Posted in ON the SAINTS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Quote of the Day – 26 May – St Philip in his God by St John Henry Newman

Quote of the Day – 26 May – The Memorial of St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

St Philip in his God
By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

PHILIP, on thee the glowing ray
Of heaven came down upon thy prayer,
To melt thy heart, and burn away
All that of earthly dross was there.

Thy soul became as purest glass,
Through which the Brightness Incarnate
In undimm’d majesty might pass,
Transparent and illuminate.

And so, on Philip when we gaze,
We see the image of his Lord;
The Saint dissolves amid the blaze
Which circles round the Living Word.

Wonderful Quotes from St Philip here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/05/26/quote-s-of-the-day-26-may-marys-month-the-memorial-of-st-philip-neri-1515-1595/

St Philip in his god by st john henry newman 26 may 2020

Posted in ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, VATICAN Documents, VATICAN Resources

18 May 2020 – The Centenary of the Birth of St John Paul (1920-2005) – Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter

Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter Marking St John Paul II’s Birth Centenary

The English translation of this letter,
dated 4 May was released 15 May
by the Polish Bishops’ Conference.centenary of the birth of st john paul II 18 may 2020 no 2

“100 years ago, on 18 May, Pope John Paul II was born in the small Polish town of Wadowice.

After having been divided for over 100 years by three neighbouring major powers of Prussia, Russia, and Austria, Poland regained Her independence at the end of the First World War.   It was a historic event that gave birth to great hope but it also demanded much hardship as the new State, in the process of Her reorganisation, continued to feel the pressure of the two Powers of Germany and Russia.   In this situation of oppression, bu,t above all, in this situation marked by hope, young Karol Wojtyła grew up.   He lost his mother and his brother quite early and, in the end, his father as well, from whom he gained deep and warm piety.   The young Karol was particularly drawn by literature and theatre.   After passing his final secondary school exam, he chose to study these subjects.

“In order to avoid the deportation, in the fall of 1940 he went to work in a quarry of the Solvay chemical plant.”  (cf. Gift and Mystery).   “In the fall of 1942, he made the final decision to enter the Seminary of Kraków, which Kraków’s Archbishop Sapieha had secretly established in his residence.   As a factory worker, Karol already started studying theology in old textbooks; and so, on 1 November 1946, he could be ordained a priest.” (cf. Ibid.)   Of course, Karol not only studied theology in books but also through his experience of the difficult situation that he and his Country found itself in.   This is somewhat a characteristic of his whole life and work.   He studied books but the questions that they posed, became the reality that he profoundly experienced and lived. As a young Bishop — as an Auxiliary Bishop since 1958 and then Archbishop of Kraków from 1964 — the Second Vatican Council became the school of his entire life and work. The important questions that appeared, especially in connection with the so-called Schema 13 which would subsequently become the Constitution Gaudium et Spes, were questions that were also his own.   The answers developed by the Council would pave the way for his mission as Bishop and, later, as Pope.

When Cardinal Wojtyła was elected Successor of St Peter on 16 October 1978, the Church was in a dramatic situation.   The deliberations of the Council had been presented to the public as a dispute over the Faith itself, which seemed to deprive the Council of its infallible and unwavering sureness.   A Bavarian parish priest, for example, commented on the situation by saying, “In the end, we fell into the wrong faith.”   This feeling that nothing was no longer certain, that everything was questioned, was kindled even more by the method of implementation of liturgical reform.   In the end, it almost seemed that the liturgy could be created of itself.  St Paul VI brought the Council to an end with energy and determination but after its conclusion, he faced ever more pressing problems that ultimately questioned the existence of the Church Herself.   At that time, sociologists compared the Church’s situation to the situation of the Soviet Union under the rule of Gorbachev, during which the powerful structure of the Soviet State collapsed under the process of its reform.

Therefore, in essence, an almost impossible task was awaiting the new Pope.   Yet, from the first moment on, John Paul II aroused new enthusiasm for Christ and his Church.   His words from the sermon at the inauguration of his pontificate:  “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors for Christ!”   This call and tone would characterise his entire pontificate and made him a liberating restorer of the Church.   This was conditioned by the fact that the new Pope came from a country where the Council’s reception had been positive – one of a joyful renewal of everything rather than an attitude of doubt and uncertainty in all.

The Pope travelled the world, having made 104 pastoral voyages, proclaiming the Gospel wherever he went as a message of joy, explaining in this way, the obligation to defend what is Good and to be for Christ.

In his 14 Encyclicals, he comprehensively presented the faith of the Church and its teaching in a human way.   By doing this, he inevitably sparked contradiction in Church of the West, clouded by doubt and uncertainty.

It seems important today to define the true centre, from the perspective of which we can read the message contained in the various texts.   We could have noticed it at the hour of his death.   Pope John Paul II died in the first moments of the newly established Feast of Divine Mercy.   Let me first add a brief personal remark that seems an important aspect of the Pope’s nature and work.   From the very beginning, John Paul II was deeply touched by the message of Faustina Kowalska, a nun from Kraków, who emphasised Divine Mercy as an essential centre of the Christian faith.   She had hoped for the establishment of such a feast day.   After consultation, the Pope chose the Second Sunday of Easter.   However, before the final decision was made, he asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to express its view on the appropriateness of this date.   We responded negatively because such an ancient, traditional and meaningful date like the Sunday “in Albis” concluding the Octave of Easter should not be burdened with modern ideas.   It was certainly not easy for the Holy Father to accept our reply.   Yet, he did so with great humility and accepted our negative response a second time.   Finally, he formulated a proposal that left the Second Sunday of Easter in its historical form but included Divine Mercy in its original message.   There have often been similar cases in which I was impressed by the humility of this great Pope, who abandoned ideas he cherished because he could not find the approval of the official organs that must be asked according established norms.

When John Paul II took his last breaths on this world, the prayer of the First Vespers of the Feast of Divine Mercy had just ended.   This illuminated the hour of his death, the light of God’s mercy stands as a comforting message over his death.   In his last book Memory and Identity, which was published on the eve of his death, the Pope once again summarised the message of Divine Mercy.   He pointed out that Sister Faustina died before the horrors of the Second World War but already gave the Lord’s answer to all this unbearable strife.   It was as if Christ wanted to say through Faustina:  “Evil will not get the final victory.   The mystery of Easter affirms that good will ultimately be victorious, that life will triumph over death and that love will overcome hatred”.

Throughout his life, the Pope sought to subjectively appropriate the objective centre of Christian faith, the doctrine of salvation and to help others to make it theirs.   Through the resurrected Christ, God’s mercy is intended for every individual.   Although this centre of Christian existence is given to us only in faith, it is also philosophically significant, because if God’s mercy were not a fact, then we would have to find our way in a world where the ultimate power of good against evil is not recognisable.   It is finally, beyond this objective historical significance, indispensable for everyone to know, that in the end God’s mercy is stronger than our weakness.   Moreover, at this point, the inner unity of the message of John Paul II and the basic intentions of Pope Francis can also be found – John Paul II is not the moral rigourist as some have partially portrayed him.   With the centrality of divine mercy, he gives us the opportunity to accept moral requirement for man, even if we can never fully meet it.   Besides, our moral endeavours are made in the light of divine mercy, which proves to be a force that heals for our weakness.

While Pope John Paul II was dying, St Peter’s Square was filled with people, especially many young people, who wanted to meet their Pope one last time.   I cannot forget the moment when Archbishop Sandri announced the message of the Pope’s departure. Above all, the moment when the great bell of St Peter’s took up this message remains unforgettable.   On the day of his funeral, there were many posters with the words “Santo subito!”   It was a cry that rose from the encounter with John Paul II from all sides. Not from the square but also in different intellectual circles the idea of giving John Paul II the title “the Great” was discussed.

The word “saint” indicates God’s sphere and the word “great” the human dimension. According to the Church’s standards, sanctity can be recognised by two criteria – heroic virtues and a miracle.   These two standards are closely related.   Since the word “heroic virtue” does not mean a kind of Olympic achievement but rather that something becomes visible in and through a person that is not his own but God’s work which becomes recognisable in and through him.   This is not a kind of moral competition but the result of renouncing one’s own greatness.   The point is, that a person lets God work on him and so God’s work and power become visible through him.

