Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – I have chosen you

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23

Well done, good and faithful servant …
Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Matthew 25:23

I have chosen you
and have appointed you,
that you should go
and should bring forth fruit
and your fruit should remain,
says the Lord.

John 15:16

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,
of 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.

St Athanasius (297-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Rejoice and be happy!
Persevere to the end
and prefer to die
rather than abandon the post,
to which God has called you!

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

All Highest, Glorious God

All highest, glorious God,
cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts,
give us true faith, firm hope,
perfect charity and profound humility,
so that with wisdom,
courage and perception, O Lord,
we may do what is truly Your holy will.
Amen.

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

Posted in "Follow Me", CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on REASON/INTELLECT, QUOTES on TRUTH, The CREED, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – “And himself believed and his whole house.” John 4:53

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.

And himself believed
and his whole house.

John 4:53

Believing is:
an act of the intellect
assenting to the divine truth,
by command of the will,
moved by God through grace.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus.
Doctor Communis

Do you also wish to go away?” He asked.
It was then that Simon Peter
made his memorable reply,
“Lord, to whom shall be go?
Thou hast the words of everlasting life.”
(Jn 6:68-69).
We also may experience, at times,
a sense of uncertainty
concerning the words of Jesus Christ.
There are such tremendous mysteries
in the Christian religion.
But, a religion which contained
no mysteries could scarcely be true.
There are mysteries of nature surrounding us
and within us.
How can we imagine that there are
no mysteries in God, the supreme
and most perfect Being?
Could it be possible
for our petty intellects fully
to comprehend God in Himself
and in His revelation?
Let us bow our heads, therefore,
before the mysteries of the Divinity.
Let us adore God and repeat with St Peter:
We cannot go away from You, O God
because You have the words of everlasting life.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OUR Cross, QUOTES on PATIENCE, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Mary’s Patience

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary’s Patience

“Holy Mary, Mother of Sorrows, obtain for me the spirit of loving patience which made you the Queen of Martyrs.
Help me to carry with resignation the cross which God has given me.
Help me to walk like you in the footsteps of Jesus, until I reach my Calvary, so that I may join Him and you, in the glory of Heaven. Amen,”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/10/thought-for-the-day-10-may-marys-patience/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/10/thought-for-the-day-10-may-marys-patience-2/

Posted in "Follow Me", ArchAngels and Angels, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The ASCENSION of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – “A little while now and you shall not see me” – John 16:16

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – The Third Sunday after Easter – 1 Peter 2:11-19, John 16:16-22 and the Feast of the Apparition of St Michael the Archangel at Monte Gargano, Italy (492)

A little while now and you shall not see me” – John 16:16

REFLECTION – “The Ascension of Christ into Heaven is in accord with reason – firstly, because Heaven was due to Christ by His very nature.   It is natural for someone to return to the place from whence they take their origin.   The beginning of Christ is from God, Who is above all things.   Jesus says to the Apostles (Jn 16:28):  “I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” … The just ascend into Heaven but not in the manner that Christ ascended, namely by His own power, for they are taken up by Christ – “Draw me, we will run after thee.” (Sg 1:3)  Or indeed, we can say, that no-one but Christ has ascended into Heaven because the just do not ascend, except, insofar as they are members of Christ, Who is the Head of the Church. …   Secondly, Heaven is due to Christ because of His Victory.   For He was sent into the world to combat the devil and He did overcome him.   Therefore, Christ deserved to be exalted above all things – “I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on His throne” (Rv 3:21)

Finally, the Ascension was owing to Christ because of His humility.   There never was humility so great as that of Christ Who, although He was God yet wished to become man and although He was the Lord, yet He wished to take the form of a servant and, as Saint Paul says:  “He was obedient even unto death” (Phil 2:7) and descended even into hell. Therefore, He deserved to be exalted even to Heaven, to God’s throne, for humility leads to exaltation.   “For whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14:11) and, “the one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens” (Eph 4:10).” … St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus/Doctor Communis (Commentary on the Apostle’s Creed).

PRAYER – O God, Who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels and men in a wonderful order, mercifully grant, that as Thy holy Angels alway do Thee service in Heaven, so, by Thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

St Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the
wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell, Satan
and all the evil spirits
who prowl throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUTH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – “Without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15,1-7.

Without Me
you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

Whoever does not gather
with me, scatter
s.”

Luke 11:23

We recognise a tree by its fruit
and we ought to be able to recognise
a Christian by his action.
The fruit of faith
should be evident in our lives,
for being a Christian,
is more than making
sound professions of faith.
It should reveal itself
in practical and visible ways.
Indeed, it is better to keep quiet
about our beliefs
and live them out,
than to talk eloquently
about what we believe
but fail, to live by it.

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108)
Father of the Church

… Now is the time in this life of suffering,
when we journey apart from Him.
… So let us fast and pray now
because, we are in the days of childbirth!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

Girded with faith
and the performance of good works,
let us follow in His paths
by the guidance of the Gospel
.”

