Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – “If anyone comes to me … .” – Luke 14:26

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, Luke 14:26-33.

If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26

REFLECTION – “On another occasion, the Lord says, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters and even his own soul, cannot be my disciple.” As a rule, this is more upsetting to the mind of new Christians, who are eager to begin at once to live in accordance with the precepts of Christ. To those who do not fully grasp its meaning, it would seem contradictory…. He has condescended to call His disciples to the eternal Kingdom. He also called them brothers. In the Kingdom these relationships are transcended because, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor freeman but Christ, is all things and in all.” The Lord says, “For in the resurrection, they will neither be married nor marry but will be as the angels of God in heaven.Whoever wishes to prepare himself now, for the life of that Kingdom, must not hate people but those earthly relationships, through which the present life is sustained, the temporary life that begins at birth and ends with death. Whoever does not hate this necessity, does not yet love that other life, in which there will be no condition of birth and death, the condition that makes marriages natural on earth.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace (Sermon on the Mount,15).

PRAYER – Almighty God, You endowed Saint Timothy with power to preach Your Word. Grant that, living a life of integrity and holiness in this world, reaching out to teach the Gospel both by our lives and our words, we may, through their prayers, come to our true home in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – “Many will come … ” – Matthew 8:11

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Romans 12:16-21, Matthew 8:1-13

Many will come from the east and the west and will recline… at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew 8:11

REFLECTION – “I have seen our Lord in the Gospel accomplish many miracles and, reassured by them, have strengthened my fearful words. I have seen the centurion throw himself at the Lord’s feet, nations send their firstfruits to Christ. The Cross has not yet been erected and already, pagans hasten towards their Master. The words “Go, teach all nations” have not yet been heard (Mt 28,19) but the nations are already hastening. Their race precedes their call, they are burning with desire for the Lord. The sound of preaching has not yet been heard but they are hurrying towards the One Who preaches. Peter… has now been instructed and they gather around the One Who is teaching him; the light of Paul has not yet blazed beneath Christ’s standard and nations are coming with incense to adore the King (Mt 2,11).

And now, see how a centurion begs Him and says to him: “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralysed, suffering dreadfully.” Here is a new miracle indeed! The servant, whose limbs are paralysed leads his master to the Lord; the slaves’ sickness gives health to his owner. Seeking his servant’s healing, he finds our Lord and while he is seeking for his slave’s cure, he becomes Christ’s conquest!” – Basil of Seleucia (Died c 468) Archbishop (Homily 19 on the centurion, PG 85, 235f).

PRAYER – Grant Almighty Father, that when Christ comes again, we may go out to meet Him, bearing the harvest of good works, achieved by Your grace. We pray that He will receive us into the company of the Saints and call us into the Kingdom of Heaven. And may His Mother and ours, the most pure Virgin Mary be our intercessor and advocate. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 January – ‘… Christ promises, however …’

One Minute Reflection – 22 January – The Memorial of Saints Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) Martyr – Wisdom 3:1-8, Luke 21:9-19

Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons and they will have you led, before kings and governors because of my name …” – Luke 21:12

REFLECTION – “Jesus gives them clear and evident signs of the time when the consummation of the world draws near. He says that there will be wars, turmoil, famines and epidemics everywhere. There will be terrors from heaven and great signs. As another Evangelist says, “All the stars shall fall and the heaven be rolled up like a scroll and its powers will be shaken.

In the middle of this, the Saviour places what refers to the capture of Jerusalem. He mixes the accounts together in both parts of the narrative. Before all these things, He says, “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and to prisons and bringing you before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. This will be a witness to you.” Before the times of consummation, the land of the Jews was taken captive and the Roman armies overran it. They burned the temple, overthrew their national government and stopped the means for legal worship. They no longer had sacrifices, now that the temple was destroyed. The country of the Jews together with Jerusalem itself was totally laid waste. Before these things happened, they persecuted the blessed disciples. They imprisoned them and had a part in unendurable trials. They brought the disciples before judges and sent them to kings. Paul was sent to Rome to Caesar.

Christ promises, however, that He will deliver them certainly and completely. He says that a hair of your head will not perish!” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Incarnation the Church (Commentary on Luke, Homily 139)

PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us the grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. We walk in faith and by Your Light as St Vincent, fearless of men to the end and trusting only in Your grace, inspires us to follow. Grant that his prayers may assist us on our path. Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 January – “Upon this rock I will build my church”

One Minute Reflection – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19

Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the Wisdom and Power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, Angels served Him. … And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many Priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. …

The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know, what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he, who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say, blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover Me but He, Whose only Son I am.

And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested My Divinity to you, so I Am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11). But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My Strength and, what I have by virtue of My Power, you have in common with Me, by the fact,, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church” … On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and my Church, whose summit is to reach to Heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” … Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church ( 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Consecration).

PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on WATCHING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – ‘Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning …’ Luke 12:35

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Readings: Ecclus 45:1-6, Luke 12:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36

REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us, if He does not always enter or always remain.,, May your door be open to Him who comes; open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart; run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain, that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves, shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.

So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true, that He could enter but He does not want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day, gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting, for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church – 12th Sermon on Psalm 118

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your Eternal Light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, Who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of St Anthony Abbot, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MIRACLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – ‘ … And yet, we do not wonder … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 16 Januaryr – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:6-16, John 2:1-11.

