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, 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

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Hail MARY!, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 26 October – Ave Maria, Amen

Our Morning Offering – 26 October – Saturday of the Twenty-ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday

Ave Maria, Amen
Traditional Catholic Hymn/Poem
Unknown Author

A song ascends from vale to heights,
from town to town a hundred times,
Ave Maria, Amen.

In every place the earth around,
at every bells resound,
Ave Maria, Amen.

All creatures, be they low or high,
send joyous songs up to the sky,
Ave Maria, Amen.

Stars near each other in their rays
and greet each other on their ways,
Ave Maria, Amen.

The angels at the throne of God
with harps and flutes the Highest land,
Ave Maria, Amen.

And all the blest in paradise
to joyous, happy praise give rise,
Ave Maria, Amen.

Thus praises sound through space and time
in everlasting, glorious rhyme,
Ave Maria, Amenave maria amen - trad catholic hymn poem - 26 oct 2019.jpg

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

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

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

Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

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

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

Over This, Your White Grave

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

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

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

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

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

“Name”

In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

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

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy: the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

Karol Wojtyla

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

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

Marble Floor

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

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

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

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, POETRY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Quote of the Day – 13 October – LEAD, Kindly Light

Quote of the Day – 13 October – Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C and today, John Henry Newman will be Canonised

The Pillar of the Cloud
By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

LEAD, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will – remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone
And with the morn, those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.

At Sea
16 June 1833

St John Henry Newmanlead kindly light 13 oct 2019 st john henry newman

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, POETRY, PRAYERS for CANONISATION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 12 October – Mary, who gives Comfort and Strength

Thought for the Day – 12 October – The Memorial of Blessed Jan Beyzym SJ (1850–1912), “Apostle of the Lepers of Madasgascar”

Mary, who gives Comfort and Strength
By Fr Mieczysław Bednarz SJ

Our Holy Mother was his strength and comfort.   All his sufferings were dedicated to Her and to the Polish Province of Father’s order.   Our Lady was his lifelong and reliable help in all his deeds and sufferings.   St Joseph, alongside with Mary, was a model of patience for Father Beyzym.   When he had been waiting for long years for the decision with regard to his Sakhalin mission, Father saw the necessity to accept God’s will and follow St Joseph, who had been waiting in Egypt for the Angel’s word telling him to return to the land of Israel.

Father Beyzym’s life, especially the years he devoted to the work for the lepers (Father never complained about that and about them) were full of disappointments, troubles, obstacles and obstruction.   If there were not for his gift of patience, Father would not carry such a burden.

Only the spirit of faith, the vision of faith in the continual praying for the help of God and His Holy Mother, only the power of the Eucharist and the strength of the compassion for the miserable, gave Father the power to endure to the end.   During his last illness he was admired for his patience and courageousness.   “By your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21,19), – was one of the mottoes of Father Beyzym’s life.   And he lived up to it.

Humbly and gratefully Father attributed everything to the Blessed Mother, because, as he used to say, he was a complete failure.   She ruled and directed and he was only a tool in Her hands.   There was no heroism in his work for the lepers.   “Our Holy Mother sent me to take care of them.   So, here I am and there is that”.
Humble, small, poor, understanding his badness, always trustful, free of pride and despair, immersed in the mercy of God and Our Holy Mother’s care, he prayed, worked and coped with thousands of difficulties and problems.   This was Father Beyzym – small in his unconscious greatness.   Great was his love – humble and serving to the very end.

Why do you Hurry?
By Father Stanislaw Ziemianski SJ

Why do you hurry Father Beyzym
To the hostile and far away land
Why do you guide your steps of a pilgrim,
Where need and leprosy are hand in hand?

Refrain:
I hurry to save my brothers in Christ,
Unblessed and miserable outcasts.
I go to save my brothers in Christ,
Lepers, desolate hearts!

Why do you sail to Madagascar?
The island is unexplored and wild.
There lepers cramped in their huts
Live in the straits of body and mind.

Refrain:
I hurry to save my brothers in Christ…

Aren’t you afraid you contract the illness,
And you would suffer your chicklings fate?
Deny yourself for the lepers what made you,
Whose voice you heard outcrying for help?

Refrain:
I hurry to save my brothers in Christ…

Holy Mother, Pray for Us!holy-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-sinners-4-may-2018.jpg

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Jan Beyzym
The Apostle of the Lepers of Madasgar

Father of mercy and God of all comfort!
Through the agency of Your Servant Jan Beyzym
You bestowed mercy and consolation
On the most miserable of the miserable,
On the forlorn and outcast,
On the separated off the human society
With the wall of fear and scorn.

By Your mercy in him
And his intercession
Make us the instrument of Your Providence,
Kindness and consolation for all,
Who need it.

And if it is not against Your will,
Deign to include him among Your Saints,
And graciously grant us,
What we sincerely ask You for
With the desire for Your glory
And our benefit.

