Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave
“Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze. Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth. A new life is about to emerge but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control. Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.
Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told. Meditate upon their faces, as Burnand intended you to do and through them, discover the empty tomb.” (Elisabeth Ehrhard-Crises Magazine).
Oh Teach Me then, Dear Saint! An Invocation of St John, Apostle and Evangelist Unknown Author
Saint of the Sacred Heart, Sweet teacher of the Word, Partner of Mary’s woes And favourite of thy Lord!
Refrain Oh teach me then, dear Saint! The Secrets Christ taught thee; The Beatings of His Heart, And how it beat for me!
We know not all thy gifts But this Christ bids us see, That He Who so loved all, Found more to love in thee. Refrain
When the last evening came, Thy head was on His breast, Pillowed on earth, where now In Heaven the Saints find rest. Refrain
Dear Saint! I stand far off, With vilest sins opprest, Oh may I dare, like thee, To lean upon His Breast? Refrain
His Touch could heal the sick, His Voice could raise the dead, Oh that my soul might be Where He allows thy head. Refrain
The gifts He gave to thee He gave thee to impart And I, too, claim with thee His Mother and His Heart! Refrain
Quote/s of the Day – 2 May – “Mary’s Month” – and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“If we follow Christ closely we shall be allowed, even on this earth, to stand, as it were, on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem and enjoy the contemplation, pf that everlasting feast, like the blessed Apostles, who, in following the Saviour as their leader, showed and still show, the way to obtain the same gift from God. They said – See, we have left all things and followed You. We too follow the Lord and we keep His feast by deeds rather than by words.”
“He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is Himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us.”
“Mary, Mother of Grace, 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.”
One Minute Reflection – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, myself. Touch me and see” – Luke 24:39
REFLECTION – “How was the Lord’s body, which could come in to the disciples through closed doors after the Resurrection, a real one? We must be certain that if a divine work is understood by reason it is not wonderful, nor does our faith have any merit, when human reason provides a proof. We have to consider these works of our Redeemer, which can in no way be understood of themselves, in the light of other works of His, so that His more miraculous deeds, may provoke faith in the miraculous. For the Lord’s Body, which made its entrance to the disciples through closed doors, was the same as that, which issued before the eyes of men from the Virgin’s closed womb at his birth. Is it surprising if He who was now going to live forever, made His entrance through closed doors after His Resurrection, Who on His coming in order to die, made His appearance from the unopened womb of the Virgin?
But because the faith of those who beheld it, wavered concerning the Body they could see, He showed them at once, His Hands and His Side, offering them the Body which He brought in through the closed doors to touch. … Now, it cannot be otherwise then, that what is touched is corruptible and what is not corruptible cannot be touched. But, in a wonderful and incomprehensible way, our Redeemer, after His Resurrection, manifested a Body that was incorruptible and touchable. By showing us that it is incorruptible, He would urge us on toward our reward, and by offering it as touchable, He would dispose us towards faith, He manifested Himself as both incorruptible and touchable to truly show us, that His Body after His Resurrection, was of the same nature as ours but of a different sort of glory. Alleluia!” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Gospels, no.26
PRAYER – Lord God, grant Your people constant joy in the renewed vigour of their souls. They rejoice because You have restored them to the glory of Your adopted children, let them look forward gladly to the certain hope of the resurrection. May the prayers of our Blessed Mother, be our succour amidst the storms of this mortal life. We make our prayer through our Resurrected Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen, alleluia!
Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19 13 The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. 15 But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses 17 And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19 Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.
First John 2: 1-5a 1 My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He who saith that he knoweth him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5 But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected.
Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48 35 And they told what things were done in the way and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread. 36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them and saith to them: Peace be to you. it is I, fear not. 37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; touch and se -: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they yet believed not and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them: Thus it is written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: 47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish and a honeycomb. 43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them.
Our Morning Offering – 13 April – Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
He is Risen, Tell the Story By Father Willard F Janusch (1930-2018)
He is risen, tell the story to the nations of the night; from their sin and from their blindness, let them walk in Easter light. Now begins a new creation, now has come our true salvation. Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Mary goes to tell the others of the wonders she has seen; John and Peter come a’running what can all this truly mean? O Rabboni, Master holy, to appear to one so lowly! Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
He has cut down death and evil, He has conquered all despair; He has lifted from our shoulders, all the weight of anxious care. Risen Brother, now before you, we will worship and adore You. Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Now get busy, bring the message, so that all may come to know there is hope for saint and sinner, for our God has loved us so. Ev’ry church bell is a’ringing, ev’ry Christian now is singing. Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
A Parish Priest, Seminary Professor and prolific Musician and Hymnist, Fr Willard wa Ordained in 1956 and died at the age of 88 in 2018.
