Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST

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

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

The name “John” means
“God is Gracious”

the name john means god is gracious 24 june 2020 nativity of st john the baptist

“The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event.
We have no such commemoration for any other fathers
but, it is significant,
that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus.
This day cannot be passed by.”

the church observes the birth of john - 24 june 2020

“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.”

as a representative of the past - st augustine - the nativity of st john the baptist 24 june 2020

“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.

the-tongue-is-loosened-because-a-voice-is-born-24-june-2019-birth-of-john-the-baptist and 15 dec 2019 gaudete
For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked:
Who are you?
And he replied: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.
John was a voice that lasted only for a time;
Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.”

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

i-am-the-voice-the-voice-is-john-but-st-augustine-24-june-2019-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist and 24 June 2020

“Our Lord says that John is a lamp:
“He was a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35).
But the light of a lamp pales, when the sun shines,
it’s flame dies down, overcome by an even more radiant light.
What sensible person uses a lamp in full sunlight?…
Who would still come for John’s baptism of repentance (Mk 1:4)
when Jesus’ baptism brings salvation?”

St Maximus of Turin (5th Century)
Bishop

Sermon 99, PL 57, 535

john-5-35-he-was-a-burning-and-shining-lamp-but-the-light-of-a-lamp-pales-st-maximus-of-turin-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2020

[Like St John the Baptist did -]
“Prepare a path for God
so that He can enter your heart.”

St John Baptiste de la Salle FSC (1651-1719)

like st john the baptist prepare a path for god - st john baptiste de la salle 24 june 2020 nativity of st john the aoptist

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the-true-secret-of-love-is-this-st-peter-julian-eymard-24-june-2018-and-24-june-2019 and 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – ‘… The one who proclaimed the Christ.’

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

“‘What do you suppose that I am?    I am not he.   Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'” … Acts 13:25

REFLECTION – “The fact that John’s birth is commemorated when the days begin to shorten, and the Saviour’s when they begin to lengthen, indicates a symbolic meaning.   And indeed, John himself disclosed the hidden significance of this difference between them.   The crowds were taking him to be the Christ on account of his outstanding virtues, whereas some were thinking of the Lord, not as Christ but as a prophet because of the weakness of his bodily state.   So John said: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3:30).   Our Lord certainly increased since, while they were looking on Him as a prophet, He made known to all believers in the whole world that He was the Christ.   John decreased and grew less, in that he who was taken for the Christ, came to be seen, not as the Christ but, as the one who proclaimed the Christ.

And so it is natural, that daylight begins to decrease after John’s birth because his reputation for divinity is going to vanish and his baptism will soon disappear.   It is equally natural, that the brightness of the shortest days begins to increase following our Lord’s birth – for, in truth, He came to earth to reveal the light of His knowledge to all the pagans, of which formerly, only the Jews had possessed a part and to shed abroad the fire of His love, through all the earth.” … St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church – Homélie II, 20; CCL 122, 328-330acts 13 25 what do you i suppose that i am ia am not he - john decreased and grew less - st bede 24 june 2020

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.st-john-the-baptist-pray-for-us-24-june-2018

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

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Feast of Madonna della Navicella and Memorials of the Saints – 24 June

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (Solemnity)
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/24/the-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist-24-june/