The same applies to the criterion of the miracle – here too, what counts is not that something sensational happening but the visible revelation of God’s healing goodness, which transcends all merely human possibilities.   A saint is the man who is open to God and permeated by God.   A holy man is the one who leads away from himself and lets us see and recognise God.   Checking this juridically, as far as possible, is the purpose of the two processes for Beatification and Canonisation.   In the case of John Paul II, both were carried out strictly according to the applicable rules.   So, now he stands before us as the Father, who makes God’s mercy and kindness visible to us.

It is more difficult to correctly define the term “great.”   In the course of the almost 2,000-year long history of the papacy, the title “the Great” has been maintained only for two popes:  Leo I (440 – 461) and Gregory I (590 – 604).   In the case of both, the word “great” has a political connotation but precisely because something of the mystery of God himself becomes visible through their political success.   Through dialogue, Leo the Great was able to convince Attila, the Prince of Huns, to spare Rome – the city of the Apostolic Princes Peter and Paul.   Without weapons, without military or political power, through the power of his conviction for his faith, he was able to convince the feared tyrant to spare Rome.   In the struggle between the spirit and power, the spirit proved stronger.

Gregory I’s success was not as spectacular but he was repeatedly able to protect Rome against the Lombard — here too, by opposing the spirit against power and winning the victory of the spirit.

If we compare both stories with that of John Paul II, the similarity is unmistakable.   John Paul II also had no military or political power.   During the discussion about the future shape of Europe and Germany in February 1945, it was said that the Pope’s reaction should also be taken into account.   Stalin then asked: “How many divisions does the Pope have?”   Well, he had no available division.   However, the power of faith turned out to be a force that finally unhinged the Soviet power system in 1989 and made a new beginning possible.   Undisputedly, the Pope’s faith was an essential element in the collapse of the powers.   And so, the greatness that appeared in Leo I and Gregory I is certainly also visible here.

Let us leave open the question of whether the epithet “the great” will prevail or not.   It is true that God’s power and goodness have become visible to all of us in John Paul II.   In a time when the Church is again suffering from the oppression of evil, he is for us a sign of hope and confidence.”

On the Anniversary of his Birth, we ask for his intercession.

Vatican Official Prayer to St John Paul II

Oh, St John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing!
Bless the church that you loved and served and guided,
courageously leading it along the paths of the world,
in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus.
Bless the young, who were your great passion.
Help them dream again, help them look up high again,
to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless families, bless each family!
You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious
and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth.
St John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family
and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions,
wars and injustice.
You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love:
pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
Oh St John Paul, from heaven’s window,
where we see you next to Mary,
send God’s blessing down upon us all.
Amenprayer-to-st-john-paul-birthday-today-18-may-20181 and 18 May 2020

St John Paul, Pray for Us!

ST john paul pray for us 18 may 2020 centenary of his birth

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, ON the SAINTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, St Louis-Marie Grignion de MONTFORT, To JESUS through MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 28 May – God alone!

Quote/s of the Day – 28 May – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter and the Memorial of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), St Peter Chanel (1803-1841) Priest and Martyr, St Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962), Blessed María Felicia of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament OCD (1925-1959)

“God alone!”

GOD ALONE - st louis de montfort 28 april 2020

“Chosen soul, how will you bring this about?
What steps will you take to reach the high level
to which God is calling you?
The means of holiness and salvation,
are known to everybody,
since they are found in the Gospel,
the masters of the spiritual life have explained them,
the Saints have practised them…
These means are –
sincere Humility,
unceasing Prayer,
complete Self-denial,
abandonment to Divine Providence
and obedience to the Will of God.”

chosen soul how will you bring this about - st louis de montfort 28 april 2020

“Since grace enhances our human nature
and glory adds a still greater perfection to grace,
it is certain, that our Lord remains in heaven,
just as much the Son of Mary as He was on earth.
Consequently, He has retained the submissiveness
and obedience of the most Perfect of all Children,
towards the Best of all Mothers.”

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #27

since grace enhances our human nature and glory - st louis de montfort 28 april 2020

“The greatest saints,
those richest in grace and virtue,
will be the most assiduous in praying
to the most Blessed Virgin,
looking up to her,
as the perfect model to imitate
and as a powerful helper to assist them. “

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

the greatest saints - st louis de montfort 28 april 2020

“It does not matter, whether or not I am killed,
the religion has taken root on the island,
it will not be destroyed by my death,
since it comes not from men but from God.”

St Peter Chanel (1803-1841) Priest and Martyr

it does not matter whether or not i am killed - st peter chanel 28 april 2020

“The stillness of prayer
is the most essential condition
for fruitful action.
Before all else,
the disciple kneels down.”

the-stillness-of-prayer-st-gianna-molla-28-april-2018

“Our body is a cenacle,
a monstrance –
through its crystal,
the world should see God.”

St Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962)

our body is a cenacle - st gianna molla - 28 april 2018

“Father, for Your glory,
accept the total surrender of my being,
in union with the perfect sacrifice of Your divine Son.
In Him, through Him and with Him,
I live, love, believe, suffer and die….”

Blessed María Felicia of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (1925-1959)

Father for your glory - bl maria of jesus in the bl sac - 28 april 2020

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Thought for the Day – 2 April – The Imitation of the Saints

Thought for the Day – 2 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Imitation of the Saints

we are taught by words and we are attracted by examples - bacci 2 april 2020

“We are taught by words and we are attracted by examples.
Speech is a wonderful gift from God.
By means of it, we photography our thoughts, as it were and communicate them to others.
We express our wishes and our commands; we give life and colour to the innermost feelings of the heart.
We can employ the spoken word to do great good or to do great evil.
We can teach and educate, or we can deceive and corrupt.

Speech is an extraordinary gift and one day, we shall have to render God a strict account of it.
Learn from the Saints.
They understood perfectly, that they have to account, not only for evil or deceitful words but, “that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgement” (Mt 12:36).
For this reason, their conversation was always impregnated with divine wisdom.
By their instruction and advice, they raised men’s minds to an appreciation of heavenly truths and encouraged them to practice virtue.
They did this, not only by word but, also by example.
Their own lives were a complete theoretical and practical model, which led others towards sanctity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head’

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalm 23, Matthew 16:13-19

“Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18matthew 16 18 upon this rock i will build my church 22 feb 2020 chair of st peter

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 Consecrationnothing escaped the wisdom and power of christ - 22 feb 2020 chari of st peter st pope leo the great

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.st peter pope apostle martyr pray for us 22 feb 2020 chair of st peter

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 February – Doing Everything for the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 8 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Doing Everything for the Love of God

“The beginning of perfection consists in doing the will of God, even in our smallest actions.
But, to do everything for the love of God, is the summit of Christian perfection.
If we aimed always at doing God’s will and acting from the motive of love for Him, we should be contented and at peace, because we should be holy.
The saints are the only people who remain calm and undisturbed in the midst of worldly adversity.
They are always content, because they live in God.
Their lives are in full conformity with His Will, guided by His Love and dedicated to His Service.
As a result, they live in a kind of spiritual stratosphere far above the storms of this world.
There they are above the clouds of pride, ambition, avarice and all the other major vices.
There they see and contemplate everything in the Light of God.
Let us become saints.
Then we shall have solved all the problems of life!.” Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

the saints are the only people who remain calm - bacci 8 feb 2020

Posted in ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thought for the Day – 30 January – Let us never give up the pursuit of holiness, amen!

Second Thought for the Day – 30 January – The Memorial of Blessed Sebastian Valfrè CO (1629-1710)

Blessed Sebastian’s sanctity, under God, arose from his struggles to conform himself to Saint Philip – and that was quite a task.   Whereas Philip was gentle and kind by nature, Sebastian was harsh and prone to outbursts of anger.   Philip had to refrain from extended prayer in public for fear of going into ecstasy.   Sebastian experienced nothing but dryness in prayer and had to keep his mind from wandering.   The thought of death and judgement so tormented him, that he could not sleep at night.
And Sebastian found one of the principal works of the Oratory – the hearing of confessions – so repugnant that the congregation could not prevail upon him to accept faculties until ten years after his ordination.   Yet, he was able to overcome all these difficulties and always to maintain a serene and joyful expression, so that everyone considered him to be another Saint Philip.

