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

Thought for the Day – 4 March – Riches and Poverty

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

Riches and Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He who is immortal, voluntarily shed His blood. He who created the host of angels, was
bound at the hands of soldiers and He who is to judge the living and the dead, was dragged to justice (cf. Acts 10:42; 2 Tm 4:1). Truth was exposed to false witnesses, was slandered, struck, covered with spittle, hung on the wood of the cross – the Lord of glory (cf. 1 Cor 2:8) endured every outrage and suffering without Himself needing these trials. How could this have happened to Him who, even as man, was without sin and who, to the contrary, snatched us away from the tyranny of the sin through which death came into the world and falsely took possession of our first father?

So there is nothing surprising about it, if we submit to even one of these trials since such is our condition … Therefore, we too have to be offended and tempted, afflicted by the cutting off of our wills. According to the interpretation of our Fathers, there is in this, a shedding of blood for this is what it means to be a monk. And we must gain the Kingdom of heaven in that way, by spending our lives in imitation of the Lord. … Apply yourselves zealously to your duties in the thought that by means of them, far from being slaves of men, you are serving God.” … St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople – Catecheses 1

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Book 2 Ch 3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

Psalm 35(36)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Your Light Lord, we see light

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

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest.
Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.
Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within.
His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great and His intimacy wonderful indeed.
Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you.
He Himself says: “If anyone love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him”. (John 14:23).
Give place, then, to Christ but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you.
He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.
[…] Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?
Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away and you together with them.
Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.
If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds.
If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.
(Book 2, Ch 1)

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

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

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

In Your Light Lord, we see light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

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

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

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

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

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Ash Wednesday – 17 February- Day One of our Lenten Journey

Ash Wednesday – 17 February- Day One of our Lenten Journey

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

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“HE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,” (John 8:12) says the Lord.
By these words of Christ, we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart.
Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.
(Book 1, Ch 1:1)

DISCIPLE: IT IS the mark of a perfect man, Lord, never to let his mind relax in attention to heavenly things and to pass through many cares as though he had none; not as an indolent man does but, having by the certain prerogative of a free mind, no disorderly affection for any created being.

Keep me, I beg You, most merciful God, from the cares of this life, lest I be too much entangled in them.
Keep me from many necessities of the body, lest I be ensnared by pleasure.
Keep me from all darkness of mind, lest I be broken by troubles and overcome.
I do not ask deliverance from those things, which worldly vanity desires so eagerly but, from those miseries which, by the common curse of humankind, oppress the soul of Your servant, in punishment and keep him from entering into the liberty of spirit as often as he would.

My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self, by the sight of some delightful good in the present.
Let it not overcome me, my God.
Let not flesh and blood conquer me.
Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness.
Give me courage to resist, patience to endure and constancy to persevere.
Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit, rather than all the consolations of the world and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your Name.

Behold, eating, drinking, clothing and other necessities that sustain the body are burdensome to the fervent soul.
Grant me the grace to use such comforts temperately and not to become entangled in too great a desire for them.
It is not lawful to cast them aside completely, for nature must be sustained but Your holy law forbids us to demand superfluous things and things that are simply for pleasure, else the flesh would rebel against the spirit.
In these matters, I beg, let Your hand guide and direct me, so that I may not overstep the law in any way.
(Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, STATIONS of the CROSS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 February – LENTEN THOUGHTS

Quote/s of the Day – 14 February – Readings: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 11, 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1, Mark 1:40-45

LENTEN THOUGHTS

“You can make me clean”

Mark 1:40

“It is the greatest punishment to commit sin,
though we may remain unpunished –
it is the greatest honour and repose to live virtuously,
though we may be punished.”

St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“I have hidden My glory and,
out of My great love for you,
have freely made My richness poor.
For you, I suffered hunger, thirst, fatigue.
I roamed the mountains, ravines and valleys
looking for you, my lost sheep.
I took the name of Lamb, to bring you back,
calling you with My shepherd’s voice.
And I want to give My life for you,
to tear you away from claws of the wolf.
I bear everything so that you may cry out :
“Blessed are You, the one who comes to call Adam.”

