Posted in LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on POVERTY

Thought for the Day – 4 March – Riches and Poverty

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

Riches and Poverty

“There is a striking contrast between the luxurious living of wealthy people who waste their money on pleasure and amusement and the abject poverty of those who are without food, clothing and shelter.
This is in complete contradiction of the Gospel message which has proclaimed that we are all brothers.

Extravagance is always self-centred, whereas Christianity, is the creed of love.
Sumptuous living cannot be justified by an appeal to the right to own property, for, it is a shameless betrayal of the Gospel spirit of fraternl charity.
When St Thomas Aquinas is defending the right to private property, he adds at once: “In regard to the use of it, however, a man should not regard material goods as belonging entirely to himself but … should be ready to share them with others in their necessity” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 1 66, a 2).
If such maxims, which derive their inspiration from the Gospel, were put into practice, there would be neither excessive wealth, nor excessive poverty, in the world today.

It is true, that there would still be poverty but, destitution would disappear.

Poverty is good, in that it makes us detached from worldly things and helps us to think more about the next life.
But, destitution is really a social crime, for it is the result of human egoism and can breed hatred and spiritual degradation.

“Poverty,” writes Péguy, “is decent. It does not dress in rags … It’s dwelling is tidy, healthy and affords a welcome. It can have a change of linen once a week. It is not emaciated nor hungry… It is not good for anyone to live in easy circumstances; on the contrary, it is much better always to feel the goad of necessity…” (La guerre et la paix, p 338).

It was, in this sense, that Jesus blessed the poor and condemned the rich.
He is referring to the poor man who has enough to supply his needs, is detached from worldly possessions, uses his poverty to assist him in his journey towards Heaven and, is happy or, at any rate, content.
But He condemns the rich man who squanders his wealth on selfish amusement and is deaf to the entreaties of those in need.

After twenty centuries of Christianity, the violent contrast still exists in modern society.
If we have any reason to reproach ourselves, let us try now, to make up for our deficiencies.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Sixteen of our Lenten Journey – 4 March – ‘I am in anguish in this flame’ – Luke 16:24

Day Sixteen of our Lenten Journey – 4 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalms 1: 1-2, 3, and 6, Luke 16: 19-31

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ … Luke 16:24

IN ALL things consider the end, how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgement in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgement when no man can be excused, or defended by another because each will have enough to do, to answer for himself? In this life your work is profitable, your tears acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and purifying.

The patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when he grieves more over the malice of one who harms him, than for his own injury; when he prays readily for his enemies and forgives offenses from his heart; when he does not hesitate to ask pardon of others; when he is more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent violence to himself and tries to bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.

It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.

For a man will be more grievously punished in the things in which he has sinned. There the lazy will be driven with burning prongs and gluttons tormented with unspeakable hunger and thirst; the wanton and lust-loving will be bathed in burning pitch and foul brimstone; the merciless will howl in their grief like mad dogs.

Every vice will have its own proper punishment. The proud will be faced with every confusion and the avaricious pinched with the most abject want. One hour of suffering there will be more bitter than a hundred years of the most severe penance here. In this life men sometimes rest from work and enjoy the comfort of friends but the damned have no rest or consolation.

You must, therefore, take care and repent of your sins now so that on the day of judgment you may rest secure with the blessed. For on that day the just will stand firm against those who tortured and oppressed them and he who now submits humbly to the judgement of men, will arise to pass judgement upon them. The poor and humble will have great confidence, while the proud will be struck with fear. He who learned to be a fool in this world and to be scorned for Christ will then appear to have been wise.

If your life to this moment had been full of honours and pleasures, what good would it do if at this instant you should die?
All is vanity, therefore, except to love God and to serve Him alone.
(Book 1 Ch 24:1-5,7)

Posted in LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection –4 March – ‘They lay outside at my gate’ – Luke 16: 19-31

One Minute Reflection –4 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Readings Jeremiah 17:5-10Psalms 1: 1-23, and 6Luke 16: 19-31 and the Memorial of St Casimir- (1458-1484)

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. … Luke 16:22-23

REFLECTION – By St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173) Armenian BishopJesus, Only Son of the Father, 624 f.

Like the rich man who loved a life of pleasure
I, too, have loved pleasures that pass away
With this animal body of mine,
In the pleasures of that fool.

And from so many and such great blessings
That You have so freely given me
I have not paid back the tenth
From Your own gifts.

But, out of everything under my roof,
Gathered from earth and sky and sea,
I believed Your numberless blessings
To be my own possession.

Nothing of these have I given to the poor,
Nor set anything aside for his needs:
Neither food for the hungry
Nor covering for the naked body,

Neither shelter for the homeless
Nor abode for the foreign guest,
Nor visit to the sick
Nor even concern for the prisoner (cf. Mt 25:31 f.).

I was not saddened for the sorrow
Of the one cast down by his burdens,
Nor shared the joy of the joyful
But burned with jealousy against him.

All of them were another Lazarus, (…)
They lay outside at my gate; …
Yet I, deaf to their appeal,
Never gave them the crumbs from my table. …

The dogs of your Law outside
Comforted them, at least with their tongues;
Yet I, who listened to Your commandment,
Wounded the one who bore Your likeness with my tongue (Mt 25:45). (…)

Yet only grant me repentance here below
That I may make reparation for my sins, …
That these tears may extinguish the blazing furnace
With its burning flames. …

And, instead of acting like the merciless,
Set merciful compassion within me,
That, by showing mercy to the poor,
I may obtain Your mercy.

PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that by the intercession of St Casimir we may grow in charity us during our life on earth. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 4 March – O Lord and Master of My Life

Our Morning Offering – 4 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent

O Lord and Master of My Life
By Saint Ephrem (306-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity,
lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, Thy servant,
a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love.
O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults
and not to condemn my brother.
For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages.
Amen
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
O God, my Creator, save me
and for my many sins forgive me!

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Fifteen of our Lenten Journey – 3 March – ‘Each day we ought to renew our resolutions …’

Day Fifteen of our Lenten Journey – 3 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20,Psalms 31: 5-6, 14, 15-16, Matthew 20: 17-28

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” – Matthew 20:22

Each day we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervour, as though it were the first day of our turning back to God.
We ought to say: “Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution and in Your holy service. Grant me now, this very day, to begin perfectly, for thus far I have done nothing.”

As our intention is, so will be our progress and he who desires perfection must be very diligent.
If the strong-willed man fails frequently, what of the man who makes up his mind seldom or half-heartedly?
Many are the ways of failing in our resolutions …

Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions.
In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes and God’s way is not man’s.
If a habitual exercise is sometimes omitted out of piety or in the interests of another, it can easily be resumed later.
But if it be abandoned carelessly, through weariness or neglect, then the fault is great and will prove hurtful.
Much as we try, we still fail too easily in many things.
Yet we must always have some fixed purpose, especially against things which beset us the most.
Our outward and inward lives alike, must be closely watched and well ordered, for both are important to perfection.
(Book 1 Ch 19:1-2)

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT, LENTEN THOUGHTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 March – “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” – Matthew 20:17-28

One Minute Reflection – 3 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20,Psalms 31: 5-61415-16Matthew 20: 17-28

“You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” … the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” … Matthew 20:22,28

REFLECTION – “It is our task and, in our case, an obligation, to make of you the object of all our care, our zeal, our ministrations, by word and deed, by warnings, encouragement, admonitions and incitement, (…) so that, in this way, we might insert you into the rhythm of the divine will and face you towards the goal set before us – to give pleasure to God. …

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. How could this have happened to Him who, even as man, was without sin and who, to the contrary, snatched us away from the tyranny of the sin through which death came into the world and falsely took possession of our first father?

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. According to the interpretation of our Fathers, there is in this, a shedding of blood for this is what it means to be a monk. And we must gain the Kingdom of heaven in that way, by spending our lives in imitation of the Lord. … Apply yourselves zealously to your duties in the thought that by means of them, far from being slaves of men, you are serving God.” … St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople – Catecheses 1

PRAYER – Protect Your family, Lord, trained as it is by the constant exercise of good works. Renew our spirit with the grace that teaches us how to imitate You, to suffer for You and with You, strengthen us with Your consoling presence and lead us, to the joys of heaven. May the intercession of our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary keep us on the path of Your kingdom’s glory. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Our Morning Offering – 3 March – Thy Grace

Our Morning Offering – 3 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Thy Grace
A Lenten Prayer
By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O my God,
suffer me still,
bear with me in spite of my
waywardness,
perverseness
and ingratitude!
I improve very slowly
but really, I am moving onto heaven,
or at least, I wish to move.
Only give me Thy grace
meet me with Thy grace,
I will, through Thy grace, do what I can
and Thou shall perfect it for me.
Then shall I have happy days,
in Thy Presence
and in the sight and adoration of
Thy five Sacred Wounds.
Amen

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The HEART, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Fourteen of our Lenten Journey – 1 March – Attend wholly to God

Day Fourteen of our Lenten Journey – 1 March – Monday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20,Psalms 50: 8-9,16-17, 21 and 23, Matthew 23:1-12

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light
Psalm 35(36)

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” … Matthew 23:12

WE MUST not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart.

Meanwhile, we do wrong and then do worse in excusing it. At times, we are moved by passion and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes and overlook greater ones in ourselves.

We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us.

If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgement on others.
The interior man, puts the care of himself before all other concerns and he who attends to himself carefully, does not find it hard to hold his tongue about others. You will never be devout of heart unless you are thus silent about the affairs of others and pay particular attention to yourself.

If you attend wholly to God and yourself, you will be little disturbed by what you see about you.
… You will sweetly repose if your heart does not rebuke you. Rejoice at nothing but only your good deeds. Bad men have never a true joy, nor feel inner peace, for “there is no peace for the wicked” (Is 57:21). … He is easily calmed and contented whose conscience is clean. Praise makes you not more holy, nor insult more worthless.

What you are you are, what God knows of you, is all that can be said for you. If you will only look at what you truly are, you will not care what men say of you. “Man looks at the appearance but God looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).
(Book 2 Ch 5)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirteen of our Lenten Journey – 1 March – Works Done In Charity

Day Thirteen of our Lenten Journey – 1 March – Monday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 9:4-10, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11 and 13, Luke 6:36-38

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:36

NEVER do evil for anything in the world, or for the love of any man. For one who is in need, however, a good work may at times be purposely left undone or changed for a better one. This is not the omission of a good deed but rather its improvement.

Without charity external work is of no value but anything done in charity, be it ever so small and trivial, is entirely fruitful, inasmuch as God weighs the love with which a man acts, rather than the deed itself.

