Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 29 August – The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Quote/s of the Day – 29 August – The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Amen I say to you, there hath not risen
among them that are born of women,
a greater than John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:11

“The Lord called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb
He pronounced my name
.”

Isaias 49:1

“I, for my part, think that the mystery of John
is being fulfilled in the world until the present.
The spirit and the power of John,
must first fill the soul of whoever is destined
to believe in Christ Jesus,
“to prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed” (Lk 1:17)
and to “make ready the way of the Lord,
[to] clear Him a straight path” (Lk 3:5)
in the roughness of their hearts.
Not only at that time were
“the winding paths … made straight
and the rough ways smooth;”
rather, the spirit and the power of John
still go before the Lord and Saviour’s coming today.
Oh greatness of the Lord’s Mystery
and of His plan for the world!

Origen Adamantius (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Exegist,
Writer, Apologist, Father

Why was John allowed to die?”
For what occurred was not a death
but a crown, not an end
but the beginning of a greater life.
Learn to think and live like a Christian.
You will not only remain unharmed
by these events
but will reap the greatest benefits.

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection –29 August – “Why was John allowed to die?”

One Minute Reflection –29 August – The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist – Jeremias 1:17-19, Mark 6:17-29

He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother.” – Mark 6:28

REFLECTION – “In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment? Who are those he did not set back on their feet — provided they had a penitent disposition — because of what he spoke because of what he suffered,because of what he still proclaims in our own day — the same message he preached, while he was living. Therefore, do not say: “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death, but a crown, not an end, but the beginning of a greater life. Learn to think and live like a Christian. You will not only remain unharmed by these events, but will reap the greatest benefits.” St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (On the Providence of God 22).

PRAYER – May the great festival of St John the Baptist, ThyPrecursor and Martyr, we beseech Thee, O Lord, assure for us the results of Thy saving help. Who lives and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Our Morning Offering – 29 August – John, the Chosen One

Our Morning Offering – 29 August – The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Lauds Hymn
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

God called great prophets to foretell
the coming of His Son.
The greatest, called before his birth,
was John, the chosen one.

His life was filled with joy and hope;
he knew he must decrease,
and that we must prepare a place
where Jesus may increase.

John searched in solitude for Christ
and knew Him when He came.
He showed the world the Lamb of God
and hailed Him in our name.

That lonely voice cried out the truth
Derided and denied.
As witness to the law of God
His mighty martyr died.

We praise You, Trinity in One,
the light of unknown ways,
the hope of all who search for You
whose love fills all our days.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Memorials of the Saints – 29 August

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Here:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/08/29/saint-of-the-day-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-29-august/

St Sabina of Rome (Died c 126) Martyr, Widiw
Her Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/29/saint-of-the-day-29-august-saint-sabina-of-rome-died-c-126-martyr/

Blessed John of Perugia`OFM (Died 1231) Martyr, Friar of the Friars Minor
AND
Blessed Peter of Sassoferrato OFM (Died 1231) Martyr, Friar of the Friars Minor

St Adelphus
St Adausia of Rome
St Alberic of Bagno de Romagna
St Basilia of Sirmium
Bl Bronislava
St Candida of Rome
St Edwold the Hermit
St Euthymius of Perugia
St Maximian of Vercelli
St Medericus
St Nicaeus of Antioch
St Paul of Antioch
St Repositus of Velleianum
Bl Richard Herst
St Sabina of Troyes
St Sator of Velleianum
St Sebbe of Essex
St Velleicus
St Victor of La Chambon
St Vitalis of Velleianum

Posted in St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 June – ‘A Voice is born” – The Nativity of St John the Baptist

Quote/s of the Day – 25 June – The Nativity of St John the Baptist

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary,
the baby leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit …
“For behold, when the sound
of your greeting came to my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

Luke 1:41,44

I tell you, among those born of women,
no-one is greater than John;
yet the least in the kingdom of God
is greater than he.

Luke 7:28

At my birth,
I took away my mother’s barrenness
and while still an infant,
I healed my father’s dumbness,
for You gave me in childhood,
the gift of working miracles.

St Gregory the Illuminator (c 213-270)
Bishop

As a representative of the past,
he is born of aged parents,
as herald of the new,
he is declared to be a prophet,
while still in his mother’s womb.

The release of Zechariah’s voice
at the birth of John,
is a parallel to the rending
of the veil, at Christ’s Crucifixion.
If John were announcing his own coming,
Zechariah’s lips would not have been opened.
The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.

