Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BEATITUDES, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints, Readings: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 1 John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12

REFLECTION – “Rejoice in the Lord without ceasing (cf. Phil 4:4), my dear children. I beg you rejoice, citizens of heaven but exiles on earth, inhabitants of the Jerusalem on high (cf. Gal 4:26) but banished from affairs here below, inheritors of the kingdom of heaven but disinherited from taking any part at all, in earthly pleasures! Rejoice, ardent travellers, at undergoing exile and maltreatment in a foreign land in the name of the commandment of God! Rejoice, you who are last in this world but lords of blessings that exceed our understanding (cf. Phil 4:7).
Rejoice, noble company, brought together by God, assembly united in heart and soul, who give life to filial and fraternal love, a replica on earth of the host of angels! (…) Rejoice, God’s workers, apostolic men. (…) Rejoice, you who set your joy in each other, each making his own the reputation of his brother, you in whom is found neither jealousy, rivalry nor envy but, in their place, peace and charity and life in common. In truth, I do not say that we are not attacked – indeed, who is crowned if not the one who struggles and fights, who exchanges thrusts and wounds with his assailants? – but I say that we should not let ourselves be brought down by the machinations of Satan.
Yes, my children, assembly of God, nourish yourselves with the food of the Spirit and drink the water given by the Lord: whoever comes to possess this water will never thirst again but it will become, in Him, a spring of living water welling up to eternal life (cf. Jn 4:14). (…) Yet a little while and we shall have vanquished. And blessed shall we be; blessed also, it shall be said, are the places, family and countries that have borne you (cf. Lk 11:27-28).” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) – Catechesis 47 (The Great Catecheses)

PRAYER – Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, our trusted guide and loving mother and all you holy Saints of the Church Triumphant, pray for us! We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 October – Jesus at table with the Pharisees

One Minute Reflection – 30 October – Friday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Philippians 1:1-11Psalms 111:1-23-4,5-6Luke 14:1-6

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. – Luke 14:14

REFLECTION – “The world’s eternal and invisible Creator, preparing to save humankind, which for long ages had been hindered by it’s subjection to the heavy law of death, deigned “in these last days” (Heb 1:2) to become man (…) that in His mercy He might redeem those, who in justice He condemned. And so as to show the depth of His love for us, He not only became a man but a poor and humble man so that, by drawing near to us in His poverty, He might make us sharers in His riches (2 Cor 8:9). So poor did He become for our sake, that He had nowhere to lay His head: “Foxes have dens and the birds of the air have their nest but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Mt 8:20).

This is the reason why He agreed to go and dine wherever He was invited, not out of an excessive enjoyment in eating but, so that He could teach the way of salvation and stimulate faith. There He would fill the guests with light by His miracles and the servants, who were kept busy inside and were not free to go with Him, would hear the words of salvation. Indeed, He despised no-one and none were considered unworthy of His love because “he has mercy on all; he hates nothing of what he has made and takes care of them all” (Wsd 11:24).

So that He might carry out this work of salvation the Lord entered the house of an eminent Pharisee on the sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees watched Him with the intention of calling Him to account, so that if He were to cure the man with dropsy they could accuse Him of breaking the Law and, if He did not, they could accuse Him of blasphemy or inability (…) By the pure light of His word of truth, they were to see the darkness of their deceit vanish away. … Blessed Guerric of Igny O.Cist (c 1080-1157) – Cistercian Abbot (Liturgical sermons).

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, shed the light of Your glory on the peoples who are living in the shadow of death, as You did long ago, when our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sun of Justice, came among us from on high. As He taught us the way to life may we keep the precepts and finally reach our everlasting home. May the Mother of Jesus, our Lord and our always loving and merciful Mother, keep us forever in her prayers. With Jesus our Lord and our God, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in GOD is LOVE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 October – ‘His love and longing for us …’ Luke 13:34

One Minute Reflection – 29 October – Thursday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Ephesians 6:10-20, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10, Luke 13:31-35 and the Memorial of Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano (1971 –1990)

“How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you were not willing!” – Luke 13:34

REFLECTION – “Thus shall the spiritual thirst of Christ be quenched. This is His thirst – His love and longing for us that goes on enduring until we see the Day of Judgement.
For of us who are to be saved and be Christ’s joy and bliss, some are alive now, while others- are ‘yet unborn and so, it will go on until that Day. His thirst and loving longing, is to have us all, integrated in Himself, to His great enjoyment. At least, so I see it (…)
Because He is God, He is ‘supreme blessedness and never has been nor ever shall be other. His eternal blessedness can neither be increased nor diminished (…) Because He is human – this too is known by the creed and by the revelations – it was shown, that He, though God, suffered pain, passion, and death, for love of us and to bring us to blessedness (…)
Since Christ is our Head, He must be both glorious and impassable.
But since He is also the Body, in which all His members are joined (Eph 1:23), He is not yet fully either of these.
Therefore, the same desire and thirst that He had upon the cross (Jn 19:28) – and this desire, longing and thirst was with Him from the very first, I believe He has still and shall continue to have, until the last soul to be saved has arrived at it’s blessedness.
For just as there is in God the quality of sympathy and pity, so too in Him is there, that of thirst and longing.
And in virtue of this longing which is in Christ, we in turn, long for Him too. No soul comes to heaven without it.
This quality of longing and thirst springs from God’s eternal goodness just as pity does (…) and, this thirst will persist in Him, as long as we are in need, drawing us up, to His blessedness.” – Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416) (aged 73–74) Anchorite, Mystic (Revelations of divine love, ch. 31)

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. May Your loving Heart draw us more and more to Itself, so that Your love may be ours. Grant that the prayers of Blessed Chiara Badano, who always held Your Light up for others to see by, give us strength. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – “He passed the whole night in prayer.” Luke 6:12

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs, Readings: Ephesians 2:19-22Psalms 19:2-34-5Luke 6:12-16

“In those days he departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in prayer to God.” – Luke 6:12

REFLECTION – “So the Lord prays, not to entreat for Himself but to intercede for me. Although the Father placed all things in the power of His Son, yet the Son, in order to fulfil the form of a man, thinks that the Father must be entreated for us because He is our Advocate. If He is an Advocate, He must intercede on account of my sins.

It says, “He passed the whole night in prayer.” A model is given to you. A form is prescribed which you must imitate. Unless I am mistaken, it is nowhere found that He prayed with the apostles. Everywhere He entreats alone, for human prayers do not grasp the counsels of God, nor can anyone share with Christ, in the inward mysteries.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 5.)

