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One Minute Reflection – 17 January – ‘Only do not keep away …’

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22, Psalm 89:16-19, Mark 2:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Teresio Olivelli (1916–1945) Martyr “Rebel for Love”

“My son, your sins are forgiven.” … Mark 2:5

REFLECTION – “Why are you downcast?   See.   Someone’s hands are fishy;  a little oil makes them clean.   How much more can God’s compassion purify you.   For just as you have no difficulty in washing your garment, in the same way – and even more – it is not difficult for the Lord to wash you clean from all reproach, even if each day you naturally have to experience temptation.   Indeed, the instant you say:  “I have sinned against the Lord”, the response is given you:  “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2).   “It is I who wipe out and remember no more” (Is 43:25 LXX).   As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your sins.   As a father has compassion on his children, I have had compassion on you” (Ps 102[103], 12-13 LXX).

Only do not keep away, or distance yourself, from He who has chosen you to sing and pray but all your life long, remain close to Him, either through pure confidence, or by a holy audacity and courageous confession.   Then He will hear and purify you.   Is He not God who has justified us in His love for human souls?   Who will condemn us?   (cf. Rm 8:33).   If we invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our conscience is easily purified and nothing separates us from the prophets and other saints.

For God has not destined us for wrath but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us.   So, whether we are awake in virtue, or asleep in some kind of woe, or are bearing certain circumstances according to nature, we will live with Christ (1 Thes 5:9-10), turning our eyes towards Him, sighing deeply, weeping constantly and only breathing Him.   Let us then put on the breastplate of faith and wear the helmet of salvation (cf. 1 Thes 5:8) that the arrows of discouragement and despair may not penetrate us.” … John of Karpathos (7th Century) Monk and Bishop – Texts for the monks in India (The Philokalia)my son your sins are forgiven mark 2 5 - indeed the instant you say I have sinned 17 jan 2020 john of karpathos

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us.   Grant us the grace of approaching You in sorrow and repentance, so that we may hear Your Word, “your sins are forgiven you, go and sin no more.”   May the prayers of Blessed Teresio Olivelli, grants us eyes to see and ears to hear and strength to approach You.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.blessed teresio olivelli pray for us 17 jan 2020(1)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Holy Eucharist and Hope – Let us approach Him

Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

The Holy Eucharist and Hope

The greatest source of hope this side of eternity is the Sacrament of hope, the Sacrament of encounter with Christ that is the Holy Eucharist.   The document of the Second Vatican Council that begins with the words “joy” and “hope,” Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution On The Church in the Modern World), says:

“Christ left to His followers a pledge of . . . hope and food for the journey in the sacrament of faith, in which natural elements, the fruits of human cultivation, are changed into His glorified body and blood, as a supper of brotherly and sisterly communion and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet (38).”

Those who frequent this Sacrament — receiving it often, if not daily — know that one of the fruits of the Sacrament, is the virtue of hope.   Gaudium et Spes refers to this sacrament as a “pledge of hope and food for the journey” that Christ left to His followers.

This document of Vatican II opened with these words:

“The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.   Nothing that is genuinely human, fails to find an echo in their hearts.   For theirs is a community of people united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in their pilgrimage towards the father’s kingdom, bearers of a message of salvation for all of humanity (1).”

In the general intercessions at Holy Mass, we bring the “joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted.”   We name those needs and address them to God our Father, through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.   We know that those pleas to God register with Him, as they come directly to God through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the compassionate and merciful heart of Christ.

When we bring our prayers and petitions to Holy Mass, we should trust that they are heard by God and that God will bring a most fitting response — in His good time, His unique way and His providential plan — to all the prayers of our hearts.   We might take them to Christ, with the added prayer:  “Jesus, I trust in you.”

“Let us, at this season, approach Him with awe and love, in whom resides all perfection and from whom we are allowed to gain it.   Let us come to the Sanctifier to be sanctified….
May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who as at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)let us as this season approach him in awe and love - st john henry newman 24 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 13 December – “All my hope lies only in Your great mercy.”

Advent Reflection – 13 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Matthew 11:16-19

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“For John came, neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’   But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” … Matthew 11:18-19matthew 11 18-19 for john came neither eating nor drinking - 13 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Saint John the Baptist was separated from the world.   He was a Nazarite (Lk 1:15; Nb 6:2).   He went out from the world and placed himself over against it… and called it to repentance.   Then went out all Jerusalem to him into the desert (Mk 3:5) and he confronted it face to face.   But in his teaching he spoke of One who should come to them and speak to them in a far different way.   He should not separate Himself from them, He should not display Himself as some higher being but as their brother, as of their flesh and of their bones, as one among many brethren, as one of the multitude and amidst them;  nay, He was among them already:   “There hath stood in the midst of you, whom you know not” (Jn 1:26)…