John is a voice for a time
but Christ is the eternal Word,
from the beginning
.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 June – ‘ … Consider, then, the merit of the holy Baptist …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Nativity of St John the Baptist – Isaias 49:1-3, 5-7, Luke 1:57-68

“Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed and he spoke blessing God.” – Luke 1:64

“When John, his son was born, among his neighbours there was concern about what name he should be given. Writing tablets were offered to his father, so that he himself could put down the name that he had decided upon, so that he might express, in writing, what he could not, in speech. Then, in a wonderful manner, when he had taken the tablets in order to begin writing, his tongue was loosened, the written word gave way to speech and he did not write “John” but spoke it. Consider, then, the merit of the holy Baptist: he gave his father back his voice, he restored the faculty of speech to the priest. Consider, I say, his merit – John unloosed the mouth that the angel had bound. What Gabriel had closed, the little child unlocked. When John is born, the father suddenly becomes a prophet or priest, speech attains its use, love receives an offspring, the office recognises the priest.” – – St Maximus of Turin (Died c 420) Bishop of Turin, Father (Sermon 6) St Maximus’ Feast Day today.

PRAYER – O God, Who made this a day most worthy of our celebration because of blessed John; grant Thy people the grace of spiritual joys and direct the minds of all the faithfu, into the path of eternal salvation. 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).
OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart, Pray for Us! Indulgence 100 Days. Everytime – Raccolta 174 St Pius X, 9 July 1904.

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Our Morning Offering – 25 June – John, the Chosen One

Our Morning Offering – 25 June – The Nativity of St John the Baptist

John, the Chosen One
Lauds Hymn
for the Nativity of St John the Baptist
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

God called great prophets to foretell
the coming of His Son.
The greatest, called before His birth,
was John, the chosen one.

His life was filled with joy and hope;
he knew he must decrease,
and that we must prepare a place
where Jesus may increase.

John searched in solitude for Christ
and knew Him when He came.
He showed the world the Lamb of God
and hailed Him in our name.

That lonely voice cried out the truth
Derided and denied.
As witness to the law of God
His mighty Martyr died.

We praise You, Trinity in One,
the light of unknown ways,
the hope of all who search for You
whose love fills all our days.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Nativity of St John the Baptist, Beata Vergine delle Grazie/Our Lady of Grace,Rimini, Italy (1548) and Memorials of the Saints – 25 June

Nativity of St John the Baptist
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/24/the-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist-24-june/
https://youtu.be/GHxiG-BDzjM?list=PLHPf_5lNi5hrCFSzQ4Q8Tb2oAF0IcrAK-

Beata Vergine delle Grazie / Our Lady of Grace/Our Lady of the Bowed Head, Montegridolfo, Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (1548) – 25 June
HERE:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/25-june-the-feast-of-our-lady-of-grace/

St Adalbert of Egmond (Died c 740) Confessor, Deacon, Missionary, disciple of St Willibrord.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-saint-adalbert-of-egmond-died-c-740/

Amand of Coly
Bl Burchard of Mallersdorf
St Cyneburga of Gloucester
Bl Dorothy of Montau
St Eurosia of Jaca
St Febronia of Nisibis
Bl Fulgentius de Lara
St Gallicanus of
St Gallicanus of Ostia (Died c 363) Martyr, Layman, Roman Consul
St Gohard of Nantes
Bl Guy Maramaldi
Bl Henry Zdick
Bl John the Spaniard
St Luceias and Companions

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420) Father of the Church, Bishop, Writer, Theologian. He was a prolific and inspirational Theological writer with 118 homilies, 116 sermons and 6 treatises surviving.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-st-maximus-of-turin-c-420-father-of-the-church/

St Moluag of Lismore (c 530–592) Bishop of Lismore, Missionary to Scotland and a contemporary of St Columba, Founder of Monasteries, Apostle of the Picts, Patron Saint of Argyll.
About St Mluag:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-saint-moluag-of-lismore-c-520-592/

St Molonachus of Lismore

St Prosper of Reggio (Died c 466) Bishop and Patron of Reggio.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-saint-prosper-of-reggio-died-c-466/

St Selyf of Cornwall
St Solomon I
St Solomon III of Bretagne

St William of Vercelli (1085-1142) Hermit, Abbot, Founder of the Congregation of Monte Vergine, or “Williamites,” miracle-worker, Marian devotee. His Body is incorrupt.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-st-william-of-vercelli/

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, MARIAN TITLES, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Madonna della Navicella / Our Lady of the Ship , Chioggia, Venezia, Veneto, Italy (1508) and Memorials of the Saints – 24 June

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist “The precursor of Jesus”
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/24/the-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist-24-june/

Madonna della Navicella / Our Lady of the Ship , Chioggia, Venezia, Veneto, Italy (1508) – 24 June:
HERE:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/06/24/solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-saint-john-the-baptist-feast-of-the-madonna-della-navicella-our-lady-of-the-ship-chioggia-venezia-veneto-italy-1508-and-memorials-of-the-saints-24-june/

St Aglibert of Créteil
St Agoard of Créteil
St Alena of Brussels
St Amphibalus of Verulam