PRAYER – Lord God, You taught us to call upon Your name, through the preaching of the Apostles. Open our eyes each day, grant that we may see Jesus Your Son at our side, open our ears that we may hear His voice, open our mouths, that we may beg forgiveness and proclaim the good news, as we follow the way Your Son carved out for us. At the intercession of Sts Simon and Jude, may Your Church continue to grow and to hope in Your love. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on MORALS, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – ‘The doctrine of Christ is fittingly called leaven because the bread is Christ.’ – Luke 13:20-21

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 5:21-33,Psalms 128:1-23,4-5Luke 13:18-21 and the Memorial of St Emeline of Boulancourt (c 1115-c 1178)

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 13:20-21

REFLECTION – “There are three measures – of the flesh, of the soul and of the spirit. This is truer of the spirit in which we all live. The woman, who prefigures the church, mixes with them the virtue of spiritual doctrine, until the whole hidden inner person of the heart is leavened and the heavenly bread arises to grace.

The doctrine of Christ is fittingly called leaven because the bread is Christ. The apostle said, “For we, being many, are one bread, one body.” Leavening happens, when the flesh does not lust against the Spirit, nor the Spirit against the flesh. We mortify the deeds of the flesh and, the soul, aware that through the breath of God, it has received the breath of life, shuns the earthly germs of worldly needs.” – St Ambrose (340-397) (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 7)

PRAYER – True light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. Help us Lord, that we may sprout and bear fruit, fitting to grow and be a home of comfort to our neighbour. By the prayers of St Emeline of Boulancourt, may we too be beacons of Your Light and of the glory of Your Kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 October – “They have bowed my soul down.” – Luke 13:10-17

One Minute Reflection – 26 October – Monday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Monday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 4:32-5:8Psalms 1:1-234 and 6Luke 13:10-17

“But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” – Luke 13:14

REFLECTION – “The whole human race, like this woman, was bent over and bowed down to the ground. Someone already understands these enemies. He cries out against them and says to God, “They have bowed my soul down.” The devil and his angels have bowed the souls of men and women down to the ground. He has bent them forward to be intent on temporary and earthly things and has stopped them from seeking the things that are above.

Since that is what the Lord says about the woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, it was now time for her to be released from her bondage on the sabbath day. Quite unjustly, they criticised Him for straightening her up. Who were these, except people bent over themselves? Since they quite failed to understand the very things God had commanded, they regarded them with earthbound hearts. They used to celebrate the sacrament of the sabbath in a literal, material manner and did not notice it’s spiritual meaning.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father, Doctor of Grace (Sermon 162)

PRAYER – Come to help us in our weakness, God of mercy, forgive the sins of Your people and as nothing we can do is worthy in Your sight, save us through the intercession of the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May the prayers of all your saints be offered to You on our behalf. We make our prayer through Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 October – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.” – Matthew 22:34-40

One Minute Reflection – 25 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Exodus 22:20-26, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4,47, 51, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10, Matthew 22:34-40 and the Memorial of St Maurus of Pécs OSB (c 1000-c 1075)

“Master, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” … Matthew 22:36

REFLECTION – “O Lord, what is it that you require of Your servants? “Take my yoke upon you,” you say. And what sort of yoke is this? “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” Now who would not willingly bear a yoke that does not press down but gives strength; a burden that does not weigh heavily but refreshes? As You rightly added: “And you will find rest” (Mt 11:29). And what is this yoke of Yours that does not tire but gives rest? It is the first and greatest of the commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.” What could be easier, better or more agreeable than to love the goodness, beauty and love that is most perfectly Yours, O Lord my God?

Do You not offer a reward to those who keep the com­mandments, which are “more desirable than a heap of gold and sweeter than honey from the comb?” (Ps 19[18]:11) So in every way You offer a very ample reward, as James the apostle says: “The Lord has prepared the crown of life for those who love him” (Jas 1:12) (…) And Paul quotes these words from Isaiah: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

That first and great commandment is not only profitable for the man who keeps it or for God who commands it – the other commandments of God also make perfect, him who obeys them, improves him, instructs him and makes him illustrious; in a word, they make him good and holy. If you understand this, realise that you have been created for the glory of God and for your own eternal salvation; this is your end, this is the object of your soul and the treasure of your heart. You will be blessed if you reach this goal but miserable if you are cut off from it.” – St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church – The Ascent of the Mind to God, 1

PRAYER – Lord God, You fill us with Your grace and teach us true faith. Strengthen in our hearts that faith that no trials may quench the fire, that we may seek Your face in every moment and accept AND LIVE all of Your will. May You be our first thought and our last each day. Send us Your Spirit to keep the fire blazing. May the humble love and intercession of Mary Mother of our faith, be our succour and may St Maurus of Pecs intercede for us on our pilgrim way. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – Cut it down, why should it use up the ground?- Luke 13:7

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 4:7-16Psalms 122:1-23-44-5Luke 13:1-9 and the Memorial of St Anthony Mary Claret CMF (1807-1870)

And he said to the vinedresser, “Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down, why should it use up the ground? ” – Luke 13:7

REFLECTION – “The Lord also has something very fitting to say about a fruitless tree, “Look, it is now three years that I have been coming to it. Finding no fruit on it, I will cut it down, to stop it blocking up my field.” The gardener intercedes.

This tree is the human race. The Lord visited this tree in the time of the patriarchs, as if for the first year. He visited it in the time of the law and the prophets, as if for the second year. Here we are now, with the gospel the third year has dawned. Now it is as though it should have been cut down but the merciful one intercedes with the merciful one. He wanted to show how merciful he was and so he stood up to himself with a plea for mercy. “Let us leave it,” he says, “this year too. Let us dig a ditch around it.” Manure is a sign of humility. “Let us apply a load of manure, perhaps it may bear fruit.” Since it does bear fruit in one part and in another part does not bear fruit, it’s Lord will come and divide it. What does that mean, “divide it?” There are good people and bad people now in one company, as though constituting one body.” – St Augustine (354-430)Doctor of Grace – Sermon 254

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to keep my death constantly before my eyes, for this is my final account. I pray You for a holy life that my death may be holy and that I may come to You and live for all eternity with You. May each moment of my life bear abundant fruit for love of You. When my hour is come, bid me come to You, Lord. Hear the prayers of your Saints, Anthony Mary Claret, who lived each moment of his life for the glory of Your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

One Minute Reflection – 22 October – “I have come to set the earth on fire” – Luke 12:49-53

One Minute Reflection – 22 October – Thursday of the Twent Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 3:14-21Psalms 33: 1-24-5,11-1218-19Luke 12:49-53 and the Memorial of St Donatus of Fiesole (Died 874) Bishop