Quote/s of the Day – – 12 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 23-31, Psalm: Psalms 2: 1-3, 4-7a, 7b-9, Gospel: John 3: 1-8
“Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old, be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”
“We are a compound of both body and soul. The one part is visible, the other invisible. In the same way, our cleansing also is twofold, that is, by water and the Spirit. The one is received visibly in the body, the other concurs with it invisibly and apart from the body. The one that comes to the aid of our first birth makes us new, instead of old and like God, instead of what we now are. It recasts us, without fire and creates us anew, without breaking us up. For the virtue of Baptism, is to be understood, as a covenant with God for a second life and a purer conversation.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice, make me clothe myself with You, so that I may be able to live according to Your will. Make me, under Your guidance, preserve my robe of baptismal innocence, white, holy and spotless and present it undefiled, before Your tribunal, so that I may wear it, for eternal life.”
Our Morning Offering – 12 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter
Jesu, be You my Life! Msgr Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) Supernumerary Private Chamberlain to St PopePius X
I cannot live alone another hour, Jesu, be You my Life! I have not power to strive, be You my Power in every strife! I can do nothing – hope, nor love, nor fear. But only fail and fall. Be You my soul and self, O Jesu dear. My God and all! Amen
Thought for the Day – 19 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Mercy of God
“God is the Being, Who is infinitely true, beautiful and good. His goodness is manifested in His infinite love for all the creatures which He has made but, it is in His relations with sinners, in particular, that we call Him merciful. He loves all things which He has created and directs them towards Himself, their beginning and their end. When He is dealing, however, with beings endowed with free will, who can separate themselves from Him and even offend Him, He tries, while respecting the liberty which He has given them, to recall them to Himself, by the influence of His love and of His grace. It is this supernatural outpouring of love towards sinners, which we call mercy.
The mercy of God shines forth in all the pages of Sacred Scripture. In the Old Testament, there is promised and foreshadowed, in many ways, the coming of the Saviour of the sinful human race. In the New Testament, Jesus appears, made man for our salvation, meek and humble of heart and merciful towards the unfortunate, especially towards sinners. For them, He offers His life and His Precious Blood, dying on the Cross with His arms outstretched, as if in an embrace of forgiveness. He tells us that He has not come to call the just but sinners, (Lk 5:32) and, that He has not come to those who are in health but to those who are sick (Mk 2:17); He assures us that, if we ask the Father for anything in His name, it will be given to us (Jn 16:23). So much goodness should move and soften our hearts. Even if we are unfaithful servants and are covered with the leprosy of sin, let us go to Him and He will heal us. Even if we have deserved Hell a thousand times, let us shed tears of repentance at His feet as Magdalen did and, He will give us His forgiveness and His peace.”
One Minute Reflection – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“… Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands and bring your hand and put it into my side and do not be unbelieving but believe.” – John 20:27
REFLECTION – “After the resurrection, we shall have the same members that we now use, the same flesh and blood and bones, for it is not the nature of these, that is condemned in Holy Scripture but, their works. The true confession of the resurrection declares that the flesh will be glorious but without destroying its reality. And so, when the Apostle says, “This [flesh] is corruptible and mortal,” his words denote this very body, in other words, the flesh that was then seen. But when he further adds, that it “puts on incorruption and immortality,” he is not saying that what was put on [i.e., the clothing] does away with the body that it adorns in glory. Rather, it makes that body glorious that previously lacked glory. When the more worthless robe of mortality and weakness is laid aside, then we can be clothed with the gold of immortality and the blessedness of strength as well as virtue.” – St Jerome (343-420) Father and One of the original four Doctors of the Church- Against John of Jerusalem
PRAYER – God of eternal compassion, each Easter, You rekindle the faith of Your consecated people. Grant still greater grace, so that all may truly understand, the water in which they were cleansed, the Spirit by which they were reborn, the Blood by which they were redeemed. May Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of the Risen Jesus Christ, be always with us. Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
First Reading: Acts 4: 32-35 32 And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. 33 And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them 34 For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them and brought the price of the things they sold 35 And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.
Second Reading: First John 5: 1-6 1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him. 2 In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy. 4 For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which
Gospel: John 20: 19-31 19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples, therefore, said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut and stood in the midst and said: Peace be to you. 27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing. 28 Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord, and my God. 29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed. 30 Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing, you may have life in his name.
Our Morning Offering – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter
The Regina Coeli
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For He whom thou did merit to bear, alleluia. Has risen, as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Remember to exchange your Angelus prayer for the Regina Coeli as from Easter Sunday for the next 50 days of Eastertide. According to Catholic tradition, St Gregory the Great (540-604) heard angels chanting the first three lines one Easter morning in Rome, while following barefoot in a great religious procession of the icon of the Virgin painted by St Luke the Evangelist. He was thereupon inspired to add the fourth line.