For at all times, we must so serve Him,
with the good things He has given us,
that he may not, as an angry Father,
disinherit his children,
nor as a dread Lord,
provoked by our evil deeds,
deliver us to everlasting punishment,
as wicked servants,
who refuse to follow Him to glory
.”

St Benedict (c 480-547)

Each one of us has a thirst
for all that is infinite, eternal and perfect.
God alone can satisfy this thirst.
Just as we are created by God,
so we are created for Him.
Just as we came from God,
so we are gradually travelling back towards Him,
for He is the final goal of our earthly journey.
We should meditate on this great truth
which we were first taught in the Catechism,
namely, that we were created
to know, love and serve God
on this earth and to be happy with Him
forever in Heaven.
God alone is the eternal beauty
which will satisfy our hearts.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – “I am the vine, you the branches.” – John 15:5

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – The Memorial of St Stanislas (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15:1-7.

I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself the Vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and, how important it is for us, to remain in His Love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the Vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will, on his part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the Foundation because it is upon Him that we, as living and spiritual stones, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other Foundation than Christ ,can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same Truth, by calling Himself the Vine, since the Vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but, the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment, in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s Presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them, to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Known as “The Pillar of Faith” Archbishop of Alexandria, Father & Doctor of the Church, Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) [Commentary on the Gospel of John].

PRAYER – O God, in defence of Whose honour Stanislaus, the glorious Bishop, died by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech Thee, that all who seek his help may obtain salvation as a result of his prayers. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, OUR Cross, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – ‘ … Thus, in the Cross of Christ, there is death and in the Cross of Christ, there is life. …’

Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – Tthe Feast of St John Before the Latin Gate – Wisdom 5:1-5, Matthew 20:20-23

Can you Drink
the Chalice
which I Shall Drink?”

Matthew 20:22

“If anyone serves me,
he must follow me
and where I am,
there will my servant be also.

John 12:26

He who is immortal, voluntarily shed His Blood.
He who created the Host of Angels,
was bound at the hands of soldiers
and He who is to judge the living and the dead,
was dragged to justice (cf. Acts 10:42; 2 Tm 4:1).
Truth was exposed to false witnesses,
was slandered, struck, covered with spittle,
hung on the Wood of the Cross –
the Lord of Glory (cf. 1 Cor 2:8)
endured every outrage and suffering
without Himself needing these trials. …

So there is nothing surprising about it,
if we submit to even one of these trials,
since such is our condition …
Therefore, we too have to be offended and tempted,
afflicted by the cutting off of our wills.

St Theodore the Studite (759- 826)
Monk at Constantinople, Father
(Catecheses 1)

Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh, but liv­ing in the spirit.
Thu,s in the Cross of Christ, there is death
and in the Cross of Christ, there is life.
The death of death is there and the life of life.
The death of sins is there and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there and the life of the spiri
t.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

God’s love calls us to move beyond fear.
We ask God for the courage
to abandon ourselves unreservedly,
so that we might be moulded
by God’s grace,
even as we cannot see
where that path may lead us.

St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – ‘It is not I who undertook this work …’

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – The Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) Bishop, Confessor, Father & Doctor of the Church – 2 Corinthians 4:5-14, Matthew 10:23-28

What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” … Matthew 10:27

REFLECTION – “It is not I who undertook this work but, it is Christ the Lord Who commanded me to come to be with these Irish pagans for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall Will it and shield me from every evil … But I do not trust myself “as long as I am in this mortal body” (2 Pt 1:13; Rm 7:24) … I did not lead a perfect life like other believers but I confess to my Lord and do not blush in His sight because I am not lying, from the time when I came to know Him in my youth, the love of God and fear of Him increased in me and right up until now, by God’s favour, “I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7).

What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes.   I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding “the signs and wonders” (Dn 6:27) that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, He who knew everything, even before the beginning of time.   Thus, I should give thanks unceasingly to God, who has frequently forgiven my folly and my negligence, in more than one instance and has never been angry with me, who am placed as His helper, though I did not easily assent to what had been revealed to me, as the Spirit was urging. The Lord “took pity” on me “thousands upon thousands” of times, (Ex 20:6) because He saw within me, that I was prepared to serve Him. … Many were trying to prevent this mission, they were talking among themselves behind my back and saying, “Why is this fellow throwing himself into danger among enemies who do not know God?”   Not from malice did they say this, as I myself can testify, they perceived my rusticity.   And I was not quick to recognise the grace that was then in me, I now know, that I should have done so earlier.