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him…” – John 2:11

REFLECTION – “The miracle by which our Lord Jesus Christ changed water into wine is not at all astonishing, to those who know, that God is its Author. Indeed, it is exactly the same thing which produced wine in those six jars on that wedding day … and which renews this transformation in the vines each year. That which the servants poured into the jars, was changed into wine by the action of the Lord – in the same way the rain that falls from the clouds is changed into wine, through the same action of the Lord. And yet, we do not wonder at it because it is repeated every year; custom has caused astonishment to disappear. Yet, it is far more worthy of our attention, than what took place in the jars filled with water.
Indeed, who is there who dreams of considering the work of God, Who directs and governs the whole world? Isn’t that person then seized with astonishment and, as it were crushed beneath the weight of these miracles? If they consider the power enclosed within a single seed of the first species to come, they will discover a great reality there, that astounds the observer. But people, otherwise occupied, have become insensible to the works of God, which would daily provide motives for praising the Creator. This is why God reserves to Himself, the work of certain unusual wonders, so as to awaken them from their sleepiness and lead them to praise Him.”…St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people. Open our eyes that we may see, open our ears that we may hear, open our hearts that we may love Your glory, manifest around us in all the great deeds of Your Word. Grant us love and peace in our day and may the prayers of The Holy Mother of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour and all Your Saints and Martyrs, lead us home to You. We make our prayer through Your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 January – You have revealed them to the childlike- Matthew 11:25

One Minute Reflection – 15 January – Readings: Philippians 3:7-12, Matthew 11:25-30 and the Feast of Our Lady of Banneux (1933)

“Although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike”– Matthew 11:25

REFLECTION – “The fact ,that the all-powerful God has been able to humble Himself even to the humility of the human condition, constitutes a greater proof than the impact and supernatural character of miracles. Indeed, when divine power effects something of great sublimity, this is, after a fashion, in conformity with and appropriate to, God’s nature… On the other hand, that God descended even to our lowliness is, in a certain way, the expression of an overwhelming power, that is not in the least restrained, by what is contrary to its nature…

Neither the expanse of the heavens, the brightness of the stars, the governing of the universe, nor the harmony of created things, reveal the splendid power of God as much as His indulgence, which leads Him to lower Himself to the weakness of our nature… God’s goodness, wisdom, justice and power are revealed in His plans on our behalf: goodness in His will to “save that which was lost” (Lk 19,10); wisdom and justice in His manner of saving us; power in the fact that Christ became “in the likeness of men” (Phil 2,7-8) and made Himself conformable to the humility of our nature.” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Catechetical Discourse 23-26 ; SC 453).

PRAYER – Holy God, our Father, we turn to You in confidence as children and pray, give us meekness of heart, make us “poor in spirit” that we may recognise that we are not self-sufficient, that we are unable to build our lives on our own but need You, we need to encounter You, to listen to You, to speak to You. Help us to understand that we need Your gift, Your wisdom, which is Jesus Himself, in order to do the Your will in our lives and thus to find rest in the hardships of our journey. May the prayers of His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Banneux, help us to learn the true humility of Your divine Son. Grant this, we pray, through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – ‘ … No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 5:13-19 and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “In Him, the promise made through the shadows of prophecy, stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the One Who teaches the truth of prophecy, through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”  St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Sermo 51).

PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments. Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. St Hilary was a shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that his prayers may aid us. Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – The Octave Day of the Epiphany, Gospel: Isaias 60:1-6; John 1:29-34

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29

REFLECTION – “A second time,” says the evangelist, “John stood and said: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’.” Christ utters no word; John the Forerunner says it all. So, it is with a bridegroom: he does not say anything to the bride to begin with but steps forward and stands there in silence. Others present him to the bride and give her into his hands. Thus, when she appears, the bridegroom does not take her himself but receives her from the hands of another, who gives her to him. And when he has thus received her from another, he binds her so strongly to himself, that she no longer remembers those she has left for his sake. So it was with Christ. He came to wed human nature; he did not speak a word but merely came. It was the friend of the bridegroom (Jn 3,29), John, who put the Bride’s right hand into His – in other words, the hearts of those He had convinced with His preaching. Then, Jesus Christ welcomed them and satisfied them with so many good things that they no longer turned back to the one who had led them to Him…

John alone proclaimed Him to be present to the people. He was given the name “friend of the Bridegroom” because he alone was present at this marriage with the Church. He it was, who did everything, who brought everything about. Seeing Christ coming, he said: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Thus he showed that it was not by voice alone but, with his eyes also, that he bore witness. He wondered at the Son of God and, when he beheld Him, his heart leaped for joy. At first, he did not preach Christ to his followers but only showed wonder and astonishment at Him. In that way he made known to all, by means of the word “lamb,” the gift Jesus came to give. And John did not say,“ Who is to take” or “Who has taken” but, “This is he who takes away the sins of the world” and, not just at the time of His Passion but always. He offered only one, single sacrifice for the sins of the world yet, by this oblation, He purifies forever, the consciences of human sinners.” – St John Chrysostom (c.345-407), Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on Saint John’s Gospel, no18).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Son’s manhood, born of the Virgin, was a new creation, untainted by our sinful condition. Renew us then, in Christ and cleanse us from our sins. May the Most Holy Name of Jesus, be our light, our safeguard and our shield. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all time and forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 January – ‘Consider the most prudent woman Mary …’

