mary, an ordinary human being just like us, was fitting because she was destined to be Mother of God.   The purity and holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a model for all Christians.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of the Immaculate Conception of Mary:

490.  To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role”.   The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.   In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

491.   Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception  . That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1844: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.)

492.   The “splendour of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ – she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son.”   The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.”

493.   The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia) and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.   By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.december-the-month-of-the-immaculate-conception

Immaculate Mary, Pray for the Church, the Mystical Body of your Son!immaculate mary - pray for us

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 12 November – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Martyr

Quote of the Day – 12 November – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Martyr

St Josaphat’s favourite devotional exercise was to make prostrations in which the head touches the ground, saying, the Jesus prayer:

‘Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner.”

St Josaphat (1584-1623)the jesus prayer 3 - 13 feb 2018 - shrove tuesday

the jesus prayer - st josaphat's favourite - 12 nov 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Devotion for August – The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Devotion for August

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

The history of the devotion to the Heart of Mary is connected on many points with that to the Heart of Jesus;  nevertheless, it has its own history which, although very simple, is not devoid of interest.   The attention of Christians was early attracted by the love and virtues of the Heart of Mary.   The Gospel itself invited this attention with exquisite discretion and delicacy.   What was first excited was compassion for the Virgin Mother. It was, so to speak, at the foot of the Cross that the Christian heart first made the acquaintance of the Heart of Mary.   Simeon’s prophecy paved the way and furnished the devotion with one of its favourite formulae and most popular representations: the heart pierced with a sword.   But Mary was not merely passive at the foot of the Cross;  “she cooperated through charity”, as St Augustine says, “in the work of our redemption”.

Another Scriptural passage to help in bringing out the devotion was the twice-repeated saying of St Luke, that Mary kept all the sayings and doings of Jesus in her heart, that there she might ponder over them and live by them.   Some of the Fathers also throw light upon the psychology of the Virgin, for instance, S. Ambrose, when in his commentary on St Luke, he holds Mary up as the ideal of virginity and St Ephrem, when he so poetically sings of the coming of the Magi and the welcome accorded them by the humble Mother.

In the New Testament Elizabeth proclaims Mary blessed because she has believed the words of the angel ,the Magnificat is an expression of her humility and in answering the woman of the people, who in order to exalt the Son proclaimed the Mother blessed, did not Jesus himself say:  “Blessed rather are they that hear the word of God and keep it”, thus in a manner inviting us to seek in Mary that which had so endeared her to God and caused her to be selected as the Mother of Jesus?   The Fathers understood His meaning and found in these words a new reason for praising Mary.   St Leo says that through faith and love, she conceived her Son spiritually, even before receiving Him into her womb and St Augustine tells us, that she was more blessed in having borne Christ in her heart, than in having conceived Him in the flesh.

August has 2 Marian Feast Days, 15 August, The Assumption and 22 August, The Queenship of Mary.   The Feast of the Immaculate or Most Pure Heart of Mary is celebrated throughout the Church, in different countries and religious communities on different days. (http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/08/21/feast-of-the-immaculate-heart-of-mary-august-22nd/)devotion-for-august-the-immaculate-heart-of-mary-1 august 2017.jpg

Daily Prayer for August
for the Intercession of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Most Blessed Mother,
heart of love, heart of mercy,
ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer.
As your children, we implore your intercession,
with Jesus your Son.
Receive with understanding and compassion,
the petitions we place before you today,
especially those so deep in our heart.
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open
to those who ask for your prayer.
We trust to your gentle care and intercession,
those whom we love
and who are sick or lonely or hurting.
Help all of us, Holy Mother,
to bear our burdens in this life,
until we may share eternal life and peace
with God, our Father forever.
Amendaily prayer for august for the intercession of the imm heart of mary - o most blessed mother, heart of love, heart of mercy - 1 august 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the PRIESTHOOD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for July “Pray for our Priests and their Pastoral Ministry”

Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for July “Pray for our Priests and their Pastoral Ministry”holy fathers prayer intention for july 2018 - 1 july 2018

“He made them,
the vicars of His love.

St Ambrose (340-397)

Father & Doctor of the Churchhe made them the vicars of his love - st ambrose - 18 july 2018

“The power of the priest,
is the power of the divine person,
for the transubstantiation of the bread,
requires as much power,
as the creation of the world.”

St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)the power of the priest - st bernardine -2018

“St Bernard tells us that everything has come to us through Mary
and we may also say that everything has come to us through the priest,
yes, all happiness, all graces, all heavenly gifts.
If we had not the Sacrament of Orders, we should not have Our Lord.
Who placed Him there, in that tabernacle?
It was the priest.
Who was it that received your soul, on its entrance into life?
The priest.
Who nourishes it, to give it strength to make its pilgrimage?
The priest.
Who will prepare it to appear before God, by washing that soul,
for the last time, in the blood of Jesus Christ?
The priest – always the priest.
And if that soul comes to the point of death, who will raise it up,
who will restore it to calmness and peace?
Again the priest.
You cannot recall one single blessing from God,
without finding, side by side with this recollection,
the image of the priest.”st bernard tells us that all things - st john vianney on the priesthood - 18 july 2018

“If I were to meet a priest and an angel,
I should salute the priest before I saluted the angel.
The latter is the friend of God
but the priest holds His place.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859) Patron of Priestsif i were to meet a priest - st john vianney - 18 july 2018

“Day after day, it is necessary to learn,
that I do not possess my life for myself.
Day by day, I must learn to abandon myself,
to keep myself available for whatever He, the Lord,
needs of me at a given moment,
even if other things seem more appealing
and more important to me,
this means giving life, not taking it.”