“I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing!” – Luke 12:49

REFLECTION – “Everything we are about to do, even if it were a supremely heroic action destroying the foundations of all evil on earth, that act will have no value, except to the extent, with which our will accords with the will of the Immaculate and, through her, with the will of God …
It is love in all it’s profundity (beyond feelings, even though that is also beautiful) that must transform us … It should consume us and, through us, set fire to the world and destroy and burn all the evil it finds there.
This is the fire of which the Saviour said: “I have come to cast fire on the earth and what how I wish that it were already burning!” (Lk 12:49).
Consumed by this fire of divine love (I repeat, it is not a question here of sweet tears or of feelings but of the will, even in the midst of disgust and antipathy), we will set the whole world ablaze!
Love never rests but spreads like fire that burns everything.
And all of us human beings should tend towards being set alight by this fire of love and that it may burn all souls that are and will be in the world.
This is the ideal towards which we should tend.
We must remember the words of Jesus: “I have come to set the earth on fire” (Lk 12:49). On our part we should do all we can to make this fire light up more and more everyday.” – St Maximilian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Priest, Martyr – Conferences

PRAYER – Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light
the world around us.
Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit
to carry out our mission
of living and following
the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand,
that by Your grace
our gifts are Your blessings,
to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love
to give glory to You
in loving all
and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire
to go forth
as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ bearers,
that in seeing us
only He is visible.
Amen (The Christopher Prayer)

St Donatus of Fiesole, Pray for us!

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 October – “Watch” Luke 12:39-48

One Minute Reflection – 21 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 3:2-12, Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4,5-6, Luke 12:39-48 and the Memorial of Blessed Karl of Austria (1887 – 1922)

“You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” – Luke 12:40

REFLECTION“Watch!”
Our Saviour gave this warning when He was leaving this world—leaving it, that is, as far as His visible presence is concerned. He looked forward to the many hundred years which were to pass before He came again. He knew His own purpose and His Father’s purpose gradually to leave the world to itself, gradually to withdraw from it the tokens of His gracious presence. He contemplated, as contemplating all things, the neglect of Him, which would spread, even among his professed followers … He foresaw the state of the world and the Church, as we see it this day, when His prolonged absence has made it practically thought, that He never will come back in visible presence.

Today, He mercifully whispers into our ears, not to trust in what we see, not to share in that general unbelief, not to be carried away by the world but to “take heed, watch and pray,” (Lk 21:34.36) and look out for His coming. Surely this gracious warning should be ever in our thoughts, being so precise, so solemn, so earnest.

Our Saviour foretold His first coming, yet He took His Church by surprise when He came; much more will He come suddenly the second time and overtake men, now that He has not measured out the interval before it, as then He did but left our watchfulness to the keeping of faith and love … We are not simply to believe but to watch; not simply to love but to watch; not simply to obey but to watch; to watch for what? for that great event, Christ’s coming … we seem to see a special duty enjoined on us … – most of us have a general idea what is meant by believing, fearing, loving and obeying but, perhaps we do not contemplate or apprehend what is meant by “watching.” St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, Founder of the Oratory in England, Theologian – Sermon “ Watching ” PPS, t. 4, n° 22

PRAYER – Holy Father, grant me an operative faith, a faith that will move mountains. Enlighten my soul with Your Light, Goodness, Power and Wisdom. Let my faith be an image of You by lively deeds and love and by conforming myself to Your Will in all things. Blessed Karl of Austria, amidst the fineries of your earthly kingship, you longed only to serve the God of all and searched for complete closeness and abandonment to Him, teach us by your prayer, to serve God alone with upright hearts and thus manifest a true faith, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VANITY, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – ‘… Let us always reflect the image of God …’ Matthew 22:15-21

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 45:14-6Psalms 96:134-5,7-89-101 Thessalonians 1:1-5Matthew 22:15-21 and the Feast of St Luke the Evangelist

And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s.” – Matthew 22:20-21

REFLECTION In an ancient work known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew, an anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel:
“The image of God is not depicted on gold but is imaged in humanity. The coin of Caesar is gold; that of God, humanity. Caesar is seen in his currency; God, however, is known through human beings. And so give your wealth to Caesar but reserve for God the sole innocence of your conscience, where God is beheld. For the hand of Caesar has crafted an image by likenesses and lives each year by renewable decree. However, the divine hand of God has shown His image in ten points.

What ten points? From five carnal ones and five spiritual ones through which we see and understand what things are useful under God’s image. So let us always reflect the image of God in these ways:

I do not swell up with the arrogance of pride;
nor do I droop with the blush of anger;
nor do I succumb to the passion of avarice;
nor do I surrender myself to the ravishes of gluttony;
nor do I infect myself with the duplicity of hypocrisy;
nor do I contaminate myself with the filth of rioting;
nor do I grow flippant with the pretension of conceit;
nor do I grow enamoured of the burden of heavy drinking;
nor do I alienate by the dissension of mutual admiration;
nor do I infect others with the biting of detraction;
nor do I grow conceited with the vanity of gossip.

Rather, instead,

I will reflect the image of God in that I feed on love;
grow certain on faith and hope;
strengthen myself on the virtue of patience;
grow tranquil by humility;
grow beautiful by chastity;
am sober by abstention;
am made happy by tranquillity
and am ready for death, by practicing hospitality.

It is with such inscriptions that God imprints His coins with an impression made neither by hammer nor by chisel but has formed them, with His primary divine intention. For Caesar required his image on every coin but God has chosen man, whom He has created, to reflect His glory.” (Incomplete Work on Matthew, «Homily 40»)

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love in his preaching and his writings. Grant, we pray, that we may grow in love for the Holy Face of Christ, His words and His directions, revealed to us in the Gospels, in the example of your saints. Today, on his feast, we especially look to St Luke, to guide, teach and pray for us. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 October – “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” … Luke 12:12

One Minute Reflection – 17 October – Saturday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:15-23, Psalms 8:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, Luke 12:8-12 and the Memorial of

“The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” … Luke 12:12

REFLECTION – “All the saints were arrested and brought before the urban prefect at Rome, a man named Rusticus. After they had been arraigned, the prefect said to Justin: (…) “What are the doctrines that you practise ?”
“I have tried to become acquainted,” said Justin, “with all doctrines. But I have committed myself to the true doctrines of the Christians (…)”
“What belief do you mean?”
Justin said: “The belief that we piously hold regarding the God the Christians, whom alone we hold to be the craftsman of the whole world from the beginning and also regarding Jesus Christ, child of God, who was also foretold by the prophets, as one who was to come down to mankind as a herald of salvation and teacher of good doctrines. What I say is insignificant when measured against His Godhead but, I acknowledge the power of prophecy (…), for you must know that in earlier times the prophets foretold His coming among men.”

