Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Good Friday Refletion – 2 April – CONTEMPLATING THE LORD’S PASSION

Good Friday Refletion – 2 April

CONTEMPLATING THE LORD’S PASSION

From a Sermon by St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor unitatis Ecclesiae

True reverence for the Lord’s passion means, fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus crucified and recognising in Him our own humanity.

The earth – our earthly nature – should tremble at the suffering of its Redeemer. The rocks – the hearts of unbelievers – should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future Resurrection, should appear in the holy city, the Church of God, what is happening to our bodies, should now take place in our hearts.

No-one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the Cross. No-one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against Him. How much more, does it bring, to those who turn to Him in repentance.

Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The Sacred Blood of Christ, has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place, to the true light.

The Christian people are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn have the way open before them, to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless, indeed ,they close off for themselves, the path that could be opened before the faith of a thief.

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

First of all, in taking our human nature, while remaining God, so that the Word became man, He left no member of the human race, the unbeliever excepted, without a share in His mercy. Who does not share a common nature with Christ, if he has welcomed Christ, who took our nature and is reborn in the Spirit, through whom Christ was conceived?

Again, who cannot recognise in Christ, his own infirmities? Who would not recognise that Christ’s eating and sleeping, His sadness and His shedding tears of love, are marks of the nature of a slave?

It was this nature of a slave, that had to be healed of its ancient wounds and cleansed of the defilement of sin. For that reason, the only-begotten Son of God, became also the Son of Man. He was to have both the reality of human nature and the fullness of the Godhead.

The Body, that lay lifeless in the tomb, is ours. The Body that rose again on the third day, is ours. The Body, that ascended above all the heights of heaven, to the right hand of the Father’s glory, is ours. If then we walk in the way of His commandments and are not ashamed to acknowledge, the price He paid for our salvation in a lowly Body, we too are to rise to share His glory. The promise He made will be fulfilled, in the sight of all: –“whoever acknowledges Me before men, I too will acknowledge him before My Father who is in heaven.”

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day Forty-one – 31 March – What is this one thing?

Lenten Journey Day Forty-one – 31 March – Wednesday in Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Psalm: Psalms 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34, Gospel: Matthew 26: 14-25

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)

“My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house” – Matthew 26:18

JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom but few, who bear His cross.

He has many who desire consolation but few, who care for trial. He finds many to share His table but few, to take part in His fasting.

All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him.

Many follow Him to the breaking of bread but few, to the drinking of the chalice of His passion.

Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross.

Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him, as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection.

Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks.

What power there is in pure love for Jesus – love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!

If a man give all his wealth, it is nothing; if he do great penance, it is little; if he gain all knowledge, he is still far afield; if he have great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still lacks a great deal and especially, the one thing that is most necessary to him.

What is this one thing? That leaving all, he forsake himself, completely renounce himself, and give up all private affections. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing, let him make little of what may be considered great; let him in all honesty call himself an unprofitable servant. For truth itself has said: “When you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: ‘we are unprofitable servants.'” (Luke 17:10)

Then he will be truly poor and stripped in spirit, and with the prophet may say: “I am alone and poor.”(Ps 25:16) No-one, however, is more wealthy than such a man; no0one is more powerful, no-one freer, than he who knows how to leave all things and think of himself as the least of all.
(Book 2 Ch 11)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – “My appointed time draws near. ”

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – Wednesday in Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Psalm: Psalms 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34, Gospel: Matthew 26: 14-25

“My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house” – Matthew 26:18

REFLECTION – “And will you be persuaded that He came to His passion willingly? The others, who foreknow it not, die unwillingly but He spoke beforehand of His passion: “Behold, the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Mt 26,2). But do you know why this Friend of man did not shun death? It was lest the whole world should perish in its sins. “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed and shall be crucified” (Mt 20,13); and again: “He steadfastly set His face to Jerusalem” (Lk 9,51).

And will you know certainly, that the Cross is a glory to Jesus? Hear His own words, not mine. Judas had become ungrateful to the Master of the house and was about to betray Him. Having but just now gone forth from the table and drunk His cup of blessing, in return for that draught of salvation, he sought to shed righteous blood. He, who ate of his Bread, was lifting up his heel against Him…Then said Jesus: “The hour is come for the Son of man to be glorified” (Jn 12,23). Do you see how He knew the Cross to be His proper glory?… Not that He was without glory before,for He was glorified with the glory which was before the foundation of the world (Jn 17,5). He was ever glorified as God but now, He was to be glorified in wearing the crown of His patience.

He did not give up His life by compulsion, nor was He put to death by murderous violence but of His own accord. Hear what He says: “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again” (Jn 10,18); I yield it to My enemies of My own choice, for unless I chose, this could not be. He came, therefore, of his own set purpose to His passion, rejoicing in His noble deed, smiling at the crown, cheered by the salvation of humankind, not ashamed of the Cross, since it was to save the world.” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350), Bishop of Jerusalem, Father and Doctor of the Church – Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptised 13, #6

PRAYER – Oh dear God and Father, let us stay with Your Son and never betray or desert Him. The One You sent to save us, needs our love and fidelity in return for His ineffable love. Teach us holy Father, do not abandon us to our weakness but help us to love Him in return, with all our hearts, minds and souls. As you O holy Mother loved your Son and your God, help us to be perfect imitators of your Immaculate heart. Through Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, one god forever, amen.

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, St PETER!, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day Forty – 30 March – I confess that I am deserving of all scorn and contempt.

Lenten Journey Day Forty – 30 March – Tuesday of Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 49: 1-6, Psalm: Psalms 71: 1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17, Gospel: John 13: 21-33, 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)

“The cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” – John 13:38

Truly, my sins have deserved nothing but hell and everlasting damnation.
I confess that I am deserving of all scorn and contempt.

Neither is it fitting that I should be remembered among Your devoted servants. And although it is hard for me to hear this, yet for truth’s sake I will accuse my sins against myself, so that I may more easily deserve to beg Your mercy.
What shall I say, guilty as I am and full of all confusion?
My tongue can say nothing but this alone: “I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned; have mercy on me and pardon me. Suffer me a little that I may pour out my grief, before I go to that dark land that is covered with the shadow of death.” (Job 10:20-21)

What do you especially demand of a guilty and wretched sinner, except that he be contrite and humble himself for his sins?
In true sorrow and humility of heart, hope of forgiveness is born, the troubled conscience is reconciled, grace is found, man is preserved from the wrath to come and God and the penitent meet with a holy kiss.

