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Lenten Reflection – 3 April – ‘He alone is Priest, Sacrifice and Temple…’

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 18:2-7, John 10:31-42

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me
but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works,
that you may know and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” … John 10:37-38

Daily Meditation:
Set us free.

“The Apostle teaches that Christ offered Himself for us to God as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.   He is the true God and the true high priest who for our sake entered once for all into the holy of holies, taking with Him not the blood of bulls and goats but His own blood.   This was foreshadowed by the high priest of old when each year he took blood and entered the holy of holies.

Christ is, therefore, the one who in Himself alone, embodied all that He knew to be necessary to achieve our redemption.   He is at once Priest and Sacrifice, God and Temple. He is the Priest through whom we have been reconciled, the Sacrifice by which we have been reconciled, the Temple in which we have been reconciled, the God with whom we have been reconciled.   He alone is Priest, Sacrifice and Temple because He is all these things as God, in the form of a Servant but He is not alone as God, for He is this with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the form of God.

Hold fast to this and never doubt it – the only-begotten Son, God the Word, becoming man offered Himself for us, to God, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.   In the time of the Old Testament, patriarchs, prophets and priests sacrificed animals in His honour and in honour of the Father and the Holy Spirit, as well.   Now in the time of the New Testament the Holy Catholic Church, throughout the world, never ceases to offer the Sacrifice of bread and wine, in faith and love, to Him and to the Father and the Holy Spirit, with whom He shares one Godhead.” … St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) – An excerpt from his Treatise on Faith addressed to PeterFRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK 3 APRIL 2020

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised
and I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:2-3

Intercessions:
Thanks be to Christ the Lord,
who brought us life by is death on the cross.
With our whole heart let us askHhim:
By Your death raise us to life.

Teacher and Saviour,
You have shown us Your fidelity and made us a new creation by Your passion,
– keep us from falling again into sin.
Help us to deny ourselves today,
– and not deny those in need.
May we receive this day of penance as Your gift,
– and give it back to You through works of mercy.
Master our rebellious hearts,
– and teach us generosity.
Closing Prayer:
Most forgiving Lord,
again and again You welcome me back into Your loving arms.
Grant me freedom from the heavy burdens of sin
that weigh me down
and keep me so far from You.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“O Fountain of everlasting love,
what shall I say of You?
How can I forget You,
Who have vouchsafed to remember me
even after I was corrupted and lost?”

Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471)

Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Chapter 10

o-fountain-of-everlasting-love-thomas-a-kempis-3-april-2019 AND 2 APRIL 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 1 April – Let us then recognise both our voice in His and His voice in ours. 

Lenten Reflection – 1 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95, Responsorial psalm Daniel 3:52-56, John 8:31-42

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples
and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”…John 8:31-32

john-8-39-40-if-you-were-abrahams-children-wedfifthweeklent-10-april-2019 and 1 april 2020

Daily Meditation:
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.

“God could give no greater gift to men than to make His Word, through whom He created all things, their head and to join them to Him as His members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father and one man with all men.   The result is that when we speak with God in prayer, we do not separate the Son from Him and when the body of the Son prays, it does not separate its head from itself, it is the one Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is Himself the object of our prayers.
He prays for us, as our priest, He prays in us, as our head, He is the object of our prayers, as our God.
Let us then recognise both our voice in His and His voice in ours.   When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Chris,t that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness, unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite Himself with us.   Every creature is His servant, for it was through Him that every creature came to be.” … Saint Augustine (354-430) Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

he prays for us - st augustine - 1 april 2020

Intercessions:
Blessed be God, the giver of salvation,
who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in Himself,
when all would be made new.
With great confidence let us ask Him:
Lord, renew us in Your Spirit.

Lord, You promised a new heaven and a new earth,
renew us daily through Your Spirit,
– that we may enjoy Your presence forever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with You to make this world alive with Your Spirit,
– and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
– and give us joy in Your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
– and from slavery to the senses,
which blinds us to Your love, freedom and truth.

Closing Prayer:

Grant that I may love You
and be loved by You
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)

O God of love,
You are
and shall be forever,
the only delight of my heart
and the sole object of my affections.
Since Jesus said,
‘Ask and you shall receive,’
I do not hesitate to say,
‘Give me Your love
and Your grace.’
Grant that I may love You
and be loved by You.
I want nothing else.
Amen

grant-that-i-may-love-you-and-beloved-by-you-st-alphonsus-liguori-1-april-2019 and 1 april 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 31 March – The Word of the Cross

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 102:2-3, 16-21, John 8:21-30

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I Am He…”…John 8:28

john-8-28-when-yu-have-lifted-up-the-son-of-man-tuesdayfifthweeklent-9-april-2019 and 31 March 2020

Daily Meditation:
May we be lifted up with you.

“Jesus lifted up draws all to Himself.
Jesus lifted up on the Cross, reveals fully Whoe He really is.
Jesus is most Jesus, when He is on the Cross.
Even though at Calvary, Jesus was taunted and mocked
by the rabid rabble, to come down from the Cross,
He remained transfixed on it, till the very end.
We need to mount the Cross with Jesus!
We need to see the world from that vantage viewpoint.
Then, everything falls into proper perspective,
then we begin to see the world, as it is.
It is only when we are with Jesus on the Cross,
that we are stretched to our fullest dimensions!” … Msgr Alex Rebello

For my days pass away like smoke
and my bones burn like a furnace.
Psalm 102:3

Intercessions:
Praise to Christ, who has given us Himself as the bread from heaven.
Let us pray to Him, saying:
Jesus, You feed and heal our souls, come to strengthen us.

Lord, feed us at the banquet of the Eucharist,
– with all the gifts of Your Paschal Sacrifice.
Give us a perfect heart to receive Your word,
– that we may bring forth fruit in patience.
Make us eager to work with You in building a better world,
– so that it may listen to Your Church and its gospel of peace.
We confess, Lord, that we have sinned,
– wash us clean by Your gift of salvation.