St Romanus the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

“But He still follows behind us and counsels us,
that we have despised Him
but He still does not cease to call us.
We turn our backs on His face, so to speak,
when we reject His words,
when we trample His commandments underfoot
but He who sees that we reject Him,
still calls out to us by His commandments
and waits for us by His patience,
stands behind us and calls us back
when we have turned away.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy
By Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)

O Jesus!
Cast upon us a look of mercy,
turn Your Face towards each of us
as You did to Veronica,
not that we may see it with our bodily eyes,
for this we do not deserve
but turn it towards our hearts,
so that, remembering You,
we may ever draw from this fountain of strength,
the vigour necessary to
sustain the combats of life.
Amen

“… Recollect, that heavy Cross
is the weight of our sins.
As it fell upon His neck and shoulders,
it came down with a shock.
Alas! what a sudden, heavy weight
have I laid upon Thee, O Jesus.
… Ah! how great a misery is it
that I have lifted up my hand
against my God.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 11 December – ‘… I want to love You with all my heart.’

Advent Reflection – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Matthew 11:16-19

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“For John came, neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” … Matthew 11:18-19

REFLECTION – “O Fire ever burning,” let us say together with Saint Augustine – “inflame our souls.”
O incarnate Word, You became man to strike in our hearts the fire of divine love, how is it You should find in us such great ingratitude?
You held nothing back to enable us to love You; You went as far as to sacrifice Your blood and Your life.
What is the reason we humans remain unmoved by such great gifts?
Is it because we know nothing about them? Not at all.
People understand and believe, it is for love of them, You came down from heaven to put on human flesh and take on the burden of their woes.
They know it is for love of them, You willed to lead a life of constant suffering and undergo a shameful death.
How explain, after all this, their living in such absolute forgetfulness of Your unequalled kindness?
They love their family, they love their friends, they even love their livestock! … it is for You alone they are without love and without gratitude!
But what am I saying? In accusing others of ungratefulness, I condemn myself since my conduct in Your regard is even worse than theirs.
Nevertheless, Your mercy gives me courage.
I know how long it has borne with me, to forgive me and set me on fire with Your love, if only I am willing to repent and love You.

Oh yes, my God, I want to repent … I want to love You with all my heart.
I well see how my heart … has abandoned You to love the things of this world but I also see how, in spite of this betrayal, You yet claim it as Your own.
And so, with all the strength of my will, I consecrate it and offer it to You. Therefore, be pleased to inflame it wholly with Your holy love and grant, that from now on, it may love no other thing but You …
O my Jesus, I love You, I love You, my sovereign Good!
I love You, sole Love of my soul.

O Mary, my mother, you are the “mother of noble loving” (Sir 24:24 Vg.), grant me the grace of loving my God.
It is from you that I hope to gain it.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Most Zealous Doctor of the Church – 1st Sermon for the Octave of Christmas

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Advocate be our eternal succour. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – The Most Holy Redeemer

Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

“I did not come to condemn the world
but to save the world.”

John 12:47

“Come along then, every human family,
full of sin as you are
and receive the forgiveness of your sins.
For I Myself, am your forgiveness,
I am the Passover of salvation,
the Lamb slain for your sakes,
your redemption, life and resurrection;
I am your Light, your Salvation and your King.
It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven,
I, who will raise you up;
it is I, who will bring you to see the Father
who is from all eternity;
it is I, who will raise you up
by My all-powerful Hand.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Apologist

Paschal Homily

“Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time:
God hanging from a cross,
the sun made dark and again flaming out;
for it was fitting that creation should mourn with it’s Creator.
The temple veil rent,
blood and water flowing from His side –
the one as from a man,
the other as from what was above man;
the earth shaken,
the rocks shattered because of the Rock;
the dead risen to bear witness to the final
and universal resurrection of the dead.
The happenings at the sepulcher and after the sepulcher,
who can fittingly recount them?
Yet no-one of them, can be compared,
to the miracle of my salvation.
A few drops of blood renew the whole world
and do, for all men,
what the rennet does for the milk –
joining us and binding us together.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“The light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.”

“Our Saviour’s passion
raises men and women
from the depths,
lifts them up from the earth
and sets them in the heights.”