Now I have put it frankly to my brothers and co-workers, who have believed me because of what “I have proclaimed and still proclaim” (2 Co 13:2) to strengthen and reinforce your faith.   I wish only, that you too, would make greater and better efforts.   This will be my pride, for “a wise son makes a proud father.” (Pr 10:1)” … St Patrick (c 385-461) (The Confessions,# 43-47)

PRAYER – Hear, we beseech You, O Lord, our prayers which we offer You on the feast of blessed Athanasius, Your Bishop and Confessor and absolve us from all our sins by the merits and prayers of him, who had the grace to serve You worthily. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 30 April – The Three Grades of Perfection – The Third Grade

Thought for the Day – 30 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Three Grades of Perfection – The Third Grade

“The Third Grade of perfection consists in preferring suffering to pleasure, humiliation to honours and the cross, to an easy life.
By these means, we imitate Christ better and show our love for Him.
The way of the cross, is the way of Jesus and is the only path to holiness.
It is easier for those who walk this path to be detached from sin and from the world and to remain close to Jesus.
This is the way which the Saints chose.

In which grade of perfection are we?
Even if we are still far from the peak of the third grade of perfection, we should, nevertheless, work hard to reach it,
It is particularly essential that we should stand firm in the first grade of being faithful to the motto of St Dominic Savio: “Death rather than sin!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/24/thought-for-the-day-24-april-the-three-grades-of-perfection-introduction/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/14/thought-for-the-day-14-february-the-three-grades-of-perfection-one-and-two/

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on STRENGTH, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – ‘Wholly United to Christ’

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7

I am the vine, you the branches;
whoever remains in me and I in him,
the same bears much fruit;
for without Me
you can do nothing
.”

John 15:5

“My sheep hear My Voice;
and I know them
and they follow Me.

John 10:27

He [Christ], protects their faith
and gives strength to believers,
in proportion to the TRUST,
that each man,
who receives that strength,
is willing to place in Him.

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Martyr, Father of the Church

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.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Place all your trust in God,
let Him be your fear and your love.
He will answer for you,
He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home.
You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be
and you shall have no rest,
until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here
when this is not the place of your repose?

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“For the branch,” says St Augustine,
“there can be no half-measures.
Either it remains united with the vine,
or it is thrown into the fire.”
The same holds true for each one of us.
We must choose, either close union with Jesus,
or separation and spiritual death.
We must decide between a life of fervour in Christ,
or a life of tepidity and sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, POETRY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Joined to Christ

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – The Memorial of St Peter Martyr of Verona OP (1205–1252) Martyr, Priest – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7

I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself, the vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and how important it is for us to remain in His love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on His part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ,and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: – He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation because, it is upon Him that we as living and spiritual stone, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ, can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling Himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us – The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.”St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: Commentary on the Gospel of John).

PRAYERSaint Thomas Aquinas in Eulogy for Saint Peter the Martyr
Here silent is Christ’s Herald;
Here quenched, the People’s Light;
Here lies the Martyred Champion
Who fought Faith’s holy fight.

The voice the sheep heard gladly,
The light they loved to see
He fell beneath the weapons
Of graceless Cathari.

The Saviour crowns His Soldier;
His praise the people psalm.
The Faith he kept adorns him
With Martyr’s fadeless palm.

His praise new marvels utter,
New light he spreads abroad
And now the whole wide city
Knows well the path to God.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRIDE

Thought for the Day – 27 April – PRIDE

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

PRIDE

“Do you remember the occasion when the Apostles, their minds filled with ambitious speculation, approached Jesus and asked Him who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
Our Lord called a little child and placed him in the centre of the group.
“Unless you turn and become like little children,” He said, “you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:3).

How different are God’s designs from the desires of men!
His ways are full of simplicity and humility, in a sharp contrast with our pride and ostentation.
Jesus taught us this lesson, not only in His discourses but, also in His life.
He was God and He became man; He was rich and He became poor.
He left His heavenly mansion and came down ro live in a stable in Bethlehem and to the home of a poor carpenter in Nazareth.
For thirty years He performed a tradesman’s job in this obscure village in Galilee.
It was only when He had already spent thirty years teaching us His love of poverty, that He emerged to preach the Gospel in public.
After He had preached and worked miracles for three years, He sank back into the depths of lowliness and was even condemned to die upon the Cross.
This is a tremendous lesson for us.
This is the road which we must travel, if we ae to follow Jesus!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/20/thought-for-the-day-20-april-pride/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/29/thought-for-the-day-29-april-pride/

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Adoration of the Holy Cross – 15 April – Good Friday

Adoration of the Holy Cross – 15 April – Good Friday – The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Faithful Cross!

Faithful Cross! Above All Other
By St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

Faithful Cross! above all other,
one and only noble tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O tree of glory!
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
for awhile the ancient rigour
that thy birth bestowed, suspend
and the King of heavenly beauty
gently on thine arms extend.

Praise and honour to the Father,
praise and honour to the Son,
praise and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One:
One in might and One in glory

while eternal ages run.