Madonna della Navicella – 24 June:
On 24 June 1508, in the afternoon, a strong storm, with disastrous effects, hit the inhabited area of ​​Chioggia and Sottomarina.   Rain, wind and storm had lashed the coast for a few hours.   In the evening, fortunately, the storm stopped and the weather got better.
A greengrocer, Baldissera Zalon, went to the vegetable gardens, where the sanctuary stands today, to see for himself the damage that the strong storm had caused.   Baldissera was a simple man, a peasant, who lived near his fields and lived on his work in the vegetable gardens.
As soon as he left the house, after scanning the clouds of the sky that were moving away and the setting sun was peeping, he heard himself called by name.   After the first moments of amazement, Baldissera turned and saw a majestic Lady, all dressed in black, who sat on a trunk thrown on the beach by the waves of the stormy sea.
The greengrocer was stunned to say the least, so much so that he was about to pass out, when the Lady revealed to her that she was the Mother of Jesus , giving him courage and inviting him to go to the Bishop to warn him that the sins of the Chioggia challenged the justice of God and that penance had to be preached tenaciously to avoid worse punishment.
Then the Lady got on a craft that was near the shore but before leaving and disappearing, she opened her cloak showing the wounded and bleeding body of Jesus, making it clear that it had also been reduced by the sins of the Chioggiotti.
Baldiserra wasted no time and went to the Bishop, who organised a pilgrimage to the place of the apparition and the turnout of the faithful became more and more consistent day after day.   In a short time, a Chapel was built on the spot and then, in 1515, a sanctuary which was, however, destroyed in 1814.
The current Church was built between 1952 and 1958 and was Consecrated on 24-25 June 1958 by Bishop Piasentini.
The miraculous image was found, according to popular belief, a few days after the apparition, together with the log on which the Madonna would sit when she appeared to Baldissera.   The image and the LOG from 15 November 1806 are preserved and are visible in the Basilica of San Giacomo.

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St Aglibert of Créteil
St Agoard of Créteil
St Alena of Brussels
St Amphibalus of Verulam
St 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 of Tuy
St Joseph Yuan Zaide
Bl Maksymilian Binkiewicz
St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/24/saint-of-the-day-st-maria-guadalupe-garcia-zavala-1878-1963/
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 kicked out of 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 DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 February – ‘Learn to think and live like a Christian.’

One Minute Reflection – 7 February – Friday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 47:2-11 (2-13), Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51, Mark 6:14-29 and the Memorial of Bl Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and 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.he brought in the head mark 6 28 - what occurred was not a death but a crown st john chrysostom 7 feb 2020

PRAYER –  Father of mercy, You chose Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi to be a father to orphans in their need.   Grant that through his prayer, we may keep faithfully the spirit of sonship, by which we are not only called but really are Your children.   Help us to imitate his love and faith, manifesting by our commitment to Your commandments, our true faith.   May we be filled with strength and grace as we face persecution and animosity in Your service.   We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amenbl alfredo cremonesi pray for us 7 feb 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SIN, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The BAPTISM of the LORD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 19 January – ‘He has come down to earth to take you to heaven…’

Quote/s of the Day – 19 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, – Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6, Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, John 1:29-34

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him.”

John 1:32

“He has come down to earth to take you to heaven, He became mortal that you might become God and put on your original beauty.”

St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556)

Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poetjohn-1-32-i-saw-the-spirit-come-down-like-a-dove-he-has-come-down-to-earth-st-romanus-melodios-3-jan-2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MYSTICS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Come and see.” 

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas, 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 7john 1 39 he said to them come and see - let us too build a dwelling - st augustine 4 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, the light of a new star in heaven, heralded Your saving love  . Let the light of Your salvation dawn in our hearts and keep them always open to Your life-giving grace.   May we stay with Your Son, for He will teach us Your ways.   Kindly hear the prayers on our behalf of Mary our mother and of all Your saints and may St Angela of Foligno intercede today on our behalf.    Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.st angela of foligno pray for us 4 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – ‘He became mortal that you might become God and put on your original beauty.’

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – Christmas Weekday and the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Readings:  1 John 2:29-3, 6, Psalm 98:1, 3-6, John 1:29-34

I did not know him but the reason why I came baptising with water, was that he might be made known to Israel.”   John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him”. … John 1:31-32

REFLECTION – “Upon Adam, blinded in Eden, a Sun has arisen, rising up from Bethlehem and has opened his eyes by washing them in the waters of Jordan.   Upon him whom darkness and shadows were covering, that light has dawned which will never go out.   Night is no more for him, all is day, Dawn is born for him, since it was dusk when he hid himself, as Scripture says (Gn 3:8).   He who fell in the evening has found the Sunrise that gives him light, he has fled from the dark and advanced towards the morning which has manifested itself and illuminated all. (…)

Sing aloud, O Adam and worship Him who comes to meet you.   While you were drawing back, He manifested Himself to you that you might see and touch and welcome Him.   He whom you feared after you had been deceived, has been made like you for your sake.  He has come down to earth to take you to heaven, He became mortal that you might become God and put on your original beauty.   Wishing to open up again for you the gates of Eden, He lived in Nazareth.   For all this, sing of Him, man and glorify with a psalm, the One who manifested Himself and has shone over all.

