Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The BAPTISM of the LORD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – ‘… Putting off the old man!’

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – Octave Day of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, John 1:29-34 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Make ready then the vessel of your soul
that you may become a son of God
and an heir of God
and joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17);
if, indeed, you are preparing yourself
that you may receive;
if you are drawing near in faith
that you may be made faithful;
if of set purpose,
you are putting off the old man!

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Let us become like Christ,
since Christ became like us.
He assumed the worse,
that He might give us the better;
He became poor,
that we through His poverty,
might be rich.

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice,
make me clothe myself with You,
so that I may be able to live
according to Your will.
Make me, under Your guidance,
preserve my robe of Baptismal innocence,
white, holy and spotless
and present it undefiled,
before Your tribunal,
so that I may wear it,
for eternal life.

St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)

If we wish to make any progress
in the service of God,
we must begin everyday of our life,
with new eagerness.
We must keep ourselves,
in the presence of God,
as much as possible
and have no other view or end,
in all our actions
but the divine honour.

St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)

Anyone who takes life seriously
in the Christian sense,
will regard it as a difficult journey
towards perfection and towards God.
This journey will be, at the same time,
painful and joyful.
… It is our own loss if we sit down lazily
on the side of the road,
which should lead us to Heaven.
It is even more disastrous,
if we acknowledge defeat
and lay down the spiritual weapons
of prayer and renunciation,
in order to surrender ourselves to sin or to indifference.
Everyday we should say to ourselves,
in the presence of God –
A new life is beginning …
in You, by Your grac and for You!

Amen”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DIVINE MERCY, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on GRACE, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – … Behold, the Star which they had seen in the east, went before them … Matthew 2:9

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” –Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

… Behold, the Star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. ” – Matthew 2:9

REFLECTION – “Christ appeared in the world and, bringing beauty out of disarray, gave it lustre and joy. He bore the world’s sin and crushed the world’s enemy. He sanctified the fountains of waters and enlightened the minds of men. Into the fabric of miracles, He interwove ever greater miracles.

For on this day, land and sea share between them, the grace of the Saviour and the whole world is filled with joy. Today’s Feast of the Epiphany manifests even more wonders than the Feast of Christmas.

On the Feast of the Saviour’s birth, the earth rejoiced because it bore the Lord in a manger but on today’s Feast of the Epiphany, it is the sea that is glad and leaps for joy; the sea is glad because it receives the blessing of holiness in the river Jordan.

At Christmas we saw a weak Baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today’s Feast, we see a perfect Man, hinting at the perfect Son Who proceeds from the All-perfect Father. At Christmas the King puts on the Royal Robe of His Body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds and, as it were, clothes the river.

Come then and see new and astounding miracles – the Sun of Righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man.

Today every creature shouts in resounding song – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is He who comes in every age, for this is not His first coming. And Who is He? Tell us more clearly, I beg you, blessed David – the Lord is God and has shone upon us. David is not alone in prophesying this; the Apostle Paul adds his own witness, saying: the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all men and instructing us. Not for some men but for all. To Jews and Greeks alike God bestows salvation through Baptism, offering Baptism as a common grace for all.

Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day. Then, the water of the flood destroyed the human race but now, the water of Baptism has recalled the dead to life, by the power of the One Who was Baptised. In the days of the flood, the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odour of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a Dove, reveals the Lord of mercy.” – St Proclus of Constantinople (Died c 446) Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople, Father (An excerpt from On the Holy God-showing, Sermon 7)

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Thy Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may come to behold Thee in glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT, ARMOUR of CHRIST, AUGUSTINIANS OSA, BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, SACRAMENTS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 November – “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 13:14

One Minute Reflection – 29 November – Vigil of the Feast of St Andrew – Romans 13:11-14, Luke 21:25-33 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 13:14

REFLECTION – “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh and its desires, so that you may be clothed with the Life of Him, Whom you have put on in this Sacrament. You have all been clothed with Christ by your Baptism in Him. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Such is the power of this Sacrament: it is a Sacrament of new lifewhich begins here and now, with the forgiveness of all past sins and will be brought to completion, in the resurrection of the dead. You have been buried with Christ by Baptism into death, in order that, as Christ has risen from the dead, you also may walk in newness of life.

You are walking now by faith, still on pilgrimage in a mortal body away from the Lord but He, to Whom your steps are directed, is Himself the sure and certain Way for you – Jesus Christ, Who, for our sake became man. For all who fear Him, He has stored up abundant happiness which He will reveal to those who hope in Him, bringing it to completion, when we have attained the reality which, even now, we possess, in hope.

This is the octave day of your new birth. Today is fulfilled in you, the sign of faith that was prefigured in the Old Testament by the circumcision of the flesh, on the eighth day after birth. When the Lord rose from the dead, He put off the mortality of the flesh; His Risen Body was still the same Body but it was no longer subject to death. By His Resurrection, He consecrated Sunday, or the Lord’s day. Though the third after His Passion, this day is the eighth after the Sabbath and thus also, the first day of the week.

And so, your own hope of resurrection, though not yet realised, is sure and certain because you have received the Sacrament or sign of this reality and have been given the pledge of the Spirit. If, then, you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on heavenly things, not the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your Life, appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (An excerpt from: Sermon 8 – On the Paschal Octave).