Closing Prayer:

The Word of the Cross
by Saint Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) 

Look on thy God, Christ hidden in our flesh.
A bitter word, the cross and bitter sight:
Hard rind without, to hold the heart of heaven.
Yet sweet it is, for God upon that tree
Did offer up His life upon that rood
My Life hung, that my life might stand in God.
Christ, what am I to give Thee for my life?
Unless take from Thy hands the cup they hold,
To cleanse me with the precious draught of death.
What shall I do? My body to be burned?
Make myself vile? The debt’s not paid out yet.
Whate’er I do, it is but I and Thou,
And still do I come short, still must Thou pay
My debts, O Christ, for debts Thyself hadst none.
What love may balance Thine? My Lord was found
In fashion like a slave, that so His slave
Might find himself in fashion like his Lord.
Think you the bargain’s hard, to have exchanged
The transient for the eternal, to have sold
Earth to buy Heaven? More dearly God bought me.

the word of the cross by st paulinus of nola - 31 march 2020

“Christ’s shoulders are the arms of the cross,
there it is, that I have laid down my sins,
on that gallows I have found my rest. “

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

christs-shoulders-are-the-arms-of-the-cross-st-ambrose-good-shepherd-luke-15-1-32-15-sept-2019 and 31 march 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 30 March – ‘The Holy and sublime ladder …’

Lenten Reflection – 30 March – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62, Psalm 23, John 8:1-11

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.” … John 8:11

Daily Meditation:
Help us to pass from our old life of sin
to our new life of grace.

“The Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, “made himself all things to all men” (1 Cor 9:22) in such a way that He revealed Himself as being smaller than the small, He who was greater than the great.   To save a soul who was surprised in adultery and accused by the demons, He lowered Himself to the point of writing on the ground with His finger…. He, Himself, is the holy and sublime ladder that the traveller Jacob saw in his sleep (Gen 28:12),… the ladder that was set up from the earth to God and that God held out to the earth.   When He wants, He goes up to God. Sometimes He is accompanied by a few people … and sometimes no-one can follow Him.   And when He wants, He joins the crowd… He heals lepers, eats with publicans and sinners… touches the sick to heal them.he himself is the holy and sublime ladder - isaac of stella 30 march 2020

Blessed is the soul that can follow the Lord Jesus wherever He goes, going up to the rest of contemplation… and on the other hand, coming down by the practice of charity, following Him to the point of lowering itself in service, of loving poverty, of bearing with (…) fatigue, work, tears, prayer and finally compassion and the passion.   For He came in order to obey even to death, to serve and not to be served, not to give gold or silver but His teaching and His help to the many, His life for the many (Mk 10:45)…

So, brethren, may this be the model for your life: (…) to follow Christ by going up to the Father… to follow Christ by going down to your neighbour, refusing no practice of charity, making yourselves all things to all persons.” … Isaac of Stella (c 1100-c 1171) Cistercian Monk, theologian, philosopher – Sermon 12

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters,
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3monday of the fifth week 30 march 2020

Intercessions:
Praise to Jesus, our Saviour.
By His death He has opened for us the way of salvation.
Let us ask Him:
Lord, guide Your people to walk in Your ways.

God of mercy, You gave us new life through Baptism,
– make us grow day by day in Your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
– in helping them may we find You.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in Your sight,
– and to seek You always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of Your family,
– make us one in heart and spirit.

Closing Prayer:

I Unite My Sacrifice
Prayer for Submission to Divine Providence
By St Joseph Maria Pignatelli SJ (1737 – 1811)

My God, I do not know
what must come to me today.
But I am certain
that nothing can happen to me
that You have not foreseen, decreed
and ordained from all eternity.
That is sufficient for me.
I adore Your impenetrable
and eternal designs,
to which I submit with all my heart.
I desire, I accept them all
and I unite my sacrifice to that of
Jesus Christ, my Divine Saviour.
I ask in His name
and through His infinite merits,
patience in my trials
and perfect and entire submission,
to all that comes to me
by Your good pleasure.
Ameni unite my sacrifice by st joseph pignatelli sj 30 march 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 29 March – ‘… He is brought into life by a single call’

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 37:12-14, Psalm 130:1-8, Romans 8:8-11, John 11:1-45

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Lazarus, come out!” … John 11:43

the fifth sunday of lent 29 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
The Way, the Truth and the Life

“Here we have a man past the prime of life, a corpse, decaying, swollen, in fact, already in a state of dissolution, so that even his own relatives did not want the Lord to draw near the tomb because the decayed body enclosed there, was so offensive.   And yet, he is brought into life by a single call, confirming the proclamation of the resurrection, that is to say, that expectation of it, as universal, that we learn by a particular experience to entertain.   For as in the regeneration of the universe, the apostle tells us that “the Lord himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel” and by a trumpet sound, raise up the dead to incorruption — so now too, he who is in the tomb, at the voice of command, shakes off death as if it were only sleep.   He rids himself of the corruption that had come on his condition of a corpse, leaps forth from the tomb whole and sound, not even hindered as he leaves by the bonds of the grave cloths round his feet and hands.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church – On the Making of Man, 25

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6john 11 43 lazarus come out - st gregory of nyssa he is brought into life by a single call 29 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour
and ask Him with confidence:
– Lord, create a new spirit within us.

Christ, our life, we were buried with You in Baptism, to rise from the dead
– lead us this day along the new path of life.
Help us to work with others to build the earthly city
– but never let us lose sight of Your heavenly kingdom.
Healer of souls, mend our broken lives
– let us receive all the blessings of Your holiness.
Call us, bid us come to You
– let our ears be deaf to the calls of the world.

Closing Prayer:
Preface
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give You thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

For as true man He wept for
Lazarus His friend
and as eternal God, raised him from the tomb,
just as, taking pity on the human race,
He leads us, by sacred mysteries, to new life.

Through Him, the host of angels adores Your majesty
and rejoices in Your presence forever.
May our voices, we pray,
join with theirs in one chorus of exultant praise, as we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts …

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Quote of the Day – 28 March – ‘… Do you get upset?’

Quote of the Day – 28 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent

“Your Master is not disturbed by mockery and do you get upset?
He bears spittle, blows, strokes of the lash
and can you not take a harsh word?
He accepts the cross, a humiliating death,
the torture of the nails
and can you not undertake to carry out the lowliest of tasks?
How can you become a sharer in His glory (1 Pt 5:1)
if you will not consent to become a sharer in His humiliating death?”

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

Catechesis 27

how-can-you-become-a-sharer-in-his-glory-28-march-2019-st-simeon-the-new-theologian-28-march-2019 and 28 march 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 28 March – “This is the Christ.”

Lenten Reflection – 28 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Others said, “This is the Christ.” ... John 7:41

Daily Meditation:
Apart from You we can do nothing.