The Passion of Our Lord
St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope, Father & Doctor
(Excerpt from a Sermon on the Passion and Cross of Christ)

TRUE REVERENCE for the Lord’s Passion means fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus Crucified and recognising in Him our own humanity.
The earth – our earthly nature – should tremble at the suffering of its Redeemer.
The rocks – the hearts of unbelievers – should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future Resurrection, should appear in the Holy City, the Church of God – what is happening to our bodies should now take place in our hearts.

NO-ONE, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the Cross. No-one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against Him. How much more ,does it bring to those, who turn to Him in repentance.
Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The Sacred Blood of Christ has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place to the true Light.
The Christian people are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn, have the way open before them, to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless indeed, they close off for themselves, the path that could be opened, before the faith of a thief.

THE BUSINESS of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive, with all the love of our heart, to be like our Redeemer and to follow His example. Everything that He did or suffered, was for our salvation – He wanted His body to share the goodness of its Head.

in taking our human nature while remaining God, so that the Word became Man, He left no member of the human race, the unbeliever excepted, without a share in His mercy. Who does not share a common nature with Christ, if He has welcomed Christ, Who took our nature, and is reborn in the Spirit, through Whom Christ was conceived?
Again, who cannot recognise in Christ, his own infirmities? Who would not recognise that Christ’s eating and sleeping, His sadness and His shedding tears of love, are marks of the nature of a slave?
It was this nature of a slave that had to be healed of its ancient wounds and cleansed of the defilement of sin. For that reason the Only- Begotten Son of God, became also, the Son of Man. He was to have both the reality of human nature and the fullness of the Godhead.

THE BODY WHICH LAY LIFELESS in the tomb is ours!
The Body which rose again on the third day is ours!
The Body which ascended above all the heights of Heaven to the right hand of the Father’s glory, is ours!
If then, we walk in the way of His commandments and are not ashamed to acknowledge the price He paid for our salvation in a lowly Body, we too, are to rise to share His glory. The promise He made, will be fulfilled in the sight of all – Whoever acknowledges Me, before men, I too will acknowledge him before My Father, Who is in Heaven.

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One Minute Reflection – 14 April – ‘… Place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified …’

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

“Jesus, knowing that his hour was come, … he loved them unto the end.” – John 13:1

REFLECTION – “Be obedient to the death, following the example of the spotless Lamb who obeyed His Father even to a shameful death on the Cross. Reflect that He is the way and the rule you are to follow. Always hold Him present before the eyes of your spirit. See how obedient He is, this Word, this Utterance of God! He does not refuse to take up the burden of suffering laid on Him by His Father; to the contrary, He throws Himself into it, spurred on by His great desire. Isn’t this what He reveals during the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, when He says: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15)? By “eat this Passover” He means, the accomplishment of the Father’s will and His desire. Seeing that scarcely any time lies before Him (He was already looking ahead to the end, when He would sacrifice His body for our sake), He rejoices, He is glad and joyfully says: “I have greatly desired.” Here is the Passover He is speaking about – that which consists in giving His own self as food, in laying down His own body in obedience to the Father.

Jesus had celebrated many another Passover with His disciples but never this one, O unspeakable, sweet and burning charity! You think neither of Your suffering nor of Your humiliating death – if You had thought of them, You would not have been so joyful, You would not have called it a Passover. The Word sees ,that it is He Himself Who has been chosen, He Himself Who has received all our humanity as His spouse. He has been asked to give us His own Blood so that God’s will might be accomplished in us, so that it might be His Blood that sanctifies us. This is, indeed, the sweet Passover, this Lamb without blemish accepts (cf. Ex 12:5) and it is with great love and great desire that He fulfils the Father’s will and wholly carries out His design. What unspeakably sweet love! …

That is why, my beloved, I beg you never to entertain the least dread and to place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified … May all servile fear be banished from your spirits. You will say with Saint Paul …: “I can do all things through Christ crucified, since he is within me by desire and love and he strengthens me” (cf. Phil 4:13; Gal 2:20). Love, love, love! By His Blood, the gentle Lamb has made an unassailable rock of your soul.” – St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, Co-patron of Europe – Letter 129

PRAYER – O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency, that even as in His Passion, our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each a retribution according to his merits, so having taken away our old sins, He may bestow upon us the grace of His Resurrection. Who with Thee lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen

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Thought for the Day – 13 April – The Night of the Passion

Thought for the Day – 13 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Night of the Passion

“The night of the Passion of Jesus Christ began in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Here the tired Apostles left Him to pray alone and to endure the agonising pre-vision of the torments and death which awaited Him, as well as of the ingratitude with which men would repay His Infinite love.
Soon afterwards, abandoned by everyone, He was led before the Sanhedrin as a criminal and a disturber of the public peace.
Not only was the accusation false but, it was, of course, a complete inversion of the truth.

Jesus had, in fact, taught the noblest and most elevating of doctrines for all humanity.
He had proved the truth of His teaching by His miracles.