PRAYER – Put forth Thy power, O Lord, we beseech Thee and come, that with Thee as our protector, we may be rescued from the impending danger of our sins and with Thee as our deliverer, may we obtain our salvation .Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in BAPTISM, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 October – ‘ … We are reborn as His Body and as sons of God. … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 29 October – “The Month of the Most Holy Rosary and of the Angels” and Mary’s Saturday (Salve sancta parens) – Ecclesiasticus 24:14-16, Luke 11:27-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Blessed is the womb that bore you ’” – Luke 11:27

REFLECTION – “By the Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin, was born our Head, the Son of Man and, by the same Spirit, in the waters of Baptism, we are reborn as His Body and as sons of God. And just as He was born without any sin, so we are reborn in the forgiveness of all our sins. As on the Cross, He bore the sum total of the whole Body’s sins in His own physical Body, so He gave His members the grace of rebirth, in order that no sin might be imputed to His Mystical Body. It is written: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no sin. The blessed man of this text is undoubtedly Christ, Who forgives sins, insofar as God, is His Head. Insofar as this Man is the Head of the Body, no sin is forgiven Him. But, insofar as the Body that belongs to this Head, consists of many members, sin is not imputed to it.

Just as in Himself, it is He Who justifies Himself. He alone is both Saviour and saved. In His own Body on the Cross, He bore what He had washed from His Body by the waters of Baptism. Bringing salvation through wood and through water, He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world which He took upon Himself. Himself a Priest, He offers Himself as sacrifice to God and He Himself, is God. Thus, through His own self, the Son is reconciled to Himself as God, as well as to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.” – Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist. (c 1100 – c 1170) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher (An excerpt from his Sermon 42),

PRAYER – Grant us, Thy servants, O Lord God, we beseech Thee, to enjoy lasting health of mind and body and by the intercession of glorious and blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrow and partake to the full of eternal appiness.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in BAPTISM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, THE ASSUMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 August – Firstborn of many brothers ….

One Minute Reflection – 13 August – Anticipated Vigil of the Assumption and the Feast of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners – Ecclesiasticus 24:23-31, Luke 11:27-28

Blessed is the womb that bore you ’” – Luke 11:27

REFLECTION –By the Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin, was born our Head, the Son of Man and, by the same Spirit, in the waters of Baptism, we are reborn as His Body and as sons of God. And just as He was born without any sin, so we are reborn in the forgiveness of all our sins. As on the Cross, He bore the sum total of the whole Body’s sins in His own physical Body, so He gave His members the grace of rebirth, in order that no sin might be imputed to His Mystical Body. It is written: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no sin. The blessed man of this text is undoubtedly Christ, Who forgives sins, insofar as God, is His Head. Insofar as this Man is the Head of the Body, no sin is forgiven Him. But, insofar as the Body that belongs to this Head, consists of many members, sin is not imputed to it.

Just as in Himself, it is He Who justifies Himself. He alone is both Saviour and saved. In His own Body on the Cross, He bore what He had washed from His Body by the waters of Baptism. Bringing salvation through wood and through water, He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world which He took upon Himself. Himself a Priest, He offers Himself as sacrifice to God and He Himself, is God. Thus, through His own self, the Son is reconciled to Himself as God, as well as to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.” – Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist. (c 1100 – c 1170) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher (An excerpt from his Sermon 42),

PRAYER – O God, Who chose for Thy dwelling the virginal womb of the blessed Mary, grant, we beseech Thee, that, with the help of her protection, we may with joym take part in her festival. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in BAPTISM, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HEART, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 July – ‘ …The Handwriting of Sin…’ 

One Minute Reflection – 31 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and the Memorial of St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) Confessor– Romans 8:12-17, Luke 16:1-9.

Then to another he said: ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note, write one for eighty.’” – Luke 16:7

REFLECTION – “What the Gospel of “the unjust steward” says, is also an image of this matter. He says to the debtor [of one hundred measures of wheat], “Take your bill, sit down and write eighty” and the other things that are related.
You see that he said to each man, “Take your bill.
It is evident from this, that the ‘documents of sin are ours but God writes ‘documents of justice.
The Apostle says, “For you are an epistle written, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart.” You have in yourselves, ‘documents of God’ and ‘documents of the Holy Spirit.’
If you transgress, you yourself write in yourselves, the handwriting of sin.
Notice, that at anytime, when you have approached the Cross of Christ and the grace of Baptism, your handwriting is fastened to the Cross and blotted out in the fountain of Baptism.
Do not rewrite later, what has been blotted out, or repair what has been destroyed. Preserve only the documents of God in yourself. Let only the scripture of the Holy Spirit remain in you.
” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Homilies on Genesis, 13)

PRAYER – O God, Who, to spread abroad the greater glory of Thy Name through St Ignatius, strengthened the Church militant with new power; grant that we ,who are struggling on earth, may, by his help and after his example, be found worthy to be crowned with him in Heaven. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The HEART, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 July – ‘Where is the heart that loves …?’

Quote/s of the Day – 21 July – 1 Corinthians 7:25-3, Matthew 13:44-52

The Kingdom of Heaven
is like a treasure
hidden in a field;
he who finds it, hides it
and in his joy.
goes and sells all that he has
and buys that field
.”

Matthew 13:44

For where your treasure is,
there also will your heart be.

Luke 12:34

We have had Your treasure
hidden within us,
ever since we received baptismal grace,
it grows ever richer
at Your sacramental table.

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

O man, send your treasure on,
send it ahead into Heaven,
or else your God-given soul
will be buried in the earth!
Gold comes from the depth of the earth —
the soul, from the highest Heaven.
Clearly it is better ,to carry the gold
to where the soul resides,
than to bury the soul,
in the mine of the gold.
That is why God orders those
who will serve in His Army here below,
to fight as men stripped of concern
for riches and unencumbered by anything.

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
“Doctor of Homilies”
Father and Doctor of the Church

Where is the heart that loves?
On the thing it loves.
Therefore, where our love is,
there our heart is held captive.
It cannot leave it;
it cannot be lifted higher,
it cannot go either to the right or the left;
see, it is fixed.
Where the miser’s treasure is,
there is his heart
and where our heart is,
there is our treasure.

