Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 August – ‘… On the rock of Holy Church …’

One Minute Reflection – 23 August – Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 22: 19-23, Psalms 138: 1-2, 2-3,6, 8 (8bc), Romans 11:33-36, Matthew 16:13-20 and the Memorial of St Tydfil (Died c 480) Martyr of Wales

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ” … Matthew 16:17-18

REFLECTION – “We feel Ourself perfectly safe on the rock of Holy Church. … Supernatural force has never … been found wanting in the Church, nor have Christ’s promises failed; … nay, they are endowed with even greater force for Us after having stood the test of centuries and so many changes of circumstances and events.

Kingdoms and empires have passed away; peoples once renowned for their history and civilisation have disappeared; time and again the nations, as though overwhelmed by the weight of years, have fallen asunder; while the Church, indefectible in her essence, united by ties indissoluble with her heavenly Spouse, is here today radiant with eternal youth, strong with the same primitive vigour with which she came from the Heart of Christ dead upon the Cross.
Men powerful in the world have risen up against her. They have disappeared and she remains!
Philosophical systems without number, of every form and every kind, rose up against her, arrogantly vaunting themselves her masters, as though they had at last destroyed the doctrine of the Church, refuted the dogmas of her faith, proved the absurdity of her teachings.
But those systems, one after another, have passed into books of history, forgotten, bankrupt; while from the Rock of Peter the light of truth shines forth as brilliantly as on the day when Jesus first kindled it on His appearance in the world and fed it with His Divine words: “Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass” (Mt 24:35). (…)

Wherefore, … turn your steps towards this unshaken rock upon which Our Saviour founded the Universal Church, so that the path of him, who is sincere of heart, may not be lost in devious windings.” … St Pope Pius X (1835-1914) (Papal reign: 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Iuncunda sane”

PRAYER – God our Father, for love of You, St Tydfil the Martyr, left the world and gave herself to a life of penitence, austerity and charity, loving You and Your Church with the greatest of all loves. Help us by her prayers, so to follow the path of life on earth, in complete love of You and thus of Your children, that we may obtain the fullness of joy in Your presence in heaven and be clothed fit for the wedding feast. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in CONSECRATION Prayers, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, SACRED HEART PRAYERS

Our Morning Offering – 30 June – Consecration to the Sacred Heart By Pope Leo XIII

Our Morning Offering – 30 June – “The Last day of the Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time

Consecration to the Sacred Heart
By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
Pope from 1878-1903

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar.
We are Thine and Thine we wish to be
but, to be more surely united with Thee,
behold each one of us,
freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee,
many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful,
who have never forsaken Thee
but also of the prodigal children, who have abandoned Thee,
grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou, King of all those.
who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism
and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God.
Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race,
once Thy chosen people – of old they called down upon themselves
the Blood of the Saviour;
may it now descend upon them,
a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church,
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations
and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:
“Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation;
to It be glory and honour forever.”
Amen

The above prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII was included in the 1899 encyclical Annum Sacrum issued by Leo XIII as he Consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The consecration was influenced by two letters written to the Holy Father by Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, who stated that in visions of Jesus Christ, she had been told to request the Consecration.

consecration to the sacred heart by pope leo XIII 30 June 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CONSECRATION Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD the FATHER, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRED HEART PRAYERS, SACRED HEART QUOTES, SACRED HEART REFLECTIONS, YouTube VIDEOS

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – 19 June – A little of the History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – 19 June

May we all be abundantly Blessed today by the Sacred and Loving Heart of Jesus
May we all grow closer and closer to the Sacred Heart, the source of all Love!

A little (actually, a lot! – please take the time to read it) of the History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart

giovanni gasparro sacred heart new 2020
By Giovanni Gasparro

In the 13th century, the Franciscan Doctor of the Church (1217-1274) – “The Seraphic Doctor,” St Bonaventure’s work  “With You is the Source of Life” (which is the reading for the Divine Office on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart) began to point to the heart as the fountain from which God’s love poured into our lives:

“Take thought now, redeemed man and consider how great and worthy is He who hangs on the cross for you.   His death brings the dead to life but at His passing, heaven and earth are plunged into mourning and hard rocks are split asunder.   It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open His sacred side with a lance.   This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death on the cross and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled:   ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced.’   The blood and water, which poured out at that moment, were the price of our salvation.   Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s Heart as from a fountain, this stream, gave the Sacraments of the Church, the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ, it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting.”

The Devotion Spreads Slowly
At the end of the 13th century, St Gertrude the Great, on the feast of St John the Evangelist, had a vision in which she was allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Saviour’s side.   She heard the beating of the Divine Heart and asked John if, on the night of the Last Supper, he too had felt this beating heart, why then had he never spoken of the fact.  John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need to rekindle its love.

ST. GERTRUDE CONFIDENCE
St Gertrude the Great

From that time until the time of St John Eudes Orat. (1501-1680), the devotion continued to spread, primarily as a private devotion but one that was increasingly wide-spread.   Many religious orders prayed the devotion – the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Carmelites of Spain and the Benedictines.

Let us now consider the key ideas which motivated St John Eudes in his great love for the Sacred Heart, so that by understanding them “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that being rooted and grounded in love, you may have the power with all the saints to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God “(Eph 3, 17-19).   Two interrelated thoughts overwhelmed St John Eudes, first:

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus, whether considered in His Divinity or in His humanity, is more ardently enkindled with love for His Father, loving Him infinitely more at any given moment, than all the hearts of angels and saints can love Him throughout all eternity.”

The second thought which rejoiced the heart of St John Eudes expands on the first:

[Jesus, the Son of God] “willed to be our Head and chose us as His members.   He has associated us with Himself in His ineffable love [for the Father].   He has given us, as a result, the power to love the Father with the [very] same love with which He loves [the Father], with a love eternal, boundless and infinite.”

john_eudes__basilica_
St John Eudes with the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St John Eudes discerned eight different flames of love, which issue from our Lord’s Heart in the Tabernacle, which are freely adapted here to our present needs (definitely a post soon).   St Pope Pius X declared him, the Father, Doctor and Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.419px-JeanEudes

The Devotion Renewed:   St Marguerite Marie Alacoque VHM (1647-1690)
In the late 17th century the devotion was renewed and adopted elsewhere, especially following the revelations to St Marguerite Marie Alacoque.   The saint, a cloistered nun of the Visitation Order, received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673 and the final one 18 months later.   The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a “Holy hour” on Thursdays and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Initially discouraged in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in her visions, Alacoque was eventually able to convince her superior of the authenticity of her visions.   She was unable, however, to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her own community.   She eventually received the support of St Claude de la Colombière SJ (1641-1682), the community’s confessor, who declared that the visions were genuine.   Alacoque’s short devotional writing, La Devotion au Sacré-Coeur de Jesus (Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), was published posthumously in 1698.   Here is an excerpt:

saints of the sacred heart - st labre, st maria goretti, st claude, st john eudes, st dominic savio, st m m alacoque
Saints of the Sacred Heart – St Joseph Benedict Labre, St Maria Goretti, St Dominic Savio, St Claude de la Colombiere, St John Eudes

“And He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him, all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source.