He restored sight to the blind, health to the lepers, to the lame and to the paralysed and even, life to the dead.
He had stated quite clearly, “Render to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).
Nevertheless, in the presence of His wicked judges, He showed Himself to be meek and humble.
But when He was confronted with an obvious falsehood, He spoke out in defence of the truth of His teaching.
For this, He was struck by one of the High Priests’s attendants , who said: “Is that the way thou dost answer the high priest?
If I have spoken ill,” Jesus replied quietly, “bear witness to the evil but if well, why dost thou strike me?” (Jn 18:19-23).

Let us learn from our Divine Redeemer to conquer self-love and to bear insults humbly and peacefully.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 11 April – Jesus in Gethsemane

Thought for the Day – 11 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Jesus in Gethsemane

“What was the prayer of Jesus in the moment of anguish when He saw Himself abandoned or betrayed by everyone on this earth and foresaw the terrible sufferings of His Passion and Death, which, despite His infinite love, would prove to be in vain for so many men?
Face downwards upon the earth, He implored His Heavenly Father to take away, if possible, the bitter chalice.
But, He added immediately, “Yet not My will but Thine be done” (Lk 22:42).

We should pray like Jesus, especially when we are suffering in body and tormented in mind.
We should prostrate ourselves before God, with an act of deep humility and of perfect confidence in His infinite goodness.
We should pray first of all, that His Name may be glorified throughout the world, as it is in Heaven.
We should pray that His Kingdom may be established and may triumph over evil and that our own souls may be saved, along with those of our brothers in Christ.
Only then, can we ask for the favours which we need in the present life and for freedom from physical and moral suffering.

We can ask for all these things, certainly but, we should add with Jesus, “Yet not my will but Thine be done!”
In other words, we should be ready to offer up our sufferings, as a proof of our love for Him. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/10/thought-for-the-day-10-april-jesus-in-gethsemane/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DIVINE MERCY, GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 9 April – The Passion of Our Lord

Thought for the Day – 9 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Passion of Our Lord

“The Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most profound mysteries of our religion.
It is a mystery of infinite goodness and mercy, that, out of love for fallen humanity, the Eternal Word of God, should have assumed a human form and become man, in order to show us the way to Heaven and to enable us, to reach it.
Jesus came amongst us, to instruct us, to call us, to perfection and to give us, an example and the necessary help.
But He did much more than this.
He came also to bear the weight of our offences and to offer Himself, as a spotless victim of love and suffering in expiation of our sins.
All this, seems too great a mystery, almost inconceivable, in fact, until we consider that the charity of God is as infinite as His nature.
This is why, the Saints experienced hours of ecstasy contemplating the Passion and Death of our Divine Redeemer.
Whenever St Gertrude looked upon the figure of Jesus nailed to the Cross, she could not restrain her tears.
She was accustomed to say, that God was specially merciful towards those who meditated on the Passion and Death of Jesus.
St Bernard writes, that even as the rocks were rent asunder at the Death of Our Redeemer, so, our sin-hardened hearts, should feel as if they were breaking, when we meditate on His Sufferings.
Let us meditate, therefore, on the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we are sinners, as unfortunately, we all are, we shall we moved to weep for our sins.
If we are imperfect and lukewarm, we shall be set on fire with love and a determination, to requite, as far as possible, the infinite charity of Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – He who loves his life, loses it …

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Jeremias 18:18-23, John 12:10-36

He who loves his life, loses it
and he who hates his life
in this world,
keeps it unto life everlasting.
If anyone serves Me,
let him follow Me
and where I am,
there also shall My servant be.”

John 12:25-26

This is the time for Confession.
Confess the sins you have committed
in word or deed,
by day or by night.
Confess during this “favourable time”
and on “the day of salvation,”
receive Heaven’s treasure… ”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350),
Father & Doctor of the Church

To do penance is to bewail
the evil we have done
and to do no evil to bewail.”

St Gregory the Great (540-604)
Pope, Confessor, Father and Doctor

Rejoice and be happy!
Persevere to the end
and prefer to die
rather than abandon the post,
to which God has called you!

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

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One Minute Reflection – 9 April – “He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting.” – John 12:25

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Saturday in Passion Week, the Fifth Week in Lent – Jeremias 18:18-23, John 12:10-36

He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me and where I Am ,there also shall My servant be.” – John 12:25-26

REFLECTION – “… We are being towed along by a world that passes away, forgetting the world to come. We are greedy for present things but do not take into account the coming judgement. We will not run to meet the Lord as He comes…

Let us turn back, brethren, let us turn back… By the very fact of His delay, of His still waiting, our Lord proves His desire to see us come back to Him, His desire that we should not perish. In His great goodness, He continues addressing these words to us: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather he would change his ways and live ”(Ez 33,11). So let us turn back to Him, brethren, not fearing that time is running short. The time that belongs to time’s Author cannot be shortened. The proof of it lies in the criminal in the Gospel, who, at the moment of dying on the cross, got away with his pardon, grabbed hold of life and, breaking into paradise like a burglar, managed to make his way into the Kingdom (cf. Lk 23,43)!” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Sermons” of the Church (Excerpt from Sermon 167).