The eyes of the children of earth have received the strength to behold the heavenly Face, the sight of the creatures of clay, (Gn 2:7) has perceived the undimmed shining of the immaterial Light, that prophets and kings have not seen but longed to see (Mt 13:17). Great Daniel was called a man of desires because he desired to contemplate Him whom we behold.   David, too, hoped for this decree, now we can understand what lay hidden, the One who manifested Himself and illuminated all.” … St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556) Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poet – 2nd hymn for the Epiphany, 1,3,8john 1 32 I saw the spirit come down like a dove - he has come down to earth - st romanus melodios 3 jan 2020.jpg

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 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.the jesus prayer - 3 jan 2018.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ABORTION, QUOTES on FRIENDSHIP, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Basil and Gregory and Pope Francis

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-28

“It is a voice which cries out where it seems that no one can hear it — for who can listen in the desert? — and which cries out in the disorientation caused by a crisis of faith.
We cannot deny that the world today is in a crisis of faith.
One says: “I believe in God, I am a Christian” —
“I belong to this religion…”
But your life is far from being Christian – it is far removed from God! Religion, faith is but an expression: “Do I believe?” — “Yes!”
This means returning to God, converting the heart to God and going on this path to find Him.
He is waiting for us.
This is John the Baptist’s preaching – prepare. john-1-23-i-am-the-voice-crying-in-the-wilderness-it-is-a-voice-pope-francis-2-jan-2019 and 2020

Prepare for the encounter with this Child
who will give our smile back to us.”

Pope Francis

General Audience, 7 December 2016prepare-for-the-encounter-with-this-child-pope-francis-2-jan-2019 and used quotes 2020.jpg

“The hairsplitting difference between
formed and unformed makes no difference to us.
Whoever deliberately commits abortion
is subject to the penalty for homicide.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)

Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-hairsplitting-difference-st-basil-the-great-2-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“Different men have different names,
which they owe to their parents or to themselves,
that is, to their own pursuits and achievements.
But our great pursuit,
the great name we wanted,
was to be Christians,
to be called Christians.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

(from his writings on his friendship with St Basil)different-men-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2-jan-2018 and 2020.jpg

“If anyone does not believe
that Holy Mary
is the Mother of God,
such a one is a stranger
to the Godhead.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Churchif-anyone-does-not-believe-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Now I begin.”

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-28

He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” … 1 John 2:231 john 2 23 i am the voice of one crying in the wilderness 2 jan 2020.jpg

REFLECTION“Prepare a way for the Lord.”   Brethren, however far you journey along it… from the very nature of goodness, there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so… the wise and indefatigable traveller… can say to himself each day:  “Now I begin”… And how many “go astray in the wilderness”… None of them can yet say:  “Now I begin.”

For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.”   If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness…  It is this that encourages praise…; it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness,ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it:  “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”…

If you are on the way then fear only one thing, lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it so that He would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”…   If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you.   If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation:  “Broad indeed is your command!”   If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could…   “Behold,” he says, “the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads  . They shall obtain also joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”   Those who dwell sufficiently on this end I think will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings, so that he no longer walks but flies…   May He, who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus.” … Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon of Advent, SC 166may he who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winnders guide you along it bl guerric of igny 2 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts.   May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace.   God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory. Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love.   Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sts-basil-and-gregory-pray-for-us-2-jan-2018 AND 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 23 December – Come and set us free

Advent Reflection – 23 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Malachi 3:1-4; 4: 5-6 (3: 1-4, 23-24), Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.O emmanuel-king-and-lawgiver-23-dec-2017,2018,2019