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)

Posted in BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HEART, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Kingdom of Heavenis like a treasure … Matthew 13:44

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of St Elizabeth Queen of Portugal TOSF (1271-1336) – Proverbs 31:10-31, Matthew 13:44-52.

The Kingdom of Heaven
is like a treasure hidden in a field;
he who finds it, hides it
and in his joy,
goes and sells all that he has
and buys that field.

Matthew 13:44

For where your treasure is,
there also will your heart be.”

Luke 12:34

We have had Your treasure
hidden within us,
ever since we received baptismal grace,
it grows ever richer
at Your sacramental table.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Let your door stand open
to receive Him,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind
and then you will see
the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the joy of grace.
Throw wide the gate of your heart,
stand before the Sun
of the everlasting Light.

St Ambrose (c 340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

He who finds Jesus, finds a rare treasure,
indeed, a good above every good,
whereas he who loses Him,
loses more than the whole world.
The man who lives without Jesus,
is the poorest of the poor,
whereas no-one is so rich,
as the man who lives in His grace.
… Let all things be loved, for the sake of Jesus
but Jesus, for His own sake.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased
to give you the kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves
that do not wear out,
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

You leave the land just as it is
when you depart,
you do not carry anything away.
Our first aim
is to go to God,
we are not on earth
for anything but this!”

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

Posted in BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The MOST HOLY & BLESSED TRINITY, The WORD

Monday in Passion Week – 4 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – “If anyone thirst, let himcome to Me and drink.”

Monday in Passion Week – 4 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Jonas 3:1-10, John 7:32-39

O God, by Your Name save me and by your might deliver me.” – Psalm 53:3

If anyone thirst, let him
come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture says,
‘From within Him
there shall flow
rivers of living waters.’

John 7:37-38

AS THE DEER LONGS for running water, so my soul longs for You, my God. Just as the deer longs for running water, so do our newly baptised members, our young deer, so to speak, also yearn for God. By leaving Egypt and the world, they have put Pharaoh and his entire army to death in the waters of Baptism. After slaying the devil, their hearts long for the springs of running water in the Church. These springs, are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah testifies, that the Father is like a Fountain when He says: They have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living water, to dig for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. In another passage we read about the Son: They have forsaken the Fountain of Wisdom. And again, John says of the Holy Spirit: Whoever drinks the water I will give him, that water shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life. The Evangelist explains that the Saviour said this of the Holy Spirit. The testimony of these texts, establishes beyond doubt, the Three Fountains of the Church constitute the mystery of the Trinity.

THESE ARE THE WATERS that the heart of the believer longs for, these are the waters that the heart of the newly baptised yearns for when he says: My heart thirsts for God, the living Fountain. This is not a weak, faint desire to see God, rather the newly baptised actually burn with desire and thirst for God. Before they received Baptism, they used to ask one another: When shall I go and see the face of God? Now their quest has been answered. they have come forward and they stand in the presence of God. They have come before the Altar and have looked upon the Mystery of the Saviour.

HAVING RECEIVED the Body of Christ and being reborn in the life-giving waters, they speak up boldly and say: I shall go into God’s marvellous dwelling place, His house. The house of God is the Church, his marveLlous dwelling place ….

BY THE WORD OF GOD you have been lifted out of the dangerous waters of this world, like so many little fish. In us, the nature of things has been changed. Fish taken out of the sea die but the Apostles have fished for us and have taken us out of the sea of this world, so we could be brought from death to life. As long as we were in the world, our eyes looked down into the abyss and we lived in filth. After we were rescued from the waves, we began to look upon the Sun and look up at the True Light. Confused in the presence of so much joy, we say: Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, in the presence of my Saviour and my God.” – St Jerome (343-420) Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Sermon on Psalm 41 addressed to the Newly Baptised).

Posted in BAPTISM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on GRACE, Quotes on SALVATION, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 11 March – The Growth of Jesus

Thought for the Day – 11 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Growth of Jesus

“It is impossible to stand still in life.
This is true, whether we are speaking of the natural or of the supernatural order of life..
Life is motion and activity; there can be no cessation.
In the natural order, life begins in the womb and passes through the various stages of infancy, adolescence, maturity and old age.

The supernatural life begins in Baptism, matures in Confirmation and is made entirely holy in the Eucharistic union with Jesus
But, if this life begins to fail, the result can be everlasting ruin.
It is true that in His infrinite goodness, Jesus has provided the Sacrament of Penance for those who fall and extinguish in themselves, the supernatural life of grace.
The Sacrament of Penance, has been instituted for their salvation.

At the hour of death moreover, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction heals the soul of sin and soothes the worn-out body with a refreshing ray of the spiritual life.

But woe betide those who abuse God’s gifts!
If anyone repeatedly rejects His favours and appears, instead of advancing in goodness, to be sliding backwards into ruin, he will be engulfed in the languor of spiritual death!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/11/thought-for-the-day-11-march-the-growth-of-jesus/

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 February – ‘… But the work of your salvation, is one upon which, you should be engaged at all times …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 February – Sexagesima Weekday – 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9, Luke 8:4-15

But that upon good ground, these are they, who, with a right and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bear fruit in patience.” – Luke 8:15

REFLECTION – “Sow in good season and gather together and open your barns when it is the time to do so and plant in season and let the clusters be cut when they are ripe and launch boldly in spring and draw your ship on shore again at the beginning of winter, when the sea begins to rage. …
But the work of your salvation is one’ upon which’ you should be engaged at all times …. If you are always passing over today and waiting for tomorrow, by your little procrastinations, you will be cheated without knowing it, by the evil one, as his manner is.
Give to me, he says, the present and to God the future; to me your youth and to God old age; to me your pleasures and to Him your uselessness. How great is the danger that surrounds you. How many the unexpected mischances. War has expended you, or an earthquake overwhelmed you, or the sea swallowed you up. Or a wild beast carried you off, or a sickness killed you, or a crumb going the wrong way (a most insignificant thing but what is easier, than for a man to die, though you are so proud of the divine image), or a too freely indulged drinking bout. Or a wind knocked you down, or a horse ran away with you, or a drug maliciously scheming against you, or perhaps, was found to be deleterious when meant to be wholesome. Or [there was] an inhuman judge, or an inexorable executioner, or any of the things which make the change swiftest and beyond the power of human aid.

