Thought for the Day – 15 August -You have Borne for us the Clothing of Immortality

Thought for the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

You have Borne for us the Clothing of Immortality

Saint John Damascene (675-749)
Priest and Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Homily 9 – On the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Once indeed God ejected the mortals and first parents of the human race from the paradise of Eden, when they had drunk deeply, from the wine of disobedience and had become so affected by the hangover of sin, through the intoxication of that transgression, which led to the sleepiness of the mind’s eye.   Now, however, shall not paradise receive her who repelled the onslaught of all sin, producing the seed of obedience to God and Father and bringing forth life, for all races of mortal men?   How can death devour this truly blessed woman, who gave birth to the whole person of the Word of God through union with God?   How can hell receive her?   When Christ, who is the way and the truth, said Where I am, there will my servant be also, why would there not be a dwelling for His own mother with Him with an even greater justification?   It is well said that precious in the sight of the Lord God of Hosts, is the death of His saints but even more precious, is the passing of the Mother of God from this life.

Then Adam and Eve, the founders of our race, exclaimed with a loud voice in great rejoicing: “Blessed are you, O daughter, who bore for us the penalties of the commands that had been broken.   When you had gained a mortal body from us, you gave birth to a covering of immortality for us.   You repaid us so that it might be well with us, since you received birth from our loins.   From beyond the grave you have called us back to our ancient seat, we closed paradise for ourselves but you made open the way of the tree of life.   Through our actions, sadness came forth from happiness, through you even more joyful things have returned from sorrow.   In what possible way could you be acceptable to death, O Immaculate one?   You are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven, you are a boat over the sea of death reaching to immortality.

But the woman herself, as she did not shrink from the truth, said: “Into Your hands, my Son, I commend my spirit.   Receive this soul which is dear to You, which You have preserved free from any sin.   I hand over my body, not to the earth but to You.   Take me to Yourself, that where You are, You, the child of my womb, so there I also may be Your companion.   I am hastening to You, who have often come to me on this side of that long distance.”

When she had said this, she heard in reply:   “Come to my rest, my blessed Mother, arise, come, my beloved, most blessed among all women.   Behold, the winter is ended.   You are all fair, my beloved and there is no spot of stain found in you, the odour of your ointments are more precious than all other aromas.”you are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven 15 aug 2019 assumption.jpg


There is an invocation in a Litany to Our Lord in which we ask: ut ad celestia desideria erigas, te rogamus, audi nos – that our souls be raised to the desire for celestial things, we pray Thee, hear us.   This invocation should be the conclusion of our meditation on the Assumption of Our Lady.   We should ask, that we may love the celestial happiness of Our Lady, to give her glory and that we may one day be with her in Paradise.   We should also love and meditate on her joys, as a way to accept with peace and resignation the sorrows and sufferings God sends us, so that we might prove our love for Him.

Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, Pray for Us!our lady assumed into heaven pray for us 15 aug 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 15 August – On the Assumption

Quote of the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

“In the bodily and spiritual glory
which she possesses in heaven,
the Mother of Jesus,
continues in this present world
as the image and first flowering of the Church,
as she is to be perfected in the world to come.
Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth,
until the day of the Lord shall come (cf 2 Peter 3:10),
as a sign of certain hope
and comfort for the pilgrim People of God.”

Lumen Gentiumlumen gentium no 68 on the assumption in the bodily and spiritual glory 15 aug 2019.jpg

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #68.

“While she lived on this earth
she could only be close to a few people.
Being in God, who is close to us,
actually, “within” all of us,
Mary shares in this closeness of God.
Being in God and with God,
she is close to each one of us,
knows our hearts, can hear our prayers,
can help us with her motherly kindness
and has been given to us,
as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother”
to whom we can turn at every moment.”

Pope Benedict XVIwhile she lived on earth - pope benedict assumption 15 aug 2019.jpg

“As soon as we apprehend by faith,
the great fundamental truth, that Mary is the Mother of God,
other wonderful truths follow in its train and one of these, is that,
she was exempt from the ordinary lot of mortals,
which is not only to die but to become earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Bl John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)as-soon-as-we-apprehend-by-faith-bl-john-henry-19-aug-2018 and 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 15 August – My soul glorifies the Lord!