And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God. … Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “Speaking of John, we read in Luke:  “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord and many of the children of Israel shall he turn, to the Lord their God.   And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk 1:15-17).   For whom, then, did he prepare a people and in the sight of what Lord was he made great?   Truly of Him who said that John was something “even more than a prophet” and that “among those born of women none is greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:9.11).   For he made ready a people for the Lord’s advent, warning his fellow-servants and preaching repentance to them, so that they might receive forgiveness from the Lord, when He should arrive, after being converted to Him, from whom they had been alienated, because of their sins and transgressions ( … )

Yes, “in his mercy,” God, “the Dayspring from on high, has looked upon us and appeared to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death and has guided our feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:78-79) just as Zacharias, recovering from the state of dumbness he had suffered, because of his unbelief, blessed God in a new way, when he had been filled with a new spirit.   For all things have entered upon a new phase by the fact that the Word, after a new manner, has accomplished the purpose of His coming in the flesh, that He might return to friendship with God, the human flesh that had departed from God. And this is why men were taught to worship God after a new fashion.” … St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian, Martyr

MEDITATION – “For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you?   And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.   The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.” … St Augustine (354-430)

ADVENT ACTION“The light of the world has come into the world and humanity loves darkness rather than the light.”   They have not known Him and they do not know Him because they do not wish to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.   Let each one determine this day not to be numbered among those unhappy souls who prefer the darkness.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)the light has come into the world - they have not known him - st alphonsus liguori 23 dec 2019.jpg

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, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December – Why, the Benedictus?

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December

“And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God.”…Luke 1:64

The Benedictus, is prayed every morning in the Breviary and so, the Church remembers this “forerunner of Jesus” at the beginning of every day.   The opening words of this Canticle are the source of its Latin title, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”.
What does it mean for Catholics, that we sing this song about John the Baptists at the start of every new day?   After having been “silenced” by sleep throughout the night, God opens our mouths and one of the first things we do, is to sing this blessing of God, whose dawn breaks forth to shine on us and guide our way to peace.
In the Benedictus, we join ourselves to the mission of St John the Baptist, who came to prepare a way for the Lord by being a witness of God’s salvation, living a simple and penitential life and calling others to do the same.   Our work each day, then, is to use our voice – like Zechariah and his son – and the witness of our lives, to make God’s presence known wherever we go and to whom whomever we encounter.”the-benedictus-24-june-2019-new-2 and 19 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER –
The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

The Messiah and His forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.

A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.

He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.

As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,

to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death
and to guide us into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 15 December – The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.

Thought for the Day – 15 December – Third Sunday of Advent, Year A, Gaudete Sunday – Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness
Saint Augustine (354-430)

Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from his Sermon 293the-tongue-is-loosened-because-a-voice-is-born-24-june-2019-birth-of-john-the-baptist and 15 dec 2019 gaudete

…John is born of a woman too old for childbirth, Christ was born of a youthful virgin. The news of John’s birth was met with incredulity and his father was struck dumb. Christ’s birth was believed and He was conceived through faith.

Such is the topic, as I have presented it, for our inquiry and discussion.   But as I said before, if I lack either the time or the ability to study the implications of so profound a mystery, He who speaks within you, even when I am not here, will teach you better, it is He whom you contemplate with devotion, whom you have welcomed into your hearts, whose temples you have become.

John, then, appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord himself bears witness, when He speaks of the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist.   Thus He represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come.   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.   For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of blessed Mary.   In that womb, he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born, it was revealed that he was to be Christ’s precursor, before they ever saw one another.  These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human frailty. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his father’s tongue is loosened.   See how these events reflect reality.