Community life presented Sebastian with many opportunities for mortifying his short temper.   When teaching theology to the novices, he had to endure a student who had no interest in the subject and showed his annoyance by constantly arguing and contradicting the professor.
Sebastian patiently answered his objections and did not betray his own displeasure, although, as he confided to one of the fathers, the very sight of the man filled him with repugnance.   The novice subsequently left the congregation; more serious, however and more enduring was Sebastian’s natural antipathy for one of the fathers.   He admitted that there was nothing objectively wrong with the priest but that the dislike was so strong that he had to take a private vow to endure the father’s company.   Sebastian believed that he never once betrayed his feelings and was grateful for the opportunity to mortify his nature which he recognised to be imperfect.

Sebastian had a beautiful plaster Crucifix, over the prie-Dieu in his room, to which he was quite attached.    He once asked a father to get some papers for him which were inside the flap of the prie-Dieu.   In opening the flap, the priest let it slip and it shattered the crucifix into tiny pieces.   Sebastian, although he was in the room when it happened, remained calm, told the father not to trouble himself with it and swept up the pieces himself.

The Congregation of the Oratory derives its name from a place of prayer and Saint Philip used to say that anyone who did not intend to pray should leave the community. Sebastian, although he was intent on praying, found prayer extremely difficult.   He found it dry and God seemed to be very far away from him.   When engaged in mental prayer, Sebastian found it hard to concentrate, although he was careful to prepare his meditations.   The inability to concentrate was especially painful to him when saying his office and he seems to have given in to scruples on occasion, reciting the office more than once.   And at Mass, too, he found it difficult to concentrate, although for a brief time after Communion, his soul found some peace.

Sebastian remained in this state of anguish for many years.   But, although he suffered interiorly, he was able to lead his penitents in the way of Christian joy associated with his spiritual father, Saint Philip.   Sebastian, himself, acknowledged the value of these torments in teaching him perfect detachment from all earthly things.   Others have seen them as protecting his humility from his admiring disciples who were intent on bestowing every honour upon the Saint.

Blessed Sebastian is a model of perseverance and a great source of hope.   He fought against imperfections such as his temper and repugnances and prevailed.   And he persevered in prayer although he did not find any consolation there but, more often than not, spiritual torment.   Yet, God used these means to purify him and present him to the outside world as a great saint full of Christian joy.   His exemplary life of holiness would inspire the Church in Turin for many generations and now, he inspires the faithful in perseverance, hope and humility, knowing that we are all called to be Saints too!   It is comforting and a source of consolation to realise, that the Saints too, experienced the hardships we sometimes do – let us never give up the pursuit of holiness, amen.

Blessed Sebastian Valfrè, Pray for Us!

bl sebastian valfre pray for us no 3

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Thought for the Day – 18 January – The Veneration and Imitation of the Saints

Thought for the Day – 18 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

The Veneration and Imitation of the Saintswhat a wonder a saint is - bacci 18 jan 2020

“If anyone has the good fortune during his lifetime to meet a Saint, he should be very grateful to God.
What a wonder a Saint is!
He is a man, in whom God lives in the fullness of His grace, in such a way, that St Paul could say:  “It is now no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me.” (Gal 2:20).

He is a man of great spiritual tranquillity, who, by being master of things outside himself, as well as of the inner powers of his own being, can pay the full homage of love and obedience to God.
He is a man from whose glance, there flashes, the living image of God.
He can be found on a bed of pain, in the rags of a beggar, beneath the purple of a Cardinal, in the solitude of a hermitage, or in the hurly-burly of modern life.
It is all the same, because he is no longer involved with himself, nor with the world.
He seeks God alone, Who is his love and his glory.
Such is a Saint.
If we are not lucky enough to meet him in reality, we can and should, read and meditate about his life.
The literature of the Saints, is a practical complement to the Gospel, because, it shows us, how the Gospel should be lived.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MYSTICS, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Pope Benedict and St Angela of Foligno

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas – the Memorial of Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)

“Dear brothers and sisters, Blessed Angela’s life began with a worldly existence, rather remote from God.   Yet her meeting with the figure of St Francis and, finally, her meeting with Christ Crucified, reawakened her soul to the presence of God, for the reason that with God alone life becomes true life, because, in sorrow for sin, it becomes love and joy.   And this is how Blessed Angela speaks to us.

Today we all risk living as though God did not exist, God seems so distant from daily life. However, God has thousands of ways of His own for each one, to make Himself present in the soul, to show that He exists and knows and loves me.   And Blessed Angela wishes to make us attentive to these signs with which the Lord touches our soul, attentive to God’s presence, so as to learn the way with God and towards God, in communion with Christ Crucified.

Let us pray the Lord that He make us attentive to the signs of His presence and that He teach us truly to live.”

Pope Benedict XVI
A talk on Angela of Foligno – October, 2010today we all rish living as if god did not exist - pope benedict - 1000s of ways on st angela of foligno 4 jan 2019.jpg

“O children of God,
transform yourselves totally
in the human-God who so loved you
that He chose to die for you,
a most ignominious and altogether
unutterably painful death
and in the most painful and bitterest way.
And this was solely for love of you,
O human being.”

Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)o children of god - st angela of foligno 4 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Thought for the Day – 27 December – ‘He gives all for all and has all in all’ – St John the Beloved

Thought for the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

“There are [Saints] … who are so absorbed in the divine life, that they seem, even while they are in the flesh, to have no part in earth or in human nature but, to think, speak and act under views, affections and motives, simply supernatural.
If they love others, it is simply because they love God and because man is the object, either of His compassion , or of His praise.
If they rejoice, it is in what is unseen, if they feel interest, it is in what is unearthly, if they speak, it is almost with the voice of Angels, if they eat or drink, it is almost of Angels’ food alone – for it is recorded in their histories, that for weeks, they have fed on nothing else but that Heavenly Bread, which is the proper sustenance of the soul.

Such we may suppose, to have been St John!”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)the love of jesus - st john 27 dec 2019 thomas a kempis.jpg

“The love of Jesus is noble and generous, it spurs us onto do great things and excites us to desire always, that which is most perfect.   Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath.   Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections… for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created.   The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held.   He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in one sovereign Good above all, from Whom all good flows and proceeds”

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter V, 3-4

St John, Beloved of the Lord, Pray for Us!st john beloved of the lord pray for us 27 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Beloved of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

“John’s God-illumined mind,
conceived the incomparable height of divine wisdom,
when he reclined on the Redeemer’s breast,
during the holy Last Supper meal (Jn 13:25).
And because “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3)
are within the heart of Jesus, it is from there, that he drew
and from there, that he greatly enriched our wretchedness,
as people who are poor and generously distributed these goods,
taken from their source, for the salvation of the whole world.
And because this blessed John speaks about God
in a marvellous way, that cannot be compared to that of anyone else,
it is only right that the Greeks as well as the Latins
have given him the name of “Theologian”.
Mary is “Theotokos” because she has truly given birth to God;
John is “Theologos” because he saw in an indescribable way,
that the Word of God, was with the Father
before the beginning of time and was God (Jn 1:1)
and because, too, he spoke about this, with extraordinary depth.”

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churchjohns-god-illumined-mind-st-peter-damian-27-dec-2018 and 2019.jpg

“If Moses, after having conversed
with God in the cloud,
came from the Divine interview
with rays of miraculous light encircling his head,
how radiant must have been the face of St John,
which had rested on the very Heart of Jesus,
in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge [Col. ii 3]
how sublime his writings!
how Divine his teaching!”if moses after having conversed with god - abbott gueranger on ST JOHN 27 dec 2019.jpg

“Then too, as Son and Guardian of Mary,
thou hast to present us to thine own and our Mother.
Ask her to give us, somewhat of the tender love,
wherewith she watches over the Crib of her Divine Son,
to see in us, the Brothers of that Child she bore
and to admit us, to a share of the maternal affection,
she had for thee, the favoured confidant
of the secrets of her Jesus.”

Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)then too, as son and guardian of mary - st john - by abbott guerange - 27 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in GOD is LOVE, I BELIEVE!, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote of the Day – 20 December – ‘Awaken hope!’

Quote of the Day – 20 December – The Memorial of Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr

“The blessed martyrs cry to our hearts.
Believe in God who is love!
Believe in Him in good times and bad!
Awaken hope!
May it produce in you,
the fruit of fidelity to God,
in every trial!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

At the Beatification of the 108 Martyrs of World War Two in Poland, 13 June 1999the blessed martyrs cry to our hearts believe in god who is love - st john paul 20 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 November – “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

One Minute Reflection – 9 November – The Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran – Gospel: John 2:13–22

“Zeal for your house will consume me.” ... John 2:18

REFLECTION – “Is a cathedral the offspring of a random thought, a thing to will and to accomplish at our pleasure?… Surely the churches which we inherit are not the purchase of wealth nor the creation of genius, they are the fruits of martyrdom.   They come of high deeds and sufferings, as long before their very building as we are after it.   Their foundations are laid very deep, even in the preaching of apostles and the confession of saints and the first victories of the gospel in our land.   All that is so noble in their architecture, all that captivates the eye and makes its way to the heart, is not a human imagination but a divine gift, a moral result, a spiritual work.

