Quote/s of the Day – 27 January – The Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor.
“The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock.” Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the Boat of Jesus.”
“Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to His Promise and read His Message, that is my protecting wall and garrison. What Message? “Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!”
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
“If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the Church door, you will not find Him in the Chalice.”
“When you are weary of praying and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling and have not listened to him.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 27 January – The Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor.
Hail, O Mother! By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
Hail, O Mother! Virgin, heaven, throne, glory of our Church, it’s foundation and ornament. Earnestly pray for us to Jesus, your Son and Our Lord, that through your intercession, we may have mercy on the day of judgement. Pray that we may receive, all those good things which are reserved for those who love God. Through the grace and favour of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be power, honour and glory, now and forever. Amen
Bl Antonio Mascaró Colomina St Avitus St Candida of Bañoles St Carolina Santocanale St Devota of Corsica (Died c 303) Virgin Martyr St Domitian of Melitene St Emerius of Bañoles
Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis-Matulewicz/George Matulaitis MIC (1871-1927) Archbishop of Vilnius from late 1918 until his resignation in 1925, Apostolic Nuncio in Lithuania, Founder of the Congregation of the Poor Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist, Professor, Spiritual Director, Superior-General of the Marian Fathers from 1911 until his death and is known as the “Renovator of The Marians.” His Story: https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/27/saint-of-the-day-27-january-blessed-george-matulaitis-mic-1871-1927/
St Gilduin Bl Gonzalo Diaz di Amarante St Henry de Osso y Cervello St John Maria Muzeyi Bl John of Warneton St Julian of Le Mans St Julian of Sora St Lupus of Châlons
St Marius of Bodon Bl Michael Pini St Natalis of Ulster St Paul Josef Nardini Bl Rosalie du Verdier de la Sorinière St Theodoric of Orléans St Pope Vitalian
Martyrs of North Africa – 30 Saints: A group of 30 Christians martyred together by Arian Vandals. The only details to have survived are four of their names – Datius, Julian, Reatrus and Vincent. c 500 in North Africa.
One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul , Apostle, Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19,27-29.
“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” – Acts 9:4.
REFLECTION – “How can we show that He is there and that He is also here? Let Paul answer for us, who was previously Saul. First of all, the Lord’s own Voice from Heaven shows this: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Had Paul climbed up to Heaven then? Had Paul even thrown a stone at Heaven? It was Christians he was persecuting, them he was tying up, them he was dragging off to be put to death, them he was everywhere hunting out of their hiding places and never sparing when he found them. To him the Lord said, “Saul, Saul.” Where is He crying out from? Heaven. So He’s up above. “Why are you persecuting Me?” So He’s down below.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 122).
PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your Name to the whole world. Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day. Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God Who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 24 January – Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, Luke 14:26-33.
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
“Pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness. Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, to which you have been called …”
1 Timothy 6:11-12
“Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”
“Leaving all things, they followed him.”
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“… Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions, cannot be my disciple.”
“The tradition and the authority of Holy Scripture, show us three renunciations … The first is that, by which, as far as the body is concerned, we make light of all the wealth and goods of this world. By the second, we reject the fashions and vices and former affections of soul and flesh. By the third, we detach our soul from all present and visible things and contemplate only things to come and set our heart on what is invisible. We have to do all these three at once, as the Lord charged Abraham to do, when he said to him “Go out from your country and your kinsfolk and your father’s house.”(Gn 12:1).”
St John Cassian (c 360-435) Monk, Founder of Monasteries, Father of the Church (Conference 3, 6-7)
The Love of Your Name
“My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self, by the sight of some delightful good in the present. Let it not overcome me, my God. Let not flesh and blood conquer me. Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness. Give me courage to resist, patience to endure and constancy to persevere. Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit, rather than all the consolations of the world and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your Name.”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ (Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)
One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, Luke 14:26-33.