St Bartholomew of Farne OSB (Died 1193) Priest, Monk, Hermit
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/24/saint-of-the-day-24-june-saint-bartholomew-of-farne-osb-died-1193/

Bl Christopher de Albarran
St Erembert I of Kremsmünster
St Faustus of Rome and Companions
St Festus of Rome
St Germoc
St Gohardus of Nantes
Bl Henry of Auxerre/the Hagiographer
St Ivan of Bohemia
St John of Rome

St John Theristus (c 1049-1129) Italian Basilian Monk and Hermit, called Theristus or “Harvester,” Miracle-worker.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/06/24/saint-of-the-day-23-june-st-john-theristus-c-1049-1129/

St John of Tuy
St Joseph Yuan Zaide
Bl Maksymilian Binkiewicz
St Rumold
St Simplicio of Autun
Bl Theodgar of Vestervig
St Theodulphus of Lobbes

Martyrs of Satala: Seven Christian brothers who were soldiers in the imperial Roman army. They were expelled from the military, exiled and eventually martyred in the persecutions of Maximian. We know little more about them than their names – Cyriacus, Firminus, Firmus, Longinus, Pharnacius, Heros and Orentius. The martyrdoms occurred in c 311 at assorted locations around the Black Sea.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Octave Day of Corpus Christi, Saint John‘s Eve, Madonna del Sasso, Bibbiena, Arezzo, Toscana, Italy (1347) and Memorials of the Saints – 23 June

Octave Day of Corpus Christi

Saint John‘s Eve
Vigil of the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Madonna del Sasso, Bibbiena, Arezzo, Toscana, Italy (1347) – 23 June:
HERE:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/06/23/saint-johns-eve-madonna-del-sasso-bibbiena-arezzo-toscana-italy-1347-and-memorials-of-the-saints-23-june/

St Agrippina of Rome
St Bilio of Vannes

St Etheldreda (c 636-679) Abbess and widow, an East Anglian Princess, a Fenland and Northumbrian Queen, who left all for a life of service to Christ. Abbess of Ely Monastery.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/23/saint-of-the-day-23-june-st-etheldreda-c-636-679/

Bl Félix of Cîteaux
St Felix of Sutri
Bl Frances Martel
Bl Francis O’Sullivan
St Hidulphus of Hainault
St James of Toul
St John of Rome

St Lanfranco Beccari (c 1134-1198) Bishop of Pavia, Italy, Confessor, Defender of the Rights of the Church, Apostle of prayer of the poor and those in situations of distress, Miracle-worker.
His Lifestory:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/23/saint-of-the-day-23-june-saint-lanfranco-beccari-c-1134-1198/

Bl Lupo de Paredes

Blessed Marie of Oignies (1167-1213) Recluse, Mystic, Ascetic, chastely married in continence, spiritual advisor., gifted with supernatural insight and prophesy.
Her Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/06/23/saint-of-the-day-23-june-blessed-marie-of-oignies-1167-1213/

St Moeliai of Nendrum
Blessed Pietro Giacomo of Persaro OSA (c 1445-1496) Priest of the Order of the Hermits of St Augustine
Bl Peter of Juilly
Bl Thomas Corsini of Orvieto
St Thomas Garnet
Bl Walhere of Dinant
St Zenas of Philadelphia
St Zeno of Philadelphia

Martyrs of Ancyra: A family of converts who were arrested, tortured, and sent in chains to Ancyra, Galatia (modern Ankara, Turkey) where they was tortured again by order of governor Agrippinus during the persecutions of Diocletian. Martyrs. They were – Eustochius, Gaius, Lollia, Probus, Urban. Died by being roasted over a fire and finally beheaded c300 in Ancyra, Galatia (modern Ankara, Turkey).

Martyrs of Nicomedia: During the persecutions of Diocletian, many Christians fled their homes to live in caves in the area of Nicomedia. In 303 troops descended on the area, systematically hunted them down and murdered all they could find.

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 DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” – John 1:29

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – 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

REFLECTION – “A second time,” says the evangelist, “John stood and said: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’.” Christ utters no word; John the Forerunner says it all. So, it is with a bridegroom: he does not say anything to the bride to begin with but steps forward and stands there in silence. Others present him to the bride and give her into his hands. Thus, when she appears, the bridegroom does not take her himself but receives her from the hands of another, who gives her to him. And when he has thus received her from another, he binds her so strongly to himself, that she no longer remembers those she has left for his sake. So it was with Christ. He came to wed human nature; he did not speak a word but merely came. It was the friend of the bridegroom (Jn 3,29), John, who put the Bride’s right hand into His – in other words, the hearts of those He had convinced with His preaching. Then, Jesus Christ welcomed them and satisfied them with so many good things that they no longer turned back to the one who had led them to Him…

