Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DIVINE MERCY, GOD is LOVE, HYMNS, MINI SERIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, POETRY, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The HOLY TRINITY, The WORD, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 29 October – How to speak about God?

Thought for the Day – 29 October – Tuesday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:18-21

Again he said, …”To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in
with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” Luke 13:20

Excerpt – Part One
Year of Faith – How to speak about God?

Pope Benedict XVI
Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The important question we ask ourselves today is – how can we talk about God in our time?   How can we communicate the Gospel so as to open roads to His saving truth in our contemporaries’ hearts — that are all too often closed — and minds — that are at times distracted by the many dazzling lights of society? Jesus, the Evangelists tell us, asked Himself about this as He proclaimed the kingdom of God – “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?” (Mk 4:30).

How can we talk about God today?   The first answer is that we can talk about God because He has talked to us, so the first condition for speaking of God is listening to all that God Himself has said.   God has spoken to us!   God is therefore not a distant hypothesis concerning the world’s origin, He is not a mathematical intelligence far from us.   God takes an interest in us, He loves us, He has entered personally into the reality of our history, He has communicated Himself, even to the point of taking flesh.   Thus God is a reality of our life, He is so great that He has time for us too, He takes an interest in us. In Jesus of Nazareth we encounter the face of God, who came down from His heaven to immerse Himself in the human world, in our world, and to teach “the art of living”, the road to happiness, to set us free from sin and make us children of God (cf. Eph 1:5; Rom 8:14).   Jesus came to save us and to show us the good life of the Gospel.

Talking about God means first of all expressing clearly what God we must bring to the men and women of our time, not an abstract God, a hypothesis but a real God, a God who exists, who has entered history and is present in history, the God of Jesus Christ as an answer to the fundamental question of the meaning of life and of how we should live. Consequently speaking of God demands familiarity with Jesus and His Gospel, it implies that we have a real, personal knowledge of God and a strong passion for His plan of salvation without succumbing to the temptation of success but following God’s own method.   God’s method is that of humility — God makes Himself one of us — His method is brought about through the Incarnation in the simple house of Nazareth; through the Grotto of Bethlehem, through the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

We must not fear the humility of taking little steps but trust in the leaven that penetrates the dough and slowly causes it to rise (cf. Mt 13:33).   In talking about God, in the work of evangelisation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must recover simplicity, we must return to the essence of the proclamation – the Good News of a God who is real and effective, a God who is concerned about us, a God-Love who makes Himself close to us in Jesus Christ, until the Cross and who, in the Resurrection, gives us hope and opens us to a life that has no end, eternal life, true life. – To be continued/…

Firmly I believe and truly
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Firmly I believe and truly
God is three and God is On
And I next acknowledge duly
Manhood taken by the Son.
And I trust and hope most fully
In that Manhood crucified
And each thought and deed unruly
Do to death, as He has died.
Simply to His grace and wholly
Light and life and strength belong
And I love, supremely, solely,
Him the holy, Him the strong.

And I hold in veneration,
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church, as His creation,
And her teachings, as His own.
And I take with joy whatever
Now besets me, pain or fear
And with a strong will I sever
All the ties which bind me here. 
Adoration aye be given,
With and through the angelic host,
To the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.firmly i believe and truly st john henry newman 29 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DEVOTIO, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MINI SERIES, SPEAKING of ....., The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The FIVE FIRST Saturdays, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Thought for the Day – 26 October – Speaking of:   Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady – Part Three

Thought for the Day – 26 October – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Marian Saturdays

Speaking of:   Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady

Part Three

By Sr M Jean Frisk SSM

The Sorrowful Heart of Mary Saturdays

and the Five First Saturdayssaturday devotions in honour of our lady part three the sorrowful heart and the five first saturdays 26 oct 2019.jpg

In the message of Fatima, especially in the apparitions of 13 June and 13 July 1917, Mary drew attention to the custom of devoting Saturdays to her and praying the Rosary in reparation.   Lucia, the eldest of the three children heard the following on 13 June:

“My child, behold my heart surrounded with thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.   You, at least, try to console me and tell them that I promise to help, at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”

On 13 July, the children were again admonished to say the rosary.   At this time, the Blessed Mother asked for the Consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart and for communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month.   These messages were accompanied by an appeal and a promise – an appeal for prayer and reparation by the people for their transgressions against the divine law; a promise of peace and love in this life and eternal happiness in the next on the twofold condition of prayer and amendment.