The devotion was fostered by the Jesuits and Franciscans but it was not until the 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor by Pope Pius XI that the Church validated the credibility of Alacoque’s visions of Jesus Christ in having “promised her [Alacoque] that all those who rendered this honour to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces.”

The World Consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Maria Droste zu Vischering, was a German noble women, who at the age of 25 joined the congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, in Munster.   She was given the name, Bl Sr Mary of the Divine Heart.   In 1894, at the age of 31, she was transferred to Portugal and appointed superior of Oporto, Portugal.   While there, she reported some messages from Jesus Christ in which she was asked to contact the Holy Father, requesting the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

On 10 June 1898, her Confessor at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII stating that Sister Mary of the Divine Heart had received a message from Christ, requesting the Holy Father to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart.   The Pope initially did not believe her and took no action.   However, on 6 January 1899 she wrote another letter, asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honour of the Sacred Heart. In the letter she also referred to the recent illness of the Pope and stated that Christ, had assured her, that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart.

SACRED HEART WITH BL MARY OF THE DIV HEART LEFT AND ST MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE
Bl Mary of the Divine Heart and St Margaret Mary Alacoque

Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and Church tradition.   In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum Sacrum, Leo XIII decreed that the Consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on 11 June 1899.   Here is the consecration Pope Leo composed for the consecration:

“Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar.  We are Thine and Thine we wish to be but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us, freely consecrates himself today, to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee, many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.   Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.   Be Thou King, O Lord, not only, of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee but also, of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God.   Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour, may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm, give peace and order to all nations and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:  ‘Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation, to it be glory and honour forever.’”  Amen

giovanni gasparro sacred heart new 2020 detail jesus face
By Giovanni Gasparro – detail

The 100th Anniversary of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
In a landmark encyclical, Haurietis aquas (“You will draw waters”– written 15 May 1956) Venerable Pope Pius XII began his reflection by drawing from Isaiah 12:3, a verse which alludes to the abundance of the supernatural graces which flow from the heart of Christ.   Haurietis aquas called the whole Church, to recognise the Sacred Heart as an important dimension of Christian spirituality.   Pope Pius XII gave two reasons why the Church gives the highest form of worship to the Heart of Jesus.   The first rests on the principle whereby the believers recognise that Jesus’ Heart is hypostatically united to the “Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself.”   The second reason is derived from the fact, that the Heart, is the natural sign and symbol of Jesus’ boundless love for humans  . The encyclical recalls that for human souls the wound in Christ’s side and the marks left by the nails have been “the chief sign and symbol of that love” that ever more incisively shaped their life from within.

In a letter on 15 May 2006 Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “By encouraging devotion to the Heart of Jesus, the Encyclical Haurietis aquas exhorted believers to open themselves to the mystery of God and of His love and to allow themselves to be transformed by it.   After 50 years, it is still a fitting task for Christians to continue to deepen their relationship with the Heart of Jesus, in such a way, as to revive their faith in the saving love of God and to welcome Him ever better into their lives.

As the encyclical states, from this source, the heart of Jesus, originates the true knowledge of Jesus Christ and a deeper experience of His love. Thus, according to Pope Benedict XVI, we will be able to understand better what it means to know God’s love in Jesus Christ, to experience Him, keeping our gaze fixed on Him to the point that we live entirely on the experience of His love, so that we can subsequently witness to it to others.sacred heart modern

Sadly, today, The League of the Sacred Heart founded in Ireland in the year of grace 1873, has fallen into obscurity, though, I know that in certain countries across the world, it is being revived.   Below is a 14 minute video explaining the resuscitation of the League and the institution in America.   The League however, still exists in a few isolated countries and we NEED, in these awful times, to revive it, wherever we are.

A great usurpation has taken place in the Church by the Divine Mercy Devotion – I know there are devotees of this latter Devotion on the site but if you would wish to educate yourself further in this regard, please go to the Youtube Channel – Ascent of Mount Carmel, where you will find lots of research on this subject. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcOObC8wjuxJjx6rBSiKo2A/videos

The Sacred Heart is knocking at the door of our heart.   Will we open the door for Him?   Will we make a commitment in devotion to serve Him with greater zeal and fidelity?   Will we let Him in?   The choice is now ours.   Those who want to grow, know where the Sacred Heart is waiting for the response of their love and they know how to imitate His love in their daily life.   Let us resume all that has been said with a final thought from St John Eudes: “The Son of God gives us His Heart not only to be the model and rule of our life but also to be our heart, so that by the gift of this Heart, immense, infinite and eternal, we may fulfil all our duties to God in a manner worthy of His infinite perfections.   [Thus] we have received from our Divine Saviour, the gift of His adorable Heart, which is the perfect means of fulfilling all our duties.   We should employ the Sacred Heart as if it were our own heart, to adore God fittingly, to love Him perfectly, and to satisfy all our obligations adequately so that our homage and love may be worthy of His supreme majesty.   Eternal and infinite thanks be rendered to Thee, O Good Jesus, for the infinitely precious gift of Thy divine Heart.   May all the angels, saints and all creatures bless Thee forever!magnificent sac heart o jesus

Let us Pray:
Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart

Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Prayers to the Sacred Heart – The League of the Sacred Heart
1936 – 15th Edition, Dublin

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
filled with infinite love,
broken by our ingratitude
and pierced by our sins,
yet loving us still,
accept the Consecration
we make to Thee,
of all that we are
and all that we have.
Take every faculty
of our souls and bodies,
only day by day
draw us, nearer and nearer
to Thy Sacred Heart,
and there, as we shall hear the lesson,
teach us Thy Holy Way.
Amen

daily consecration to the sacred heart new size 1 june 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, SACRAMENTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – “Without me you can do nothing”

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – “Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 15:1-6, Psalm 122:1-5, John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima and St André-Hubert Fournet (1752-1834)

“Without me you can do nothing” … John 15:5john 15 5 without me you can do nothing 13 may 2020

REFLECTION – “Holiness begins from Christ and Christ is its cause.   For no act, conducive to salvation, can be performed unless it proceeds from Him as from its supernatural source.   “Without me,” He says, “you can do nothing.”(Jn 15:5).   If we grieve and do penance for our sins if, with filial fear and hope, we turn again to God, it is because He is leading us.   Grace and glory flow from His inexhaustible fullness…

When the Sacraments of the Church are administered by external rite, it is He who produces their effect in souls.   He nourishes the redeemed with His own flesh and blood and thus calms the turbulent passions of the soul;  He gives increase of grace and prepares future glory for souls and bodies.