Pope Benedict XVIday after day it is necessary to learn - pope benedict on the priesthood - 18 july 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Thought for the Day – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

A 1996 doctrinal statement approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments states that:

“Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular.   Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life.”

According to the Church on the Brown Scapular:

“The scapular is a Marian habit or garment.
It is both a sign and pledge.
A sign of belonging to Mary, a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death.

As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined:

first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order;

second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart;

third, an urge to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity and spirit of prayer.”

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †† †

 

The Shorter Form of Blessing and Bestowing the Scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.

The Postulant kneels before the Priest, who is vested in surplice and white stole and the Priest says:

V. Show us Your mercy, O Lord.
R. And grant us Your salvation.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto You.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Your spirit.
Let us pray:
O Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of men, bless † with Your right hand this habit which, for Your love and for the love of Your holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, this Your Servant (Handmaid) shall wear devoutly, so that, through the intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, Your Mother, he (she) may be guarded against the wicked one and remain until death in Your grace. Who lives and reigns, world without end.
R. Amen.

The Priest sprinkles the Scapular with holy water and, placing it upon the shoulders of the postulant, says:

Receive this blessed habit and pray the most Holy Virgin
that by her merits you may bear it without stain
and that she may guard you from all adversity
and bring thee unto life everlasting.
R. Amen.

By the power that has been granted to me, I admit you to share in all the spiritual blessings which, through the cooperation of our merciful Saviour, Jesus Christ, are obtained by the Religious of Mount Carmel.
In the name of the Father and of the Son, † and of the Holy Ghost.
R. Amen

Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, bless † you, He Who has vouchsafed to join you unto the Society and Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel; let us beseech her, therefore, that in the our of your death she may bruise the head of the old serpent and that you may obtain the palm of victory and the crown of inheritance everlasting. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Then the Priest sprinkles the Recipient with holy water.

Notice--Scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel can now be replaced by a MEDAL, having on one side the image of Our Lord showing His Sacred Heart and on the other, the image of the Blessed Virgin;  even, ONE such medal can replace SEVERAL scapulars:  but, then, it must receive just as many blessings as there are scapulars to be replaced, one sign of the Cross, however, suffices for each blessing.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us!our-lady-of-mount-carmel-pray-for-us-16 July 2018.2

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 31 May – The Last Day of Mary’s Month and the Feast of the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from St Bede the Venerable

Thought for the Day – 31 May – The Last Day of Mary’s Month and the Feast of the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from St Bede the Venerable

Writing in the early 8th century, St Bede explains why the Magnificat, Mary’s prayer on the occasion of her Visitation of Elizabeth, is used daily in the liturgy of the hours (a.k.a the divine office) for Vespers or evening prayer.   With Mary’s soul, our souls magnify the Lord and rejoice in God our Saviour.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given.   Then she recalls God’s universal favours, bestowed unceasingly on the human race.

REJOICE IN GOD’S GREATNESS
When a man devotes all his thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, he proclaims God’s greatness.   His observance of God’s commands, moreover, shows that he has God’s power and greatness always at heart.   His spirit rejoices in God his saviour and delights in the mere recollection of his creator who gives him hope for eternal salvation.

These words are offered for all God’s creations but especially for the Mother of God.   She alone was chosen and she burned with spiritual love for the son she so joyously conceived.   Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her saviour, for she knew that He, who was the source of eternal salvation, would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord.

HOLY IS HIS NAME
For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Mary attributes nothing to her own merits.   She refers all her greatness to the gift of the one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, for He fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in Him.

She did well to add:  and holy is his name, to warn those who heard and indeed all who would receive His words, that they must believe and call upon His name.   For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation, according to the words of the prophet – and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.   This is the name she spoke of earlier – and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.

VESPERS & THE MAGNIFICAT:  AN EVENING CANTICLE
Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer.   By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue.   Such virtues are best achieved in the evening.  We are weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions.   The time for rest is near and our minds are ready for contemplation.

The great canticle by the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Magnificat, proclaimed by Mary during her Visitation to St Elizabeth,  is celebrated and explained in this excerpt from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable (Lib 1,4:CCL 122, 25-26, 30) which is used in the Roman Catholic Liturgy’s Divine Office of Readings for the Feast of the Visitation, 31 May, with the accompanying biblical reading being from Song of Songs 2:8-14 and 8:6-7.   With Mary’s soul, we proclaim the greatness of the Lord and rejoice in God, her Saviour and ours, each evening in Vespers prayer.

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

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!