To You, O Lord, humble sorrow for sins is an acceptable sacrifice, a sacrifice far sweeter than the perfume of incense. This is also the pleasing ointment which You would have poured upon Your sacred feet, for a contrite and humble heart You will not spurn (Ps 51:19). There is the place of refuge from the wrath of the enemy, there, watever has been defiled, is washed away.
(Book 3 Ch 52:2b-4)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day Thirty nine – 29 March – ‘Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death …’

Lenten Journey Day Thirty nine – 29 March – Monday of Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 42: 1-7, Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 2, 3, 13-14, Gospel: John 12: 1-11

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)

“The house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” – John 12:3

BLESSED is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things.

Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant but the love of Jesus, is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty but he who gives himself to Jesus, will ever be strengthened.

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

Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another- He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein, as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you.

You will find, apart from Him, that nearly all the trust you place in men is a total loss. Therefore, neither confide in, nor depend upon, a wind-shaken reed, for “all flesh is grass”(Is 40:6) and all its glory, like the flower of grass, will fade away.

You will quickly be deceived if you look only to the outward appearance of men and you will often be disappointed, if you seek comfort and gain in them. If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him. Likewise, if you seek yourself, you will find yourself – to your own ruin. For the man who does not seek Jesus does himself much greater harm, than the whole world and all his enemies, could ever do.
(Book 2 Ch 7)

Posted in HOLY WEEK, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day Thirty-eight – You are my Lord and my God and my King

Lenten Journey Day Thirty-eight – Palm Sunday

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)

“See, your King shall come to you” – Zechariah 0:9

NOW again I will speak, Lord and will not be silent. I will speak to the hearing of my God, my Lord and my King, Who is in heaven.
How great, O Lord, is the multitude of Your mercies which You have stored up for those who love You.
But what are You to those who love You? What are You to those who serve You, with their whole heart?

Truly beyond the power of words is the sweetness of contemplation. You give to those who love You.
To me You have shown the sweetness of Your charity, especially in having made me, when I did not exist, in having brought me back to serve You, when I had gone far astray from You, in having commanded me to love You.

O Fountain of unceasing love, what shall I say of You?
How can I forget You, Who have been pleased to remember me, even after I had wasted away and perished?
You have shown mercy to Your servant beyond all hope and have exhibited grace and friendship, beyond his deserving!
… You are my Lord and my God and my King and I am Your poorest servant, bound to serve You with al my strength and never to grow weary of praising You.
This is my desire, this I implore You – that I may always praise You and that You will supply whatever is wanting in me.

(Book 3 Ch 10:1-2,4b)

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day Thirty Seven – 27 March – The Royal Road of the Cross

Lenten Journey Day Thirty Seven – 27 March – Saturday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 37: 21-28, Jeremiah 31: 10, 11-12abcd, 13, Ezekiel 18: 31, John 11: 45-56

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)

” From that day therefore they devised to put him to death.” – John 11:53

In the Cross is salvation, in the Cross is life, in the Cross is protection from enemies, in the Cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the Cross is strength of mind, in the Cross is joy of spirit, in the Cross is highest virtue, in the Cross is perfect holiness.
There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of everlasting life but in the Cross.

Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself, opened the way before you in carrying His Cross and upon it, He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it.
If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.

Behold, in the Cross is everything and upon your dying on the cross everything depends. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace, than the way of the Holy Cross and daily mortification.
Go where you will, seek what you will, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the Holy Cross.
Arrange and order everything to suit your will and judgement and still you will find, that some suffering must always be borne, willingly or unwillingly and thus, you will always find the cross.

… For He wishes you to learn to bear trial without consolation, to submit yourself wholly to Him that you may become more humble through suffering.
No-one understands the passion of Christ so thoroughly, or heartily, as the man whose lot it is, to suffer the like, himself.

The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere.
No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go, you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself.
Turn where you will — above, below, without, or within — you will find a cross in everything and everywhere you must have patience, if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown. Amen
(Book 2 Ch 12:2-6)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENTEN THOUGHTS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, QUOTES on SIN, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 March – ‘ … Beneath the rough skin of my sinfulness, I recognise my God …’ St Bernard

One Minute Reflection – 27 March – Saturday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: First Reading: Ezekiel 37: 21-28, Responsorial Psalm: Jeremiah 31: 10, 11-12abcd, 13, Verse Before the Gospel: Ezekiel 18: 31, Gospel: John 11: 45-56

“It is expedient for you, that one man should die for the people.” – John 11:50

REFLECTION The darkening of one, makes many bright… “It is better,” said Caiaphas, “for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” It is better that one be darkened “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” (Rm 8:3) for the sake of all, than for the whole of mankind to be lost, by the darkness of sin; that the splendour and image of the substance of God, should be shrouded in the form of a slave, in order that a slave might live; that the brightness of eternal ligh,t should become dimmed in the flesh for the purifying of the flesh; that He who surpasses all mankind in beauty (Ps 44:2) should be eclipsed by the darkness of the Passion for the enlightening of mankind; that He should suffer the ignominy of the Cross, grow pale in death, be totally deprived of beauty and comeliness, that He might gain the Church as a beautiful and comely bride, without spot or wrinkle (Ep 5:27).
But under His dark covering (Sg 1:5) I recognise the King… I recognise Him and I embrace Him. For though He presents this dark exterior… within is the brightness of divine life, the beauty of His strength, the splendour of grace, the purity of innocence. But covering it all, is the abject hue of infirmity, His Face, as it were, hidden and despised: “one tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning” (Heb 4:15).
I recognise here the image of our sin-darkened nature; I recognise the garments that clothed our first parents after their sin (Gn 3:21). My God has clothed Himself in them, by assuming the condition of a slave and becoming as men are, He was seen in their likeness (Ph 2:7). Under the skin that Jacob wore (Gn 27:16), symbol of sin, I recognise both the hand that committed no sin and the neck which never bowed to evil; no word of treachery was found in His mouth. I know, Lord, that you are gentle by nature, meek and humble of heart, pleasing in appearance and loveable in Your ways, “anointed with the oil of gladness above your companions” (Mt 11:29; Ps 44:8). Why then this disfigured likeness to Esau? Whose haggard image this?… Ah! It is mine. He has taken my likeness, taken on my sin… And beneath the rough skin of my sinfulness, I recognise my God and my Saviour! ” – St Bernard (1091-1153) “Doctor of Light”of the Church – 28th Homily on the Song of Songs