Christ our Lord wills the Church to live His own supernatural life and by His divine power permeates His whole Body and nourishes and sustains each of the members, according to the place which they occupy in the body, in the same way as the vine, nourishes and makes fruitful the branches, which are joined to it. (cf. Jn 15:4-6).” … Venerable Pius XII (1976-1958) Papacy 1939 to 1958 – Encyclical “Mystici Corporis”holiness begins from christ - pope pius XII - 29 april 2018 - 5th sun of easter

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us.   Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You.   When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You.   Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love.   Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!   St André-Hubert Fournet, pray for us.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.our lady of fatima pray for us no 2 - 13 oct 2018

st andre hubert fournet pray for us 13 may 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD is LOVE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 May – ‘Through Him we have become certain of God…’

One Minute Reflection – 6 May – ‘Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, Readings: Acts 12:24–13:5, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, John 12:44-50

“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world”…John 12:47john 12 47 i did not come to condemn the world but to save the world - 6 may 2020

REFLECTION – “It is not science that redeems man, man is redeemed by love.   This applies even in terms of this present world.   When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life.   But soon, he will also realise that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life.   It is a love that remains fragile.   It can be destroyed by death.   The human being needs unconditional love.   He needs the certainty which makes him say – “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39).   If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him, in his particular circumstances.

This is what it means to say, Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us.   Through Him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because His only-begotten Son has become man and of Him everyone can say:   “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20)….Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”#26it is not science that redeems man - pope benedict 15 may 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer.   We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience.   May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse.   Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary-mother-pray-for-us-15-may-2018 and 2019 and 6 may 2020

Posted in Act of SPIRITUAL COMMUNION, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 26 April – Act of Spiritual Communion by Rafael Merry del Val

Our Morning Offering – 26 April – Third Sunday of Easter, Year A

Most of us are still deprived of Holy Mass and the Holy Eucharist but this practice of making an Spiritual Communion, has been especially used by Christians in times of persecution, such as during the era of state atheism in the Eastern Bloc, as well as in times of plagues, such as now, during the current 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, when we are unable to receive the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day.

Act of Spiritual Communion
By Servant of God Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)

At Thy feet, O my Jesus,
I prostrate myself
and I offer Thee repentance of my contrite heart,
which is humbled in it’s nothingness
and in Thy holy presence.
I adore Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love,
the ineffable Eucharist.
I desire to receive Thee into the poor dwelling
that my heart offers Thee.
While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion,
I wish to possess Thee in spirit.
Come to me, O my Jesus,
since I, for my part, am coming to Thee!
May Thy love embrace my whole being in life and in death.
I believe in Thee,
I hope in Thee,
I love Thee.
Amen

Let us remember the words of St Pope John Paul in his Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia:

In the Eucharist, “unlike any other Sacrament, the mystery [of communion] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing –
Here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God
and God joins Himself to us in the most perfect union.”
Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist.
This was the origin of the practice of “Spiritual Communion,” which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by Saints who were masters of the spiritual life.   St Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer, wrote:
“When you do not receive Communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a Spiritual Communion, which is a most beneficial practice;  by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you” [The Way of Perfection, Ch. 35.].1.

act of spiritual comm by rafael card merry del val 26 april 2020 3rd sun easter

Posted in ACT of CONTRITION, DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 27 March – ‘Here is the Son of God …’

Lenten Reflection – 27 March – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, Psalm 34:17-21, 23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

“In His Resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the Cross as the way to the Resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the Cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).
Here is the Son of God, who in His Resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.” … St Pope John Paul (1920-2005) – Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

and-it-is-also-the-same-christ-st-john-paul-encyclical-frifourtheweeklent-5-april-2019 AND 27 MARCH 2020

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18

friday of the fourth week 27 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us pray to Christ our Saviour,
who redeemed us by His Death and Resurrection:
Lord, have mercy on us.

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into Your glory,
– bring Your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– heal our wounds.
You made the Cross the Tree of Life,
– give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
On the Cross You forgave the repentant thief,
– forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:

Act of Contrition
By St Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.
Amenact-of-contrition-st-alphonsus-13-april-2019 and 27 march 2020

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD is LOVE, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Thought for the Day – 24 October – Pardon us, O Lord, Pardon us

Thought for the Day – 24 October – The Feast of the Holy Redeemer

St John Paul II from ‘Redemptor Hominis’ his first Enycyclical, ‘The Redeemer of Humankind.’   In it he dealt with the core of our faith, the Person of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the World.

10 . The human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption

We cannot live without love.   We remain beings that are incomprehensible for ourselves, our lives are senseless, if love is not revealed to us, if we do not encounter love, if we do not experience it and make it our own, if we do not participate intimately in it.   This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself”, ‘fully reveals us to ourselves’.
If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption.   In this dimension we find again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to our humanity.
In the mystery of the Redemption we become newly “expressed” and, in a way, are newly created.   We are newly created!   “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”64.
If we wish to understand ourselves thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial and even illusory standards and measures of his being-we must with our unrest, uncertainty and even our weakness and sinfulness, with our life and death, draw near to Christ.   We must, so to speak, enter into Him with all His own self, we must “appropriate” and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find ourselves.   If this profound process takes place within us, we then bear fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at ourselves.
How precious must we be in the eyes of the Creator, if we “gained so great a Redeemer” and if God “gave his only Son “in order that we “should not perish but have eternal life”.

God does not leave us groping in the dark.   He has shown Himself to us as a man.   In His greatness, He has let Himself become small. ... Pope Benedict XVIjohn-14-9-he-who-seen-me-god-does-not-leave-us-groping-in-the-dark-pope-benedict-18-may-2019 and 23 oct 2019.jpg

Pardon us, O Lord, Pardon us
By William of Saint-Thierry OSB, O.Cist. (c 1075-1148)
Abbot, Monk, Theologian, Mystic, Writer
Friend of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Pardon us, O Lord, pardon us.
We beg to shift the blame for our sins,
we make excuses.
But no-one can hide
from the Light of Your Truth,
which both enlightens those,
who turn to it and exposes those,
who turn away.
Even our blood and our bones
are visible to You,
who created us out of dust.
How foolish we are,
to think that we can rule our own lives,
satisfying our own desires,
without thought of You.
How stupid we are,
to imagine that we can keep our sins hidden.
But although we may deceive other people,
we cannot deceive You.
And since You see into our hearts,
we cannot deceive ourselves,
for Your Light reveals to us,
our own spiritual corruption.
Let us, therefore, fall down before You,
weeping with tears of shame.
May Your judgement,
give new shape to our souls.
May Your power, mould our hearts
to reflect Your love.
May Your grace, infuse our minds,
so that our thoughts reflect Your Will.
Amenpardon-us-o-lord-pardon-us-by-william-saint-thierry-20-april-2019-holy-sat adn 23 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Devotion for October, The Month of the Holy Rosary

Devotion for October,
The Month of the Holy Rosaryoctober month of the holy rosary 1 oct 2019

Current scholarship traces the development of the Rosary to the High Middle Ages period.   The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary.   This is primarily due to the fact that the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on 7 October.   It was instituted to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful.

The feast was introduced by Pope St Pius V (1504-1572) in the year 1571 to commemorate the miraculous victory of the Christian forces in the Battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571. The pope attributed more to the “arms” of the Rosary than the power of cannons and the valour of the soldiers who fought there.

Legend tells us that the Rosary as a form of prayer was given to St Dominic (1170-1221) by Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, who entrusted it to him as an aid in the conflicts with the Albigensians.   The Dominican pope, St Pius V, did much to further the spread of the Rosary and it thereafter became one of the most popular devotions in Christendom.   It was the same Pope St Pius V, who in 1569 officially approved the Rosary in its present form with the Papal Bull, Consueverunt Romani Pontifices.   It had been completed by the addition of the second half of the “Hail Mary” and the “Glory be to the Father” at the conclusion of each mystery.

