Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SANCTITY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 January – ‘…shine in the Kingdom like children of light.’

One Minute Reflection – 26 January – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 8:1-4 (8, 23–9:3), Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17, Matthew 4:12-23

“…the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light and for those, who sat in the region and shadow of death, light has dawned.”…Matthew 4:16matthew 4 16 the people who sat in darkness no 2 26 jan 2020

REFLECTION – “All these things we know to have taken place ever since the three wise men, aroused in their far-off land, were led by a star to recognise and worship the King of heaven and earth.   The responsiveness of that star exhorts us to imitate it’s obedience and, as much as we can, to make ourselves servants of that grace which invites us all to Christ.   For, whoever lives religiously and chastely in the Church and “sets his mind on the things which are above, not on the things that are upon the earth” (Col 3:2) resembles that heavenly light in a certain sense.   So long as he maintains in himself, the brightness of a holy life, he points out to many, like a star, the way that leads to God.   All having this concern, dearly-beloved… you will shine in the Kingdom like children of light.”…St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father & Doctor of the Churchfor whoever lives religiously and chastely - st leo 26 jan 2020

PRAYER – Lord, may the radiance of Your glory, light up our hearts and bring us through the shadows of this world, until we reach our homeland of everlasting light. Grant we pray, that by the intercession of Your holy Mother and ours, our way may be smoothed and our troubles eased. We ask this through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.holy mother pray for us 30 jan 2019

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The CHRIST CHILD, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – ‘Then Jesus is born within us…’

Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – Saturday after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 5:14-21, Psalm 149:1-6, 9, John 3:22-30

“He must increase
but I must decrease.”

John 3:30john-3-30-he-must-increase-12-jan-2019-no-2.and 11 jan 2020jpg.jpg

“Christ is born, God from His Father,
man through His mother.
He was born from His Father’s immortality
and His mother’s virginity.
From the Father, without the aid of a mother,
from the mother, without that of a father.
From His Father, without time,
from His mother, without seed.
According to His Father,
He is the principle of life,
according to His mother,
the ending of death.
According to His Father,
He was born to determine the order of days,
according to His mother,
to consecrate the day that is here.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchchrist is born god from his father man through his mother - st augustine 11 jan 2020.jpg

“When His place becomes our place,
when His time becomes our time,
when His person becomes our life,
then the prophecies come to fulfilment in us.
Then Jesus is born within us.
He becomes the living God for me.
Today we are asked to imitate the Magi.
They do not debate – they set out.
They do not stop to look but enter the house of Jesus.
They do not put themselves at the centre
but bow down before the One who is the centre.
They do not remain glued to their plans
but are prepared to take other routes.
Their actions reveal a close contact with the Lord,
a radical openness to Him,
a total engagement with Him.
With Him, they use the language of love,
the same language that Jesus, though an infant, already speaks.
Indeed, the Magi go to the Lord not to receive but to give.

when-his-place-becomes-our-place-pope-franics-epip-homily-2019-9-jan-2019 and 11 jan 2020

Let us ask ourselves this question –
at Christmas, did we bring gifts to Jesus for His party,
or did we only exchange gifts among ourselves?

let-us-ask-ourselves-pope-francis-9-jan-2019-epiphany-homily-2019 and 11 jan 2020.jpg

In this Christmas season, now drawing to its close,
let us not miss the opportunity
to offer a precious gift to our King,
who came to us,
not in worldly pomp
but in the luminous poverty of Bethlehem.
If we can do this,
His light will shine upon us.”

Pope Francis

6 January 2019

in-this-christmas-season-pope-francis-9-jan-2019 and 11 jan 2020

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRAMENTS, SAINT of the DAY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – ‘What is heaven’s most precious possession?’ 

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – Second day after Epiphany, Readings:  1 John 4:7-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, Mark 6:34-44 and the Memorial of St Raymond of Peñafort OP (1175-1275)

And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people ... Mark 6:41

REFLECTION – “Christ gave us His flesh to eat in order to deepen our love for Him.  When we approach Him, then, there should be burning within us, a fire of love and longing…  The wise men paid homage to Christ’s body even when it was lying in a manger…  They only saw Christ in a manger, they saw nothing of what you now see and yet they approached Him with profound awe and reverence.