“In Christ we encounter such human characteristics that they have nothing to distinguish them from the weakness common to us mortals.   At the same time, we encounter characteristics so divine, that they can only be appropriate to the sovereign and ineffable divine nature.   Too small to comprehend this, the human mind is so dumbfounded, that it does not know what to take its stand on, nor which path to follow. Is it aware of God in Christ?   Yet it sees Him die.   Does it take Him to be a man?   But see Him coming back from the dead with the prize of His victory, having destroyed the reign of death.   In the same way our contemplation needs to be practised with such reverence and fear that, in the same Jesus, it considers the truth of the two natures, avoiding attributing to the divine essence those things that are not worthy of it or do not belong to it but also avoiding seeing only an illusory appearance in historical events.

In truth, causing such things as these to be heard by human ears, trying to express them in words considerably surpasses our ability, talent and language.   I even think it surpasses the capability of the apostles.   More still, the explanation of this mystery probably transcends the entire order of angelic powers.” … Origen (c 185-253) Father, Priest and Theologian

My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
Psalm 7:10

but-see-him-coming-back-from-the-dead-6-april-2019-origen and 28 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour
and ask Him with confidence:
Lord, help us with Your grace.

May we keep our bodies pure,
– as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this day to the service of others
– and do Your will in all things throughout the day.
Teach us to seek the bread of everlasting life,
– the bread that is Your gift.
May Your Mother, the refuge of sinners, pray for us,
– and gain for us your loving forgiveness.

john-7-44-and-7-41-satfourthweeklent-6-april-2019 and 28 march 2020

Closing Prayer:

O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus, Doctor communis

Hail to Thee! True body sprung
From the Virgin Mary’s womb!
The same that on the cross was hung
And bore for man the bitter doom.
Thou Whose side was pierced and flowed
Both with water and with blood.
Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life’s last agony.
O kind, O loving One!
O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
Ameno jesus mary's son st thomas aquinas 28 march 2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Death

Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men,
I also will acknowledge before my Father,
who is in heaven…”

Matthew 10:32

matthew-10-32-so-everyone-who-acknowledges-me-13-july-2019-and-27-nov-2019 and 5 feb 2020

“O my God and my Father,
may I know You
and make You known,
love You
and make You loved,
serve You
and make You served,
praise You
and make all creatures praise You.”

St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)
Founder of the Claretians

may i know you - st anthony mary claret 27 march 2020

It is certain, however, that of the two thieves
dying beside the Cross of our Redeemer, only one heard Him say:
“This day, you will be with me in Paradise!”
The other, remained obdurate in his sin.
It is the height of stupidity, to wait to be converted,
at the hour of death!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

it is the height of stupidity - bacci - 11 jan 2020

“The greatest freedom,
is the freedom from the fear of death,
when we know Who sent us
and to Whom we must return.”

Msgr Alex Rebello CMF
Claretian Priest
Diocese of Wrexham, Wales

the greatest freedom is the freedom from the fear of death - msgr alex rebello bible diary 27 march 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 27 March – ‘Here is the Son of God …’

Lenten Reflection – 27 March – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, Psalm 34:17-21, 23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

“In His Resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the Cross as the way to the Resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the Cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).
Here is the Son of God, who in His Resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.” … St Pope John Paul (1920-2005) – Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

and-it-is-also-the-same-christ-st-john-paul-encyclical-frifourtheweeklent-5-april-2019 AND 27 MARCH 2020

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18

friday of the fourth week 27 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us pray to Christ our Saviour,
who redeemed us by His Death and Resurrection:
Lord, have mercy on us.

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into Your glory,
– bring Your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– heal our wounds.
You made the Cross the Tree of Life,
– give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
On the Cross You forgave the repentant thief,
– forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:

Act of Contrition
By St Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.
Amenact-of-contrition-st-alphonsus-13-april-2019 and 27 march 2020

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The PASSION

Holy Week Thoughts – 16 April – Peter’s Denial

Holy Week Thoughts – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Peter’s Denial

Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?   Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times….John 13:38

Saint Romanos the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

Hymnist – Hymn 34 

O Good Shepherd, You who have laid down Your life for Your sheep (Jn 10:11), come quickly, O holy One and save Your flock…

After the meal Christ said:  “Children, my dear disciples, this night you will all deny and abandon me” (cf. Jn 16:32).   And since all were seized by the same astonishment, Peter exclaimed:  “Even though all deny you, I shall not deny you. I shall remain with you and die with you, crying out to you:   Come quickly, O Holy One, and save your flock.”

“Master, what are You talking about?   I deny you?   I abandon You and flee?   And am I no longer to remember Your call and the honour You have shown me?   I still call to mind how You washed my feet and now, do you say:   “You will deny me”?   Once again I see You coming, carrying a basin, You who uphold the earth and support the sky.   With the hands that fashioned me my feet have just been washed and do You now assert that I will fall and I will no longer cry out to You:   “Come quickly, O Holy One and save Your flock ?”…

At these words man’s Creator answered Peter:   “What are you saying, Peter, my friend? You will never deny Me?  never flee from Me?  never reject Me?   I, too, would wish to think so.   But your faith is unstable and you do not stand up to temptation.   Do you not you remember how you might nearly have drowned had I not stretched out my hand to you?   You most certainly walked on the sea as I did myself but immediately you hesitated and quickly gave way (Mt 14:28f.).   Then I ran towards you who were crying aloud:   “Come quickly, O Holy One, and save Your flock.”

“See, from now on I tell you – before the cock crows three times you will deny Me and, letting yourself be attacked on all sides and your spirit submerged as by the waves of the sea, you will deny Me three times.   You who cried out to Me then and are about to weep, you will find Me no longer now extending My hand as before, for I shall be using it to write a bill of remission on behalf of all Adam’s descendants.   My visible flesh I will take as My paper and My blood as ink to write out this gift, which I endlessly distribute to those who cry aloud:  “Come quickly, O Holy One, and save your flock!”peter's denial john 13 38 - you who cried out to me then - st romanus the melodist 16 april 2019 .jpg

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Quote of the Day – 14 April – “…You yourselves will be His praise.”

Quote of the Day – 14 April – Palm Sunday, Year C

“It is there, on Calvary, that Jesus has His final appointment with a sinner,
to throw open the gates of His Kingdom for him too.
This is interesting, it is the only time that the word “Paradise”
appears in the Gospels.
Jesus promises it to a “poor devil” who, on the wood of the cross,
had the courage to proffer Him the most humble of requests:
“Remember me when you have entered your kingdom” (cf. Lk 23:42).
He had no good works to assert,
he had nothing but he entrusted himself to Jesus,
whom he recognised as innocent, good, so different from himself.
Those words of humble remorse were enough to touch Jesus’ heart.
The good thief reminds us of our true condition before God-
that we are His children, that He feels compassion for us,
that He is defenceless each time
we show our nostalgia for His love.”