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, Gospel:  Luke 1:39–56

My soul glorifies the Lord ... Luke 1:46luke 1 46 my soul glorifies the lord - assumption 15 aug 2019

REFLECTION – “We heard the Song of Mary, the Magnificat – it is the song of hope, it is the song of the People of God walking through history.   It is the song many saints, men and women, some famous and very many others unknown to us but known to God, mums, dads, catechists, missionaries, priests, sisters, young people, even children and grandparents – these have faced the struggle of life while carrying in their heart the hope of the little and the humble. Mary says, “My souls glorifies the Lord” – today, the Church too sings this in every part of the world.” … Pope Francis (Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August 2013)we hard the song of mary - pope francis - assumption 15 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
For He has blessed me lavishly
and makes me ready to respond.
He shatters my little world
and lets me be poor before Him.
He takes from me all my plans
and gives me more than I can hope for or ask.
He gives me opportunities
and the ability to become free
and to burst through my boundaries.
He gives the strength to be doing,
to build on Him alone,
for He shows Himself
as the ever greater One in my life.
He has made known to me this!
It is in my being servant that it becomes possible.
For God’s kingdom to break through
here and now.
A Magnificat
Translated from the German by Olga Warnke of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Marya magnificat - 9 feb 2018


Thought for the Day – 14 August – ‘Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts.’

Thought for the Day – 14 August – Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”

Apostolic Zeal for the Salvation and Sanctification of Souls

An excerpt from the Letters of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

“The burning zeal for God’s glory that motivates you fills my heart with joy.   It is sad for us to see in our own time that indifferentism in its many forms is spreading like an epidemic not only among the laity but also among religious.   But God is worthy of glory beyond measure and, therefore, it is of absolute and supreme importance, to seek that glory with all the power of our feeble resources.   Since we are mere creatures we can never return to Him all that is His due.

The most resplendent manifestation of God’s glory is the salvation of souls, whom Christ redeemed by shedding His blood.   To work for the salvation and sanctification of as many souls as possible, therefore, is the preeminent purpose of the apostolic life.   Let me, then, say a few words that may show the way toward achieving God’s glory and the sanctification of many souls.

God, who is all-knowing and all-wise, knows best what we should do to increase His glory.   Through hHs representatives on earth, He continually reveals His will to us, thus it is obedience and obedience alone, that is the sure sign to us of the divine will.   A superior may, it is true, make a mistake but it is impossible for us to be mistaken in obeying a superior’s command.   The only exception to this rule is the case of a superior commanding something, that in even the slightest way, would contravene God’s law. Such a superior would not be conveying God’s will.

God alone is infinitely wise, holy, merciful, our Lord, Creator and Father; He is beginning and end, wisdom and power and love, He is all.   Everything other than God, has value to the degree, that it is referred to Him, the maker of all and our own redeemer, the final end of all things.   It is He who, declaring His adorable will to us through His representatives on earth, draws us to Himself and whose plan is, to draw others to Himself through us and to join us all to Himself in an ever-deepening love.

Look, then, at the high dignity that by God’s mercy belongs to our state in life.   Obedience raises us beyond the limits of our littleness and puts us in harmony with God’s will.   In boundless wisdom and care, His will guides us to act rightly.   Holding fast to that will, which no creature can thwart, we are filled with unsurpassable strength.

Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence, for us to offer glory to God  . If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example.   Scripture, however, summed up His entire life at Nazareth in the words:  He was subject to them, Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of His life, repeatedly declaring that He came into the world, to do His Father’s will.

Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts.   Let our obedience increase that love, above all, when it requires us to surrender our own will.   Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.

We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of His mercy.   It is beyond all doubt, that Mary’s will represents to us, the will of God Himself.   By dedicating ourselves to her, we become in her hands, instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands.   We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit, she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.”

