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Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – ‘When Paul is blinded, he gets his vision.’

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

“I have appeared to you for this purpose,
to appoint you as a servant and witness, 
of what you have seen and what you will be shown.
I shall deliver you from this people
and from the Gentile,s to whom I send you,
to open their eyes, that they may turn
from darkness to light
and from the power of Satan to God,
so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins
and an inheritance among those, who have been consecrated by faith in me.”

Acts 26:16-18

acts-26-16 I have appeared to you for this purpose - conversion of st paul - 25 jan 2020

“Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us,
what man really is and in what our nobility consists
and of what virtue this particular animal is capable.
Each day he aimed ever higher,
each day he rose up with greater ardour
and faced with new eagerness,
the dangers that threatened him.
He summed up his attitude in the words:
“I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”…
The most important thing of all to him, however,
was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.
Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else.”

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

chrysostum-on-paul-2018 25 jan 2020

“When Paul is blinded,
he gets his vision.
God has mysterious ways
of entering our life.
With Paul,
God seemingly gate-crashed.
With us, God might need
a little more time!”

Msgr Alex Rebello

Diocese of Wrexham, Waleswjen paul is blinded he gets his vision - gatecrashed msgr alex rebello bible diary 25 jan 2020

“I live, no longer I
but Christ lives in me,”

Galasians 2:20

galasians 2 20 i live no longer i but christ lives in me 25 jan 2020

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – ‘He had lived for himself…’

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Reading: Acts 22:3-16, Psalm 117:1-2, Mark 16:15-18

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” … Mark 16:15mark 16 15 go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation - 25 jan 2020

REFLECTION – “Paul’s encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus literally revolutionised his life (…)   Thus, it is important to realise what a deep effect Jesus Christ can have on a person’s life, hence, also on our own lives (…)  how does a human being’s encounter with Christ occur?   And of what does the relationship that stems from it consist? (…)   Paul helps us to understand the absolutely basic and irreplaceable value of faith.   This is what he wrote in his Letter to the Romans:  “We hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (3:28).   This is what he also wrote in his Letter to the Galatians: “[M]an is not justified by works of the law but only through faith in Jesus Christ” (2:16) (…)   “Being justified” means being made righteous, that is, being accepted by God’s merciful justice to enter into communion with Him and, consequently, to be able to establish a far more genuine relationship with all our brethren and this takes place on the basis of the complete forgiveness of our sins.   Well, Paul states with absolute clarity that this condition of life does not depend on our possible good works but on the pure grace of God – “[We] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

With these words St Paul expressed the fundamental content of his conversion, the new direction his life took as a result of his encounter with the Risen Christ.  Before his conversion, Paul had not been a man distant from God and from his Law.   On the contrary, he had been observant, with an observance, faithful to the point of fanaticism. In the light of the encounter with Christ, however, he understood that with this, he had sought to build up himself and his own justice and that with all this justice, he had lived for himself.   He realised that a new approach in his life was absolutely essential.   And we find this new approach expressed in his words:  “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

Paul, therefore, no longer lives for himself, for his own justice.   He lives for Christ and with Christ.” … Pope Benedict XVI – General audience of 08/11/06before his conversion paul - pope benedict 25 jan 2020

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world.   Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day.   Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st-paul-pray-for-us-25-jan2018-catechesis-of-pope-benedict-no-1

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, St PAUL!

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Great convert Teacher of the Faith

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Breviary Hymn
Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Great convert Teacher of the Faith
Who never ceased from preaching Christ,
Saint Paul impart to us your zeal,
That we may reach the joys unseen.

All glory to the Trinity,
Forever honour, sov’reignty,
To God Almighty be all praise,
Beginning and the End of all.
Amengreat convert teacher of the faith - feast of the conversion of st paul 25 jan 2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – St Raymond of Peñafort

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – The Memorial of St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275) “Father of Canon Law”

“May you never be numbered
among those whose house
is peaceful, quiet and free
from care,
those on whom
the Lord’s chastisement
does not descend,
those who live out their days
in prosperity and in the
twinkling of an eye,
will go down
to hell!”

may you never be numbered amongst those whose house is peaceful - st ryamond of penafort 7 jan 2020

“This is that enviable
and blessed Cross of Christ . . .
the Cross in which alone,
we must make our boast,
as Paul,
God’s chosen instrument,
has told us.”

this is that enviable and blessed cross of christ - st raymond of penafort 7 jan 2019

 

“May the God of love and peace,
set your hearts at rest
and speed you on your journey,
may He meanwhile,
shelter you from disturbance by others,
in the hidden recesses of His love,
until He brings you, at last,
into that place of complete plenitude,
where you will repose forever,
in the vision of peace,
in the security of trust
and in the restful enjoyment of His riches.”