PRAYER – Lord God, at all times You are working out the salvation of man but now, more especially, You enrich Your people with grace. Look kindly on this people, Lord, keep the seal of Baptism inviolate in those who have received it and in those, who still await their rebirth in te Spirit. With Mary, our advocate of love and mercy by our side, may we attain the brightness of Your Face. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Saviour, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forver, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day Thirty Six – 26 March – . ‘Give up all other love for His’

Lenten Journey Day Thirty Six – 26 March – Friday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalms 18:2-3,3-4, 5-6, 7, John 10:31-42

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)

“Everything that John said about this man, was true. And many believed in Him.” – John 10:41

BLESSED is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things.

Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant but the love of Jesus, is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature, will fall with its frailty but he who gives himself to Jesus, will ever be strengthened.

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

Your Beloved is such, that He will not accept what belongs to another — He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein, as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you.

You will find, apart from Him, that nearly all the trust you place in men is a total loss. Therefore, neither confide in nor depend upon a wind-shaken reed, for “all flesh is grass”(Is 40:6) and all its glory, like the flower of grass, will fade away.

You will quickly be deceived if you look only to the outward appearance of men and you will often be disappointed, if you seek comfort and gain in them.
If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him.
Likewise, if you seek yourself, you will find yourself – to your own ruin.
For the man who does not seek Jesus does himself much greater harm than the whole world and all his enemies could ever do.
(Book 2 Ch 7)

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Journey Day thirty five – 25 March – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” – Luke 1:27

Lenten Journey Day thirty five – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8: 10, Psalms 40:7-8,8-9, 10, 11, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38

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)

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” – Luke 1:27

ABOVE all things and in all things, O my soul, rest always in the Lord my God, for He is the everlasting rest and joy of the angels and the saints.

O Jesus, Splendour of eternal glory, Consolation of the pilgrim soul, who labour in this sinful world, with You my lips utter no sound and to You my silence speaks. How long will my Lord delay His coming? Let Him come to His poor servant and make him happy. Let Him put forth His hand and take this miserable creature from his anguish.
Come, O come, for without You there will be no happy day or hour because You are my happiness and without You my table is empty.
I am wretched, as it were imprisoned and weighted down with fetters, until You fill me with the light of Your presence, restore me to liberty and show me a friendly countenance.
Let others seek, instead of You, whatever they will but nothing pleases me, or will please me but You, my God, my Hope, my everlasting Salvation. I will not be silent, I will not cease praying, until Your grace returns to me and You speak inwardly to me, saying:
“Behold, I am here. Lo, I have come to you because you have called Me.
Your tears and the desire of your soul, your humility and contrition of heart, have inclined Me and brought Me to you.”

Lord, I have called You and have desired You and have been ready to spurn all things for Your sake.
For You first spurred me on, to seek You.
May You be blessed, therefore, O Lord, for having shown this goodness to Your servant according to the multitude of Your mercies.

What more is there for Your servant to say to You unless, with his iniquity and vileness always in mind, he humbles himself before You?
Nothing among all the wonders of heaven and earth, is like unto You.
Your works are exceedingly good, Your judgements true and Your providence rules the whole universe.
May You be praised and glorified, therefore, O Wisdom of the Father.
Let my lips and my soul and all created things, unite to praise and bless You.

(Book 3 Ch 21:1,4-6)

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 24 March – Renouncing self

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 24 March – Wednesday of Passion or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95, Daniel 3:52, 53, 54,55, 56, John 8:3

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)

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

CHRIST: MY CHILD, you can never be perfectly free unless you completely renounce self, for all who seek their own interest and who love themselves, are bound in fetters. They are unsettled by covetousness and curiosity, always searching for ease and not for the things of Christ, often desiring and pursuing, that which will not last, for anything that is not of God, will fail completely.

Hold to this short and perfect advice, therefore, give up your desires and you will find rest.
Think upon it in your heart and when you have put it into practice, you will understand all things.

DISCIPLE: But this, Lord, is not the work of one day, nor is it mere child’s play, indeed, in this brief sentence is included all the perfection of holy persons.

CHRIST: My child, you should not turn away or be downcast when you hear the way of the perfect. Rather you ought to be spurred on the more, toward their sublime heights, or at least, be moved to seek perfection.

I would this were the case with you — that you had progressed to the point where you no longer loved self but simply awaited My bidding … Then you would please Me very much and your whole life would pass in peace and joy.
But you have yet many things which you must relinquish and, unless you resign them entirely to Me, you will not obtain that which you ask.

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold, fire-tried, that thou mayest be made rich” (Apoc 3:18)– rich in heavenly wisdom, which treads underfoot, all that is low.
Cast aside earthly wisdom, which seeks to please the world, others and self.

I have said: exchange what is precious and valued among men, for that which is considered contemptible.
For true heavenly wisdom — not to think highly of self and not to seek glory on earth — does indeed seem mean and small and is well-nigh forgotten, as many men praise it with their mouths but shy far away from it, in their lives.
Yet this heavenly wisdom is a pearl of great price, which is hidden from many.
(Book 3 Ch 32)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 23 March – ‘Without labour there is no rest and without fighting, no victory.’