PRAYER – O Lord, may the people dedicated to You, desire to serve You more and more, that, taught by these sacred rites, they may be enriched by more precious gifts, as they grow in favour with Your majesty. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, The WORD

Wednesday of Passion Week – 6 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘The mark of Christ’s sheep …’

Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent – 6 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38

O Lord, deal with us not according to our sins, nor requite us according to our crimes.” – Psalm 102:10

“My sheep hear My Voice;
I know them and they follow Me.”

John 10:27

THE MARK OF CHRIST’S SHEEP is their willingness to hear and obey, just as the sign of those who are not His, is their disobedience. We take the word “Hear” to imply obedience to what has been said. People who hear God are known by Him. No-one is entirely unknown by God but to be known in this way, is to become His Kin. Thus, when Christ says, “I know mine,” He means, “I will receive them and give them permanent Mystical Kinship with Myself.” It might be said, that inasmuch as He has become man, He has made all human beings His Kin, since all are members of the same race; we are all united to Christ in a Mystical relationship because of His Incarnation. Yet, those who do not preserve the likeness of His holiness are alienated from Him… .

MY SHEEP FOLLOW ME, says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law, they obey the commands of Christ and, guided by His Words rise, through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into Heaven, they also follow Him.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 7, 10, 26).

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Quote/s of the Day – 6 April – Obedience

Quote/s of the Day – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38

My sheep hear My Voice;
I know them and they follow Me.

John 10:27

“The mark of Christ’s sheep
is their willingness to hear and obey,
just as disobedience
is the mark of those who are not His.
We take the word ‘hear’
to imply obedience
to what has been said.

My sheep follow me,” says Christ.
By a certain God-given grace,
believers follow in the footsteps of Christ.
No longer subject to the shadows of the Law ,
they obey the commands of Christ,
and guided by His words,
rise through grace,
to His own dignity,
for they are called children of God.
When Christ ascends into heaven,
they also follow Him
.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)

Chosen soul, how will you bring this about?
What steps will you take to reach the high level
to which God is calling you?
The means of holiness and salvation,
are known to everybody,
since they are found in the Gospel,
the masters of the spiritual life have explained them,
the Saints have practised them…
These means are –
sincere Humility,
unceasing Prayer,
complete Self-denial,
abandonment to Divine Providence
and obedience to the Will of God
.”

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

“Peace in us is the result
of two kinds of necessary obedience,
the obedience to right reason
of the lower faculties
and the obedience of right reason
to God, our Creator.
“This is the peace which God
gives on earth to men of goodwill;
this is the most perfect wisdom,”
St Augustine.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, Our MORNING Offering, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Our Morning Offering – 6 April – I Will Love and Follow You

Our Morning Offering – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent

I Will Love and Follow You
By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

Oh my Lord,
Let my heart expand in Your love.
Let me learn to know
how sweet it is, to serve You,
how joyful it is, to praise You
and to be absorbed in Your love.
Oh, I am possessed by love
and rise above myself
because of the great fervour I feel,
through Your infinite goodness.
I will sing the canticle of love to You
and I will follow You, my Beloved,
wherever You go
and may my soul never weary of praising You,
rejoicing in Your love.
I will love You more than myself
and myself, only for Your sake.
I will love all others in You
and for You,
as Your law of love commands.
Amen

(Book 3 Ch 5:6)

Posted in "Follow Me", PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUTH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 4 April – Putting Christianity into Practice

Thought for the Day – 4 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Putting Christianity into Practice

Imagine what the world would be like, if the Gospel of Christ, were practised in it’s entirety, everywhere and by everybody.
It would not, of course, become another earthly Paradise, because suffering and death are the legacy of sin and Our Lord, did not remove these when He redeemed us but made them a necessary element, in our purification and spiritual elevation.
Nevertheless, the full practice of Christianity would transform the world.
A little reflection will convince us of this.
Men would love God above all things and their neighbours as themselves.
The sincere and ardent love of God, would cause wickedness, brutality and every kind of immorality to disappear.
Love of their neighbour, would make men brothers in reality, so that there would be no more wars nor threats of conflict.
The enormous wealth which is squandered on weapons of destruction, could then be diverted to good works.
There would be no more poverty, because, if men loved one another, those who had more than enough, would give to those in want.
There would be no more prisons, because, there would be no more criminals.
There would be no need for a police force, because, everyone would do his duty of his own accord.
The reign of love, which is the reign of Jesus Christ, would triumph upon earth.
Excessive wealth and the selfish love of ease and pleasure, would disappear on one hand, while, on the other, the extreme need of those who can never be sure of a meal, nor of a roof over their heads, would be palliated, until they had been raised to a standard of living, consistent with the laws of God and with the dignity of men.
The love of our neighbour as ourselves, would solve every individual and social problem in this life.
Men would grow into a vast community of brothers devoid of all barriers of hate, selfishness and greed.
This is not a Utopian dream, because it is the clear teaching of the Gospel.
Jesus did not preach the impossible.
He taught us the standards of the perfect life, which we are all obliged to try and lead.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", FRANCISCAN OFM, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 2 April – St Francis of Paola