St Raymond of Peñafort
(1175-1275)

may-the-god-of-love-and-peace-st-raymond-of-penafort-7-jan-2019 and 2020

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Thought for the Day – 26 December – The Armament of Love

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave

The Armament of Love

Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (460-533)
Bishop

An excerpt from his Sermon 3

Yesterday, we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King.   Today, we celebrate the triumphant suffering of His soldier.   Yesterday, our king, clothed in His robe of flesh, left His place in the virgin’s womb and graciously visited the world.   Today, His soldier, leaves the tabernacle of His body and goes triumphantly to heaven.yesterday we celebrated the birth in time today we - st fulgentius of ruspe - st stephen 26 dec 2019.jpg

Our king, despite His exalted majesty, came in humility for our sake, yet, He did not come empty-handed.   He brought His soldiers a great gift, that not only enriched them but also made them unconquerable in battle, for it was the gift of love, which was to bring men to share in His divinity.   He gave of His bounty, yet without any loss to Himself.   In a marvellous way He changed into wealth, the poverty of His faithful follower,s while remaining in full possession of His own inexhaustible riches.

And so, the love that brought Christ from heaven to earth, raised Stephen from earth to heaven – shown first in the king, it later shone forth in His soldier.   Love was Stephen’s weapon by which he gained every battle and so won the crown signified by his name. His love of God kept him from yielding to the ferocious mob, his love for his neighbour made him pray for those who were stoning him.   Love inspired him to reprove those who erred, to make them amend, love led him to pray for those who stoned him, to save them from punishment.   Strengthened by the power of his love, he overcame the raging cruelty of Saul and won his persecutor on earth as his companion in heaven.   In his holy and tireless love, he longed to gain by prayer, those whom he could not convert by admonition.

Now at last, Paul rejoices with Stephen, with Stephen he delights in the glory of Christ, with Stephen he exalts, with Stephen he reigns.   Stephen went first, slain by the stones thrown by Paul but Paul followed after, helped by the prayer of Stephen.   This, surely, is the true life, my brothers, a life in which Paul feels no shame because of Stephen’s death and Stephen delights in Paul’s companionship, for love fills them both with joy.   It was Stephen’s love that prevailed over the cruelty of the mob and it was Paul’s love, that covered the multitude of his sins, it was love that won for both of them the kingdom of heaven.

Love, indeed, is the source of all good things, it is an impregnable defence and the way that leads to heaven.   He who walks in love can neither go astray, nor be afraid, love guides him, protects him and brings him to his journey’s end.

My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven.   Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it and by your progress in it, make your ascent together.

St Stephen, Pray for Us!st stephen pray for us 26 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 December –  The prayers of righteous men avail much. 

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings:  Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Psalm31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17, Matthew 10:17-22

“… You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” … Matthew 10:22

REFLECTION – “When the blood of Stephen was shed, Saul, then a young man, was standing by “consenting unto his death” and “kept the raiment of them that slew him” (Acts 22:20).   Two speeches are recorded of the Martyr in his last moments one, in which he prayed that God would pardon his murderers – the other, his witness, that he saw the heavens opened and Jesus on God’s right hand.   His prayer was wonderfully answered. Stephen saw his Saviour, the next vision of that Saviour to mortal man was vouchsafed to that very young man, even Saul, who share in his murder and his intercession.

Strange indeed it was and what would have been St Stephen’s thoughts could he have known it!   The prayers of righteous men avail much.   The first Martyr had power with God to raise up the greatest Apostle.   Such was the honour put upon the first-fruits of those sufferings, upon which the Church was entering.   Thus, from the beginning, the blood of the Martyrs was the seed of the Church.” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, Theologian, Apologist – Parochial and Plain Sermons II #9matthew 10 22 you will be hated by all - st stephen - the prayers of righteous men - st john henry newman 26 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER –
C. By the merits and prayers of blessed Stephen
R. Be merciful, O God, to Your people