St Elizabeth, Pray for us!mary mother of god, st elizabeth, pray for us - 31 may 2018 - the visitation

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL MESSAGES, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD, VATICAN Resources

Our Morning Offering – 31 May – The Last Day of Mary’s Month and the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Morning Offering – 31 May – The Last Day of Mary’s Month and the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Magnificat, is Mary’s great gift to scripture, one of its most beautiful prayers.   It is prayed every evening in the Liturgy of the Hours by millions around the world.   With that, Mary’s great acclamation becomes the Church’s.

The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is his Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.

Excerpt (18) from the Apostolic Exhortation “Marialis Cultus”

 Blessed Pope Paul VI – 2 February 1974

“18.   Mary is also the Virgin in prayer.   She appears as such in the visit to the mother of the precursor, when she pours out her soul in expressions glorifying God and expressions of humility, faith and hope.   This prayer is the Magnificat (cf. Lk. 1:46-55), Mary’s prayer par excellence, the song of the messianic times in which there mingles the joy of the ancient and the new Israel.   As St Irenaeus seems to suggest, it is in Mary’s canticle, that there was heard once more, the rejoicing of Abraham who foresaw the Messiah (cf. Jn. 8:56)(48) and there rang out in prophetic anticipation the voice of the Church:  “In her exultation Mary prophetically declared in the name of the Church:  ‘My soul proclaims the glory of the Lord….'”

 And in fact Mary’s hymn has spread far and wide and has become the prayer of the whole Church in all ages.”

the magnificat - luke 1 46-55 - 31 may 2018 - feast of the visitation.jpg

 

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Marian Thought for the Day – 16 May “Mary’s Month!” – Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Simon Stock (1165-1265)

Marian Thought for the Day – 16 May “Mary’s Month!” – Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Simon Stock (1165-1265)

The brown Scapular of the Carmelite Order has gained considerable popularity and use among those devoted to the Blessed Mother.   The following prayer, addressed to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, prays for her continued protection and grace for those who wear the scapular:

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O all-blessed, immaculate Virgin,
ornament and glory of Mount Carmel,
you who looks, with most gracious countenance,
on those who have been clothed,
with your venerable livery,
look kindly also on me
and take me under the mantle
of your maternal protection.
Strengthen my weakness with your might;
enlighten the darkness of my heart,
with your wisdom;
increase in me,
the virtues of faith, hope and charity.
So adorn my soul with graces
and virtue of our God,
by your prayers,
that it may always be dear
to your divine Son
and to you.
Assist me during life,
comfort me in death
with your most sweet presence
and present me as your child
and faithful servant,
to the most Holy Trinity,
that I may be enabled to praise
and extol you in heaven forever.
Amenprayer to our lady of mount carmel of the brown scapular - 16 may 2018 st simon stock

In 1322, Pope John XXII issued a document known as a Papal Bull in which he included a promise from Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In his document, the Pope revealed that he had received an apparition of Our Blessed Mother, during which she made a promise to all mankind.

Her “Sabbatine Privilege” was as follows:

“on the First Saturday after the death of one of the faithful, Our Blessed Mother would free from Purgatory her Scapular children who have fulfilled certain conditions.   She stated to Pope John XXII:  “I, the Mother of Graces, shall descend on the Saturday after their death, and as many as I find in Purgatory I shall free.”

The Church has since formalised the Sabbatine Privilege, based on this revelation. Containing three conditions, those who follow and practice true devotion, will be released from Purgatory by Our Lady’s intercession on the Saturday after their death.   As set forth by the Church, the three conditions include:

1)Wear the brown scapular devoutly, once you’ve been enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel;

2) Observe chastity according to your state in life;

3) Recite daily the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Given the length of this beautiful prayer, with permission of a priest you can substitute five decades of the rosary, abstinence from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays or another approved good work).

His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, wrote concerning the Sabbatine Privilege, “Certainly, this most gentle Mother will not delay to open as soon as possible, through Her intercession with God, the gates of Heaven for children expiating their faults in Purgatory.”

Once one has been enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, one shares in the daily prayers and other spiritual benefits of the Carmelite Order. Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s scapular promise of salvation to Saint Simon Stock and the Carmelites applies to the enrollee as well!   http://ocarm.org/en/content/ocarm/confraternities

The short form of the investiture is as follows:

Receive this Scapular, a sign of your special relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whom you pledge to imitate. May it be a reminder to you of your dignity as a Christian, in serving others and imitating Mary.
Wear it as a sign of her protection and of belonging to the Family of Carmel, voluntarily doing the will of God and devoting yourself to building a world true to His plan of community, justice and peace.

scapular

Many popes and other religious figures over the centuries have extolled the virtues of the brown scapular devotion.   Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: “The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.”   More recently, Pope Paul VI said: “Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel.”   Still, they caution that, although our Lady of Mount Carmel promised that the scapular would protect us from eternal fire, wearing it in itself doesn’t guarantee our salvation.