Quote/s of the Day – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15
“Preach the gospel to every creature”
“I send you a very little word, THE WORD, made little in the crib, THE WORD, made flesh for us …. THE WORD, of salvation and grace THE WORD, of sweetness and glory THE WORD Who is good and gentle – JESUS CHRIST!”
“There are two ways of keeping God’s word, namely, one, whereby we store in our memory what we hear and the other, whereby we put into practice, what we have heard (and none will deny that the latter is more commendable, inasmuch, as it is better to sow grain, than to store it in the barn).”
One Minute Reflection – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15 *First Reading and Gospel in full below
“Preach the gospel to every creature” – Mark 16:15
REFLECTION – “You have heard what the Lord said to His disciples after the Resurrection. He sent them out to preach the Gospel and they did so. Listen: “Through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world, their message” (Ps 18,5). Step by step, the Gospel has reached even to us and the ends of the earth. In a few words the Lord, addressing Himself to His disciples, set out what we are to do and what we have to hope for. Just as you have heard, He said: “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved.” He asks for our faith and offers us salvation. What He offers us, is so precious, that what He asks of us, is as nothing.
“The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings, O my God… from your delightful stream You give them to drink, for with you is the fountain of life” (Ps 35,8f.). Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Life. Before the Gountain of Life came to us, we had only a human salvation, like that of the beasts of which the psalm speaks: “Man and beast you save, O Lord” (Ps 35,7). But now, the Fountain of Life has come even to us, the Fountain of Life died for our sakes. Will He refuse us His life Who, for our sakes, gave His death? He is salvation and this salvation is not worthless, like the other one. Why? Because it does not pass away. The Lord has come. He died, but He killed death. In Himself, He brought an end to death. He assumed it and He killed it. Where is death now, then? Look for it in Christ and it is no longer there. It used to be there but there it died. O life, death of death! Take heart, it will also die in us. What was fulfilled in the Head, will also be fulfilled in the members and death will die in us, too.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 233
PRAYER – Lord our God, You increase and multiply Your faithful by Your abundant gift of grace. Look now on Your chosen people and clothe them forever in the garment of eternal life. May we, in confident love of You, go forth and live our lives in witness and speaking with joy of the ways of truth. Grant that the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the Saints and Angels, may accompany us on our journey. Through our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 4: 13-21 13 Now seeing the constancy of Peter and of John, understanding that they were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered and they knew them that they had been with Jesus. 14 Seeing the man also who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But they commanded them to go aside out of the council; and they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying: What shall we do to these men? for indeed a known miracle hath been done by them, to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: it is manifest and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it may be no farther spread among the people, let us threaten them that they speak no more in this name to any man. 18 And calling them, they charged them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answering, said to them: If it be just in the sight of God, to hear you rather than God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 But they threatening, sent them away, not finding how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified what had been done, in that which had come to pass.
Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15 9 But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 She went and told them that had been with him, who were mourning and weeping. 11 And they hearing that he was alive and had been seen by her, did not believe. 12 And after that he appeared in another shape to two of them walking, as they were going into the country. 13 And they going, told it to the rest: neither did they believe them. 14 At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart because they did not believe them, who had seen him after he was risen again. 15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature.
One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Easter Friday, Readings: Acts 4:1-12, Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27, John 21:1-14
“It is the Lord!” – John 21:7
REFLECTION – “All creatures that exist, are in the hands of God. The action of the creature can only be perceived by the senses,but faith sees, in all things, the action of the Creator. It believes that in Jesus Christ all things live and, that His divine operation, continues to the end of time, embracing the passing moment and the smallest created atom, in its hidden life and mysterious action. The action of the creature is a veil, which covers the profound mysteries of the divine operation.
After the Resurrection, Jesus Christ took His disciples by surprise in His various apparitions. He showed Himself to them, under various disguises and, in the act of making Himself known to them, disappeared. This same Jesus, ever living, ever working, still takes by surprise, those souls whose faith is weak and wavering. There is not a moment, in which, God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals, His divine action. It is really and truly there present but, invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognise His operation until it has ceased.
