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

Holy Week Thoughts – 16 April – Peter’s Denial

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

Peter’s Denial

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

Saint Romanos the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

Hymnist – Hymn 34 

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD

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

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

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

Pope Francis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lenten Thoughts – Palm Sunday, Year C – 14 April

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

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

Saint Romanus the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

Composer of Hymns – Hymn 32

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Third Station
Jesus falls the first time beneath the Cross

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

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

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

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

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

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Second Station
Jesus receives His Cross

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cross of Christ

is the source of all blessings,

the cause of all graces

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

An excerpt from his On the Lord’s Passion

Sermon 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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