He does much who loves much. He does much who does a thing well. He does well who serves the common good rather than his own interests.

Now, that which seems to be charity is oftentimes really sensuality, for man’s own inclination, his own will, his hope of reward and his self-interest, are motives seldom absent. On the contrary, he who has true and perfect charity seeks self in nothing but searches all things for the glory of God. Moreover, he envies no man, because he desires no personal pleasure nor does he wish to rejoice in himself; rather he desires the greater glory of God above all things. He ascribes to man nothing that is good but attributes it wholly to God from Whom all things proceed as from a fountain and in Whom, all the blessed shall rest as their last end and fruition.

If man had but a spark of true charity, he would surely sense that all the things of earth are full of vanity!
(Book 1 Ch 15)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, The 4th Luminous Mystery - The TRANSFIGURATION, The HEART, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twelve of our Lenten Journey – 28 February – The Second Sunday of Lent – ‘Write My words carefully on your heart and meditate on them earnestly …’

Day Twelve of our Lenten Journey – 28 February – The Second Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19, Romans 8:31-34, Mark 9:2-10

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“He was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzling white” – Mark 9:2-3

DISCIPLE: Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.
I am Your servant and beg You for the understanding to know Your commandments.
Incline my heart to follow Your holy teachings, that they may seep into my soul as dew seeps into the grass. … Speak to me Yourself Lord, for Your servant is listening.
You alone have the words of eternal life, speak them to me that they may comfort my soul and help me to amend my whole life – all to Your everlasting honour and glory.

CHRIST: “My child, hear My words and follow them, for they are most sweet and far exceed the learning and wisdom of the philosophers and all the wise of the world.
My words are spirit and life and not within the scope of human understanding.
They are not to be adapted or applied to the vain complacency of the hearer but are to be heard in silence, with humility and reverence, with deep affection and in great tranquillity of body and soul.”

DISCIPLE: “Happy is the man whom Thou admonishest, O Lord and teachest out of Thy law, to give him peace from the days of evil,” (Ps 94:12-13) and that he be not desolate on earth.

CHRIST: “I taught the prophets from the beginning and even to this day I continue to speak to all men. But many are hardened. Many are deaf to My Voice. Most men listen more willingly to the world than to God. They are more ready to follow the appetite of their flesh, than the good pleasure of God. The world, which promises small and passing things, is served with great eagerness. I promise great and eternal things but the hearts of men grow dull. Who is there that serves and obeys Me in all things, with as great care, as that with which the world and its masters are served?

… And if you ask why, listen to the cause, for a small gain they travel far, for eternal life many will scarcely lift a foot from the ground.
They seek a petty reward and sometimes fight shamefully in law courts for a single piece of money. They are not afraid to work day and night for a trifle or an empty promise. But, for an unchanging good, for a reward beyond estimate, for the greatest honour and for glory everlasting, it must be said to their shame, that men begrudge even the least fatigue.
Be ashamed, then, lazy and complaining servant, that they should be found more eager for perdition than you are for life, that they rejoice more in vanity than you in truth.

Sometimes indeed, their expectations fail them but My promise never deceives, nor does it send away empty-handed, him who trusts in Me.
What I have promised, I will give.
What I have said, I will fulfil, if only a man remain faithful in My love to the end. I am the rewarder of all the good, the strong approver of all who are devoted to Me.

Write My words carefully on your heart and meditate on them earnestly, for in time of temptation they will be very necessary.
What you do not understand when you read, you will learn in the day of visitation. I am wont to visit My elect in two ways – by temptation and by consolation.
To them I read two lessons daily – one reproving their vices, the other exhorting them to progress in virtue.
He who has My words and despises them, has that, which shall condemn him on the last day!

(Books 3 Ch2:1a,3b and Ch3:1-6)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The 4th Luminous Mystery - The TRANSFIGURATION, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 28 February – Transfiguration

Quote/s of the Day – 28 February – The Second Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19, Romans 8:31-34, Mark 9:2-10

Transfiguration

“And a cloud overshadowed them
and a voice came out of the cloud,
“This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

Mark 9:7

“… He was also providing a firm foundation
for the hope of holy Church.
The whole body of Christ was to understand,
the kind of transformation,
that it would receive as His gift.
The members of that body
were to look forward to a share
in that glory which first blazed out
in Christ their head.”

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

“In most holy contemplation
we shall be ever filled with the sight of God
shining gloriously around us,
as once it shone for the disciples
at the divine Transfiguration.
And there we shall be,
our minds away from passion and from earth
and we shall have a conceptual gift, of light from Him
and, somehow, in a way we cannot know,
we shall be united with Him
and, our understanding carried away,
blessedly happy,
we shall be struck by His blazing light.
Marvellously, our minds,
will be like those in the heavens above.”

Pseudo Dionysius the Areopogite (5th-6th Century)
(The Divine Names, 1)

“By His loving foresight,
He allowed them to taste for a short time,
the contemplation of eternal joy,
so that they might bear persecution bravely.”

The Venerable St Bede (673-735)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“At His Transfiguration
Christ showed His disciples,
the splendour of His beauty,
to which He will shape and colour
those who are His:
‘He will reform our lowness
configured to the body of his glory.’”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Eleven of our Lenten Journey – 27 February – He knows when and how to deliver you, therefore, place yourself in His hands …

Day Eleven of our Lenten Journey – 27 February – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 26:16-19, Psalms 119:1-2, 4-5,7-8, Matthew 5:43-48

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“But I say to you, love your enemies” – Matthew 5:44

BE NOT troubled about those who are with you or against you but take care, that God be with you in everything you do. Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to suffer in silence, you will undoubtedly experience God’s help. He knows when and how to deliver you, therefore, place yourself in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men and free them from all distress.