At length Jesus begins to disclose Himself and to manifest His glory in miracles but where?   At a marriage feast… And how? in adding to the wine…   Now compare this with what He says in St Matthew’s Gospel of Himself:  “John came neither eating nor drinking—The Son of man came eating and drinking and they say:  Behold a man that is a glutton and wine-drinker.”   John might be hated but he was respected;  Jesus was despised…

This was, O dear Lord, because Thou so loved this human nature which Thou has created.   Thou did not love us merely as Thy creatures, the work of Thy hands but as men.   Thou love all, for Thou has created all but Thou love man more than all.   How is it, Lord, that this should be?   What is there in man, above others?   “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?” (Ps 8,5)…   Thou did not take on Thee an angelic nature when Thou did manifest Thyself for our salvation, so too Thou would not come in any shape or capacity or office which was above the course of ordinary human life—not as a Nazarene, not as a Levitical priest, not as a monk, not as a hermit but in the fullness and exactness of that human nature, which, so much Thou love… in that very flesh which had fallen in Adam and with all our infirmities, all our feelings and sympathies, sin excepted.” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) – Meditations and Devotions, Part III, VII God with us 1

MEDITATION – Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers.   Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me, speak to them of My great mercy. . . .  The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness.   You always console Me when you pray for sinners.   The prayer most pleasing to Me, is prayer for the conversion of sinners.   Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered. …St Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1396-1397

ADVENT ACTION – With St Augustine we pray, “All my hope lies only in Your great mercy.”   So, we turn in repentance and tell of His great love and mercy for us all, sinners though we are!

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence.   Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.   Give courage to those who falter because of their failures.   In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit.   May they one day proclaim Your saving acts of kindness in Your eternal kingdom.   Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.friday of the second week of advent - matthew 11 16-19 13 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DIVINE MERCY, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 12 December – He is near.   He and His Mother.

Advent Reflection – 12 December – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Readings: Zec 2:14-17, Book of Judith 13:18bcde.19, Luke 1:26-38

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.” … Luke 1:31thursday of the second week advent - 12 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – ““The Lord is near”, the Apostle Paul tells us
and nothing should perturb us.   He is close by.
He is not alone but is with His Mother.
She said to St Juan Diego:
“Why are you afraid?   Am I not here who am your Mother?”.
He is near.   He and His Mother.
The greatest mercy lies in His being in our midst,
in our being in His presence and company.
He walks with us, He shows us the path of love,
He lifts us up when we fall and with such tenderness,
He supports us in our labours,
He accompanies us in every circumstance of life.
He opens our eyes to see our wretchedness
and that of the world but at the same time
He fills us with hope!” … Pope Francis, 12 December 2015

MEDITATION – “Even if the sins of souls will be as dark as night, when the sinner turns to My mercy, he gives Me the greatest praise and is the glory of my passion.   When a soul praises My goodness, Satan trembles before it and flees to the very bottom of hell.” — St Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 378

ADVENT ACTION – How can I lead someone to the mercy of Christ and His Mother?

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ my Lord, help me to become a devoted client of Your holy Mother Mary. Through Your grace, may I receive the spiritual strength she has promised to all her clients. May I, in simplicity, like St Juan Diego, become her vessel to share Your Light of Love and Mercy, throughout my world. Our Lady of Guadalupe Pray for us! Amenour lady of guadalupe pray for us 12 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, C S LEWIS, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 7 December – ‘He had compassion for them…’

Advent Reflection – 7 December – Saturday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26, Psalm 147:1-6, Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5-8

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. … Matthew 9:36matthew 9 36 when he saw the crowds he had compassion 7 dec 2019

REFLECTION – “A person is counselled to his face, so to speak, when he is created for righteousness and receives the precepts of rectitude.   When he despises these precepts, it is as if he is turning his back to his Creator’s face.   But He still follows behind us and counsels us, that we have despised Him but He still does not cease to call us.   We turn our backs on His face, so to speak, when we reject His words, when we trample His commandments underfoot but He who sees that we reject Him, still calls out to us by His commandments and waits for us by His patience, stands behind us and calls us back when we have turned away.” … St Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Church – Forty Gospel Homilies, 34

MEDITATION – “The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not.   It is not wearied by our sins or our indifference and, therefore, it is quite relentless in it’s determination, that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.” … Prof C S Lewis (1898-1963)

ADVENT ACTION – Freely you have received, freely give – forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.   Let us offer our hand to those who hurt us.