One Minute Reflection – 11 January – Sixth Day within the Octave of Epiphany

He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them and his mother kept all these things in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION – “Consider the most prudent woman Mary, Mother of true Wisdom, as the pupil of her Son. For she learned from Him, not as from a child or man but as from God. Yes, she dwelt in meditation on His words and actions. Nothing of what was said or done by Him, fell idly on her mind. As before, when she conceived the Word itself in her womb, so now does she hold within her, His ways and words, cherishing them as it were in her heart. That which she now beholds in the present, she waits to have revealed with greater clarity, in the future. This practice she followed as a rule and law through all her life.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our hearts be eternally longing for that time alone with You, our one true Love. May our worldly duties be such, that they never impede our progress in devotion and may the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the Saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – Asking them questions… Luke 2:46

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – The Fifth Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:1-5; Luke 2:42-52

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions…” Luke 2:46

REFLECTION – ”Because He was a small child, He is found “in the midst of teachers,” sanctifying and instructing them. Because He was a small child, He is found “in their midst,” not teaching them but “asking questions.
He did this because it is appropriate to His age, to teach us what befits boys, even if they are wise and learned. They should rather hear their teachers than want to teach them and not show off with a display of knowledge. He interrogated the teachers, not to learn anything but to teach them by His questions.
From one fountain of doctrine, there flow, both wise questions and answers. It is part of the same wisdom, to know what you should ask and what you should answer. It was right for the Saviour first to become a master of learned interrogation. Later He would answer questions according to God’s reason and Word.” – Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father(Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 19).

PRAYER – Holy Father, trusting in the motherly intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Families and under the powerful protection of St Joseph, her spouse, grant we pray, that we may dedicate ourselves tirelessly to this beautiful mission which You have placed in our hands, as mothers and fathers of Your children. Strengthen us to protect and guide them in Your ways. Through the prayers of our Holy Mother and the Guardian of Your divine Son and of His Church, in union with Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, amen.

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – ‘ … So, taking Christ’s genealogy from Joseph …’ – St Augustine

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – Sunday withi the Octave of Epiphany and the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Readings: Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52

He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION – “In saying to Joseph – “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Mt 1:20), the Angel was not mistaken. … The address as “wife” was neither empty nor false, for this Virgin was the happiness of her husband, in a way, that was all the more perfect and admirable, in that she became a mother without the participation of that husband, fecund, without him but faithful to him. It was because of that genuine marriage, that they both merited to be called “the parents of Christ” – not only she as “His Mother” but also he, as “his father,” insofar as he was husband of Christ’s Mother, father and husband spiritually, not according to the flesh. Both of them – he only by the spirit, she even in the flesh – are parents of His Humility, not of His Nobility, parents of His Weakness, not of his Divinity. Look in the Gospel, which cannot lie – His Mother said to Him: “Son, why have you done this to us? See how your father and I, have been searching for you anxiously.”

As for Him, wanting to show that He also had a Father, besides them, who had conceived Him without a mother, answered them: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” And so, that no-one should think that in speaking thus, He was denying His parents, the Evangelist added: “He went down with them to Nazareth and was subject to them.” … Now why did He subject Himself to those who were so inferior to His Divine Nature? Because, “humbling himself, he took on the nature of a slave” (Phil 2:7), according to which, they were His parents. If they had not been united by a true marriage, even without carnal intercourse, they could not both have been the parents of that nature of a servant.

So, taking Christ’s genealogy from Joseph – a husband in chastity, he was father in the same way. … Are you saying that he did not conceive Jesus through the operation of nature? Well then, what the Holy Spirit operated, He did for them both. For Joseph was “a just man,” Matthew tells us (1:19). Both husband and wife were just. The Holy Spirit dwelt within their mutual justice and gave each of them, a Son!” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Marriage and concupiscence 1,11; Sermon 51)

PRAYER – God, our Father, in the Holy Family of Nazareth, You have given us the true model of a Christian home. Grant, that by following Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their love for each other and in the example of their family life, we may come to Your home of peace and joy. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, now and forever, amen.

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, CHRIST the WORD, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The HEART, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 January – “But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20

But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

REFLECTION – “Often, it seems to us, Mary forgot to eat and to drink, keeping vigil in order to think about Christ, to see Christ in His flesh. She burned with love of Him and passionately loved to serve Him. She often did what the Song of Songs sings about: “I was sleeping, but my heart kept vigil.” (Song 5:2) Even when she was resting, she continued to dream of Him who filled her thoughts throughout the day. Whether she was keeping vigil or resting in peace, she always lived in Him, was always occupied with Him.

Where her treasure was, there also was her heart (Mt 6:21); where her glory was, there also was her mind. She loved her Lord and her Son with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength (Mt 22:37). She saw with her eyes, touched with her hands, the Word of Life (1 Jn 1:1). How blessed was Mary, to whom it was given to embrace Him who embraces and nourishes everything! How happy was she who carried Him, who carries the universe (Heb 1:3), she who nursed a Son, who gives her life, a Son who nourishes her and all beings on earth (Ps 145:15).

The One, Who is the Wisdom of the Father, put His arms around her neck, the One, Who is the Strength, that gives movement to everything, sat in her arms. He, Who is the Rest of souls, (Mt 11:29) rested on her motherly breast. How gently He held her in His hands, peacefully looked at her, He ,Whom the angels wish to contemplate (1 Pet 1:12) and He gently called her, He ,Whom every being calls upon when in need. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she held Him close to her heart … She never had enough of seeing Him or of hearing Him, Whom “many prophets and kings wished to see … but did not see.” (Lk 10:24) Thus Mary grew evermore in love and her mind was unceasingly attached to divine contemplation.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop (Homily on Mary, 4).

