Sunday Reflection – 5 May – ” the privileged place”

Sunday Reflection – 5 May – Third Sunday of Easter, Year C

Pope Benedict XVI

” The Eucharist, the privileged place in which the Church recognises “the Author of life” (Acts 3: 15) is “the breaking of the bread”, as it is called in the Acts of the Apostles.   In it, through faith, we enter into communion with Christ, who is “the priest, the altar and the lamb of sacrifice” (see Preface for Easter, 5) and is among us.

Let us gather round Him to cherish the memory of His words and of the events contained in Scripture, let us relive His Passion, death and Resurrection.   In celebrating the Eucharist, we communicate with Christ, the victim of expiation and from Him we draw forgiveness and life.

What would our lives as Christians be without the Eucharist?   The Eucharist is the perpetual, living inheritance which the Lord has bequeathed to us in the Sacrament of His Body and His Blood and which we must constantly rethink and deepen so that, as venerable Pope Paul VI said, it may “impress its inexhaustible effectiveness on all the days of our earthly life.” – (Insegnamenti, V [1967], p. 779)

in-it-through-faith-pope-benedict-15-april-2018 and 5 may 2019

Many Christians take their time 
and have leisure enough in their social life 
(no hurry here). 
They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities, 
at table and recreation (no hurry here either). 
But isn’t it strange, how those same Christians.
find themselves in such a rush 
and want to hurry the priest, 
in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted 
to the most holy sacrifice of the altar?

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us offer to our Mother today:

Brief but frequent prayers of love, such as:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted in Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, SAINT of the DAY, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, St JOSEPH

Quote/s of the Day – 1 May – Sanctification through work

Quote/s of the Day – 1 May – Wednesday of the Second week of Easter, the first day of Mary’s Month and the Memorial of St Joseph the Worker, Gospel: John 3:16–21

“Sanctity, for the vast majority of people,
implies sanctifying their work,
sanctifying themselves in it
and sanctifying others through it.”sanctity for the vast majority - st joseph worker - st josemaria escriva 1 may 2019.jpg

“It is no good offering to God,
something that is less perfect
than our poor human limitations permit.
The work that we offer, must be without blemish
and it must be done as carefully as possible,
even in its smallest details,
for God will not accept shoddy workmanship.
‘Thou shalt not offer anything that is faulty,’
Holy Scripture warns us,
‘because it would not be worthy of him.’
For that reason, the work of each one of us,
the activities that take up our time and energy,
must be an offering worthy of our Creator.
It must be operatio Dei, a work of God,
that is done for God –
in short, a task that is complete and faultless.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)it is no good offering to god - on work - st josemaria escriva 1 may 2019.jpg

“A spirituality must be lived that will help believers
to sanctify themselves through their work,
imitating St Joseph, who everyday,
had to provide for the needs of the Holy Family
with his hands and who because of this,
the Church indicates as patron of workers.”

Pope Benedict XVIa spirituality must be lived - pope benedict 1 may 2019.jpg

“Work done grudgingly, is servitude.

Work done willingly, is service.

Work done lovingly, is a Sacrament!”


Posted in NOTES to Followers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The WORD

Appeal Update – 9 March

My gratitude, love and prayers to YOU!

Appeal Update:

“But thanks be to God,who always leads us in triumph in Christ..”

2 Corinthians 2:14

Holy Mass will be offered on Thursday 14 March for:

Marna Fisher
Sherry Potenziano
Patrick Orlando
Anne Marie Henniganholy mass in gratitude - marna sherry patrick anne marie - 9 march 2019.jpg

“Get used to lifting your heart to God,
in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day.
Because He gives you this and that.
Because you have been despised.
Because you haven’t what you need
or because you have.
Because He made His Mother so beautiful,
His Mother who is also your Mother.
Because He created the sun and the moon
and this animal and that plant.
Because He made that man eloquent
and you He left tongue-tied …
Thank Him for everything,
because everything is good.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)get used to lifting your heart to god - st josemaria - 9 march 2019.jpg


Shrove Tuesday – 5 March – Ready?

Shrove Tuesday – 5 March – Ready?

The English term provides the best meaning for this period – “To shrive” meant to hear confessions.   In the Anglo-Saxon “Ecclesiastical Institutes,” recorded by Theodulphus and translated by Abbot Aelfric about 1000, Shrovetide was described as follows:
“In the week immediately before Lent, everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor, shall so “shrive him,” as he then may hear by his deeds, what he is to do in the way of penance.”
To highlight the point and motivate the people, special plays or masques were performed which portrayed the passion of our Lord or final judgement.   Clearly, this Shrovetide preparation for Lent, included the confessing of sin and the reception of absolution.   As such, Lent then would become a time for penance and renewal of faith.

Who needs pancakes, we have far more important things to do!shrove tuesday - time for confession - 5 march 2019.jpg

Beginning of Lent:  A Time of Penance, Purification and Conversion

We are at the beginning of Lent, a time of penance, purification and conversion.   It is not an easy program but then Christianity is not an easy way of life.   It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by.   In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant.   But the later conversions are even more important and they are increasingly demanding.   To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young, we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to Him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask His pardon.