The Cross is ever planted in hazard and suffering and is watered with tears and blood. No where does it take root and bear fruit, except its preaching be with self-denial.   It is easy, indeed, for the ruling powers to make a decree and set religion on high and extend its range,and herald its name but they cannot plant it, they can but impose it.   The Church alone can plant the Church.   The Church alone can found her sees and inclose herself within walls.   None but saintly men, mortified men, preachers of righteousness, and confessors for the truth, can create a home for the truth in any land.

Thus the Temples of God are withal the monuments of His saints…   Their simplicity, grandeur, solidity, elevation, grace and exuberance of ornament, do but bring to remembrance the patience and purity, the courage, meekness and great charity, the heavenly affections, the activity in well-doing, the faith and resignation, of men who themselves did but worship in mountains and in deserts,and in caves and dens of the earth.   They laboured but not in vain, for other men entered into their labours (cf. Jn 4:38) and, as if by natural consequence, at length their word prospered after them and made itself a home, even these sacred palaces in which it has so long dwelt…   O happy they who, in a sorrowful time, avail themselves of this bond of communion with the saints of old and with the universal Church!…   Happy they, who when they enter within their holy limits, enter in heart into the court of Heaven!” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, Founder of the Oratory in England, Theologian – PPS vol. 6, 19john 2 18 zeal for your house - thus the temples of the lord - st john henry newman 9 nov 2019 lateran basilica

PRAYER – Almighty God, as we recall with joy, the Dedication of this house of Yours on each recurring anniversary, listen to Your people’s prayer and grant that our worship here may be a sincere and holy service, honouring Your Name and bringing us the fullness of redemption.  feast-of-the-dedication-of-st-john-lateran-9-nov-2018 and 2019Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 7 November – From our Dominican Friends in Heaven

Quote/s of the Day – 7 November – The Memorial of All Dominican Saints

Just a few quotes from Dominican Saints

“Heretics are to be converted
by an example of humility
and other virtues
far more readily,
than by any external
display or verbal battles.
So let us arm ourselves with
devout prayers
and set off,
showing signs of genuine humility
and go barefooted
to combat
Goliath.”

St Dominic (1170-1221)heretics-are-to-be-converted-st-dominic-8-aug-201 and 5 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

“Anyone who receives this Sacrament,
with the devotion of sincere faith,
will never taste death.”

St Albert the Great (1200-1280) OP Doctor of the Churchanyone-who-receives-this-sacrament-st-albert-the-great-15-nov-2018 and 7 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

“Do not be attached, therefore,
to clothing and riches
because they divided My garments among themselves.
Nor to honours, for I experienced harsh words and scourgings.
Nor to greatness of rank,
for weaving a crown of thorns,
they placed it on My head.
Nor to anything delightful,
for in My thirst, they gave Me vinegar to drink.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor of the Churchdo-not-be-attached-therefore-st-thomas-aquinas-24-feb-humility and 5 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

“Remember that you will derive strength
by reflecting that the saints,
yearn for you
to join their ranks,
desire to see you fight bravely,
and behave like a true knight
in your encounters
with the same adversities
which they had to conquer
and that breathtaking joy
is the eternal reward,
for having endured a few years,
of temporal pain.
Every drop of earthly bitterness,
will be changed into
an ocean of heavenly sweetness.”

Blessed Henry Suso OP (1290-1365)remember-that-you-will-derive-strength-lenten-thought-23-march-2019-bl-henry-suso and 5 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

“He will provide the way and the means,
such as you could never have imagined.
Leave it all to Him,
let go of yourself,
lose yourself on the Cross
and you will find yourself entirely.”he will provide the way and the means - st catherine of siena - 7 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

“Speak the truth in a million voices.
It is silence that kills!”speak the truth in a million voices - st catherine of siena - 29 april 2019.jpg

“What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body?
Why? For God is in love with all those things
and He might weep when they are gone!”

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Churchwhat-is-it-you-want-to-change-st-catherine-of-siena-29-april-2018 and 7 nov 2019 all dominican saints.jpg

“Once humility is acquired,
charity will come to life,
like a burning flame,
devouring the corruption of vice
and filling the heart so full,
that there is no place for vanity.”…

St Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419)once-humility-is-acquired-st-vincent-ferrer-5-april-2019 and 7 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

“Apart from the Cross
there is no other ‘ladder’
by which we might get to heaven.”

St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)apart-from-the-cross-st-rose-of-lima-23-aug-2017 and 5 nov 2019 all dom saints.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 5 November – Saint Guido Maria Conforti:  Driven by the Gospel

Our Morning Offering – 5 November – Saint Guido Maria Conforti (1865-1931)

Prayer of the Church
The Church honours Saint Guido Maria Conforti

These prayers are composed based on certain characteristics of Saint Guido Maria Conforti and his life as Bishop and Founder.   From his writings and the witness of people who have come to know this great Bishop of the 20th century, we appreciate his gifts as follower of the Word, Good Shepherd, contemplative of the Cross, faithful disciple, founder of a missionary family, at the service of humanity, model of unity, discerner of the signs of the times, a person driven by the Gospel and a disciple of Jesus the missionary of the Father.

Saint Guido Maria Conforti:  Driven by the Gospel

O God, who through
the contemplation of the Cross,
imprinted on the heart
of Saint Guido Maria Conforti
a burning love for the proclamation
of the Gospel to all nations.
Grant that, through his intercession,
we too may be filled by the same love of Christ,
to constantly work for the salvation
of all our brothers and sisters.
Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.
Amen

More beautiful prayers here: http://www.guidoconforti.com/Resource/Res_PrayerChurch.htmst guido maria conforti driven by the gospel - 5 november 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Thought for the Day – 1 November -The Idea of a Saint by St John Henry Newman

Thought for the Day – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints

The Idea of a Saint

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

“Very various are the saints, their very variety is a token of God’s workmanship but, however various and whatever was their special line of duty, they have been heroes in it, they have attained such noble self-command,
they have so crucified the flesh,
they have so renounced the world,
they are so meek,
so gentle,
so tenderhearted,
so merciful,
so sweet,
so cheerful,
so full of prayer,
so diligent, so forgetful of injuries – they have attained such great and continued pains,
they have persevered in such vast labours,
they have made such valiant confessions,
they have wrought such abundant miracles,
they have been blessed with such strange successes,
that they have set up a standard before us of truth, of magnanimity, of holiness, of love.

They are not always our examples, we are not always bound to follow them – not more than we are bound to obey literally, some of our Lord’s precepts, such as turning the cheek or giving away the coat – not more than we can follow the course of the sun, moon or stars in the heavens;
but, though not always our examples,
they are always our standard of right and good,
they are raised up to be monuments and lessons,
they remind us of God,
they introduce us into the unseen world,
they teach us what Christ loves,
they track out for us the way which leads heavenwards.
They are to us who see them, what wealth, notoriety, rank and name are to the multitude of men who live in darkness – objects of our veneration and of our homage.

Give me grace, O Jesus,
to live in sight of that blessed company.
Let my life be spent in the presence of Thee
and Thy closest friends.
Though I see them not,
let not what I do see seduce me, to give my heart elsewhere.
Because Thou hast blessed me so much
and given to me friends,
let me not depend or rely or throw myself
in any way upon them
but on those with whom
Thou did surround Thyself on earth
and now delight Thyself in heaven.
Be my soul with Thee
and, because with Thee,
with Mary and Joseph
and Elizabeth and John.
Amenall saints - give me grace o jesus st john henry newman 1 nov 2019.jpg

All Holy Saints in Heaven, not forgetting You, St John Henry, Pray for Us!holy-saints-pray-for-us-1-nov-2018 and 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – On the Saints

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints

“Follow Me”

Matthew 9:9matthew 9 9 the calling of matthew follow me 21 sept 2019

“Follow the saints,
because those who follow them
will become saints.”