Zechariah is silent and loses his voice until John, the precursor of the Lord, is born and restores his voice.   The silence of Zechariah is nothing but the age of prophecy lying hidden, obscured, as it were and concealed before the preaching of Christ.   At John’s arrival, it becomes clear, when the one who was being prophesied is about to come.   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.   For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you?   And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.  The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.i-am-the-voice-the-voice-is-john-but-st-augustine-24-june-2019-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist and 15 dec 2019 gaudete sun

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday – The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

Advent Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday – Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.gaudete-sunday-17-dec-2018-REJOICE and 15 dec 2019.jpg

“Are you he who is to come…” … Matthew 11:3

REFLECTION – “It is part of the Baptist’s approaching witness-to-death, that, even in prison, he must put up with the darkness God has given him.   He had expected a mighty One who would baptise with Spirit and fire.   And now there appears in the Gospel, this gentle One, who “will not quench a smouldering wick” (Is 42:3).   Jesus calms John’s disquie, by showing him that the prophecy is being fulfilled in Himself, in gentle miracles that still call for trusting faith:  “Blessed is the man who finds no stumblimg block in me.” Perhaps the darkness that burdens John as a witness to Christ, is the very reason why Jesus praises him to the crowd – he really is what he understood himself to be – the messenger sent in advance of Jesus to prepare the way.   John referred to himself as a mere voice in the wilderness, ringing out the marvel of the coming One.
The least among those belonging to the coming Kingdom is greater than John, who assessed himself as belong to the Old Covenant, yet, as “friend of the Bridegroom” he is showered with the light of new grace, as he humbly makes way for Christ.
On icons, he joins Mary the Mother, who also comes from the Old Covenant, yet steps across into the New Covenant, the two of them at the right and left hand, of the world’s Judge!” … Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) Theologian

MEDIATION – “I speak out in order to lead Him into your hearts but He does not choose to come where I lead Him, unless you prepare the way for Him.”
To prepare the way means to pray well – it means thinking humbly of oneself.   We should take our lesson from John the Baptist.   He is thought to be the Christ, he declares he is not what they think.   He does not take advantage of their mistake to further his own glory.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the ChurchI-speak-out-in-order-to-lead-Him-st-augustine-16-dec-2018 and 15 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – We begin this third week of Advent asking to feel the joy that comes from knowing our Lord’s coming to us is near.
In these precious days ahead, we are praying, longing, hoping in the background of our everyday lives.
His mission is to the poor, the brokenhearted, prisoners and captives.   His mission is for us.   It is “good news,” full of healing, liberty and release.   We can smile today as we imagine the freedom He has won for us and how liberating it will be to live it, with Him, for others.
It is right to give our God thanks and praise and to follow His mission in our lives.
Jesus will come again, very soon!ero-cras-tomororow-i-will-come-17-dec-2017 and 15 dec 2019.jpg

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – 29 August – St Bede -Precursor of Christ in Birth and Death

Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Beheading of St John the Baptist

Precursor of Christ in Birth and Death

Saint Bede (673-735)
Priest, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Homily 23

As forerunner of our Lord’s birth, preaching and death, the blessed John showed in his struggle, a goodness worthy of the sight of heaven.   In the words of Scripture:  Though in the sight of men he suffered torments, his hope is full of immortality.   We justly commemorate the day of his birth with a joyful celebration, a day which he himself made festive for us through his suffering and which he adorned with the crimson splendour of his own blood.   We do rightly revere his memory with joyful hearts, for he stamped with the seal of martyrdom, the testimony, which he delivered, on behalf of our Lord.

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was and gave his life for Him.   His persecutor had demanded, not that he should deny Christ but only, that he should keep silent about the truth.   Nevertheless, he died for Christ.   Does Christ not say – I am the truth? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.

Through his birth, preaching and baptising, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ and by his own suffering, he showed, that Christ also would suffer.

Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment.   He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men, he was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.  John was baptised in his own blood, though he had been privileged to baptise the Redeemer of the world, to hear the voice of the Father above him and to see the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon him.   But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John, rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.he preached the freedom of heavenly peace - st john the baptist - by st bede 29 aug 2019.jpg

Since death was ever near at hand through the inescapable necessity of nature, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name.   Hence the apostle Paul rightly says:  You have been granted the privilege, not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.   He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for Him:  The sufferings of this present time, are not worthy, to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.