Pope Francis

General Audience, 25 October 2017it is there on calvary tht Jesus has his final appointment with a sinner - pope francis palm sunday 14 april 2019.jpg

My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me, or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:   Sing to the Lord a new song.   Look, you tell me, I am singing.   Yes indeed, you are singing, you are singing clearly, I can hear you.   But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.   Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives – Sing to the Lord a new song’.

Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love but you ask me how to sing His praises.   You have heard the words – Sing to the Lord a new song and you wish to know what praises to sing.   The answer is – His praise is in the assembly of the saints – it is in the singers themselves.   If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express.   Live good lives and you yourselves will be His praise.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

his-praise-is-in-the-assembly-of-saints-st-augustine-25-march-2018-palm-sunday.jpg

Posted in HYMNS, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The PASSION, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – Palm Sunday – 14 April – “Blessed the King who comes in the name of the Lord”

Lenten Thoughts – Palm Sunday, Year C – 14 April

This Sunday, called Palm or Passion Sunday, is the first day of Holy Week. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday are called the Triduum, three days that are the highlight of the Church year.   There are two Gospels proclaimed at today’s Mass.   The first Gospel, proclaimed before the procession with palms, tells of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem.   Riding on a borrowed colt, Jesus was hailed by the crowds as they shouted blessings and praise to God.   This event is reported in each of the four Gospels.

“Blessed the King who comes in the name of the Lord”...Luke 19:38

Saint Romanus the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

Composer of Hymns – Hymn 32

Seated on your throne in heaven and on a colt on earth, O Christ, You who are God, You welcomed the praise of the angels and the anthem of the children who called out to You : “Blessed are You, the one who comes to recall Adam”…

The King comes to us, humble, sitting on the foal of a donkey.   He comes with haste to suffer His Passion and take sins away.   Seated on a dumb animal, the Word, the Wisdom of God, wants to save all beings endowed with reason.   And all humankind can contemplate, mounted on a colt, the One who rides on the cherubim (Ps 17:10) and who once bore up Elijah on a chariot of fire. “Though he was rich,” of his own will, “he became poor” (2Co 8:9) ; in choosing weakness he gives strength to all who cry to him :” Blessed are You, the one who comes to call Adam”…

You demonstrate Your strength by choosing poverty…  The clothes of the disciples were a sign of this poverty but Your power was measured by the anthem of the children and the great crowd which cried :   “Hosanna!”—which means : “Save!”—”Hosanna to You who are in the highest.   O Almighty, save those who are humbled.  Have mercy on us, in consideration of our palms, may the palms we wave move Your heart, You who come to call Adam”…

“You who are the work of my hands,” the Creator answered …, “I came to you myself.   It was not the Law that was to save you since it had not created you, nor the prophets who, like you, I created.   I alone can free you from your debt  . I am sold for you and I free you.   I am crucified for you and you are rescued from death. I die and I teach you to cry : ” Blessed are You, the one who comes to call Adam”.

Did I love the angels as much?   No, it is you, the poor, whom I have cherished.   I have hidden my glory and, out of my great love for you, have freely made my richness poor. For you I suffered hunger, thirst, fatigue.   I roamed the mountains, ravines and valleys looking for you, my lost sheep.   I took the name of Lamb to bring you back, calling you with my shepherd’s voice.   And I want to give my life for you, to tear you away from claws of the wolf.   I bear everything so that you may cry out : “Blessed are You, the one who comes to call Adam”.the king comes to us humble sitting - 14 april 2019 palm sunday.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The STATIONS of the CROSS

The Stations of the Cross – 13 April – The Third Station

The Stations of the Cross – 13 April – Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Begin with an Act of Contrition, this one by St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787).

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.
Amenact of contrition - st alphonsus 13 april 2019.jpg

The Third Station
Jesus falls the first time beneath the Cross

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
V. We adore You, O Christ and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

JESUS, bowed down under the weight and the length of the unwieldy Cross, which trailed after Him, slowly sets forth on His way, amid the mockeries and insults of the crowd.   His agony in the Garden itself was sufficient to exhaust Him but it was only the first of a multitude of sufferings.   He sets off with His whole heart but His limbs fail Him and He falls.

Yes, it is as I feared.   Jesus, the strong and mighty Lord, has found for the moment our sins stronger than Himself.   He falls—yet He bore the load for a while, He tottered but He bore up and walked onwards.   What, then, made Him give way?   I say, I repeat, it is an intimation and a memory to thee, O my soul, of thy falling back into mortal sin.   I repented of the sins of my youth and went on well for a time but at length, a new temptation came, when I was off my guard and I suddenly fell away.   Then all my good habits seemed to go at once, they were like a garment which is stripped off, so quickly and utterly did grace depart from me.   And at that moment I looked at my Lord and lo! He had fallen down and I covered my face with my hands and remained in a state of great confusion.the third station jesus falls the first time - bl john henry newman 13 april 20195.jpg

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.

I love You,
Lord Jesus,
my love
above all things,
I repent
with my
whole heart
for having
offended You.
Never permit me
to separate myself
from You again
grant that I
may love always
and then do with me
what You will.
(St Alphonsus Liguori)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The STATIONS of the CROSS

The Stations of the Cross – 12 April – The Second Station

The Stations of the Cross – 12 April – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)the stations of the cross - meditations by - for each post - header 11 april 2019

Begin with an Act of Contrition, this one by St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787).

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.
Amen

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
V. We adore You, O Christ and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

The Second Station
Jesus receives His Cross

A STRONG, and therefore heavy Cross, for it is strong enough to bear Him on it, when He arrives at Calvary, is placed upon His torn shoulders.   He receives it gently and meekly, nay, with gladness of heart, for it is to be the salvation of mankind.