Rusticus the prefect said: “Tell me, where do you meet, where do you gather together your disciples?”
Justin said: “I have been living above the baths of a certain Martinus, son of Timothy (…) Anyone who wished could come to my abode and I would impart to him the words of truth.”
“You do admit, then, that you are a Christian?”
“Yes, I am”.
To Chariton, the prefect, Rusticus said: “Chariton, are you a Christian, too?”
“I am,” said Chariton, “by God’s command” (…)
“And what are you Evelpistus?”
“I too am a Christian. I have been freed by Christ and I share in the same hope by the favour of Christ” (…)
“Did Justin convert you to Christianity?”
“I have long been a Christian and ever shall be (…) I listened gladly to the teaching of Justin but my Christianity I received from my parents.” (…)
Paeon arose and spoke: “I am a Christian also.”
The prefect Rusticus said to Liberian: “And what have you to say? Are you a Christian and do you also refuse to be pious?”
Liberian said: “Yes, I too am a Christian. I believe in the one, true God and worship Him.”

The prefect turned to Justin: “You are said to be learned and you think you know the true doctrine. Now listen – if you are scourged and be­headed, do you suppose that you will ascend to heaven (…) to receive certain worthy rewards?”
“I have confidence that, if I endure all this, I shall possess His mansions. Indeed, I know that for all those who lead a just life, there awaits the divine gift even to the consummation of the whole world (…) I do not think it but I have accurate knowledge of it; I am fully convinced of it.” … Acts of the Martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companions (c 165).

PRAYER – “I am the wheat of God
and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts,
that I may be found the pure bread of God.
I long after the Lord,
the Son of the true God and Father, Jesus Christ.
Him I seek, who died for us and rose again.
I am eager to die for the sake of Christ.
My love has been crucified
and there is no fire in me that loves anything.
But there is living water springing up in me
and it says to me inwardly,
“Come to the Father”
Amen – A Martyr’s Prayer – By St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 October – “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. ” … Luke 12:1

One Minute Reflection – 16 October – Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:11-14Psalms 33:1-24-5,12-13Luke 12:1-7 and the Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart” and St Gall (c 550–c 646) Missionary to Switzerland

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. ” … Luke 12:1

REFLECTION – “Christ told His friends, that is, His disciples, to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and scribes, meaning, by leaven, their false pretense.
Hypocrisy is hateful to God and humanity. It does not bring a reward and it is utterly useless for the salvation of the soul. It is rather the cause of its damnation.
Although sometimes it may escape detection for a little while, before long, it is sure to be uncovered and bring disgrace on them. It is like an unattractive woman when she is stripped of that external embellishment which she produced by artificial means.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Known as ‘The Pillar of Faith,”Archbishop of Alexandria (Commentary on Luke, Homily 86)

“How sensible is Our Lord’s warning to us … to be beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy – professing without practising. He warns us against it, as leaven, as a subtle insinuating evil which will silently spread itself throughout the whole character …
He warns us that the pretence of religion never deceives beyond a little time …
Let us remember, that all who follow God with but a half heart, strengthen the hands of His enemies, … perplex inquirers after truth and bring reproach upon their Saviour’s name ….
Woe unto the deceiver and self-deceived! ….
God give us grace to flee from this woe while we still have time!
Let us examine ourselves, to see if there be any wicked way in us. …
And, let us pray God to enlighten us and to guide us and, to give us the will to please Him and the power.” – St John Henry Newman C.Orat (1801-1890)

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You wondrously revealed all of the deep treasures of Your Heart to St Margaret Mary. May her merits and example win us the grace to love You above all things and in all things so that we may make our abode in Your own Sacred Heart. St Margaret Mary, pray for us that we may live in the Sacred Heart of Christ our Lord and may the prayer of St Gall lead us to be lights of the truth. Through You, Lord Jesus, who live and reign forever, in union with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, POETRY, QUOTES for CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 October – The scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard … Luke 11:47-54

One Minute Reflection – 15 October – Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:1-10, Psalms 98:1, 2-3,3-4, 5-6, Luke 11:47-54 and the Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

The scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard … lying in wait for him … Luke 11:53-54

REFLECTION – “With a fear mingled with joy I consider it desirable to say something here about the sufferings you endured for my sake, O God of us all!
Standing before the tribunal of men You Yourself had created
in a nature that was my own
You said nothing, You who give us speech;
You did not speak aloud, You who create the tongue;
You did not shout out, You who shake the earth (…)
You did not give up to shame
the one who gave You up to the terrors of death;
You showed no resistance when You were bound
and when You were struck, you were not outraged.
When they spat on You, You did not swear back
and when they struck You with the fist,
You did not tremble.
When they taunted You, You were not angered
and when they hit You, Your face did not change (…)
Far from giving You a moment of respite,
O source of life,
they at once prepared for carrying
the instrument of death.
You accepted it graciously,
took it gently,
hoisted it patiently.
You took upon Yourself, like a criminal,
the tree of sorrow!” – St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010) Doctor of the Church, Armenian Monk, mystical Philosopher, Theologian and Poet – Book of prayers, no 77

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You sent St Teresa of Jesus to be a witness in the Church to the way of perfection. Sustain us by her spiritual doctrine and kindle in us, the longing for true holiness. Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever. May the intercession of St Teresa be a source of strength, amen.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SCANDAL, QUOTES on VANITY, QUOTES on ZEAL, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection- 14 October – The bitter zeal of hypocrisy and pride

One Minute Reflection- 14 October – Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 5:18-25Psalms 1:1-234 and 6Luke 11:42-46 and the Memorial of St Fortunatus of Todi (Died 537) Bishop

“Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.”…Luke 11:43

REFLECTION – “Forms of zeal, taking the appearance of good, are to be met with. There is, for example, the zeal of the Pharisee, strict observers of the outward law. This bitter zeal (…) has its source, not in the love of God and of our neighbour but in pride. Those who are tainted with it are filled with inordinate esteem for their own perfections; they do not conceive of any other ideal than their own; they want to bend everyone to their own way of seeing and doing; hence arise dissensions. This zeal tends to hatred.

