Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 16 November – I grieve, Mary, for thy son and thee.

Thought for the Day – 16 November – The Memorial of St Edmund Rich of Abingdon (1175-1240) Archbishop of Canterbury

St Edmund’s best-known work in the Middle Ages was his Speculum Ecclesie.   It’s a work on the contemplative life, offering (among other things) meditations on different moments in the life of Christ, aiming to help the reader to enter imaginatively into the scenes of His Passion and feel intense compassion for His sufferings.   I don’t know whether people read the Speculum Ecclesie today, but most students of Middle English will have read a poem which survives as part of it.   This is one of the earliest, shortest and most popular devotional poems in Middle English:

Nou goth sonne under wod,
Me reweth, Marie, thi faire rode.
Nou goth sonne under tre,
Me reweth, Marie, thi sone and thee.

Now goes the sun under the wood,
I grieve, Mary, for your fair face.
Now goes the sun under the tree,
I grieve, Mary, for thy son and thee.

This short poem is designed to be a spur to meditation on the Crucifixion, perhaps at the appropriate hour of the day when the sun begins to set.   Apparently very simple, the poem is dense with meaningful wordplay – as the sun sets behind the wood, so Christ the Son is shrouded in darkness on the wood of the cross, the tree; that is, the ‘rode’, which means both ‘face’ and ‘rood’ (cross).   And here we have another pair of a mother and her son, and their strong emotional bond (like St Edmund himself and his mother).   The poem encourages the reader to meditate and dwell on Christ’s Crucifixion by approaching the Son through the Mother, to feel compassion for His suffering as it is reflected in her grief (underlined by that wordplay on ‘rode’ – (His cross and her face). How wonderful it is that this poem should be associated with a saint whose mother was such an important presence in his life.

Back in Abingdon, the Catholic church is dedicated to him and to the Virgin Mary, the mother and bride who was so constant a presence in his spiritual life.

Mother of Sorrows, Pray for Us!

St Edmund, Pray for Us!mother of sorrows pray for us 16 nov 2019

Posted in CARMELITES, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, POETRY, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAMB of GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 November – To Surrender To Love

Thought for the Day – 8 November – The Memorial of St Elizabeth of the Trinity O.Carm (1880-1906)

To Surrender To Love
By St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)

Oh how good it is in silence
To listen to Him over and over,
To enjoy the peace of His presence
and then to surrender, wholly to His love.

O Lamb, so pure and so meek,
You my All, my only One,
How well You know that Your fiancée,
Your little one, hungers greatly for You.

She hungers to feed upon her Master,
Above all to be consumed by Him,
To surrender fully to Him her whole being
So she may be totally taken.

Oh, that I may be possessed by You;
One who lives by You alone,
Yours, Your living host,
Consumed by You on the Cross.to surrender to love st elizabeth of the trinity 8 nov 2019

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 November – ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’

One Minute Reflection – 7 November – Thursday of the Thirty First week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 15:1–10 and the Memorial of Saint Vincenzo Grossi (1845-1917)

“‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’”… Luke 15:6

REFLECTION –
“I have wandered in the desert,
Gone astray in the wilderness,
One among a hundred
As in the parable of the sheep.

The wicked enemy tore it to pieces,
He covered it with incurable wounds,
Hence there is no other cure for the wound
But You, to heal it.

In floods of tears I implore You,
I lift up my cries to my Lord:
O Good Shepherd, come down from heaven,
Go in search of the little flock.

Lord, seek out the fallen coin,
Your image that was lost (Gn 1:26),
That I trampled in the vice of sin
And the stinking mud.

Wash me, Lord, from my filth,
Make my soul pure, as the whiteness of snow (Is 1:18).
Make up the number of the ten coins
As You did for the forty saints [of Sebaste].

Carry me on Your shoulders,
O You who bore the Cross,
Be pleased to raise up my fallen soul.
Give joy to the heavenly host of angels
At the return of a single sinner.” … Saint Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173), Armenian Bishopluke 15 6 rejoice with me for i have found - carry me on your shoulders - st nerses chnorhali 7 nov 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom, You created us, by Your providence You rule us, penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life, may always be one of faithful service to You. With great love we thank You for the great gifts You shower upon us and for being our Father, who seeks and finds us when we are lost.   Grant that by the intercession of St Vincenzo Grossi, we may ever seek to stay true to our baptism. Through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st vincenzo grossi pray for us 7 nov 2019

Posted in ART DEI, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Our Morning Offering – 6 November – Tis I – Be not Afraid!

Our Morning Offering – 6 November – Wednesday of the Thirty  First week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Tis I – Be not Afraid!
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

WHEN I sink down in gloom or fear,
Hope blighted or delayed,
Thy whisper, Lord, my heart shall cheer,
“’Tis I – be not afraid!”

Or, startled at some sudden blow,
If fretful thoughts I feel,
“Fear not, it is but I!” shall flow,
As balm my wound to heal.