Saint Pope Clement I (c 35-99)follow the saints - 17 august 2019 st pope clement I

“This is the army the Lord raises,
these are the children of the baptismal font,
the works of grace, the fruit of the Spirit.
They have followed Christ without having seen Him,
they sought Him and believed.
They recognised Him with the eyes of faith not those of the body.
They have not put their finger into the mark of the nails
but they have bound themselves to His cross and embraced His sufferings.
They have not seen the Lord’s side but, by grace,
they have become members of His body
and have made His words their own:
“Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe!”

Basil of Seleucia (Died c 468) Bishopthis-is-the-army-the-lord-raises-basil-of-seleucia-feast-of-st-thomas-3-july-2019 AND 1 NOV 2019.jpg

The Angel to Gerontius
“There was a mortal, who is now above
In the mid-glory – he, when near to die,
Was given communion with the Crucified –
Such, that the Master’s very wounds were stamp’d
Upon his flesh and, from the agony
Which thrill’d through body and soul in that embrace
Learn, that the flame of the Everlasting Love
Doth burn, ere it transform ….”

From the Dream of Gerontius
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)the-angel-to-gerontius-from-the-dram-of-gerontius-bl-john-henry-newman-on-st-francis-4-oct-2019 AND 1 NOV 2019.jpg

“God creates out of nothing.
Wonderful you say.
Yes, to be sure but He does.
what is still more wonderful,
He makes saints out of sinners.”god creates out of nothing - soren kierkegaard - 1 nov 2017

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over,
the Martyr dies and his rule begins.”

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)the tyrant dies and his rule is over the martyr dies and his rule begins - soren kierkegaard 21 jan 2019

“Let us speak about saints to forge saints.”

Saint Jose Maria de Yermo y Parres (1851–1904)let us spak about saints to forge saints - st jose maria parres 20 sept 2019.jpg

“For the saints are sent to us by God
as so many sermons.
We do not use them, it is they who move us
and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.”

Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975)

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/11/01/quote-s-of-the-day-1-november-the-solemnity-of-all-the-saints/

the saints are sent to us by god - card charles journet 21 march 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – ‘With all the Saints…’

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – The Solemnity of All the Saints, Gospel: Matthew 5:1–12

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

REFLECTION – “But in the last day of the judgement of God, after we shall have risen again with our glorified bodies through the power of the Lord, these same shall be white and gleaming as snow shining clear in the sun, transparent as crystal…   And Christ our cantor and precentor, shall sing with His glorious sweet voice, an endless canticle of the praise and honour of His heavenly Father and we shall all sing the same, with glad heart and clear voice, eternally and without end.   The joy and glory of our souls, shall flow into our senses and through all our members and we shall look upon ourselves with eyes of glory, hearing and declaring and singing the praise of the Lord with unfailing voices.

Christ shall minister to us and show us His radiant Face and His glorious Body with all the marks of faithfulness and love therein impressed.   And we shall see all the glorious bodies clothed with all the many tokens of love won in the service of God since the beginning of the world…  And our living hearts shall flame with burning love for God and all His saints…

Christ in His human nature, shall rule the right-hand choir, for He is the loftiest and noblest being of all that has been made by God and to this choir belong all in whom He lives and who live in Him.   The other choir is that of the angels, for although they are of a more excellent nature, we have a higher gift in Jesus Christ, with Whom we are one. And on that account, Christ Jesus will be the High Priest between the choirs of angels and of men before the throne of the sovereign majesty of God.   And before His heavenly Father, God Almighty, He will offer and renew all sacrifices which have ever been offered by angels and by men and these same, shall be ceaselessly renewed and remain established in the glory of God.” … Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381) Canon Regular, “Doctor Divinus Ecstaticus” , Mystic, Spiritual Writer – The seven steps of the ladder of spiritual loverejoice and be glad - matthew 5 12 - christ shall minister to us bl jan van ruysbroec 1 nov 2019.jpg

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.mother-mary-trusted-guide-pray-for-us-1-nov-2018and 2019

all saints in heaven pray for us 1 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, ON the SAINTS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 1 November – For All the Saints

Our Morning Offering – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints

For All the Saints
From the Breviary
Evening Prayer I

For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Thou was their Rock, their Fortress and their Might,
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight,
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia, alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine,
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day,
The saints triumphant rise in bright array,
The King of glory passes on His way:
Alleluia, alleluia!for all the saints - breviary evening prayer I 1 Nov 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on MISSION, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the Day – 28 October – As the Father Sent Me, so I am Sending You

Thought for the Day – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs, Gospel: Luke 6:12-19

As the Father Sent Me, so I am Sending You

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Gospel of John

Our Lord Jesus Christ has appointed certain men to be guides and teachers of the world and stewards of His divine mysteries.   Now He bids them to shine out like lamps and to cast out their light, not only over the land of the Jews but over every country under the sun and over people scattered in all directions and settled in distant lands.   That man has spoken truly who said:  No one takes honour upon himself, except the one who is called by God, for it was our Lord Jesus Christ who called His own disciples before all others to a most glorious apostolate.   These holy men became the pillar and mainstay of the truth and Jesus said that He was sending them just as the Father had sent Him.

By these words, He is making clear, the dignity of the apostolate and the incomparable glory of the power given to them but He is also, it would seem, giving them a hint about the methods they are to adopt, in their apostolic mission.   For if Christ thought it necessary to send out His intimate disciples in this fashion, just as the Father had sent Him, then surely, it was necessary, that they, whose mission was to be patterned on that of Jesus, should see exactly why the Father had sent the Son.   And so Christ interpreted the character of His mission to us in a variety of ways.   Once He said – I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.   And then at another time He said – I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent me.   For God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him.

Accordingly, in affirming that they are sent by Him just as He was sent by the Father, Christ sums up in a few words the approach they themselves should take to their ministry.   From what He said, they would gather that it was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick, whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealing, never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and, as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.

Surely it is in all these respects, that we find His holy disciples striving to excel.   To ascertain this is no great labour, a single reading of the Acts of the Apostles or of Saint Paul’s writings is enough.

Sts Simon and Jude, Pray for Us!sts-simon-and-jude-pray-for-us-28-oct-2018 and 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – “The weakness of God is stronger than all men”

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs, Gospel: Luke 6:12-19

And when it was day, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostle … Luke 6:13luke 6 13 he called his disciples and chose twleve - 28 oct 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Saint Paul said:  “The weakness of God is stronger than all men” (1Cor 1:25).   It is clear from this too that the gospel is divine.   For whence did it strike twelve unlettered men to attempt such great enterprises, men who were living in marshes, or rivers, in desert places, who had never perhaps gone into a city or the public square? Whence did it strike them to array themselves against the whole world?   That they were cowardly and unmanly, he who has written about them shows, inasmuch as he does not even deprecate nor try to gloss over their failings.   This, in itself, is a powerful proof of the truth.   What then does this man say about them?   That after the innumerable miracles they had seen Christ work, when He was taken prisoner some fled, while the one who remained, although he was head over the rest, denied Him.

Here were men who failed to stand up to the Jews when Christ was alive.   Yet when He died and was buried, they arrayed themselves against the whole world…  Would they not have said to themselves:  “What is this?   He had not strength to save Himself, will He protect us?   He did not defend Himself when He was alive, will He reach out His hand to us, now He is dead?   When He was alive He did not conquer a single nation—shall we convince the whole world by speaking His name?”…   Hence it is clear that, if they had not seen Him risen and received this mighty proof of His power, they would never have risked such a gamble.” … St John Chrysostom (c.345-407) Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Church – Homily on the 1st letter to the Corinthians 4, 3here were men who failed to stand up to the jews - st john chrysostom feast of simon and jude 28 oct 2019.jpg

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.sts simon and jude pray for us 28 oct 2019

Posted in ON the SAINTS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 22 October – Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Thought for the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Many know that St John Paul II’s talents included acting and athletics but did you know the Saint is also an accomplished poet?   He loved to write about nature, humanity and God and wrote poetry throughout his life – as a student, a quarry worker, a priest, bishop and Pope, beginning in 1939 and publishing under pseudonyms in Poland.   It wasn’t until he became Pope that his poetry was published throughout the world.

Known to family and friends as Lolek (a nickname that translates as “Chuck”), the future John Paul II learned about suffering at an early age when his mother died of heart and kidney problems in 1929, shortly before his ninth birthday.  This poem below, “Over This, Your White Grave”” was written before he was twenty.