See with what acrimony the Pharisees, moved by this zeal, pursue the Lord Jesus, putting insidious questions to Him, setting snares to entrap Him, seeking not to know the truth but to find Christ in fault. See how they press Him, how they try to induce Him to condemn the woman taken in adultery: “Now Moses in the Law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest Thou?” (Jn 8:5). (…) See, too, how they reproach Him for healing on the Sabbath day (Lk 6:7); how they complain of the disciples for rubbing the ears of corn in their hands on the day of rest (Mt 12:2); how they are scandalized at seeing the Divine Master sit down at dinner with the sinners and publicans (Mt 9:2). These are so many manifestation of this bitter zeal into which hypocrisy so often enters.” – Blessed Columba Marmion OSB (1858-1923) Abbot – Good Zeal (Christ the Ideal of the Monk

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant that I may believe what I have learned, never presuming to know better than the teachings of Holy Mother Church and that I may put into practice what I believe. Let my commitment be like unto the Bishop, St Fortunatus of Todi, who lived Your Word with joy and great zeal for faith in Christ, Your Son, God with You and the Holy Spirit, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on VANITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 October – ‘Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly.’

One Minute Reflection – 13 October – Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 5:1-6Psalms 119:4143,44454748Luke 11:37-41 and the 103rd Anniversary of the Last Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima

And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.”…Luke 11:39

REFLECTION – “If the world that seeks my God were to know, if those learned men who seek for God in science and endless discussion were to know, if people did but know where to find God, how many wars would be prevented, what peace there would be in the world, how many souls would be saved! Unreasoning and stupid that you look for God where He is not! Listen and be filled with awe – God is in our hearts, I know it. God lives in the human heart when this heart lives withdrawn from all that is not Him, when this heart heeds God’s knock at it’s door (Rv 3,20) and, sweeping and cleaning all its rooms, makes itself ready to welcome Him who alone truly satisfies.

How sweet it is to live like this, with God in the heart. What sublime peace to find oneself filled with God!… What little trouble it is, rather it should be said, there is no trouble in doing what He wishes, since we love His will and even pain and suffering are His peace, since we suffer for love. Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly. Let scientists go on asking – Where is God? He is where those clever ones, arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.” … Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) – Spanish Trappist monk (Spiritual writings)

PRAYER – Lord God, open our hearts to Your Grace, that we may be filled with Your light and overflow with gratitude for Your merciful love. May we love and adore and worship You in return. Although we are sinners, our hearts long to thank You in total trust and humble thankfulness. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, our Mother, we may grow in holiness. Through Your only Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God, forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ATHEISM, QUOTES on DOUBT, QUOTES on FAITH

One Minute Reflection – 12 October – ‘ … Every new doubt is for me, new reason to believe.’ Luke 11:29 The Sign of Jonah

One Minute Reflection – 12 October – Monday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 4:22-2426-27315:1Psalms 113:1-23-45 and 6-7Luke 11:29-32 and the Feast of Our Lady Aparecida, Our Lady Who Appeared

“This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of Jonah.” … Luke 11:29

REFLECTION – “Bad christians lack faith and do not deny it but they claim to be excused, in that they have no reasons for believing. Because of this there is nothing as common as this speech in the mouths of many people: “If I had witnessed a miracle I should be a saint!” “Evil and unfaithful generation! It seeks a sign!” (Mt 12:39). The wicked look for signs.

What is even more remarkable about this, is that, even though they have seen many taking place daily before their eyes, even though they are, so to speak, entirely surrounded, they never stop looking for more like the scribes and Pharisees; they would like to see them in heaven when they have seen them on earth. But neither the dead raised up during the life of the Saviour, nor the eclipse of the sun at death, make them believers; their envy becomes stronger, their hatred more malicious; each goes as far as raging, yet their unbelief is not healed by it. It used to be like this regarding those who, living badly, wait for miracles in order to believe: “They will not be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead” (Lk 16:31). (…)

All the difficulties that halt unbelievers, all the contradictions they encounter in the dogmas of faith, everything they find apparent contradiction, everything that seems new to them, surprising, contrary to common sense, contrary to reason, inconceivable, impossible, all their arguments, all their so-called demonstrations, all of this, far from shaking me, strengthens me even more, makes me immovable in my religion. (…) Every new doubt is for me, new reason to believe.” … St Claude de la Colombière (1641-1682) “Apostle of Sacred Heart” Christian Reflections

PRAYER – “Dear Lord! It is just when I am in the world
that I have most need of You
because You know it is full of snares
that the devil has set for me.
You must hold my hand, dear Lord,
if You will not abandon me.
A little of the world is not bad for me;
it is even good, for it teaches me how small it is
and I feel the greater happiness
when I come back to You.
But that I may surely do so,
You must only loose Your hold a little,
that it may not try me too far,
You must not entirely leave hold.
Do You see dear Lord?
I wish to clasp Your hand – do not refuse me!” (I Wish to Clasp Your Hand – Do Not Refuse Me! – Prayer of Eugene de Ferronays) Our Lady Aparecida, Pray for Us!

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – The Wedding garment – Matthew 22:1-14

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – The Twenty-eighth Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10Psalms 23:1-33456Philippians 4:12-14,19-20Matthew 22:1-14 and the Memorial of St Alexander Sauli CRSP (1534-1592) Bishop “The Apostle of Corsica”

“But when the king came in to meet the guest,s he saw a man there, not dressed in a wedding garment.” – Matthew 22:11

REFLECTION – “But you, my friends, since you have already come into the house of the marriage feast, our holy Church, as a result of God’s generosity, be careful lest when the King enters He finds fault with some aspect of your heart’s clothing.

What do we think is meant by the wedding garment, dearly beloved? For if we say it is baptism or faith, is there anyone who has entered this marriage feast without them? A person is outside because he has not yet come to believe. What then must we understand by the wedding garment but love? That person enters the marriage feast but without wearing a wedding garment, who is present in the holy Church. He may have faith but he does not have love. We are correct when we say that love is the wedding garment because this is what our Creator Himself possessed, when He came to the marriage feast to join the Church to Himself. Only God’s love brought it about, that His only begotten Son ,united the hearts of His chosen to Himself. John says that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son for us.” St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Gospel, no. 38

PRAYER – Lord Holy God and Father, open our hearts o Your grace. Let it go before us and be with us. Open our hearts to Your love. Let it be the foundation of our love, let our love be Your love. Stepping in the footsteps of Your Son, in imitation of His Saints as St Alexander Sauli lived, grant that by his intercession, we too may reach Your eternal Feast. Through Jesus our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN QUOTES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 October – “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:28

One Minute Reflection – 10 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Saturday of the Twenty SeventhWeek in Ordinary Time, Readings:Galatians 3: 22-29Psalms 105: 2-34-56-7Luke 11: 27-28 and the Memorial of St Paulinus of York (c 584-644) and St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572)