John alone proclaimed Him to be present to the people. He was given the name “friend of the Bridegroom” because he alone was present at this marriage with the Church. He it was, who did everything, who brought everything about. Seeing Christ coming, he said: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Thus he showed that it was not by voice alone but, with his eyes also, that he bore witness. He wondered at the Son of God and, when he beheld Him, his heart leaped for joy. At first, he did not preach Christ to his followers but only showed wonder and astonishment at Him. In that way he made known to all, by means of the word “lamb,” the gift Jesus came to give. And John did not say,“ Who is to take” or “Who has taken” but, “This is he who takes away the sins of the world” and, not just at the time of His Passion but always. He offered only one, single sacrifice for the sins of the world yet, by this oblation, He purifies forever, the consciences of human sinners.” – St John Chrysostom (c.345-407), Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Homilies on Saint John’s Gospel, no18).

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your Son’s manhood, born of the Virgin, was a new creation, untainted by our sinful condition. Renew us then, in Christ and cleanse us from our sins. May the Most Holy Name of Jesus, be our light, our safeguard and our shield. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all time and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – ‘ … Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, …’

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION – “John was there and two of his disciples with him.” John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26). Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord? Not in the least. He, himself showed them, the one they were to follow … He declared: “Why cling to me? I am not the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb of God …… Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John, followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them: ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?” As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him, when He called them to leave their boat …, when He said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him. But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture: “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak; let your feet wear away his doorstep! Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.). So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him.  What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night! Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth? Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church (Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7).

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of eternity. Help me to live each day in such a way that I may deserve to be a child of Yours forever. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all Your Angels and Martyrs and Saints, we may strive always to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, our entry to You, our Shepherd and our Saviour, Who will lead us to You in our eternal home. May we never waiver from Your commandments. Amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel

One Minute Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel – Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Psalms 25:4-5,8-9, 10 and 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.

O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!

Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed and he spoke blessing God.” – Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “When John, his son was born, among his neighbours there was concern about what name he should be given. Writing tablets were offered to his father, so that he himself could put down the name that he had decided upon, so that he might express, in writing, what he could not, in speech. Then, in a wonderful manner, when he had taken the tablets in order to begin writing, his tongue was loosened, the written word gave way to speech and he did not write “John” but spoke it. Consider, then, the merit of the holy Baptist: he gave his father back his voice, he restored the faculty of speech to the priest. Consider, I say, his merit – John unloosed the mouth that the angel had bound. What Gabriel had closed, the little child unlocked. When John is born, the father suddenly becomes a prophet or priest, speech attains its use, love receives an offspring, the office recognises the priest.” – St Maximus of Turin (Died c 420) Bishop of Turin (Sermon 6)

PRAYER – Almighty God, now that the birth of Your Son is drawing near, we pray that Your eternal Word, Who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and came to dwell amongst men, will show Your unworthy people, the greatness of His love. And by the intercession of His Holy Mother, may we be granted Your grace. Through Emmanuel, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HOLY CROSS, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – ‘Our Treasure in Heaven’

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Thursday of the Third week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 54: 1-10; Psalm30: 2 and 4-6,11-12a and 13b; Luke 7: 24-30

I tell you, among those born of women,
no-one is greater than John;
yet the least in the kingdom of God
is greater than he.

Luke 7:28

He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself
.”

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

“Hate what the world seeks
and seek, what it avoids.

“God’s love calls us to move beyond fear.
We ask God for the courage
to abandon ourselves unreservedly,
so that we might be moulded
by God’s grace,
even as we cannot see
where that path may lead us.

St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)

“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)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 December – “Yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” – Luke 7:28

One Minute Reflection – 16 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Thursday of the Third week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 54: 1-10; Psalm30: 2 and 4-6,11-12a and 13b; Luke 7: 24-30

Yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” – Luke 7:28

REFLECTION Of all that are born of women, none is greater than John.”
Were all the saints – righteous, upright and wise – joined together and dwelling within a single man, they would not be able to equal John the Baptist… of whom it has been said that he surpasses, by far, all other men and belongs to the class of angels
(Mk 1,2 Gk; Mal 3,1 Heb.).

But the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he”… By what He has said, concerning John’s greatness, our Lord wanted to make known God’s immense generosity to us and His generosity towards His chosen ones. However great and famous John might be, it is less than the least in the kingdom, as the Apostle Paul said: “Our knowledge is in part… but when what is perfect has come, what is in part, will pass away” (1Cor 13,9-10). Yes, John is great – he who had the presentiment to say – “Behold, the Lamb of God ”(Jn 1,29) – but this greatness is no more than a tiny foretaste, compared to the glory to be revealed to those who are found worthy. To put it another way – all great and wonderful things here below, appear in all their smallness and insignificance, compared to the blessedness above…

John was found worthy of the great gifts of this life – prophecy, priesthood (cf. Lk 1,5) and righteousness… John is greater than Moses and the prophets, yet the old Law has need of the New Covenant, since he who is greater than the prophets, said to the Lord – “I need to be baptised by you” (Mt 3,14). John is great, too because his conception was announced by an Angel, his birth was surrounded with miracles, he announced the One Who bestows life, he baptised for the remission of sins… Moses led the people as far as the Jordan and the Law led humankind to the baptism of John. Yet, if “of all that are born of women none is greater than John,” the Lord’s Forerunner, how much greater must they be, whose feet the Lord washed and into whom He breathed His Spirit? (Jn 13,4; 20,22).” – St Ephrem (c.306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on the Diatessaron, 9, 7-13 ; SC 121).