If we could lift the veil and if we were attentive and watchful, God would continually reveal Himself to us and we should see His divine action, in everything that happened to us and rejoice in it. At each successive occurrence, we should exclaim: “It is the Lord” and we should accept every fresh circumstance, as a gift of God. We should look upon creatures as feeble tools in the hands of an able workman and should discover, easily, that nothing was wanting to us and, that the constant providence of God, disposed Him to bestow upon us, at every moment, whatever we required! ”- Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) Jesuit – Abandonment to divine Providence (ed. J. Ramière, SJ)
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind in the mystery of Easter. Cleanse our hearts by Your truth and guide our lives by Your holiness, may we do what is right and pleasing to You. Open our eyes to see You and our ears to Hear You, that we may follow your commandments and Your Way. Grant that what we celebrate in worship, we may carry out in our lives. May our Holy Mother, ever keep us in her prayers and care. Through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour to You, forever, amen
Acts 4: 1-12 1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests, and the officer of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead: 3 And they laid hands upon them, and put them in hold till the next day; for it was now evening. 4 But many of them who had heard the word, believed; and the number of the men was made five thousand. 5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their princes, and ancients, and scribes, were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. 7 And setting them in the midst, they asked: By what power, or by what name, have you done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: Ye princes of the people, and ancients, hear: 9 If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole: 10 Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.
Gospel: John 21: 1-14 1 After this, Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And he shewed himself after this manner. 2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, who is called Didymus, and Nathanael, who was of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter saith to them: I go a fishing. They say to him: We also come with thee. And they went forth, and entered into the ship: and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus therefore said to them: Children, have you any meat? They answered him: No. 6 He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes. 7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, (for he was naked,) and cast himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the ship, (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9 As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus saith to them: Come, and dine. And none of them who were at meat, durst ask him: Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 And Jesus cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish in like manner. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead.
Thought for the Day – 8 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Easter: The Herald of Peace
“For this interior peace to be complete, it is necessary that it should exist in our relations with God, with ourselves and with our neighbour. Peace with God, is especially necessary. This involves the subjection of the intellect and will, to Him, perfect obedience to His law, the avoidance of sin and the entire surrender of ourselves to Him. When we have prepared ourselves in this way, God will visit us with His grace and we shall experience the joy of inward peace.
Jesus came into the world to bring us this peace, which He provides for us with His Precious Blood, thereby, erasing sin and opening the gates of Heaven. So much the worse for us, if we destroy the work of God by turning back to sin. We shall no longer be at peace with God, Who hates sin so much, that in order to redeem us from it, He gave us His only-begotten Son, nor with ourselves because “there is not peace to the wicked” (Is 48:22). Remorse and disgust are the necessary results of sin.
Let us remember, that those who are really content, even in this world, are those who lead good lives. Whoever extinguishes divine grace in himself, destroys the harmony and order which reigned in his soul as a result of the subjection of his reason to his Creator and Redeemer. Then, because we are not at peace with God, nor with ourselves, we cannot really be at peace with men. It is our faith which teaches us, that they are our brothers, redeemed, as we have been, by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ and that, therefore, we should always love and assist them.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 April – Easter Thursday, Readings: First: Acts 3: 11-26 Psalm: Psalms 8: 2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9, Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, fear not.”
“After His Resurrection, the Lord appeared to His disciples and greeted them, saying: “Peace be with you!” Peace is what this saving salutation truly is, since the word “salutation” derives from the word for “salvation.” What more could one hope for? Man receives greetings of salvation in person, for our salvation is Christ!”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labours.”
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Easter Thursday, Readings: First: Acts 3: 11-26 Psalm: Psalms 8: 2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9, Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“Touch me and see.” – Luke 24:39
REFLECTION –“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” I think there are four reasons why our Lord showed His side, hands and feet to the Apostles. First of all, to prove He was truly risen and remove from us, any cause for doubt. Secondly, so that the “dove” – that is to say, the Church or the faithful soul – might make its nest in those wounds as in “the crevice of the rock” (Sg 2:14) and find refuge there, from the eye of the bird of prey. Thirdly, to imprint as an emblem, the marks of the Passion in our hearts. And in the fourth place ,as a warning, asking us to show Him pity and not pierce Him anew, with the nails of our sins.
He shows us His hands and His feet: “Behold,” He says, “the hands that have fashioned you (cf. 119:73); see how the nails have pierced them. Behold My heart – the heart where you My faithful, you my Church, were born as Eve was born from Adam’s side: see how the lance has opened it, so that the door of Paradise, held shut by the fiery Cherubim, might be opened to you. The blood that flowed from My side has driven aside that angel and blunted his sword, the water has extinguished the fire (cf Jn 19:34) … Listen carefully, take these words to yourself and peace will be with you.” – St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church, Franciscan
PRAYER – Lord God, let there be one faith in our hearts, one love for You, one Way in You, for You are the One Truth and the only Way. We linger in Your light and beg Your unending kindness. Grant that by the prayers of Your Saints we may obtain Your strength and may Your Mother and ours, walk by our side and hold fast to our hand. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
Epistle: Acts 3: 11-26 11 And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran to them to the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. 12 But Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power we had made this man to walk? 13 The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. 15 But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16 And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened; and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all. 17 And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19 Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. 20 That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ, 21 Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world. 22 For Moses said: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him you shall hear according to all things whatsoever he shall speak to you. 23 And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and afterwards, who have spoken, have told of these days. 25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the testament which God made to our fathers, saying to Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26 To you first God, raising up his Son, hath sent him to bless you; that every one may convert himself from his wickedness.
Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48 35 And they told what things were done in the way and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread. 36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. 37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; touch and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they yet believed not and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish,and a honeycomb. 43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them. 44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them: Thus it is written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, the third day: 47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.
O Lamb of God By St Irenaeus (c 130 – c 202) Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church
O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, look upon us and have mercy upon us, You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest, Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer, keep safe from all evil those whom You have redeemed, O Saviour of the world. Amen
Thought for the Day – 7 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Meaning of Easter, Part Two
“In the course of this battle for our spiritual resurrection, it is necessary for us to grow continually in Jesus. When we make a good Confession t Easter, He favours us anew, by means of His grace. When we receive Holy Communion, He comes to us and is renally present in our souls. But, in what way is He present? Sometimes, He is silent and hidden. He may seem to be asleep, as He slept n the Apostles’ boat o the ea of Galilee, when the waves were raging violently all around them. Often, we have Jesus within us but do not listen to His Voice. He does not live actively in us; He does not speak to us. Why is this? It is because, we are distracted and indifferent, absorbed in the petty affairs of this world. We must be fervent! It is necessary to LISTEN for His Voice, to be united to Him and, above all, to LOVE Him. Then, our actions will not be our own but, HIS. He will grow in us by His grace and we shall act in Jesus, with Jesus and for Jesus. Then, Jesus will be everything to us and we shall be able to say with St Paul, “It is now, no longer I that live but, Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Does this goal seem too difficult to attain? Does it seem that it is not meant for us? Such a doubt is an insult to Our Lord, Who, has told us to be perfect, as His heavenly Father is perfect. (Cf Mt 5:48). It is enough, however, that we should earnestly desire to reach this goal and should try, with the help of God’s grace, to come gradually nearer to it everyday. THIS is the resurrection which should take place in us this Easter!”
One Minute Reflection – 7 April – Easter Wednesday, Readings: First: Acts 3: 1-10, Psalm: Psalms 105: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9, Gospel: Luke 24: 13-35
“And they said one to the other: ‘Was not our hearts burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way and opened to us the scriptures?’” – Luke 24:32
REFLECTION – “What is the innermost reason of this fruitfulness of God’s Word? It is that Christ is ever living: He is ever the God who saves and quickens. … All proportion guarded, that which is true of the person of Jesus is true also of His Word and, what was true yesterday, is still true in our days. Christ lives in the soul of the just, under the infallible direction of this inner master, the soul … penetrates into the divine light, Christ gives it His Spirit, the first author of Holy Writ, that it may there “search into the very depths of the infinite” (cf. 1 Cor 2:10). It contemplates God’s marvels with respect to men; it measures, by faith, the divine proportions of the mystery of Jesus and this wonderful spectacle, whereof the splendours enlighten and illuminate it, touches, draws, enraptures, uplifts, transports and transforms the soul. It experiences in its turn, what the disciples of Emmaus felt when Christ Jesus Himself vouchsafed to interpret to them the sacred books: “Was not our heart burning within us whilst he spoke in the way and opened to us the Scriptures.”
What is there astonishing, then, in the fact, that the soul, charmed and won by this living Word, “which penetrates even to the marrow” (Heb 4:12) makes the prayer of these disciples its own – “Stay with us! O Thou the incomparable Master, indefectible Light, infallible Truth, the only true Life of our souls!” Forestalling these holy desires “the Holy Spirit Himself prays for us with unspeakable groanings” which constitute true prayer, these vehement desires to possess God, to live no longer save for the Father’s glory and for that of His Son Jesus. Love becomes great and burning by contact with God, takes possession of all the powers of the soul, renders it strong and generous, to do perfectly, all the Father’s will, to give itself up ,wholly to the divine good pleasure.” – Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – Monastic prayer (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk)
PRAYER – God our Father, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection. Let the word of the Word, our Resurrected Saviour, lead us to our eternal joy. May the intercession of all your Angels, Saints and the Blessed Mother of the Risen Christ, bring us safely home. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for all eternity, amen.
Epistle: Acts 3: 1-10 1 Now Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. 2 And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb, was carried: whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple. 3 He, when he had seen Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. 4 But Peter with John fastening his eyes upon him, said: Look upon us. 5 But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them. 6 But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk. 7 And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. 8 And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and went in with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.