But, if you would fortify yourself beforehand, with the seal and secure yourself for the future with the best and strongest of all aids, being signed both in body and in soul with the unction … what then can happen to you and what has been wrought out for you? Listen to the Proverbs: “If you sit,” he says, “you shall be without fear; and if you sleep, your sleep shall be sweet.” And listen to David giving you the good news: “you shall not be afraid for the terror by night, for mischance or noonday demon.” Thus, even while you live, will greatly contribute to your sense of safety (for a sheep that is sealed is not easily snared but that which is unmarked’ is an easy prey to thieves) …” – St Gregory Naziazen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Theological Oration 40, On Holy Baptism)

07

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, turn our ears and hearts to Your Word, that we may hear and live by the seed You have sown. May all that grows in us be of Your good seed and yield fruit a hundredfold. Grant us the grace of imitating the virtues of Mary, the Mother of Your only-begotten Son and our Mother and may her prayers intercede on our behalf. May we may be filled with courage and love and spread Your Word by our lives. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord and Word, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, amen.

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The 3rd Glorious Mystery - DESCENT of the HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January –

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – The Octave Day of the Epiphany, Gospel: Isaias 60:1-6; John 1:29-34

“Behold, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29

“And I knew him not\
but he who sent me to baptise
with water said to me:
He upon whom thou shalt see
the Spirit descending and remaining upon him,
he it is, who baptises with the Holy Spirit.
And I saw and I gave testimony,
that this is the Son of God.

John 1:33-34

“His action is preceded
by the beaming rays of His light and knowledge.
He comes with the truth of the real Protector;
for He comes to save, to lead, to teach, to counsel,
to strengthen, to console,
to illumine in the first place the mind of the person
who receives Him
and through that person‘s works,
the minds of others.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Christ was born of the Holy Spirit
and, since it was fitting,
that He should fulfill all justice,
He entered into the waters of baptism
to sanctify them.
When He left the Jordan,
He was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Who had descended upon Him,
in the form of a dove.
As the Evangelist tells us:
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,
returned from the Jordan
.”

St Gaudentius of Brescia (Died 410)
Bishop

Posted in BAPTISM, DIVINE MERCY, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 11 December – The Use and Abuse of the Sacraments

Thought for the Day – 11 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Use and Abuse of the Sacraments

“Let us go back in our imagination to the day when we were Baptised.
That was the day of our spiritual rebirth, when we were cleansed from original sin and enriched by the gift of grace, which is the life of the soul.
On this solemn occasion, we promised, through the agency of our Godparents, to remain faithful to the trust which we had received and to renounce Satan and whatever else might have power to extinguish our supernatural life and to plunge us into sin.

Have we kept these promises, which were made4 on our behalf and which we repeated from time to time before the Altar as we grew older?
Every gift of God demands our gratitude and our co-operation.
It is our own grave loss, if we remain cold and indifferent, in spite of the precious favours which we received from God.
God is infinitely good and merciful but, precisely because of this, He demands generous co-operation on our part.
If we abuse His graces, He will leave us to our own devices.
We shall no longer be aware of His inspirations and His appeals to us to advance in virtue.
What is to happen to us then?
We shall be like an arid plain on which only weeds and thorns can grow.
Our lives will be meaningless and purposeless, for God and everlasting happiness are the only goals worthy of our pursuit.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent and the Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Let us take refuge like deer
beside the fountain of waters.
Let our soul thirst,
as David thirsted,
for the fountain.
What is that fountain?
Listen to David –
With you is the fountain of life.
Let my soul say to this fountain,
When shall I come and see You face to face?
For the fountain is God Himself.

“All the children of the Church are priests.
At Baptism, they received the anointing
that gives them a share in the priesthood.
The sacrifice that they must offer to God
is completely spiritual – it is themselves.

“If you have two shirts
in your closet,
one belongs to you
and the other to the man
who has no shirt.

“The devil tempts,
that he may ruin;
God tests,
that He may crown.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/07/quote-s-of-the-day-7-december-st-ambrose/

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 December – “A pure way will be there, called the holy way”

One Minute Reflection – 5 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” and The Second Sunday of Advent – Readings: Baruch 5: 1-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11; Luke 3: 1-6

Prepare the way of the Lord” – Luke 3:4

REFLECTION – “Let the desert and the parched land exult! Let the arid ground rejoice and bloom. Let it bloom with abundant flowers” (Is 35:1). What the inspired Scriptures usually call ‘desert’ and ‘waste,‘ is the Church of the pagans. She already existed in former times among the peoples but had not received her mystical Spouse from Heaven, I mean the Christ … Christ came to her, however. Captivated by her faith, He enriched her from the divine river that streams from Him – streams because it is the “fountain of life, stream of delight” (Ps 36[35]:10.9) … At His Presence, the Church ceased to be parched and arid, she encountered her Spouse, brought into the world countless children and was adorned with mystical flowers. …

Isaiah continues: “A pure way will be there, called the holy way” (v. 8). This pure way is the power of the Gospel entering into our lives or, to put it another way, the purifying power of the Spirit. For the Spirit removes the stain imprinted on the human soul, delivers us from our sins and enables us to rise above our uncleanness. Thus, this road is very rightly described as holy and pure, for it cannot be reached by anyone who has not been purified. Indeed, no-one is able to live according to the Gospel who has not first been purified by holy Baptism, no-one, therefore, can do so without faith. …
Only those delivered from the devil’s tyranny can lead the glorious life the prophet describes with these images: “No lion will be there nor beast of prey” (v. 9) on that pure way. Indeed, in former times such fierce beasts, as is the devil, that inventor of sin, used to attack earth’s inhabitants together with the evil spirits. But he was crushed by Christ, driven far away from the flock of believers and stripped of the dominion he used to wield over them. That is why, redeemed by Christ and brought together in faith, they will walk united in heart along this pure way (v. 9). Forsaking their former ways “they will return to Zion,” that is, the Church, “with everlasting joy” (v. 10) that has no end, whether on earth or in Heaven and they will glorify God their Saviour. – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (On Isaiah, III, 3).

PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life prevent us from hastening to meet your Son. Teach us Holy Father God, silence and solitude, to hear and learn, then lead us into the company of Your Son, as He comes to save us! And may His Mother and ours, the most pure Virgin Mary be our intercessor and advocate. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TIME, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 November – ‘Life is passing. … ‘

Quote/s of the Day – 12 November – Readings: Wisdom 13: 1-9; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 17: 26-37

On that day, …
a person in the field,
must not return
to what was left behind.

Luke 17:31

The Son of Man will send his angels
and they will gather out of his kingdom,
all causers of sin and all law-breakers
and throw them into the fiery furnace.
In that place, there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.
Then the righteous shall shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears, let him hear.

Matthew 13:41-43

Then the righteous shall shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.

Matthew 13:43

So from now on, run well (cf. Gal 5:7)
and may the devil not bewitch you (cf. Gal 3:1)
nor hinder you! …
May mercy, peace, charity,
freedom from envy,
from jealousy and ostentation
come upon you, docility, friendly speech,
solidarity, compassion
towards each other, humility.

St Theodore the Studite (759-826)

Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice,
make me clothe myself with You,
so that I may be able to live
according to Your will.
Make me, under Your guidance,
preserve my robe of baptismal innocence,
white, holy and spotless
and present it undefiled,
before Your tribunal,
so that I may wear it,
for eternal life.

St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)

Let everyone who has
the grace of intelligence,
fear that because of it,
he will be judged more heavily,
if he is negligent.

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

Life is passing.
The days chase one another; time is flying.
Do not say, therefore, that you will change tomorrow, that tomorrow you will
turn away from the path of sin
and begin to lead a holy life.
For not alone does time pass
but, it often betrays us!
Our Lord tells us that
the judgement will come at a time
when we least expect it.
The time that is gone will never return;
the future is uncertain;
there remains, only the present.
But the present is equally uncertain;
it is something that passes and,
every moment could be the last of our lives.
How many whom we have known,
were taken away suddenly
in the flower of their youth …
Is that not a warning to us?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in BAPTISM, I BELIEVE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on TRUTH, The CREED, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The MOST HOLY & BLESSED TRINITY, The SIGN of the CROSS

Our Morning Offering – 11 November – In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Our Morning Offering – 11 November – Monday of the Thirty Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year C

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed
when we were Baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen

Posted in BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FATHERS of the Church, JESUIT SJ, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 November – ‘… The handwriting of sin … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 5 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Romans 15: 14-21; Psalms 98: 1-4; Luke 16: 1-8 and the Memorial of All Jesuit Saints and Blesseds

Then to another he said: ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note, write one for eighty.’” – Luke 16:7

REFLECTION – “What the Gospel of “the unjust steward” says, is also an image of this matter. He says to the debtor [of one hundred measures of wheat], “Take your bill, sit down and write eighty” and the other things that are related.
You see that he said to each man, “Take your bill.
It is evident from this, that the ‘documents of sin‘ are ours but God writes ‘documents of justice.
The Apostle says, “For you are an epistle written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart.” You have in yourselves, ‘documents of God’ and ‘documents of the Holy Spirit.’
If you transgress, you yourself write in yourselves, the handwriting of sin.
Notice, that at anytime, when you have approached the Cross of Christ and the grace of Baptism, your handwriting is fastened to the Cross and blotted out in the fountain of Baptism.
Do not rewrite later, what has been blotted out, or repair what has been destroyed. Preserve only the documents of God in yourself. Let only the scripture of the Holy Spirit remain in you.
” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Homilies on Genesis, 13)

PRAYER – Lord God, teach us humility, to give and not to count ever the cost to ourselves, to take the lowest part and the back seat – teach us Lord, to strive and not to seek for glory, save for that of Your Kingdom. Let us see Your Face, His Face, He our Teacher, our Saviour in the face of all those in most need. May all those great Jesuit Saints standing before that Face, pray for us! We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who we beg, have mercy on us all, who seek rewards for our own sakes, amen.

Posted in BAPTISM, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, GOD ALONE!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 October – ‘Put on Christ.’

One Minute Reflection – 21 October – – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 6: 19-23; Psalm 1: 1-4 and 6; Luke 12: 49-53

I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already kindled!” – Luke 12:49

REFLECTIUON – “He also said, “I came to cast fire upon the earth and would that it were already kindled!” These flaming words from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ reveal the malice of sin. He also reveals the excellence of good actions performed for the glory of God and His Christ. Then we are ready for the Baptism of water, which is a type of the Cross, death, burial and resurrection from the dead.