It is often good for us to have others know our faults and rebuke them, for it gives us greater humility. When a man humbles himself because of his faults, he easily placates those about him and readily appeases those who are angry with him.

It is the humble man whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble whom He loves and consoles. To the humble, He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation, He may raise them up to glory. He reveals His secrets to the humble and with kind invitation, bids them come to Him. Thus, the humble man enjoys peace in the midst of many vexations because his trust is in God, not in the world. Hence, you must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to all others.
(Book 2 Ch 2)

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Ten of our Lenten Journey – 26 February – – Friday of the First week of Lent, Keep Peace with Yourself and You will be able to Bring Peace to Others

Day Ten of our Lenten Journey – 26 February – – Friday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 18:21-28, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, Matthew 5:20-26

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Go first and be reconciled with your brother” – Matthew 5:24

First keep peace with yourself, then you will be able to bring peace to others.
A peaceful man does more good than a learned man.
Whereas a passionate man turns even good to evil and is quick to believe evil, the peaceful man, being good himself, turns all things to good.
The man who is at perfect ease is never suspicious but the disturbed and discontented spirit, is upset by many a suspicion.
He neither rests himself nor permits others to do so.
He often says what ought not to be said and leaves undone what ought to be done.
He is concerned with the duties of others but neglects his own.

Direct your zeal, therefore, first upon yourself; then you may with justice exercise it upon those about you.

You are well versed in colouring your own actions with excuses which you will not accept from others, though it would be more just to accuse yourself and excuse your brother.

If you wish men to bear with you, you must bear with them.
Behold, how far you are from true charity and humility which does not know how to be angry with anyone, or to be indignant save only against self!
It is no great thing to associate with the good and gentle, for such association is naturally pleasing.
Everyone enjoys a peaceful life and prefers persons of congenial habits.

But to be able to live at peace with harsh and perverse men, or with the undisciplined and those who irritate us, is a great grace, a praiseworthy and manly thing.
Some people live at peace with themselves and with their fellow men but others are never at peace with themselves nor do they bring it to anyone else.
These latter are a burden to everyone, but they are more of a burden to themselves.
A few, finally, live at peace with themselves and try to restore it to others.

Now, all our peace in this miserable life is found in humbly enduring suffering rather than in being free from it.
He who knows best how to suffer will enjoy the greater peace because he is the conqueror of himself, the master of the world, a friend of Christ and an heir of heaven.

(Book 2 Ch 3)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, FATHERS of the Church, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 February – “Give, Lord because we have given.” Matthew 5:20-26

One Minute Reflection – 26 February – Friday of the First Week of Lent, Readings Ezekiel 18:21-28Psalms 130:1-23-45-77-8Matthew 5:20-26

“Go first and be reconciled with your brother” – Matthew 5:24

REFLECTION – “In heaven there is a mercy that we attain by mercy here on earth… And there are two kinds of almsgiving: one good, the other better. The first consists in offering a morsel of bread to the poor; the other in at once forgiving the brother who has sinned against you. With our Lord’s help let us hasten to put into practice these two kinds of almsgiving that we may be fit to receive eternal pardon and the true mercy that is Christ’s. For He Himself has said: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you will not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Mt 6,14-15). And elsewhere the Holy Spirit cries aloud: “Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the Lord? Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows yet seek God’s pardon for his own sins?” (Sir 28,3-4)…

Let us make haste as much as we can and, for as long as we live, to acquire these two kinds of alms and distribute them to others. Then, on the day of judgement, we shall be able to say with full assurance: “Give, Lord, because we have given.” St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Bishop and Monk – Sermons to the people no.25

PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant that faithfully following the instructions of Your Son and pondering all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence. By the gifts of the Holy Spirit, may we always be light to our neighbour. Mary, Mother of Love and our loving mother, by your prayers, may we grow in charity and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The HEART, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Nine of our Lenten Journey – 25 February – Thursday of the First week of Lent – Bring to God a Clean and Open Heart

Day Nine of our Lenten Journey – 25 February – Thursday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25, Psalms 138:1-2,2-3, 7-8, Matthew 7:7-12

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

When Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult.
When He is absent, all is hard.
When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty.
But if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.

[…] How dry and hard you are without Jesus!
How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world?
For what, without Jesus, can the world give you?
Life without Him is a relentless hell but living with Him is a sweet paradise.
If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.

He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him, loses more than the whole world.
The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no-one is so rich, as the man who lives in His grace.

It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus and great wisdom to know how to keep Him.
Be humble and peaceful and Jesus will be with you.
Be devout and calm and He will remain with you.

[…] You cannot live well without a friend and if Jesus be not your friend above all else, you will be very sad and desolate.
Thus, you are acting foolishly if you trust or rejoice in any other.
Choose the opposition of the whole world, rather than offend Jesus.
Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love.
Let all things be loved for the sake of Jesus but Jesus, for His own sake.