PRAYER – Lord open our hearts to Your grace. As You brought joy to the world through the Incarnation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that through the prayer of His Ever-Virgin Mother, our hearts too may grow in virtue and love by learning to reflect constantly on His commandments and counsels. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 January – Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

One Minute Reflection – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8,10-11, 12-13, Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6, Matthew 2:1-12

“They fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” – Matthew 2:11

REFLECTION – “Guided by the Star, the wise men from the East, having arrived in Bethlehem, entered the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mother was staying with her Child. They opened their treasures and offered the Lord three gifts – Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh – thereby acknowledging Him as Lord, true Man,and true King.

Holy Church also offers these same gifts to her Saviour everyday without ceasing. She offers Him Frankincense by acknowledging and believing in Him, the true Lord and Creator of all. She offers Him Myrrh, when she affirms, that He assumed the substance of our flesh, in which He willed to suffer and die for our salvation. And she offers Him, Gold by believing, without a doubt, that He reigns eternally with the Father and the Holy Ghost. …

Alternatively, the offering of these gifts may be taken in a mystical sense. Heavenly wisdom is symboliSed by Gold, according to the verse of Solomon, which says: “A priceless treasure lies in the mouth of the sage” (cf. Prv 21:20). … By Frankincense, pure prayer is to be understood, as the psalmist says: “Let my prayer rise like incense in your sight, O Lord” (Ps 141[140]:2). For when our prayer is pure, it yields a purer fragrance to the Lord than the smoke of burning incense and just as such smoke rises upward, so does our prayer ascend to the Lord. Myrrh can be taken as the mortification of our flesh. Thus we offer the Lord, Gold when we shine in His Sight with the light of heavenly wisdom …. We offer Him Frankincense when we send up pure prayer before Him and Myrrh, when, “mortifying our flesh with its vices and passions” (Gal 5:24) by self-control, we carry the cross behind Jesus.” – St Bruno of Segni O.Cart. (c 1030 -1101) Bishop (1st Sermon on the Epiphany ; PL 165, 863).

PRAYER – “Give me, therefore, I pray Thee, this Gold, this Incense and this Myrrh. Give me the Gold of Thy holy Love, give me the spirit of holy prayer, give me the desire and strength to mortify myself in everything that displeases Thee. I am resolved to obey Thee and to love Thee but Thou knowest my weakness, oh, give me the grace to be faithful to Thee!- St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – “You give them something to eat ”- Mark 6:37

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 4:7-10, Psalms 72:1-2, 3-4,7-8, Mark 6:34-44

But he answered them, “You give them something to eat .. ” – Mark 6:37

REFLECTION – “Let us take note of the disciples’ trusting abandonment to God’s providence in life’s greatest necessities and their disdain for a life of luxury – there were twelve of them and they only had five loaves and two fish. They were not bothered by bodily things but dedicated all their zeal to the things of the soul. Moreover, they did not keep these provisions for themselves, they handed them over to the Saviour at once, when He asked them for them. Let us learn from this example, to share what we have, with those in need, even if we only have a little. When Jesus asks them to bring the five loaves, they don’t say: “What will there be for us later on? Where will we find what is necessary for our own needs?” They obey promptly …
Taking the loaves, then, the Lord broke them and entrusted the honour of distributing them to the disciples. He did not just want to honour them by this holy service but desired them to take part in the miracle, so as to be wholly convinced witnesses to it and, not forget what had taken place under their own eyes …. It is through them, that He made the people sit down and, that He distributed the bread, so that each one of them, might bear witness to the miracle accomplished at their hands …
Everything in this event – the desert place, the bare ground, the small supply of bread and fish, the distribution of these same things to everyone without distinction, each one of them having the same as their neighbour – all this teaches us humility, frugality and fraternal charity. To love one another equally, to place everything in common amongst those who are serving the same God – this is what our Saviour is teaching us here.” – St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our eyes see and our hearts have compassion, to all those who need us. May the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – ‘ … Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, …’

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION – “John was there and two of his disciples with him.” John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26). Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord? Not in the least. He, himself showed them, the one they were to follow … He declared: “Why cling to me? I am not the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb of God …… Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John, followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them: ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?” As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him, when He called them to leave their boat …, when He said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him. But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture: “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak; let your feet wear away his doorstep! Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.). So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him.  What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night! Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth? Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church (Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7).

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of eternity. Help me to live each day in such a way that I may deserve to be a child of Yours forever. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all Your Angels and Martyrs and Saints, we may strive always to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, our entry to You, our Shepherd and our Saviour, Who will lead us to You in our eternal home. May we never waiver from Your commandments. Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, Holy Name PRAYERS, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – ‘Rise up!’

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – “Month and Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Readings: John 3: 22 – 4: 6; Psalm 2: 7bc-8, 10-11; Matthew 4: 12-17, 23-25

“The people who sat in darkness, have seen a great light and to them who sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.” – Matthew 4:16

REFLECTION – “Because human nature, petrified by the cult of idols and solidified by the ice of paganism, had lost all its motivation towards the good, because of this, the Sun of Justice rises over that rigorous winter and brings in the spring. Just as the rays are rising in the East, the south wind causes this ice to melt by warming the whole mass, so that man, made rigid by the cold, should be penetrated by the Spirit with heat and melt under the rays of the Word and once again, he might become a spring, bubbling up to life eternal. “A breath from him and the waters flow” (Ps. 147:7 LXX). This is what the Baptist openly proclaimed to the Jews, when he told them that the stones would rise up to become children of the Patriarch (cf. Mt 3:9), imitating his virtue.

