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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