True – but recollect, that heavy Cross is the weight of our sins.   As it fell upon His neck and shoulders, it came down with a shock.   Alas! what a sudden, heavy weight have I laid upon Thee, O Jesus.   And, though in the calm and clear foresight of Your mind—for You see all things—You were fully prepared for it, yet Your feeble frame tottered under it when it dropped down upon You.   Ah! how great a misery is it that I have lifted up my hand against my God.   How could I ever fancy He would forgive me! unless He had Himself told us, that He underwent His bitter passion, in order that He might forgive us.   I acknowledge, O Jesus, in the anguish and agony of my heart, that my sins it was that struck You on the face, that bruised Your sacred arms, that tore Your flesh with iron rods, that nailed You to the Cross and let You slowly die upon it.the second station jesus receives his cros - 12 april 2019 bl john henry newman.jpg

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.

I love You,
Lord Jesus,
my love
above all things,
I repent
with my
whole heart
for having
offended You.
Never permit me
to separate myself
from You again
grant that I
may love always
and then do with me
what You will.
(St Alphonsus Liguori)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Bei love you lod jesus - st alphonsus 11 april 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers – St Augustine

Lenten Thoughts – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms (Psalm 85)

God could give no greater gift to men than to make His Word, through whom He created all things, their head and to join them to Him as His members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father and one man with all men.  The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from Him and when the body of the Son prays, it does not separate its head from itself, it is the one Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is Himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, He is the object of our prayers as our God.he prays for us as our priest - st augustine 10 april 2019.jpg

Let us then recognise both our voice in His and His voice in ours.   When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Christ that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite Himself with us.   Every creature is His servant, for it was through Him that every creature came to be.

We contemplate His glory and divinity when we listen to these words:   In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made.   Here we gaze on the divinity of the Son of God, something supremely great and surpassing all the greatness of His creatures.   Yet in other parts of Scripture we hear Him as one sighing, praying, giving praise and thanks.

We hesitate to attribute these words to Him because our minds are slow to come down to His humble level when we have just been contemplating Him in His divinity.   It is as though we were doing Him an injustice, in acknowledging in a man the words of one, with whom we spoke, when we prayed to God;  we are usually at a loss and try to change the meaning.   Yet our minds find nothing in Scripture that does not go back to Him, nothing that will allow us to stray from Him.

Our thoughts must then be awakened to keep their vigil of faith.   We must realise that the one whom we were contemplating, a short time before, in his nature as God took to Himself the nature of a servant, He was made in the likeness of men and found to be a man like others, He humbled Himself by being obedient even to accepting death, as He hung on the cross He made the psalmist’s words His own:  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We pray to Him as God, He prays for us as a servant.   In the first case, He is the Creator, in the second a creature.   Himself unchanged, He took to Himself our created nature in order to change it and made us one man, with Himself, head and body.   We pray then to Him, through Him, in Him and we speak along with Him and He along with us.we pray then to him and in him and with him 10 april 2019 st augustine lenten thoughts.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION, The SIGN of the CROSS

The Cross of Christ is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces – St Pope Leo the Great

Lenten Thoughts – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

The Cross of Christ

is the source of all blessings,

the cause of all graces

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461)
Bishop of Rome and Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his On the Lord’s Passion

Sermon 8

Our understanding, which is enlightened by the Spirit of truth, should receive with purity and freedom of heart the glory of the Cross as it shines in heaven and on earth.   It should see with inner vision the meaning of the Lord’s words when He spoke of the imminence of His passion – The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Afterwards, He said – Now my soul is troubled and what am I to say?   Father, save me from this hour.   But it was for this that I came to this hour.   Father, glorify your Son. When the voice of the Father came from heaven, saying, I have glorified him and will glorify him again, Jesus said in reply to those around him:  It was not for me that this voice spoke but for you.   Now is the judgement of the world, now will the prince of this world be cast out.   And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.

How marvellous the power of the Cross, how great beyond all telling the glory of the passion, here is the judgement-seat of the Lord, the condemnation of the world, the supremacy of Christ crucified.

Lord, you drew all things to Yourself so that the devotion of all peoples everywhere might celebrate, in a sacrament made perfect and visible, what was carried out in the one temple of Judea under obscure foreshadowings.

Now there is a more distinguished order of Levites, a greater dignity for the rank of elders, a more sacred anointing for the priesthood, because Your Cross is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces.   Through the Cross the faithful receive strength from weakness, glory from dishonour, life from death.

The different sacrifices of animals are no more – the one offering of Your body and blood is the fulfilment of all the different sacrificial offerings, for You are the true Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world.   In Yourself, You bring to perfection all mysteries, so that, as there is one sacrifice in place of all other sacrificial offerings, there is also one kingdom gathered from all peoples.

Dearly beloved, let us then acknowledge what Saint Paul, the teacher of the nations, acknowledged so exultantly.  This is a saying worthy of trust, worthy of complete acceptance – Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.   God’s compassion for us is all the more wonderful because Christ died, not for the righteous or the holy but for the wicked and the sinful and, though the divine nature could not be touched by the sting of death, He took to Himself, through His birth as one of us, something He could offer on our behalf.

The power of His death once confronted our death.   In the words of Hosea the prophet, Death, I shall be your death;  grave, I shall swallow you up.   By dying He submitted to the laws of the underworld, by rising again, He destroyed them.   He did away with the everlasting character of death, so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity.   As all die in Adam, so all, will be brought to life in Christ.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amenhe did away with the everlasting character of deth - st pope leo the great 9 april 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 8 April – “Praying means …”

Lenten Thoughts – 8 April – Monday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

“Praying means giving up your false security, no longer looking for arguments that will protect you if you get pushed into a corner and no longer setting our hope on a couple of lighter moments which your life might still offer.
To pray, means to stop expecting from God, the same small-mindedness, you discover in yourself.
To pray is to walk in the full Light of God and to say simply, without holding back, “I am human and You are God!”
At that moment, conversion occurs, the restoration for the true relationship.
A human being is not someone who once in a while makes a mistake and God is not someone who now and then forgives.
No!   Human beings are sinners and God is love.
The conversion experience makes this obvious with stunning simplicity and disarming clarity.”

Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)to pray is to walk simply in the full Light of God and to say I am human and you ae God henri nouwen 8 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Thoughts – 7 April – “If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first”

Lenten Thoughts – 7 April – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C

“Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ.   How many things are enclosed inside this treasure! Christ crucified!   Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science.   Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom.   Gather before the covering and pray that it may be uncovered.   Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless… What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? …  And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other? In whom?   In Christ crucified.   This is His commandment – that we believe in Christ crucified …  But where humility is, there is also majesty, where weakness is, there shall one find power, where death is, there shall be life as well.   If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor
(Sermon 160, 3-4)this is his commandment that we believe - st augustine 7 april 2019 lenten thoughts.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The SIGN of the CROSS

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – THE BELOVED CROSSES

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

THE BELOVED CROSSES
“Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)

The saints, my dear brethren, all loved the Cross and found in it their strength and their consolation.

