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Quote/s of the Day – 22 July –’ … By the heart …’

Quote/s of the Day – 22 July –“Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Feast of St Mary of Magdala -– Readings: Song of Solomon 3:1-4, Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9, John 20:1-2, 11-18

“Do not touch me ”
“Noli me tangere”

John 20:17

“He [Christ], protects their faith
and gives strength to believers,
in proportion to the TRUST,
that each man,
who receives that strength,
is willing to place in Him.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church

“By His rights as Lord,
He demands wholly
our hearts, tongues and heads.
He wishes to be the object
of our thought and understanding,
our belief and reading,
our fear and love. . . ”

St Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431)
Father of the Church

Above Poem 10, from The Poems of St. Paulinus of Nola,

“And yet He could be touched
but by the heart, not by the hand;
by desire, not by the eye;
by faith, not by the sense. …

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Doctor of the Church

“To magnify her Royal Lover still further,
the soul must have eyes only for Him,
in other words,
with an ever-growing, anxiously eager attentiveness.
the soul must study all the details of His beauty,
His perfections,
must keep on discovering motives
for finding ever-increasing gratification
in the ineffable Beauty with which it is in love.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

“Place all your trust in God,
let Him be your fear and your love.
He will answer for you,
He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home.
You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be
and you shall have no rest,
until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here
when this is not the place of your repose?”

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

O God, send forth Your Holy Spirit
By St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church

O God,
send forth Your Holy Spirit
into my heart
that I may perceive,
into my mind,
that I may remember,
and into my soul,
that I may meditate.
Inspire me to speak
with piety,
holiness,
tenderness
and mercy.
Teach, guide and direct my thoughts
and senses, from beginning to end.
May Your grace,
ever help and correct me,
and may I be strengthened now
with wisdom from on high,
for the sake of Your infinite mercy.
Amen

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

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Our Morning Offering – 19 July – Prayer for Five Graces By St Alphonsus Liguori

Our Morning Offering – 19 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”

Prayer for Five Graces
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Eternal Father, Your Son has promised
that You would grant, all the graces
we ask of You in His name.
Trusting in this promise and in the name of
and through the merits of Jesus Christ,
I ask of You five special graces:
First, I ask pardon for all the offenses I have committed,
for which I am sorry with all my heart
because I have offended Your infinite goodness.
Second, I ask for Your divine Light,
which will enable me to see
the vanity of all things of this earth
and see also, Your infinite greatness and goodness.
Third, I ask for a share in Your love,
so that I may detach myself from all creatures,
especially from myself and love only Your holy will.
Fourth, grant me the grace to have confidence
in the merits of Jesus Christ
and in the intercession of Mary.
Fifth, I ask for the grace of perseverance,
knowing that, whenever I call on You for assistance,
You will answer my call and come to my aid.
I fear only, that I will neglect to turn to You in time of need
and thus bring myself to ruin.
Grant me the grace to pray always,
O Eternal Father,
in the name of Our Lord Jesus.
Amen.

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Thought for the Day – 18 July – Intimacy with Jesus

Thought for the Day – 18 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Intimacy with Jesus

“The union of love which should exist between Jesus and ourselves, is modelled on the mysterious union between Jesus and His Heavenly Father.

(1) This intimacy between ourselves and Jesus should be, first of all, in the mind.
Our thoughts will be good when we think like God and with the mind of Jesus, “Who is the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world” (Jn 1:9).
If we stray away from that light, darkness overwhelms us, even as it pervaded the earth during the agony of Jesus Christ.
Our intelligence is a ray of light which comes from God, we should take care not to allow this ray to be separated from its divine source.
This heavenly ray always shone on the faces of the saints because they were clean of heart and close to God.
That is how we should all be.

(2) In the second place, we should be united intimately with Jesus in our sentiments.
“Have this mind in you which was also in Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:5) says St Paul.
Our love must not be abstract or partial but must be all-absorbing.
Jesus calls us friends and friendship unites two hearts as one.
We must give ourselves completely to Jesus without reserving anything for ourselves.
True holiness is found when God and man are united like two faithful constant friends.

(3) In the third place, there must be intimacy in action.
It is not possible for a man who truly loves God to do anything which would offend Him.
Jesus compares the love which we should have for Him with the love which He has for His Heavenly Father, so we should model our lives continuously on the life of Jesus.
Jesus must work in us, as He did in St Paul and all the Saints.