Gospel: Luke 24: 13-35 13 And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. 16 But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. 17 And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? 19 To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; 20 And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre, 23 And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive. 24 And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not. 25 Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken. 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him. 28 And they drew nigh to the town, whither they were going and he made as though he would go farther. 29 But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. 30 And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? 33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them, 34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.
Thought for the Day – 6 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Meaning of Easter
“Today the Church adorns herself in festival array. Gone are the lengthy lamentations of Holy Saturday and the sorrowful recitations of the Passion and in their place, is the glad cry of Alleluia, the hymn of vitory over death and sin. The true joy of Easter, lies, not merely in external celebration, however but in the spiritual gladness of the soul. As Jesus has conquered death and sin, so we must purify ourselves of every trace of guilt by a good confession and must be sure, that it will result in a practical renovation of our lives. We should approach Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist with greater fervour and humility and with greater trust in His goodness and mercy. When we have received Him into our hearts, we should ask Him to renew and transform us in Himself. He is everything and we are nothing without Him. He is strong, we are weak. We are capable only of feeble desires to do good but He can make them effective by His grace. We should not be satisfied with forming general resolutions when we go to confession and receive Holy Communion at Easter. We should examine the depths of our soul and discover the sin which we are most accustomed to commit and the virtue which we are principally lacking. As a result of our investigation, we should form a particular resolution to combat this sin and to practise this virtue. It is only in this way, that our celebration of Easter can inaugurate the beginning of a genuine self-renewal which will gain momentum daily, until it becomes a true spiritual resurrection. It will be a hard battle, which will necessitate a constant vigilance and a readiness to begin again, everytime we realise, that we have fallen. It will require an unfailing spirit of prayer but, the final victory, will bring us such happiness, that worldly pleasures will seem empty and illusory, by comparison.”
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!!! For with thee is the fountain of life and in thy light, we shall see light.
“Now let the heavens be joyful, Let earth her song begin. Let the world keep triumph, And all that is therein, Invisible and visible, Their notes let all things blend, For Christ the Lord is risen Our joy that hath no end!”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Church
A Song of Praise St John Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) (Instructions and Prayers Ch 17. 81-82)
My tongue is untied in praise of my God. because His mercy for mankind has no limits and He is loving with all his creatures across the centuries. I unite my voice with that of the angels and saints to sing the glory of God in heaven and His peace on earth. Through Christ in whom You, Father, are pleased, with Christ and in Christ may every praise, power, honour and glory be given to You throughout the ages. Alleluia! SO BE IT
Thought for the Day – 5 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Even as Jesus rose from the dead, so we shall rise again. This is a Dogma of ou faith. “I believe … in the resurrection of the body.” When Job was seated on his dunghill, his body rotting with leprosy, deserted by everybody, scorned by his wife and reproved by his friends, he found comfort in this great truth. “I know that my Vindicator lives and that he will at last, stand forth on the dust where I myself shall see and, not another – and from my flesh, I shall see God – my inmost being is consumed with longing” (Job 19:25-27). St Paul describes this resurrection. In the twinkling of an eye, he says, at the sound of the trumpet of the Eternal Judge, our bodies will reformed and will have life again. We shall all rise but not all in the same manner. The body, which was the companion of the soul during our mortal life, will once again be its companion and share with it, either the eternal glory of Heaven, or the everlasting pains of Hell (Cf 1 Cor 15). We shall live forever like Jesus. “I believe in life everlasting,” in everlasting happiness, in Heaven or in eternal damnation in Hell. This great truth is a warning to us. If we remember it all our lives, we shall not steer our course towards evil and towards Hell but, towards goodness and towards Heaven, where one day, we shall come to rest in a land of lasting happiness.
Our life should be a continual resurrection, a continual ascent towards perfection, which will raise us from sin, to the state of grace, from the state of grace, to fervour and from fervour to sanctity.”
Quote/s of the Day – 5 April – Easter Monday -the Second day of the Octave
“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit… he who does not obey the Son, shall not see life.”
“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrises.”
St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) Father of the Church
“He will be with you also, all the way, that faithful God. Every morning when you awaken to the old and tolerable pain, at every mile of the hot uphill dusty road of tiring duty, on, to the judgement seat, the same Christ there as ever, still loving you, still sufficient for you, even then. And then, on through all eternity.”
One Minute Reflection – 5 April – Easter Monday, Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11, Matthew 28:8-15
Then Jesus said to them: “Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me.” – Matthew 28:10
REFLECTION – “The Gospel pictures the disciples’ joyful race: “They both ran but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first” (Jn 20:4). Which of us would not likewise want to look for Christ, sitting at the right hand of the Father? And which of us, when they joyfully call to mind those Apostles’ eager race, would not try to run in spirit so as to find Him at the end of their search? To encourage us in this desire, we should all eagerly repeat this verse of the Song of Songs: “Draw me after you; we will run in the fragrance of your perfume” (3:4 LXX). To run in the fragrance of perfume, means, to keep going without stopping towards our Creator, using the footsteps of our spirit and strengthened by the holy fragrance of the virtues.