One who is prepared to be Baptised in the Name of the Holy Spirit, is one who has been born anew, who undergoes a change of residence, habits and associates, so that, walking by the Spirit, he may be ready to be Baptised in the name of the Son and to put on Christ.” – St Basil the Great (329-379) Bishop of Caesarea, Father & Doctor one of the original 4 Doctors of the Eas(Concerning Baptism)

PRAYER – Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light
the world around us.
Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit
to carry out our mission
of living and following
the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand,
that by Your grace
Your gifts are Your blessings,
to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love
to give glory to You
in loving all
and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire
to go forth
as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ-bearers,
that in seeing us
only He is visible.
Amen (The Christopher Prayer – Unknown)

Posted in BAPTISM, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 October – ‘O foolish Pharisee … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 12 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 1: 16-25; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 11: 37-41 and the Memorial of St Serafino of Montegranaro OFM Cap (1540-1604)

And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.”…Luke 11:39

REFLECTION – “The Pharisee invites Him to an entertainment for his own purpose. The Saviour of all, submits to this for providence’s sake. He made the matter an opportunity of giving instruction, not consuming the time of their meeting in the enjoyment of food and delicacies but, in the task of making those ,who were assembled there, more virtuous. The dull Pharisee himself, supplied an occasion for His speech, “because he wondered,” it says, “that he did not wash before dinner.” Did he wonder at Him, as having done something of which he approved, as being especially worthy of the saints? This was not his view. How could it be? On the contrary, he was offended because, although He had the reputation of a righteous man and a prophet, He did not conform Himself to their unreasonable customs.

Our argument is this. “O foolish Pharisee, you boast much of your knowledge of the sacred Scriptures. You are always quoting the law of Moses. Tell us where Moses gave you this commandment? What commandment ordained by God requires people to wash before eating? The waters of sprinkling were indeed given by the command of Moses for the cleansing of bodily uncleanness, as being a type of the Baptism which really is holy and cleansing, even that in Christ. Those who were called to the priesthood were also bathed in water. The divine Moses bathed Aaron and the Levites. The law thereby declared by means of the baptism enacted in type and shadow that even its priesthood did not have what is sufficient for sanctification. On the contrary, it needs divine and holy Baptism for the true cleansing.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the the Incarnation of the Church (Commentary on Luke, “Homily 83”).

PRAYER – Lord God, open our hearts to Your Grace, that we may be filled with Your light and overflow with gratitude for Your merciful love. May we love and adore and worship You in return. Although we are sinners, our hearts long to thank You in total trust and humble thankfulness. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of our Hearts and of the humble St Serafino, we may grow in holiness. Through Your only Son, our Saviour and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God, forever, amen.

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 September – ‘ … An unending Sabbath,… ‘

One Minute Reflection – 5 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Readings: Colossians 1: 21-23; Psalm 54: 3-4, 6 and 8; Luke 6: 1-5 19-21

“The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.” … Luke 6:5

REFLECTION – “Now we are in the time of grace revealed to us, the observance of the Sabbath, which was previously symbolised by resting on a single day, has been brought to an end, where the faithful are concerned. For in this time of grace, Christians observe an unending Sabbath, provided, that all the good they do is done in hope of the rest to come and provided, they don’t boast about the good they do as though it were a good belonging to them rather than having received it.

So, when they understand and receive the Sacrament of Baptism as a Sabbath, that is to say, as the Lord’s resting in the tomb (Rm 6:4), Christians rest from their former works to walk, from henceforward, in a new life, recognising that God acts within them. It is God who both works and rests together, on the one hand granting His creatures the guidance they need and, on the other, rejoicing in Himself in everlasting tranquillity.

God was neither worn out by creating the world, nor recovered His strength by ceasing to create but He wished to invite us, by these words of His Scripture, “God rested on the seventh day” (Gn 2:2) – to long for this rest, by giving us the command to make this day holy.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Genesis according to the literal sense, 4, xiii/24-xiv/25

PRAYER – Holy God, Almighty Father, You taught us to honour Your holy day and the day of rest. In Your divine Son, Whom You gave to us as our brother and glorified by His Resurrection, You showed us the way to our eternal life. As His glorified body shines anew, we rejoice in our future life with Him and embrace His day as our own, each Sunday renewing His Resurrection and each day of our lives. We run forward to sing Your glory together with our Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin and most Sorrowful Mary, to eternity, through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY SATURDAY, HOLY WEEK, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on WATCHING, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The LAST THINGS, The RESURRECTION, The SECOND COMING

Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – Last things

Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 33: 7-11; 34: 5b-9, 28; Psalms 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13; Matthew 13: 36-43

“The Son of Man will send his angels
and they will gather out of his kingdom,
all causers of sin and all law-breakers
and throw them into the fiery furnace.
In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then the righteous shall shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears, let him hear.”

Matthew 13:41-43

“You do not know
when your last day may come.
You are an ingrate!
Why not use the day, today,
that God has given you
to repent?”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice,
make me clothe myself with You,
so that I may be able to live
according to Your will.
Make me, under Your guidance,
preserve my robe of baptismal innocence,
white, holy and spotless
and present it undefiled,
before Your tribunal,
so that I may wear it,
for eternal life.

St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)

“This then is to watch –
to be detached from what is present
and to live in what is unseen,
to live in the thought of Christ
as He came once and as He will come again,
to desire His second coming,
from our affectionate
and grateful remembrance,
of His first. ”

Sabbatum Sanctum

I look at You, my Lord Jesus
and think of Your most holy Body
and I keep it before me,
as a pledge of my own resurrection.
Though I die, as die I certainly shall,
nevertheless, I shall not forever die,
for I shall rise again.
O You, who are the Truth,
I know and believe with my whole heart,
that this very flesh of mine will rise again.
I know, base and odious as it is at present,
that it will one day, if I be worthy,
be raised incorruptible
and altogether beautiful and glorious.
This I know,
this by Your grace,
I will ever keep before me.
Amen

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Posted in 7 GIFTS of the HOLY SPIRIT, BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 May – The Holy Spirit

Quote/s of the Day – 10 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 16:11-15, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9, John 15:26–16:4

“And I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth,
which the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows it.
But you know it,
because it remains with you
and will be in you.”