St Francis de Sales writes, that Jesus should always be in our minds, in our hearts, in our eyes and on our tongue.
We should be living images of Jesus and we must, therefore, live and act for Him, with Him and in Him
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 10 July – “Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread”

Thought for the Day – 10 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread”

“In the second part of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask the universal Father, on behalf of ourselves and of our brethren, for all things necessary for soul and body.
Since we have already paid homage to God, our Creator and our Redeemer and, have prayed for the triumph of His kingdom and for the accomplishment of His will in Heaven and on earth, Our Lord does not forbid us to think now of ourselves and to pray for our own needs.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask, intending to pray, both for our spiritual and material requirements.

We should not delude ourselves into imagining that it is we who produce the fruits of the earth.
A grain of wheat dies beneath the soil but God has infused into it, a mysterious force as a result of which, in dying, it generates new life.

The moisture of the soil, the warmth of the air and the light of the sun combine to develop this mysterious life-force, which produces the green stalk and then the flaxen ear of corn which provides us with bread.
It is God Who has given this vital power to this tiny seed, as well as to all the other seeds of the soil.
It is He Who has endowed the soil with the nutritive elements from which the seeds draw life and it is He, Who sends the dew, the rain and the sunshine, which cause the flowers to blossom and the plants to bear fruit.

We should ask God humbly, therefore, to “give us this day our daily bread.”
Our own labours would be futile without the intervention of the all-powerful Creator.
We are capable, neither of producing, nor of destroying a single atom nor a single seedling.
Without God, we are incapable of achieving anything, either inthe natural or in the supernatural order.
Therefore, we must ask Him to provide us with what we need.
He is supremely good and loves us very much.
His Providence will not leave us in want, even if we are often obliged to work hard in co-operation with Him to procure the necessaries of life.
The birds have no granary, yet they manage to find enough seed to keep them alive because God is watching over them.
How could we suppose, that He will not look after us, if we turn to Him with trust and perseverance?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day –9 July – Putting Christianity into Practice

Thought for the Day –9 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Putting Christianity into Practice

“Imagine what the world would be like, if the Gospel of Christ, were practised in it’s entirety, everywhere and by everybody.
It would not, of course, become another earthly Paradise, because suffering and death are the legacy of sin and Our Lord, did not remove these when He redeemed us but made them a necessary element, in our purification and spiritual elevation.
Nevertheless, the full practice of Christianity would transform the world.
A little reflection will convince us of this.
Men would love God above all things and their neighbours as themselves.
The sincere and ardent love of God, would cause wickedness, brutality and every kind of immorality to disappear.
Love of their neighbour, would make men brothers in reality, so that there would be no more wars nor threats of conflict.
The enormous wealth which is squandered on weapons of destruction, could then be diverted to good works.
There would be no more poverty, because, if men loved one another, those who had more than enough, would give to those in want.
There would be no more prisons, because, there would be no more criminals.
There would be no need for a police force, because, everyone would do his duty of his own accord.
The reign of love, which is the reign of Jesus Christ, would triumph upon earth.
Excessive wealth and the selfish love of ease and pleasure, would disappear on one hand, while, on the other, the extreme need of those who can never be sure of a meal, nor of a roof over their heads, would be palliated, until they had been raised to a standard of living, consistent with the laws of God and with the dignity of men.
The love of our neighbour as ourselves, would solve every individual and social problem in this life.
Men would grow into a vast community of brothers devoid of all barriers of hate, selfishness and greed.
This is not a Utopian dream, because it is the clear teaching of the Gospel.
Jesus did not preach the impossible.
He taught us the standards of the perfect life, which we are all obliged to try and lead.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote/s of the Day – 9July – Sheep in the midst of wolves – .Matthew 10:16

Quote/s of the Day – 9July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 46: 1-7, 28-30; Psalms 37: 3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40; Matthew 10:16-23

“Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Be, therefore, wise as serpents
and simple as doves.”

Matthew 10:16

“But above all these things have charity,
which is the bond of perfection.”

Colossians 3:14

“What is the surest kind of witness?
“Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ
came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2)
and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…
How many there are each day
of these hidden martyrs of Christ
who confess the Lord Jesus!
… So be faithful and courageous
in interior persecutions
so that you may also win
the victory in exterior persecutions.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“When he has begun to follow me,
according to My teaching and precepts,
he will find many people contradicting him
and standing in his way,
many who not only deride but even persecute him.
Moreover, this is true,
not only of pagans who are outside the Church
but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly
but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds.
Although these glory,
in merely the title of Christian,
they continually persecute faithful Christians.”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)

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Thought for the Day – 27 June – Depending Always on Jesus

Thought for the Day – 27 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Depending Always on Jesus

“Virtue is difficult and life holds more trials than consolations.
Sometimes, we feel discouraged because virtue seems impossible and we fall so often, in spite of our best resolutions or because, our cross seems too heavy and we feel that we are overburdened.