Almighty and everlasting God, who consecrated the first-fruits of Your martyrs in the blood of blessed Stephen the deacon, grant, we beg You, that he may pray for us, even as he prayed for his persecutors, to our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns, world without end.  AmenPrayer-for-the-feast-of-st-stephen-26-dec-2018 and one min refl 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Saint of the Day – 5 July – St Anthony Mary Zaccaria CRSP (1502-1539)

Saint of the Day – 5 July – St Anthony Mary Zaccaria CRSP (1502-1539) Founder of the Barnabites, The Clerics Regular of Saint Paul – The First Order Named after St Paul Apostle. He was an early leader of the Counter Reformation and a promoter of the devotion to the Passion of Christ, the Holy Eucharist, Eucharistic Adoration and the renewal of the religious life among the lay people.st anthony mary zaccaria lg.jpg

He also founded a congregation of nuns which now no longer exists.   He was a great admirer of St Paul and was himself imbued with the teaching of the great Apostle, whom he gave to his followers as a model and a patron.   He was a zealous and untiring preacher and completely wore himself out at this work – he died at the age of thirty six on 5 July 1539.snip book st anthony mary zaccaria.JPG

Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born of a noble family at Cremona in Lombardy and even in childhood gave signs of his future sanctity.   Very early he was distinguished for his virtues, piety towards God, devotion to the Blessed Virgin and especially mercy towards the poor, who he more than once gave his own rich clothing for their relief.   He studied the humanities at home and then went to Pavia for philosophy and Padua for medicine and easily surpassed his contemporaries both in purity of life and in mental ability. San_Antonio_Maria_Zaccaria After gaining his degree in medicine, he returned home, where he understood that God had called him to the healing rather of souls than of bodies.   He immediately gave himself to sacred studies.   Meanwhile, he never ceased to visit the sick, instruct children in Christian doctrine and exhort the young to piety and the elders to reformation of their lives.

While saying his first Mass after his ordination, he is said to have been seen by the amazed congregation in a blaze of heavenly light and surrounded by angels.   He then made it his chief care to labour for the salvation of souls and the reformation of manners.   He received strangers, the poor and afflicted, with paternal charity and consoled them with holy words and material assistance, so that his house was known as the refuge of the afflicted and he himself was called by his fellow-citizens an angel and the father of his country.st anthony mary zaccaria saying mass card.jpg

Thinking that he would be able to do more for the Christian religion if he had fellow labourers in the Lord’s vineyard, he communicated his thoughts to two noble and saintly men, Bartholomew Ferrari and James Morigia and together with them founded at Milan a society of Clerks Regular, which from his great love for the apostle of the Gentiles, he called after St Paul.   It was approved by Clement VII, confirmed by Paul III and soon spread through many lands.   He was also the founder and father of the Angelic Sisters. But he thought so humbly of himself that he would never be Superior of his own Order. So great was his patience that he endured with steadfastness the most terrible opposition to his religious.

Such was his charity that he never ceased to exhort religious men to love God and priests to live after the manner of the apostles and he organised many confraternities of married men.   He often carried the cross through the streets and public squares, together with his religious and by his fervent prayers and exhortations brought wicked men back to the way of salvation.snip - zaccaria 2.JPG

It is noteworthy that out of love for Jesus crucified he would have the mystery of the cross brought to the mind of all by the ringing of a bell on Friday afternoons about vesper time.   The holy name of Christ was ever on his lips and in his writings and as a true disciple of St Paul, he ever bore the mortification of Christ in his body.   He had a singular devotion to the Holy Eucharist, restored the custom of frequent communions and introduced that of the public adoration of Forty Hours. my snip from video - zaccaria and the eucharist.JPG

Such was his love of purity that it seemed to restore life even to his lifeless body.   He was also enriched with the heavenly gifts of ecstasy, tears, knowledge of future things and the secrets of hearts and power over the enemy of mankind.

At length, after many labours, he fell grievously sick at Guastalla, whither he had been summoned as arbitrator in the cause of peace.   He was taken to Cremona and died there amid the tears of his religious and in the embrace of his pious mother, whose approaching death he foretold.   At the hour of his death he was consoled by a vision of the apostles and prophesied the future growth of his Society.   The people began immediately to show their devotion to this saint on account of his great holiness and of his numerous miracles.   The cult was approved by Leo XIII, who solemnly Canonised him on Ascension Day, 1897.st anthony mary medallion founder.jpg

Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger OSB