Over This, Your White Grave

Over this, your white grave
the flowers of life in white—
so many years without you—
how many have passed out of sight?
Over this your white grave
covered for years, there is a stir
in the air, something uplifting
and, like death, beyond comprehension.
Over this your white grave
oh, Mother, can such loving cease?
for all his filial adoration
a prayer:
Give her eternal peace—

over this your white grave poem to his mother st john paul 22 oct 2019.jpg

“Veronica?”
“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist? And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem, “Name”

“Name”

In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy: the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

Karol Wojtyla

name-st-veronica-karol-wotyla-st-john-paul-12-july-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St Peter’s Square had a special meaning for St John Paul.   In earlier days he wrote a poem about it.   Below is an excerpt from it:

Marble Floor

Marble floor
our feet meet the earth in this place,
there are so many walls,
so many colonnades,
yet we are not lost. If we find
meaning and oneness,
it is the floor that guides us….
Peter, you are the floor, that others
may walk over you… You guide their steps…
You want to serve their feet that pass
as rock serves the hooves of sheep.
The rock is a gigantic temple floor,
the cross a pasture.

St Peter’s name means “a rock” and Christ said of him “on this Rock I will build my Church.”   The poem is about the role of the Holy Father, who is a shepherd to his flock, a guide to the Church.marble-floor-by-st-john-paul-22-oct-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St John Paul, keep being our Shepherd by your Prayers!st-jp-pray-for-us-22-oct-2017-2.and 22 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 19 October – “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ”

Thought for the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyr

This beloved and unassuming young priest of Poland was a true hero of that tortured land during the Soviet Communist occupation.   Now a Blessed, Father Jerzy was beloved by everyone in his homeland, believers and non-believers alike, because of his bravery in the face of extreme hatred on the part of the Communist officials.   His story should be much more widely known than it is.

Never in good health, the strongest part of Father Jerzy were his hands.   His most beloved possessions were the crucifix and Rosary sent to him by St Pope John Paul II, a fellow countryman.   He was sickly his whole life, yet he never complained of illness or injury.   One day, when he was making toys with his brothers and sisters, a nail pierced his palm. Later, one of the children noticed blood dripping from his hand.   One of his siblings told the parents because young Jerzy did not want to bother anyone.

Young Jerzy’s great hero was Saint Maximillian Kolbe, another Polish priest who gave his life to save another prisoner – a man with a family – at Auschwitz.   He determined early on to become a priest but kept it a secret so that the authorities could not alter his examination results or pressure the family to keep him out of the seminary.

In 1966, his entire seminary class was drafted into the special indoctrination unit in violation of a church-state agreement.   This cruel treatment was reserved for the most outspoken church leaders, including the future St Pope John Paul II.

The horrible treatment he received in this “special unit” broke his health but not his spirit.   He wrote to his father “It turned out to be very tough but I can’t be broken by threats or torture.”   His seminary professors demanded that he take a period of rest but he refused.   “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ,” was his reply.

St Pope John Paul said, on his apostolic journey to Poland in 1999:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10).

“Our century too has written a great martyrology.   I myself, in the course of the twenty years of my papacy, have raised to the glory of the altars many groups of martyrs: Japonese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican.   And how many martyrs there were during the time of the Second World War and under Communist totalitarianism!   They suffered and gave their lives in the death camps of Hitler or those of the Soviets.   In a few days, in Warsaw, I will beatify 108 martyrs who gave their lives for the faith in the concentration camps.   Now is the time to remember all these victims and to grant them the honour which is their due.   These are “the martyrs, many of them nameless, ‘unknown soldiers’ as it were of God’s great cause”, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (No. 37).   And it is good that we speak of them in Poland, since this country had a special role in this contemporary martyrology.   It is good that we speak of them in Bydgoszcz!   All gave testimony of fidelity to Christ in spite of sufferings which horrify us by their cruelty.   Their blood was poured out on our land and made it fertile for growth and for the harvest.   That same blood continues to bring forth fruit a hundredfold for our nation, which perseveres faithfully alongside Christ and the Gospel.   Let us persevere unceasingly in union with them.   Let us thank God that they emerged victorious from their labours:   “God … tried them like gold in the furnace, and like a sacrificial offering he accepted them” (Wis 3:6).   They represent for us a model to be followed.   From their blood we ought to draw strength for the sacrifice of our own life, which we must offer to God each day.   They are an example for us, so that, like them, we may give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ.

4. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you … on my account” (Mt 5:11).

Christ does not promise an easy life to those who follow Him.   Instead, He proclaims that, by living according to the Gospel, they are to become a sign of contradiction.   If He Himself suffered persecution, so too will His disciples:   “Beware of men”, he says, “for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues” (Mt 10:17).

Dear Brothers and Sisters!   Every Christian, united to Christ through the grace of Holy Baptism, has become a member of the Church and “no longer is his own” (cf. 1 Cor 6:19) but belongs to the one who died and rose for our sake.   From that moment on, the baptised enter into a particular bond of community with Christ and His Church.   They, therefore, have the duty of professing before others the faith they have received from God through the Church.   At times this demands great sacrifice on our part, to be offered each day and sometimes for an entire lifetime.   This firm perseverance alongside Christ and His Gospel, this readiness to face “sufferings for righteousness’ sake”, often involve acts of heroism and can take the form of an authentic martyrdom, carried out every day and at every moment of life, drop by drop, until the final “it is finished”.” – Homily in Bydgoszcz – Monday, 7 June 1999 (Excerpt)

The enemies of Christ rule Poland no more!

Blessed Jerzy, Pray, for us!one doesn't suffer when one suffers for christ bl jerzy pray for us 19 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Pope Francis celebrates Canonisation Mass of 5 New Saints and says “Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights”

Pope Francis celebrates Canonisation Mass of 5 New Saints and says “Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights.”

HOLY MASS AND CANONISATION OF THE BLESSEDS:
JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, GIUSEPPINA VANNINI,
MARIAM THRESIA CHIRAMEL MANKIDIYAN, DULCE LOPES PONTES, MARGUERITE BAYS
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
St Peter’s Square
XXVIII Sunday of Ordinary Time
13 October 2019CANONISAITION MASS JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 13 oct 2019

“Your faith has saved you” (Lk 17:19).   This is the climax of today’s Gospel, which reflects the journey of faith.   There are three steps in this journey of faith.   We see them in the actions of the lepers whom Jesus heals.   They cry out, they walk and they give thanks.

First, they cry out.   The lepers were in a dreadful situation, not only because of a disease that, widespread even today, needs to be battled with unremitting effort but also because of their exclusion from society.   At the time of Jesus, lepers were considered unclean and, as such, had to be isolated and kept apart (cf. Lev 13:46).   We see that when they approach Jesus, they “kept their distance” (Lk 17:12).  Even though their condition kept them apart, the Gospel tells us that they “called out” (v. 13) and pleaded with Jesus.  They did not let themselves be paralysed because they were shunned by society, they cried out to God, who excludes no-one.   We see how distances are shortened, how loneliness is overcome – by not closing in on ourselves and our own problems, by not thinking about how others judge us but rather by crying out to the Lord, for the Lord hears the cry of those who find themselves alone.

Like those lepers, we too need healing, each one of us.   We need to be healed of our lack of confidence in ourselves, in life, in the future we need to be healed of our fears and the vices that enslave us, of our introversion, our addictions and our attachment to games, money, television, mobile phones, to what other people think.   The Lord sets our hearts free and heals them if only we ask Him, only if we say to Him : “Lord, I believe you can heal me.   Dear Jesus, heal me from being caught up in myself.   Free me from evil and fear”.   The lepers are the first people, in this Gospel, who called to the name of Jesus. Later, a blind man and a crucified thief would do so, all of them needy people calling on the name of Jesus, which means:  “God saves”.   They call God by name, directly and spontaneously.   To call someone by name is a sign of confidence and it pleases the Lord. That is how faith grows, through confident, trusting prayer.   Prayer in which we bring to Jesus, who we really are, with open hearts, without attempting to mask our sufferings. Each day, let us invoke with confidence the name of Jesus, “God saves”.   Let us repeat it: that is prayer, to say “Jesus“ is to pray.   And prayer is essential!   Indeed, prayer is the door of faith, prayer is medicine for the heart.