“While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.’” – Luke 11:27

REFLECTION – “Mary was more blessed in accepting the faith of Christ than in conceiving the flesh of Christ. To someone who said, “Blessed is the womb that bore you,” he replied, “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”

Finally, for his brothers, his relatives according to the flesh who did not believe in him, of what advantage was that relationship? Even her maternal relationship would have done Mary no good, unless she had borne Christ more happily in her heart, than in her flesh.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace – Holy Virginity, 3/

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, you sent St Paulinus and St Francis Borgia to be Your witnesses and to bring Your Church to the pagans for the salvation of souls. Sustain us by their prayers that by our lives we may lead all to You through Holy Mother Church. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SCANDAL, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 October – ‘Neglecting grace’ – Luke 11:15-26

One Minute Reflection – 9 October – Friday of the Twenty Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 3:7-14Psalms 111:1-23-45-6Luke 11: 15-26 and the Memorial of Saint Denis of Paris (Died c 258) and Companions, the First Bishop of Paris, Martyr

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came…” – Luke 11:24

REFLECTION – “The unclean spirit dwelt in us before we believed, before we came to Christ when our soul was still committing fornication against God and was with it’s lovers, the demons.
Afterward it said, “I will return to my first husband” and came to Christ, who “created” it from the beginning “in his image.”
Necessarily, the adulterous spirit gave up his place when it saw the legitimate husband.
Christ received us and our house has been “cleansed” from it’s former sins. It has been “furnished” with the furnishing of the sacraments of the faithful that they who have been initiated know.
This house does not deserve to have Christ as it’s resident immediately, unless it’s life and conduct are so holy, pure and incapable of being defiled, that it deserves to be the “temple of God.”
It should not still be a house but a temple in which God dwells.
If it neglects the grace that was received and entangles itself in secular affairs, immediately, that unclean spirit returns and claims the vacant house for itself.
“It brings with it seven other spirits more wicked,” so that it may not be able again to be expelled “and the last state of that kind of person is worse than the first.”

It would be more tolerable, that the soul would not have returned to it’s first husband once it became a prostitute, than having gone back after confession, to her husband, to have become an adulteress again.
There is no “fellowship,” as the apostle says, “between the temple of God and idols,” no “agreement between Christ and Belial.”Origen of Alexandria (c 185-253) (Homilies on Exodus, 8)

PRAYER – Lord God, You sent St Denis and his companions to proclaim Your glory to the nations and gave them the fortitude to die for Your sake. Help us, by their exmple, to meet with a like indifference, the triumphs and afflictions this world has to offer. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, one God with You and the Holy Spirit, now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 October – ‘… Ask then, unremittingly and without doubting …’ Luke 11:5-13

One Minute Reflection – 8 October – Thursday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 3:1-5, Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:69-7071-72,73-75Luke 11:5-13

“Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves… If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit, to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:5,13

REFLECTION – “In one place it is said that the Father “will give good things to those that ask him” (Mt 7:11), elsewhere, that he will “give the Holy Spirit to those that ask him” (Lk 11:13).

From this we learn that those who pray to God with steadfast faith in these promises receive, not only remission of sins but also heavenly gifts of grace. The Lord promised these “good things” not to the righteous but to sinners, saying: “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those that ask him?” (Lk 11:13). Ask then, unremittingly and without doubting, however poor your efforts to gain holiness, however weak your strength, you will receive great gifts, far beyond anything that you deserve. (…)

Struggle to preserve unimpaired the light that shines within your intellect. If passion begins to dominate you when you look at things, this means that the Lord has left you in darkness; He has dropped the reins with which He was guiding you (cf. Jb 30:11) and the light of your eyes is gone from you (cf. Ps 37[38]:10 LXX). Yet even if this happens, do not despair or give up but pray to God with the words of David: “O send out thy light and thy truth” to me in my gloom, “for thou art the salvation of my countenance and my God” (cf. Ps 42[43]:3, 5 LXX).

For “thou shalt send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created and thou shalt renew the face of the earth” (Cf. Ps 103[104]:30 LXX).” – John of Karpathos (Seventh century) Bishop and Monk – One Hundred Texts for the encouragement of the monks in India, nos. 45, 82

PRAYER – Lord God and Father, who entrusted the earth to men and each to the other, grant us the grace this day, to see Your Face in our neighbour and to seek all who need our help. Grant us the grace to work faithfully for Your glory, for the salvation of our souls through the light of faith You have given us. We beg the grace of Your love and mercy and the light of love You send with Your Holy Spirit. May the prayers of Mary our Holy Mother, keep us ever in her guiding care. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 October – God does not speak at all, to the soul that does not speak to Him

One Minute Reflection – 6 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 1:13-24, Psalms 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15, Luke 10: 38-42 and the Memorial of St Bruno O.Cart. (c 1030-1101)

“As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak…”– Luke 10:38-39

REFLECTION – “Adopt the habit of conversing one to one with God, familiarly, trustingly and with love, as though with the dearest and most affectionate friend you have. (…)

You are not being asked for a continual application of spirit that makes you forget your duties or even your recreational times. Without neglecting your occupations, you are only being asked to behave with God, in the different circumstances that present themselves, as you act with people who love you and whom you love. Your God is always beside you, not to say within you: “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Whoever wishes to speak to Him has no need of setting up an antechamber, far from it! God wants to see you treat Him without ceremony. Converse with Him about your affairs, projects, annoyances, fears and all that interests you. The essential thing, I repeat, is that you do it without embarrassment and with an open heart. Indeed, God does not speak at all, to the soul that does not speak to Him and who, in consequence, only hears His voice with difficulty, not being accustomed to speak to Him. (…)

It is true that we owe God sovereign respect. But when He favours you with the feeling of His presence and encourages you to speak to Him as to the best of your friends, open your heart freely and with all confidence.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church – To converse with God is both pleasant and easy

PRAYER – Lord God, You called St Bruno to serve You in a life of solitude. Amidst this world’s changes, help us, by his prayers, to set out hearts always on You. Heavenly Father, let me realise that You guide our lives through Your Providence, Your Word and Sacraments. Help me to be obedient to the rules for my state in life and so be obedient to Your will for me. Grant that the prayers of St Bruno may assist us as we strive to grow in humility. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 October – “I shall repay you on my way back.” – Luke 10:35

One Minute Reflection – 5 October – Monday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 1:6-12Psalms 111:1-27-89 and 10Luke 10: 25-37 and the Memorial of Blessed Raymond of Capua OP (c 1330-1399) “The Second Founder,” Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos CSsR (1819-1867), Blessed Bartholomew Longo (1841-1926) “Apostle of the Holy Rosary”