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26
REFLECTION – “On another occasion, the Lord says, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters and even his own soul, cannot be my disciple.” As a rule, this is more upsetting to the mind of new Christians, who are eager to begin at once to live in accordance with the precepts of Christ. To those who do not fully grasp its meaning, it would seem contradictory…. He has condescended to call His disciples to the eternal Kingdom. He also called them brothers. In the Kingdom these relationships are transcended because, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor freeman but Christ, is all things and in all.” The Lord says, “For in the resurrection, they will neither be married nor marry but will be as the angels of God in heaven.” Whoever wishes to prepare himself now, for the life of that Kingdom, must not hate people but those earthly relationships, through which the present life is sustained, the temporary life that begins at birth and ends with death. Whoever does not hate this necessity, does not yet love that other life, in which there will be no condition of birth and death, the condition that makes marriages natural on earth.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace (Sermon on the Mount,15).
PRAYER – Almighty God, You endowed Saint Timothy with power to preach Your Word. Grant that, living a life of integrity and holiness in this world, reaching out to teach the Gospel both by our lives and our words, we may, through their prayers, come to our true home in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
St Filip Geryluk Bl Francesc de Paula Colomer Prísas St Guasacht St Ignacy Franczuk Bl John Grove St Julian Sabas the Elder St Luigj Prendushi St Macedonius Kritophagos Blessed Marcolino Amanni of Forli OP (1317-1397) Bl Marie Poussepin
St Projectus St Sabinian of Troyes St Suranus of Sora St Thyrsus Bl William Ireland
Martyrs of Asia Minor – 4 Saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Eugene, Mardonius, Metellus and Musonius. They were burned at the stake in Asia Minor.
Martyrs of Podlasie – 13 Beati: Podlasie is an area in modern eastern Poland that, in the 18th-century, was governed by the Russian Empire. Russian sovereigns sought to bring all Eastern-rite Catholics into the Orthodox Church. Catherine II suppressed the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine in 1784. Nicholas I did the same in Belarus and Lithuania in 1839. Alexander II did the same in the Byzantine-rite Eparchy of Chelm in 1874 and officially suppressed the Eparchy in 1875. The Bishop and the Priests who refused to join the Orthodox Church were deported to Siberia or imprisoned. The laity, left on their own, had to defend their Church, their liturgy and their union with Rome. On 24 January 1874 soldiers entered the village of Pratulin to transfer the parish to Orthodox control. Many of the faithful gathered to defend their parish and Church. The soldiers tried to disperse the people but failed. Their commander tried to bribe the parishioners to abandon Rome but failed. He threatened them with assorted punishments but this failed to move them. Deciding that a show of force was needed, the commander ordered his troops to fire on the unarmed, hymn-singing laymen. Thirteen of the faithful died, most married men with families, ordinary men with great faith. We know almost nothing about their lives outside of this incident. Their families were not allowed to honour them or participate in the funerals and the authorities hoped they would be forgotten. Their names are: • Anicet Hryciuk • Bartlomiej Osypiuk • Daniel Karmasz • Filip Geryluk • Ignacy Franczuk • Jan Andrzejuk • Konstanty Bojko • Konstanty Lukaszuk • Lukasz Bojko • Maksym Hawryluk • Michal Wawryszuk • Onufry Wasyluk • Wincenty Lewoniuk Martyrdom: • shot on 14 January 1874 by Russian soldiers in Podlasie, Poland • buried nearby without rites by those soldiers Beatified – 6 October 1996.
Martyrs of Antioch: Babylas Epolonius Prilidian Urban
One Minute Reflection – 22 January – The Memorial of Saints Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) Martyr – Wisdom 3:1-8, Luke 21:9-19
“Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons and they will have you led, before kings and governors because of my name …” – Luke 21:12
REFLECTION – “Jesus gives them clear and evident signs of the time when the consummation of the world draws near. He says that there will be wars, turmoil, famines and epidemics everywhere. There will be terrors from heaven and great signs. As another Evangelist says, “All the stars shall fall and the heaven be rolled up like a scroll and its powers will be shaken.”