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 23 March – Tuesday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21, John 8:21-30

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)

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I AM” – John 8:28

CHRIST: WHAT are you saying, My child? Think of My suffering and that of the saints and cease complaining. You have not yet resisted to the shedding of blood. What you suffer is very little compared with the great things they suffered who were so strongly tempted, so severely troubled, so tried and tormented in many ways. Well may you remember, therefore, the very painful woes of others, that you may bear your own little ones the more easily. And if they do not seem so small to you, examine if perhaps your impatience is not the cause of their apparent greatness; and whether they are great or small, try to bear them all patiently. The better you dispose yourself to suffer, the more wisely you act and the greater is the reward promised you. Thus you will suffer more easily if your mind and habits are diligently trained to it.
Do not say: “I cannot bear this from such a man, nor should I suffer things of this kind, for he has done me a great wrong. He has accused me of many things of which I never thought. However, from someone else I will gladly suffer as much as I think I should.”
Such a thought is foolish, for it does not consider the virtue of patience or the One Who will reward it, but rather weighs the person and the offense committed. The man who will suffer only as much as seems good to him, who will accept suffering only from those from whom he is pleased to accept it, is not truly patient. For the truly patient man does not consider from whom the suffering comes, whether from a superior, an equal, or an inferior, whether from a good and holy person or from a perverse and unworthy one; but no matter how great an adversity befalls him, no matter how often it comes or from whom it comes, he accepts it gratefully from the hand of God and counts it a great gain. For with God nothing that is suffered for His sake, no matter how small, can pass without reward. Be prepared for the fight, then, if you wish to gain the victory.
Without struggle you cannot obtain the crown of patience and if you refuse to suffer, you are refusing the crown. But if you desire to be crowned, fight bravely and bear up patiently. Without labour there is no rest and without fighting, no victory.

DISCIPLE: O Lord, let that which seems naturally impossible to me become possible through Your grace. You know that I can suffer very little and that I am quickly discouraged when any small adversity arises. Let the torment of tribulation suffered for Your name be pleasant and desirable to me, since to suffer and be troubled for Your sake, is very beneficial for my soul.
(Book 3 Ch 19)

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The HEART, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 22 March – Sorrow of Heart

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41-62, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, John 8:1-11

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 and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys.

It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life.
Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls but often indulge in empty laughter, when we have good reason to weep.
No liberty is true and no joy is genuine, unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.

Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself, in holy contrition.
Happy is the man who casts from himself, all that can stain or burden his conscience.

Fight like a man.
Habit is overcome by habit.
If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do.
Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others …
Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself, instead of your friends.

If you do not enjoy the favour of men, do not let it sadden you but consider it a serious matter, if you do not conduct yourself as well, or as carefully, as is becoming for a servant of God …

It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of the body.
Yet, if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.

Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation.
When a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.

A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep, whether he thinks of himself, or of his neighbour, he knows that no-one lives here, without suffering and the closer he examines himsel, the more he grieves.

The sins and vices in which we are so entangled, that we can rarely apply ourselves to the contemplation of heaven, are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.

I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestl,y if you would think more of an early death than of a long life.
And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of purgatory, I believe. you would willingly endure labour and trouble and would fear no hardship.
But since these thoughts never pierce the heart and, since we are enamoured of flattering pleasure, we remain very cold and indifferent.
Our wretched body complains so easily because, our soul is altogether lifeless.

Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: “Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears, in full measure.”
(Book 1 Ch 24)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WILL of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirty three of our Lenten Journey – 21 March – Your life is our way

Day Thirty three of our Lenten Journey – 21 March – Passion Sunday, Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15, Hebrews 5:7-9, John 12:20-33

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)

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.” – John 12:26

CHRIST: MY CHILD, I came down from heaven for your salvation and took upon Myself your miseries, not out of necessity but out of love, that you might learn to be patient and bear the sufferings of this life ,without complaint.
From the moment of My birth to My death on the Cross, suffering did not leave Me.
I suffered great want of temporal goods.
Often I heard many complaints against Me.
Disgrace and reviling I bore with patience.
For My blessings, I received ingratitude, for My miracles, blasphemies and for My teaching, scorn.

DISCIPLE: O Lord because You were patient in life, especially in fulfilling the design of the Father, it is fitting that I, a most miserable sinner, should live patiently according to Your will and, as long as You shall wish, bear the burden of this corruptible body, for the welfare of my soul.
For though this present life seems burdensome, yet by Your grace, it becomes meritorious and it is made brighter and more endurable, for the weak, by Your example and the pathways of the saints.
But it has also more consolation. than formerly. under the old law. when the gates of heaven were closed, when the way thereto. seemed darker than now and when. so few cared to seek the eternal kingdom.
The just, the elect, could not enter heaven before Your sufferings and sacred death had paid the debt.

Oh, what great thanks I owe You, Who have shown me and all the faithful. the good and right way to Your everlasting kingdom!
Your life is our way and in Your holy patience, we come nearer to You, Who are our crown.
Had You not gone before and taught us, who would have cared to follow?
Alas, how many would have remained far behind, had they not before their eyes, Your holy example!
Behold, even we who have heard of Your many miracles and teachings, are still lukewarm; what would happen if we did not have such light, by which to follow You?

(Book 3 Ch 18)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirty-two of our Lenten Journey – 20 March – ‘I know what is best for you.’

Day Thirty-two of our Lenten Journey – 20 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53

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)

“Never before has anyone spoken like this one” – John 7:46

CHRIST: MY CHILD, allow me to do what I will with you.
I know what is best for you.
You think as a man, you feel in many things as human affection persuades.

DISCIPLE: Lord, what You say is true. Your care for me is greater than all the care I can take of myself.
For he who does not cast all his care upon You, stands very unsafely.
If only my will remain right and firm toward You, Lord, do with me, whatever pleases You.
For whatever You shall do with me can only be good.
If You wish me to be in darkness, I shall bless You.
And if You wish me to be in light, again I shall bless You.
If You stoop down to comfort me, I shall bless You and if You wish me to be afflicted, I shall bless You forever.

CHRIST: My child, this is the disposition which you should have, if you wish to walk with Me.
You should be as ready to suffer as to enjoy.
You should as willingly be destitute and poor, as rich and satisfied.

DISCIPLE: O Lord, I shall suffer willingly for Your sake whatever You wish to send me.
I am ready to accept from Your Hand, both good and evil alike, the sweet and the bitter together, sorrow with joy and, for all that happens to me, I am grateful. Keep me from all sin and I will fear neither death nor hell.
Do not cast me out forever, nor blot me out of the Book of Life and whatever tribulation befalls me, will not harm me.
(Book 3 Ch 17)

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty nine of our Lenten Journey – 17 March – Ought not all trials be borne for the sake of everlasting life? In truth, the loss or gain of God’s kingdom, is up to you

Day Twenty nine of our Lenten Journey 17 March – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 49:8-15, Psalms 145:8-9,13-14, 17-18, John 5:17-30

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)

“ An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs, will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement.” – John 5:28-29

CHRIST: MY CHILD, do not let the labours, which you have taken up, for My sake, break you and do not let troubles, from whatever source, cast you down but in everything, let My promise strengthen and console you. I am able to reward you beyond all means and measure.