[…] Never wish that anyone’s affection be centred in you, nor let yourself be taken up with the love of anyone but let Jesus be in you and in every good man.
Be pure and free within, unentangled with any creature.
You must bring to God a clean and open heart if you wish to attend and see how sweet the Lord is.

Truly you will never attain this happiness, unless His grace prepares you and draws you on, so that you may forsake all things to be united with Him alone.
When the grace of God comes to a man, he can do all things, but when it leaves him, he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction.

Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair.
On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him, in praise of Jesus Christ.
For after winter comes summer, after night, the day and after the storm, a great calm.
(Book 2 Ch 8:1-5)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, LENT, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 February – Ask, Seek, Knock – Matthew 7:7-12

One Minute Reflection – 25 February – Thursday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25, Psalms 138:1-2,2-3, 7-8, Matthew 7:7-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio OFM (1502-1600) “The Angel of Mexico”

“Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

REFLECTION – “Try hard to please the Lord, pay Him unwearying attention within yourself, seek for Him with the aid of your thoughts, keep a check on your will and its decisions, control them so they are constantly directed towards Him. Then you will see how He draws near you and makes His dwelling within you… He stands there, taking note of your reasoning, thoughts, reflexions, examining how you are seeking Him, whether it is with all your soul or whether sluggishly and carelessly. And as soon as He sees you seek Him fervently, he will make himself known to you. He will appear to you, grant you His help, bestow the victory on you and save you from your enemies. In fact, when He sees how you are looking for Him, how you continually place all your hope in Him, then He will instruct you, teach you true prayer, give you that authentic charity that is Himself. Then, He will become everything to you: your paradise, life-giving tree, precious pearl, crown, architect, farmer, one subject to suffering but not afflicted with suffering, man, God, wine, living water, lamb, bridegroom, soldier, armour, Christ who is “all in all” (1Cor 15,28).

Just as a child cannot feed or take care of itself but can only look at its mother and cry until she takes pity and gives it her attention, so believing soul,s always hope in Christ and attribute to Him, all righteousness. As the shoot withers if it is separated from the vine (Jn 15,6) so does someone who wants to become faultless apart from Christ. Just as “someone is a thief and robber who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere” (Jn 10,1), so it is with someone, who wants to become just, without Him who justifies.” – St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390) Monk – Spiritual Homilies no 30, 3-4

PRAYER – May We Love Only You By St Columban (543-615) Loving Saviour,
be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock,
so that in knowing You,
we may love only You,
love You alone,
desire You alone,
contemplate only You, day and night
and always think of You.
Inspire in us the depth of love
that is fitting for You to receive as God.
So may Your love pervade our whole being,
possess us completely
and fill all our senses,
that we may know no other love
but love for You,
Who are everlasting.
May our love be so great,
that the many waters of sky, land and sea
cannot extinguish it in us –
many waters could not extinguish love.
May this saying be fulfilled
in us also, at least in part,
by Your gift,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
to whom be glory forever and ever.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PURGATORY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Eight of our Lenten Journey – 24 February – Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis – On the Last Judgement and the Punishment for Sins

Day Eight of our Lenten Journey – 24 February – – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Jonah 3:1-10,Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19, Luke 11:29-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of Jonah.” – Luke 11:29

IN ALL things consider the e,d; how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgement in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgement when no man can be excused or defended by another because each, will have enough to do, to answer for himself? In this life your work is profitable, your tears acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and purifying.

The patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when he grieves more over the malice of one who harms him than for his own injury; when he prays readily for his enemies and forgives offenses from his heart; when he does not hesitate to ask pardon of others; when he is more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent violence to himself and tries to bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.

It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.

For a man will be more grievously punished in the things in which he has sinned. There the lazy will be driven with burning prongs and gluttons tormented with unspeakable hunger and thirst; the wanton and lust-loving will be bathed in burning pitch and foul brimstone; the envious will howl in their grief like mad dogs.

Every vice will have its own proper punishment. The proud will be faced with every confusion and the avaricious pinched with the most abject want. One hour of suffering there, will be more bitter, than a hundred years of the most severe penance here. In this life men sometimes rest from work and enjoy the comfort of friends, but the damned have no rest or consolation.

You must, therefore, take care and repent of your sins now so that on the day of judgement you may rest secure with the blessed. For on that day, the just will stand firm against those who tortured and oppressed them and he, who now submits humbly to the judgement of men, will arise to pass judgement upon them. The poor and humble will have great confidence, while the proud will be struck with fear. He who learned to be a fool in this world and to be scorned for Christ, will then appear to have been wise.
(Book 1 Ch 24:1-4)

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 24 February – Grant me, O my God

Our Morning Offering – 24 February – Wednesday of the First week of Lent

Grant me, O my God
By St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419)

Good Jesus,
let me be penetrated with love
to the very marrow of my bones,
with fear and respect toward You.
Let me burn with zeal for Your honour,
so that I may resent terribly, all the outrages
committed against You, especially those
of which I myself have been guilty.
Grant further, O my God,
that I may adore and acknowledge You humbly,
as my Creator and that, penetrated with gratitude
for all Your benefits,
I may never cease to render You thanks.
Grant that I may bless You in all things,
praise and glorify You
with a heart full of joy and gladness
and that, obeying You with docility
in every respect, I may one day,
despite my ingratitude and unworthiness,
be seated at Your table
together with Your Holy Angels and Apostles
to enjoy ineffable delights.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, The LORD'S PRAYER, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Day Seven of our Lenten Journey – 23 February – – Tuesday of the First week of Lent – “Thy will be done” Matthew 6:7-15

Day Seven of our Lenten Journey – 23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalms 34:4-5, 6-7,16-17, 18-19, Matthew 6:7-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10

WHATEVER I can desire or imagine for my own comfort, I look for not here but hereafter. For if I alone should have all the world’s comforts and could enjoy all its delights, it is certain, that they could not long endure. Therefore, my soul, you cannot enjoy full consolation or perfect delight except in God, the Consoler of the poor and the Helper of the humble. Wait a little, my soul, wait for the divine promise and you will have an abundance of all good things in heaven. If you desire these present things too much, you will lose those which are everlasting and heavenly. Use temporal things but desire eternal things. You cannot be satisfied with any temporal goods because you were not created to enjoy them.