In the Middle Ages it came into being in various medieval monasteries as a substitute for the Divine Office for the lay monks and devout lay persons, who did not know how to read.   Instead of the 150 psalms, they would pray 150 “Our Fathers” counting them on a ring of beads known as the crown or “corona.”   With the growth of popularity of Marian devotion in the twelfth century, the “Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary” developed now substituting 150 “Hail Marys” in place of the “Our Fathers.”

The 150 “Hail Marys” were subsequently subdivided into fifteen decades by the young Dominican friar, Henry Kalkar (1328-1408), with each decade referring to an event in the life of Jesus and Mary.   The Dominican, Alanus de Rupe (1428-1478) further divided the episodes in the history of salvation into the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.   He also attributed the origin of the Rosary, then known as the “Psalter of the Blessed Virgin” to St Dominic and thus spurred the Dominican Order to make the Apostolate of the Rosary their special concern.   The Dominicans have, since then, promulgated the Rosary with notable results.

The practice of dedicating the entire month of October to the Holy Rosary developed toward the end of the last century.   Pope Leo XIII (papacy: 1878-1903) strongly promoted the increase of devotion to the Blessed Mother by encouraging the constant use of the Rosary.   Beginning on 1 September 1883, with Supremo Apostolatus Officio, he wrote a total of eleven encyclicals on the Rosary, ending with Diuturni Temporis in 1898.

Many other popes have contributed to help increase devotion to the Rosary by their writings.   In the recent past, St Pope Paul VI ( papacy: 1963-1978) devoted the last section of his Apostolic Exhortation MARIALIS CULTUS to the Angelus and the Rosary (MC 40-55). In this document, he wrote that “the Rosary retains an unaltered value and intact freshness.” (MC, 41)

The Rosary is primarily a scriptural prayer.   This can be summarised by the traditional phrase used by Pope Pius XII (papacy: 1939-1958) that the Rosary is “a compendium of the entire Gospel” (AAS 38 [1946] p. 419).   The Rosary draws its mysteries from the New Testament and is centred on the great events of the Incarnation and Redemption.

St John Paul II called the Rosary his favourite prayer, in which we meditate with Mary upon the mysteries which she as a mother meditated on in her heart (Lk. 2:19) (Osservatore Romano, 44; 30 Oct. 1979) and, as we know, added the five Luminous Mysteries in his Encyclical, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, in 2002.

In this month of October, let us consider this beautiful prayer of the Rosary as a means that we too can use in order to draw closer to Jesus and Mary by meditating on the great mysteries of our salvation.

Adapted from an article by Father Matthew R Mauriello (1996)the seven blessings of the rosary - st louis de montfort - 2017

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUEENSHIP of MARY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD, VATICAN Documents

One Minute Reflection – 22 August – ‘She stands high above all created things’

One Mi  nute Reflection – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me, according to your word.” And the angel departed from her...Luke 1:38luke-1-38-mary-said-behold-i-am-the-heandmaid-of-the-lord-4-may-2018.jpg

REFLECTION – “With the certainty of faith we know that Jesus Christ is king in the full, literal and absolute sense of the word; for He is true God and man.   This does not, however, prevent Mary from sharing His royal prerogatives, though in a limited and analogous manner; for she was the Mother of Christ and Christ is God and she shared in the work of the divine Redeemer, in His struggles against enemies and in the triumph He won over them all.   From this union with Christ the King she assuredly obtains so eminent a status that she stands high above all created things and upon this same union with Christ is based that royal privilege, enabling her to distribute the treasures of the kingdom of the divine Redeemer.   And lastly, this same union with Christ is the fountain of the inexhaustible efficacy of her motherly intercession, in the presence of the Son and of the Father.
Without doubt, then, does our holy Virgin possess a dignity that far transcends all other creatures.   In the eyes of her Son, she takes precedence over everyone else. In order to help us understand the pre-eminence that the Mother of God enjoy,s over all creation, it would help to remember that from the first moment of her conception, the holy Virgin was filled with such a plenitude of grace as to surpass the graces, enhancing all the saints.   Recall what our predecessor Pius IX, of blessed memory, wrote in his Bull Ineflabilis Deus: “More than all the angels and all the saints has God ineffable freely endowed Mary with the fullness of the heavenly gifts that abound in the divine treasury and she, preserving herself ever immaculately clean, from the slightest taint of sin, attained a fullness of innocence and holiness, so great, as to be unthinkable apart from God Himself, a fullness that no one other than God will ever possess.”…Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) – Excerpted from Ad Caeli Reginamfrom-this-union-with-christ-the-king-ven-pius-xii-22-aug-2018-mem-of-mary-queen.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You have given us Mary, the Mother of Your Son, to be our Mother and our Queen.   Grant that, supported by her prayers, we may come to the kingdom of heaven and to the glory destined for Your children.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary queen - pray for us.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY, MATER ECCLESIAE, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PAPAL PRAYERS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The Second Official Memorial of this new feast day, the first Monday after Pentecost – Mary Mater Ecclesiae – Mary , Mother of the Church – 10 June 2019

Mary Mater Ecclesiae – Mary , Mother of the Church – 10 June 2019

Vatican Decree here:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/04/pope-francis-institutes-new-celebration-of-mary-mother-of-the-church/

“As a caring guide to the emerging Church,
Mary had already begun her mission
in the Upper Room, praying with the Apostles,
while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah

Congregation of Divine Worship
and the Discipline of the Sacraments,
11 February 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.
DECREE ON THE CELEBRATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY,
MOTHER OF THE CHURCH IN THE GENERAL ROMAN CALENDAR

as-a-caring-guide-to-the-emerging-church-cardinal-sarah-21-may-2018.jpg

“…She is clearly the Mother
of his members;
that is, of ourselves,
because she cooperated
by her charity,
so that faithful Christians,
members of the Head,
might be born in the Church.
As for the body,
she is the Mother of its Head…
Mary gave birth to our Head;
the Church gave birth to you.
Indeed, the Church also,
is both virgin and mother,
mother, because of her
womb of charity,
virgin, because of the integrity
of her faith and piety.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Graceshe-is-clearly-the-mother-of-his-members-st-augustine-first-memorial-of-mother-of-the-church-21-may-2018

“Who, more than Mary, could be, a star of hope for us?
With her “yes”, she opened the door of our world,
to God Himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant,
in whom God took flesh, became one of us
and pitched His tent among us.”

Spe Salvi 49 – Pope Benedict XVIwho-more-than-mary-pope-benedict-xvi-11-may-2018.jpg

Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our Faith
By our Holy Father, Pope Francis

Mother, help our faith!
Open our ears to hear God’s word
and to recognise His voice and call.
Awaken in us a desire, to follow in His footsteps,
to go forth from our own land
and to receive His promise.
Help us to be touched by His love,
that we may touch Him in faith.
Help us to entrust ourselves fully to Him
and to believe in His love,
especially at times of trial,
beneath the shadow of the cross,
when our faith is called to mature.
Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus,
that He may be light for our path.
And may this light of faith,
always increase in us,
until the dawn of that undying day,
which is Christ Himself, your Son, our Lord!
Amen

Prayer to Mary at the conclusion of the Encyclical Lumen Fidei (29 June 2013)
Image of Mary – Our Lady of the Column in St Peter’s Basilicaprayer-to-mary-mother-of-the-church-and-mother-of-our-faith-pope-francis-21-may-2018-memorial-of-mater-ecclesiae.jpg

St Augustine(354-430)
The Image of the Holy Church

Gracious Lady,
you are a mother and virgin,
you are the mother
of the body and soul
of our Head and Redeemer,
you are also truly mother
of all the members of Christ’s Mystical Body.
For through your love,
you have co-operated
in the begetting of the faithful in the Church.
Unique among women,
you are mother and virgin,
mother of Christ and virgin of Christ.
You are the beauty and charm of earth, O Virgin.
You are, forever, the image of the holy Church.
Through a woman came death,
through a woman came life,
yes, through you, O Mother of God.the image of the holy church - st augustine - 10 june 2019 - mary mater ecclesiae mother of the church.jpg

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, GOD is LOVE, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – Man is redeemed by love.

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 12:44–50

“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world”...John 12:47i did not come to condem the world john 12 47 15 may 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “It is not science that redeems man, man is redeemed by love.   This applies even in terms of this present world.   When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life.   But soon, he will also realise that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life.   It is a love that remains fragile.   It can be destroyed by death.   The human being needs unconditional love.   He needs the certainty which makes him say – “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39).   If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him, in his particular circumstances.

This is what it means to say, Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us.   Through Him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because His only-begotten Son has become man and of Him everyone can say:  “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20)….Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”#26it is not science that redeems man - pope benedict 15 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer.   We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience.   May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse. Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary-mother-pray-for-us-15-may-2018.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – “Love…more powerful than sin.”

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22; Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

The Paschal Mystery is Christ at the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of God.   It is precisely then that the words pronounced in the Upper Room are completely fulfilled:  “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).   In fact, Christ, whom the Father “did not spare” (Rm 8:32) for the sake of man and who in His passion and in the torment of the cross did not obtain human mercy, has revealed in His resurrection, the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people. “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mk 12:27).

In His resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them, and said to them:  ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).

Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.and it is also the same christ - st john paul - encyclical frifourtheweeklent 5 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

We keep acknowledging that God is the source of our life.
We realise that we have been seeking other sources of life.
We recognise our weakness and turn to God for help.
Though our hearts are being opened up to their depths,
though we cry out to God for help, we are not discouraged.

The Lord is near to broken hearts.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:18-19

Closing Prayer:
Loving God of forgiveness,
I come before You humbled and sad
in the face of my own repeated failings.
I hold out my hands as a petitioner would,
asking for mercy.
It is then that I feel You reach out and take my hand
in Your loving grasp.
Thank You for the love You pour out on me so lavishly.
Help me to follow more closely
in the path You have set for me,
the path of Your Son.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenjohn 7 28 you know me - fridayfourtheweeklent 5 april 2019

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Seeing with the Eyes of Christ

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’   There is no other commandment greater than these.” …Mark 12:30-32MARK 12 - 30,31

REFLECTION – “The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will, increases in a communion of thought and sentiment and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide – God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments but it is now, my own will, based on the realisation that God is, in fact, more deeply present to me, than I am to myself.   Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28).

Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible, in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.   It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know.   This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings.   Then, I learn, to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.   His friend is my friend… Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more, than their outward necessities, I can give them the look of love which they crave.”Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Deus caritas est ”, § 17 – 18seeing with the eyes of christ - pope beneidct 29 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy and eternal Father, we give praise to You for the radiant light You sent into the world, Your divine Son, Your Word made flesh.   For He guides our steps in a path of light and teaches us how to live.   May we love and glorify You and love our neighbour as ourselves.   Grant, we pray, that by the help of Your angels and saints and Mary, our Immaculate Mother, we may proceed to live Your Word of Truth.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.immaculate mary poray for us.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St JOSEPH

Devotion for March – St Joseph

Devotion for March
St Josephmarch 2019 month of st joseph 1 march 2019.jpg

Due to the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on 19 March, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ.

“Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men.   Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents.   From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.   And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties.   …It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.

“Quamquam Pluries” – On the Devotion to St Joseph –Pope Leo XIII

St Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes, amongst them he is the patron of the Universal Church.   He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed.   He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, of workers and those seeking work and of social justice.

As the foster father of Christ, St Joseph is, in a very real sense, the foster father of all Christians.   The “Prayer for the Intercession of St Joseph” prayer is recited to ask St Joseph to pray on your behalf to the Son of God, whom he protected and reared.

O blessed Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus,
most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary,
pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God,
that we, being defended by the power of His grace
and striving dutifully in life,
may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.
Amenpray for the intercession of st joseph 1 march 2019

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

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH – First Precept

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH

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

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

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

First Precept:

“You shall attend Mass on Sundays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Dies Domini 7)

 

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

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56 – The Canticle of the Magnificat

Thought for the Day – 22 December – – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56 – The Canticle of the Magnificat

Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” 541

Mary’s Magnificat—a portrait, so to speak, of her soul—is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the Word of God.   Here we see, how completely at home Mary is, with the Word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it.   She speaks and thinks with the Word of God;  the Word of God becomes her word and her word issues from the Word of God.   Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God.   Since Mary is completely imbued with the Word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate.since mary is completely imbued with the word - pope benedict the magnificat 22dec2018

Finally, Mary is a woman who loves.   How could it be otherwise?   As a believer who in faith thinks with God’s thoughts and wills with God’s will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves.   We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel.   We see it in the delicacy with which she recognises the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus.   We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus’ public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother’s hour will come only with the Cross…   At the hour of Pentecost, it will be the disciples who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!holy mary mother of god - pray for us - 7 may 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Pope Pius XII and Mediator Dei

The question remains, then, of just how one participates actively “in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church”.   Pope Pius XII situates active participation in a personal and corporate adhesion to the sacrifice of Christ who, in every Holy Mass, exercises His priesthood and offers Himself as a spotless victim to the Father.

One comes to Holy Mass, then, not after the manner of a consumer looking seeking spiritual gratification but, rather, as an offerer bearing to the altar the oblation of his own life, as a royal priest set over all created things in order to raise them heavenward in the Great Thanksgiving (Eucharist) and as a victim, a sacrificial lamb ready to be made over to God in Christ.  In Christ and in the members of His Mystical Body are the prophetic words of Abraham to Isaac wondrously fulfilled:  “God Himself will provide the lamb” (Genesis 22:8). Pope Pius XII writes:

“All the elements of the liturgy, then, would have us reproduce in our hearts the likeness of the divine Redeemer through the mystery of the cross, according to the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, “With Christ I am nailed to the cross. I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.”   Thus we become a victim, as it were, along with Christ to increase the glory of the eternal Father.

Let the faithful, therefore, consider to what a high dignity they are raised by the sacrament of baptism.   They should not think it enough to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice with that general intention which befits members of Christ and children of the Church but let them further, in keeping with the spirit of the sacred liturgy, be most closely united with the High Priest and His earthly minister, at the time the consecration of the divine Victim is enacted and, at that time, especially when those solemn words are pronounced:

“By Him and with Him and in Him is to Thee, God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory forever and ever”;   to these words in fact the people answer, “Amen.”

Nor should Christians forget to offer themselves, their cares, their sorrows, their distress and their necessities in union with their divine Saviour upon the cross.”

ven pope pius XII mediator dei - sunreflection 9 dec 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 12 November – “He gave his life for the unity of the Church” – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr

“He gave his life for the unity of the Church”

Pope Piux XI
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Ecclesiam Dei

Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr “the thief of souls.”PopePiusXI

“In designing his Church God worked with such skill that in the fullness of time it would resemble a single great family embracing all men.   It can be identified, as we know, by certain distinctive characteristics, notably its universality and unity.

Christ the Lord passed on to His apostles the task He had received from the Father: ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.   Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.’   He wanted the apostles as a body to be intimately bound together, first by the inner tie of the same faith and love which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit and, second, by the external tie of authority exercised by one apostle over the others.   For this he assigned the primacy to Peter, the source and visible basis of their unity for all time.  So that the unity and agreement among them would endure, God wisely stamped them, one might say, with the mark of holiness and martyrdom.

Both these distinctions fell to Josaphat, Archbishop of Polock of the Slavonic rite of the Eastern Church.   He is rightly looked upon as the great glory and strength of the Eastern Rite Slavs.   Few have brought them greater honour or contributed more to their spiritual welfare than Josaphat, their pastor and apostle, especially when he gave his life as a martyr for the unity of the Church.   He felt, in fact, that God had inspired him to restore world-wide unity to the Church and he realised that his greatest chance of success lay in preserving the Slavonic rite and Saint Basil’s rule of monastic life within the one universal Church.

Concerned mainly with seeing his own people reunited to the See of Peter, he sought out every available argument which would foster and maintain Church unity.   His best arguments were drawn from liturgical books, sanctioned by the Fathers of the Church, which were in common use among Eastern Christians, including the dissidents.   Thus thoroughly prepared, he set out to restore the unity of the Church.   A forceful man of fine sensibilities, he met with such success that his opponents dubbed him “the thief of souls.”

The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West.   The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting and celibacy.   No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor and doctrinal disagreement was present.   But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern—mostly Orthodox—Churches and 23 percent Protestant and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian, should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians! (These figures from Franciscan Media)

St Josaphat, Ora pro Nobis!st jospahat - pray for us - ora pro nobis - 12 nov 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, FRANCISCAN OFM, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 30 October – The Memorial of St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Preacher

Quote of the Day =30 October – The Memorial of St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Preacher

Pope Francis writes:

“The preacher has the wonderful but difficult task of joining loving hearts, the hearts of the Lord and His people.
The dialogue between God and His people further strengthens the covenant between them and consolidates the bond of charity.
In the course of the homily, the hearts of believers keep silence and allow God to speak. The Lord and His people speak to one another in a thousand ways directly, without intermediaries.   But in the homily, they want someone to serve as an instrument and to express their feelings in such a way, that afterwards, each one may chose how he or she
will continue the conversation.”

Pope Francis – Evangelii gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel, 143

the preacher has the wonderful but difficult task - evanelii guadium the joy of the gospel 143 - pope francis - 30 oct 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great DAY TWO – 14 OCTOBER

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great DAY TWO – 14 OCTOBER

Little Known Fact #2:   While working in a factory during the Nazi Occupation of Poland, Karol Wojtyla heard that one of his co-workers was expecting a child.   The man worked the night shift and found out that his wife gave birth to their child.   After a full day of work during the day, Karol told his co-worker to go home to be with his family. Karol then worked the entire night shift in place of the new father.   He continued to work the night shift after his own shift until his co-worker’s wife regained her strength and he could return to work.

REFLECTION:  ”Follow me! In July 1958 the young priest Karol Wojtyla began a new stage in his journey with the Lord and in the footsteps of the Lord.   Follow me – Karol Wojtyla accepted the appointment, for he heard in the Church’s call the voice of Christ. And then he realised how true are the Lord’s words:  “Those who try to make their life secure will lose it but those who lose their life will keep it” (Lk 17:33).   Our Pope – and we all know this – never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself;   he wanted to give of himself unreservedly, to the very last moment, for Christ and thus also for us.   And thus he came to experience how everything which he had given over into the Lord’s hands came back to him in a new way.   His love of words, of poetry, of literature, became an essential part of his pastoral mission and gave new vitality, new urgency, new attractiveness to the preaching of the Gospel, even when it is a sign of contradiction.”Pope Benedictday-two-novena-st-john-paul-14-oct-2017

Let us Pray:

O Holy Trinity, we thank You for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II and for having made him shine with Your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendour of the Spirit of love.

He, trusting completely in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us the way of holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You Grant us, through his intercession, according to Your will, the grace that we implore,

………………….. [state your intention here].

Continue, beloved St John Paul, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people.   We praise and thank You Father that St John Paul has been numbered among Your saints and make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

Totus Tuus, Amen.

Quote Day Two:   

“Mary is ‘the Mother of the Son of God.
As a result she is also the favourite daughter of the Father
and the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Because of this gift of sublime grace,
she far surpasses all other creatures,
both in heaven and on earth.”
(REDEMPTORIS MATER – 1987)mary-is-the-mother-of-the-son-of-god-st-john-paul-14-oct-2017

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 October – Today’s Gospel – Mark 10:2–16 – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

One Minute Reflection – 7 October – Today’s Gospel – Mark 10:2–16 – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

“…The two shall become one flesh.”...Mark 10:8

REFLECTION – “In the world of the Bible, God’s relationship with Israel is described using the metaphors of betrothal and marriage – idolatry is thus adultery and prostitution… But God’s eros for man is also totally agape.   This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit but also because it is love which forgives… In this biblical vision, on the one hand we find ourselves before a strictly metaphysical image of God:  God is the absolute and ultimate source of all being but this universal principle of creation—the Logos, primordial reason—is at the same time a lover with all the passion of a true love.   Eros is thus supremely ennobled, yet at the same time it is so purified as to become one with agape…  The first novelty of biblical faith consists… in its image of God.   The second, essentially connected to this, is found in the image of man.
The biblical account of creation speaks of the solitude of Adam, the first man and God’s decision to give him a helper… The idea is certainly present that man is somehow incomplete, driven by nature to seek in another the part that can make him whole, the idea that only in communion with the opposite sex can he become “complete”.   The biblical account thus concludes with a prophecy about Adam:  “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
Two aspects of this are important.   First, eros is somehow rooted in man’s very nature; Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman, only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”.   The second aspect is equally important.   From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitiv, thus and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose.   Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage.   Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love, becomes the icon of the relationship between God and His people and vice versa.   God’s way of loving becomes the measure of human love…Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical letter “Deus caritas est”, # 9-11mark 10 8 the two shall become one flesh-marriage based on exclusive and definitive love - pope benedict XVI

PRAYER – Almighty, everliving God, whose love surpasses all that we ask or deserve, open up for us, the treasures of Your mercy.   Teach us the truth of love and forgive us all that weighs on our conscience.   Grant us even more than we dare to ask and grant us the merciful and guiding assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Through Him who redeemed us in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.our-lady-of-the-rosary-pray-for-us-7 oct 2017oly Spirit, one God forever and ever.   Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us, amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PAPAL MESSAGES, PAPAL PRAYERS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1 September

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1 September

Pope Francis has designated 1 September as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.   He hopes this day will be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which He has entrusted to our care and to implore His help for the protection of creation as well as His pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

For this the 4th Annual World Day of Prayer, Pope Francis said:
“In this year’s message,I wish to draw attention to the issue of water, the primary good to be protected and made available to all.”
His full message will be published later today.

The Ecology Encyclical:   Care for Our Common Home:

A prayer for our earth
(from Laudato si’)

All-powerful God, You are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of Your creatures.
You embrace with Your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of Your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in Your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
That we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognise that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards Your infinite light.
We thank You for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
Amenworld-day-of-prayer-for-the-care-of-creation-1-sept-20171

Posted in DOCTRINE, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

One Minute Reflection – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38

One Minute Reflection – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me, according to your word.”   And the angel departed from her...Luke 1:38luke 1 38 - mary said, behold i am the heandmaid of the lord - 4 may 2018

REFLECTION – “With the certainty of faith we know that Jesus Christ is king in the full, literal and absolute sense of the word;  for He is true God and man.   This does not, however, prevent Mary from sharing His royal prerogatives, though in a limited and analogous manner;  for she was the Mother of Christ and Christ is God and she shared in the work of the divine Redeemer, in His struggles against enemies and in the triumph He won over them all.   From this union with Christ the King she assuredly obtains so eminent a status that she stands high above all created things and upon this same union with Christ is based that royal privilege, enabling her to distribute the treasures of the kingdom of the divine Redeemer.   And lastly, this same union with Christ is the fountain of the inexhaustible efficacy of her motherly intercession, in the presence of the Son and of the Father.
Without doubt, then, does our holy Virgin possess a dignity that far transcends all other creatures.   In the eyes of her Son, she takes precedence over everyone else.   In order to help us understand the pre-eminence that the Mother of God enjoy,s over all creation, it would help to remember that from the first moment of her conception, the holy Virgin was filled with such a plenitude of grace as to surpass the graces, enhancing all the saints.   Recall what our predecessor Pius IX, of blessed memory, wrote in his Bull Ineflabilis Deus:  “More than all the angels and all the saints has God ineffable freely endowed Mary with the fullness of the heavenly gifts that abound in the divine treasury and she, preserving herself ever immaculately clean, from the slightest taint of sin, attained a fullness of innocence and holiness, so great, as to be unthinkable apart from God Himself, a fullness that no one other than God will ever possess.”…Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) – Excerpted from Ad Caeli Reginamfrom this union with christ the king - ven pius XII - 22 aug 2018 - mem of mary queen

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You have given us Mary, the Mother of Your Son, to be our Mother and our Queen.   Grant that, supported by her prayers, we may come to the kingdom of heaven and to the glory destined for Your children.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary-queen-pray-for-us.22 aUG 2017jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 19 August

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 19 AugustSOD-0815-SolemnityoftheAssumptionofMary-790x480.jpg

The Solemnity of the Assumption is a day of joy.   God has won  . Love has won.   It has won life.   Love has shown that it is stronger than death, that God possesses the true strength and that His strength is goodness and love.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (974) states that the “Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of His Body.”

St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Church, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges:
“It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death.
It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles.
It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions.
It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father.
It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son and that she should be honoured by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.”assumption - guido reni

Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St Robert Bellarmine S.J. (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church exclaimed:
“And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin?   My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought Him into the world, had nourished and carried Him, could have been turned into ashes …”assumption-of-the-virgin-mary-1600-1601-annibale-carracci

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) expressed similar thoughts on the Assumption of Mary when he said “It was becoming, that she [Mary] should be taken up into heaven and not lie in the grave till Christ’s second coming, who had passed a life of sanctity and of miracle such as hers.”
He added, “If her body was not taken into heaven, where is it? Why are not pilgrimages made to it?   Why are not relics producible of her, as of the saints in general?   Plainly because that sacred body is in heaven, not on earth.”Assumption_841568

It is important to note also that the Venerable Pope Pius XII in the official church document did not say specifically whether or not Mary actually died before being taken up to heaven, only that she “completed the course of her earthly life.”   The important thing is that she did not experience the corruption of her body from death that we do as a result of our being born with Original Sin.dormition_lgAssumption-of-Mary-by-Strobeldormition of the virgin - lawrence op

Dormition of the Virgin Mary
“In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate and with the other privileges she had been accorded.
Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne.   These words are found in this volume:  “Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself.””

“Christ overcame sin and death by his own death and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come.   And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.
Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule.   She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.”

Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) from the Apostolic Constitution ‘Munificentissimus Deus’ (The most bountiful God) which defined ex cathedra The Assumption as Dogma by the Catholic Church in 1950.

So what does the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven mean for us on a more down-to-earth level?   It gives us great hope that, as we strive to live in our Lord’s grace and to do His will, with Mary’s assistance, we might share in His resurrection someday!417px-Tizian_041Baroque_Rubens_Assumption-of-Virgin-3

Assumption Day on 15 August is a nationwide public holiday in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Gabon, Greece, Georgia, Republic of Guinea, Haiti, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro (Albanian Catholics), Paraguay, Poland (Polish Army Day), Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tahiti, Togo and Vanuatu and was also in Hungary until 1948.   In India, 15 August also celebrates Independence Day.

It is also a public holiday in parts of Germany (Bavaria and Saarland) and Switzerland (in 14 of the 26 cantons).   In Guatemala, it is observed in Guatemala City and in the town of Santa Maria Nebaj, both of which claim her as their patron saint.   Also, this day is combined with Mother’s Day in Costa Rica and parts of Belgium.

Prominent Catholic and Orthodox countries in which Assumption Day is an important festival but is not recognized by the state as a public holiday include Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines and Russia.

In many places, religious parades and popular festivals are held to celebrate this day. In Canada, Assumption Day is the Fête Nationale of the Acadians, of whom she is the patron saint.   Some businesses close on that day in heavily francophone parts of New Brunswick, Canada.   The Virgin Assumed in Heaven is also patroness of the Maltese Islands and her feast, celebrated on 15 August, apart from being a public holiday in Malta is also celebrated with great solemnity in the local churches especially in the seven localities known as the Seba’ Santa Marijiet.
Below is an image of the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary at Novara di Sicilia.Assunzione_agosto_NovaradiSicilia_tre

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, VATICAN II - Documents

Quote/s of the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of Sts Louis & Zelie Martin

Quote/s of the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of Sts Louis & Zelie Martin

– Parents of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

“The good God,
gave me a father and mother,
more worthy of Heaven than of earth.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)

Doctor of the Churchthe good god - st t of l - 12 july 2018

“They live in the world, that is,
in each and in all
of the secular professions and occupations.
They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life,
from which, the very web, of their existence is woven.
They are called there by God,
that by exercising their proper function
and led by the spirit of the Gospel,
they may work for the sanctification of the world,
from within as a leaven.”

Lumen Gentium 31they live in the world - lumen gentium 31

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL DECREE, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila – Patrons of Catholic Marriage and Families

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila – Patrons of Catholic Marriage and Families

Speaking of Marriage and the Family

“Authentic married love is caught up into divine love . . .
so that this love may lead the spouses to God . . .
and in God, they find the strength,
to carry on their roles and responsibilities.”

Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World), 48authentic married love - gaudium et spes 48 - 8 july 2018

“Merciful love is supremely indispensable
between those who are closest to one another:
between husbands and wives,
between parents and children,
between friends
and it is indispensable
in education and in pastoral work.”merciful love - st john paul 8 july 208

“The future of humanity passes by way of the family.
It is therefore indispensable and urgent,
that every person of good will should endeavour
to save and foster the values and requirements of the family.
I feel that I must ask for a particular effort in this field,
from the sons and daughters of the Church.
Faith gives them full knowledge of God’s wonderful plan,
they, therefore, have an extra reason for caring for the reality
that is the family in this time of trial and of grace.
They must show the family special love.
This is an injunction that calls for concrete action.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the future of humanity - st pope john paul - 8 july 2018

“We speak a lot about behavioural problems,
mental health, the well-being of the child,
the anxiety of the parents and the children—
but do we even know what a wound of the soul is?
Do we feel the weight of the mountain
that crushes the soul of a child in those families,
where members mistreat and hurt one another
to the point of breaking the bonds of marital fidelity?
What effect do our choices — often poor choices—
have on the souls of children?”

Pope Francis
24 June 2015we speak a lot about behavioural problems - pope francis - 8 july 2018

“During these days, we will reflect in particular on the family,
which is the fundamental cell of society.
From the beginning the Creator blessed man and woman,
so that they might be fruitful and multiply
and so the family then,
is an image of the Triune God in the world.”

Pope Francis
23 February 2014the family is the fundamental - pope francis - 8 july 2018

To be continued……

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The SOCIAL TEACHING of the Church, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 June – Monday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 7:1-5 & The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

Thought for the Day – 25 June – Monday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 7:1-5 & The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye”

Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.   It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth.   Each person finds his good by adherence to God’s plan for him, in order to realise it fully:  in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32)…

Charity is love received and given.   It is “grace”.   Its source is the wellspring of the Father’s love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit.   Love comes down to us from the Son.   It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which we are recreated.   Love is revealed and made present by Christ (cf. Jn 13:1) and “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5).   As the objects of God’s love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God’s charity and to weave networks of charity.

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church’s social teaching…: the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society.   This doctrine is a service to charity but its locus is truth…   Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth.  What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated.   Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalised society at difficult times like the present….Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical « Caritas in veritate 

“To illustrate this view of Maximus’ ministry in his city, I would like to point out for example Sermons 17 and 18, dedicated to an ever timely topic:  wealth and poverty in Christian communities.   In this context too, the city was fraught with serious tensions.   Riches were accumulated and hidden.   “No one thinks about the needs of others”, the Bishop remarked bitterly in his 17th Sermon.   “In fact, not only do many Christians not share their own possessions but they also rob others of theirs.   Not only, I say, do they not bring the money they collect to the feet of the apostles but in addition, they drag from priests’ feet their own brethren who are seeking help”.   And he concluded:  “In our cities there are many guests or pilgrims.   Do what you have promised adhering to faith, so that what was said to Ananias will not be said to you as well:  “You have not lied to men but to God'” (Sermon 17, 2-3).”…Pope Benedict Homily on St Maximus 31 October 2007

St Maximus of Turin, Pray for us!st maximus pray for us - 25 june 2018.jpg

 

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, ENCYCLICALS, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, The WORD, VATICAN Documents, VATICAN Resources

One Minute Reflection – 15 June – Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:27-32

One Minute Reflection – 15 June – Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:27-32

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’   But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress and whoever marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”…Matthew 5:31-32matthew 5 31-32-but i say to you that everyone who divorces

REFLECTION – “Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realise that it takes its origin from God, who is love… Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces.   It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design.   As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves alone… develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.   The marriage of those who have been baptised is, in addition, invested with the dignity of a sacramental sign of grace, for it represents the union of Christ and His Church (Eph 5:32).

In the light of these facts the characteristic features and exigencies of married love are clearly indicated.   This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit.   It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive.   It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life but also to grow, so that husband and wife become, in a way, one heart and one soul and together attain their human fulfilment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience.   Whoever really loves his partner, loves not only for what he receives but loves that partner, for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other and this until death.   This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage… Finally, this love is fecund.   It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife;  it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being.”…Blessed Paul VI – Humanae vitae, 8-9whoever really loves - bl pope paul VI - humanae vitae 9 - 15 june 2018

PRAYER – Yours is the day and Yours, the night, Lord God and we are Your children. Grant we pray, that the weakness of our humanity, the drive of our emotions and flesh may not overpower us.   Lead us Lord, through the dangers of our day, give us strength and true love, wishing only our final home for those who share our lives, especially our spouse.   Mary, pray for us, that we may imitate your faithfulness in all things, St Joseph be a guide and a support to us all.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.holy mary holy joseph - pray for us - 15 june 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 June – Tenth Sunday of the Year B – Today’s Gospel Mark 3:20-35

One Minute Reflection – 10 June – Tenth Sunday of the Year B – Today’s Gospel Mark 3:20-35

“But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”…Mark 3:29

REFLECTION – “Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable?   How should this blasphemy be understood?   St Thomas Aquinas replies that it is a question of a sin that is “unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place.”   According to such an exegesis, “blasphemy” does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words;  it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers us through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross.   If man rejects the “convincing concerning sin” which comes from the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:8) and which has the power to save, he also rejects the “coming” of the Counsellor (Jn 16:7) – that “coming” which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ’s Blood:  the Blood which “purifies the conscience from dead works” (Heb 9:15).

We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins.   Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood (cf. 1Jn 5:8) remains in “dead works,” in sin.  And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience.   If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this “non-forgiveness” is linked, as to its cause, to “non-repentance,” in other words to the radical refusal to be converted…

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person, who claims to have a “right” to persist in evil – in any sin at all – and who thus, rejects Redemption. One closes oneself up in sin, thus making impossible one’s conversion and consequently the remission of sins, which one considers not essential or not important for one’s life. This is a state of spiritual ruin, because blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not allow one to escape from one’s self-imposed imprisonment.”… St John Paul II (1920-2005) Encyclical “Dominum et vivificantem”mark 3 29 - but whoever - st john paul - blasphemy against the holy spirit then - 10 june 2018

PRAYER – Lord God strength of those who hope in You, support us in our prayer because we are weak and can do nothing without You.   Grant always the help of Your grace so that, in fulfilling Your commandments, we may please You in the depths of our hearts and souls and be free of sin against You.   Fill us with the Holy Spirit, who is our refuge, our strength, our truth.   Through Christ, our Lord, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.   “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Mark 3:35mark 3 35 - whoever does the will of god is my brother = 10 june 2018