Nor will I quit Thy way, though foes
Some onward pass defend,
From each rough voice the watchword goes,
“Be not afraid!… a Friend!”

And O! when judgement’s trumpet clear
Awakes me from the grave,
Still in it’s echo may I hear,
“’Tis Christ! He comes to save.”tis I be not afraid - st john henry newman 6 nov 2019.jpg

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

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

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

“Follow Me”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Let us speak about saints to forge saints.”

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

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

Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975)

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

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

Posted in Gerard MANLEY HOPKINS SJ, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 October – ‘That in Majorca, Alfonso watched the door.’

Thought for the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment, through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23.   Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died.   Meanwhile, business was poor.   Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life  . He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sister’s home.   There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation.

At the death of his son years later, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits.   He was not helped by his poor education.   He applied twice before being admitted.   For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca.   When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations.

His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including Saint Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian.  Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.

We like to think that God rewards the good, even in this life.   But Alphonsus knew business losses, painful bereavement and periods when God seemed very distant.   None of his suffering made him withdraw into a shell of self-pity or bitterness.   Rather, he reached out to others who lived with pain, including enslaved Africans.   Among the many notables at his funeral were the sick and poor people whose lives he had touched. May they find such a friend in us!

Alphonsus’ life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum but centuries later he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his most famous poems.

Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.

Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out;  Who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by, of world without event
That in Majorca, Alfonso watched the door.

Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889),
in honour of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)gerard manley hopkins poem for st alphonsus rodrigues 31 oct 2019 no 2.jpg

St Alphonsus Rodriguez, Pray for Us!st alphonsus rodriguez pray for us - 31 oct 2018.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DIVINE MERCY, GOD is LOVE, HYMNS, MINI SERIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, POETRY, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The HOLY TRINITY, The WORD, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 29 October – How to speak about God?

Thought for the Day – 29 October – Tuesday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:18-21

Again he said, …”To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in
with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” Luke 13:20

Excerpt – Part One
Year of Faith – How to speak about God?

Pope Benedict XVI
Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The important question we ask ourselves today is – how can we talk about God in our time?   How can we communicate the Gospel so as to open roads to His saving truth in our contemporaries’ hearts — that are all too often closed — and minds — that are at times distracted by the many dazzling lights of society? Jesus, the Evangelists tell us, asked Himself about this as He proclaimed the kingdom of God – “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?” (Mk 4:30).

How can we talk about God today?   The first answer is that we can talk about God because He has talked to us, so the first condition for speaking of God is listening to all that God Himself has said.   God has spoken to us!   God is therefore not a distant hypothesis concerning the world’s origin, He is not a mathematical intelligence far from us.   God takes an interest in us, He loves us, He has entered personally into the reality of our history, He has communicated Himself, even to the point of taking flesh.   Thus God is a reality of our life, He is so great that He has time for us too, He takes an interest in us. In Jesus of Nazareth we encounter the face of God, who came down from His heaven to immerse Himself in the human world, in our world, and to teach “the art of living”, the road to happiness, to set us free from sin and make us children of God (cf. Eph 1:5; Rom 8:14).   Jesus came to save us and to show us the good life of the Gospel.

Talking about God means first of all expressing clearly what God we must bring to the men and women of our time, not an abstract God, a hypothesis but a real God, a God who exists, who has entered history and is present in history, the God of Jesus Christ as an answer to the fundamental question of the meaning of life and of how we should live. Consequently speaking of God demands familiarity with Jesus and His Gospel, it implies that we have a real, personal knowledge of God and a strong passion for His plan of salvation without succumbing to the temptation of success but following God’s own method.   God’s method is that of humility — God makes Himself one of us — His method is brought about through the Incarnation in the simple house of Nazareth; through the Grotto of Bethlehem, through the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

We must not fear the humility of taking little steps but trust in the leaven that penetrates the dough and slowly causes it to rise (cf. Mt 13:33).   In talking about God, in the work of evangelisation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must recover simplicity, we must return to the essence of the proclamation – the Good News of a God who is real and effective, a God who is concerned about us, a God-Love who makes Himself close to us in Jesus Christ, until the Cross and who, in the Resurrection, gives us hope and opens us to a life that has no end, eternal life, true life. – To be continued/…

Firmly I believe and truly
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Firmly I believe and truly
God is three and God is On
And I next acknowledge duly
Manhood taken by the Son.
And I trust and hope most fully
In that Manhood crucified
And each thought and deed unruly
Do to death, as He has died.
Simply to His grace and wholly
Light and life and strength belong
And I love, supremely, solely,
Him the holy, Him the strong.

And I hold in veneration,
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church, as His creation,
And her teachings, as His own.
And I take with joy whatever
Now besets me, pain or fear
And with a strong will I sever
All the ties which bind me here. 
Adoration aye be given,
With and through the angelic host,
To the God of earth and heaven,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.firmly i believe and truly st john henry newman 29 oct 2019.jpg