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“As they were looking on,
so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs.
We see His blood as He dies.
We see the price offered by the Redeemer,
touch the scars of His Resurrection.
He bows His head, as if to kiss you.
His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you.
His arms are extended, that He may embrace you.
His whole body is displayed for your redemption.
Ponder how great these things are.
Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind –
as He was once fixed to the cross,
in every part of His body for you,
so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul.”

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

“Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers.
All love that takes not it’s beginning
from Our Saviour’s Passion is frivolous and dangerous.
Unhappy is death without the love of the Saviour,
unhappy is love without the death of the Saviour!
Love and death are so mingled
in the Passion of Our Saviour
that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other.
Upon Calvary one cannot have life without love,
nor love without the death of Our Redeemer.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

“Yes, my gentle Redeemer,
let me say it,
You are crazy with love!
Is it not foolish for You
to have wanted to die for me?
But if You, my God,
have become crazy with love for me,
how can I not become crazy with love for You?”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)

Jesus, by this Saving Sign,
bless this listless soul of mine.
Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast,
mend the missteps of my past.
Jesus, with Your riven hands,
bend my will to love’s demands.
Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare,
warm my inner coldness there.
Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head,
still my pride till it is dead.
Jesus, by Your muted tongue,
stay my words that hurt someone.
Jesus, by Your tired eyes,
open mine to faith’s surprise.
Jesus, by Your fading breath,
keep me faithful until death.
Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign,
save this wayward soul of mine.
Amen

“He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane,
He was betrayed by Judas,
denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles,
He was bound like a criminal,
insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death
and burdened with a cross;
finally, when He arrived at Calvary,
He was nailed to the gibbet,
where He shed His Precious Blood
and gave His life for our redemption.
Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us.
“Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.”
The Saints were moved to tears
by the strange spectacle of God-made-man,
dying on the Cross for men.
What is our reaction?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

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One Minute Reflection – 15 October – The scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard … Luke 11:47-54

One Minute Reflection – 15 October – Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:1-10, Psalms 98:1, 2-3,3-4, 5-6, Luke 11:47-54 and the Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

The scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard … lying in wait for him … Luke 11:53-54

REFLECTION – “With a fear mingled with joy I consider it desirable to say something here about the sufferings you endured for my sake, O God of us all!
Standing before the tribunal of men You Yourself had created
in a nature that was my own
You said nothing, You who give us speech;
You did not speak aloud, You who create the tongue;
You did not shout out, You who shake the earth (…)
You did not give up to shame
the one who gave You up to the terrors of death;
You showed no resistance when You were bound
and when You were struck, you were not outraged.
When they spat on You, You did not swear back
and when they struck You with the fist,
You did not tremble.
When they taunted You, You were not angered
and when they hit You, Your face did not change (…)
Far from giving You a moment of respite,
O source of life,
they at once prepared for carrying
the instrument of death.
You accepted it graciously,
took it gently,
hoisted it patiently.
You took upon Yourself, like a criminal,
the tree of sorrow!” – St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010) Doctor of the Church, Armenian Monk, mystical Philosopher, Theologian and Poet – Book of prayers, no 77

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You sent St Teresa of Jesus to be a witness in the Church to the way of perfection. Sustain us by her spiritual doctrine and kindle in us, the longing for true holiness. Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever. May the intercession of St Teresa be a source of strength, amen.

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Thought for the Day – 10 October – The Third Sorrowful Mystery – The Crowning with Thorns

Thought for the Day – 10 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Third Sorrowful Mystery
The Crowning with Thorns

“This new torture was a diabolical invention decreed by no law or authority.
Purely for their own savage entertainment, the soldiers procured a bundle of thorned reeds, which they wound into the shape of a crown and pressed into Jesus’ head.