You will not labour here long, nor will you always be oppressed by sorrows. Wait a little while and you will see a speedy end of evils. The hour will come when all labour and trouble shall be no more.
All that passes away with time is trivial.

What you do, do well. Work faithfully in My vineyard.
I will be your reward.
Write, read, sing, mourn, keep silence, pray and bear hardships like a man. Eternal life is worth all these and greater battles.
Peace will come on a day which is known to the Lord and then there shall be no day or night, as at present but perpetual light, infinite brightness, lasting peace and safe repose.
Then you will not say: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” nor will you cry: “Woe is me because my sojourn is prolonged.” For then death will be banished and there will be health unfailing.
There will be no anxiety then, but blessed joy and sweet noble companionship.

If you could see the everlasting crowns of the saints in heaven and the great glory wherein they now rejoice – they who were once considered contemptible in this world and, as it were, unworthy of life itself – you would certainly humble yourself at once, to the very earth and seek to be subject to all, rather than to command even one.
Nor would you desire the pleasant days of this life but rather, be glad to suffer for God, considering it your greatest gain, to be counted as nothing among men.

Oh, if these things appealed to you and penetrated deeply into your heart, how could you dare to complain even once?
Ought not all trials be borne for the sake of everlasting life?
In truth, the loss or gain of God’s kingdom, is up to you.

Lift up your countenance to heaven, then.
Behold Me, and with Me all My saints.
They had great trials in this life but now they rejoice.
They are consoled. Now they are safe and at rest. And they shall abide with Me for all eternity in the kingdom of My Father.
(Book 3 Ch 47)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, SAINT of the DAY, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 March – ‘I placed My Name upon their forehead’

One Minute Reflection – 17 March – Wednesday of the Fouth Week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 49:8-15Psalms 145:8-9,13-1417-18John 5:17-30 and the Memorial of St Patrick (c 385-461)

“The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God” – John 5:25

REFLECTION – “[Christ speaks:]
I became useless to those who knew Me not,
because I shall hide Myself, from those who possessed Me not.
And I will be with those who love Me.
All my persecutors have died
and they, who trusted in Me, sought Me because I am living!
I arose and am with them and will speak by their mouths.
For they have rejected those who persecute them
and I threw over them, the yoke of My love.
Like the arm of the bridegroom over the bride (cf Sg 2,6),
so is My yoke over those who know Me.
And as the bridal feast is spread out by the bridal pair’s home,
So is My love, by those who believe in Me.

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

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

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

PRAYER – Lord God, You crown the merits of the saints and pardon sinners, when they repent. Forgive us our sins, now that we come before You, humbly confessing our guilt. Take our hand and lead us to our heavenly home. May St Patrick Your Saint, pray for us amidst the strife, he kew so well. Through Christ our Lord and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty-eighth of our Lenten Journey – ‘… Despise the world and seek to live for God… ‘

Day Twenty-eighth of our Lenten Journey – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6,8-9, John 5:1-16

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

“Do you wish to be healed?” – John 5:6

I WILL bring witness against myself to my injustice and to You, O Lord, I will confess my weakness.

Often it is a small thing that makes me downcast and sad. I propose to act bravely but when even a small temptation comes, I find myself in great straits. Sometimes, it is the merest trifle which gives rise to grievous temptations. When I think myself somewhat safe and when I am not expecting it, I frequently find myself almost overcome by a slight wind. Look, therefore, Lord, at my lowliness and frailty, which You know so well. Have mercy on me and snatch me out of the mire, that I may not be caught in it and may not remain forever utterly despondent.

That I am so prone to fall and so weak in resisting my passions, oppresses me frequently and confounds me, in Your sight. While I do not fully consent to them, still their assault is very troublesome and grievous to me and it wearies me exceedingly, thus to live in daily strife. Yet from the fact that abominable fancies rush in upon me, much more easily than they leave, my weakness becomes clear to me.

Oh that You, most mighty God of Israel, zealous Lover of faithful souls, would consider the labour and sorrow of Your servant and assist him in all his undertakings! Strengthen me with heavenly courage, lest the outer man, the miserable flesh, against which I shall be obliged to fight, so long as I draw a breathw, in this wretched life and which is not yet subjected to the spirit, prevail and dominate me.

Alas! What sort of life is this, from which troubles and miseries are never absent, where all things are full of snares and enemies? For when one trouble or temptation leaves, another comes. Indeed, even while the first conflict is still raging, many others begin unexpectedly. How is it possible to love a life that has such great bitterness, that is subject to so many calamities and miseries? Indeed, how can it even be called life, when it begets so many deaths and plagues? And yet, it is loved and many seek their delight in it.

Many persons often blame the world for being false and vain, yet do not readily give it up because the desires of the flesh have such great power. Some things draw them to love the world, others make them despise it. The lust of the flesh, the desire of the eyes and the pride of life lead to love, while the pains and miseries, which are the just consequences of those things, beget hatred and weariness of the world.

Vicious pleasure overcomes the soul that is given to the world. She thinks that there are delights beneath these thorns because she has never seen or tasted the sweetness of God or the internal delight of virtue. They, on the other hand, who entirely despise the world and seek to live for God, under the rule of holy discipline, are not ignorant of the divine sweetness, promised to those who truly renounce the world. They see clearly how gravely the world errs and in how many ways it deceives.
(Book 3 Ch 20)

Posted in I BELIEVE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty Seven of our Lenten Journey – 15 March – ‘God does not deceive you …’

Day Twenty Seven of our Lenten Journey – 15 March – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 65:17-21, Psalms 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12 and 13, John 4:43-54

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)

“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” … John 4:48

“Whoever examines the majesty of God will be crushed by His glory” (Prv 25:27 Vg).
God can do works that pass man’s understanding. …
Faith is required of you and sincerity of life, not high intelligence, nor penetrating knowledge of the mysteries of God.
If you do not understand nor grasp what is below you, how will you comprehend what is above you?
Be subject to God, submit your feeling to the faith and the light of knowledge will be given to you, as much as you need and can use.