Quote/s of the Day – 2 April – The Memorial of St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)

Fix your minds on the Passion
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Inflamed with love for us,
He came down from Heaven
to redeem us.
For our sake, He endured
every torment of body and soul
and shrank from no bodily pain.
He, Himself, gave us an example
of perfect patience and love.
We, then, are to be patient, in adversity
!”

See to it that you refrain from harsh words.
But if you do speak them,
do not be ashamed to apply the remedy
from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”

The recollection of an injury,
is . . . a rusty arrow
and poison for the soul.

St Francis of Paola (1416-1507)

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One Minute Reflection – 2 April – ‘I will be with those who love Me.’

One Minute Reflection – 2 April – Saturday of the Fourth Week in Lent – Isaias 49:8-15, John 8:12-20 and the Memorial of St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)

You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would then know My Father also.” – John 8:19

REFLECTION – “[Christ speaks:]
I became useless to those who knew Me not
because I shall hide Myself, from those who possessed Me not.
And I will be with those who love Me.

All my persecutors have died
and they, who trusted in Me, sought Me because I am living!
I arose and am with them and will speak by their mouths.
For they have rejected those who persecute them
and I threw over them, the yoke of My love.

Like the arm of the bridegroom over the bride (cf Sg 2,6),
so is My yoke over those who know Me.
And as the bridal feast is spread out by the bridal pair’s home,
So is My love, by those who believe in Me.

I was not rejected,
although I was considered to be so
and I did not perish,
although they thought it of Me.
Sheol saw Me and was shattered
and Death ejected Me and many with Me.
I have been vinegar and bitterness to it
and I went down with it as far as its depth.
Death was released
because it was not able to endure My Face.

And I made a congregation of living, among his dead (1P 3,19; 4,6)
and I spoke with them, by living lips;
in order that My word may not fail.
And those who had died ran toward Me
and they cried out and said, “Son of God, have pity on us.
And deal with us according to Your kindness
and bring us out from the chains of darkness.
And open for us, the door
by which we may go forth to You,
for we perceive, that our death does not approach You.
May we also be saved with You
because You are our Saviour
.”

Then I heard their voice
and placed their faith in My Heart.

And I placed My Name upon their forehead (Rv 14,1)
because they are free and they are Mine
! – Odes of Solomon (Hebrew Christian text from the beginning of the 2nd century) N° 42

PRAYER – O God, the greatness of the humble, Who raised blessed Francis, Your Confessor, to the glory of Your Saints, grant, we beseech You, that, by his merits and our imitation of his life, we may happily attain the rewards promised to the humble.
Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

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Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – I Am the Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25

Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent – 3 Kings 17:17-24, John 11:1-45

I Am
the Resurrection
and the
Life

John 11:25

We have had Your treasure
hidden within us,
ever since we received baptismal grace,
it grows ever richer
at Your sacramental table.

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Love Him, then, keep Him as a friend.
He will not leave you as others do,
or let you suffer lasting death.
Sometime, whether you will or not,
you will have to part with everything.
Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death,
trust yourself to the glory of Him,
Who alone can help you
when all others fail.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“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)

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – 30 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘… Let us do what He commands, so that we may not blush to covet what He promises… ‘

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – 30 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Isaias 1:16-19, John 9:1-38

Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from My eyes, cease to do perversely, Learn to do well: seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow.” – Isaias 1:16-17

“And Jesus passing by, saw a man
who was blind from his birth. …
As long as I am in the world,
I am the Light of the world.
When He had said these things,
He spat on the ground
and made clay of the spittle
and spread the clay upon his eyes,

John 9:1,5-6

“THE LORD TELLS USI am the Light of the world; he who follows Me, will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
In these few words He gives a COMMAND and makes a PROMISE.
Let us do what He commands, so that we may not blush to covet what He promises and to hear Him say on the day of judgement: “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining My promises. Have you fulfilled them?

If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” He will tell you: “I commanded you to follow Me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life. What life, if not the life about which it is written: With you is the fountain of life?

LET US DO NOW what He commands.
Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord.
Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following Him.
Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the One addressed in these words: You have broken my chains? Another psalm says of Him: The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.

THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FREED and raised up follow the Light.
The Light they follow speaks to them: I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me, will not walk in darkness.
The Lord gives Light to the blind.
Brethren, that Light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith.
His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind.
We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth; we need Him to give us Light.
He mixed saliva with earth and so it was prophesied: Truth has sprung up from the earth.