“The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’” – Luke 10:35

REFLECTION“Who is my neighbour?” In answer the Word explained, in the form of a story, God’s entire economy of salvation. He told of man’s descent from heaven, the robbers’ ambush, the stripping of the garment of immortality, the wounds of sin, the progress of death over half of man’s nature while his soul remained immortal. Then came the passage of the Law that brought no help—neither the priest nor the Levite tended the wounds of the man who fell among robbers—for “it was impossible for the blood of goats and oxen to remove man’s sin (Heb 10:4). And then He came, clothed in our human nature as the first-fruits of the mass in which there was a portion of every race, Jewish, Samaritan, Greek — all mankind. With His body (that is, the beast of the story) He proceeded to the place of man’s disaster, healed his wounds and set him upon His own beast. He created for him the inn of His loving providence, in which all those who labour and are burdened can find rest (Mt 11,28) (…)

“Whoever abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:56) (…) Whoever finds shelter in Christ’s mercy accepts two denarii from Him, one of which signifies the love of God with one’s whole heart and the other the love of one’s neighbour as oneself, according to the lawyer’s reply (Mk 12:30f). But “not the hearers of the law are just before God but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rm 2:13). Hence we must not merely accept these two coins (…) but we must, by our own good deeds, co-operate in the fulfilment of these two commandments. And so, the Lord says to the innkeeper, that whatever he does in caring for the wounded man will be made up to him at the Lord’s second coming according to the measure of his devotion.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church, Monk, Bishop – Sermons on the Song of Songs, no14 – [Brother of St Basil the Great (Father & Doctor)]

PRAYER – God our Father, we are Your children and You have set us aside to come home to You by the light of the way of Your divine Son. Grant we pray, that we may grow in faith and love for You and our neighbour daily, by the intercession of Saints Bl Raymond of Capua, Francis Xavier Seelos, Bartholomew Longo, may we learn the gentleness and tenderness of love, to all around us. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, GOD the FATHER, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – ‘… What love!’ – Matthew 21:42

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7Psalms 80:91213-1415-1619-20Philippians 4:6-9Matthew 21:33-43 and the Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (c 1181–1226)

“By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes” … Matthew 21:42

REFLECTION “Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18) Saint Paul thus brings out the greatness of the apostles, by showing us the ministry that was entrusted to them and at the same time, he shows us the love with which God loved us. After people refused to listen to Him who had been sent to them, God did not let His anger burst forth, He did not reject them. He persisted in calling them to Himself through the apostles. Who would not marvel at so much solicitude?

They killed the Son who had come to reconcile them, who was the only Son and of the same nature as the Father. The Father did not turn away from the murderers, He did not say: “I sent them my Son, and they, not satisfied with not having listened to Him, put Him to death and crucified Him. So now, it is only just that I abandon them.” He did the opposite. And after Christ had left earth, it is we, His ministers, who have the responsibility to replace Him. “He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean that God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s transgressions against them.”

What love! going beyond all words and intelligence! Who was it had been insulted? God Himself! And who takes the first step towards reconciliation? He Himself (…) If God had wanted to make us give an account, we would truly be lost since “all died” (2 Cor 5:14). But in spite of our many sins, He did not strike with His vengeance but He even reconciled us to Himself. Not satisfied with taking away our debt, He even considered it to be nothing. In the same way, we have to forgive our enemies if we ourselves want to obtain this generous forgiveness: “He has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”St John Chrysostom (345-407) Father and Doctor – Homily 11 on the Second Letter to the Corinthians, 4-5

PRAYER – All highest, glorious God,
cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts,
give us true faith, firm hope,
perfect charity and profound humility,
so that with wisdom,
courage and perception, O Lord,
we may do what is truly Your holy will.
Amen. By St Francis of Assisi

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 October – “Many prophets and kings desired to see what you see” … Luke 10:24

One Minute Reflection – 3 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Saturday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17, Psalms 119:66, 71, 75, 91, 125, 130, Luke 10:17-24

“Many prophets and kings desired to see what you see” … Luke 10:24

REFLECTION – “From the time of His birth we may suppose He held communion with the spirits of the Old Fathers, who had prepared His coming and prophesied of it. On one occasion He was seen all through the night, conversing with Moses and Elias, and that conversation was about His Passion. What a field of thought is thus opened to us, of which we know how little. When He passed whole nights in prayer (…) Who could support and (so to say) re-invigorate the Divine Lord better than that “praiseworthy number” of Prophets of which He was the fulfilment and antitype? Then He might talk with Abraham who saw His day (Jn 8:56), or (…) David and Jeremias; or with those who spoke most of Him, as Isaias and Daniel. And here was a fund of great sympathy. When He came up to Jerusalem to suffer, He might be met in spirit by all the holy priests, who had offered sacrifices in shadow of Him.” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, founder of the Oratory in England, Theologian – Meditations and Devotions: Part III, 2, 2, “Our Lord refuses sympathy”

PRAYER – Amidst this world’s changes, help us, by his prayers, to set out hearts always on You. Heavenly Father, let me realise that You guide our lives through Your Providence, Your Word and Sacraments. Help me to be obedient to the rules for my state in life and so be obedient to Your will for me. Grant that the prayers of our Blessed Mother, the Holy Virgin of the Rosary, may assist us as we strive to grow in humility. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ANGELS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 October – ‘… Direct me and lead me …’ – Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

One Minute Reflection – 2 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Sixth Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Job 38:1, 12-21; 40: 3-5, Psalms 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14, Matthew 18:1-5, 10 and The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” …Matthew 18:10

REFLECTION – “Ah, Jesus, Prince of Peace and Angel of great counsel, may You Yourself always be the guide at my right and the guardian of my pilgrimage, lest I move away and stray from You.
And deign to send from heaven, Your holy angel who, under Your lovingly-kind care, will be solicitous for me and, according to Your gracious purpose, direct me and lead me, perfect, along Your way back to You. (Ex 23:20).” … St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) Benedictine nun – Exercises I.60-63, 71-76, 78-86, 99-103.