In 1925, Lucia vouched for this message, saying that Mary would assist us at the hour of death if the first Saturdays of five consecutive months were sanctified with Confession, Holy Communion, praying the Rosary and meditation.

This practice refreshed the custom known as the Rosary Saturdays, popular since the seventeenth century and continued to the present at places of pilgrimage.   Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII fostered this custom.   St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort also fostered the Rosary in connection with his missions, which often encompassed Saturdays.

To be continued/…

Find Part One and Two by searching:
Saturday devotions

Mary, Faithful Mother, Pray for Us,

Now and at the Hour of our Death, amen!faithful mother pray for us now and at the hour of our death amen 26 oct 2019 no 2

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, MINI SERIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Thought for the Day – 7 September – Saturday Devotions in Honour of Our Lady, Part Two

Thought for the Day – 7 September – – Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday

The Heart of Mary Saturdays and the Saturday Rosary

By Sr M Jean Frisk SSM

In the message of Fatima, especially in the apparitions of 13 June 13 and 13 July 1917, Mary drew attention to the custom of devoting Saturdays to her and praying the Rosary in reparation.   Lucia, the eldest of the three children heard the following on 13 June:

“My child, behold my heart surrounded with thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.   You, at least, try to console me, and tell them that I promise to help, at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”

On 13 July, the children were again admonished to say the Rosary.   At this time, the Blessed Mother asked for the consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart and for communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month.   These messages were accompanied by an appeal and a promise – an appeal for prayer and reparation by the people for their transgressions against the divine law, a promise of peace and love in this life and eternal happiness in the next, on the twofold condition of prayer and amendment.

In 1925, Lucia vouched for this message, saying that Mary would assist us at the hour of death if the first Saturdays of five consecutive months were sanctified with confession, communion, praying the rosary and meditation.

This practice refreshed the custom known as the Rosary Saturdays, popular since the seventeenth century and continued to the present at places of pilgrimage.   Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII fostered this custom.   St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), also fostered the rosary in connection with his missions, which often encompassed Saturdays.

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/03/thought-for-the-day-3-august-saturday-devotions-in-honour-of-our-lady/saturday devotions in honour of our lady part two rosary saturdays 7 september 2019.jpg

Posted in Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, LAPSED Catholics, MINI SERIES, PRAYER WARRIORS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 16 May – “The Lost Catholic”

Thought for the Day – 16 May – Thursday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 13:16–20

Archbishop Alban Goodier, SJ (1869-1939)

“The Lost Catholic”
Part One

1.   Introduction
No-one who has once realised what it is to be a Catholic can feel anything but sadness for one who has lost the Catholic faith, who once was a Catholic and is now a Catholic no more, no matter what may have been the reason.

It is sad enough to know so many who, through no fault of their own, have not the Catholic faith, whose forefathers lost it for them and deprived them of their inheritance, who do not know and have never known, all that it means.

But one who has once known it and has lost it, who has been argued or cajoled out of it, whose life has led him to drop it, who has been careless and let it go, who has surrendered it for something else, those who know and love such a one, know also that he has lost, thrown away, something for which nothing else can compensate, something more dear than life itself.

Let, then, such a one not be surprised if those who love him are troubled and sad about him; they cannot help it.   They long to give him back what he has lost, they spare no pains that he may be as he was before, they look on that reward as worth all the labour and suffering it may entail.

2. The Catholic no more

Who are they and how has it all come about?

First, there are the children:

who have never learnt to appreciate the value or beauty of their inheritance;

or whose parents have set them a sorry example and so spoilt them;

or who have learnt their religion as a schoolroom lesson only and it has withered;

or who have never seen that it mattered much one way or the other.

Second, there are young boys and girls:

who have been deluded by the prospect of a happy and free life before them.

or who have lived among godless companions and through shame, through human respect, through banter, through a

little coaxing, through temptation, perhaps through sin, have become as they;

or who have been carried away by their surroundings and the faith of their childhood has been ignored or forgotten,

and finally rejected.

Third, there are young men and women:

whose study and, reading, it may be, in the days when they were not yet mature, nor able to form a proper judgement,

has led them to wonder, to doubt, at last to be dissatisfied and turn away;

or who have come under some influence stronger than themselves and they have surrendered;

some unbelieving teacher or friend, whose arguments they could not answer;

some man or woman whom they have loved and who has made them sacrifice their faith for that love some companion who has led them on, till they have lost the reality for the shadow;

or who have found the practice of the faith a hindrance to their ambition in life, to promotion, to association with those who would help them, to the use of such means as their faith will not allow.