Some have grave temptations concerning faith in the Blessed Sacrament, which are not to be imputed to them but rather, to the enemy.
Take no notice, do not argue with your thoughts, nor answer the doubts with which the devil attacks you, believe God’s word, believe His saints and prophets and the wicked enemy will be routed.
It is often most profitable to God’s servant to endure such things.
For the devil does not tempt the infidel or sinner, of whom he has already secure possession but, he uses various means to tempt and harass the devout faithful.

Go on then, with simple unquestioning faith and approach the Sacrament with reverent beseeching.
Anything you cannot understand, commit it surely to God who is omnipotent.
God does not deceive you, the over-confident person deceives himself.
God walks in step with the simple ones, He shows Himself to the humble ones, He grants understanding to the little ones, “He reveals hidden meanings to little ones” and hides away His grace from the inquisitive and the proud.
Human reason is feeble and fallible but true faith cannot be deceived.
All use of reason, all human inquiry should walk in the footsteps of faith, it should not go on, in front of it, nor call it in question.
(Book4 Ch 18)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HEART, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – – 14 March – For God so loved the world … John 3:14-21

One Minute Reflection – – 14 March – Laetare Sunday, Readings: 2 Chronicles 36:14-1619-23Psalms 137:1-23,4-56Ephesians 2:4-10John 3:14-21

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life…” – John 3:14-15

REFLECTION – “Let us praise the Son first of all, venerating the blood that expiated our sins. He lost nothing of His divinity when He saved me, when like a good physician He stooped to my festering wounds.
He was a mortal man but He was also God. He was of the race of David but Adam’s creator.
He who has no body clothed Himself with flesh. He had a mother who, nonetheless, was a virgin.
He who is without bounds, bound Himself with the cords of our humanity. He was victim and high priest—yet He was God.
He offered up His blood and cleansed the whole world.
He was lifted up on the cross but it was sin, that was nailed to it.
He became as one, among the dead but He rose from the dead, raising to life also many who had died before Him.
On the one hand, there was the poverty of His humanity, on the other, the riches of His divinity.
Do not let what is human in the Son permit you, wrongfully, to detract from what is divine. For the sake of the divine, hold in the greatest honour, the humanity, which the immortal Son took on Himself, for love of you!” – St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor – Poem 2

PRAYER – “All-powerful God, Benefactor and Creator of the universe,
hearken to my groaning in my peril.
Deliver me from fear and anguish,
free me, by the strength of Your might, You who can do all…
O Lord Christ, cut the threads of my net
with the sword of Your triumphant Cross, with the weapon of life.
This net encompasses me on every side,
holding me captive so as to bring me to my death.
Guide to their rest, my tottering and unsteady steps,
heal the stifling fever of my heart.” – St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010)
Doctor of the Church – Book of prayers, no 40 (Excerpt)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty Five of our Lenten Journey – 13 March – ‘How very little should I esteem anything that seems good in me!’

Day Twenty Five of our Lenten Journey – 13 March – Saturday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Hosea 6: 1-6, Psalms 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21, Luke 18: 9-14

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)

‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ – Luke 18:13

YOU thunder forth Your judgements over me, Lord.
You shake all my bones with fear and trembling and my soul is very much afraid.
I stand in awe as I consider that the heavens are not pure in Your sight.
If You found wickedness in the angels and did not spare them, what will become of me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and I — I who am but dust — how can I be presumptuous? They whose deeds seemed worthy of praise have fallen into the depths and I have seen those who ate the bread of angels delighting themselves with the husks of swine.

There is no holiness, then, if You withdraw Your hand, Lord.
There is no wisdom if You cease to guide, no courage if You cease to defend.
No chastity is secure if You do not guard it.
Our vigilance avails nothing if Your holy watchfulness does not protect us.
Left to ourselves, we sink and perish but visited by You, we are lifted up and live.
We are truly unstable but You make us strong.
We grow lukewarm but You inflame us.
Oh, how humbly and lowly should I consider myself!
How very little should I esteem anything, that seems good in me!
How profoundly should I submit to Your unfathomable judgments, Lord, where I find myself to be but nothing!

O immeasurable weight!
O impassable sea, where I find myself to be nothing but bare nothingness!
Where, then, is glory’s hiding place?
Where can there be any trust in my own virtue?
All vainglory is swallowed up in the depths of Your judgments upon me.

What is all flesh in Your sight?
Shall the clay glory against Him that formed it?
How can he, whose heart is truly subject to God, be lifted up by vainglory?
The whole world will not make him proud, whom Truth has subjected to itself.
Nor shall he who has placed all his hope in God, be moved by the tongues of flatterers. For behold, even they who speak are nothing, they will pass away with the sound of their words but the truth of the Lord, remains forever.
(Book 3 Ch 12)

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty Four of our Lenten Journey – 12 March – ‘… Let Him be your special love.’

Day Twenty Four of our Lenten Journey – 12 March – Friday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Hosea 14: 2-10, Psalms 81: 6-8, 8-9, 10-11, 14 and 17, Mark 12:28-34

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)

“You shall love the Lord your God
with ALL your heart”
– Mark 12:30

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)

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

Day Twenty three of our Lenten Journey – 11 March – When will You be all in all to me?

Day Twenty three of our Lenten Journey – 11 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 7:23-28, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7,8-9, Luke 11:14-23

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)

“The kingdom of God has come upon you” – Luke 11:20

Oh, when will these evils end?
When shall I be freed from the miserable slavery of vice?
When, Lord, shall I think of You alone?
When shall I fully rejoice in You?
When shall I be without hindrance, in true liberty, free from every grievance of mind and body?
When will there be solid peace, undisturbed and secure, inward peace and outward peace, peace secured on every side?
O good Jesus, when shall I stand to gaze upon You?
When shall I contemplate the glory of Your kingdom?
When will You be all in all to me?
Oh, when shall I be with You in that kingdom of Yours, which You have prepared for Your beloved from all eternity?