St Maximillian Kolbe, Pray for Us!st-max-pray-for-us-14-aug-2017


Thought for the Day – 3 August – Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady

Thought for the Day – 3 August – Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Marian Saturdays

Speaking of:  Our Lady

Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady
Part One
By Sr M Jean Frisk SSM

Historical Background of the Saturdays in Honour of Mary

To dedicate Saturday in honour of Mary is an ancient custom.   It is based on a legendary account that Jesus appeared to Mary on the Saturday, the day after His death.   He did so to reward her for her steadfast faith in His divinity, which did not waver under the Cross.   Another strain of devotional thought explains that Divine Wisdom, becoming flesh of the Virgin Mary, rested (Saturday=Sabbath=day of rest) in Mary as on a bed.part one sat devotiosns in honour of our lady part one 3 aug 2019.jpg

One of the oldest customs traced to honouring Mary on Saturday in the Church of Rome, took place on the Saturday before “Whitsunday” [White Sunday].   The newly-baptised members of the Church were led from St John’s baptistry of the Lateran to Mary’s great shrine on the Esquilin, St Mary Major [built under Pope Liberius 352-66].   St John of Damascus’ († 754) writings testify to the celebration of Saturdays dedicated to Mary in the Church of the East.   The liturgical books of the ninth and tenth centuries contain Masses in honour of Mary on Saturday.

The Dictionary of Mary states:dict of mary.jpg

Hence, Saturday acquired its great Marian tone and the existing fast on that day became associated with Mary.   Today, the strongest trace of Mary’s relationship with Saturday occurs in the Liturgy.   Saturday is dedicated to Mary by a Mass or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Through these liturgical acts, Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer.

This liturgical attribution of Saturday to Mary was largely the work of Alcuin (735-804), the Benedictine monk who was “Minister of Education” at the court of Charlemagne and who contributed in a decisive manner to the Carolingian liturgical reform.   Alcuin composed six formularies for Votive (that is, devotional) Masses – one for each day of the week.   And he assigned two formularies to Saturday in honour of Our Lady.   The practice was quickly and joyously embraced by both clergy and laity.   St Cardinal Peter Damian († 1072) fostered the Marian Saturday celebration as well.

The custom was specially furthered during the time of the crusades.   Peter of Amiens preached the first crusade and started out with a vanguard for Constantinople on a Saturday, March 8, 1096.   Pope Urban II admonished the faithful to pray the hours of the liturgy in honour of the most holy Virgin for the crusaders.   At the Synod of Clermont the year before, he had prescribed priests to do so.

The custom of dedicating Saturday Masses to Mary was fostered specially in the cloister churches of the various orders and quickly spread throughout the whole Church.   In addition to the liturgical celebrations on Saturdays, other customs kept step – especially works of neighbourly love.   For example, King Louis of France († on the last crusade) fed over one hundred of the poor at his palace.   He ate with them and sent them away richly-laden with gifts.

The great theologians of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Sts Bernard, Thomas and Bonaventure explained the dedication of Saturdays to Mary by pointing to the time of Christ’s rest in the grave.   Everyone else had abandoned Christ, only Mary continued to believe.   This was her day!

A Dominican missal of the fifteenth century listed additional reasons in a hymn: -Saturday is the day when creation was completed.   Therefore it is also celebrated as the day of the fulfilment of the plan of salvation, which found its realisation through Mary. Sunday is the Lord’s Day, so it seemed appropriate to name the day preceding as Mary’s day.

In the centuries to follow, the Marian Saturdays were expressed in several devotions. This was the day the faithful selected to go on pilgrimages.   Sodalities held their meetings on Saturdays and called them Fraternity Saturdays or Sodality Saturdays.   The seven dolors or sorrows of Mary were commemorated on seven consecutive Saturdays. The fifteen Saturdays before the liturgy in honour of Mary as Queen of the Rosary [October 7] recalled the fifteen decades of the rosary.   In some areas this was the day that the crops and harvests were blessed and celebrated.   A German manuscript from 1673 states:

‘The people of Hamingen have from ancient times vowed to hold a procession to this church every Saturday from the feast of St Gregory to the feast of St James [to ask] for protection for the fruits of the fields and against the storms and hail.   Their descendants failed to do so to their great misfortune because the hail did great damage.   After they renewed the practice, no one heard further of great damage.’

The growing devotion in honour of the Immaculate Conception by the Franciscans contributed to furthering the Marian Saturdays.   In 1633 the Order’s Chapter determined that a Holy Mass in honour of this mystery was to be celebrated.

Over time, it became customary for Catholics everywhere to consider Saturday as Mary’s day just as Sunday is the Lord’s Day.   Many of the faithful commemorated the day by attending Mass, receiving the Eucharist and praying the rosary as a family or attending an evening devotion at the Church, as well as performing works of neighbourly love in many forms.