The scapular is not to be worn as a substitute for leading a devout life of love and obedience to our Lord.   The Most Reveren. Kilian Lynch, former prior general of the Carmelite Order, warned that the scapular was not “endowed with some kind of supernatural power which will save us no matter what we do or how much we sin.” He said, “Fidelity to the commandments is required by those seeking ‘the special love and protection of Our Lady.”

The immeasurable benefits of the Scapular result from the fact that the wearing of “the armour of Mary” is not merely an external act of devotion– it is a sign of our internal consecration to the Immaculate Virgin.   The scapular recommends us to her endless grace and generosity.   At Fatima in 1917, the Mother of God encouraged all people to consecrate themselves to Her Immaculate Heart.   And in the final Fatima vision on 13 October, the Blessed Virgin appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, wearing the robes of the Carmelite Order, holding aloft the Brown Scapular.   On that occasion, Our Blessed Mother reminded us that the devoted living of the Brown Scapular consecration, paired with daily prayer of the Holy Rosary, is a necessary part of the amendment of life– the random of a sinful world– for which she so earnestly pleaded.

Pope Pius XII stressed this important truth: “May the Scapular be a sign to them (all who wear it) of their consecration to the Most Pure Heart of the Immaculate Virgin.”   In wearing the brown scapular devoutly, in living in love and obedience to God, we join our hearts to Mary’s and thus, to her divine Son’s Sacred Heart as well!

Father,
You called St Simon Stock to serve You in the brotherhood of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Through his prayers, help us like him, to live in Your presence and to work for man’s salvation.   Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.   Amen

Holy Mother of Carmel, Pray for us

St Simon Stock, Pray for us

Posted in CARMELITES, DEVOTIO, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Saint of the Day – 16 May – St Simon Stock (1165-1265)

Saint of the Day – 16 May – St Simon Stock (1165-1265) Religious Monk, Visionary, Mystic, Marian devotee, early prior general of the Carmelite religious order.   Born c 1165 in Aylesford, County Kent, England – died on 16 May 1265 in the Carmelite monastery at Bordeaux, France of natural causes while on a visit.    Patronage – Bordeaux, France.

HEADER 2 marian-scapular-vision-small1header - Nicolas_Mignard-Vierge_et_saint_Simon_Stock

Simon was born in Aylesford, England, to one of the most well-known and respected Christian families in the County of Kent.   While still an infant, he was chosen by the Blessed Mother for her own, with his parents and others hearing him recite the Angelic Salutation of the Archangel Gabriel, long before he had learned to speak.   Prodigious as a child, he learned and memorised the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin before he was able to read, reciting it on a daily basis.   He was observed to read the Holy Scripture, kneeling in his room, by the age of six.

At the age of twelve, Simon left home, living as a hermit in the hollowed trunk of a large oak tree, earning him the name Simon “Stock.”   There he triumphed over the demon, as he would later tell his religious, only by the assistance of the Most Holy Virgin.   While living as a hermit, he drank only water and ate only herbs, roots and wild apples. Eventually, after eight years of solitude, Simon felt called back to communion with others and joined the Carmelite Order.   He finished his studies at Oxford and later (in 1215) was appointed Vicar General of the Order.

Saint Simon worked tirelessly to spread the Carmelite Order throughout Europe, founding many communities in university towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris and Bologna.   He was responsible for the revision of the Rules of the Order, leading the community from lives as hermits to those of mendicant friars.   Known for his deep devotion to Our Blessed mother, as well as for the spiritual gifts of miracles and prophecy, Simon was elected as the sixth Superior General of the Carmelites at age 82.   He continued to govern the order for twenty years, demonstrating holiness, vision and prudence.

During his tenure as Superior General, Simon was graced with a visitation from the Blessed Mother, to whom he was so devoted.   Radiantly surrounded by a multitude of Angels, Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to him as he knelt in prayer at Aylesford, England.   Presenting to him the Carmelite Brown Scapular, she made Her Promise of unparalleled generosity to him, his spiritual children and to all those who wished to consecrate themselves to her by this special sign: Her words were:

“Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of your Order.   It is the special sign of my favour, which I have obtained for you and for your children of Mount Carmel.   He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire.   It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger and a pledge of special peace and protection.”

The scapular (from the Latin, scapular, meaning “shoulder blade”) consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders.   In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments.   Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing, consisting of two pieces of material only a few inches square.   Although the scapular may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, proper investiture must be done by a priest.   Subsequently, the scapular must be worn in the proper manner, the individual forfeiting its holy benefits if neglectful or careless.

Saint Simon Stock died on 16 May 1265, at the age of 100 and was buried in the cathedral of Bordeaux, where he was visiting at the time of his death.   The Saint’s bones are still preserved in a cathedral in Bordeaux;  a tibia was brought to England in the 1860s for the Carmelite church in Kensington, a part of the skull was enshrined at Aylesford in 1950.   St Simon was never formally Canonised but he has been venerated by the Carmelites since at least 1564 and the Vatican has approved the Carmelite celebration of his feast.

Pietro_Novelli_Our_Lady_of_Carmel_and_Saints
Pietro Novelli, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Carmelite Saints (Simon Stock (standing), Angelus of Jerusalem (kneeling), Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, Teresa of Avila), 1641 (Museo Diocesano, Palermo.)