In the middle of this, the Saviour places what refers to the capture of Jerusalem. He mixes the accounts together in both parts of the narrative. Before all these things, He says, “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and to prisons and bringing you before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. This will be a witness to you.” Before the times of consummation, the land of the Jews was taken captive and the Roman armies overran it. They burned the temple, overthrew their national government and stopped the means for legal worship. They no longer had sacrifices, now that the temple was destroyed. The country of the Jews together with Jerusalem itself was totally laid waste. Before these things happened, they persecuted the blessed disciples. They imprisoned them and had a part in unendurable trials. They brought the disciples before judges and sent them to kings. Paul was sent to Rome to Caesar.
Christ promises, however, that He will deliver them certainly and completely. He says that a hair of your head will not perish!” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Incarnation the Church (Commentary on Luke, Homily 139)
PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us the grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. We walk in faith and by Your Light as St Vincent, fearless of men to the end and trusting only in Your grace, inspires us to follow. Grant that his prayers may assist us on our path. Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr – Ecclus 51:1-8, 12; Matthew 25:1-13
“Our lamps are going out.”
“I have not become as wise as those five wise Virgins. … But I have become the most wretched of the foolish ones by failing to keep some oil for my lamp, namely, mercy together with virginity or, still more, the anointing from Baptism’s Sacred fount…
Therefore, the doors of the wedding hall are closed to me too, in my negligence. But, O my Bridegroom, while I am still in my body here below, listen to my soul, Your Bride… From now on, I will cry aloud piteously, “Oh, open to me Your Heavenly Door, bring me into Your Wedding Chamber on high, make me worthy of Your Holy Kiss, Your pure and spotless Embrace. Oh let me not hear the Voice saying it does not know me! I am blind; set alight with Your own Light my spirit’s extinguished flame!”
St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173) Armenian Bishop
(Jesus, the Father’s beloved Son 688-693, SC 203)
“Give me grace, to amend my life and to have an eye to mine end, without grudge of death, which, to them, who die in You, good Lord, is the gate of a wealthy life.”
St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyr
My Lord Jesus Christ, You have made this journey to die for me, with love unutterable and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You but now I love You with my whole heart and because I love You, I repent sincerely for having ever offended You. Pardon me, my God and permit me to accompany You on this journey. You go to die for love of me, I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to You.” Amen
St Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr – Ecclus 51:1-8, 12; Matthew 25:1-13
“But the wise took oil in their vessels” – Matthew 25:4
REFLECTION – “It is some great thing, some exceedingly great thing, that this oil signifies. Do you think it might be charity? If we try out this hypothesis, we hazard no precipitate judgement. I will tell you why charity seems to be signified by the oil. The Apostle says, “I will show you a still more excellent way.” “If I speak with the tongue of mortals and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” This is charity. It is “that way above the rest,” which is, with good reason, signified by the oil. For oil swims above all liquids. Pour in water and pour in oil upon it, the oil will swim above. If you keep the usual order, it will be uppermost, if you change the order, it will be uppermost. “Charity never fails!” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor (Sermon 93).
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You choose what is weak in the world to shame what is strong. Grant that, as we celebrate the Martyrdom of St Agnes, we may follow her example of steadfast love for You and trust in faith. We pray that through her intercession, we may grow in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 21 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”
Complete Us, O Lord Jesus Christ By St Anselm (1033-1109) Magnificent and Marian Doctor of the Church
O Lord Jesus Christ, our Redemption and our Salvation, we praise You and give You thanks. Although we are unworthy of Your benefits and cannot offer to You, the devotion You deserve, let Your loving-kindness complete whatever our weakness tries to do. Before You, O Lord, we lay all our desires and whatever our heart rightly wishes, it is because of Your gifts. Help us to love You as You command. Do not let Your gifts be unfruitful in us. Complete what You have begun, give what You have made us desire, convert our lukewarmness into fervent love of You, for the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – Hebrews 11:33-39; Luke 6:17-23
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
“… Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions, cannot be my disciple.”