You see Him, not in a manger but on an altar, not carried by a woman but offered by a priest and you see the Spirit bountifully poured out upon the offerings of bread and wine.   Unlike the wise men, you do not merely see Christ’s body, you know His power as well and the whole divine plan for our salvation…  Let us then awaken in ourselves a feeling of awe and let us show a far greater reverence than did those foreigners so that we do not approach this sacrament casually, without thinking of what we do…

This food strengthens us, it emboldens us to speak freely to our God, it is our hope, our salvation, our light and our life. mark 6 41 he looked up to heaven, blessed and broke - this food strengthens us - st john chrysostom 7 jan 2019.jpg

If we go to the next world fortified by this sacrifice, we shall enter its sacred portals with perfect confidence, as though protected all over, by armour of gold.   But why do I speak of the next world?   Because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven for you.   Throw open the gates of heaven, look through and you will see the proof of what I say.   What is heaven’s most precious possession?   I will show you it here on earth.   I do not show you angels or archangels, heaven or the heaven of heavens but I show you the very Lord of all these.   Do you not see how you gaze, here on earth, upon what is most precious of all?   You not only gaze on it but touch it as well.   You not only touch it but eat it.  So cleanse your soul from sin and prepare your mind to receive these mysteries.” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church

because of this sacrament earth becomes heaven fo ryou -st john chrysostom 7 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, when Your only-begotten Son revealed Himself in flesh and blood, we came to know Him as our fellow-man  . Now He feeds us by His mysteries and cleanses us by His Blood to transform us inwardly, until we bear His likeness.   As You inspired St Raymond of Peñafort with an immense compassion for sinners and captives, grant us, through his prayer, freedom from sin and the grace to do Your will.   Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever with You, amen.st raymond of penafort pray for us 7 jan 2020

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Giving Ourselves, Our Prayer, Our Mortification

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – First Day after Epiphany

Giving Ourselves, Our Prayer, Our Mortificationthere can be no sanctity without prayer - bacci 6 jan 2020

The Magi gave Jesus material gifts also, as symbols of their complete dedication to Him.
They gave Him gold, because He was a king,
incense, because He was God
and myrrh, because He was man.
We often say that we love God and wish to serve and obey Him in all things.
But when we see that this entails sacrifice, we forget our promises!

We must ask ourselves if we are prepared to offer Jesus gold, that is, to offer Him everything we possess for the promotion of His glory, for the spread of His Kingdom and for the relief of His poor, in whom we ought, always, to see and love Christ Himself.
We must examine ourselves thoroughly on this.
It is easy to find excuses for not giving to God and to His poor in accordance with our means.

We should offer also, the incense of our adoration and unceasing prayer.
There can be no sanctity without prayer.
There can be no real Christians without sanctity.

Finally, we must offer the myrrh of our mortification.
Mortification, as St Vincent de Paul has said, is the ABC of Christian perfection.
St Paul exhorts us, to carry always in ourselves the mortification of Jesus.
If we are not mortified, we can never be holy and can never share the joy which the Magi experienced as they lay prostrate before the cradle of our Divine Redeemer.

Definition of Mortification:
Mortification is the feeling of being completely humiliated.
The word mortification has its roots in the Latin word for “death,” mors.

The original meaning of mortification is religious, in Christianity the meaning is “putting your sin to death”.
In Christian practice, this has varied from denying oneself pleasurable things, like certain foods, to inflicting physical pain on oneself.
The religious reason for this kind of mortification is to cause the “death” of sins — or desires — of the body.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 January – In Your Light, God, we see light

One Minute Reflection – 6 January – First Day after Epiphany, Readings:
1 John 3:22–4:6, Psalm 2:7-8, 10-11, Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

” .. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” … Matthew 4:16

REFLECTION – “In speaking of vision, or rather of a great light, Matthew undoubtedly intends us to understand our Saviour’s luminous preaching, the radiance of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.   The land of Zebulon and of Naphtali heard it from our Lord’s own mouth before anyone else…