Scapular-Vision-Shrine-12-800x500

Devotion to the Brown Scapular remains widespread and recommended by the Catholic Church.   The Carmelites continue to find meaning in the traditional story and iconography of Saint Simon Stock receiving the scapular, particularly as reflecting their filial relationship with Mary.   When St Pope John Paul II addressed the Carmelite family in 2001 on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the bestowal of the Scapular, he said:

“Over time, this rich Marian heritage of Carmel, has become, through the spread of the Holy Scapular devotion, a treasure for the whole Church.   By its simplicity, its anthropological value and its relationship to Mary’s role, in regard to the Church and humanity, this devotion was so deeply and widely accepted, by the People of God, that it came to be expressed, in the memorial of 16 July on the liturgical calendar, of the universal Church, “the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY EUCHARIST, Uncategorized

Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Friday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel: John 6:52-59

Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Friday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel: John 6:52-59

“Speaking of: The Holy Eucharist”

“You can call happy those who saw Him.
But, come to the altar and
you will see Him,
you will touch Him,
you will give to Him holy kisses,
you will wash Him with your tears,
you will carry Him within you
like Mary Most Holy.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Doctor of the Churchyou can call happy - st john chrysostom - 20 april 2018

“The Blessed Eucharist is the perfect Sacrament
of the Lord’s Passion, since
It contains Christ Himself and his Passion.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Angelic Doctorthe blessed eucharist - st thomas aquinas - 20 april 2018

“The last degree of love
is when He gave Himself to us
to be our Food;
because He gave Himself to be
united with us in every way.” 

St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)the last degree of love - st bernardine of siena - 20 april 2018

“Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus
in the Blessed Sacrament
is the greatest after the sacraments,
the one dearest to God
and the one most helpful to us.”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctorof all devotions that of adoring Jesus in the blessed sacrament - st alphonsus liguori - 20 april 2018

“Upon receiving Holy Communion,
the Adorable Blood of Jesus Christ
really flows in our veins and His Flesh
is really blended with ours.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)upon receiving holy comm - st john vianney - 20 april 2018 - fri 3rd week easter

“I urge you with all the strength of my soul
to approach the Eucharistic Table
as often as possible.
Feed on this Bread of the Angels from which
you will draw the strength to fight inner struggles.”

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)i urge you 2 - bl pier

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – Tuesday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel: John 6:30–35 & the Memorial of Bl Andrés Hibernón Real O.F.M. (1534-1602) ‘Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration’

Thought for the Day – – Tuesday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel:  John 6:30–35 & the Memorial of Bl Andrés Hibernón Real O.F.M. (1534-1602) ) ‘Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration’

Meditation on the Blessed Sacrament by St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)  – Most Zealous Doctor

Meditation, wherever it is made,
pleases God.
But it seems that Jesus,
especially delights in prayer,
made before the Blessed Sacrament.
Did he not leave Himself for us
in this sacrament to be food for our spirit
and to be present for all who seek Him?

We cannot all make pilgrimages
to the places where Jesus lived
but the Lord who died for us
on the cross of Calvary
now dwells in person,
in the tabernacle – waiting.

We need not await a command
as we would of an earthly king,
to enter His presence –
He is waiting for us
to lay before Him our wants
and to seek His help.
So that we may taste
the sweetness of His presence,
it is good to empty ourselves
of earthly desires.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46: 10

What pleasure is found in spending
a long time before the altar
where the Lord dwells!

What heavenly sweetness the Lord
allows us to taste and enjoy!

What should we do in the presence
of the Lord in the Eucharist?

We should stay there, not to enjoy
sweetness and consolation
but to give pleasure to God
by making acts of love, saying

O my God, I love

and desire nothing but You.

Grant that I may always love You;

then do with me and all I possess,

as You please.

These acts of love,
even when made without sensible delight,
please god greatly.
For good people often have to bear
with distractions and dryness in prayer.

As for distractions,
of these we must not make much account.
It is enough to drive them away
when they come.
Do not on this account leave off prayer.

Saint Francis de Sales said:

“If, in meditation, we do nothing
but drive away distractions,
our meditation would be of great profit.”

And as for dryness:
this is the greatest pain
for those given to prayer,
for we find ourselves without
any sensible desire of loving God.
Added to this, at times, is the fear
of being separated from God
because of our sins.
There is the feeling
of being in utter darkness
without any way of escape.
At such times let us unite our desolation
with that which Jesus suffered on the cross.

If we can say nothing else,
it is enough to say,
at least by an act of the will:

My God, I desire to love You.
Have pity on me;
Leave me not.

PRAYER of one in deep affliction.