“The Kingdom of Heaven, says the gospel, is like a mustard seed … Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven! Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin’s womb, He grew up into the Tree of the Cross, whose branches, stretch across the world … Christ is the Kingdom because all the glory of His Kingdom, is within Him. Christ is a Man because all humanity is restored in Him. Christ is a Mustard Seed because the infinitude of divine greatness, is accommodated to the littleness of flesh and blood!”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church
“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in His sight, is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received… but only what you have given – a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“This death … has already levelled his bow to strike me. Is it not prudent to prevent its stroke, by dying now to the world, that at my death, I may live to God?”
St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)
“Do not live any longer in yourself but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent in all your actions, in order that all may see in you a true portrait of the Crucified and sense, the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord, in interior and exterior modesty, in patience, in gentleness, suffering, charity, humility and in all others that follow.”
St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
“It was God Who created the fruits of the earth and gave them to men. … Evil consists in the abuse of these goods, which, in themselves, are intended to be aids to perfection. It is necessary, therefore, to preserve the proper hierarchical order of all that is good. We must guard against riveting our ambitions on earthly objects, as if tbey were capable of constituting the goal of our lives. God has given us these things as possessions, not as ends in themselves. He has ordered us to be masters of the world, not it’s slaves. Detachment is essential but not a complete surrender of our possessions. The latter was never commanded but simply indicated, as an evangelical counsel of perfection. The observance of this counsel, however, is valueless, if it is not accompanied by detachment. Worldly possessions, such as money, are good servants but bad masters!”
One Minute Reflection – 20 January – Hebrews 11:33-39; Luke 6:17-23 and – The Memorial of St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) Martyr and St Sebastian (Died c 288) Martyr
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” – Luke 6:20
REFLECTION – “Blessed,” He says, “are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). It would perhaps be doubtful what poor He was speaking of, if in saying “blessed are the poor ” He had added nothing which would explain the sort of poor and then, that poverty by itself, would appear sufficient to win the Kingdom of Heaven, which many suffer from, hard and heavy necessity. But when he says “blessed are the poor in spirit,” He shows that the Kingdom of Heaven must be assigned to those who are recommended by the humility of their spirit, rather than, by the smallness of their means.
Yet it cannot be doubted, that this possession of humility is more easily acquired by the poor than the rich: for submissiveness is the companion of those, who want, while loftiness of mind dwells with riches. Notwithstanding, even in many of the rich, is found that spirit which uses its abundance, not for the increasing of its pride but on works of kindness and counts that for the greatest gain, which it expends in the relief of others’ hardships. It is given to every kind and rank of men, to share in this virtue, because men may be equal in will, though unequal in fortune and it does not matter, how different they are in earthly means, who are found equal in spiritual possessions. Blessed, therefore, is poverty which is not possessed with a love of temporal things and does not seek to be increased with the riches of the world but is eager to amass heavenly possessions.” – St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 95, PL 54, 461).
PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, keep us in Your Way, that we too may stretch out our hands and love to those who come our way. May Your law be our light and Your love our only way. Hear the prayers of the Your Angels and Saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord and our mother and lead us to eternal life. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Lord Jesus, May I …. Indulgenced Prayer of Petitions By St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
LORD JESUS, may I know myself and know Thee and desire nothing save only Thee. May I hate myself and love Thee. May I do everything for the sake of Thee. May I humble myself and exalt Thee. May I think of nothing except Thee. May I die to myself and live in Thee. May I receive whatever happens, as from Thee. May I banish self and follow Thee and ever desire to follow Thee. May I fly from myself and fly to Thee. That I may deserve to be defended by Thee. May I fear for myself and fear Thee and be among those who are chosen by Thee. May i distrust myself and trust in Thee, May I be willing to obey on account of Thee. May I cling to nothing but to Thee. May I be poor for the sake of Thee. Look upon me, that I may love Thee. Call me, that I may see Thee and ever and ever, enjoy Thee. Amen.