This is what the Church learns from the Word, when it receives the brightness of truth, through the windows of the prophets and the trellis of the Law. So long as the wall of doctrine and its figurative expression remains, I mean the Law, (cf. Sg 3:9) it shows the shadow of things to come but not the image itself of the realities. But behind the law stands the Truth that follows the figure. First of all it makes the Word shine out for the Church through the prophets, then the Gospel revelation dissipates all shadowy performance in figures. Through it “the dividing wall is broken down” (Eph 2:14) and the air in the house is invaded by celestial light: there is no more need any longer to receive light through the windows, since the true Light itself lightens everything inside, with the rays of the Gospel.

This is why the Word Who raises the broken cries to the Church through the windows: Rise up (from your fall, of course), you who slid in the mud of sin, who were chained by the serpent, who fell to the ground and whom disobedience dragged into falling. Rise up!” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395) Monk and Bishop, Father of the Church (The Spiritual Spring).

PRAYERThe Love of Your Name

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

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ
(Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)

Posted in "Follow Me", Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Jesus is ….

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – and the Feast of the Holy Name celebrated today (Feast 3 January), Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24

“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him and for Him and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace.

PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, The HOLY NAME, The LORD'S PRAYER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’ – New Year Resolution?

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – – The Octave Day of the Nativity of Jesus and the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, Readings: Titus 2:11-15; Luke 2:21.

At that time, after eight days were accomplished that the Child should be circumcised. His Name was called Jesus, which was called by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb.” – Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “In the Old Law (Gen 22;12), it was required that every male child should, on the eighth day after his birth, be circumcised and thus admitted among God’s chosen people. The rite of circumcision in the Old Law, corresponded to the Sacrament of Baptism in the New Law and was the means of remitting original sin. Our Lord, although free from every sin, submitted to this rit,e in order to show, that He was a true Son of Abraham, to manifest respect and obedience to the established law and to prove that He had a real human body. At the time of circumcision, a name was given to the child. Our Lord was called Jesus, which signified His office as Saviour. On this Feast of the Circumcision, therefore, it is most appropriate that we should meditate on the first petition of the Lord’s prayer, “hallowed be thy name.”
I. The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer. 1. In the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer we ask that God’s Name may be honoured, which shows that God’s glory should be our chief desire. 2. This petition does not mean, that God’s essential glory or perfection should be increased, nor that the honour given Him on earth, should be equal to that shown Him in heaven.
II. The objects of this petition. We ask: 1. That we may praise God with our hearts and lips; 2. That those in error may be brought to recognise and revere His Church; 3. That sinners may be converted to His service; 4. That men may learn to refer all blessings to Him as to their Author and Source.
CONCLUSION. Our conduct should be in conformity with this petition, I. Catholics must not cause the Name of God or of His Church to be profaned by their own evil words and, actions. 2. On the contrary, by clean speech and good example, Catholics ought to excite others to exalt the Name of God, to respect the Faith of Christ and to honour His Church. 3. Good resolutions for the New Year.” Excerrpt Catechism of the Council of Trent, (Part IV – Hallowed be Thy Name).

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jeus Christ, may Your Name be hallowed on earth as it is in Heaven. May we bow our heads and revere and honour the Holy Name and teach others to do the same. We offer our hearts and penances in reparation to You for the blasphemies suffered each moment of each day and we resolve to do all in our power to amend this evil. We make our prayer, through Your Son, Jesus our Saviour in union with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The INCARNATION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – ‘… He sent His own Mind into the world, as its Lord. …’

One (maybe 3 minutes today 😘) Minute Reflection – 31 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalms 96:1-2, 11-12, 13, John 1:1-18

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “There is only one God, brethren and we learn about Him only from Sacred Scripture. It is,therefore, our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son, in the way the Father wills and accepting the teaching He wills to give us, with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that He intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.

God was all alone and nothing existed but Himself, when He determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as He had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact, nothing is co-eternal with God. Apart from God, there was simply nothing else. Yet, although He was alone, He was manifold because He lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in Him and He Himself, was all. At a moment of His own choosing and, in a manner determined by Himself, God manifested His Word and through Him, He made the whole universe.

When the Word was hidden within God Himself, He was invisible to the created world but God made Him visible. First God gave utterance to His Voice, engendering Light from Light and then, He sent His own Mind into the world, as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made Him visible. so that the world could be saved by seeing Him. This Mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through Him but He alone is begotten by the Father.

The Son gave us the law and the prophets and He filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit, to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and His will.

So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through Whom the whole universe was made. He says – In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through Him all things came into being; not one thing was created without Him. And further on he adds: The world was made through Him, and yet the world did not know Him. He entered His own creation and His own did not receive Him.” – St Hippolytus of Rome (Died c 236) Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr (An excerpt from his A Treatise against Noetus, Book 1).

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The 4th Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘ … light your candles with His Light…’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:3-11, Psalms 96:1-2, 2b-3, 5-6, Luke 2:22-35 and the Memorial of St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

“A light for revelation to the Gentiles” – Luke 2:32

REFLECTION – “Who is there today who, as he holds a lighted candle in his hand, does not immediately think of the old man who today received Jesus in his arms, the Word in the flesh, the Light in the wax and who bore witness ,that He was the Light that shines upon all nations? The old man was himself a burning flame that enlightens and gives witness to the Light, he who, in the Holy Spirit with which he was filled, came to receive, O God, your love within your Temple (Ps 47[48],10) and bear witness, that You are the Love and Light of Your people…

Rejoice, just old man, look now at what you had once foreseen, darkness has disappeared from the world, the nations walk by Your Light (Is 60,3). The whole earth is filled with the glory (Is 6,3) of this Light which, in the past, you used to hide in your heart and which today, illumines your eyes… Embrace the Wisdom of God, O blessed old man and may your youth be renewed (Ps 102[103],5). Receive the mercy of God in your heart and your old age will know the sweetness of mercy. “He will rest in my bosom,” says Scripture (Wsd 1,12). Even when I give Him back to His Mother, He will continue to dwell with me, my heart will be filled with His mercy and, even more, the heart of His Mother… I give thanks and rejoice for you, full of grace, for you gave birth to the Mercy I have received – the Candle which you prepared, I am holding in my hands…

And you, brethren, look at the Candle that burns in the hands of Simeon, light your candles with His Light… Then, not only will you bear a Light in your hands but you yourselves, will be a light for others. A Light in your hearts, a Light in your lives, a Light for your brothers and sisters.” – Bl Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157), Cistercian Abbot (1st Sermon for the Purification, 2-3).