John 14:16-17

“His action is preceded
by the beaming rays of His light and knowledge.
He comes with the truth of the real Protector;
for He comes to save, to lead, to teach, to counsel,
to strengthen, to console,
to illumine, in the first place, the mind of the person
who receives Him
and through that person‘s works,
the minds of others.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Remember, then, that you received a spiritual seal,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence,
the spirit of holy fear.
Keep safe what you received.
God the Father sealed you,
Christ the Lord strengthened you
and sent the Spirit into your hearts
as the pledge of what is to come.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“The Holy Spirit leads us along,
as a mother leads her two year old child by the hand,
as a sighted person leads a blind one.
We should say each morning:
“Oh my God, send me Your Holy Spirit
who will make me understand
what I am and what you are …”
A soul who possesses the Holy Spirit
enjoys an exquisite taste in prayer,
it never loses the holy presence of God.”

St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

Posted in BAPTISM, I BELIEVE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on the CHURCH, THEOLOGICAL

Thought for the Day – 8 May – The Theological Virtues of Our Lady

Thought for the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Theological Virtues of Our Lady

“We also possess the Catholic faith, or at any rate, believe that we possess it, for we often recite the Creed and were received, at Baptism, into the family of the Catholic Church.

But is our faith alive?
When a man is living his faith, he has a constant realisation of the presence of God, Who has created him, maintains him in existence, has redeemed him, loves him and commands him to do good.
Otherwise, our faith is dead, for as St James writes, “faith, without works, is dead” (Js 2:26).
If our faith is not living, neither is our hope nor our charity.

Let us examine ourselves thoroughly.
Perhaps we do not think about God enough and, as a result our faith is weak.
Perhaps we place all our hope in earthly things and look for these passing pleasures, which cannot satisfy or hearts.
Perhaps we love ourselves and our possessions too much and have too little love for God, our only real good.
It maybe that we are constantly seeking our own interests and ease and are lacking in sincere and active charity towards our neighbour, when he is in need, even though he is our brother in Jesus Christ and we should love him as ourselves.
If this is the way matters stand, we are not genuine Catholics, for we have not the three theological virtues, which should form the basis of our lives.
Neither are we sincere sons of Mary, who possessed these three virtues in an outstanding manner.
Let us examine ourselves with a view to forming a few good and earnest resolutions.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/08/thought-for-the-day-8-may-the-theological-virtues-of-our-lady/

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, BAPTISM, CONFESSION, CONFIRMATION, HOLY COMMUNION, HOLY ORDERS, HOLY SPIRIT, LAST RITES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THANKSGIVING, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on VOCATIONS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The KINGDOM of GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Thought for the Day – 21 April – The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

Thought for the Day – 21 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

“It is a great dignity to be a Christian.
By Baptism, we become sons of God, heirs to Heaven, temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Mystical Body of Jesus, which is the Church.
God’s grace raises us to the supernatural order and makes us, as St Paul expresses it, sharers in the divine nature.
By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit fortifies our faith and gives us the strength to resist the temptations of the devil and to fight like loyal soldiers, for the triumph in ourselves and in others, of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Penance, is our plank of salvation in the shipwreck of sin.

Although, we are all wretched sinners, by this give of the divine mercy, we can recover our lost innocence and return to the grace and friendship of God.
Moreover, in order to prevent us from falling back into sin, Jesus give us Himself in the Blessed Eucharist, which is called, by St Thomas Aquinas, the greatest miracle of His infinite love (Opusculum 56, Officium de festo Corporis Christi, lectures 1-4).

But this is not all.
If it is our vocation for form a family, God consecrates our union at the altar and gives us the graces necessary, to sanctify it, so that it may produce a good Christian family.
If God has called us, on the other hand, to become spiritual fathers of the souls redeemed by His Precious Blood, He raises us to this high dignity, by the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Finally, when we shall have come to the end of our mortal lives, the Priest will be still by our side, to wash away, by the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, the last traces of sin and to comfort us in our passage to eternity.
The whole life of a Christian, is a chain of favours which accompany him, from the cradle to the grave.
We should be grateful to God for the goodness with which He has treated us and continues to treat us.
We should co-operate generously with His gifts by recognising the lofty honour it is, to be a Christian and by living in accordance with this dignity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 April – ‘… The grace of Him Who has called us.’

One Minute Reflection – 13 April – Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 32-37, Psalm: Psalms 93: 1ab, 1cd-2, 5, Gospel: John 3: 7b-15 *Readings below

“Whosoever believeth in him, may not perish but may have life everlasting.” – John 3:15

REFLECTION – “Typology points out what is to be expected, indicating through imitation, what is to happen before it happens. Adam was a type of Him who was to come (Rom 5:14); “the Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4) typologically and, the water from the rock, was a type of the living power of the Word, for He says, “If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink.” (Jn 7:37) The manna was a type of the living bread which came down from heaven (Jn 6:41) and the serpent suspended on the pole, was a type of the saving Passion accomplished on the Cross (Nb 21:8f.), since the life of everyone who looked at the serpent was preserved.