Vatican II with its liturgical reforms did not abolish the practice of Masses in honour of Our Lady.   In fact, it increased them and additions were made to expand the number of the liturgies.   In 1986 A new sacramentary and lectionary were published with forty-six options for votive Masses in honour of Our Lady.

To be continued/…..

Mary, Faithful Mother, Pray for Us!mother mary pray for us 3 aug 2019 part one speakingofmary.jpg


August – The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

August – The Month of the Immaculate Heart of MaryAUG DEVOTION THE IMMACULATE HEART 1 AUG 2019

The Catholic Church dedicates the month of August to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   The Immaculate Heart is often venerated together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the devotion we celebrate in June) and, with good reason.   Just as the Sacred Heart represents Christ’s love for mankind, the Immaculate Heart represents the desire of the Blessed Virgin to bring all people to her Son.

There is no better example of the Christian life than that offered by Mary.   We do not worship Mary or place her above Christ, but we come to Christ through Mary, as Christ came to us through her.

Daily Prayer for August
for the Intercession of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Most Blessed Mother,
heart of love, heart of mercy,
ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer.
As your children, we implore your intercession,
with Jesus your Son.
Receive with understanding and compassion,
the petitions we place before you today,
especially those so deep in our heart.
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open
to those who ask for your prayer.
We trust to your gentle care and intercession,
those whom we love
and who are sick or lonely or hurting.
Help all of us, Holy Mother,
to bear our burdens in this life,
until we may share eternal life and peace
with God, our Father forever.
Amendaily-prayer-for-august-for-the-intercession-of-the-imm-heart-of-mary-o-most-blessed-mother-heart-of-love-heart-of-mercy-1-august-2018 and 1 august 2019 jpg


Novena to St Anne – Day Four – 20 July

Novena to St Anne – Day Four – 20 July

Reflections by:
By Fr Daniel A Lord, SJ


Hope is a beautiful virtue.

Hope without prayer is a wasted thing. It is groundless optimism without root in faith.

We hope because we know that God, in His love, will do what is best for us. We pray so that He may know our desires and that if they are for our good, He may fulfil them.

In the long days of patient waiting before the coming of Mary, Anne prayed from a humble and a loving heart. Her life was a long simple prayer committing her to God’s Holy will.

Of a Sabbath, she and her husband, Joachim, went together to the synagogue to pray with the other faithful Jews, who cried aloud for the long-delayed Saviour.

At daybreak she offered to God in heaven everything that she would do throughout the day.

Before and after meals, she thanked the creator of the universe for the gifts of His Fatherly goodness. At night she looked back upon the day and presented it as a gift to God.

And always, underlying her prayer, was the hope that the Saviour would soon be born and that God would send her a child – perhaps the child who would be nurse to the Messias.

To this model of prayer we pray:

Daily Prayer:

O glorious St Anne,
you are filled with compassion
for those who invoke you
and with love for those who suffer!
Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles,
I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you
to take the present intention
which I recommend to you in your special care.
…………………(make your intention)
Please recommend it to your daughter,
the Blessed Virgin Mary
and place it before the throne of Jesus,
so that He may bring it to a happy issue.
Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted.
But, above all, obtain for me the grace, one day,
to see my God face to face
and with you and Mary and all the saints,
to praise and bless Him for all eternity.

Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . .

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St Anne, help me now and at the hour of my death.

Good St Anne, intercede for me.


Good St Anne,
you offered your prayer with hope and love
and our Holy and loving Father
answered them by granting you the Mother of His Son,
as your daughter.
By the happiness which then filled your heart,
I beg you to present me to your Grandson Jesus.
Offered by you, I will be agreeable in His sight.
Kind St. Ann, take me forever under your protection.
Deliver me from the temptations, which continually assail me.
Above all, attend me in my last hour.
As I lie on my deathbed, be present with your daughter
to console and strengthen me.
Holy Mary and good St Anne,
show yourselves to be mothers indeed,
by obtaining for me the grace of a good death.
When my soul goes forth,
lead it to God’s tribunal so that,
by your powerful help and intercession,
it may obtain a favourable judgement.
Amenday four st anne novena 20 july 2019.jpg