But, you will say to me, is it necessary, then, always to have something to suffer? …. Now sickness or poverty, or again scandal or calumny, or possibly loss of money or an infirmity?

Have you been calumniated, my friends?   Have you been loaded with insults?   Have you been wronged?   So much the better!   That is a good sign, do not worry, you are on the road that leads to Heaven.   Do you know when you ought to be really upset? I do not know if you understand it but it should be precisely for the opposite reason — when you have nothing to endure, when everyone esteems and respects you.   Then you should feel envious of those who have the happiness of passing their lives in suffering, or contempt, or poverty.

Are you forgetting, then, that at your Baptism you accepted the Cross, which you must never abandon until death and that it is the key that you will use to open the door of Heaven?   Are you forgetting the words of our Saviour: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.   The saints had a great fear of passing any time without suffering, for they looked upon it as time lost.

According to St Teresa, man is only in this world to suffer and when he ceases to suffer, he should cease to live. St John of the Cross asks God, with tears, to give him the grace to suffer more as a reward for all his labours.

What should we conclude, my dear children, from all that?

Just this – Let us make a resolution to have a great respect for all the crosses, which are blessed and which represent to us in a small way all that our God Suffered for us.   Let us recall that from the Cross flow all the graces that are bestowed upon us and that as a consequence, a cross which is blessed is a source of blessings, that we should often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves and always with great respect and, finally, that our houses should never remain without this symbol of salvation.

“Everything is a reminder of the Cross.
We ourselves are made in the shape of a cross.”

Fill your children, my dear brethren, with the greatest respect for the Cross and always have a blessed cross on yourselves, it will protect you against the Devil, from the vengeance of Heaven and from all danger.   This is what I desire for you.everything is a reminder of the cross - st jon vianney 2018.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April ‘ But You God”

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

And now, my heavy laden soul,
what will you do?
You call with your lips and voice to
God most high,
God, who cares only for deeds and
is not taken in by words.
You, my soul, with a heart always turned toward Egypt,
how can I describe you?

Am I
a Sodom, to be punished likewise with destruction,
or the prosecutor of Ninevah, who was struck dumb?

Am I
more cowardly and barbarous than the
queen of the south,
lower than Canaan,
more stubborn than Amalek,
incurable as the city of idols,
a relic left behind from the rebellion of Israel,
a reminder of the broken covenant of Judah,
more reproachable than Tyre,
more shunned than Zidon,
more immoral than Galilee,
more unpardonable than faithless Capernaum,
maligned like Korazin,
slandered like Bethsaida?

Or am I
immodest as Ephraim as he prayed,
or a dove, whose gentleness seems due to
feeblemindedness and not to inner calm,
or an evil serpent born of lion’s cubs,
or the serpent’s egg filled with decay,
or like the last blow against Jerusalem?

Or am I
in the words of our Lord
and the sayings of the prophets,
an abandoned tabernacle about to collapse,
the unlatched doors of the stronghold,
my speaking edifice stained again,
having given up my rightful inheritance,
my home built by God,
as Moses, David and Jeremiah prophesied?
My thinking body now consumed by disease,
afflicted with carping counsel, rehabilitated by the law,
anointed with the clay of mildness,
incapable of finding my own salvation,
torn away from the maker’s hand,
expelled as just punishment
by order of the Almighty, to an unholy place,
rejected, exiled, greatly shunned, nothing spared,
having buried my gift in the ground,
like the one chastised in the Gospel by
losing his inheritance.

But You, God,
Lord of souls and all flesh,
in the words of one divinely graced,
You are long-suffering and abounding in mercy.
In the voice of blessed Jonah,
grant that I finish to Your delight
this book of prayers, now begun.
And having sown these words with tears
and set forth on this journey toward the dwellings You have prepared,
may I return joyfully in the time of harvest
with the bounty of atonement,
with sheaves of goodness and the fruits of delight.

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) – Fathe & Doctor of the Churchbut-you-god-st-gregory-of-narek-27-feb-2018.jpg

“If you elevate yourself,
God distances Himself from you.
If you humble yourself,
He leans towards you.”

St Augustine (354-430)if you elevate yourself - st augustine - 5 april 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 4 April – I Am With You

Lenten Thoughts – 4 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

I Am With You
By Fr John Woolley 1928-2008
A Missionary of God’s Word

“For the sake of My sheep
I surrender My life”
John 10:15

My child, let it be your privilege, each day, to dwell upon My sacrifice – made for the whole world.

In My suffering love upon the Cross, you see a continuing process….the unrequited love which pursues My children – yearning for the slightest response and profoundly grateful, when one of those children surrenders his or her life to Me.

On the Cross, you see My heart of love crushed, for the moment, by the force of evil which darkens this universe.   Then you see the bursting forth again of love’s power … In my Father’s victory, this power, in its submission and its patience, can change permanently, any human situation.

Although you are conscious of being unworthy of that love, be sure that the pain of rejections is made so much less by even the simplest, imperfect dependence upon Myself.

Here, at the Cross, give Me your heart, anew, everyday!john 10 15 for the sake of my sheep - here at the cross give me your heart i am with you 4 april 2019.jpg

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A departure for me – Fr John Woolley was an Anglican Minister in Chester, England.   His most famous work “I Am With You” is widely regarded and is filled with his reflections which he called “heart whispers from God.”

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – O Fountain of Everlasting Love

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471): Book 3, Chapter 10

That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God.

Now, will I speak again, O Lord and will not be silent, I will say in the hearing of my God and my King Who is on high:  Oh, how great is the abundance of Your sweetness, O Lord, which You have hidden for those that fear You!

But what are You, for those who love You?   What, to those who serve You with their whole heart?   Unspeakable indeed, is the sweetness of Your contemplation, which You bestow on those who love You.   In this most of all, have You shown me the sweetness of Your love, that when I had no being, You did make me and when I was straying far from You, You brought me back again, that I might serve You and You have commanded me to serve You.

O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of You?   How can I forget You, Who have vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost?