For in fact it was in this particular land that our Lord began to preach, it was there His preaching was inaugurated…   And the apostles, who were the first to see this true light over these regions of Zabulon and Naphtali, themselves became “lights of the world”...  As Isaiah’s text continues:   “They rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing the spoils.”    This joy will indeed become the apostles’s joy, it will be a twofold joy when “they come back like reapers carrying their sheaves” and “as conquerors sharing the spoil”, that is to say of the conquered devil…

For it was You, our Lord and Saviour, who removed from their shoulders “the yoke that burdened them”, that yoke of the devil’s who in former times lorded it over the world when he reigned over all the nations and caused their necks to bow beneath the yoke of a grievous slavery…   You it was who, without troops, without bloodshed, in the secret of Your power, freed us to place us at Your service…  Yes, the devil will be “burned as fuel for the flames” because “a child is born to us”, the lowly Son of God “upon whose shoulders dominion rests” because, being God, He is able to possess the pre-eminence by His own strength…   And His “dominion extends” since He will not only reign over the Jews, as David did but He will have the sovereignty over all nations “both now and forever”.” … Rupert of Deutz OSB (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete, Writer.matthew 4 16 the people who sit in darkness - you it was who without troops - rupert of deutz 6 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, may the radiance of Your glory, light up our hearts and bring us through the shadows of this world, until we reach our homeland of everlasting light.   May the prayers of St Andre Bessette and all Your saints who stand beside You, be an assistance in our moments of trial.   Through Christ, the Light which shows us light and the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.in your light god we see light - 6 jan 2020.jpgst andre bessette pray for us -6 jan 2018-no. 2.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Chalk the Door – Epiphany House Blessing

Chalk the Door – Epiphany House Blessing

20 C+M+B 20

“Christus mansionem benedicat”

The equation is written to be the first two digits of the year,
followed by the initials C, M, and B,
followed by the last two digits of the year.
Each portion is split by plus signs.
For this year, the equation would be written as
“20 + C + M + B + 20.”

The chalking holds two meanings.
The C, M and B, refer to the traditional names
of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
The letters also stand for the Latin phrase
“Christus mansionem benedicat” which means
“May Christ bless the house.”
The plus signs represent the cross
and the 20 and 20 simply refer to the year.

epiphany-house-blessing-2019 - half done - changed for 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Papa FRANCIS, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Epiphany

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

“If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King,
they would have been disconcerted at finding
that they had taken the trouble to come
such a long way for nothing.
Consequently they would have
neither adored nor offered gifts.
But since they sought a heavenly King,
though they found in Him
no signs of royal pre-eminence,
yet, content with the testimony
of the star alone,
they adored – for they saw a man
and they acknowledged God.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Churchsince they sought a heavenly king - st john chrysostom epiphany 5 jan 2020.jpg

“The Gospel account of the Magi
describes their journey from the East
as a journey of the spirit,
as a journey toward the encounter with Christ.
They are attentive to signs that indicate His presence,
they are tireless in facing the trials of the search,
they are courageous in deducing the implications
for life that derive from encounter with the Lord.
This is life – Christian life, is a journey
but being attentive, tireless and courageous.
A Christian, journeys like this.
Journey attentively, tirelessly, courageously!”matthew-2-9-when-they-heard-the-king-the-gospel-account-of-the-magi-pope-francis-6-jan-2019 and 5 jan 2020.jpg

“And as they fell to their knees
before the small, poor and vulnerable Infant,
the unexpected and unknown Child of Bethlehem,
they discovered the glory of God.”

Pope Francis

Homily for Epiphany 2017and-as-they-fell-pope-francis-epiphany-2017-7-jan-2018 and 5 jan 2020.jpg

More Epiphany quotes:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/06/quote-s-of-the-day-6-january-the-solemnity-of-the-epiphany-of-the-lord/

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

“Chalk the Door” – 6 January – Epiphany House Blessing

“Chalk the Door” – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Each year around the feast of the Epiphany many parishes throughout the world participate in an annual blessing of chalk.   It is an ancient tradition that not only places God at the entrance of your home, it places your entire family under his protection.

The Epiphany blessing of chalk and homes is a centuries old tradition where priests would visit each home in their parish after the Feast of the Epiphany.   Over time it became more difficult to accomplish such a feat, as parishes became larger and larger and priests were stretched thin.   For this reason it became an accepted tradition that a member of the household is able to lead this blessing in place of the priest.