PRAYER – God our Father, our human nature is the wonderful work of Your hands. Your Son took to Himself our manhood, grant us a share in His Sonship, that as co-heirs with Him, we may strive evermore obediently to gain our final home with the Blessed Virgin, St Thomas à Becket and all Your saints. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for evermore, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – They could not yet speak but already, they are confessing Christ.

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents and the Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

“When Herod realised that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the Magi.“” – Matthew 2:16

REFLECTION – “Why, Herod, do you fear when you hear a King is born? He has not come to dethrone you but to overthrow the devil. But you fail to understand, you take fright and fall into a fury. Because you lost the single child you were seeking, you become the cruel murderer of the many. Neither the weeping mothers’ love, nor the mourning of fathers weeping for their sons, nor the screams and howling of the children themselves, holds you back. You massacre these little ones in their bodies because fear is killing you, in your heart. And you think that, if you achieve your end, you will live on for a long time, whereas it is Life itself you are trying to kill! He Who is the source of grace, Who is both small and great, Who is lying in a manger, causes your throne to topple. He accomplishes His design through you, without your knowing it. He gathers together the children of your enemies and makes of them, children of adoption.

These little ones died for Christ without knowing it ; their parents weep for the death of Martyrs. Although they were unable to speak, Christ made them capable of being His Witnesses. See how this King reigns. Already He is setting free and bestowing salvation. But as for you, Herod, you are oblivious of what is happening, you take fright and fall into a rage. And when you get annoyed with a little Child, you are already placing yourself at His service without realising it.

How great the gift of grace is! What are the merits by which these children won the victory? They could not yet speak but already, they are confessing Christ. Their little bodies are as yet unable to engage in combat but already, they are carrying off the Palm of Victory.” – St Quodvultdeus (Died c 453) Father, Bishop at Carthage fromc 437-c 450 (Second sermon on the Creed; PL40, 655).

PRAYER – We praise You, O God, we acclaim You as Lord, the white-robed army of Martyrs praise You. (From the Te Deum).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ENEMIES, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” – Acts 7:60

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Psalm31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17, Matthew 10:17-22

“Lord, do not hold this sin against them” – Acts 7:60

REFLECTION – “Let us imitate our Lord and pray for our enemies … He was crucified yet, at the same time, prayed to His Father for the sake of those who were crucifying Him. But how could I possibly imitate our Lord, one might ask? If you want to, you can. If you weren’t able to do it how could He have said: “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”? (Mt 11:29) …

If you have difficulty in imitating our Lord, at least imitate him who is also His servant, His Deacon – I would speak of Stephen. Just as Christ, in the midst of those crucifying Him, without considering the cross, without considering His own predicament, pleaded with the Father on behalf of His tormentors (Lk 23:34), so His servant, surrounded by those who were stoning him, attacked by all, crushed beneath a hail of stones and, without taking any account of the suffering they were causing him, said: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). Do you see how the Son spoke and how His servant prayed? The former said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” and the latter said: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Moreover, to make us realise better the fervour with which he was praying, he did not just pray, as he stood beneath the blows of the stones but, he spoke on his knees with sincerity and compassion …

Christ said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Stephen cried out: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Paul, in his turn, said: “I offer up this sacrifice for my brethren, my kin according to race” (cf. Rm 9:3). Moses said: “If you would only forgive their sin! And if you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written!” (Ex 32:32). David said: “May your hand fall on me and my kindred,” (2 Sam 24:17). … What kind of forgiveness do we think we shall get if we ourselves do the opposite of what is asked of us and pray against our enemies, when the Lord Himself and His servants of both Old and New Testaments, direct us to pray on their behalf?”St John Chrysostom (345-407) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon for Good Friday “The Cross and the bandit”

PRAYER – Grant us Your Grace, Lord God Almighty, to practise what we worship. Teach us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. As we keep the feast of Saint Stephen, may we learn from him, who learned from You and prayed, even for the men who stoned him to death. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘ … This indeed is wonderful …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – Mass during the day – Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18

Christ has been born for us, come, let us adore Him!