St John the Baptist, Pray for us!st john the baptist - pray for us - 24 june 2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 29 August – Whatever He wants I want

Quote/s of the Day – 29 August – The Beheading of St John the Baptist and the Memorial of Blessed Sancja Szymkowiak CMBB (1910-1942)

“O great and admirable mystery!
He must increase but I must decrease, said John,
said the voice which personified all the voices
that had gone before announcing
the Father’s Word Incarnate in His Christ….
But He is said to grow in us, when we grow in Him.
To him, then, who draws near to Christ,
to him who makes progress in the contemplation of wisdom,
words are of little use, of necessity they tend to fail altogether.
Thus, the ministry of the voice falls short,
in proportion as the soul progresses towards the Word,
it is thus, that Christ must increase and John decrease.
The same is indicated by the beheading of John
and the exaltation of Christ upon the Cross,
as it had already been shown by their birthdays –
for, from the birth of John the days begin to shorten
and from the birth of Our Lord they begin to grow longer.”

St Augustine (354-420)
Father & Doctorthus-the-ministry-of-the-voice-falls-short-st-augustine -28 ayg 2019.jpg

“God’s will is my will.
Whatever He wants I want.”

Blessed Sancja Szymkowiak (1910-1942)

Blessed Sancja’s personal mottogod's will is my will - bl sancj szymkowiak 29 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 August – Pleasing other people is of little value …

One Minute Reflection – 29 August – The Beheading of St John the Baptist, Gospel:  Mark 6:17–29

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”…Mark 6:24mark-6-24-she-went-out-and-asked-her-mother-29-aug-2017

REFLECTION – “John did not live for himself alone, nor did he die for himself alone.   How many there were, burdened with sin, who were led to conversion by his hard and austere life.   How many who were strengthened to bear their own trials by his undeserved death.   And what about us?   From where does the opportunity come to offer faithful thanks to God today, if not from the the remembrance of Saint John, put to death for righteousness’ sake, that is to say, for Christ?…

Yes indeed, John the Baptist sacrificed his life with all his heart here below for love of Christ.   He chose to despise the commands of a tyrant, rather than those of God.   His example teaches us, that nothing should be dearer to us, than the will of God.   Pleasing other people is of little value, indeed, it often causes great harm…  Therefore, let us die to our sins and anxieties with all God’s friends, tread underfoot our misguided self-will and be careful to allow fervent love for Christ, to grow within us.” … Lanspergius the Carthusian (1489-1539) – Monk, Theologian – Sermon for the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Opera omnia, t. 2he chose to despiase the commands of a tyrant - lanspergius 29 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – God our Father, You appointed St John the Baptist to be the herald of the birth and death of Christ Your Son.   Grant that as he died a martyr for justice and truth, so we may also courageously bear witness to Your Word.   We make our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever.   St John the Baptist, pray for us, amen.st-john-the-baptist-pray-for-us1-29-aug-2017

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, YouTube VIDEOS

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

The Beheading/Passion of John the Baptist (Memorial)
Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/29/saint-of-the-day-the-martyrdom-of-st-john-the-baptist/
And here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/saint-of-the-day-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-29-august/

St Adelphus
St Adausia of Rome
St Alberic of Bagno de Romagna
St Basilia of Sirmium
St Candida of Rome
Bl Dominik Jedrzejewski
St Edwold the Hermit
St Euthymius of Perugia
Bl Filippa Guidoni
Bl John of Perugia
St Louis-Wulphy Huppy
St Maximian of Vercelli
St Medericus
St Nicaeus of Antioch
St Paul of Antioch
Bl Peter of Sassoferrato
St Repositus of Velleianum
Bl Richard Herst
St Sabina of Rome
St Sabina of Troyes
Bl Sancja Szymkowiak CMBB (1910-1942)
St Sator of Velleianum
St Sebbe of Essex
Bl Teresa Bracco
St Velleicus
St Victor of La Chambon
St Vitalis of Velleianum

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Constantino Fernández Álvarez
• Blessed José Almunia López-Teruel
• Blessed Josep Maria Tarín Curto
• Blessed Pedro Asúa Mendía

Posted in CCC, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 August – ‘..the archives of truth written in letters of blood…’

One Minute Reflection – 3 August – Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12

And his disciples came and took the body and buried it and they went and told Jesus. ... Matthew 14:12and his disciples came and took the body - 3 august 2019 st john the baptist.jpg

REFLECTION – “Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he “has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth,” (Jn 18:37).   The Christian is not to “be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord,” (2 Tim 1:8).   In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St Paul before his judges.   We must keep “a clear conscience toward God and toward men,” (Acts 24:16).