This was exactly what the praiseworthy race of those holy women was like, who, according to the gospels, had followed the Lord from Galilee and stayed faithful to Him at the time of His Passion, whereas the disciples had run away (Mt 27:55). They had run in the fragrance of perfume in their spirit – and even according to the letter – since they had bought spices with which to anoint the Lord’s body, as Mark testifies (16:1).
Brethren, following the example given by the hasty attentions of the disciples – both men and women – beside their Master’s tomb … let us proclaim, after our own fashion, the joys of the Lord’s Resurrection. It would be really sad if our tongues of flesh were to stifle the praises due to our Creator on this day, when His flesh was raised. This wonderful Resurrection prompts us to proclaim the greatness of so great a joy’s Author and, to make known abroad, the victory carried against our ancient enemy … Death is evicted today together with death’s maker; today, through Christ, life is restored to humankind. Today are broken the devil’s chains – on this day, the freedom of the Lord is granted to Christians. ” – St Odilo of Cluny (961-1048) Monk – 2nd Sermon for the Resurrection of the Lord; PL 142, 1005
PRAYER – Lord God, You bring us joy through the Easter mysteries. Continue to be bountiful to Your people, lead us from darkness to the perfect freedom, by which the joy that gladdens our way on earth, will be fulfilled in heaven. May the prayer of your angels and saints, with Mary the Mother of our Saviour and our Mother, grant us peace and strength. We make our prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever amen.
A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all! Alleluia! Christós anésti! Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen
[Easter is the Anglo- Saxon word for April, and was derived, as Venerable Bede tells us, (in his book De temporum ratione c. 13,) from Easter, a goddess of our pagan ancestors. Others derive Easter from Oest, Oost the Saxon for rising, or the east: and hence, Osteren, the Resurrection. Tr. from Butler’s Moveable Feasts.]
THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE; LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE THEREIN!
The night between Saturday and Sunday has well nigh run its course and the day-dawn is appearing. The Mother of sorrows is waiting, in courageous hope and patience, for the blissful moment of her Jesus’ return.
… But Jesus is not to tarry in the gloomy sepulchre. Quicker than a ray of light through a crystal, He passes through the stone that closes the entrance of the cave. Pilate had ordered his seal to be put upon this stone and a guard of soldiers is there, to see that no-one touches it. Untouched it is and unmoved and yet, Jesus is free!
Thus, as the holy Fathers unanimously teach us, was it at His birth: -He appeared to the gaze of Mary, without having offered the slightest violence to her maternal womb. The birth and the resurrection, the commencement and the end of Jesus’ mission, these two mysteries bear on them, the seal of resemblance – in the first, it is a Virgin Mother; in the last, it is a sealed tomb giving forth its captive God.
And while this Jesus, this Man-God, thus breaks the sceptre of death, the stillness of the night is undisturbed. His and our victory has cost Him no effort. 0 death! where is now thy kingdom? Sin had made us thy slaves; thy victory was complete and now, lo! thou thyself art defeated! Jesus, whom thou didst exultingly hold under thy law, ( 1 Apec. 1, 5. 2 I. Cor xv, 26. ‘Ibid. 56) has set Himself free and we, after thou hast domineered over us for a time, we too shall be free from thy grasp. The tomb thou makest for us, will become to us the source of a new life, for He that now conquers thee is ‘the First-born among the dead ~ and to-day is the Pasch, the Passover, the deliverance, for Jesus and for us, His brethren.