“’If you call upon me, I will listen to you,’ we read in holy scripture.   Isn’t it wonderful how God cares for us and is always ready to listen to us — waiting for man to speak?   He hears us at all times but particularly now.   Our heart is ready and we have made up our minds to purify ourselves.   He hears us and will not disregard the petition of a ‘humble and contrite heart.’

The Lord listens to us.   He wants to intervene and enter our lives to free us from evil and fill us with good.   ‘I will rescue him and honour him,’ he says of man.   So we must hope for glory.   Here again we have the beginning of the interior movement that makes up our spiritual life.   Hope of glory increases our faith and fosters our charity, the three theological virtues, godly virtues which make us like our Father God, have been set in motion.

What better way to begin Lent?   Let’s renew our faith, hope and love.   The spirit of penance and the desire for purification come from these virtues.   Lent is not only an opportunity for increasing our external practices of self-denial.   If we thought it were only that, we would miss the deep meaning it has in Christian living, for these external practices are — as I have said — the result of faith, hope and charity.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)
Christ is Passing By No 57

Explaining “Shrove” – lent - our heart is ready - st josemaria escriva - 5 march 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – “Is not this the carpenter?”…Mark 6:3

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 6:1–6 and the Memorial of St Dorothy of Caesarea (Died 311) and St Paul Miki SJ (c 1564-1597) & Companions/Martyrs of Nagasaki – Martyrs

“Is not this the carpenter?”…Mark 6:3

REFLECTION – “Joseph loved Jesus as a father loves his son and he cared for Him, giving Him the best he had.   Joseph took charge of this child as he had been commanded and turned Jesus into a workman, passing on his craft to Him.   That is why their neighbours in Nazareth, when they spoke of Jesus, called Him, roughly speaking, a “carpenter” or “the son of a carpenter” (Mt 13:55)…
Jesus must have resembled Joseph in His traits of character and ways of working and talking.   His realism, His powers of observation, His way of sitting at table and breaking bread, His attraction for explaining His teaching in a concrete way by taking His examples from everyday things, reflect what Jesus’ childhood and youth were like and therefore His relationship with Joseph.   What depths there are in this mystery!   This Jesus, who is a man, who speaks with the accent of a particular region of Israel, who resembles a workman named Joseph, is indeed the Son of God.   And who can teach God anything?   Nevertheless, He is truly man and His life is a normal one – first a child, then a young man who helps Joseph in the workshop and finally, a mature man in the fullness of age:  “Jesus advanced in wisdom and grace before God and men” (Lk 2:52).
At the human level Joseph was Jesus’ master.   Day by day he surrounded Him with tender affection and cared for Him with joyful self-denial.   Is this not a very good reason for thinking this man to be just (Mt 1:19) – this saintly patriarch in whom the Old Testament faith reaches its climax as a master of the interior life?”…St Josémaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975)

“According to the people of Nazareth, God is too great to humble Himself to speak through such a simple man!   It is the scandal of the Incarnation – the unsettling event of a God made flesh, who thinks with the mind of a man, works and acts with the hands of a man, loves with a human heart, a God who struggles, eats and sleeps like one of us.
The Son of God overturns every human framework – it is not the disciples who washed the feet of the Lord but, it is the Lord who washed the feet of the disciples (cf. Jn 13:1-20). This is a reason for scandal and incredulity, not only in that period but in all ages, even today.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 8 July 2018mark 6 3 is not this the carpenter - the son of God overturns - pope francis 6feb2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, source of strength and grace, grant us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to love the Word of Your Son.   Make us recognise Your Son in our daily lives and be generous in sharing our faith to all we meet.   Grant, we pray, that the prayers of St Dorothy of Caesarea and St Paul Miki and companions, may help us to manifest zeal and courage.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

st dorothy of caesarea pray for us 6 feb 2019.jpg



Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY NINE – 8 December

Our Lady Queen of Apostles

If we have this filial contact with Mary, we won’t be able to think just about ourselves and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind. Mary brings us to Jesus and Jesus is “the firstborn among many brothers.” And so, if we know Jesus, we realise that we can live only by giving ourselves to the service of others. Christians can’t be caught up in personal problems;they must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.  (Christ is Passing By, 145)

If we are imbued with this spirit, our conversations with God eventually aid other people, even though they may begin on an apparently personal level. And if we take our Lady’s hand, she will make us realise more fully that all men and women are our brothers and sisters – because we are all children of that God whose daughter, spouse and mother she is.  (Christ is Passing By, 145)

Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, our Lady is able to get each of her children to face their own responsibilities.
Mary always does the immense favour of bringing to the Cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behaviour may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother – you and me – with the firstborn Son of the Father.
Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so her counsel “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life.  (Christ is Passing By, 149)

Let us Pray

Mary, who brought Jesus up and accompanied Him
through His life and is now beside Him in heaven,
will help us recognise Jesus as He crosses our path
and makes Himself present to us in the needs of our
fellow men.

Our mother, you
brought to earth Jesus,
who reveals the love of
our Father God.
Help us to recognise Him
in the midst of the cares of each day.
Stir up our mind and will,
so that we may listen to the voice of
God, to the calls of grace.”

Sancta Maria, spes nostra, ancilla Domini, sedes
sapientiæ, ora por nobis! Holy Mary, our hope,
handmaid of the Lord, seat of wisdom, pray for us!
(Christ is Passing By, 149)imm conception - unknown