The second word, is to walk.   It is the second stage.   In today’s brief Gospel, there are several verbs of motion.   It is quite striking is that the lepers are not healed as they stand before Jesus, it is only afterwards, as they were walking.   The Gospel tells us that:  “As they went, they were made clean” (v. 14).   They were healed by going up to Jerusalem, that is, while walking uphill.   On the journey of life, purification takes place along the way, a way that is often uphill since it leads to the heights.   Faith calls for journey, a “going out” from ourselves, and it can work wonders if we abandon our comforting certainties, if we leave our safe harbours and our cosy nests.   Faith increases by giving, and grows by taking risks.  Faith advances when we make our way equipped with trust in God.   Faith advances with humble and practical steps, like the steps of the lepers or those of Naaman who went down to bathe in the river Jordan (cf. 2 Kings 5:14-17).   The same is true for us.   We advance in faith by showing humble and practical love, exercising patience each day and praying constantly to Jesus as we keep pressing forward on our way.

There is a further interesting aspect to the journey of the lepers: they move together.   The Gospel tells us that, “as they went, they were made clean” (v. 14).   The verbs are in the plural.   Faith means also walking together, never alone.   Once healed, however, nine of them go off on their own way and only one turns back to offer thanks.   Jesus then expresses His astonishment:  “The others, where are they?” (v. 17).   It is as if He asks the only one who returned, to account for the other nine.   It is the task of us, who celebrate the Eucharist as an act of thanksgiving, to take care of those who have stopped walking, those who have lost their way.   We are called to be guardians of our distant brothers and sisters, all of us!   We are to intercede for them, we are responsible for them, to account for them, to keep them close to heart.   Do you want to grow in faith?   You, who are here today, do you want to grow in faith?   Then take care of a distant brother, a faraway sister.

To cry out.   To walk.   And to give thanks.   This is the final step.   Only to the one who thanked Him did Jesus say:  “Your faith has saved you” (v. 19).   It made you both safe and sound.   We see from this, that the ultimate goal is not health or wellness but the encounter with Jesus.   Salvation is not drinking a glass of water to keep fit, it is going to the source, which is Jesus.   He alone frees us from evil and heals our hearts.   Only an encounter with Him can save, can make life full and beautiful.   Whenever we meet Jesus, the word “thanks” comes immediately to our lips, because we have discovered the most important thing in life, which is not to receive a grace or resolve a problem but to embrace the Lord of life.   And this is the most important thing in life – to embrace the Lord of life.

It is impressive to see how the man who was healed, a Samaritan, expresses his joy with his entire being – he praises God in a loud voice, he prostrates himself and he gives thanks (cf. vv. 15-16).   The culmination of the journey of faith is to live a life of continual thanksgiving.   Let us ask ourselves – do we, as people of faith, live each day as a burden, or as an act of praise?   Are we closed in on ourselves, waiting to ask another blessing, or do we find our joy in giving thanks?   When we express our gratitude, the Father’s heart is moved and He pours out the Holy Spirit upon us.   To give thanks is not a question of good manners or etiquette, it is a question of faith.   A grateful heart is one that remains young.   To say “Thank you, Lord” when we wake up, throughout the day and before going to bed – that is the best way to keep our hearts young, because hearts can grow old and be spoilt.   This also holds true for families and between spouses.   Remember to say thank you.   Those words are the simplest and most effective of all.

To cry out.   To walk.   To give thanks. Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new Saints.   They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.   Three of them were religious women, they show us that the consecrated life is a journey of love at the existential peripheries of the world.   Saint Marguerite Bays, on the other hand, was a seamstress, she speaks to us of the power of simple prayer, enduring patience and silent self-giving.   That is how the Lord made the splendour of Easter radiate in her life, in her humbleness.   Such is the holiness of daily life, which Saint John Henry Newman described in these words – “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming, has no pretence… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, V, 5).
Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights amid the encircling gloom.”   Jesus, “stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as Thou shinest, so to shine as to be a light to others”  (Meditations on Christian Doctrine, VII, 3).   Amen … Vatican.va

Saint John Henry Newman, Pray for Us!st john henry newman pray for us 13 oct 2019.jpg

 

Posted in ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 11 October – She knew that the Cross of Christ is the source of strength and joy

Thought for the Day – 11 October – The Memorial of St Maria Soledad Torres Acosta (1826-1887)

Day after day, Mother Soledad did everything possible to provide for her Daughters’ spiritual well-being, her entire person reflected the gratuitousness and goodness of God. Her meek and humble heart was empty of herself and open to all, there were no limits of any kind for she knew that she belonged exclusively to God and she gave her life as a free gift without receiving anything in return.

Open and willing to carry out the divine will, she had a deep sense of God’s presence within her.   She constantly lived in the presence of God in everything she did – her work, various circumstances, unexpected events, the most ordinary tasks. She discovered God in everything because her heart was immersed in Him.

She solved everything with the logic of love based on humility, charity and gratitude. Because she lived poverty to the extreme and because she was profoundly humble, she acquired the liberty of spirit to be equable and magnanimous toward all, making herself the smallest and least of all.

Her secret was simple – seek the will of God always and in everything – in her many hours of prayer, in her personal encounter with God’s providence, in her friendship with Christ in the Holy Spirit whose growing presence she perceived in her soul as it became more transparent and penetrating every day, impelling her to work in her preferred and beloved field, the sick.

Her life revolved around the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist.   Her nourishment was the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, from whom she received the strength necessary to endure life’s hardships with patience and serenity and to guide the Congregation with faith and unlimited trust in God whom she recognised as the ultimate guiding hand of the Institute.   From the Eucharist Mother Soledad received the grace to give herself without reserve to her work.

Mother Soledad showed us that the most wonderful gift from God is to be able to be fully identified with Christ who was obedient unto death on the cross.   She experienced the emptiness, the loneliness and the abandonment of many, but never did she lack trust in Him who can do all things.   She knew that the Cross of Christ is the source of strength and joy and that there are crosses, that renew the life of the Church.   She would exclaim, “May I know how to suffer” “Give me light and grace to be able to suffer and endure more for You” (Letter 75).   For her Daughters she prayed for “the grace to follow Him unto Calvary and to die crucified for love of Him” (Letter 75).

Today we can say that Mother Soledad let herself be led by the Holy Spirit who emptied her of herself so as to fill her with God.   Flooded with His love, she caught a glimpse of new horizons in the Church and impelled by this same Spirit from whom she received the precious gift of the new charism, she enriched and renewed the Church with the new Institute according to the Gospel:  “Go and cure the sick”.   She revealed to us by her life the new and unique language of God: love.   “The sick are the image of the suffering Christ and it is Him that we serve.” Mother Soledad taught us how to discover Christ in the poorest of the poor and the sick.   “You did it to me.”   

St Maria Soledad Torres Acosta, Pray for Us!st maria soledad pray for us 11 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 10 October – “All through the Heart of Mary in honour of the Most Blessed Sacrament”

Thought for the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of Blessed Angela Truszkowska (1825-1899)

Excerpt from the
Address of the Holy Father JOHN PAUL II
to the Sisters of Saint Felix of Cantalice

Friday 16 June 2000

“Your Foundress would often take the children in her care to the Capuchin Church in Warsaw where Saint Felix is shown bearing the Infant Jesus in his arms.   In the figure of the Holy Child, Blessed Maria Angela recognised the little ones she was called to serve. She knew that Saint Felix was shown bearing the Infant Jesus in his arms, because, in bearing the burdens of the needy, he had carried in his arms the poor Christ Himself and she recognised this as her own calling.   By bearing the burdens of the weakest she and her Sisters would bear in their arms the “little” Lord Jesus.   Blessed Maria Angela knew too, that it was Mary who had placed the Holy Child in the arms of Saint Felix and that, it was Mary, who was now placing her Infant Son in the arms of the Sisters of Saint Felix. How right then that she should dedicate the Congregation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

3. Yet the sword which pierced Mary’s heart (cf. Lk 2:35) pierced the heart of the Foundress too.   “Love means giving”, she wrote, “giving everything that love asks for, giving immediately, without regrets, with joy and wanting even more to be asked of us.”   In obeying the logic of the Incarnation and bearing in her arms, the Lord himself, Blessed Maria Angela became a victim of love.   Step by step she ascended the hill of Calvary, in a journey of suffering, both physical and spiritual, until her life was ablaze with the mystery of the Cross.