Beyond all hope, You show mercy to Your servant and beyond all desert, have You manifested Your grace and friendship.   What return shall I make to You for this favour? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world and to assume the monastic life  . Is it much that I should serve You, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve?   It ought not to seem much to me to serve You but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that You vouchsafe to receive one so wretched and unworthy as Your servant.   It is a great honour, a great glory, to serve You and to despise all things for You for they who willingly subject themselves to Your holy service, shall have great grace.   They shall experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of You, have cast aside all carnal delight.o fountain of everlasting love - thomas a kempis 3 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Thoughts – 2 April – “If you wish…” Thomas à Kempis

Lenten Thoughts – 2 April – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

On the Fervent Amendment of our Whole Life

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“When a certain anxious person, who often times wavered between hope and fear, once overcome with sadness, threw himself upon the ground in prayer, before one of the altars in the Church and thinking these things in his mind, said “Oh, if I only knew how to persevere,” that very instant he heard within him, this heavenly answer: “And if thou did know this, what would thou do? Do now what you would do and thou shall be perfectly secure.” And immediately being consoled and comforted, he committed himself to the Divine Will and his anxious thoughts ceased. He no longer wished for curious things, searching to find out what would happen to him but studied rather to learn what was the acceptable and perfect will of God for the beginning and the perfection of every good work.”

“If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments.
If you will know the truth, believe in Me.
If you will be perfect, sell all.
If you will be My disciple, deny yourself.
If you will possess the blessed life, despise this present life.
If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth.
If you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me.
For only the servants of the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light.”if-you-wish-to-enter-into-life-imitation-chapeter-56-12-feb-2018.jpg

“MY CHILD, the more you depart from yourself,
the more you will be able to enter into Me.
As the giving up of exterior things, brings interior peace,
so the forsaking of self, unites you to God.
I will have you learn perfect surrender to My will,
without contradiction or complaint.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christmy child the more you depart from yourself-  thomas a kempis - 2 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST

Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Coming nigh to God

Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

Act of self-abandonment
Coming nigh to God

This is an anonymous prayer, inspired by St Augustine – taken from “Providence” – God’s loving care for man and the need for confidence in Almighty God” by Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP (1877-1964)

O my God, I leave myself entirely in Your hands.
Turn and turn again, this mass of clay, as a vessel that is fashioned in the potter’s hand (Jer 18:6).
give it a shape, then break it if You will –
it is Yours, it as nothing to say.
Enough for me that it serves all Your designs
and that nothing resists Your good pleasure,
for which I was made.
Ask, command.
What would You have me to do?
What would You have me not to do?
Lifted up, cast down, in persecution,
in consolation, in suffering,
intent upon Your work,
good for nothing,
I can do no more than repeat
with Your holy Mother –
“Be it done unto me according to Your word” (Luke 1:38).
Give me that love which is beyond all loves,
the love of the Cross –
not those heroic crosses with a glory that might foster self-love
but those ordinary crosses
which we bear with so much distaste –
those daily crosses with which our life is strewn
and which at every moment
we encounter on our way through life –
contradictions,
neglect,
failures,
opposition,
false judgements,
the coldness or impulsiveness of some,
the rebuffs or contempt of others,
bodily infirmities,
spiritual darkness,
silence and interior dryness.
Only then, will You know that I love You,
even though I neither know
nor feel it myself
and that is enough for me!

And, may we:

“Be holy by living out your commitment with joy.”

Pope Francisbe holy by living out your commitment with joy - pope francis 1 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on TRUTH, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 31 March – Christ the Way

Lenten Thoughts – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C

Christ is the Way to the Light, the Truth and the Life

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Treatise on John

The Lord tells us – I 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.

We shall be in possession of the truth when we see Him face to face.   This is His promise to us.   Who would dare to hope for something that God in His goodness did not choose to promise or bestow?

We shall see face to face. The Apostle says: Now I know in part, now obscurely through a mirror, but then face to face.   John the apostle says in one of his letters -Dearly beloved, we are now children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be.   We know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.   This is a great promise.

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!”i am the way the truth and the life jon 14 8 31 march 2019 laetare sunday.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Lenten Thoughts – 30 March – The Ladder of Divine Ascent – The Steps

Lenten Thoughts – 30 March – Saturday of the Third week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St John Climacus (c 525-606)

The Ladder of Divine Ascent is an ascetical treatise on avoiding vice and practising virtue so that at the end, salvation can be obtained. Written by Saint John Climacus initially for monastics, it has become one of the most highly influential and important works used by the Church as far as guiding the faithful to a God-centred life, second only to Holy Scripture.

Structure and Purpose:
The aim of the treatise is to be a guide for practising a life completely and wholly devoted to God.   The ladder metaphor—not dissimilar to the vision that the Patriarch Jacob received—is used to describe how one may ascend into heaven by first renouncing the world and finally ending up in heaven with God.   There are thirty chapter,; each covers a particular vice or virtue.   They were originally called logoi, but in the present day, they are referred to as “steps.”   The sayings are not so much rules and regulations, as with the Law that St Moses received at Sinai, but rather observations about what is being practised.   Metaphorical language is employed frequently, to better illustrate the nature of virtue and vice.   Overall, the treatise does follow a progression that transitions from start (renunciation of the world) to finish (a life lived in love).the 30 steps of the ladder of divine ascent - 30 march 2019.jpg

The steps are:
On renunciation of the world
On detachment
On exile or pilgrimage – concerning dreams that beginners have
On blessed and ever-memorable obedience (in addition to episodes involving many individuals)
On painstaking and true repentance which constitutes the life of the holy convicts; and about the Prison
On remembrance of death
On joy-making mourning
On freedom from anger and on meekness
On remembrance of wrongs
On slander or calumny
On talkativeness and silence
On lying
On despondency
On that clamorous mistress, the stomach
On incorruptible purity and chastity, to which the corruptible attain by toil and sweat
On love of money, or avarice
On non-possessiveness (that hastens one Heavenwards)
On insensibility, that is, deadening of the soul and the death of the mind before the death of the body
On sleep, prayer and psalmody with the brotherhood
On bodily vigil and how to use it to attain spiritual vigil, and how to practise it
On unmanly and puerile cowardice
On the many forms of vainglory
On mad pride and (in the same Step) on unclean blasphemous thoughts; concerning unmentionable blasphemous thoughts
On meekness, simplicity, and guilelessness which come not from nature but from conscious effort, and about guile
On the destroyer of the passions, most sublime humility, which is rooted in spiritual perception
On discernment of thoughts, passions and virtues; on expert discernment; brief summary of all aforementioned
On holy stillness of body and soul; different aspects of stillness and how to distinguish them
On holy and blessed prayer, the mother of virtues, and on the attitude of mind and body in prayer
Concerning Heaven on earth, or Godlike dispassion and perfection, and the resurrection of the soul before the general resurrection
Concerning the linking together of the supreme trinity among the virtues; a brief exhortation summarising all that has said at length in this book.