Fourth, there are the grown-up:

who are married and who find the laws of their faith concerning married life a burden;

or who, having once, slipped away, or having been away so long, are unable to bring themselves back, and prefer to

remain where they are;

or who have been antagonised by some opposition, by some scandal, by some regulation, which they have resented.

Fifth, and last, among all these classes, among young and old, there are those,

whom, in a proud and passionate moment, self-will has mastered and they have said:

‘I will not serve; or whom this world with its false fascination has mastered and they have said:   ‘I will have here my ‘reward; or whom sin and passion have conquered and they hardened conscience and said:  ‘I will be free, I will have my own way, I will do my own pleasure.

to be continued…/

Let us Pray:

For the Return of Lapsed Catholics to the Sacraments
By Ven Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)

Almighty Father,
You desire not the death of the sinner
but that he may be converted and live.
Pour out upon us Your mercy
and hear the prayers of Your servants.
Soften the hearts of Your children who have strayed,
from the true path, which You established for their salvation.
They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics
and pursue the pleasures of the world.
Grant that they may quickly return
to the practice of every Christian virtue,
so that their lives may shine
with the integrity of faith,
the fervour of piety
and the ardour of charity.
Restore them to Your sacraments
and the life of Your grace,
through the merits
of the most precious blood of Your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amenprayer for the return of lapsed catholics to the sacraments - ven sof john a hardon sj 16 may 2019 part one.jpg

 

Posted in CANON LAW, CCC, MINI SERIES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH – First Precept

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH

These “precepts” are the most important laws of the Catholic Church.   They are meant for each of us.   Through her precepts the Church, our loving Mother and teacher, puts before our minds the minimum participation which is necessary to maintain our Catholic identity.

Recalling Our Lord’s words that the wise man “built his house upon the rock” (Matt 7:24), we can ask ourselves this Lent how far we are built on the rock of Christ, who is present in his Church and active in her life-giving sacraments, how firmly rooted we are in the community of faith which is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:1-13).

The Precepts of the Church are to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Nos. 2042-2043.

First Precept:

“You shall attend Mass on Sundays

and Holy Days of Obligation and Rest from Servile Labour.”the precept of the church - first precept - 18 feb 2019

From the earliest times the Christians celebrated the Eucharist on the Day of the Lord’s resurrection (see Acts 20:7).   It is no surprise that the vision of St John in the book of Revelation, a vision deeply linked to the Christian liturgy, occurred “on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10).

St Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the first Church Fathers, wrote in about 150 AD:   “on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place …”.

He goes on to explain the reading of the Scriptures and the consecration of the bread and wine and concludes:  “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God … made the world and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.”   Christians understood that, now, the Old Testament commandant to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exod. 20:8) applied to Sunday rather than the Jewish Saturday.

It was also clear to Christians that, developing the tradition of the Jews, the Christian sabbath calls for rest from our usual occupations, “to abstain from those labours and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.”  (Code of Canon Law 1247).

The Catechism challenges us also when it adds:  “Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week.” (CCC 2186)
Sunday is rightly a time for recreation, yet a Catholic must prioritise the Sunday Mass for the simple reason that God himself must be given first place.

The precept to be present at Mass on Sundays (or Saturday evening) is non-negotiable for Catholics – it is a “grave” obligation (CCC 2181).   If it happens that we fail to observe it through negligence or without a serious reason, we should confess it in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion again.
If, on the other hand, we did have a sufficient reason not to be present, for instance we were ill, had to stay at home to look after young children, or were a great distance from a church, or have no choice but to work on Sunday during Mass, then we’re not obliged BUT let us not ‘look for excuses’ and let us choose our work carefully and do all we can to make it known to our employers that we only need ONE HOUR per week – could we perhaps EXCHANGE our lunch- or off-times for this ONE HOLY HOUR ON SUNDAYS?!

We must further attend Mass on holy days of obligation that usually fall during the week, such as Christmas Day.

The precepts of Church are not regulations trying to catch us out but crucial reminders of what it means to be a Christian.   Saint John Paul II, in his encyclical letter on the Lord’s Day, wrote:

“Sunday is a day which is at the very heart of the Christian life.   From the beginning of my Pontificate, I have not ceased to repeat – ‘Do not be afraid!  Open, open wide the doors to Christ!’.   

In the same way, today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday –

Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ!   Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that He may cast light upon it and give it direction. …

Time given to Christ is never time lost but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.”

(Dies Domini 7)

 

time given to christ is never time lost but rather it is time gained - st john paul - 18 feb 2019 first precept.jpg