50 Days Indulgence once a day Pope Leo XIII 25 September 1881
Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
“And so I say to you, you are Pter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”
“I decided to consult the Chair of Peter, where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle; I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there, where once I received the garment of Christ. I follow no leader save Christ, so I enter into communion with Your beatitude, that is, with the Chair of Peter, for this I know, is the rock upon which the Church is built.” (cf Le lettere I, 15, 1-2)
St Jerome (343-420) Father & Doctor od rhw Church
“Yes, the Apostle chosen to be His co-worker, merited to share, the same Name as Christ. They built the same Building together – Peter does the planting, the Lord gives the increase and it is the Lord, too, Who sends those, who will do the watering (cf 1 Cor 3:6f).”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19
“Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the Wisdom and Power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, Angels served Him. … And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many Priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. …
The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know, what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he, who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say, blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover Me but He, Whose only Son I am.
“And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested My Divinity to you, so I Am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11). But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My Strength and, what I have by virtue of My Power, you have in common with Me, by the fact,, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church” … On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and my Church, whose summit is to reach to Heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” … Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church ( 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Consecration).
PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Readings: Ecclus 45:1-6, Luke 12:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36
REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us, if He does not always enter or always remain.,, May your door be open to Him who comes; open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart; run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain, that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves, shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.
So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true, that He could enter but He does not want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day, gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting, for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church – 12th Sermon on Psalm 118
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your Eternal Light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, Who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of St Anthony Abbot, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Readings: John 2:1-11.
“Do whatever he tells you.”
“You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.”
“Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, … he is my brother and sister and mother.”
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor
“ True spiritual life consists in this: that man keep his eyes on God all the time, long for nothing but for God, keep nothing in mind but God, begin every single action,in God’s name and direct it to Him.”
St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
“You see, my children, the Christian’s treasure is not on earth, it is in heaven (Mt 6:20). So our thinking must go to where our treasure is. The human person has a beautiful task, to pray and to love. You pray, you love – that is the human being’s happiness on earth.”
One Minute Reflection – 16 Januaryr – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:6-16, John 2:1-11.
“This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him…” – John 2:11
REFLECTION – “The miracle by which our Lord Jesus Christ changed water into wine is not at all astonishing, to those who know, that God is its Author. Indeed, it is exactly the same thing which produced wine in those six jars on that wedding day … and which renews this transformation in the vines each year. That which the servants poured into the jars, was changed into wine by the action of the Lord – in the same way the rain that falls from the clouds is changed into wine, through the same action of the Lord. And yet, we do not wonder at it because it is repeated every year; custom has caused astonishment to disappear. Yet, it is far more worthy of our attention, than what took place in the jars filled with water. Indeed, who is there who dreams of considering the work of God, Who directs and governs the whole world? Isn’t that person then seized with astonishment and, as it were crushed beneath the weight of these miracles? If they consider the power enclosed within a single seed of the first species to come, they will discover a great reality there, that astounds the observer. But people, otherwise occupied, have become insensible to the works of God, which would daily provide motives for praising the Creator. This is why God reserves to Himself, the work of certain unusual wonders, so as to awaken them from their sleepiness and lead them to praise Him.”…St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people. Open our eyes that we may see, open our ears that we may hear, open our hearts that we may love Your glory, manifest around us in all the great deeds of Your Word. Grant us love and peace in our day and may the prayers of The Holy Mother of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour and all Your Saints and Martyrs, lead us home to You. We make our prayer through Your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 January– Second Sunday after Epiphany
Give me Yourself, O My God By St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
Give me Yourself, O my God, give Yourself to me. Behold I love You and if my love is too weak a thing, grant me to love You more strongly. I cannot measure my love to know how much it falls short of being sufficient but let my soul hasten to Your embrace and never be turned away, until it is hidden in the secret shelter of Your presence. This only do I know, that it is not good for me when You are not with me, when You are only outside me. I want You in my very self. All the plenty in the world which is not my God is utter want. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – Readings: Phillippians 3:7-12, Matthew 11:25-34
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls…”
“For in prosperity, a man is often puffed up with pride, whereas tribulations chastens and humbles him through suffering and sorrow. In the midst of prosperity, the mind is elated, and in prosperity. a man forgets himself. In hardship, he is forced to reflect on himself, even though he be unwilling. In prosperity, a man often destroys the good he has done. Amidst difficulties, he often repairs what he long since did in the way of wickedness.”