The blessing has biblical roots, deeply tied to the Passover in the book of Exodus.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt … “take some of the blood [of the lamb], and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it … The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (cf. Exodus 12:1-13)

It is no coincidence that the Epiphany blessing is traditionally written on the lintel of the main doorway and even some of the prayers echo God’s words of protection that He gave to Moses.   While the Epiphany blessing was not given in the same manner as it was to Moses, the Church provides it for our own spiritual benefit.   The Church desires our salvation and so gives us beautiful sacramentals to assist us along the path to Eternal Life.

Traditionally a priest blesses chalk on the Feast of the Epiphany by saying the following prayer (from the Roman Ritual):

Bless, + O Lord God, this creature, chalk and let it be a help to mankind.   Grant that those who will use it with faith in your most holy name and with it inscribe on the doors of their homes the names of your saints, Casper, Melchior, and Baltassar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health in body and protection of soul, through Christ our Lord.

The chalk is then distributed after Mass.   If your local parish does not administer such a blessing, inquire around and see if any neighbouring parishes do.   Parishioners then take the chalk home and use it while invoking God’s blessing upon their home.

It is a beautiful blessing, one that brings many graces upon those who practice it in faith and is an added protection against any spiritual enemies that may be lurking around.

The Blessing:
Once you acquire the blessed chalk, either a priest or another member of the household can bless the home in the following manner (adapted from the Roman Ritual):

Upon entering the house [or at the front door]:

Priest/Head of Household:   Peace be to this house.
All:   And to all who dwell herein.
Priest:   From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord and opening their treasures, they offered precious gifts – gold for the great King, incense for the true God and myrrh in symbol of His burial.

During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water and incensed.

The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is his Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever. the-magnificat-luke-1-46-55-31-may-2018-feast-of-the-visitation1

After this is completed:  All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord and opening their treasures, they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God and myrrh in symbol of His burial.

Priest:   Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead and lead us not into temptation,
All: But deliver us from evil.
Priest:  All they from Saba shall come
All:  Bringing gold and frankincense.
Priest:  O Lord, hear my prayer.
All:  And let my cry come unto Thee.

Priest:
Let us pray.   O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty.   Through Christ our Lord.

All:  Amen.
Priest:  Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee– Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.
All:  And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light and kings in the splendour of thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.

Priest:  Let us pray. Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfilment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.   And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein.   Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen

After the prayers of the blessing are recited, walk through the house and bless each room by sprinkling with Epiphany/holy water and incensing it.

Take the blessed chalk and first write the initials of the three Wise Men, connected with Crosses, over the inside of your front door (on the lintel, if possible).   Then write the year, breaking up the numbers and the year so that they fall on both sides of the initials. It should look like this, for example

20 C+M+B 19

The equation is written to be the first two digits of the year, followed by the initials C, M, and B, followed by the last two digits of the year.   Each portion is split by plus signs.   For this year, the equation would be written as “20 + C + M + B + 19.”

The chalking holds two meanings. The C, M and B, refer to the traditional names of the Magi:  Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.   The letters also stand for the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “May Christ bless the house.”   The plus signs represent the cross and the 20 and 19 simply refer to the year.epiphany house blessing 2019

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Sunday Reflection – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Sunday Reflection – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

“What other people are so fortunate as the Christian people?   What creature under heaven is so beloved as a devout soul into whom God comes, in order to feed him with His own glorious Body and Blood?   O grace unspeakable, O marvellous condescension, O love without measure, bestowed only on human beings!

There is nothing I can give to the Lord for this grace – this supreme love;  nothing acceptable I can offer Him but my heart entirely given to God and closely united to Him. Then, all that is within me will be filled with joy, when my soul is perfectly one with God.

Then He will say to me:  “If you will be with Me, I will be with you.”  And I will answer Him and say: “Stay with me, Lord, I implore You, for my desire is to be with You.”

This is my whole desire – that my heart be united to You.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Book 4-Chapter 13 #3
Blessed Sacramentwhat other people are so fortunate - thomas a kempis - sun reflec 6 jan 2019.jpg