Even if you possessed all created things, you could not be happy and blessed; for in God, Who created all these things, your whole blessedness and happiness consists — not indeed such happiness as is seen and praised by lovers of the world but such, as that for which the good and faithful servants of Christ wait and of which the spiritual and pure of heart, whose conversation is in heaven, sometime have a foretaste.

Vain and brief is all human consolation. But that which is received inwardly from the Truth is blessed and true. The devout man carries his Consoler, Jesus, everywhere with him and he says to Him: “Be with me, Lord Jesus, in every place and at all times. Let this be my consolation, to be willing to forego all human comforts. And if Your consolation be wanting to me, let Your will and just trial of me, be my greatest comfort. For You will not always be angry, nor will You threaten forever.”
(Book 3 Ch 16:1-2)

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, HYMNS, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering -23 February – Lord Jesus, Think on Me

Our Morning Offering -23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent

Lord Jesus, Think on Me
By St Synesius of Cyrene (375-430)
Bishop of Ptolemais

Lord Jesus, think on me,
and purge away my sin,
from earth-born passions set me free,
and make me pure within.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
With care and woe oppressed,
let me Thy loving servant be,
and taste Thy promised rest.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
nor let me go astray,
through darkness and perplexity
point Thou the heav’nly way.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
that, when the flood is past,
I may eternal brightness see,
and share Thy joy at last.

St Synesius, a native of Cyrene, born circa 375. His descent was illustrious. His pedigree extended through seventeen centuries and in the words of Gibbon, “could not be equaled in the history of mankind.”
He became distinguished for his eloquence and philosophy and as a statesman and patriot he took a noble stand. When the Goths were threatening his country he went to the court of Arcadius and for three years, tried to rouse it to the dangers that were coming on the empire. But Gibbon says, ”The court of Arcadius indulged the zeal, applauded the eloquence and neglected the advice of Synesius.”
In 410 he was made Bishop of Ptolemaïs (modern Libya) but much against his will. He died in 430.
We have extant one hundred and fifty-five epistles and ten hymns written at different periods of his life.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HEART, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Six of our Lenten Journey – 22 February – Let Your truth teach me.

Day Six of our Lenten Journey – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalm 23:1-3,4-5, Matthew 16:13-19

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
– Matthew 16:15-16

CHRIST: MY CHILD, walk before Me in truth and seek Me always in the simplicity of your heart. He who walks before Me in truth shall be defended from the attacks of evil and the truth shall free him from seducers and from the slanders of wicked men. For if the truth has made you free, then you shall be free indeed and you shall not care for the vain words of men.

DISCIPLE: O Lord, it is true. I ask that it be with me as You say. Let Your truth teach me. Let it guard me and keep me safe to the end. Let it free me from all evil affection and badly ordered love and I shall walk with You in great freedom of heart.

CHRIST: I shall teach you those things which are right and pleasing to Me. Consider your sins with great displeasure and sorrow and never think yourself to be virtuous because of your good works.
You are truly a sinner. You are subject to many passions and entangled in them. Of yourself you always tend to nothing. You fall quickly, are quickly overcome, quickly troubled and quickly undone. You have nothing in which you can glory but you have many things for which you should think yourself vile, for you are much weaker than you can comprehend.
Hence, let none of the things you do seem great to you. Let nothing seem important or precious or desirable except that which is everlasting. Let the eternal truth please you above all things and let your extreme unworthiness always displease you. Fear nothing so much, blame and abhor nothing so much as your own vices and sins; these should be more unpleasant for you than any worldly losses.

Some men walk before Me without sincerity. Led on by a certain curiosity and arrogance, they wish to know My secrets and to understand the high things of God, to the neglect of themselves and their own salvation. Through their own pride and curiosity and because I am against them, such men often fall into great temptations and sins. I leave them to their own devices without My help and counsel!

Fear the judgements of God! Dread the wrath of the Almighty! Do not discuss the works of the Most High but examine your sins — in what serious things you have offended and how many good things you have neglected.

Some carry their devotion only in books, some in pictures, some in outward signs and figures. Some have Me on their lips when there is little of Me in their hearts.
Others, indeed, with enlightened understanding and purified affections, constantly long for everlasting things, they are unwilling to hear of earthly affairs and only with reluctance do they serve the necessities of nature.
These sense what the Spirit of truth speaks within them, for He teaches them to despise earthly things and to love those of heaven, to neglect the world and each day and night, to desire heaven.
(Book 3 Ch 4:1-4)

Posted in LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The 3rd Luminous Mystery - The PROCLAMATION of the KINGDOM, The KINGDOM of GOD, The PASSION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent – ‘.Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.’

Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“The kingdom of God is within you,” says the Lord (Luke 17:21).

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest.
Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.
Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within.
His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great and His intimacy wonderful indeed.
Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you.
He Himself says: “If anyone love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him”. (John 14:23).
Give place, then, to Christ but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you.
He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.
[…] 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?
Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away and you together with them.
Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.
If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds.
If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.
(Book 2, Ch 1)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The 3rd Luminous Mystery - The PROCLAMATION of the KINGDOM, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent – “This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand” Mark 1:12-15

One Minute Reflection – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent, Readings Genesis 9:8-15Psalms 25:4-56-7,8-91 Peter 3:18-22Mark 1:12-15 and the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church

“This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand” – Mark 1:14

REFLECTION “After John had been arrested, Jesus came into Galilee…” According to our interpretation, John stands for the Law and Jesus the Gospel. Indeed, John says: “One mightier than I is coming after me…” (Mk 1,7) and elsewhere: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3,30): in this way he compares the Law with the Gospel. And afterwards he says: “I – that is, the Law – baptise you with water; he – that is the Gospel – will baptise you in the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1,8). And so Jesus comes because John had been put in prison. In effect, the Law is finished, it has been brought to an end, it no longer has its former freedom. But we have passed from the Law to the Gospel…

“Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God”… When I read the Law, prophets and psalms, I never heard them speak of the Kingdom of heaven – only in the gospel. For only when He came, of whom it is said “the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Lk 17,21) that God’s Kingdom was thrown open… In fact, before the Saviour’s coming and the Light of the Gospel, before Christ opened the gate of paradise with the thief (Lk 23,43), all holy souls descended to the place of the dead. Jacob himself said: “I will go down weeping and mourning to the nether world” (Gn 37,35)… In the Law, Abraham rests with the dead; in the gospel, the thief is in paradise. We are not denigrating Abraham, we all want to rest in his bosom (Lk 16,23 but we prefer Christ to Abraham, the Gospel to the Law.

We read that after Christ’s Resurrection many saints appeared in the holy city (Mt 27,53). Our Lord and Saviour preached on earth and preached, too, to the underworld. He died and descended to hell to free the souls held captive there (1Pt 3,18f.).” – St Jerome (347-420), Priest, Translator of the Bible, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, no.2A ; SC 494

PRAYER – Through our annual Lenten observance Lord, deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives,. Teach us by the example and doctrine of St Peter Damian to prefer nothing whatever to Christ and to make the service of Your Church our chief concern and so, come to the joy of Your eternal Kingdom. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Four of our Lenten Journey – ‘A man must fight long and bravely against himself …’

Day Four of our Lenten Journey – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

The holy Martyr, Lawrence, with his priest, conquered the world because he despised everything in it that seemed pleasing to him and for love of Christ patiently suffered the great high priest of God, Sixtus, whom he loved dearly, to be taken from him. Thus, by his love for the Creator, he overcame the love of man and chose instead of human consolation the good pleasure of God.
So you, too, must learn to part with an intimate and much-needed friend for the love of God.
Do not take it to heart when you are deserted by a friend, knowing that in the end we must all be parted from one another.

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human consolation.
The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor seek such pleasures of sense but prefers severe trials and hard labours for the sake of Christ. …

In what can I hope, then, or in Whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout brethren, faithful friends, holy books, beautiful treatises, sweet songs and hymns, all these help and please but little when I am abandoned by grace and left to my poverty.
At such times there is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God.

The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead, therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest. (Book 2, Ch9, 2-3,6,8)

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, INDULGENCES, LENT, LENT 2021, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PURGATORY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 25 July – Purification

Thought for the Day – 25 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Purification

“God has given us two supernatural means of purifying ourselves after we have sinned – the Sacrament of Penance and Indulgences.
The Sacrament of Penance is the plank of salvation to which we can cling when we have been shipwrecked by sin and, by means of Indulgences, we can draw on the infinite treasury of the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, in order to make partial or total satisfaction for the temporal punishment due to our sins.
In this way, we can shorten our purgatory in this life and escape it in the next!

We should make good use of the Sacrament of Penance.
If we fall into mortal sin, let us have recourse at once to this fount of grace.
Even when we are not in mortal sin, let us be faithful to the practice of weekly or at least, fortnightly, confession.

We should not abuse this great gift simply because it seems such a simple method of obtaining pardon.
God is infinitely just, we must remember and, He expects us to co-operate with His graces.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/25/thought-for-the-day-25-july-purification/

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday – ‘… We do little or nothing …’

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

Consider the glowing examples of the holy Fathers, in whom shone true religion and perfection; compared with them, we do little or nothing. Alas, how can our life be compared with theirs!
The Saints and friends of Christ served Our Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in toil and weariness: in watching and fasting, in prayer and meditation, in persecutions and insults without number (Heb.9:38, 1 Cor.4:11).

How countless and constant were the trials endured by the Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins and all those others, who strove to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
These all hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them to life eternal (Jn 12:35).
How strict and self-denying was the life of the holy Fathers in the desert! How long and grievous the temptations they endured!
How often they were assaulted by the Devil!
How frequent and fervent their prayers to God! How strict their fasts! How great their zeal and ardour for spiritual progress!
How valiant the battles they fought to overcome their vices!
How pure and upright their intention towards God!