Through Christ, Our Lord.
Amen

Blessed Jan Beyzym, Pray for us!bl jan beyzym pray for us no 2 12 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 9 October – Be Merciful, Be Gracious

Quote of the Day – 9 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 11:1–4 and the Memorial of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Be Merciful, Be Gracious
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Be merciful, be gracious, Lord, deliver me.
From the sins that are past,
From Your frown and Your ire,
From the perils of dying,
From any complying
With sin or denying
My God, or relying
On self,
at the last,
From the nethermost fire,
From all that is evil,
From the power of the devil,
Your servant deliver,
For once and forever,
By Your Birth and By Your Cross,
Rescue me from endless loss,
By Your death and burial,
Save me from a final fall,
By Your rising from the tomb,
By Your mounting up above,
By the Spirit’s gracious love,
Save me in the day of doom.

Amen

Bl John Henry Newman

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/09/quote-s-of-the-day-9-october-the-memorial-of-blessed-john-henry-newman-1801-1890/be-merciful-be-gracious-bl-john-henry-newman-30-april-2019AND 9 OCT 2019

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

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

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

The Angel to Gerontius

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

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

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

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 15 September – Sonnet to our Lord Crucified

Our Morning Offering – 15 September – Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

As we celebrate today the holy mystery of the Sacrifice of the Mass,

let us contemplate our Lord Crucified.

Sonnet to our Lord Crucified
Anonymous

I am not moved to love You, O my God,
That I might hope in promised heaven to dwell,
Nor am I moved by fear of pain in hell,
To turn from sin and follow where You trod.
You move me, Lord, broken beneath the rod,
Or stretched out on the cross, as nails compel
Your hand to twitch. It moves me that we sell,
To mockery and death, Your precious blood.
It is, O Christ, Your love which moves me so,
That my love rests not on a promised prize,
Nor holy fear on threat of endless woe,
It is not milk and honey but the flow
Of blood from blessed wounds before my eyes,
That waters my buried soul and makes it grow.
Amensonnet to our lord crucified i am not moved to love you - 15 sept 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FRANCISCAN OFM, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 12 September – Mary’s Name

Quote/s of the Day – 12 September – Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

“This most holy, sweet and worthy name
was eminently fitted
to so holy, sweet and worthy a virgin.
For Mary means a bitter sea, star of the sea,
the illuminated or illuminatrix.
Mary is interpreted Lady.
Mary is a bitter sea to the demons,
to men, she is the Star of the sea,
to the Angels, she is illuminatrix
and to all creatures she is Lady.”

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Seraphic Doctorthis most holy sweet name = st bonaventure 12 sept 2019 no 2.jpg

“Mary means Star of the sea,
for as mariners are guided to port
by the ocean star,
so Christians attain to glory,
through Mary’s maternal intercession.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Angelic Doctor
Common Doctor

mary means star of the sea - st thomas aquinas 12 sept 2019

“One cannot contemplate Mary
without being attracted by Christ
and one cannot look at Christ
without immediately perceiving
the presence of Mary.”

Pope Benedict XVIone-cannot-contemplate-mary-pope-benedict-open-house-conversations-with-st-louis-de-montfort-the-secret-of-mary-28-sept-2018.jpg

Mary’s Name

Rare perfume is a rough and reeking place,
A bell-like music breaking through the blare
Of strident streets, a dear remembered face
Appearing through the mind’s pondrous despair.

A foam of summer flowers fringing the drear
Immobile desert sea, a cherished voice
Calling in some long night of pain and fear
To make the heavy, heaving heart rejoice.
Such is the mystic wonder of her name
That is a shudder down Hell’s shaken halls,
And joy where angel-wings flit like white flames,
Where height to echoing height its glory calls.

Liam Bhophy

The Apostle – October 1962the most holy name of mary 12 sept 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, THE ASSUMPTION

Our Morning Offering – 17 August – The Praises of Mary “Assumption” Poem by Saint Anthony

Our Morning Offering – 17 August – Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday

The Praises of Mary
“Assumption”
Poem by Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church

O how wondrous is the dignity of the glorious Virgin!
She merited to become the mother of Him
who is the strength and beauty of the angels
and the grandeur of all the saints.

Mary was the seat of our sanctification,
that is to say,
the dwelling place of the Son
who sacrificed Himself for us.

“And I shall glorify the place where my feet have stood.”
The feet of the Saviour signify His human nature.
The place where the feet of the Saviour stood
was the Blessed Mary,
who gave Him His human nature.

Today the Lord glorifies that place,
since He has exalted Mary
above the choirs of the angels.
That is to say,
the Blessed Virgin,
who was the dwelling of the Saviour,
has been assumed bodily into heaven.the praises of mary assumption by st anthony of padua 17 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, DANTE ALIGHIERI!, HYMNS, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY

Our Morning Offering – 5 August – Maiden yet a Mother

Our Morning Offering – 5 August – Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major

Maiden yet a Mother
By Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Tr Msgr Ronald A Knox (1888-1957)

Maiden yet a mother,
daughter of thy Son,
high beyond all other,
lowlier is none;
thou the consummation
planned by God’s decree,
when our lost creation
nobler rose in thee!

Thus His place prepared,
he who all things made
‘mid his creatures tarried,
in thy bosom laid;
there His love He nourished,
warmth that gave increase
to the root whence flourished
our eternal peace.

Nor alone thou hearest
When thy name we hail;
Often thou art nearest
When our voices fail;
Mirrored in thy fashion
All creation’s gird,
Mercy, might compassion
Grace thy womanhood.

Lady, let our vision
Striving heavenward, fail,
Still let thy petition
With thy Son prevail,
Unto whom all merit,
prayer and majesty,
With the Holy Spirit
And the Father be.

Maiden Yet A Mother is a translation of a poem by Durante (Dante) degli Alighieri (c 1265–1321).   It is based upon the opening verses of Canto 33 of the Paradiso from his Divine Comedy in which St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) praises and prays to the Virgin Mother on behalf of Dante.   It was translated from the original Italian into English by the Catholic convert, Monsignior Ronald A Knox (1888-1957).   It is one of the Marian Hymns in the Breviary.maiden-yet-a-mother-dante-10-dec-2017 and 5 aug 2019 - dedication of st mary major.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 23 June – Through Our Gazing in Adoration

Thought for the Day – 23 June – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Through Our Gazing in Adoration

Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, 17 November 2010

Dear friends, fidelity to the encounter with the Eucharistic Christ in Sunday’s Holy Mass is essential for the journey of faith but let us try as well to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle!   Gazing in adoration at the consecrated Host, we discover the gift of the love of God, we discover the passion and the cross of Jesus and also His Resurrection.   Precisely through our gazing in adoration, the Lord draws us to Himself, into His mystery, to transform us as He transforms the bread and wine.

The saints always found strength, consolation and joy in the Eucharistic encounter.   With the words of the Eucharistic hymn “Adoro te devote,” let us repeat before the Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament:  “Make me believe ever more in You, that in You I may have hope, that I may love You!”

Thank you.

Adoro te Devote
By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church
Trans. Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows,
shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God Thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in Thee deceived –
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed,
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do,
Truth Himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.

On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken –
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call Thee Lord and God as he,
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O Thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom He died,
Lend this life to me then – feed and feast my mind,
There be Thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican,
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran—
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech Thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on Thee face to face in light
And be blest forever with Thy glory’s sight.
Amenadoro te devote - copus christi 23 june 2019.jpg

Posted in POETRY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 22 May – Blessed by God

Quote of the Day – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457)

Blessed by God,
you were a light in darkness
through your steadfast courage
when you had to suffer such agony
upon your cross.
You turned aside from this vale of tears
to seek wholeness for your hidden wounds
in the great passion of Christ. . . .
You were not content
with less than perfect healing
and so endured the thorn for fifteen years
before you entered into the joy
of your Lord.

This poem was engraved on the casket of St Rita of Cascia and is one of the few contemporary sources that tell us about her.   St Rita received her “hidden wounds” in an unfortunate marriage.   For eighteen years she endured the abuses and infidelities of a violent husband.   She also suffered the rascality of two sons who were strongly influenced by him.   She was delivered from these miserable circumstances in a horrific way – one day her husband was brought home dead, brutally slashed by his enemies.   Her rambunctious sons planned to get revenge but died before they could obtain it.

At every stage of her life, Rita seems to have bravely endured unendurable circumstances – frustration because her parents overrode her wish to become a nun, married an abuser, refused three times by the Augustinians, afflicted with the pain and embarrassment of the stigmata.   None of these things, however, prevented her from serving God and her sisters. We can pray for her intercession in our desperate need but we should also imitate her love in action.blessed by god you were a light - st rita of cascia pray for us 22 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – “It is I, be not afraid.”

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – Mary’s Month and a Marian Saturday of the Second Week of Easter,Gospel: John 6:16–21 and the Memorial of St José Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929)

“It is I, be not afraid.”…John 6:20john 6 20 - it is I be not afraid 4 may 2019

REFLECTIONSaint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
Carmelite, martyr, co-patron of Europe – “At the Helm”

Fierce are the waves, Lord, rough the seas,
And dark, so dark, the night.
I beg of You to grant me, please,
On lonely vigil, light.

Then steer your ship with steady arm,
Trust me and rest your soul.
Your little boat I’ll keep from harm,
I’ll guide it toward its goal.

Be firm of purpose as you keep
The compass e’er in view.
Through stormy night you’ll cross the deep,
’twill help you to steer true.

The needle trembles faintly, then
Holds steady and prevails;
It points your way and guides you when
I, God, direct your sails.

Be therefore steadfast, calm and true,
Your God is at your side.
Through storm and night He’ll see you through
With conscience as your guide.then steer your ship - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 4 may 2019 john 6 20.jpg

PRAYER – Let us praise You Lord, with voice and mind and deed and since life itself is Your gift, may all we have and are, be Yours!   May our Mother be with us and pray for us and listen, we pray, to the prayers of St José Maria Rubio as we ask his intercession. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, in union with You, one God for all eternity, amen.st jose maria rubio pray for us 4 may 2019

holy-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-sinners-4-may-2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, YouTube VIDEOS

Thought for the Day – 1 May – Devotion for May – the Month of Mary

Thought for the Day – 1 May – Devotion for May – the Month of Mary

“God wills that all his gifts should come to us through Mary” (St Bernard)

It was in Rome, towards the end of the eighteenth century, one fine evening in May.   A child of the poor gathered his companions around him and led them to a statue of Mary, before which a lamp was burning, as is the custom in that holy city.   There, these fresh young voices sang the Litany of our Lady.   The next day, the little group, followed by other children, again gathered at the feet of the Mother of God. Next came their mothers, to join the little assembly.   Soon, other groups were formed and the devotion rapidly became popular.   Holy souls, troubled by the disorderly conduct which always increases and becomes graver at the return of the pleasant springtime, saw in these growing practices the hand of God and they co-operated with the designs of Providence by approving and promoting this new devotion, as a public and solemn act of reparation. The Month of Mary was founded….A Carthusian, A Month with Mary

“This is the month in which, in the churches and individual homes, the most affectionate and fervent homage of prayers and devotions from the hearts of Christians are raised to Mary.   It is also the month in which from His throne descend upon us the most generous and abundant gifts of the Divine Mercy.”….St Pope Paul VI, The Month of Mary,1967.

In our own times, we Catholics, wanting to be close to her always, offer her special presents in May – pilgrimages, visits to churches dedicated to her, little sacrifices in her honour, periods of study and well-finished work offered up to her and a more attentive recitation of the rosary….may-the-month-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-1-may-2018

MARY:  THE MOTHER OF GOD
“When the Blessed Virgin said yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature — a rational soul and a body — which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary.   The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person – Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man, the only begotten and eternal son of the Father and from that mo­ment on, as man, the true son of Mary.   This is why our Lady is the mother of the Incarnate Word, of the second person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to Himself forever, without any confusion of the two natures.   The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loudly and clearly by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: ‘Mother of God’.”

Let us offer to our Mother today:

Brief but frequent prayers of love, such as:

“Mother of God, your petitions are most powerful.”

St Josemaria Escriva – “Mother of God and Our Mother,” Friends of God, 274.

 

May Magnificat
Poem by Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

May is Mary’s month and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together,
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within,
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.


 

Posted in POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Quote of the Day – Lepanto – 30 April – St Pope Pius V

Quote of the Day – Lepanto – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter and the Memorial of St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572), The Pope of Lepanto

Lepanto
BY G K CHESTERTON (1874-1936)lepanto - by g k chesterton - maxresdefault.jpg

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run.
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass.
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass.
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scor,
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl,
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, “Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done,
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate,
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still—hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St Michael’s on his mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone,
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery.
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St Mark
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile and settles back the blade….
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

St Pope Pius V, Pray for Us!st pope pius v pray for us 30 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MARIAN TITLES, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 April – My heart has become Your manger

One Minute Reflection – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter and the Feast of Our Lady, Mother of Africa (1840) and the Memorial of St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572), The Pope of Lepanto

“…So that everyone who believes, may have eternal life in him”…John 3:15jesus and nicodemus john 3 15 everyone who believes may have eternal life in him 30april2019.jpg

REFLECTION –
“My Lord, God,
You have led me by a long, dark path,
Rocky and hard.
Often my strength threatened to fail me.
I almost lost all hope of seeing the light.
But when my heart grew numb with deepest grief,
A clear star rose for me.
Steadfast it guided me- I followed,
At first reluctant, but more confidently later.

At last I stood at Church’s gate.
It opened. I sought admission.
From Your priest’s mouth Your blessing greets me.
Within me stars are strung like pearls.
Red blossom stars show me the path to You.
They wait for You at Holy Night.
But Your goodness
Allows them to illuminate my path to You.
They lead me on.
The secret which I had to keep in hiding
Deep in my heart,
Now I can shout it out:
I believe-I profess!
The priest accompanies me to the altar:
I bend my face-
Holy water flows over my head.

Lord, is it possible that someone who is past
Midlife can be reborn (Jn 3:4)?
You said so and for me it was fulfilled,
A long life’s burden of guilt and suffering
Fell away from me.
Erect I receive the white cloak,
Which they place round my shoulders,
Radiant image of purity!
In my hand I hold a candle.
Its flame makes known
That deep within me glows Your holy life.

My heart has become Your manger,
Awaiting You,
But not for long!
Maria, Your mother and also mine
Has given me her name.
At midnight she will place her newborn child
Into my heart.

Ah, no-one’s heart can fathom,
What You’ve in store for those who love You (1Cor 2:9).
Now You are mine and I won’t let You go.
Wherever my life’s road may lead,
You are with me.
Nothing can ever part me from Your love (Rm 8:39).”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] OCD (1891-1942) Martyrah no-ones heart can fathom - st teresa benedicta 30 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming, by preparing the ways of justice and of peace.   May the intercession of Your Mother and our Mother of Africa and St Pope Pius V, assist us on our journey to You.   Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.our lady mother of africa pray for us 30 april 2019

st pope pius V pray for us - 30 april 2019

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Be Merciful, Be Gracious

Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter

Be Merciful, Be Gracious
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Be merciful, be gracious, Lord, deliver me.
From the sins that are past,
From Your frown and Your ire,
From the perils of dying,
From any complying
With sin or denying
My God, or relying
On self,
at the last,
From the nethermost fire,
From all that is evil,
From the power of the devil,
Your servant deliver,
For once and forever,
By Your Birth and By Your Cross,
Rescue me from endless loss,
By Your death and burial,
Save me from a final fall,
By Your rising from the tomb,
By Your mounting up above,
By the Spirit’s gracious love,
Save me in the day of doom.

Amenbe merciful be gracious - bl john henry newman 30 april 2019.jpg

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 April – And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!”

One Minute Reflection – 22 April – Monday of Easter Week, Gospel: Matthew 28:8–15

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!”...Matthew 28:9

REFLECTION –
At dawn you were mourned
By women bearing spices,
Grant that my heart may also shed
Tears of fire for your burning love.

By grace of the angel’s tidings
Shouted from the pinnacle of the rock (Mt 28,2),
Let me hear the last trumpet sound
Proclaiming the resurrection.

With your body born of a Virgin
You were raised from a tomb, virgin and new,
You became for us the first-fruits
And firstborn from the dead

As for me, bound by the Foe
With the evil of bodily sin,
Set me free once more
As you have freed souls in the dwelling of the dead (1Pt 3:19).

You revealed yourself in the garden
To Mary Magdalene,
But have not consented to approach
One who is yet part of a fallen race.

Show yourself also to me on the eighth day,
At the great and final dawn
And graciously grant my unworthy soul
To draw near you at that time.

St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173)
Armenian Catholic Patriarchmatthew 28 9 and behold jesus mets them and said Hail - 22 april 2019 easter monday St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173)Armenian Catholic Patriarch.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, grant that Your people may hold fast in life to the mystery of new birth, which they received in faith. May Your glorified Son, Jesus our Hope, who broke the power of hell, destroying sin and death, stay ever with us in our struggles against temptation and guide our steps along the path that leads to a holy earthly end and to You in everlasting life. Mary, holy Mother, please help your children. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with God The Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amenredemptoris mater pray for us 22 april 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The PASSION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 12 April

Lenten Reflection – 12 April – Friday of the Fifth Week, Year C

The Readings:
Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalms 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 5-6, 7; John 10:31-42

Again they tried to arrest him
but he escaped from their hands...John 10:39fridayofthefifthweeklent john 10 39 again they tried to arrest him 12 april 2019.jpg

Odes of Solomon
(Hebrew Christian text from
the beginning of the 2nd century)
No. 28

As the wings of doves over their nestlings…
So also are the wings of the Spirit over my heart.
My heart continually refreshes itself and leaps for joy
Like the babe who leaps for joy in his mother’s womb.

I trusted, consequently I was at rest;
because trustful is he in whom I trusted.
He has greatly blessed me, and my head is with him.
And the dagger shall not divide me from him,
nor the sword .

Because I am ready before destruction comes,
and have been placed in his incorruptible arms.
And immortal life embraced me and kissed me.
And from that (life) is the Spirit which is within me.
And it cannot die because it is life.

[Christ speaks:]
Those who saw me were amazed,
because I was persecuted.
And they thought that I had been swallowed up,
because I appeared to them as one of the lost.
But my defamation became my salvation.

And I became their abomination,
because there was no jealousy in me.
Because I continually did good to every man
I was hated.
And they surrounded me like mad dogs (Ps 22[21]:17)
those who in stupidity attack their masters.
Because their mind is depraved and their sense is perverted.

But I was carrying water in my right hand,
and their bitterness I endured by my sweetness.
And I did not perish, because I was not their brother,
nor was my birth like theirs.
And they sought my death but were unsuccessful
because I was older than their memory.

And in vain did they cast their lots against me.
And those who were after me
Sought in vain to destroy the memorial of him
Who was before them.
Because the mind of the Most High cannot be surpassed
And his heart is superior to all wisdom.
Hallelujah!and I became their abomination - odes of solomon - fridayfifthweeklent 12 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Set us free.
On this Friday before Good Friday,
it might be most appropriate to make the Stations.
Our desire is becoming more focused and more intense.
After our weeks of reflection, we know that our selfishness has placed us in ruts,
has made us slaves to some very unhappy and sometimes death-dealing patterns.
The celebration of our freedom and healing is close at hand.

Jesus carried our sins in his own body on the cross
so that we could die to sin and live in holiness;
by his wounds we have been healed.
The Communion Antiphon – 1 Peter 2:24

Closing Prayer:
Most forgiving Lord,
again and again You welcome me back into Your loving arms.
Grant me freedom from the heavy burdens of sin
that weigh me down
and keep me so far from You.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Posted in LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Our Morning Offering – 12 April – Love

Our Morning Offering – 12 April – Friday of the Fifth Week, Year C

Love
By George Herbert (1593 – 1633)

Love bade me welcome
yet my soul drew back,
guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.
“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, ungrateful?   Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord but I have marred them, let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.

Amen amenLOVE BY george herbert 12 april 2019 -poem prayer.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April ‘ But You God”

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

And now, my heavy laden soul,
what will you do?
You call with your lips and voice to
God most high,
God, who cares only for deeds and
is not taken in by words.
You, my soul, with a heart always turned toward Egypt,
how can I describe you?

Am I
a Sodom, to be punished likewise with destruction,
or the prosecutor of Ninevah, who was struck dumb?

Am I
more cowardly and barbarous than the
queen of the south,
lower than Canaan,
more stubborn than Amalek,
incurable as the city of idols,
a relic left behind from the rebellion of Israel,
a reminder of the broken covenant of Judah,
more reproachable than Tyre,
more shunned than Zidon,
more immoral than Galilee,
more unpardonable than faithless Capernaum,
maligned like Korazin,
slandered like Bethsaida?

Or am I
immodest as Ephraim as he prayed,
or a dove, whose gentleness seems due to
feeblemindedness and not to inner calm,
or an evil serpent born of lion’s cubs,
or the serpent’s egg filled with decay,
or like the last blow against Jerusalem?

Or am I
in the words of our Lord
and the sayings of the prophets,
an abandoned tabernacle about to collapse,
the unlatched doors of the stronghold,
my speaking edifice stained again,
having given up my rightful inheritance,
my home built by God,
as Moses, David and Jeremiah prophesied?
My thinking body now consumed by disease,
afflicted with carping counsel, rehabilitated by the law,
anointed with the clay of mildness,
incapable of finding my own salvation,
torn away from the maker’s hand,
expelled as just punishment
by order of the Almighty, to an unholy place,
rejected, exiled, greatly shunned, nothing spared,
having buried my gift in the ground,
like the one chastised in the Gospel by
losing his inheritance.

But You, God,
Lord of souls and all flesh,
in the words of one divinely graced,
You are long-suffering and abounding in mercy.
In the voice of blessed Jonah,
grant that I finish to Your delight
this book of prayers, now begun.
And having sown these words with tears
and set forth on this journey toward the dwellings You have prepared,
may I return joyfully in the time of harvest
with the bounty of atonement,
with sheaves of goodness and the fruits of delight.

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) – Fathe & Doctor of the Churchbut-you-god-st-gregory-of-narek-27-feb-2018.jpg

“If you elevate yourself,
God distances Himself from you.
If you humble yourself,
He leans towards you.”

St Augustine (354-430)if you elevate yourself - st augustine - 5 april 2019.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT 2019, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 17 March – Transfiguration

Lenten Reflection – 17 March – The Second Sunday of Lent, Year C

The Readings
Genesis 15:5-12,17-18; Psalms 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14; Philippians 3:17 – 4:1 or Philippians 3:20 – 4:1; Luke 9:28B-36

And a voice came out of the cloud, saying,
“This is my Son, my Chosen,
listen to him!”
Luke 9:35

Transfiguration
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

They were talking to Him about resurrection,
about law, about the suffering ahead.
They were talking as if to remind Him who He was and
who they were. He was not

Like his three friends watching a little way off,
not like the crowd At the foot of the hill.
A grey-green thunderhead massed
from the sea

And God spoke from it and said He was His.
They were talking about how the body, broken or
burned,
could live again, remade.

Only the fiery text of the thunderhead could explain it.
And they were talking
About pain and the need for judgement
and how He would make Himself

A law of pain, both its spirit and its letter in His own
flesh,
and then break it,
That is, transcend it.
His clothes flared like magnesium

transfiguration-by-bl-john-henry-newman-2nd-sun-lent-25-feb-2018.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Listen to Him.

It is wonderful to begin this week
acknowledging that we need God’s help in listening and hearing.
It is so powerful to ask for the “gift of integrity” –
to express our desire for wholeness.
And, we humbly ask for light in the midst of whatever
might “shadow our vision.”
This is the God who allows Jesus
to be transfigured before His disciples,
to prepare them for what they were about to face.
This is our God, who can give each of us
the change of heart we ask for.

Wait for the Lord,
be strong
and let your heart take courage,
yea, wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:14

Closing Prayer:

Loving God,
there is so much darkness in my life
and I hide from You.
Take my hand
and lead me out of the shadows of my fear.
Help me to change my heart.
Bring me to your truth
and help me to respond to Your generous love.
Let me recognise the fullness of Your love
which will fill my life.
Free me from the darkness in my heart.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amensecond-sunday-lenten-reflection-luke 9 35 17 march 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Saint of the Day – 11 February – St Caedmon (Died c 680)

Saint of the Day – 11 February – St Caedmon (Died c 680) is the earliest English (Northumbrian) poet whose name is known.   An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals at the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey, in Yorkshire, England) during the abbacy (657–680) of the Founder, St Hilda (614–680), he was originally ignorant of “the art of song” but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream, according to the 8th-century historian and Saint, The Venerable St Bede (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Church.   He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational Christian poet.caed4.jpg

The sole source of original information about Cædmon’s life and work is St Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica.    According to Bede, Cædmon was a lay brother who cared for the animals at the monastery Streonæshalch, now known as Whitby Abbey.   One evening, while the monks were feasting, singing and playing a harp, Cædmon left early to sleep with the animals because he knew no songs.   The impression clearly given by St Bede is that he lacked the knowledge of how to compose the lyrics to songs.   While asleep, he had a dream in which “someone” approached him and asked him to sing principium creaturarum, “the beginning of created things.”   After first refusing to sing, Cædmon subsequently produced a short eulogistic poem praising God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

Upon awakening the next morning, Cædmon remembered everything he had sung and added additional lines to his poem.   He told his foreman about his dream and gift and was taken immediately to see the abbess, St Hilda of Whitby.   The abbess and her counsellors asked Cædmon about his vision and, satisfied that it was a gift from God, gave him a new commission, this time for a poem based on “a passage of sacred history or doctrine”, by way of a test.   When Cædmon returned the next morning with the requested poem, he was invited to take monastic vows.   The abbess ordered her scholars to teach Cædmon sacred history and doctrine, which after a night of thought, Bede records, Cædmon would turn into the most beautiful verse.   According to Bede, Cædmon was responsible for a large number of splendid vernacular poetic texts on a variety of Christian topics.saint-hilda-of-whitby-anglo-saxon-abbess-receiving-a-visit-from-caedmon_u-l-otenj0st-hilda-whitby-abbey

After a long and zealously pious life, Cædmon died like a saint – receiving a premonition of death, he asked to be moved to the abbey’s hospice for the terminally ill where, having gathered his friends around him, he died after receiving the Holy Eucharist, just before nocturns.st caedmon.jpg

Bede’s narrative shows that Bede, an educated and intelligent man, believed Cædmon to be an important figure in the history of English intellectual and religious life.   He, however, gives no specific dates in his story.   Cædmon is said to have taken holy orders at an advanced age and it is implied that he lived at Whitby, at least in part, during Hilda’s abbacy (657–680).  caedmon and hilda.JPG

Cædmon is one of twelve Anglo-Saxon poets identified in medieval sources and one of only three of these for whom both roughly contemporary biographical information and examples of literary output have survived.   St Bede wrote, “there was in the Monastery of this Abbess a certain brother particularly remarkable for the Grace of God, who was wont to make religious verses, so that whatever was interpreted to him out of scripture, he soon after put the same into poetical expressions of much sweetness and humility in Old English, which was his native language.   By his verse the minds of many were often excited to despise the world and to aspire to heaven.”

Cædmon’s only known surviving work is Cædmon’s Hymn, the nine-line alliterative vernacular praise poem in honour of God which he learned to sing in his initial dream. The poem is one of the earliest attested examples of Old English and is one of the earliest recorded examples of sustained poetry in a Germanic language.   In 1898, St Cædmon’s Cross was erected in his honour in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church in Whitby.

caedmons-cross-1x1.jpg
St Caedmon’s Cross

St Bede’s Latin version of St Caedmon’s poem runs as follows:

Nunc laudare debemus auctorem regni caelestis,
potentiam creatoris,
et consilium illius facta Patris gloriae –
quomodo ille,
cum sit aeternus Deus,
omnium miraculorum auctor exstitit,
qui primo filiis hominum caelum
pro culmine tecti dehinc terram
custos humani generis
omnipotens creavit.

Now we must praise the author
of the heavenly realm,
the might of the creator
and His purpose,
the work of the Father of glory –
as He, who, the almighty guardian
of the human race,
is the eternal God,
is the author of all miracles,
who first created the heavens
as highest roof
For the children of men,
then the earth.

caedmon_caedmon_cross

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St PAUL!

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Lead, Kindly Light
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene, one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Should lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path but now
Lead Thou me on.
I loved the garish day and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my wil, remember not past years.

So long Thy power has blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone
And with the morn those Angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.

Lead, Kindly Light is a hymn with words written in 1833 by Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) as a poem titled “the Pillar and the Cloud” – it consists of 3 verses, anything after that is not by John Henry.

As a young priest, Newman became sick while in Italy and was unable to travel for almost three weeks. In his own words:
“Before starting from my inn, I sat down on my bed and began to sob bitterly.   My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me.   I could only answer, “I have a work to do in England.”   I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks.   I began to visit the churches and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services.   At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles.   We were becalmed for whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio and it was there that I wrote the lines, Lead, Kindly Light, which have since become so well known.”

Why this for St Paul? – this time in Bl John Henry’s life was a time of internal “conversion’ – after, his well-known “Sicily providential illness”, he started to turn towards “Rome” – although first the Oxford Movement had to happen and then some more difficult years before his final conversion but once he had put his hand to the plough, there was no turning back in his journey towards Truth.

I am sure you will agree with me that the words of this most beautiful prayer/poem/hymn, fit the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul perfectly.Lead Kindly Light Bl john henry newman 25 jan2019 for the conv of st paul.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Burning Babe

Thought for the Day – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time –  and The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Seeing as it is the Memorial of St Agnes and we are thinking about martyrdom, I have included the post below, which is an excerpt from my post on St Robert Southwell’s Memorial – 21 February.    It is talk by Servant of God, Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000) (a hero!).   If you wish to read the whole post, it is here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/saint-of-the-day-21-february-st-robert-southwell-s-j-1561-1595-martyr/

“There are two books, prose writings, that Robert Southwell wrote that are worth reading.   They are of course written in 16th century English but, powerful, written to encourage his fellow Catholics to remain firm in their faith.   The one is called ‘Mary Magdalene’s Funeral Tears’.   And the other one is called ‘Epistle of Comfort‘.   We would probably call it a letter of encouragement.   

His poetry – we don’t know exactly when he began to write but it must have been very young because he wrote a great deal of which we have the record and by now the English speaking world knows Robert Southwell.   His two outstanding poems are ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘The Virgin Mary to Christ On The Cross.’”

The Burning Babe, by St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Martyr

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

It’s not surprising, it’s one of the great poems of the English language.burning babe excerpt - st robert southwell - mem 21 feb - 21 jan 2019 on martyrdom mem of st agnes

St Agnes, Pray for Us!bernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-e2809csaint-agnese2809d-pray-for-us

St Robert Southwell, Pray for Us!st robert southwell - pray for us - 21 feb 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, NOTES to Followers, POETRY, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

A Blessed and Holy Christmas to you all!

A Blessed and Holy Christmas to you all!
St John of the Cross will help us to truly appreciate this great Feast.my-christmas-wishes.2017

Romance on the Birth of Christ
By St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

Now at last the destined ages
Their appointed course had run,
When rejoicing from His chamber
Issued forth the Bridegroom Son.

He embraced His bride, and held her
Lovingly upon His breast,
And the gracious Mother laid Him
In the manger down to rest.

There He lay, the dumb beasts by Him,
They were fitly stabled there,
While the shepherds and the angels
Filled with melody the air.

So the feast of their espousals
With solemnity was kept
But Almighty God, an Infant,
In the manger moaned and wept.

So the bride at her betrothal
Did the bridal gifts arrange
But the Mother looked in wonder
At the marvellous exchange.

Man gave forth a song of gladness,
God Himself a plaintive moan,
Both possessing that which never
Had been hitherto their own.

romance on the birth of christ st john of the cross -24 dec 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 24 December – Today, the 200th anniversary of the first performance of the beloved carol ‘Silent Night’

Thought for the Day – 24 December

Today, the 200th anniversary of the first performance

of the beloved carol ‘Silent Night’

Exactly 200 years ago today, 24 December 1818 — in a little church in what is now Austria, the world heard for the first time a poem set to music that eventually would be hailed as one of the most popular and beloved Christmas carols of all time.

“Silent Night” was sung for the first time that Christmas Eve at a Midnight Mass at St Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire.   The lyrics were written by a young Catholic priest, Father Joseph Mohr (1792–1848) and the music was composed by his friend, the local organist and schoolmaster, Francis Xavier Gruber (1787–1863).1024px-Stille_Nacht_Kapelle_Glasfenster_Josef_Mohr

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child!
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, how the light
Radiates love from Thy heavenly face,
At the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.Silent Night by Fr Joseph Mohr 1792-1848 24 dec 2018

Fr Joseph Mohr’s final resting place is a tiny Alpine ski resort, Wagrain.   He was born into poverty in Salzburg in 1792 and died penniless in Wagrain in 1848, where he had been assigned as pastor of the church.   He had donated all his earnings to be used for elder care and the education of the children in the area.   His memorial from the townspeople is the Joseph Mohr School located a dozen yards from his grave.   The overseer of St Johann’s, in a report to the bishop, described Mohr as “a reliable friend of mankind, toward the poor, a gentle, helping father.”

Many generations of the Mohr family lived in the Lungau region, in the southern part of the Province of Salzburg.   The pilgrimage church of St Nicholas in Mariapfarr, the little church where Father Mohr was the curate, is within walking distance of the former home of Joseph’s grandfather.   The climate is so invigorating and the Alpine air so clean, the town has become a major vacation destination for Europeans who want to get away from city life.   The pilgrimage church where Mohr celebrated Mass is undergoing the restoration of its centuries-old frescos.

The carol is believed to have caused a somewhat miraculous and well-documented Christmas truce during World War I.   On Christmas Eve 1914, British and French troops were encamped in trenches in a face-off against German troops in Ypres in Flanders, Belgium.   The two sides began singing Christmas carols to each other and “Silent Night” was the only hymn all the combatants knew.   Singing it together broke the ice and led to a temporary cease-fire with soldiers from both sides meeting in the middle “No Man’s Land” to trade tobacco and candy, play soccer and sing carols.

An early copy of Silent Night written by Joseph Mohr

As it marks its 200th anniversary, “Silent Night” remains as beloved as ever.   I am sure that all of us who attend Midnight Mass tonight, wherever we are in the world, will be singing Silent Night in one of the 300 languages into which it has been translated.

May this Holy Infant so tender and mild, bless us all!Holy infant so tender and mile bless us all 24 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY

Our Morning Offering – The Third Sunday of Advent – 16 December 2018

Our Morning Offering – The Third Sunday of Advent – 16 December 2018

How Beautiful
By Daryl Madden

How beautiful
Your light this day
Reflection of
Colours arrayed

How beautiful
Your precious gift
Our daily bread
The soul to lift

How beautiful
Your living Word
Let soul be lead
By Spirit heard

How beautiful
Your blessed grace
Our gift, Your light
Souls to embrace

By courtesy of the Poet Daryl Madden

https://darylmadden.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/how-beautiful/comment-page-1/#comment-3319how beautiful poem prayer by daryl madden 16 dec 2018