St Alfred the Great (849-899) King
“How can you become a sharer, in His glory (1 Pt 5:1) if you will not consent, to become a sharer, in His humiliating death?”
St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
“Arm yourself with prayer, instead of a sword; be clothed with humility, instead of fine raiment.”
St Dominic de Guzman OP (1170-1221)
“If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him Who is Crucified, although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and put to death. … If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father “even to death” (Phil 2:8). “For just as through the disobedience of one person, Adam, the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of One, the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). . If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him Who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15), “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). On the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Angelic Doctor of the Church
“ … If you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“If humble souls are contradicted, they remain calm; if they are calumniated, they suffer with patience; if they are little esteemed, neglected, or forgotten, they consider this their due; if they are weighed down with occupations, they perform them cheerfully. ”
Our Morning Offering – 15 January – Mary’s Saturday
Mary, Mother of Grace By St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him Who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master who was born of you. For this reason, you are called, full of grace. Remember us, most Holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, O Virgin full of graces. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronger than when it is attacked, never better known than when it is accused, never more powerful than when it appears forsaken.”
(Treatise on the Trinity)
“The Church is the Ship outside which it is impossible to understand the Divine Word, for Jesus spoke from the boat to the people gathered on the shore.”
“No matter how sinful one may have been, if he has devotion to Mary, it is impossible that he be lost.”
“Little children follow and obey their father. They love their mother. They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying. This state of mind, opens the road to Heaven. To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones.”
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 14 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 5:13-19 and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17
REFLECTION – “In Him, the promise made through the shadows of prophecy, stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the One Who teaches the truth of prophecy, through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace. In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed. No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised. When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Sermo 51).
PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments. Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. St Hilary was a shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that his prayers may aid us. Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
I Owe You a Most Particular Duty By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
I am well aware, Almighty God and Father, that in my life, I owe You a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word, speak of You. In fact, You have conferred on me, this gift of speech and it can yield no greater return than to be at Your service. It is for making You known as Father, the Father of the only-begotten God and preaching this, to the world, that knows You not and to the heretics, who refuse to believe in You. … Grant that I may express what I believe. Amen
Excerpt from a Sermon On the Trinity (Lib 1, 37-38: PL 10, 48-49) by Saint Hilary of Poitiers. It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast of St Hilary, today.
Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – The Octave Day of the Epiphany, Gospel: Isaias 60:1-6; John 1:29-34
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
“And I knew him not\ but he who sent me to baptise with water said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is, who baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I saw and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.”
“His action is preceded by the beaming rays of His light and knowledge. He comes with the truth of the real Protector; for He comes to save, to lead, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console, to illumine in the first place the mind of the person who receives Him and through that person‘s works, the minds of others.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Christ was born of the Holy Spirit and, since it was fitting, that He should fulfill all justice, He entered into the waters of baptism to sanctify them. When He left the Jordan, He was filled with the Holy Spirit, Who had descended upon Him, in the form of a dove. As the Evangelist tells us: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan.”