PRAYER – Lord, to free man from his sinful state, You sent Your only Son into this world. Grant to us, who in faith and love, wait for His coming, Your gift of grace and the reward of true freedom.    Be born in us O Lord!    We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.he still follows behind us and counsels us - st gregory the great - sat of the first week of advent be born in us o lord 7 dec 2019

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 November – ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’

One Minute Reflection – 7 November – Thursday of the Thirty First week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 15:1–10 and the Memorial of Saint Vincenzo Grossi (1845-1917)

“‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’”… Luke 15:6

REFLECTION –
“I have wandered in the desert,
Gone astray in the wilderness,
One among a hundred
As in the parable of the sheep.

The wicked enemy tore it to pieces,
He covered it with incurable wounds,
Hence there is no other cure for the wound
But You, to heal it.

In floods of tears I implore You,
I lift up my cries to my Lord:
O Good Shepherd, come down from heaven,
Go in search of the little flock.

Lord, seek out the fallen coin,
Your image that was lost (Gn 1:26),
That I trampled in the vice of sin
And the stinking mud.

Wash me, Lord, from my filth,
Make my soul pure, as the whiteness of snow (Is 1:18).
Make up the number of the ten coins
As You did for the forty saints [of Sebaste].

Carry me on Your shoulders,
O You who bore the Cross,
Be pleased to raise up my fallen soul.
Give joy to the heavenly host of angels
At the return of a single sinner.” … Saint Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173), Armenian Bishopluke 15 6 rejoice with me for i have found - carry me on your shoulders - st nerses chnorhali 7 nov 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom, You created us, by Your providence You rule us, penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life, may always be one of faithful service to You. With great love we thank You for the great gifts You shower upon us and for being our Father, who seeks and finds us when we are lost.   Grant that by the intercession of St Vincenzo Grossi, we may ever seek to stay true to our baptism. Through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st vincenzo grossi pray for us 7 nov 2019

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Thought for the Day – 29 October – How to speak about God?

Thought for the Day – 29 October – Tuesday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:18-21

Again he said, …”To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in
with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” Luke 13:20

Excerpt – Part One
Year of Faith – How to speak about God?

Pope Benedict XVI
Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The important question we ask ourselves today is – how can we talk about God in our time?   How can we communicate the Gospel so as to open roads to His saving truth in our contemporaries’ hearts — that are all too often closed — and minds — that are at times distracted by the many dazzling lights of society? Jesus, the Evangelists tell us, asked Himself about this as He proclaimed the kingdom of God – “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?” (Mk 4:30).

How can we talk about God today?   The first answer is that we can talk about God because He has talked to us, so the first condition for speaking of God is listening to all that God Himself has said.   God has spoken to us!   God is therefore not a distant hypothesis concerning the world’s origin, He is not a mathematical intelligence far from us.   God takes an interest in us, He loves us, He has entered personally into the reality of our history, He has communicated Himself, even to the point of taking flesh.   Thus God is a reality of our life, He is so great that He has time for us too, He takes an interest in us. In Jesus of Nazareth we encounter the face of God, who came down from His heaven to immerse Himself in the human world, in our world, and to teach “the art of living”, the road to happiness, to set us free from sin and make us children of God (cf. Eph 1:5; Rom 8:14).   Jesus came to save us and to show us the good life of the Gospel.

Talking about God means first of all expressing clearly what God we must bring to the men and women of our time, not an abstract God, a hypothesis but a real God, a God who exists, who has entered history and is present in history, the God of Jesus Christ as an answer to the fundamental question of the meaning of life and of how we should live. Consequently speaking of God demands familiarity with Jesus and His Gospel, it implies that we have a real, personal knowledge of God and a strong passion for His plan of salvation without succumbing to the temptation of success but following God’s own method.   God’s method is that of humility — God makes Himself one of us — His method is brought about through the Incarnation in the simple house of Nazareth; through the Grotto of Bethlehem, through the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

We must not fear the humility of taking little steps but trust in the leaven that penetrates the dough and slowly causes it to rise (cf. Mt 13:33).   In talking about God, in the work of evangelisation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must recover simplicity, we must return to the essence of the proclamation – the Good News of a God who is real and effective, a God who is concerned about us, a God-Love who makes Himself close to us in Jesus Christ, until the Cross and who, in the Resurrection, gives us hope and opens us to a life that has no end, eternal life, true life. – To be continued/…

Firmly I believe and truly
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Firmly I believe and truly
God is three and God is On
And I next acknowledge duly
Manhood taken by the Son.
And I trust and hope most fully
In that Manhood crucified
And each thought and deed unruly
Do to death, as He has died.
Simply to His grace and wholly
Light and life and strength belong
And I love, supremely, solely,
Him the holy, Him the strong.

And I hold in veneration,
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church, as His creation,
And her teachings, as His own.
And I take with joy whatever
Now besets me, pain or fear
And with a strong will I sever
All the ties which bind me here. 
Adoration aye be given,
With and through the angelic host,
To the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.firmly i believe and truly st john henry newman 29 oct 2019.jpg