Similarly, the history of Israel’s exodus, was recorded to typify those who would be saved through Baptism. The firstborn of the Israelites were saved …) through grace given, to those who were marked with blood. The blood of the lamb is a type of the blood of Christ …

At the time of the exodus, the sea and the cloud led the people from amazement to faith but ,they also typified the grace which was yet to come. “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things” – how the baptism in the sea, which brought about Pharaoh’s demise, typifies the washing, which makes the devil’s tyranny depart. The sea killed the enemy in its waves and Baptism kills the enmity between us and God. The people emerged from the sea unharmed and we come up from the water, as alive from the dead, saved by the grace of Him Who has called us. The cloud is a shadow of the Spirit’s gifts, for He cools the flames of our passions through the mortification of our bodies.” – St Basil the Great (329-379) Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Father, Doctor of the Church – Treatise on the Holy Spirit, 14

PRAYER – True Light of the World, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, fill us the grace of the Holy Spirit, that our eyes may be opened and our path visible. May our hearts be filled with the certainty of Your love and grant us the grace to share Your light with all. May Your love in us overcome all things, let there be no limit to our faith, our hope and our endurance. Lead us in Your ways of peace to eternal life by Your Mother’s protecting help. Who live and reign with the Father and Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Acts 4: 32-37
32 And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul, neither did anyone say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own but all things were common unto them.
33 And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and great grace was in them all.
34 For neither was there anyone needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them and brought the price of the things they sold 35 and laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to everyone, according as he had need.
36 And Joseph, who, by the apostles, was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, by interpretation, The son of consolation), a Levite, a Cyprian born, 37 having land, sold it and brought the price and laid it at the feet of the apostles.

John 3: 7b-15
7 Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again.
8 The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said to him: How can these things be done?
10 Jesus answered and said to him: Art thou a master in Israel and knowest not these things?
11 Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know and we testify what we have seen and you receive not our testimony.
12 If I have spoken to you earthly things,and you believe not; how will you ,believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish but may have life everlasting.

Posted in BAPTISM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE

Thought for the Day – 12 April– The Sacrament of Baptism

Thought for the Day – 12 April– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Sacrament of Baptism

“Like the other Sacraments, Baptism is composed of a material and a spiritual element.
The sensible outward sign produces the grace, or spiritual element, which it signifies.
Since we are composed of body and soul, it is fitting that the Sacrament should also consist of this double element.
Baptism, for example, being a spiritual cleansing of the soul, is conferred by the pouring of natural water, accompanied by the sacramental words by Jesus Christ.

The Church adds its own ceremonial to the essential part of the Sacrament.
By means of the exorcisms, the devil is expelled and the tongue is consecrated with the salt of wisdom, to indicate, that it should be the instrument of goodness.
The body is sanctified by the oil and chrism, so that it may always be the living temple of the Holy Spirit.
The white garment, symbolises the innocence which we ought to preserve for the rest of our lives and the lighted candle, stands for the faith and charity, which ought always to inspire the soul.

All this is done for us before we are in a position to understand anything about it.
Nevertheless, we should reflect today on the meaning of these sacred ceremonies and on how they should affect our lives.
Can we claim to have kept our promises?
Or are we forced to admit that we have not always lived up to our obligations?
Let us renew our promises today and let us ask Jesus, for the grace, to be faithful to them all, until the end of our lives. Amen!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/10/thought-for-the-day-10-january-the-sacrament-of-baptism/

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The LAST THINGS, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – – 12 April – ‘… A second life ‘

Quote/s of the Day – – 12 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 23-31, Psalm: Psalms 2: 1-3, 4-7a, 7b-9, Gospel: John 3: 1-8

“Nicodemus said to him,
“How can a person once grown old, be born again?
Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb
and be born again, can he?”

John 3:4

“We are a compound of both body and soul.
The one part is visible, the other invisible.
In the same way, our cleansing also is twofold,
that is, by water and the Spirit.
The one is received visibly in the body,
the other concurs with it invisibly
and apart from the body.
The one that comes to the aid of our first birth
makes us new, instead of old
and like God, instead of what we now are.
It recasts us, without fire
and creates us anew, without breaking us up.
For the virtue of Baptism,
is to be understood, as a covenant with God
for a second life and a purer conversation.”

St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice,
make me clothe myself with You,
so that I may be able to live
according to Your will.
Make me, under Your guidance,
preserve my robe of baptismal innocence,
white, holy and spotless
and present it undefiled,
before Your tribunal,
so that I may wear it,
for eternal life.”

St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Make room for God …

One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 23-31, Psalm: Psalms 2: 1-3, 4-7a, 7b-9, Gospel: John 3: 1-8 * readings below and the Memorial of St Alferius of La Cava (930–1050) Priest, Abbot, Founder

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
– John 3:3

REFLECTION – “We read in Saint John – No-one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life, is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection. Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation. A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light. It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished… The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but, on the window. If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances, the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray. Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window. A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God . When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.” – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) – Mystical Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Your Son in baptism, may by His Resurrection and intercession, at Your right hand, obtain for us eternal life. Send Your Spirit upon Your adopted children and lead us in Your way. Grant that by the intercession of Your Angels and Saints and holding on always, to our Blessed Virgin Mother, our path may be straightened and glow with Your light. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Acts 4: 23-31
23 And being let go, they came to their own company and related all that the chief priests and ancients had said to them.
24 Who having heard it, with one accord lifted up their voice to God and said: Lord, thou art he that didst make heaven and earth, the sea,and all things that are in them.
25 Who, by the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, hast said: Why did the Gentiles rage and the people meditate vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up and the princes assembled together against the Lord and his Christ.
27 For of a truth, there assembled together in this city against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, 28 To do what thy hand and thy counsel decreed to be done.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings and grant unto thy servants, that with all confidence they may speak thy word, 30 by stretching forth thy hand to cures,and signs and wonders to be done, by the name of thy holy Son Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was moved wherein they were assembled and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the word of God with confidence.

Gospel: John 3: 1-8
1 And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night,and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come, a teacher from God, for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him.
3 Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born again?
5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.
7 Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again.
8 The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice but thou knowest not ,whence he cometh and whither he goeth, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – Water and Blood

Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6,8-9, John 5:1-16

“ … Sin is washed away by the waters of the font,
the Holy Spirit is poured forth in the chrism
and we obtain both of these gifts,
through the hands and the mouth of the Priest.
Thus the whole man is reborn
and renewed in Christ.”

St Pacian (c 310–391)
Bishop of Barcelona

“Pour your dew on my weakness, Lord.
By your blood, forgive my sins.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church’s Unity