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. … John 1:14

REFLECTION – “Christ has come from the Father, He has come from the Word, He has come from the Holy Spirit, since the whole Trinity accomplished His conception and His incarnation. For to come from the highest Trinity was, no other, than to be conceived and to become, a human being, by the same Trinity. Therefore, it was said: “His going forth is form the highest heaven.” (cf. Ps 18[19]:6)
The Only-Begotten … begotten of the Father eternally, begotten in time, He came forth from His Mother, remaining invisibly with the Father and dwelling visibly with us. For to go forth from the Father was this – to enter upon our world, to be seen openly and to become what, from the nature of the Father, He was not. This indeed is wonderful, He came from Him from Whom He did not depart, going forth from Him, with Whom He stayed, so that without intermission, He was wholly in eternity, wholly in time, wholly was He found in the Father, when wholly in the Virgin, wholly in His own Majesty and in His Father’s at the time, when He was wholly in our humanity.
If you ask how, gather the truth by means of an illustration. A word conceived in the heart goes forth complete in the voice, so that it comes perfectly to others, yet remains wholly in the heart. So the good Word, spoken forth from the heart of the Father, went forth into the broad plain, yet did not leave the Father.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk and Bishop (On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily II).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts, shine through all that we do and say. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The Word was God in the beginning and before all time, today, He is born to us, the Saviour of the world.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel”

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalms 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29, Acts 13:16-17, 22-25, Luke 2:1-14

Know today that the Lord will come –
in the morning you will see His glory.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

For today in the city of David, a saviour has been born for you, who is Messiah and Lord.” – Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle, let us turn aside to see this unusual sight as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary, the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light, without defilement … Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News! If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the angels is addressed, announcing a great joy … “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!” There where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12). Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind, in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14). God is joined to man, to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold … the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger. A Virgin, after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her Son. Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds: “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem? Why is He sleeping in a manger? Why does He participate in Israel’s census? My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death. He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death. He rests in a manger because ,He is the One Who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14). He is the Bread of Life who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit… What more joyful feast is there than that of today? Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night. What had fallen, is raised up again, what was overcome, is now set free… what was dead is restored to life… Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth: “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through one man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Sermon on the Nativity).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Incarnate Word fills us with the new Light, He brings to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts shine through all that we do and say. And may the Immaculate Virgin Mother of our Saviour, be ever near to help and protect us. Through Christ, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for all time and eternity, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel

One Minute Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel – Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Psalms 25:4-5,8-9, 10 and 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.

O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!

Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed and he spoke blessing God.” – Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “When John, his son was born, among his neighbours there was concern about what name he should be given. Writing tablets were offered to his father, so that he himself could put down the name that he had decided upon, so that he might express, in writing, what he could not, in speech. Then, in a wonderful manner, when he had taken the tablets in order to begin writing, his tongue was loosened, the written word gave way to speech and he did not write “John” but spoke it. Consider, then, the merit of the holy Baptist: he gave his father back his voice, he restored the faculty of speech to the priest. Consider, I say, his merit – John unloosed the mouth that the angel had bound. What Gabriel had closed, the little child unlocked. When John is born, the father suddenly becomes a prophet or priest, speech attains its use, love receives an offspring, the office recognises the priest.” – St Maximus of Turin (Died c 420) Bishop of Turin (Sermon 6)

PRAYER – Almighty God, now that the birth of Your Son is drawing near, we pray that Your eternal Word, Who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and came to dwell amongst men, will show Your unworthy people, the greatness of His love. And by the intercession of His Holy Mother, may we be granted Your grace. Through Emmanuel, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Hail MARY!, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn

One Minute Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Readings: Songs 2: 8-14 or Zephaniah 3: 14-18a; Psalm 33: 2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Luke 1: 39-45

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of Eternal Light,
Sun of Justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” – Luke 1:41-42

REFLECTION – “Everyday we devoutly greet the most Blessed Virgin Mary with the angel’s greeting and we usually add: Blessed is the fruit of thy womb. After she was greeted by the Virgin, Elizabeth added this phrase as if she were echoing the salutation of the Angel – Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. This is the fruit of which Isaiah spoke – On that day the shoot of the Lord shall be splendid and radiant—the sublime fruit of earth. What is this fruit but the holy one of Israel, the seed of Abraham, the shoot of the Lord, the flower arising from the Root of Jesse, the fruit of life, Whom we have shared?

Blessed surely in seed and blessed in the shoot, blessed in the flower, blessed in the gift, finally blessed in thanksgiving and praise, Christ, the Seed of Abraham, was brought forth from the seed of David into the flesh.

He alone among men is found perfected in every good quality, for the Spirit was given to Him without measure so that He alone could fulfill all justice. For His justice is sufficient for all nations, according to the Scriptures. As the earth brings forth its buds and as the garden germinates its own seed, so the Lord God shall bring forth justice and praise before all the nations. For this is the shoot of justice, which the flower of glory adorns with its blessings when it has grown. But how great is this glory? How can anyone think of anything more glorious, or rather, how can anyone conceive of this at all? For the flower rises from the root of Jesse. you ask: “How far?” Surely it rises even to the highest place because Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. His magnificence is elevated above the heavens, so that He, the issue of the Lord, is splendid and glorious, the sublime fruit of earth.

But what is our benefit from this fruit? What other than the fruit of blessing from the blessed fruit? From this seed, this shoot, this flower, surely the fruit of blessing comes forth. It has come even to us; first as a seed it is planted through the grace of pardon, then germinated with the increase of perfection and finally, it flowers in the hope or the attainment of glory. For the fruit was blessed by God and in God, so that God may be glorified through it. For us, too, the fruit was blessed, so that blessed by God, we may be glorified in Him through the promise spoken to Abraham. God made the fruit a blessing for all nations.” – Baldwin of Forde O.Cist ( c 1125– 1190) Cistercian Abbot, Bishop, then Archbishop of Canterbury ( An excerpt from A Sermon on the ‘Hail Mary’).

