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One Minute Reflection – 27 January – ‘…Blasphemy against the Spirit…’

One Minute Reflection – 27 January – Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10, Psalm 89:20-22, 25-26, Mark 3:22-30 and the Memorial of Blessed George Matulaitis MIC (1871-1927)

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”...Mark 3:22

REFLECTION – “It is characteristic of evildoers, stirred by envy, to shut their eyes as much as they can, to other people’s merits and when, overcome by the evidence, they cannot do so any longer, to depreciate or undervalue it.   Thus, when the crowd rejoiced in devotion and marvelled at the sight of Christ’s works, the scribes and Pharisees either closed their eyes to what they knew to be true, or minimised what is great, or undervalued what is good.   Once, for example, feigning ignorance, they said to Him who had worked so many wonderful signs: “What sign can you do that we may believe in you?” (Jn 6:30).   In this case, unable to blatantly deny the facts, they wickedly depreciate them… and they devalue them by saying:   “It is by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.”
Now this, dear brethren, is the blasphemy against the Spirit that binds all those he has seized with the bonds of an eternal sin.   This is not to say that it would be impossible for the repentant to gain forgiveness for it all if they “produce fruit as evidence of their repentance” (Lk 3:8).   The only thing is that, crushed beneath such a weight of malice, they lack the strength to aspire to that praiseworthy repentance worthy of forgiveness… Those who, perceiving the proofs of grace and the Holy Spirit at work in a brother…, are not afraid to undermine and calumniate and brashly ascribe to the evil spirit what they clearly know to be of the Holy Spirit, such as these have been so forsaken by this Spirit of grace, that they no longer even desire the repentance that would obtain pardon.   They are completely in the dark, blinded by their own malice.   Indeed, what could be more serious than to dare, out of envy for a brother one had been commanded to love as oneself (Mt 19:19), to blaspheme God’s goodness… and insult His majesty by wanting to discredit another?”…Isaac of Stella (c 1100-c.1171) O.Cist. Cistercian monkmark-3-22-he-is-possessed-by-beezlebub-it-is-charactiristic-isaac-of-stella-28-jan-2019 and 27 jan 2020

PRAYER – Lord, our God, keep us free from envy of others, for this is a poison that can destroy all community and love.   Help us to know that to each You have given gifts and all are Your wonder and made to honour You alone.   Help us to appreciate our neighbour’s talents and understand that we are all one in the Mystical Body of Your Son. Grant that by the prayers of Bl George Matulaitis, we may grow in love and sanctity.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.bl george matulaitis pray for us 27 jan 2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – I love Him

Quot/s of the Day – 18 January – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A and The Memorial of Blessed Maria Teresa Fasce OSA (1881-1947)

I love Him, even if it costs much,
I love Him, because, it is worth much,
I love Him, at all cost.

Blessed Maria Teresa Fasce (1881-1947)

i-love-him-bl-maria-teresa-fasce-18-jan-2019 and 2020

“To surrender all that we are,
as we are,
to the spirit of love,
in order that our lives
may bear Christ into the world –
that is what we shall be asked.”

Caryll Houselander (1901-1954)to surrender all that we are as we are in order to bear christ caryll houselander 18 jan 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 15 January –  Come on!   To your feet!

One Minute Reflection – 15 January – Wednesday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20, Psalm 40:2, 5, 7-10, Mark 1:29-39 and the Memorial of St Arnold Janssen SVD (1837-1909)

And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her and she served them...Mark 1:31

REFLECTION“And he helped her up.”   As she couldn’t stand up by herself, it was the Lord who helped her.   “He grasped her hand and helped her up.”   When Peter was in danger on the sea, just as he was going to drown, he too was grasped by the hand and raised up…   What a beautiful sign of friendship and love towards this sick woman!   He helped her up by taking her hand, His hand healed the sick woman’s hand.   He grasped that hand as a doctor would have done, He, who is both doctor and remedy, took her pulse and assessed the gravity of the fever.   Jesus touched it and the fever vanished.
Let us want Him to touch our hand so that in this way what we do may be made pure. Should He enter our house, let us get off our bed at last and not remain lying down.  Jesus stands at our bedside and will we remain lying down?   Come on!   To your feet!… “There is one among you whom you do not recognise” (Jn 1:26), “the kingdom of God is among you” (Lk 17:21).   Let us have faith and we shall see Jesus among us.”…St Jerome (347-420) Father & Doctor of the Churchmark-1-31-and-he-came-and-took-her-by-the-hand-let-us-want-him-to-touch-our-hand-st-jerome-16-jan-2019 and 15 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments.   Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow.   St Arnold Janssen was a shining example to us all, grant, we pray, that his prayers may aid us.   Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.ST ARNOLD JANSSEN PRAY FOR US 15 JAN 2020.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 31 December – ‘As Your Word descended, our heart has been melted…’

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

He came to his own home and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God…. John 1:11-12

REFLECTION – “Lord, we have heard Your works and we have been astounded.   We have pondered Your marvels and we have fainted.