My God, I love You tenderly
though I feel You far away.
I will seek You ceaselessly
lest from You I stray.
AMENmeditation on the blessed sacrament - st alphonsus liguori - 17 april 2018

 

Posted in DEVOTIO, DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT, VATICAN Resources

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday and the Memorial of Bl Augustus Czartoryski S.D.B. (1858-1893)

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday and the Memorial of Bl Augustus Czartoryski S.D.B. (1858-1893)

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts.   My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the Lord…. One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” …Psalm 84[83]: 2, 11

REFLECTION – “Blessed Augusto Czartoryski wrote these words of the Psalm, his motto of life, on the holy card of his first Mass.   In them is contained the rapture of a man who, following the voice of the call, discovers the beauty of the ministerial priesthood.   In them resounds the echo of the different choices that the person who is discerning God’s will and wishes to fulfil it must make.   Augustus Czartoryski, a young prince, carefully prepared an effective method to discern the divine plan.   In prayer, he presented to God all questions and deep perplexities and then in the spirit of obedience he followed the counsel given by his spiritual guides.   In this way he came to understand his vocation and to take up the life of poverty to serve the “least”.   The same method enabled him throughout the course of his life to make decisions, so that today we can say that he accomplished the designs of Divine Providence in a heroic way.   I would like to leave this example of holiness especially to young people, who today search out the way to decipher God’s will relating to their own lives and desire to faithfully forge ahead each day according to the divine word.   My dear young friends, learn from Blessed Augustus to ask ardently in prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit and wise guides, so that you may understand the divine plan in your lives and are able to walk constantly on the path of holiness.”…St Pope John Paul on the Beatification of Blessed Augustus on Sunday, 25 April 2004

bl augustus czartoryski wrote these words - st john paul - 8 april 2018

PRAYER – Heavenly God and Father and Your divine Son, dear Jesus in whom we trust, send Your Holy Spirit to guide and teach us, to lead us into the ways of holiness.   Grant, we pray, that by the intercession of Blessed Augustus, we may fulfil Your Holy Will by the light of the Holy Spirit.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl augustus czartoryski - pray for us - 8 april 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

Our Morning Offering – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday

Most Merciful Jesus,
whose very nature it is
to have compassion on us
and to forgive us,
do not look upon our sins
but upon our trust which we place
in Your infinite goodness.
Receive us all into the abode
of Your Most Compassionate Heart
and never let us escape from It.
We beg this of You by Your love
which unites You to the Father
and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze
upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners,
all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
show us Your mercy,
that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy
forever and ever.
Amen.div mercy prayer - day one from the novena - 8 april 2018 for div mercy sunday

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 2 April – Easter Monday

Our Morning Offering – 2 April – Easter Monday

The beautiful ancient Easter sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes can be said or sung before the Gospel every day during the Octave:

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.

Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of Life, who died, reigns immortal.

Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;

Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
To Galilee He goes before you.”

Christ indeed from death is risen,
our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia!++eater monday 2 april 2018 - Victimae Paschali Laudes - easter sequence

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, Catholic NEWS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions April 2018

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions
April 2018

For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters

That economists may have the courage
to reject, any economy of exclusion
and know how to open new paths.HOLY FATHER'S PRAYER INTENTIONS APRIL 2018

Posted in CCC, DEVOTIO, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on DEATH, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Seventh Word – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Seventh Word – 31 March – Holy Saturday 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.

The Seven Last Words of Christ

” Jesus reaches the heights of the depth of his prayer to the Father during His Passion and Death, when He pronounces His supreme “yes” to the plan of God and reveals how the human will finds its fulfilment precisely in adhering fully to the divine will, rather than the opposite.   In Jesus’ prayer, in His cry to the Father on the Cross, “all the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up … Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them beyond all hope, answers them by raising His Son.   Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation”  (CCC 2606)

Pope Benedict 7 March 2012

all the troubles for all time ccc 2606 - used on easter sat 31 march 2018 - quoted by pope benedict in the seventh word

The Seventh Word

“Into Your hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46)

Gospel:  It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” and when he had said this, he breathed his last…Luke 23:44-46

The Word Incarnate utters His last sentence and in doing so, every last word takes on a special significance. In the act of dying, the God-Man teaches His brothers and sisters in the human family how to die.   What is the final lesson?

Jesus died resigned to the Will of the One Who sent Him.  However, we should not see this as passivity;  it is an active resignation, which sums up His entire life:  “As a man lives so shall He die.”

As we listen to the dying Saviour, two words draw our attention:  “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” “Father” and “thy” are the keys to the mystery of death.   Jesus, in His humanity, does not rely on His own resources but casts His cares upon His heavenly Father, the Abba (“Papa”) in Whom He encouraged His disciples to have complete trust.

His heart is thus other-directed or, better, Other-directed toward the One “who was able to save Him from death” (Heb 5:7).   With eyes fixed on Jesus (cf. Heb 3:1), then, Christians ponder what they need in death.   They are three: the grace of perseverance, the grace of final repentance and the grace of a happy death.

Such a gift then leads to that most blessed thing of all – the grace of a happy death. Several years ago I received an early morning call to the hospital to bring Viaticum for a cancer patient I had attended the entire summer.   Always thoughtful to a fault, she had restrained her family from contacting a priest during the night, lest he lose sleep.   Upon my arrival, the woman stirred herself to prepare for her final encounter with the Eucharist.   As I placed the Sacred Host on her tongue, she smiled, swallowed and died. Her son looked at me and said, “Father, that’s all she was waiting for all night.”