He has led the way, we shall follow and the day will come, when thou, the enemy, that destroys all things, shalt thyself be destroyed by immortality. Thy defeat dates from this moment of Jesus’ Resurrection,and, with the great Apostle, we say to thee:
‘O death! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?‘
Servant of God Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875) Abbot of Solesmes
Our Morning Offering – 4 April – Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of the Lord
Your Loving Kindness An Easter Prayer By St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Church Father and Doctor
It is only right, with all the powers of our heart and mind, to praise You Father and Your Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension of loving kindness toward us, Your servants, You gave up Your Son. Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam for us to the Eternal Father, by Your Blood poured forth in loving kindness. You cleared away the darkness of sin by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection. You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a Conqueror. You reconciled Heaven and earth. Our life had no hope of eternal happiness before You redeemed us. Your Resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence and brought us joy. How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love! We pray You, Lord, to preserve Your servants in the peaceful enjoyment of this Easter happiness. We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with God, the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever Amen
EASTER SUNDAY +2021 The Resurrection of the Lord – Solemnity of Solemnities! __ Notre-Dame de Grace, Honfleur, Normandie / Our Lady of Grace, Normandy, France – 4 April:
Our Lady of Grace is one of the most ancient maritime Chapels of Normandy. This Sanctuary was built in consequence of a vow made by a Norman Duke, who was very devout to the Blessed Virgin. That Duke, Robert the Magnificent, was once caught in a terrible storm off the coast of Normandy and knew, that a shipwreck would surely cost him his life. He swore, in the midst of that tempest, that was even then overwhelming him, that if he could somehow survive, he would build a Shrine on the hill, which he could still see, through the rain and surf from his sinking ship ,in thanksgiving to God for his rescue. Robert was saved and so his harrowing experience ended, not in tragedy but instead, the duke kept his promise, which gave birth to a monument that millions of pilgrims STILL visit each year. The original Chapel he constructed was finished early in the 11th century, at a height 90 meters above sea level. That Chapel stood through the centuries until it was swept away by landslide in the 16th century. The present Chapel, the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Grace, replaces the original.
The site of this handsome Chapel of Our Lady of Grace, surrounded by large trees, in the midst of turf replete with flowers, is beautiful and calm, like the rich and fresh landscapes of the magnificent province of which it forms a part. Our Lady of Grace appears like the fortress of Honfleur; from the little mountain which it crowns, the mouth of the Seine is visible, and farther on, the ocean, with its long waves of dark green, which receives in its bosom, the river of blue waters. Two roads lead to the Chapel – the one rough and rocky, the other smooth and even. In other times the inhabitants of Honfleur took delight in pointing out Our Lady of Grace, in reducing its steepness, in covering it with small, fine sand, so that a gracious princess, who had made herself beloved in these parts by her generous bounty, might be able to ascend it without fatigue, when she went to offer her prayers and vows to the Blessed Virgin.
“By nothing else except the CROSS of our Lord Jesus Christ has death been brought low. The sin of our first parent destroyed, hell plundered, resurrection bestowed, the power given us to despise the things of this world, even death itself, the road back to the former blessedness made smooth, the gates of paradise opened, our nature seated at the right hand of God and we made children and heirs of God. By the CROSS, all these things have been set aright… It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us, a raising up of those who lie fallen, a support for those who stand, a staff for the infirm, a crook for the shepherded, a guide for the wandering, a perfecting of the advanced, salvation for soul and body, a deflector, of all evils, a cause of all goods, a destruction of sin, a plant of resurrection and a tree of eternal life!”
One Minute Reflection – 3 April – Holy Saturday, The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night, Readings: First Reading: Genesis 1: 1 – 2: 2 or 1: 1, 26-31a, Psalm: Psalms 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35 Second Reading: Genesis 22: 1-18 or 22: 1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18, Gospel: Mark 16: 1-7
“But go, tell his disciples and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see him, as he told you” – Mark 1:7
REFLECTION – “Solomon says, there is a time for joy and a time for grief. Grief has departed, the time for joy has come, that true joy which proceeds from Christ’s Resurrection. … For you, the Victor rose from hell; He wore down the gates of brass and broke the bars of iron. He occupied hell’s fortresses and crushed the dragon’s head. He inflicted great slaughter upon His enemies and bound the prince of hell. He slew death and cast into chains, the author of death. … Then He brought back His own, from the darkness and broke their chains. He united with Himself, the souls of all the just, walking in the light of His Countenance and rejoicing in His Name. Raised high by His justice, were they, who were brought low, through injustice. For him: “I am alone until I pass over.” (cf. Ps 140:10) Alone when He entered but by no means alone, as He went forth, for He brought back with Him, countless thousands of the saints. He fell to the earth and died, that He might bear much fruit. (Jn 12:24) He laid Himself down at seed time, that He might, at the harvest, gather the human race. … For at the baptismal font, dead to the sins within ourselves, we are born again to Christ through the cleansing of regeneration, that we may live to Him, Who died for all. So the Apostle Paul says: “As many of you as were baptised in ChristM have put on the person of Christ.” (Gal 3:27) Therefore, from one grain come many harvests. … Of Him also the Apostle says: “Therefore, God has exalted him and given him a name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, things on earth and of things under the earth.” (Phil 2:9-10) In truth, the knee of those in hell, bend before him in dread, the knee of those on earth, through self-interest, of those in heaven, through their blessedness.” – Saint Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk, then Bishop – Homily VI on the Blessed Virgin Mary, SC 72 (Magnificat: Homilies in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, Whose only-begotten Son descended to the realm of the derad and rose from there to glory, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Him in Baptism, may by His Resurrection, obtain eternal life. Lumen Christi …. Deo Gratias! Amen