The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it.   This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds.   Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known: “All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation” (Vatican II).

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith – it means bearing witness even unto death. the martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity.   He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine.   He endures death through an act of fortitude…  The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who persevered to the end in witnessing to their faith. These are the acts of the Martyrs.   They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood…:the church has painstakingly collected - ccc 2472-2474 3 aug 2019 st john the baptist matthew 12 1-12

“I bless You for having judged me worthy from this day and this hour to be counted among Your martyrs….  You have kept Your promise, God of faithfulness and truth. For this reason and for everything, I praise You, I bless You, I glorify You through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son” (St. Polycarp) … CCC #2471-2474lord god you have considered me worth - st polycarp - prayer before martyrdom 9 july 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God, teach us to bear witness to Christ, Your only-begotten Son, who died for our sins. May each moment of our lives radiate the truth of the Word, Christ our Lord.   Through the intercession of our holy Mother, the Channel of all Graces, may our strength be such, that we would bear witness even unto death.   We make our prayer, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary channel of grace - pray for us - 30 may 2018.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day- 24 June – The tongue is loosened because a voice is born. 

Thought for the Day- 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist Year C, Gospel: Luke 1:57–66

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 293the tongue is loosened because a voice is born 24 june 2019 birth of john the baptist.jpg

The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event.   We have no such commemoration for any other fathers but it is significant, that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus.   This day cannot be passed by.   And even if my explanation does not match the dignity of the feast, you may still meditate on it with great depth and profit.

John is born of a woman too old for childbirth, Christ was born of a youthful virgin.   The news of John’s birth was met with incredulity and his father was struck dumb.   Christ’s birth was believed and He was conceived through faith.

Such is the topic, as I have presented it, for our inquiry and discussion.   But as I said before, if I lack either the time or the ability to study the implications of so profound a mystery, He who speaks within you, even when I am not here, will teach you better, it is He whom you contemplate with devotion, whom you have welcomed into your hearts, whose temples you have become.

John, then, appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord himself bears witness, when He speaks of the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist.   Thus He represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come.   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.   For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of blessed Mary.   In that womb, he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born, it was revealed that he was to be Christ’s precursor, before they ever saw one another.   These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human frailty. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his father’s tongue is loosened.   See how these events reflect reality.

Zechariah is silent and loses his voice until John, the precursor of the Lord, is born and restores his voice.   The silence of Zechariah is nothing but the age of prophecy lying hidden, obscured, as it were and concealed before the preaching of Christ.   At John’s arrival, it becomes clear, when the one who was being prophesied is about to come.   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.   For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you? And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.   The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.i am the voice - the voice is john but - st augustine 24 june 2019 nativity of st john the baptist.jpg

St John the Baptist, Pray for Us!st-john-the-baptist-pray-for-us-2-29 aug 2017.jpg

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote/s of the Day- 24 June – Love to the point of sacrifice

Quote/s of the Day- 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist Year C, Gospel: Luke 1:57–66 and the Memorial of St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963) “Mother Lupuita”

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the-true-secret-of-love-is-this-st-peter-julian-eymard-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2019

“Look today to John the Baptist,
an enduring model of fidelity to God and His Law.
John prepared the way for Christ,
by the testimony of his word and his life.
Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)
(24 June 2001)look-today-to-john-st-john-paul-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2019

“With deep faith, unlimited hope
and great love for Christ, Mother “Lupita”
sought her own sanctification,
beginning with love for the Heart of Christ
and fidelity to the Church.
In this way she lived the motto
which she left to her daughters:
“Charity to the point of sacrifice
and perseverance until death”.

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

On the Beatification of
St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)
“Mother Lupuita”charity to the point of sacrifice - st maria guadalupe mother lupita - 24 june 2019.jpg