PRAYER – At Your bidding Lord, we are preparing the way for Christ Your Son. May we not grow faint on our journey, as we wait for His healing presence. May His Immaculate Mother and our Mother Mary, grant us her loving protection on this dangerous road. We make our prayer through Christ, Our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FATHERS of the Church, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 December – . I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. – Luke 3:16

One Minute Reflection – 12 December – “Gaudete Sunday” – Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Psalm Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4: 4-7; Luke 3: 10-18 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I am baptising you with water, for repentance but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptise you with the holy Spirit and fire.” – Luke 3:16

REFLECTION – “Now we must focus on what is meant by these sandals from the spiritual standpoint. We know that Moses said long ago: “Put off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” We read that Joshua, the son of Nun likewise said, “Remove the latchet from your sandal.” But as to why they are ordered by the Lord to remove their sandals, we must understand this to be the type of a future truth.
According to the law, if a man is unwilling to accept the wife of his brother after his brother’s death, he should take off his shoes, so that another may marry her and succeed, by right of law.
As to the commandment prefigured in law, we find it fulfilled in Christ, Who is the true Bridegroom of the Church. Therefore, because neither Moses the lawgiver, nor Joshua the leader of the people, could be the bridegroom of the Church, not without good reason, was it said to them that they should remove the sandals from their feet because the true future Bridegroom of the Church, Christ, was to be expected.
John says concerning Him: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom.” To bear, or loosen His sandals, John professed himself to be unworthy. The Lord Himself, through David, revealed that these sandals signify the footsteps of Gospel preaching when he says, “Upon Edom I cast my shoe,” through His Apostles, He will take the steps of Gospel ,teaching everywhere.”St Chromatius of Aquileia Bishop and Father of the Church (Died c 407) (Tractate on Matthew, 11). About St Chromatius below.

PRAYER – O infinite God and only love of my soul,
I thank You, for having given me Your Son.
For the sake of this same Son,
accept me and bind me with chains of love to my Redeemer. Amen … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!

ABOUT St Chromatius of Aquileia:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-saint-chromatius-of-aquileia-died-c-407/

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 December – “I tell you that Elijah has already come … ” – Matthew 17:12

One Minute Reflection – 11 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11; Psalm 80:2ac and 3b, 15-16, 18-19; Matthew 17: 9-13

I tell you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognise him but did to him, whatever they pleased.” – Matthew 17:12

REFLECTION – “Our Lord bore witness that John is the greatest of the prophets, yet he received the Spirit according to a certain degree, since John received a spirit like that of Elijah.

Just as Elijah went to dwell in solitude, so God’s Spirit led John to dwell in the wilderness, mountains and caves. A raven flew to Elijah’s help by feeding him; John ate locusts. Elijah wore a leather belt and John wore a leather loincloth round his hips. Elijah was persecuted by Jezebel; Herodias persecuted John. Elijah rebuked Ahab; John rebuked Herod. Elijah divided the waters of the Jordan; John opened up baptism. Elijah’s double measure of spirit came to rest on Elisha; John placed his hands on Our Lord, Who then received the Spirit without measure (Jn 3:34). Elijah opened Heaven and went up; John saw the Heavens opened and the Spirit of God descending and resting on our Saviour.” – St Aphrahat “Jacob” (c 280-c345) Monk and Bishop near Mosul (The Demonstrations, no 6, 13).

PRAYER – Almighty God, let the splendour of Your glory dawn in our hearts. May the coming of Your only Son, dispel all darkness and reveal that we are children of light and Truth. and may His Holy Mother always intercede for us in this vale of tears. We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and forever, amen.

The long list of Syriac writers whose works have come down to us, is headed by Aphraates (fourth century), surnamed the “Persian Sage”. The few biographical data which we possess of this illustrious author are gleaned from his own writings. From these we learn that he was born of pagan parents during the last half of the third century, very probably on the frontier region of the Persian empire.
After his conversion to Christianity he embraced the religious life and was later elevated to the episcopate, on which occasion he assumed the Christian name of Jacob. The adoption of this name subsequently led to a confusion of identity, and for centuries the works of Aphraates were ascribed to the famous Jacob, Bishop of Nisibis (died 338). It was not until the tenth century that the “Persian Sage” was finally identified with Aphraates, the name under which he is known to modern scholars. The writings of Aphraates consist of twenty-three “Demonstrations,” or homilies on moral and controversial topics.