He Himself has said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

IF YOU LOVE ME, follow Me. “I do love you,” you protest “but how do I follow you?
If the Lord your God said to you: “I am the truth and the life,” in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask Him to show you the way to reach them.
You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality – if only it were possible for my soul to find them!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: On John [Treatise 34]).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on KINDNESS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 23 March – The Christian Formation of Character

Thought for the Day – 23 March – Meditations with
Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Christian Formation of Character

When Jesus offered Himself as our Divine Model, He used these words, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).
Humility and gentleness are essential attributes of the Christian character.
Whoever does not succeed in acquiring them is bulding upon sand!
He will be a torment to others as well as to himself.
Jesus indicates this also, for after He has said: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart,” He adds, “and you will find rest for your souls” (Ibid).
In other words, He tells us, that it is only on this condition that we shall find spiritual peace.
When we have modelled our character on His humility and gentleness, we shall be inflamed with the love of God and of our neighbour.
Only then shall we have succeeded in acquiring a character which is genuinely and deeply Christian.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/23/thought-for-the-day-23-march-the-christian-formation-of-character/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/03/02/thought-for-the-day-23-march-the-christian-formation-of-character-2/

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JEALOUSY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent – 16 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘Now is not the time for rewards …’

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent – 16 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Esther 13:8-11; 15-17, Matthew 20:17-28

“Forsake me not, O Lord, my God, be not far from me! Hasten to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” – Psalm 37:22-23

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee
came to Him with her sons
…”

Matthew 20:29

THE SONS OF ZEBEDEE press Christ: ‘Promise that one may sit at Your right side and the other at Your left.’ What does He do? He wants to show them that it is not a spiritual gift for which they are asking and that, if they knew what their request involved, they would never dare make it. So He says: ‘You do not know what you are asking,’ that is, what a great and splendid thing it is and how much beyond the reach even of the heavenly powers. Then He continues: ‘Can you drink the cup which I must drink and be baptised with the baptism which I must undergo?’ He is saying: “You talk of sharing honours and rewards with me but I must talk of struggle and toil. Now is not the time for rewards or the time for my glory to be revealed. Earthly life is the time for bloodshed, war and danger.”

CONSIDER HOW by His manner of questioning He exhorts and draws them. He does not say: “Can you face being slaughtered? Can you shed your blood?” How does He put His question? Can you drink the cup? Then He makes it attractive by adding: which I must drink, so that the prospect of sharing it with Him may make them more eager. He also calls His suffering, a baptism, to show that it will effect a great cleansing of the entire world. The disciples answer him: We can! Fervour makes them answer promptly, though they really do not know what they are saying but still think they will receive what they ask for.

HOW DOES CHRIST REPLY? You will indeed drink My cup and be baptised with My baptism. He is really prophesying a great blessing for them, since He is telling them: You will be found worthy of Martyrdom; you will suffer what I suffer and end your life with a violent death, thus sharing all with Me. But seats at My right and left are not Mine to give; they belong to those for whom the Father has prepared them. Thus, after lifting their minds to higher goals and preparing them to meet and overcome all that will make them desolate, He sets them straight on their request.

THEN THE OTHER TEN became angry at the two brothers. See how imperfect they all are: the two who tried to get ahead of the other ten and the ten, who were jealous of the two! But, as I said before, show them to me at a later date in their lives and you will see,that all these impulses and feelings have disappeared. Read how John, the very man who here asks for the first place, will always yield to Peter when it comes to preaching and performing miracles in the Acts of the Apostles. James, for his part, was not to live very much longer; for from the beginning, he was inspired by great fervour and, setting aside all purely human goals, rose to such splendid heights that he straightway suffered Martyrdom.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Great Father and Doctor of the Church – An excerpt from Sermon 65 (On Matthew)

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – The Proof of our Love

Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent – Esther 13:8-11; 15-17, Matthew 20:17-28

“Are you able to drink the cup
that I am to drink?

Matthew 20:22

… Now is the time in this life of suffering,
when we journey apart from Him.
… So let us fast and pray now
because, we are in the days of childbirth!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo
Father and Doctor of Grace

Only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ,
that I may suffer together with Him!
I endure everything
because He Himself,
Who is perfect man, empowers me.”

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35–107) Martyr

Embrace, then, Jesus Crucified,
raising to Him the eyes of your desire!
Consider His burning love for you,
which made Jesus pour out His Blood
from every part of His body!
Embrace Jesus crucified,
loving and beloved and in Him,
you will find true life because He is God made Man.
Let your heart and your soul burn
with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!
… You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus!
Run, … do not stay asleep
because time flies and does not wait one moment!
Dwell in God’s sweet love!”

St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

“To labour and to suffer
for the One we love,
is the greatest proof of our love
.”

St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)