Blessed is the man who for Your sake, O Lord, dismisses all creatures, does violence to nature, crucifies the desires of the flesh in fervour of spirit, so that with serene conscience he can offer You a pure prayer and, having excluded all earthly things, inwardly and outwardly, becomes worthy to enter into the heavenly choirs.
(Book 3 Ch 48:3)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, The WILL of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty two of our Lenten Journey – 10 March – Behold, I am Your servant, ready to obey in all things

Day Twenty two of our Lenten Journey – 10 March – Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalms 147:12-13,15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19
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)

“Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do the same,
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven
but whoever does them and teaches them,
will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
– Matthew 5:19

CHRIST: [Say] … “Behold, I am Your servant, ready to obey in all things.
Not for myself do I desire to live but for You — would that I could do this worthily and perfectly!”

DISCIPLE: Grant me Your grace, O most merciful Jesus, that it may be with me and work with me and remain with me to the very end.
Grant that I may always desire and will, that which is most acceptable and pleasing to You.
Let Your will be mine.

Let my will always follow Yours and agree perfectly with it.
Let my will be one with Yours in willing and in not willing and let me be unable to will or not will anything but what You will or do not will.
Grant that I may die to all things in this world and for Your sake, love to be despised and unknown in this life.
Give me above all desires the desire to rest in You and in You let my heart have peace.
You are true peace of heart.
You alone are its rest.
Without You all things are difficult and troubled.
In this peace, the selfsame that is in You, the Most High, the everlasting Good, I will sleep and take my rest.
Amen.
(Book 3 Ch 15:2-3;3-4)

Posted in "Follow Me", DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty-one of our Lenten Journey – 9 March – Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Matthew 18:21

Day Twenty-one of our Lenten Journey – 9 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalms 25:4-5, 6 and 7, 8 and 9, Matthew 18:21-35

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)

“Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” – Matthew 18:21

CHRIST: MY CHILD, stand firm and trust in Me. For what are words but words? They fly through the air but hurt not a stone.
If you are guilty, consider how you would gladly amend and repair the damage you have caused.
If you are not conscious of any fault, think that you wish to bear this for the sake of God. It is little enough for you occasionally to endure words, since you are not yet strong enough to bear hard blows.

And why do such small matters pierce you to the heart, unless because you are still carnal and pay more heed to men than you ought? You do not wish to be reproved for your faults and you seek shelter in excuses because you are afraid of being despised.
But look into yourself more thoroughly and you will learn that the world is still alive in you, in a vain desire to please men.
For when you shrink from being abased and confounded for your failings, it is plain indeed that you are not truly humble or truly dead to the world, and that the world is not crucified in you.

Listen to My word and you will not value ten thousand words of men. Behold, if every malicious thing that could possibly be invented were uttered against you, what harm could it do if you ignored it all and gave it no more thought than you would a blade of grass?
Could it so much as pluck one hair from your head?

He who does not keep his heart within him and who does not have God before his eyes, is easily moved by a word of disparagement.
He who trusts in Me, on the other hand and who has no desire to stand by his own judgement, will be free from the fear of men.
For I am the judge and discerner of all secrets.
I know how all things happen. I know who causes injury and who suffers it. From Me that word proceeded and with My permission it happened, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.
I shall judge the guilty and the innocent but I have wished beforehand to try them both by secret judgement.

The testimony of man is often deceiving but My judgement is true — it will stand and not be overthrown. It is hidden from many and made known to but a few. Yet it is never mistaken and cannot be mistaken even though it does not seem right in the eyes of the unwise.

To Me, therefore, you ought to come in every decision, not depending on your own judgement.
For the just man will not be disturbed, no matter what may befall him from God. Even if an unjust charge be made against him he will not be much troubled. Neither will he exult vainly, if through others, he is justly acquitted.
He considers that it is I Who search the hearts and inmost thoughts of men, that I do not judge according to the face of things or human appearances.
For what the judgement of men considers praiseworthy, is often worthy of blame in My sight.

DISCIPLE: O Lord God, just Judge, strong and patient, You Who know the weakness and depravity of men, be my strength and all my confidence, for my own conscience is not sufficient for me.
You know what I do not know and, therefore, I ought to humble myself whenever I am accused and bear it meekly, forgiving them who utter such.

Forgive me, then, in Your mercy for my every failure in this regard and give me once more, the grace of greater endurance.
Better to me is Your abundant mercy in obtaining pardon, than the justice which I imagine in defending the secrets of my conscience.
And though, I am not conscious to myself of any fault, yet I cannot thereby justify myself because without Your mercy, no man living will be justified in Your sight.
(Book 3 Ch 46)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, FATHERS of the Church, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 March – ‘A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God …’ Matthew 18:21-35

One Minute Reflection – 9 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:2534-43Psalms 25:4-56 and 78 and 9Matthew 18:21-35 and the Memorial of St Frances of Rome (1384-1440)

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33

REFLECTION – “What is human mercy like? It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like? It forgives sinners…
In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)… What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42). Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…
What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to Church? What indeed if not mercy? Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven. A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so, when you come to Church, give whatever alms you can to the poo,r in accordance with your means.” – St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Sermon 25

PRAYER – Infinite Lord, help me to serve You always in accord with Your holy will. Show us how to make You our Lord and our All. St Frances of Rome, you showed us all the way of holiness within the confines of our lives, always seeking to do the will of God and serve all His children, most especially those in need but remaining always true to the vows of your marriage. Please pray for us all, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty of our Lenten Journey – 8 March – ‘Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.’

Day Twenty of our Lenten Journey – 8 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15, Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4, Luke 4:24-30

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 they rose up and tdrove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.– Luke 4:29

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men.
In the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn.
He was willing to suffer and to be despised. Do you dare to complain of anything?

He had enemies and defamers. Do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor?
How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it?
How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship?
Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer.
For love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.
He who tastes life as it really is, not as men say or think it is, is indeed wise with the wisdom of God rather than of men.

He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises.
A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals.
No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen.

He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behaviour of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals.
If all were well with you, therefore and, if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit.
But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you.
Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things.

But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.
(Book 2 Ch 1)

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on FREEDOM, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Nineteen of our Lenten Journey – 7 March – ‘ Who is more at rest, than he who aims at nothing but God?’