As Your Word descended, our heart has been melted and all our innermost being, trembling, has been laid bare to Him.   For while silence, held all things and night, in her journey reached her mid-course, Your Almighty Word came from its royal abode (cf. Wis 18:14-15).   You poured out, O Father, the tenderness of Your love upon us and You could no longer contain the multitude of Your mercies.   You shed light in the darkness, dew upon the dryness and in the bitter frost, You kindled a raging fire.   Your Son appeared to us as an abundance of food when grievous famine threatened, as a spring of living water, to a life in distress and fainting from thirst in the heat.   Or surely, just as there is wont to appear, a strong helper and deliverer for men besieged, who are about to rush out into battle, with death before their eyes and with the enemy’s threatening sword (…): so He appeared for us and became our Salvation.

Yet it is an excellent and salutary thing to recount again the beginning of our Salvation and to treat of His incarnation, to recall whence He came and in what sort He descended.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk, Bishop – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily III, SC 72.john 1 11-12 he came to his own and his own received him not - your son appeared to us - st amadeus of lausanne 31 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship.   Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.the word became flesh alleluia alleluia 31 dec 2019.jpg

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Thought for the Day – Saturday of Advent 21 December – Mary visits Elizabeth – You also are blessed!

Thought for the Day – Saturday of Advent 21 December

Mary visits Elizabeth

Saint Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary, he gave her a sign to win her trust.   He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman, to show that God is able to do all that He wills.

When she hears this, Mary sets out for the hill country.   She does not disbelieve God’s word, she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign.   She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.

Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights?   The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts.   Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear, as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words.   Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice but John, is the first to be aware of grace.   She hears with the ears of the body but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery.   She is aware of Mary’s presence but he is aware of the Lord’s – a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation.   The women speak of the grace they have received, while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.

The child leaps in the womb, the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit.   John leaps for you and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit but we know, that though Mary’s spirit rejoices, she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.   Her Son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in His mother, in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord.   Elizabeth says:  Blessed are you because you have believed.

You also are blessed, because you have heard and believed.   A soul that believes, both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.

Let Mary’s soul be in each of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord.   Let her spirit be in each, to rejoice in the Lord.   Christ has only one mother, in the flesh but we all bring forth Christ, in faith.   Every soul receives the Word of God, if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, it’s modesty undefiled.   The soul that succeeds in this, proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.   In another place we read – Magnify the Lord with me.   The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but, because He is magnified within us.   Christ is the image of God and, if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.you also are blessed becauxe you have believed - st ambrose - 21 dec 2019 the vistation.jpg

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Quote of the Day – 20 December – ‘Awaken hope!’

Quote of the Day – 20 December – The Memorial of Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr

“The blessed martyrs cry to our hearts.
Believe in God who is love!
Believe in Him in good times and bad!
Awaken hope!
May it produce in you,
the fruit of fidelity to God,
in every trial!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

At the Beatification of the 108 Martyrs of World War Two in Poland, 13 June 1999the blessed martyrs cry to our hearts believe in god who is love - st john paul 20 dec 2019.jpg

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Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December – ‘So long as Zechariah believed, he spoke, as soon as he ceased to believe, he was silent.’

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December, Readings:  Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17, Luke 1:5-25

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.
After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived .… Luke 1:23-24

REFLECTION – “The angel said to him:   “God has heard the voice of your prayer.”   If Zechariah believed his prayer would be heard, then he prayed well;   if he did not believe, he prayed badly.   His prayer was about to be answered, yet he doubted. Therefore it was reasonable that at that very moment the word was removed from him. Beforehand, he was praying for a son but the instant his prayer was answered he turned around and said:  “How can this be?”   Because it was with his mouth that he cast doubts on his prayer, it was his speech he lost ( … ).    So long as Zechariah believed, he spoke, as soon as he ceased to believe, he was silent.   So long as he believed, he spoke:  “I believed and therefore I spoke” (Ps 115[116]:10).   Because he rejected the angel’s word, this word plagued him so, that he would respect with his silence, the word he had rejected.

It was fitting that the mouth that said:  “How shall this be?” should be silenced so that it might learn the possibility of a miracle.   The unbound tongue was bound, so that it might learn that He who had bound the tongue was capable of unbinding the womb.   In this way experience taught him who had not accepted the teaching of faith ( … )   Thus he learned. that He who had closed an open mouth. could open a closed womb.” … Saint Ephrem (306-373) – Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Churchso long as zechriah believed he spoke - st ephrem 19 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION –And delicately, gently, by means of this sweet and peaceful dawn, God taught me, too, to obey – a very great peace filled my soul.   I thought how God alone is good, how all is ordained by Him, how nothing is of importance in what people do or say and how, where I am concerned, there must be nothing else in the world but God.   God who will arrange everything for my good.   God who causes the sun to rise each morning, who makes the ice melt, who cause the birds to sing and changes the clouds of heaven in a thousand soft colours.   God who offers me a little corner on this earth for prayer, who gives me a little corner in which to wait for what I hope.”St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)and delicately gently by means of this dawn god teaches me to obey he gives me a little cornr - st raphael arnaiz baron 19 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – ” … Jesus gives voice to those who are voiceless and to each one of us, He addresses an urgent appeal, to open our hearts and to make our own, the sufferings and anxieties of the poor, the hungry, the marginalised, the refugees, those who are defeated by life, those who are rejected by society and by the arrogance of the strong.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 28 August 2016

PRAYER

O ROOT OF JESSE,
that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence
and unto whom the Gentiles
shall make supplication,
come, to deliver us and tarry not.

o root of jesse - 19 dec 2019.jpg