Posted in "Follow Me", FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection 31 July – ‘ Christ’s Martyr before Christ’s Passion …’

One Minute Reflection 31 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” and the Memorial of Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) – Readings: Leviticus 25: 1, 8-17; Psalm 67: 2-3, 5, 7-8; Matthew 14: 1-12

This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” – Matthew 14:2

REFLECTION – “This was John’s greatness, in virtue of which, he reached such heights of greatness among the great, that he crowned his great and countless virtues… with the greatest of all the virtues – humility. Reckoned as he was the highest of all, he freely and with the greatest devotion, preferred to himself the Most Lowly One—and, he put Him before himself to such an extent, as to declare himself unworthy to take off his shoes (Mt 3,11).

Let others wonder that he was foretold by prophets, that he was promised by an angel and … that he came of so holy and noble parents, even though aged and sterile… that he preceded the coming of the Redeemer… and prepared His way in the desert, that he converted the hearts of fathers to their sons and of sons to their fathers, (Lk 1,17) that he merited to baptise the Son, to hear the Father and to see the Holy Spirit (Lk 3,22) and finally,, that he strove for the truth even to death and, so that he might go before Christ also to the lower regions, was Christ’s Martyr before Christ’s Passion. Let others, I say, wonder at these things…

What is set before us, brethren, not only to be wondered at but also to be imitated, is the virtue of his humility, by which he refused to be regarded as greater than he was, although he could have been… For as a faithful “friend of the Bridegroom”, (Jn 3,29) a lover more of the Lord than of himself, he wished that he himself might “diminish” in order that Christ might “grow” (v.30) and made it his business to increase Christ’s glory by means of his own diminution. Before St Paul, he made his own in act and in truth, those words of the Apostle: “We do not preach ourselves but the Lord Jesus Christ” (2Cor 4,5).” – Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot of Igny – 3rd Sermon for the Nativity of John the Baptist

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that the example of Your saints may spur us on to perfection, so that we, who are celebrating the feast of St Ignatius, may follow him step-by-step in his way of life to reach You in heaven. Grant us the grace, by his intercession, to find our treasure in Your divine Son, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – 24 June – Mortification and Penance

Thought for the Day – 24 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mortification and Penance

“Our Lord reiterates many times, the command to do penance.
“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mt 4:17).
He even insists on penance as a necessary condition for salvation.
“Unless you repent, you will all perish in the same manner” (Lk 13:3).
It is a stern command and it may even seem cruel to some.
Why does the infinitely good God, Who is our loving Father, wish us to impose penances and sufferings on ourselves?
The answer is simple.
God makes us suffer and do penance because He knows that it is necessary for our salvation.
It is because He loves us and desires our welfare.

Mortification and suffering are necessary for two reasons.
They are particularly necessary because, we are all sinners and must expiate our sins.
Secondly, they are necessary because, without penance and suffering, we become attached to the world and forget all about Heaven, which is our real home.
In His love for us, therefore, God commands us to do penance.

The Saints were gluttons for penance and mortification and went as far as imposing on themselves, sufferings which horrify us today.
What are we doing in the way of penance?
Let us remember the command of Jesus and His precursor, St John the Baptist: “Unless you repent, you will all perish!” 
(Ibid).”

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/25/thought-for-the-day-25-march-mortification-and-penance/

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Birthday of St John the Baptist –

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary,
the baby leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit …
“For behold, when the sound
of your greeting came to my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

Luke 1:41,44

“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord is with him.”

Luke 1:66

“At my birth,
I took away my mother’s barrenness
and while still an infant,
I healed my father’s dumbness,
for You gave me in childhood,
the gift of working miracles.”

St Gregory the Illuminator (c 213-270)
Bishop

Homily on the holy Incarnation, 4

“John is a voice for a time
but Christ is the eternal Word,
from the beginning.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/24/quote-s-of-the-day-24-june-st-john-the-baptist/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – ‘ … The spirit and the power of John still go before the Lord and Saviour’s coming today…’

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist – Readings: Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15, Acts 13:22-26, Luke 1:57-66, 80

“The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.” – Isaias 49:1

REFLECTION – “The birth of John the Baptist is full of miracles. An Archangel announced the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus; similarly, an Archangel announced the birth of John (Lk 1:13) and said: “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.” The Jewish people did not see that our Lord did “signs and wonders” and healed their illnesses but John leapt for joy when he was still in his mother’s womb. It was impossible to hold him back and when the mother of Jesus arrived, the child already tried to come out of Elizabeth’s womb. “The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy.” (Lk 1:44) Still in his mother’s womb, John had already received the Holy Spirit …