Day Nineteen of our Lenten Journey – 7 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalms 19:8-11, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25

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)

“Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17

O LORD, I am in sore need still of greater grace, if I am to arrive at the point, where no man and no created thing can be an obstacle to me. For as long as anything holds me back, I cannot freely fly to You. He that said “Oh that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!“(Ps 55:7) desired to fly freely to You. Who is more at rest, than he who aims at nothing but God? And who more free, than the man who desires nothing on earth?

It is well, then, to pass over all creation, perfectly to abandon self and to see in ecstasy of mind that You, the Creator of all, have no likeness among all Your creatures and that unless a man be freed from all creatures, he cannot attend freely to the Divine. The reason why so few contemplative persons are found, is that so few know how to separate themselves entirely from what is transitory and created.

For this, indeed, great grace is needed, grace that will raise the soul and lift it up above itself. Unless a man be elevated in spirit, free from all creatures and completely united to God, all his knowledge and possessions are of little moment. He who considers anything great except the one, immense, eternal good will long be little and lie groveling on the earth. Whatever is not God is nothing and must be accounted as nothing.

There is great difference between the wisdom of an enlightened and devout man and the learning of a well-read and brilliant scholar, for the knowledge which flows down from divine sources is much nobler than that laboriously acquired by human industry.

Many there are, who desire contemplation but, who do not care to do the things, which contemplation requires. It is also a great obstacle to be satisfied with externals and sensible things and to have so little of perfect mortification. I know not what it is, or by what spirit we are led, or to what we pretend — we who wish to be called spiritual — that we spend so much labour and even more anxiety on things that are transitory and mean, while we seldom or never advert with full consciousness to our interior concerns.

Alas, after very little meditation we falter, not weighing our deeds by strict examination. We pay no attention to where our affections lie, nor do we deplore the fact that our actions are impure.

Remember that because all flesh had corrupted its course, the great deluge followed. Since, then, our interior affection is corrupt, it must be that the action which follows from it, the index as it were of our lack of inward strength, is also corrupt. Out of a pure heart come the fruits of a good life.

People are wont to ask how much a man has done but they think little of the virtue with which he acts. They ask: Is he strong? rich? handsome? a good writer? a good singer? or a good worker? They say little, however, about how poor he is in spirit, how patient and meek, how devout and spiritual. Nature looks to his outward appearance; grace turns to his inward being. The one often errs, the other trusts in God and is not deceived.
(Book 3 Ch 31)

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HEART, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Eighteen of our Lenten Journey – “I will arise and go to my father ” – Luke 15:18

Day Eighteen of our Lenten Journey – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

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)

I will arise and go to my father and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you” – Luke 15:18

In that day every trial borne in patience will be pleasing and the voice of iniquity will be stilled; the devout will be glad; the irreligious will mourn and the mortified body will rejoice far more than if it had been pampered with every pleasure. Then the cheap garment will shine with splendour and the rich one become faded and worn; the poor cottage will be more praised than the gilded palace. In that day persevering patience will count more than all the power in this world; simple obedience will be exalted above all worldly cleverness; a good and clean conscience will gladden the heart of man far more than the philosophy of the learned and contempt for riches will be of more weight than every treasure on earth.

Then you will find more consolation in having prayed devoutly than in having fared daintily; you will be happy that you preferred silence to prolonged gossip.

Then holy works will be of greater value than many fair words; strictness of life and hard penances will be more pleasing than all earthly delights.

Learn, then, to suffer little things now that you may not have to suffer greater ones in eternity. Prove here what you can bear hereafter. If you can suffer only a little now, how will you be able to endure eternal torment? If a little suffering makes you impatient now, what will hell fire do? In truth, you cannot have two joys: you cannot taste the pleasures of this world and afterward reign with Christ.

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.

He who loves God with all his heart does not fear death or punishment or judgement or hell, because perfect love assures access to God.

It is no wonder that he who still delights in sin fears death and judgment.

It is good, however, that even if love does not as yet restrain you from evil, at least the fear of hell does. The man who casts aside the fear of God cannot continue long in goodness but will quickly fall into the snares of the devil.
(Book 1 Ch 24:5-7)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, LENT, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – ‘You, Who desire that all should be saved.’ Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

“Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him” – Luke 15:22

REFLECTION – “How many there are who, through repentance, have been worthy to receive the love You hold for humankind. You justified the anguished publican and the weeping woman who was a sinner (Lk 18.14; 7,50) for, through a predetermined design, You foresee and grant pardon. Convert me also together with them, You, Who desire that all should be saved.

My soul was soiled as it put on the garment of its sins (Gn 3,21). O let me make fountains flow from my eyes that I may purify it by repentance. Clothe me with the shining robe worthy of Your wedding (Mt 22,12), You, Who desire that all should be saved…

O heavenly Father, have compassion for my cry as You did for the prodigal son, for I, too, am throwing myself at Your feet and crying aloud as he cried: “Father, I have sinned!” Do not reject me Your unworthy child, O my Saviour but cause Your angels to rejoice also on my behalf, O God of goodness You, Who desire that all should be saved.

For you have made me Your child and Your own heir through grace (Rm 8,17). Yet as for me, because I have offended You, am here a prisoner, an unhappy slave sold over to sin! Take pity on Your own image (Gn 1,26) and call it back from exile, O Saviour, You, Who desire that all should be saved…

Now is the time for repentance… The words of Paul urge me to persevere in prayer (Col 4,2) and await You. Therefore, with trust I pray, for I well know Your mercy, I know You come the first towards me and I am calling out for help. Should You delay, it is to give me the reward for perseverance, You, Who desire that all should be saved.

Grant me always to extol You and give You glory by leading a life that is pure. Grant that my deeds may be in accord with my words, that I may sing to You, Almighty… with pure prayer, Christ alone who desires that all should be saved.” – St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556) Monk, Composer of hymns, Poet – Hymn 55; SC 283

PRAYER – Almighty God, Whose sanctifying grace, even hee on earth, brings us the gifts of heaven, guide us in this present life and lead us, in the footsteps of that Light the Christ, Whom You sent to lead us in His Light to the light of Your dwelling. May the prayers of all Your angels with the Blessed Virgin our Mother, St John the Baptist, St Joseph, Blessed Sylvester of Assisi and all the Saints strengthen and lighten our way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.