What a holy death! What a calming effect it had on her entire family!   What a powerful and unforgettable witness she had offered!   A holy death ensures a happy death because our eyes are “fixed on Jesus.”

Thinking about death – our own death – should not be an exercise in morbidity but a truly positive opportunity. St Alphonsus Liguori, author of the classic “Way of the Cross,” provides ample food for thought in his reflection for the Fifth Station  . It has within it all the serenity of Jesus’ serenity in His final moments and thus recommends itself to our thoughts and as a guide for our actions – perennially.

And so we are encouraged to say and to mean: “My beloved Jesus, I will not refuse the cross, as the Cyrenian did;  I accept it, I embrace it.   I accept in particular the death You have destined for me; with all the pains that may accompany it;  I unite it to your death, I offer it to You.   You have died for love of me; I  will die for love of You, and to please You.   Help me by your grace. I love You, Jesus, my love;  I repent of ever having offended You.   Never permit me to offend You again.   Grant that I may love You always and then do with me what you will.”  (St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church) ...Excerpt from Fr Peter Stravinskas

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

Lord, Your Cross is high and uplifted;
I cannot mount it in my own strength.
You have promised:
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to Myself.”
Draw me, then, from my sins to repentance,
from darkness to faith,
from the flesh to the spirit,
from coldness to ardent devotion,
from weak beginnings to a perfect end,
from smooth and easy paths,
if it be Your will, to a higher and holier way,
from fear to love,
from earth to heaven,
from myself to You.
And as You have said:
“No man can come to Me,
except the Father, who sent Me, draw him,”
give unto me the Spirit Whom the Father hath sent in Your Name,
that in Him and through Him,
I being wholly changed,
may hasten to You
and go out no more for ever.
Amen
(From a Prayer a Day for Lent – 1923)THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE SEVENTH WORD - HOLY SAT - 31 MARCH 2018

 

Posted in DEVOTIO, HOLY WEEK, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday: “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday:  “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His suffering and death.   The altar is left bare and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated.   Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.The Entombment by the Maitre du Chaorce. “HOLY SAT 2

Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation.   The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.   Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns.   After the great battle He is resting in peace but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible…Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

HOLY SAT INFOHOLY SAT INFO 2HOLY SAT INFO 3

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart.   When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary:  she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73).   Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of His resurrection.


The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church:  while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and His soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to His ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

“This same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord . . . throughout every generation” (cf. Ex 12:42)lumen christi - 31 march 2018

On this holy night we celebrate the Easter Vigil, the first — indeed the “mother” — of all vigils of the liturgical year.   On this night, as is sung over and over again in the Preconio, we walk once more the path of humanity from creation to the culminating event of salvation, the death and resurrection of Christ.

The light of Him who “has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20) makes this memorable night, which is rightly considered the “heart” of the liturgical year, “bright as the day” (Ps 139:12).   On this night the entire Church keeps watch and recalls, in meditation, the significant stages of God’s saving intervention in the universe.

“A night of watching kept to the Lord”.   There is a twofold significance to this solemn Easter Vigil, so rich with symbols accompanied by an extraordinary abundance of biblical texts.   On the one hand, it is the prayerful memory of the mirabilia Dei, in the re-presentation of key texts from the Sacred Scriptures, from creation to the sacrifice of Isaac, to the passage through the Red Sea, to the promise of the New Covenant.

On the other hand, this evocative vigil is the trusting expectation of the complete fulfilment of the ancient promises.   The memory of God’s work reaches its climax in the resurrection of Christ and is projected onto the eschatological event of the parusia.   We thus catch a glimpse, on this night of Passover, of the dawning of that day that never ends, the day of the Risen Christ, which inaugurates the new life, the “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Is 65:17; 66:22; Rev 21:1).

From its very beginnings, the Christian community placed the celebration of Baptism within the context of the Easter Vigil.   Here too, on this night, some catechumens will be immersed with Jesus into his death to rise with Him to immortal life.   Thus the wonder of the mysterious spiritual rebirth, wrought by the Holy Spirit, is renewed; the rebirth that incorporates the newly baptised into the people of the new and final Covenant, sealed by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Together with those who will shortly receive Baptism, the liturgy invites all of us here present to renew the promises of our own Baptism.   The Lord asks us to renew the expression of our full obedience to Him and of our total dedication to the service of his Gospel.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters! If this mission may sometimes seem difficult, call to mind the words of the Risen Lord:  “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Certain of His presence, you shall fear no difficulty and no obstacle.   His word will enlighten you;   His Body and His Blood will nourish you and sustain you on your daily journey to eternity.

At the side of each of you there will always be Mary, as she was present among the Apostles, frightened and confused at the time of trial.   And with her faith she will show you, beyond the night of the world, the glorious dawn of the resurrection. Amen

Lumen Christi!

St Pope John Paul II easter vigil in the holy night - 31 march 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Sixth Word – 30 March – Good Friday 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Sixth Word – 30 March – Good Friday 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.