Scripture then says: “Many of the sons of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.” (Lk 1:16) John brought back “a large number,” the Lord brought back not a large number but everyone. For it is his task to bring all men back to God the Father …

I, for my part, think that the mystery of John is being fulfilled in the world until the present. The spirit and the power of John, must first fill the soul of whoever is destined to believe in Christ Jesus, “to prepare for the Lord a people well-disposed” (Lk 1:17) and to “make ready the way of the Lord, [to] clear him a straight path” (Lk 3:5) in the roughness of their hearts. Not only at that time were “the winding paths … made straight and the rough ways smooth;” rather, the spirit and the power of John still go before the Lord and Saviour’s coming today.
Oh greatness of the Lord’s mystery and of his plan for the world! ” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father – Homilies on St Luke, no. 4, 4-6

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You sent St John the Baptist, to the people of Israel to make them ready for Christ the Lord. Give us the grace of joy in the Spirit and guide the hearts of all the faithful, in the way of salvation and peace, as they harken to the voice of John, the Lord’s herald and bring them safely to Jesus, whom John foretold. St John the Baptist, may your intercession for the Church, bring us to the Light and the Way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever amen.

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Our Morning Offering – 24 June – John, the Chosen One

Our Morning Offering – 24 June – Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

John, the Chosen One
Lauds Hymn
for the Nativity of St John the Baptist
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

God called great prophets to foretell
the coming of His Son.
The greatest, called before His birth,
was John, the chosen one.

His life was filled with joy and hope;
he knew he must decrease,
and that we must prepare a place
where Jesus may increase.

John searched in solitude for Christ
and knew Him when He came.
He showed the world the Lamb of God
and hailed Him in our name.

That lonely voice cried out the truth
Derided and denied.
As witness to the law of God
His mighty Martyr died.

We praise You, Trinity in One,
the light of unknown ways,
the hope of all who search for You
whose love fills all our days.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 February – ‘Learn to think and live like a Christian.’ Mark 6:14-29

One Minute Reflection – 5 February – Friday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 13:1-8Psalms 27:135,8-9Mark 6:14-29 and the Memorial of St Agatha (c 231- c 251) Virgin Martyr

“He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother.” … Mark 6:28

REFLECTION – “In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment? Who are those he did not set back on their feet — provided they had a penitent disposition — because of what he spoke, because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims in our own day — the same message he preached while he was living. Therefore, do not say: “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death but a crown, not an end but the beginning of a greater life.

Learn to think and live like a Christian. You will not only remain unharmed by these events but will reap the greatest benefits.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – On the Providence of God, 22.

PRAYER – Increase in us, O Lord, the gift of faith, so that we may arise and offer our praise to You and by Your grace, yield fruit from heaven, for the glory of Your Kingdom. Lord God, let St Agatha, who became precious in Your sight through her pure life and valiant martyrdom, plead for our forgiveness. For, with joy and rejoicing, as though to a feast, St Agatha, went to prison and offered her sufferings to You, with many prayers. Through Jesus Christ, Your divine Son, in unity with the Spirit, one God forever. St Agatha, pray for us, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – Saturday after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 5:14-21, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4,5 and 6 and 9, John 3:22-30

“He must increase but I must decrease.” – John 3:30

REFLECTION – “He must increase but I must decrease.” In John, human righteousness had reached the highest level that man could attain. Truth itself (Jn 14:6) said: “Among men, there has been none greater than John the Baptist” (cf. Mt 11:11); so no man could have surpassed him. But he was only a man, whereas Jesus Christ, was man and God. And since, according to Christian grace, we are asked (…) not to boast about ourselves but “whoever boasts let him boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17), …, that is the reason John cried out: “He must increase but I must decrease.” To be sure, God is neither decreased nor increased in Himself. But for ourselves, to the extent that a true spiritual life develops, divine grace increases and human importance decreases until the temple of God, which is made up of all the members of the body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 3:16), reaches it’s perfection, all domination, authority and importance have died and God has become “all in all” (cf. Col 1:16; 1 Cor 15:28). …
“The Word was the true light which enlightens everyone coming into this world, … from his fullness we have all received” (Jn 1:9.16). In itself, the light is always total light, however, it increases in one who is enlightened and diminishes when, what is without God in that person, is destroyed. For without God, we can only sin and this human power decreases, when divine grace overcomes and destroys the sin. The weakness of the creature gives way to the power of the Creator and the vanity of our egoism melts before the love that fills the universe. From the depths of our distress, John the Baptist acclaims the mercy of Christ: “He must increase and I must decrease.”St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace Sermon for the birth of John the Baptist;

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, through Christ, Your Son, You made of us a new creation. Shape us then, in His likeness, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, since in Him, our human nature now lives with You. Lord God, let the Blessed Virgin the Mother of Your Divine Son and our mother, ever commend us to Your love and care. May her charity and wisdom inspire us to treasure Your teaching and express it in our lives. Through our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Come and see.” – John 1:39