One Minute Reflection – 13 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – The Octave Day of the Epiphany, Gospel: Isaias 60:1-6; John 1:29-34
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29
REFLECTION – “A second time,” says the evangelist, “John stood and said: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’.” Christ utters no word; John the Forerunner says it all. So, it is with a bridegroom: he does not say anything to the bride to begin with but steps forward and stands there in silence. Others present him to the bride and give her into his hands. Thus, when she appears, the bridegroom does not take her himself but receives her from the hands of another, who gives her to him. And when he has thus received her from another, he binds her so strongly to himself, that she no longer remembers those she has left for his sake. So it was with Christ. He came to wed human nature; he did not speak a word but merely came. It was the friend of the bridegroom (Jn 3,29), John, who put the Bride’s right hand into His – in other words, the hearts of those He had convinced with His preaching. Then, Jesus Christ welcomed them and satisfied them with so many good things that they no longer turned back to the one who had led them to Him…
John alone proclaimed Him to be present to the people. He was given the name “friend of the Bridegroom” because he alone was present at this marriage with the Church. He it was, who did everything, who brought everything about. Seeing Christ coming, he said: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Thus he showed that it was not by voice alone but, with his eyes also, that he bore witness. He wondered at the Son of God and, when he beheld Him, his heart leaped for joy. At first, he did not preach Christ to his followers but only showed wonder and astonishment at Him. In that way he made known to all, by means of the word “lamb,” the gift Jesus came to give. And John did not say,“ Who is to take” or “Who has taken” but, “This is he who takes away the sins of the world” and, not just at the time of His Passion but always. He offered only one, single sacrifice for the sins of the world yet, by this oblation, He purifies forever, the consciences of human sinners.” – St John Chrysostom (c.345-407), Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on Saint John’s Gospel, no18).
PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Son’s manhood, born of the Virgin, was a new creation, untainted by our sinful condition. Renew us then, in Christ and cleanse us from our sins. May the Most Holy Name of Jesus, be our light, our safeguard and our shield. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all time and forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves…”
“May He, Who is the Track of the runners and the Reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus!”
Bl Guerric of Igny O.Cist (c 1080-1157)
“Christ acts like a loving mother. To induce us to follow Him, He gives us Himself as an example and promises us a reward in His kingdom.”
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor
“When He takes away what He once lent us, His purpose is to store our treasure elsewhere, more safely and bestow on us, those very blessings, that we ourselves would most choose to have.” (From A Letter to His Mother)
St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)
“How long are you going to be deaf to His call? Or are you going to lose your soul, which Jesus Christ bought at the price of His Precious Blood?”
One Minute Reflection – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany
“He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them and his mother kept all these things in her heart.” – Luke 2:51
REFLECTION – “Consider the most prudent woman Mary, Mother of true Wisdom, as the pupil of her Son. For she learned from Him, not as from a child or man but as from God. Yes, she dwelt in meditation on His words and actions. Nothing of what was said or done by Him, fell idly on her mind. As before, when she conceived the Word itself in her womb, so now does she hold within her, His ways and words, cherishing them as it were in her heart. That which she now beholds in the present, she waits to have revealed with greater clarity, in the future. This practice she followed as a rule and law through all her life.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our hearts be eternally longing for that time alone with You, our one true Love. May our worldly duties be such, that they never impede our progress in devotion and may the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the Saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany
O Adorable Infant By St Alphonsus de Liguori
O Adorable Infant I should not dare to present myself before Thee, did I not know that Thou, Thyself invitest me to approach Thee. It is I, by my sins, who made Thee shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem but since Thou art come upon earth. to pardon penitent sinners, vouchsafe to pardon me. I sincerely repent of having despised Thee, my Lord and my God, Who art so good and hast loved me so much. Thy grace that I ask, is that I may love Thee henceforth, with all my heart. Inflame my soul entirely with Thy Holy Love. I love Thee, O my God, Who hast become an Infant for me. Grant that I may never cease to love Thee O Mary, my Mother! thou art all-powerful by yhy prayers; I ask but one favour of Thee, namely, that Thou wilt pray to Jesus for me. Amen.