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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closing Prayer:

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

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

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

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

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

“Lazarus, come out!” … John 11:43

the fifth sunday of lent 29 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
The Way, the Truth and the Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The PASSION

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

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

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

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

Catechesis 27

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, LENT 2020, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, MARIAN PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION, The WORD, To JESUS through MARY

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

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

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

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

Daily Meditation:
Apart from You we can do nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closing Prayer:

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

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

Posted in GOD the FATHER, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS on FAITH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FREEDOM, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Death

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

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

Matthew 10:32

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

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

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

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

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

Msgr Alex Rebello CMF
Claretian Priest
Diocese of Wrexham, Wales

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

Posted in ACT of CONTRITION, DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

friday of the fourth week 27 march 2020

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

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

Closing Prayer:

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

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

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

Holy Week Thoughts – 16 April – Peter’s Denial

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

Peter’s Denial

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

Saint Romanos the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

Hymnist – Hymn 34 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lenten Thoughts – 8 April – “Praying means …”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – THE BELOVED CROSSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April ‘ But You God”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 4 April – I Am With You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

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

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – O Fountain of Everlasting Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the Fervent Amendment of our Whole Life

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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

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

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

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

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

Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Coming nigh to God

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

Act of self-abandonment
Coming nigh to God

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

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

And, may we:

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

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