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION “John was there and two of his disciples with him.” John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26). Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord? Not in the least. He himself showed them the one they were to follow … He declared: “Why cling to me? I am not the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb of God ……)Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John, followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them: ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?” As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him, when He called them to leave their boat …, when He said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him. But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture: “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak; let your feet wear away his doorstep! Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.). So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him. What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night! Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth? Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of eternity. Help me to live each day in such a way that I may deserve to be a child of Yours forever. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all Your Angels and Martyrs and Saints, we may strive always to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, our entry to You, our Shepherd and our Saviour who will lead us to our eternal home. May we never waiver from Your commandments. Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 23 December – “He spoke, blessing God ” – Luke 1:64

Advent Reflection – 23 December – O Emmanuel – Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Psalms 25:4-5,8-9, 10 and 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.

“He spoke, blessing God ” – Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – [John the Baptist said:] “I am the voice, the voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord.” So I cannot be silent, Lord, in Your presence. “I need to be baptised by you and do you come to me?” (Mt 3:3.14).
At my birth I took away my mother’s barrenness and while still an infant, I healed my father’s dumbness, for You gave me in childhood, the gift of working miracles. But when You were born of the Virgin Mary, in the way You willed and in a manner known to You alone, You did not take away her virginity but while preserving it intact, You gave her, in addition, the name of “mother.” Her virginity did not hinder Your birth, nor did Your birth destroy her virginity. On the contrary, two opposites, motherhood and virginity, were easily united by You, because the laws of nature have their origin in You.
I am a mere man, sharing in the grace of God but You are both God and man because of Your love for humankind (cf. Wis 1:6). ” – Homily attributed to Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c 213-270) Bishop – Homily on the holy Incarnation, 4

PRAYER
O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Being aware of the Lord’s Presence – Luke 1:41,44

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Weekdays of Advent, Readings: Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18, Psalms 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21, Luke 1:39-45

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit … “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” – Luke 1:41,44

REFLECTION – “When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.
When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.
Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, labourious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear – as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence but he is aware of the Lord’s – a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.
The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for you and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit but we know, that though Mary’s spirit rejoices, she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her Son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in His mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says – Blessed are you because you have believed.
You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.
Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh but, we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.
In another place we read – Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop, Father and Great Latin Doctor – An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

PRAYER –
O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of Eternal Light,
Sun of Justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS

Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent – 19 December – O Radix Jesse/O Root of Jesse – ‘a voice pointing to the Word’

Advent Reflection – Saturday of Advent – 19 December – O Radix Jesse/O ROOT OF JESSE – Readings: Judges 13:2-724-25Psalms 71:3-45-616-17Luke 1:5-25

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O ROOT OF JESSE,
that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence
and unto whom the Gentiles
shall make supplication,
come, to deliver us and tarry not.

“And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak, until the day that these things take place because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” – Luke 1:20

REFLECTION “You will be speechless… until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words.” Voice and word are not the same thing where we are concerned, since a voice can be heard without it conveying any meaning, without words and the word can likewise be communicated to our minds without a voice, as in the wandering of our thoughts. In the same way, since the Saviour is Word…, John differs from Him in being voice, by comparison with Christ, who is Word. This is what John himself answered to those who asked him who he was: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths’” (Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23).
Perhaps this is the reason – because he doubted the birth of the voice that would reveal the Word of God – why Zachariah lost his voice but recovered it again, when that voice was born, who is the Word’s forerunner (Lk 1:64). Since, for the mind to be able to grasp the word intended by the voice, we must hear the voice. It is also why, according to the time of his birth, John is slightly older than Christ – for we perceive the voice before the word. Thus John points to Christ since it is with the voice that the Word is made known. Likewise, Christ was baptised by John, who admitted his need of being baptised by Him (Mt 3:14)… In brief, when John pointed to Christ it was as a man pointing to God, the incorporeal Saviour, as a voice pointing to the Word…”… Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father

PRAYER – Deepen our faith Lord, as we celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation, by which You revealed to the world the splendour of Your glory, through the most pure Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., St JOHN the BAPTIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – The Lamb of God

Quote/s of the Day – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent

The Lamb of God

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

John 1:29

“The language of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing
but to us, who are being saved,
it is the power of God”

1 Corinthians 1:18

“Teacher of children
became Himself a child among children,
that He might instruct the unwise.
The Bread of heaven
came down to earth
to feed the hungry.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Man’s Maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars,
might nurse at His mother’s breast,
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey,
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood,
that Strength might grow weak,
that the Healer might be wounded,
that Life might die.”

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself.”

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

“He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin,
needy in the manger of the sheep
and homeless on the wood of the Cross.”

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church