Mary knew what was going on.
She was there with the holy women when Pilate brough her bloodstained Son before the people and, their blasphemous yells pierced her tender heart.
Her mother’s heart felt the sharp thorns too but, she accepted this affliction with resignation, silently protesting against the insults of the crowd by acts of adoration and of love.
We should behave in this way also.
We should participate in the passion of Jesus, by offering our own sufferings and we should make acts of love and of self-surrender, in reparation for these acts of blasphemy!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 9 October – The Second Sorrowful Mystery – The Scourging

Thought for the Day – 9 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Second Sorrowful Mystery
The Scourging

“Think about the manner in which Jesus was scourged.
His chaste body, is stripped by the jeering soldiers, His hands are tied and He is bound to a pillar.
The soldiers come forward with their whips and begin to beat Him mercilessly.
As His blood flows freely to the ground, Jesus quivers with pain and emits a half-suppressed groan.
But fresh blows continue to rain down on His bruised flesh.
So the prophecy is fulfilled in which Isaias described the punishment of the chosen people, whose sins and whose chastisement, the divine Redeemer has chosen to take on Himself.
“For the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein – wounds and bruises and swelling sores …” (Is 1:6).

By means of this fearful torment, Jesus willed to offer satisfaction in a special manner, for the sins of the flesh.
In ancient times, sins of impurity provoked the anger of God so much, that they were blotted out by the universal deluge.
Now these sins are still numberless, both in the pagan and, unfortunately, in the Christian world but, they are washed away by the saving blood of Jesus Christ, Who came on earth to make reparation for all the iniquities of men.

Kiss the wounds of Jesus, bleeding and suffering.
Ask for pardon if you have on occasions, failed to preseve the purity of your body, the dwelling of your immortal soul and the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit.
Resolve to die rather than stain again, with impurity, the soul, which was redeemed and sanctified, by the precious blood of the Redeemer.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – 14 September – “Let me not boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – 14 September

St Augustine

“Let me not boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”

It is a great thing that we are promised by the Lord but far greater is what has already been done for us and which we now commemorate.

Where were the sinners, what were they, when Christ died for them?

When Christ has already given us the gift of His death, who is to doubt that He will give the saints the gift of His own life?

Why does our human frailty hesitate to believe that mankind will one day live with God?

Who is Christ if not the Word of God: in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God?

This Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us. He had no power of Himself to die for us – He had to take from us our mortal flesh.

This was the way in which, though immortal, He was able to die; the way in which He chose to give life to mortal men – He would first share with us and then enable us to share with Him.

Of ourselves, we had no power to live, nor did He of Himself have the power to die. In other words, He performed the most wonderful exchange with us. Through us, He died; through Him, we shall live.

The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon Himself the death that He found in us, He has most faithfully promised to give us life in Himself, such as we cannot have of ourselves.

He loved us so much, that, sinless Himself, He suffered for us sinners, the punishment we deserved for our sins.

How then can He fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for He is the source of righteousness? How can He, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints, when He bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin Himself?

Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge and even openly proclaim, that Christ was Crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.

The apostle Paul saw Christ and extolled His claim to glory. He had many great and inspired things to say about Christ but he did not say that he boasted in Christ’s wonderful works – in creating the world, since He was God with the Father, or in ruling the world, though He was also a man like us.

Rather, he said: Let me not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

St Augustine – Sermon Guelf 3 from the Office of Readings, Monday of Holy Week

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Thought for the Day – 21 July – The Royal Road of the Cross

Thought for the Day – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Royal Road of the Cross

the royal road of the cross - bacci 22 july 2020

“The way of the Cross is the only road that leads to Heaven.
Consequently, a man who refuses to take this road cannot reach Heaven.
If there were another way, Jesus would have told us about it.
Instead, He insisted that if anyone wished to go after Him, he would have to deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Him (Lk 9:23).

Our Lord did more than preach this way to us, for He gave us an example of the manner in which to follow it.
Jesus could have redeemed us by a single act of His human-divine will, simply by offering Himself to the Eternal Father in expiation of our sins.
But He chose to carry the weight of the Cross, to climb the Hill of Calvary and, to die in agony.

We must ascend our own Calvary, if we wish to imitate and follow Jesus.
Our divine Redeemer fulfilled perfectly, in His Passion, all the works of perfection which He had preached in the Gospel.
Let the Passion of Christ be our rule of life.
Let us be glad, when we seem to be more like Him and sorrowful, whenever we seem to be departing from the example which He set us.

Suffering should be a source of consolation for us, for it makes us more like Jesus, as long as we endure it with resignation and with love.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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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