All day long they laboured and the night they gave to continuous prayer; even as they worked, they never ceased from mental prayer.
They spent all their time with profit, every hour seeming short in the service of God.
They often forgot even their bodily needs in the great sweetness of contemplation.
They renounced all riches, dignities, honours, friends and kindred; they desired to possess nothing in this world.
Scarcely would they take the necessities of life and only with reluctance would they provide for the needs of the body.
Thus, though destitute of earthly goods, they were abundantly rich in grace and all virtues.
Outwardly they were poor but inwardly they were refreshed with grace and heavenly consolation.
They were strangers to the world but to God, they were dear and familiar friends (Ex 33:11).
To themselves they were nothing but in the eyes of God, they were precious and beloved.
Grounded in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and patience; (Eph 5:2) and thus daily increased in the Spirit, and received great grace from God.

… Oh, the carelessness and coldness of this present time!
Sloth and lukewarmness makes life wearisome for us and we soon lose our early fervour!
May the longing to grow in grace not remain dormant in you …
(Book 1, Ch 18:1-4a,6)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, LENT 2021, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – Fast!

Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

“Then they will fast”

Matthew 9:15

“The days will come,
when the bridegroom is taken away from them
and then they will fast in that day.”

Mark 2:20

“Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!”

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

“Prayer, mercy and fasting:
These three are one
and they give life to each other.
Fasting is the soul of prayer;
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no-one try to separate them;
they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them,
or not all together, you have nothing.”

“So if you pray, fast;
if you fast, show mercy;
if you want your petition to be heared,
hear the petition of others.
When you fast, see the fasting of others.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.”

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna
Father and Doctor of Homilies

“Let my fasting be based on temperance,
my soul in a state of grace,
my intention solely to please God,
then my efforts will ring true,
fit to enlarge my store of charity.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva OFM, Cap.
Doctor Caritatis

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, HYMNS, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY TRINITY

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – O God, Creator of Us All

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday

O God, Creator of Us All,
Deus, Creator Omnium
Stanbrook Abbey

O God, Creator of us all,
From Whom we come, to Whom we go,
You look with pity on our hearts,
The weakness of our wills You know.

Forgive us all the wrong we do
And purify each sinful soul.
What we have darkened, heal with light
And what we have destroyed, make whole.

The fast by law and prophets taught,
By You, O Christ, was sanctified.
Bless all our penance, give us strength,
To share the Cross on which You died.

O God of mercy, hear our prayer,
With Christ Your Son and Spirit blest,
Transcendent Trinity in Whom,
Created things all come to rest.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 18 February – The Hour of Trial

Thought for the Day – 18 February – A Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Hour of Trial

“Everybody, even a Saint, has his hour of trial.
God wants it this way. so that if we are victorious with the help of His grace, we can receive our reward.
“One who enters a contest is not crowned unless he has competed according to the rules” (Cf 2 Tim 2:5).
Even the Angels were put on trial and those haughty spirits who rebelled against God, were damned forever.

Our first parents were placed on trial and because they disobeyed God’s command, were deprived of their supernatural gifts and exiled from their earthly paradise.
Even Jesus willed to endure His hour of trial in the Garden of Gethsemane, before the Sanhedrin, before the judgement seat of Pilate and on Mount Calvary.
He desired to be tried in this way, in order to teach us how to be victorious.

Our trials are of various kinds, some of which recur frequently during our lives.
They may be physical, such as suffering, disease, disgrace or poverty.
They may be moral trials, which affect mainly the heart – the neglect of those whom we love, calumny, misunderstanding, or malice.
There are also spiritual trials, such as discouraging lapses into sin, or aridity of soul when it seems that the Heavenly Father has abandoned us as He abandoned Jesus in His last agony on the Cross.

How should we behave when we are tried?
Jesus showed us the way, when He took upon Himself, the sins of all mankind and His passion began in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Even before He ascended Mount Calvary and was nailed to the Cross, He experienced here all the agony and terror of His redemptive mission.
Prostrate with suffering, He prayed three times: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; yet not as I will but as thou willest” (Cf Mt 26:39-42).
When we are tried, we should fervently repeat this prayer of complete resignation to the will of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Two of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – In the cross alone, is the hope of life

Day Two of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Thursday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Luke 9:22-25

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” – Luke 9:23

To many the word seems harsh; “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus”… (Mt 16:24) Why do you fear then to take up the cross, the way that leads to the kingdom? In the cross you are saved, revived, protected. In the cross you are showered with sweetness from on high, your mind is strengthened, your spirit rejoiced. In the cross is virtue’s sum and perfect holiness. In the cross alone, is the hope of life eternal, the soul’s salvation. So take up your cross and follow Jesus and you will enter eternal life… For if you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.

Everything is founded on the cross… There is no other way to life, nor to true inner peace… Walk where you will, seek what you will, you will find neither a loftier way above, nor a safer way below but only the way of the Holy Cross.

Plan as you will, arrange as you see fit; all you will ever find is suffering, you cannot help but bear and so you will always find the cross. You will either have bodily pain or mental and spiritual affliction. Now God will leave you, again your fellow will provoke you and what is more, you will often weigh heavy on yourself. There is neither remedy to free you, nor comfort to ease you… For God will have you learn to endure affliction with total submission to Himself and become more humble… You must endure with patience everywhere, if you would be at peace within and earn the lasting crown.
(Book II, Ch 12:1,2,3-4)