“Like a bridegroom, Christ went forth from His chamber ….
He came to the marriage-bed of the Cross
and there, in mounting it, He consummated His marriage.
And when He perceived the sighs of the creature,
He lovingly gave Himself up
to the torment, in place of His bride
and joined Himself to her forever.”

St Augustine (354-430) – Sermo Suppositus 120like a bridgegroom - it is consumated - st augustine - good friday - the sixth word - 30 march 2018

” In John’s account, Jesus’ last words are: “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
In the Greek text, this word (tetélestai) points back to the very beginning of the Passion narrative, to the episode of the washing of the feet, which the evangelist introduces by observing that Jesus loved His own “to the end (télos)” (John 13:1). This “end,” this ne plus ultra of loving, is now attained in the moment of death.
He has truly gone right to the end, to the very limit and even beyond that limit.
He has accomplished the utter fullness of love – He has given Himself.”

Pope Benedict XVI

The Sixth Word

“It is consummated.” (John 19:30)

Translation is risky because it always involves some interpretation.   So how is this sixth word of Christ on the Cross (Jn 19:30) properly rendered into English:   “It is finished” (as in “done,” “over with”); “it is completed” (with a less fatalistic ring to it); or, “it is consummated” (in the sense of “brought to fulfillment”)?   The correct choice requires a knowledge of the total Gospel of John, to which we must now turn.

The Johannine Jesus is wholly focused on His hour – the moment of glory. It cannot be hastened, as He had to remind His Mother: “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4).   Nor can or should it be forestalled:  “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. . . . My soul is troubled now yet what should I say – Father, save me from this hour?   But it was for this that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (Jn 12:23, 27-28).

Now, if most people were asked when Jesus’ hour of glory began, they would probably say Easter morning.   But John would disagree.   The Lord, according to this Evangelist, began His hour of glory in His Passion, when He freely consented to the Father’s plan for Him.

The Jesus we meet in John is the pre-existent Word (Jn 1:1-14) – always in control of His own destiny, never the helpless victim of either envious Jewish authorities or sadistic Roman soldiers.   Death comes when He is ready and not a minute sooner:  “The Father loves me for this: that I lay down my life to take it up again.   No one takes it from me; I lay it down freely.   I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again” (Jn 10:17-18).

And so it is that Jesus announces (even proclaims) that the hour of His death has come, proving correct the ironic inscription over His head (Jn 19:19).   He is, in fact, never more a King than from the throne of His Cross.   In His death, the work of salvation is finished or, as the original Greek implies, the end or purpose is accomplished.

No morbid preoccupation with death here, for death (and especially this death) is the gateway to life.   No room for the Angst of the existentialists of another era.   Death is not the end, as common parlance understands it:  Death is The End, as Aristotle and Aquinas would have us ponder the word – the goal toward which reality struggles for fulfilment. It is in the light of this truth that Jesus’ assertion makes the most sense:  “And I – once I am lifted up from earth – will draw all things to myself” (Jn 12:32).

Dying, however, is not an end in itself.   In the very act of dying, Jesus did one thing more – He “delivered over His spirit” (Jn 19:30).   It is significant that John does not say that He “gave up” His spirit but “delivered over” (as in “gave forth”).

Thus, we inquire, What is meant by “spirit”?   Surely a play on words is intended, for spirit means “life principle” or “breath” but also spirit as in “Holy Spirit.”   Interestingly, it is only in “giving up” His own life principle that He can “give over” the Holy Spirit.

To whom is that spirit delivered?   First of all, His earthly life is given over to the Father, Who seals it all with the Resurrection. Second, in fulfilment of John 7:39, He gives His Spirit to the faithful remnant, Mary and John, at the foot of the Cross.   Which is to say that He gives His spirit to us, His Church, represented in glory’s hour by the Church’s Mother and the Church’s first son.

That deliverance of the Spirit is achieved proleptically here, by way of a sure promise, only fully actualised after the Resurrection.   However, time does not matter;  in fact, eternity has taken over in the hour of glory, so that everything coalesces into a marvellous unity:  Death, Resurrection, communication of the Spirit, birth of the Church.

Ignominy and triumph meet at the crossroads of Calvary in the hour of glory.   The Saviour knows this and that is why He can declare so majestically: “It is consummated.”… Fr Stravinskas

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

Lord, Your Cross is high and uplifted;
I cannot mount it in my own strength.
You have promised:
“I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all to Myself.”
Draw me, then, from my sins to repentance,
from darkness to faith,
from the flesh to the spirit,
from coldness to ardent devotion,
from weak beginnings to a perfect end,
from smooth and easy paths,
if it be Your will, to a higher and holier way,
from fear to love,
from earth to heaven,
from myself to You.
And as You have said:
“No man can come to Me,
except the Father, who sent Me, draw him,”
give unto me the Spirit Whom the Father hath sent in Your Name,
that in Him and through Him,
I being wholly changed,
may hasten to You
and go out no more for ever.
Amen
(From a Prayer a Day for Lent – 1923)THE SIXTH WORD -JOHN 19 230- THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 30 MARCH 2018