As she journeyed more deeply into Calvary’s darkness she became more insistent, that at the heart of the Congregation’s life, there should be devotion above all to the Holy Eucharist and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   She bequeathed to her Sisters the motto: “All through the Heart of Mary in honour of the Most Blessed Sacrament”.   In long hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, she learnt that she and her Sisters were called to “reproduce the pattern of the Lord’s death” (Phil 3:10) so that they might become the Eucharist.   And in the Mother of Christ, Blessed Mary Angela recognised, the one who shared in her Son’s Passion most intimately and she knew, that this was the Sisters’ calling as well.   In Mary Immaculate she recognised the woman of the Magnificat, the woman whose self-emptying, allowed God to fill her with the joy of the Holy Spirit.   This was to be the life of the Sisters of Saint Felix.

4. Ours is a very different world but we are no less challenged by the spiritual lethargy of our time and by the question of where true freedom lies.   It is the Church’s sacred duty to proclaim to the world the true answer to that question and Religious men and women, are crucial in that task.   For the Felician Sisters, this must mean, an ever more radical fidelity to the program of life bequeathed to you by your Foundress, since, if there is not this fidelity among you, then you too can fall victim to the spiritual confusion of the age and there may emerge among you, the anxiety and disunity which are its fruits.

I urge you, therefore, dear Sisters, at this critical time in the life of your Congregation, to commit yourself in this General Chapter to more ardent worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament, to deeper devotion to Mary Immaculate and to a more radical love of the charism of your Foundress.   Embrace the Lord’s Cross as Blessed Angela did!   Then you will become the Eucharist your whole life will sing Magnificat, your poverty will be filled with “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8).   Entrusting the General Chapter and the entire Congregation to Mary, Mother of Sorrows and Mother of all our joys and to the intercession of Saint Francis, Saint Felix and your Blessed Foundress, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing, as a pledge of endless grace and peace in Jesus Christ, “the faithful witness and firstborn from the dead” (Rev 1:5).

Prayer for the Intercession of Blessed Angela

God our Father,
we praise and thank You
for the gift of Blessed Angela,
who lived Your will,
in faith and trust
and lived Your love,
in service to others.
I pray, in confidence,
that through her intercession
You will grant me
the favour which I request.
I ask this,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen

Blessed Angela Truszkowska, Pray for Us!
Amenall through the heart of mary in honour of the bl sacra -blangla truszkowska 10 oct 2019 pray for us.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 9 October – “Still, He knows what He is about”

Thought for the Day – 9 October – The Memorial of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2nd CENTENARY
OF THE BIRTH OF CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

To The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Birmingham

On the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of the Venerable Servant of God John Henry Newman, I gladly join you, your Brother Bishops of England and Wales, the priests of the Birmingham Oratory and a host of voices throughout the world in praising God for the gift of the great English Cardinal and for his enduring witness.

As Newman pondered the mysterious divine plan unfolding in his own life, he came to a deep and abiding sense that “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission” (Meditations and Devotions).   How true that thought now appears as we consider his long life and the influence which he has had beyond death.   He was born at a particular time – 21 February 1801, in a particular place – London and to a particular family – the firstborn of John Newman and Jemima Fourdrinier.   But the particular mission entrusted to him by God ensures that John Henry Newman belongs to every time and place and people.

Newman was born in troubled times which knew not only political and military upheaval but also turbulence of soul.   Old certitudes were shaken and believers were faced with the threat of rationalism on the one hand and fideism on the other. Rationalism brought with it a rejection of both authority and transcendence, while fideism turned from the challenges of history and the tasks of this world to a distorted dependence upon authority and the supernatural.   In such a world, Newman came eventually to a remarkable synthesis of faith and reason which were for him “like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of the truth” (Fides et Ratio, Introduction; cf. ibid., 74).   It was the passionate contemplation of truth which also led him to a liberating acceptance of the authority which has its roots in Christ and to the sense of the supernatural which opens the human mind and heart to the full range of possibilities revealed in Christ.   “Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead Thou me on”, Newman wrote in The Pillar of the Cloud and for him Christ was the light at the heart of every kind of darkness.   For his tomb he chose the inscription: Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem and it was clear at the end of his life’s journey that Christ was the truth he had found.

But Newman’s search was shot through with pain.   Once he had come to that unshakeable sense of the mission entrusted to him by God, he declared:  “Therefore, I will trust Him… If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him… He does nothing in vain…  He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers.   He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me.    (Meditations and Devotions).   All these trials he knew in his life but rather than diminish or destroy him they paradoxically strengthened his faith in the God who had called him, and confirmed him in the conviction that God “does nothing in vain”.   In the end, therefore, what shines forth in Newman is the mystery of the Lord’s Cross – this was the heart of his mission, the absolute truth which he contemplated, the “kindly light” which led him on.i will trust him - bl john henry newman 28 march 2019.jpg

As we thank God for the gift of the Venerable John Henry Newman on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth, we pray that this sure and eloquent guide in our perplexity will also become for us in all our needs a powerful intercessor before the throne of grace.   Let us pray that the time will soon come when the Church can officially and publicly proclaim the exemplary holiness of Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the most distinguished and versatile champions of English spirituality.   With my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 22 January 2001.

IOANNES PAULUS II

Blessed John Henry Newman, Pray for Us!bl john henry pray for us.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, FRANCISCAN OFM, ON the SAINTS, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 4 October – The Angel to Gerontius

Quote of the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

The Angel to Gerontius

“There was a mortal, who is now above
In the mid-glory – he, when near to die,
Was given communion with the Crucified –
Such, that the Master’s very wounds were stamp’d
Upon his flesh and, from the agony
Which thrill’d through body and soul in that embrace
Learn, that the flame of the Everlasting Love
Doth burn, ere it transform ….”

From the Dream of Gerontius
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Some Quotes of St Francis here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/04/quote-s-of-the-day-4-october-the-memorial-of-st-francis-of-assisi-1181-2-1226/the angel to gerontius from the dram of gerontius bl john henry newman on st francis 4 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – ‘Listening to the Word’

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Friday of the Twenty-sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C Gospel: Luke 10:13-16 – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

“He who hears you, hears me and he who rejects you,
rejects me and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me.”…Luke 10:16luke 10 16 he who hears you hears me - 4 oct 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “The truth is that St Francis really did have an extremely intimate relationship with Jesus and with the word of God, that he wanted to pursue sine glossa – just as it is, in all its radicality and truth.   It is also true, that initially he did not intend to create an Order with the necessary canonical forms.   Rather he simply wanted, through the word of God and the presence of the Lord, to renew the People of God, to call them back to listening to the word and to literal obedience to Christ.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Catechesis on St Francis – General Audience, 27 January 2010he, francis, simply wanted - pope benedict 4 oct 2019.jpg

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received—only what you have given – a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”….St Francis of Assisiremember-that-when-you-leave-st-francis-4-oct-2017 and 2018 and 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Francis of Assisi, Christ-like in his poverty and humility, his gentleness and charity, his love and courage. Help us to walk in his ways that, with joy and love, we may follow Christ Your Son and be united with You. May the intercession of St Francis, be an assistance on our journey. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st francis of assisi - pray for us - 17 sept 2018.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on FAITH, SACRAMENTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 22 September – Come Holy Spirit!

Thought for the Day – 22 September – The Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Ignatius of Santhia OFM Cap (1686-1770)

“Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven” (Jn 20, 22-23).

With these words, the Risen One bestows on the Apostles the gift of the Spirit and with it the divine power to forgive sins.   The Capuchin priest Ignatius of Santhiá lived uniquely the mission of forgiving sins and of guiding men and women on the paths of evangelical perfection.

For the love of Christ and to advance more quickly in evangelical perfection he walked in the footsteps of the Poverello of Assisi.

In the Piedmont of his time, Ignatius of Santhiá was father, confessor, counsellor and teacher of many – priests, religious and lay people – who sought his wise and enlightened guidance.

Even today he continues to remind everyone of the values of poverty, simplicity and authentic Christian life.

“Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.”

The Holy Spirit radically transformed the Apostles who out of fear had locked themselves into the Upper Room, making them fervent heralds of the Gospel.   Down through the ages, the Spirit continues to support the Church in her evangelising mission, raising up in every age courageous witnesses to the faith.

With the Apostles, the Blessed Virgin Mary received the gift of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1,14). With her and in communion with the new saints, let us also implore the miracle of a new Pentecost for the Church.   For the humanity of our time let us ask an abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of your faithful!
Help us to spread the fire of your love in the world.   Amen!

St Pope John Paul II – Canonisation Homily – Sunday, 19 May 2002

St Ignatius of Santhia, Pray for Us!st ignatius of santhia pray for us 22 sept 2019.jpg