PRAYER – In Your goodness Lord, as we rejoice at the coming of Your Son in flesh and blood like ours, grant that when He comes again in glory, we may receive the gift of eternal life. And may His Blessed and Immaculate ever Virgin Mother, cast upon us a look of mercy and intercede on our behalf. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS

One Minute Reflection – 20 December – “Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28

One Minute Reflection – 20 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent O Clavis David/O Key of David – Readings: Isaiah 7: 10-14; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke 1: 26-38

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O KEY OF DAVID,
and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no-one shuts,
who shuts and no-one opens.
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28

REFLECTION – “This woman will be the Mother of God, the door to Light, source of Life; she will reduce to oblivion the judgement that weighed on Eve. “The rich among the people seek the face” of this woman, “the kings of the nations shall pay her homage”, they shall “offer gifts”…, yet the glory of the Mother of God is an interior glory: the fruit of her womb.

O woman, so worthy of love, thrice happy, “blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Daughter of David the king and Mother of God, King of the universe, masterpiece in whom the Creator rejoices…: you are to be nature’s full achievement. For you, life is not yours; you were not born for yourself alone but your life is to be God’s. You came into the world for Him, you will serve for the salvation of all people, fulfilling God’s design established from the beginning: the Incarnation of the Word and our own divinisation. Your whole desire is to feed on the words of God, to be strengthened by their sap, like “a green olive tree in the house of God,” “like a tree planted by running water,” you are the “tree of life” who “yielded its fruit in due season”…

He Who is Infinite, Limitless, came to dwell in your womb; God, the Child Jesus, was nourished by your milk. You are the ever virginal Doorway of God; your hands hold your God; your lap is a throne raised up above the Cherubim… You are the wedding chamber of the Spirit, the “city of the living God, gladdened by the runlets of the stream”, that is to say, the waves of the Spirit’s gifts. You are “all fair, the Beloved” of God.” – St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin, # 9 ; SC 80) [( Biblical references : Ps 44[45],13; 71[72],11.10; Mt 2,11; Lk 1,42; Is 62,5; Ps 51[52],10; 1,3; cf Gn 2,9, Rv 22,2; cf Ez 44,2; Ps 79[80],2; cf Sg 1,4; Ps 45[46],5; Sg 4,7].

PRAYER – Lord, at the Angel’s message, Mary, the Immaculate Virgin, became the temple of God and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, when she received Your divine Word. Grant that, after her example, we may humbly and steadfastly follow Your will. Through Christ the Incarnate Word, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all ages, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOSEPH, The HEART, The HOLY NAME, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

One Minute Reflection – 18 December – O Adonai … O Lord

One Minute Reflection – 18 December – O Adonai … O Lord – Saturday of the Third Week of Advent, Readings: Jeremiah 23:5-8, Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19, Matthew 1:18-25

O LORD AND RULER
of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flame
of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai,
Come and redeem us with outstretched arms.

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid” – Matthew 1:20

REFLECTION – “Joseph embraced
the Son of the heavenly Father
as he would a newborn babe
and served Him as his God.
He took pleasure in this
as in goodness itself
and he, who was complete righteousness (Mt 1:19),
worshiped Him.

Oh how great was his wonderment!
How is it, Son of God Most High,
that I should have You as my Son?
I was angered against Your Mother
and thought to put her away.
I never knew that in her womb
so great a treasure lay,
Who straightway made me rich
in the midst of my poverty
.

David the King, arose amongst my forebears
and wore the crown,
yet how great is the destitution
to which I have come!

No king, I am a carpenter,
yet a crown has come to me,
since on my heart there rests,
the Lord of all crowns.
” – St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Hymn for the Nativity.)

PRAYERWrite Your Blessed Name, Upon My Heart
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Write Your blessed name,
O Lord,
upon my heart,
there to remain so indelibly engraved,
that no prosperity,
no adversity shall ever move me
from Your love.
Be to me a strong tower of defence,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble
and a guide to Heaven
through the many temptations
and dangers of this life.
Amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom … O Sapientia …

One Minute Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom … O Sapientia … – Friday of the Third Week of Advent, Readings: Genesis 49: 2, 8-10; Psalm 72: 1-4, 7-8, 17; Matthew 1: 1-17

O Wisdom
O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia-
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth
from the Mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things-
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

REFLECTION – “The Incarnation of the Word only contributed to the doing of those things that were done and the mystery of humankind’s salvation was never, even in the remotest age, at a standstill.   What the propehts foretold, the apostles announced, nor were those things fulfilled too late, which had always been believed.   But the wisdom and goodness of God, made us all the more receptive of His call …  as the foretelling of it had been ancient and oft-repeated.

And so it was no new counsel, no tardy pity, whereby God took thought for us but from the foundation of the world, He ordained one and the same cause of Salvation for all.   For the grace of God, by which the whole body of the saints is continually made righteous, was increased, not initiated, when Christ was born.   And this mystery of God’s great love, with which the whole world is now filled, was so effectively pre-signified, that those who believed the promise, obtained no less, than those who were the actual recipients.

And so, dearly beloved, since that loving-kindness is now manifest with which all the wealth of divine goodness has been showered on us, Whose call to eternal life has been promoted, not only by the supportive example of those who went before us but, by the visible and bodily appearance of Truth itself, we are bound to keep the day of our Lord’s Nativity with a joy beyond this world…   By the illumination of the Holy Spirit consider who it was who received us into Himself and Whom we have received, since as the Lord Jesus became our flesh by being born, so we also became His Body by being re-born…  For God suggested to us the standard of His own gentleness and humility…  Let us imitate His humility, then, to whose glory we would wish to be conformed.   He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (3rd sermon on the Feast of the Nativity, 4-5).

PRAYER – Collect:
O God, Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
Who willed that Your Word should take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb, look with favour on our prayers,
that Your only Begotten Son, having taken to Himself our humanity, may be pleased to grant us a share in his divinity.
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel