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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