“An Angel and a child with beads” by Josef Buchbinder (born 17 Dec 1839, Mordy, Poland – died 14 May 1909, Warsaw, Poland)

PRAYER – Lord God of hosts, in Your all-wise providence, You send angels to guard and protect us. Surround us with their watchful care on earth and give us the joy of their company, forever in heaven. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, with th Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 October – The seventy[two] disciples … Luke 10:1

One Minute Reflection – 1 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Job 19:21-27Psalms 27:7-88-913-14Luke 10:1-12 and the Memorial of St Romanos the Melodios (c 490-c 556) and St Thérèse of the Child Jesus/Lisieux OCD (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

“After this the Lord appointed seventy[-two] others whom He sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit…” … Luke 10:1

REFLECTION – “The names of the apostles of the Saviour are clear to everyone from the Gospels but no list of the seventy[two] disciples is in circulation anywhere. Some have said, to be sure, that Barnabas was one of them and the Acts of the Apostles and Paul writing to the Galatians, have made special mention of him. They say Sosthenes was of these as well. Together with Paul, he wrote to the Corinthians. Tradition also holds that Matthias, who was listed among the apostles in place of Judas and Joseph Justus, who was honoured with him, at the same casting of lots, were considered worthy of the same calling among the seventy. They say that Thaddaeus was also one of them, about whom I shall presently relate a story which has come down to us.

On observation, you would find that the disciples of the Saviour appear to have been more than the seventy [two]. Paul says that after the resurrection from the dead Cephas saw him first, then the Twelve. After these saw him, he was seen by more than five hundred brothers all at once, some of whom he says had fallen asleep, although the majority were still alive at the time that this account was being composed by him.” … Eusebius of Caesarea (c 260-c 340) Bishop, Historian, Theologian – (Ecclesiastical History, 1.)

PRAYER – God, our Father, Your promised Your Kingdom to the little ones and the humble of heart. Give us grace to walk confidently in the way of St Romanos and St Thérèse, so that helped by their prayers, we may see Your eternal glory. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 September – ‘Human obligation?’ Luke 9:62

One Minute Reflection – 30 September – Wednesday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Job 9:1-1214-16Psalms 88:10-1112-1314-15Luke 9:57-62 and the Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

“Jesus said to him, “No-one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” … Luke 9:62

REFLECTION – “The man said, “Allow me first to go and bury my father.” The Lord replied, “Let the dead bury their dead but go and preach the kingdom of God.” Another man said, “Let me first arrange my affairs at home.” He rebuked him with a stern threat, saying, “No man, putting his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.” … St Basil the Great (329-379) – Concerning Baptism

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You endowed Saint Jerome with a deep reverence and understanding of Holy Scripture, which he loved with all his heart. Sustain us evermore with Your word and teach us by their precepts. Help us to follow each word which Jesus, Your Son, our Redeemer, uttered that we may find therein the source of life. May the prayers of St Jerome assist us in our love and faithfulness. We ask this through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, Amen.

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD the FATHER, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

One Minute Reflection – 29 September – Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.

One Minute Reflection – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Apocalypse (Revelation) 12:7-12, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, Gospel: John 1:47-51

“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and it’s angels fought back …” … Apocalypse 12:7

REFLECTION – “We must not think that the devil and his angels dared to fight in heaven, since he could not even tempt Job without God’s permission. Rather by “heaven” he quite manifestly indicates the Church, where each one of the faithful constantly contends against spiritual evils. Therefore, the apostle says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers and against the world rulers of this present darkness.

And so he says here, that Michael with his angels fights against the devil because by praying according to the will of God, for the Church in this world and, by granting her his aid, he is properly understood to be fighting for her. And so the apostle says, “Are not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” Indeed, the name of Michael himself is interpreted to mean “the helper of God” and so, this work is properly assigned to him. Also Daniel said, that in the last distress, [Michael] would come for the succour of the church: “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who stands for the children of your people. And there shall be a time, such as has never been since the nations first began to be. And in that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.” The angels are said to be his by a certain manner of speaking, such as we read, “For their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

And so it speaks of those who, by believing, began to be citizens in Christ and thus are His angels, because they are regarded as protected by one guardian king and as made glad by one life-giving spirit. The devil and his angels are not only those who are similar to him in nature and will. They are also as men, who after being caught in his traps, became pursuers of such things. Indeed, because of the qualities of his wil,l it is said about the devil, “An evil man has done this” and about Judas, “[One of you] is a devil.” The devil is said to express himself by way of a twofold body. When he is conquered, he is said to be thrown out by those who have renounced him and have received faith in Christ and so no longer copy his errors. Rather, in them “love [remains] from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” Or, since the Church is already separated from any admixture of evil and is glorified by the future blessedness, no place is given to the devil and to his angels to seduce the evil, or to tempt the good. The psalm refers to him and says, “I passed by and lo! he was not and I sought him, but his place was not found.” … Primasius of Hadrumetum Bishop (Died c 560) – Commentary on the Apocalypse, 12

NOTE: Primasius (died c 560) was Bishop of Hadrumetum and primate of Byzacena, in Africa. One of the participants in the Three Chapters Controversy, his commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation), is of interest to modern scholars for it’s use of the lost commentary of Ticonius on the same book of the New Testament.

PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that the angels who always minister to You in heaven may defend us during our life on earth and protect us from evil. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on INNOCENCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 September – ‘… Being like-minded with Him and anxious to walk in His steps.’ – Luke 9:48

One Minute Reflection – 28 September – Monday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Job 1:6-22Psalms 17:12-36-7Luke 9:46-50 and The Memorial of Blessed Bernardine of Feltre OFM (1439-1494)

“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me, for he who is least among you all, is the one who is great.” … Luke 9:48

REFLECTION – “The passion and lust of pride attacked some of the holy apostles. The mere argument about who of them was the greatest is the mark of an ambitious person, eager to stand at the head of the rest. Christ, who did not sleep, knows how to deliver. He saw this thought in the disciple’s mind, springing up, in the words of Scripture, like some bitter plant. He saw the weeds, the work of the wicked sower. Before it grew up tall, struck its root down deep, grew strong and took possession of the heart, He tears up the evil by the very root. In what way does the Physician of souls amputate pride’s passion? How does He deliver the beloved disciple from being the prey of the enemy and from a thing hateful to God and man? “He took a child,” it says, “and set it by him.” He made the event a means of benefiting both the holy apostles themselves and us their successors. This illness, as a rule, preys upon all those who are in any respect superior to other people.

What kind of type and representation did He make the child He had taken? He made the child a representation of an innocent and humble life. The mind of a child is empty of fraud and his heart is sincere. His thoughts are simple. He does not covet rank and does not know what is meant by one man being higher than another is. Christ brought forward the child as a pattern of simplicity and innocence and set him by Him. He showed him as in an object lesson, that He accepts and loves those who are like the child. He thinks they are worthy of standing at His side, as being like-minded with Him and anxious to walk in His steps.” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Luke, Homily 54

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials and pride may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us. May the intercession of Blessed Bernardine of Feltre, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria! We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.