Read the book, here

“Repentance is the renewal of baptism. 
Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. 
A penitent is a buyer of humility. 
Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. 
Repentance is self-condemning reflection of carefree self-care. 
Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. 
A penitent is an undisgraced convict. 
Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord 
by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. 
Repentance is purification of conscience. 
Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. 
A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. 
Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach
and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.”repentance-is-the-renewal-of-baptism-st-john-climacus-and 30 march 2019 - 29-jan-2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TRUTH

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Repairing the Wrong Done by St John Vianney

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment
greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-32

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

REPAIRING THE WRONG DONE

Having made satisfaction to God, we must then make satisfaction to our neighbour for the wrong which-either in his body or in his soul — we have done him.   I say that it is possible to wrong him in his body, that is to say, in his person, by attacking him either by injurious or insulting words or by bad treatment.   If we have sinned against him by injurious words, then we must apologise to him and make our reconciliation with him.   If we have done him some wrong by belabouring his animals, as sometimes happens when we find that they have been doing damage among our crops, we are obliged to give him all that we have been the cause of his losing: -we could have got compensation without maltreating these animals.   If we have done any harm, we are obliged to repay as soon as we can, otherwise we will be gravely at fault.   If we have neglected to do that, we have sinned and we must confess it.

If you have done wrong to your neighbour in his honour, as, for instance, by scandalous talk, you are obliged to make up by favourable and beneficent talk for all the harm you have done to his reputation, saying all the good of him which you know to be true and concealing any faults which he may have and which you are not obliged to reveal.   If you have calumniated your neighbour, you must go and find the people to whom you have said false things about him and tell them that what you have been saying is not true, that you are very grieved about it and that you beg them not to believe it.

But if you have done him harm in his soul, it is a still more difficult thing to repair and yet it must be done as far as possible, otherwise God will not pardon you.

You must also examine your conscience as to whether you have given scandal to your children or to your next-door neighbours.   How many fathers, mothers, masters and mistresses are there who scandalise their children and their servants, by not saying their prayers morning or evening or by saying them when they are dressing or sitting back in a chair, who do not even make the Sign of the Cross before and after a meal?   How many times are they heard swearing, or perhaps even blaspheming?

How many times have they been seen working on Sunday morning, even before Holy Mass?

You must consider, too, whether you have sung bad songs, or brought in bad books, or whether you have given bad counsel, as, for instance, advising someone that he should take his revenge on someone else, should exact satisfaction by force.

Consider, too, whether you have ever taken anything from a next-door neighbour and neglected to pay it back, whether you have neglected to give some alms which you had been told to give or make some restitution which your parents, who are dead, should have made.   If you wish to have the happiness of having your sins forgiven, you must have nothing belonging to anyone else, which you should and could pay back.   So if you have sullied your neighbour’s reputation, you must do all in your power to repair the damage.   You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God. repairing the wronge done - you must be reconciled - st john vianney 29 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – St Ambrose: “Hold fast to God”

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

Hold fast to God, the one true good

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

An excerpt from his Flight from the World

Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.   God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one.   Since He is good and especially to those who are faithful to Him, let us hold fast to Him with all our soul, our heart, our strength and so enjoy His light and see His glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy.   Let us reach out with our hearts to possess that good, let us exist in it and live in it, let us hold fast to it, that good which is beyond all we can know or see and is marked by perpetual peace and tranquillity, a peace which is beyond all we can know or understand.

This is the good that permeates creation.   In it we all live, on it we all depend.   It has nothing above it, it is divine. No-one is good but God alone.   What is good, is therefore, divine, what is divine is therefore good.   Scripture says:  When you open your hand all things will be filled with goodness.   It is through God’s goodness that all that is truly good is given us and in it, there is no admixture of evil.

These good things are promised by Scripture to those who are faithful – The good things of the land will be your food.

We have died with Christ.   We carry about in our bodies the sign of His death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us.   The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ, a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue.   We have risen with Christ.   Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below, to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world.   You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body.   You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord.   Your soul must hold fast to Him, you must follow after Him in your thoughts, you must tread His ways by faith, not in outward show.   You must take refuge in Him.   He is your refuge and your strength.   David addresses Him in these words:  I fled to you for refuge and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great sabbath, as Moses said – The sabbaths of the land will provide you with food.   To rest in the Lord and to see His joy, is like a banquet and full of gladness and tranquillity.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters.   Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain.   What is that fountain?   Listen to David – With you is the fountain of life.   Let my soul say to this fountain, When shall I come and see You face to face?   For the fountain is God Himself.let us take refuge - st ambrose hold fast to god 28 march 2019 thurs3rdweek lent.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Thoughts – 27 March – Progress towards Perfection

Lenten Thoughts – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

Progress towards Perfection

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

“We too often forget that maxim of the Saints which warns us to consider ourselves as each day recommencing our progress towards perfection.   If we consider it frequently, we shall not be surprised at the poverty of our spirit, nor how much we have to refuse ourselves.

The work is never finished, we have continually to begin again and that courageously. What we have done so far is good but what we are going to commence, will be better and when we have finished that, we shall begin something else that will be better still and then another – until we leave this world to begin a new life that will have no end because it is the best that can happen to us.

It is not then a case for tears, that we have so much work to do for our souls, for we need great courage to go ever onwards (since we must never stop) and much resolution to restrain our desires.   Observe carefully this precept that all the Saints have given to those who would emulate them – to speak little, or not at all, of yourself and your own interests.”the work is never finished - st francis de sales - 27 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives – St Peter Chrysologus

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures.   They are prayer, fasting and mercy.   Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.   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 heard, hear the petition of others.   If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.fasting is the soul of prayer - st peter chryasologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent

When you fast, see the fasting of others.   If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.   If you hope for mercy, show mercy.   If you look for kindness, show kindness.   If you want to receive, give.   If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.if you want to receive give - st peter chrysologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent.jpg

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy – show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer in our favour.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others.   Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting.   There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy – A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make Him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.   Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give Him yourself, you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added.   Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy.   Fasting dries up when mercy dries up.   Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth.   However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin, when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.   Therefore, do not lose by saving but gather in by scattering.   Give to the poor and you give to yourself.   You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen