Thought for the Day – 15 July – ‘Meditation on Christ in His humanity …’

Thought for the Day – 15 July – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11,1 and The Memorial of St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church

Saint Bonaventure saw the spires of the great cathedrals reaching up to heaven as a reflection of the human soul’s reaching up to God in his The Soul’s Journey into God. Likewise, the streams of light coming into the church through the stained-glass windows, reflect God expressing Himself, in the wide variety of creatures upon whom He showers His gifts of grace.

And the images go on and on as the saint reaches into human experience of creation and cultural artifacts and finds vestigium (the footprints) of God since everything in creation, reflects in some way, the grandeur of God.   Human beings, of course, are the actual image of God.

It was this ability to take the spirituality of Saint Francis—as reflected in Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Sun, for instance—and place it at the heart of his writings, keeping the simplicity of the Franciscan insights and creating a sublime theology, that truly deserves the name “Seraphic.”

When Bonaventure was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V, he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”   Merriam-Webster defines a seraph as one of the highest-ranking angels as well as “one of the six-winged angels standing in the presence of God.”   It was as a seraph that Christ appeared to Saint Francis when he received the stigmata on Mount La Verna.   Therefore, it is fitting to use the term to describe the soaring mysticism of Saint Bonaventure.

In his General Audience on 3 March 2010, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the life of St Bonaventure.   He called to mind the great works of literature, art, philosophy and theology that were inspired by the Christian faith during the time period in which the saint lived.

“Among the great Christian figures who contributed to the composition of this harmony between faith and culture, Bonaventure stands out, a man of action and contemplation, of profound piety and prudent government,” Pope Benedict said.

The Pope called on the faithful to take note of “the central role that Christ always played in Bonaventure’s life and teaching,” and to imitate the way in which “the whole of his thinking was profoundly Christocentric.”

“Meditation on Christ in His humanity is corporeal in deed, in fact but spiritual in mind. . . . By adopting this habit, you will steady your mind, be trained to virtues and receive strength of soul….Let meditation of Christ’s life be your one and only aim, your rest, your food, your desire, your study.” – St Bonaventure

St Bonaventure, Pray for us!let meditationof christ's life - st bonaventure pray for us 15 july 2019.jpg

Posted in Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 July – Saint Kateri ‘Catherine’ Tekakwitha (1656–1680) “Lily of the Mohawks”

Saint of the Day – 14 July – Saint Kateri ‘Catherine’ Tekakwitha (1656–1680) aged 24 Virgin laywoman, Penitent, Ascetic – known as Lily of the Mohawks – born in 1656 in the Mohawk village of Osserneon (Auriesville), modern New York, USA and died on 17 April 1680 at Caughnawaga, Canada of natural causes.   Patronages – ecologists, ecology, environment, environmentalism, environmentalists, loss of parents, people in exile, people ridiculed for their piety, Native Americans, Igorots, Cordilleras,Thomasites, Northern Luzon,[citation needed] Diocese of Bangued, Vicariate of Tabuk, Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe, Diocese of Baguio, Marikina City, Cainta, Rizal, Antipolo City, Philippines.St_Kateri-Caterina-Tekakwitha_V.jpg

Kateri contracted smallpox in an epidemic; her family died and her face was scarred.  She converted to Roman Catholicism at age twenty, when she was renamed Kateri Catherine, baptised in honour of Saint Catherine of Siena.   Refusing to marry, she left her village and moved for the remaining five years of her life to the Jesuit mission village of Kahnawake, south of Montreal in New France, now Canada.

Kateri took a vow of perpetual virginity.   Upon her death at the age of 24, witnesses said that minutes later her scars vanished and her face appeared radiant and beautiful. Known for her virtue of chastity and mortification of the flesh, as well as being shunned by some of her tribe for her religious conversion to Catholicism, she is the fourth Native American to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and the first to be Canonised.

st 359px-CatherinaeTekakwithaVirginis1690.jpg
Only known portrait from life of Catherine Tekawitha, c 1690, by Father Chauchetière

Under the pontificate of St Pope John Paul II, she was Beatified in 1980 and Canonised by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter’s Basilica on 21 October 2012  . Many miracles and supernatural events are attributed to her intercession.

This wonderful crown of new blesseds, God’s bountiful gift to His Church, is completed by the sweet, frail yet strong figure of a young woman who died when she was only twenty-four years old –  Kateri Tekakwitha, the “Lily of the Mohawks”, the Iroquois maiden, who in seventeenth century North America was the first to renew the marvels of sanctity of St Scholastica, Saint Gertrude, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Angela Merici and Saint Rose of Lima, preceding, along the path of Love, her great spiritual sister, Therese of Child Jesus.

She spent her short life partly in what is now the State of New York and partly in Canada. She was a kind, gentle and hardworking person, spending her time working, praying, and meditating.   At the age of twenty she received Baptism.  Even when following her tribe in the hunting seasons, she continued her devotions, before a rough cross carved by herself in the forest.   When her family urged her to marry, she replied very serenely and calmly that she had Jesus as her only spouse.   This decision, in view of the social conditions of women in the Indian Tribes at the time, exposed Kateri to the risk of living as outcast and in poverty.   It was a bold, unusual and prophetic gesture – on 25 March, 1679, at the age of twenty-three, with the consent of her spiritual director, Kateri took a vow of perpetual virginity – as far as we know the first time that this was done among the North American Indians.Statue_Kateri_Tekakwitha.jpg

The last months of her life were an ever clearer manifestation of her solid faith, straight-forward humility, calm resignation and radiant joy, even in the midst of terrible sufferings.   Her last words, simple and sublime, whispered at the moment of her death, sum up, like a noble hymn, a life of purest charity – “Jesus, I love you….”.

The Church has declared to the world that Kateri Tekakwitha is saint, that she lived a life on earth of exemplary holiness and that she is now a member in heaven of the Communion of Saints who continually intercede with the merciful Father on our behalf.

During the Canonisation ceremony on 21 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily – “Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life in spite of the absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation, so unusual in her culture.   In her, faith and culture enrich each other!   May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are.   Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we Entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America!   May God bless the first nations!”

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Thought for the Day – 2 July – The Anguish of an Absence

Thought for the Day – 2 July – Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8:23-37

The Anguish of an Absence

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing.”
Matthew 8:25

There is a Gospel scene which in an extraordinary way anticipates the silence of Holy Saturday and which again, therefore, seems to be a profile of the moment in history we are living now.   Christ is asleep on a boat which, buffeted by a storm, is about to sink.
The prophet Elijah had once made fun of the priests of Baal who were futilely invoking their god to send down fire on their sacrifice.   He urged them to cry out louder in case their god was asleep.
But is it true that God does not sleep?   Does not the prophet’s scorn also fall upon the heads of the faithful of the God of Israel who are sailing with Him in a boat about to sink?   God sleeps while His very own are about to drown – is not this the experience of our lives?   Don’t the Church, the faith, resemble a small boat about to sink, struggling futilely against the waves and the wind and all the time God is absent?   The disciples cry out in dire desperation and they shake the Lord to wake Him but He is surprised at this and rebukes them, for their small faith.   But are things any different for us?   When the storm passes we will realise just how much this small faith of ours was charged with stupidity.
And yet, O Lord, we cannot help shaking You, God,   You who persist in keeping Your silence, in sleeping and we cannot help crying to You – Wake up, can’t You see we are sinking?   Stir Yourself, don’t let the darkness of Holy Saturday last forever, let a ray of Easter fall, even on these times of ours, accompany us when we set out in our desperation towards Emmaus so that our hearts may be enflamed by the warmth of Your nearness.
You who, hidden, charted the paths of Israel only to become a man in the end with men – don’t leave us in the dark, don’t let Your word be lost in these days of great squandering of words.

Lord, grant us Your help, because without You we will sink. Amen

matthew 8 25 save us lord we are perishing - joseph ratzinger - the anguish of absence - wake up lord 2 july 2019.jpg


29 June 1951-2019 – The 68th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Papa Benedict XVI

29 JUNE 1951-2019
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Congratulations, Prayers and Love
to our dearly beloved
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
on the occasion of the
68th Anniversary
of his Priestly Ordination68th anniversary of pope benedict's ordination 29 june 2019

“Domineering over your faith is not my purpose.   I prefer to work with you for your happiness”.   It is what the Apostle Paul (II Cor 1,24) wrote and his quote was used 65 years ago on the celebration day of Peter and Paul Patron Saints – 29th June 1951 – during the priestly ordination of Joseph Ratzinger.   It was held in the Cathedral of Freising and celebrated by Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of Munich.   Paul’s quote was written on the holy card in order to celebrate the event.   This important anniversary will be marked by a solemn celebration in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on 28th June. Pope Francis and the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI will attend the celebration. Joseph Ratzinger will receive a book on priesthood as a present.

“We were more than forty candidates and we all answered Adsum – that is “Here I am” – Ratzinger wrote in his Autobiography .   It was a beautiful and unforgettable summer day, the most important moment in my life.”    I shouldn’t be superstitious but while the old archbishop was laying his hands on me, a little bird – maybe a lark – raised from the high altar of the Cathedral and sang a short joyful song – I thought it was a voice from above saying: you are in the right way.” Ratzinger said.   

His elder brother Georg was ordained with him.   “The day of the first Mass the church of Saint Oswald was in its splendour and people showed us their joy and involvement.   We had been asked t  o bring the blessing of the first Mass to the town and we were welcomed everywhere. Everybody showed friendliness, even the people we didn’t know at all.   I became aware of the expectations men and women have with a priest – they trust in his blessing and the power of the sacrament.   It was not because of me or my brother =  what did we mean to the people we met?   They saw us as the men to whom Christ had given a task, that was to show His presence.”

“Priesthood is not “a job, but a sacrament.   God asks a poor man to be like Him, to be with all men and women and to act on their behalf” said Benedict XVI on 11th June 2010, during the homily at the end of the Year for Priests, that he established on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, Saint Patron of Priests.


Thoughts for the Day – 28 June = Pray for our Priests!

Thoughts for the Day – 28 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor

(Forty Gospel Homilies, 17)

“We must all of us strive zealously to make known to the church both the dreadfulness of the coming judgement and the kingdom of heaven’s delight.   Those who are not in a position to address a large assembly, should instruct individuals, offering instruction in personal talks, they should try to serve those around them through simple encouragement.

You who are pastors, consider that you are pasturing God’s flock.   We often see a block of salt put out for animals to lick for their well-being.   Priests, among their people, should be like blocks of salt.   They should counsel everyone in their flocks, in such a way, that all those with whom they come in contact may be seasoned with eternal life, as if they had been sprinkled with salt.   We who preach, are not the salt of the earth, unless we season the hearts of those, who listen to us.   We are really preaching to others, if we ourselves do what we say, if we are pierced with God’s love, if, since we cannot avoid sin, our tears wash away the stains on our life, that come with each new day.   We truly feel remorse, when we take to heart, the lives of our forebears in the faith, so that we are diminished in our own eyes.   Then do we truly feel remorse, when we attentively examine God’s teachings and adopt for our own use, what those we revere themselves used for theirs.

And while we are moved to remorse on our own account, let us also take responsibility for the lives of those entrusted to our care.   Our own bitter compunction should not divert us from concern for our neighbour.   What good to love and strive to do good for our neighbour and abandon ourselves?   We must realise that our passion for justice in the face of another’s evil, must never cause us to lose the virtue of gentleness.

Priests must not be quick-tempered or rash, they must, instead, be temperate and thoughtful.   We must support those we challenge and challenge those we support.   If we neglect this, our work will lack either courage or gentleness.   What shall we call the human soul but the food of the Lord?   It is created, to become nothing less, than Christ’s body and to bring about growth in the eternal church.

We priests are to season this food.   Cease to pray, cease to teach and the salt loses its taste.”
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

the holy Curé of Ars (1786-1859) Patron of Priests


Saint Peter’s Basilica
Friday, 19 June 2009

“To be “in” Jesus Christ is already to be seated in heaven.   The very core of Christianity is expressed in the heart of Jesus;  in Christ the revolutionary “newness” of the Gospel is completely revealed and given to us – the Love that saves us and even now makes us live in the eternity of God.   As the Evangelist John writes:  “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (3:16).   God’s heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to forsake our human certainties, to trust in Him and, by following His example, to make ourselves a gift of unbounded love.

While it is true that Jesus’ invitation to “abide in my love” (cf. Jn 15:9) is addressed to all the baptised, on this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the day of prayer for the sanctification of priests, this invitation resounds all the more powerfully for us priests.   It does so in a special way this evening, at the solemn inauguration of the Year for Priests which I have proclaimed to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly Curé of Ars.   A lovely and touching saying of his, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, comes immediately to mind:  “the priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus” (n. 1589).   How can we fail to be moved when we recall that the gift of our priestly ministry flows directly from this heart?   How can we forget that we priests were consecrated to serve, humbly yet authoritatively, the common priesthood of the faithful? Ours is an mission which is indispensable for the Church and for the world, a mission which calls for complete fidelity to Christ and constant union with Him. To abide in His love entails constantly striving for holiness, as did Saint John Mary Vianney.

…To be completely enthralled by Christ!  This was the goal of the entire life of Saint Paul, … this was the goal of the entire ministry of the Curé of Ars, whom we shall invoke in particular during this Year for Priests – may it also be the primary goal for each and every one of us.   Certainly, to be ministers at the service of the Gospel, study and careful, ongoing pastoral and theological formation are useful and necessary but even more necessary is that “knowledge of love” which can only be learned in a “heart to heart” encounter with Christ  . For it is He who calls us to break the bread of His love, to forgive sins and to guide the flock in His name.    And, for that reason, we must never step back from the source of love which is His Heart, pierced on the Cross.”the priesthood is the love - st john vianney - 28 june 2019 sacred heart

“Our Father for Priests”

Our Father who art in heaven,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
That Thy name be hallowed,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
That Thy kingdom come,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
That Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
To give us each day the Bread of life,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
To forgive us our trespasses,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
That we be not led into temptation,
Give us priests according to Your Heart.
And deliver us
And all of Your priests from evil. Amen.

Issued by the Congregation for the Clergy ( and 28 june 2019.jpg


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


One Minute Reflection – 22 June

One Minute Reflection – 22 June – Saturday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 6:24–34 and the Memorial of St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyr

Look at the birds in the sky,they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? ..Matthew 6:26matthew 6 26 look at the birds of the air - 22 june 2019

REFLECTION – “I will not mistrust Him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember, how Saint Peter at a blast of wind, began to sink because of his lack of faith and I shall do as he did, call upon Christ and pray to Him for help. And then I trust He shall place His holy hand on me and in the stormy seas, hold me up from drowning.”…St Thomas More (1478-1535)i-will-not-distrust-him-meg-st-thomas-more-11-jan-2018 and today 22 june 2019

“In the face of the situations of so many people, near and far, who live in wretchedness, Jesus’ discourse might appear hardly realistic, if not evasive  . In fact, the Lord wants to make people understand clearly, that it is impossible to serve two masters – God and mammon [riches].   Whoever believes in God, the Father, full of love for His children, puts first the search for His Kingdom and His will.   And this is precisely the opposite of fatalism or ingenuous irenics.   Faith in Providence does not, in fact, dispense us from the difficult struggle, for a dignified life but frees us, from the yearning for things and from fear of the future.
It is clear that although Jesus’ teaching remains ever true and applicable for all it is practised in different ways according to the different vocations – a Franciscan friar will be able to follow it more radically, while a father of a family must bear in mind his proper duties to his wife and children.   In every case, however, Christians are distinguished by their absolute trust in the heavenly Father, as was Jesus.   It was precisely Christ’s relationship with God the Father that gave meaning to the whole of His life, to His words, to His acts of salvation until His Passion, death and Resurrection.   Jesus showed us what it means to live with our feet firmly planted on the ground, attentive to the concrete situations of our neighbour, yet, at the same time keeping our heart in Heaven, immersed in God’s mercy.” … Pope Benedict XVI (Sunday, 27 February 2011).faith in providence - pope bendict 22 june 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, we trust in You and abide in You. Grant us we pray, that by the prayers of our heavenly Mother, our Mother of divine Providence and St Thomas More, who said “I will trust Him”, that we too may ever know that You are with us and guide, help and feed us everyday.   Through Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary, mother of divine providence, pray for us 22 june 2019

st thomas more pry for us 22 june 2019