Where will we find comfort in our sufferings and strength in our weakness?
“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
Go to Jesus and depend always on Him.

Difficulties will be overcome, the cross will grow lighter, the pain will be less severe, if we rely always on Jesus.
Isaias, the Prophet, placed these words on the lips of God: “I have made you and I will bear-I will carry and I will save” (Is 46:3).
At that time, Jesus had not yet come; He was not yet present among us with His doctrine, with His consoling spirt and with His Divine Eucharist.
Now things are different; we have Emmanuel, God with us!
Why, therefore, do we not allow ourselves to be carried by Him?
It is necessary for us to allow ourselves to be “Carried by the grace of God,” (Bk II, Ch 9) as The Imitation of Christ puts it.

If God is with us, who or what can prevail against us?

We must, as St Francis de Sales writes, lean on the arm of Jesus, as the child leans securely on the arm of it’s mother.
“It matters little,” he adds, “where she walks, on a grassy plain or on a steep path surrounded by precipices.”
She, is his mother and she carries him; that is enough to make him happy and content.
We must trust Jesus in this way, relying always on His support in joy and in sorrow, in moments of trial and in moments of satisfaction, in life and in death.
Let us not be afraid; Jesus is better and stronger than our earthly mother.
If He guides and supports us, we can be sure of Heaven, no matter what happens!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “The road that leads to life” … Matthew 7:14

One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Genesis 13: 2, 5-18, Psalms 15: 2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5, Matthew 7: 6, 12-14

“The road that leads to life” … Matthew 7:14

REFLECTION – “This, beloved, is the way in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest who offers our gifts, the patron and helper in our weakness (Heb 10:20; 7:27; 4:15). It is through Him, that we look straight at the heavens above. Through Him, we see mirrored, God’s faultless and transcendent countenance. Through Him, the eyes of our heart were opened. Through Him, our unintelligent and darkened mind shoots up into the light. Through Him, the Master was pleased to let us taste the knowledge that never fades, He who is “the radiance of His splendour, who towers as much above the angels, as the title He has inherited, is superior to theirs” (He 1:3-4) (…)

Let us take our body. The head is nothing without the feet and the feet are nothing without the head. The smallest organs of our body are necessary and valuable to the whole body, in fact, all parts conspire and yield the same obedience, toward maintaining the whole of the body (cf.1 Co 12:12f.).
Therefore, let the whole of our body be maintained in Christ Jesus and let each submit to their neighbour’s rights in the measure determined by the special gift bestowed on them. Let the strong care for the weak and the weak respect the strong; let the rich support the poor and the poor render thanks to God for giving them the means of supplying their needs; let the wise show their wisdom, not in words but in active help; the humble must not testify to themselves but leave it to another to testify in their behalf. Those who are continent must not boast, knowing that it is another who confers on them the ability to remain continent.

Let us, therefore, reflect brethren, of what clay we were made, what and who we were when we entered the world, out of what grave and darkness, our Maker and Creator has brought us into the world, where He has prepared His benefits before our birth. Since, then, we owe all these blessings to Him, we are obliged to thank Him in every way.” … St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99) – Pope from c 90 to c 99 – Letter to the Corinthians, § 36-38

PRAYER – Increase in us, Lord, Your gift of faith, so that the praise we offer You, may ever yield its fruit from heaven, May the Spirit pour into our hearts, that we may walk in Your light and become like You. May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Grace and all Your Saints, help us in our striving for holiness. Through Christ, our Lord in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
SWEET HEART of my JESUS, Make me love Thee ever more and more! – Indulgence 300 Days Everytime – Plenary Once a Month – Raccolta 162 – Bl Pius IX 26 November 1876.

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Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – “You shall love the Lord your God”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – “Mary’s Month” Readings: Acts 20:17-27, Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21, John 17:1-11

“I pray for them … because they are thine
and everything of mine is thine
and everything of thine is mine.”

John 17:9-10

“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind.
And the second is like it:
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

Matthew 22:36,39

“On the journey of this life to eternity,
let me carry You in my heart,
following Mary’s example,
who bore You in her arms,
during the flight to Egypt.”

St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

“When you love,
you feel like speaking the whole time
with the one you love,
or at least, you want to look at Him without ceasing.
Prayer is nothing else.
It is the familiar meeting with our Beloved.
We look at Him,
we tell Him we love Him,
we rejoice to be at His feet.”

Bl Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916)

The Christopher Prayer

Father, grant that we may be, bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light, the world around us.
Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit to carry out our mission
of living and following the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand, that by Your grace
our gifts are Your blessings, to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love to give glory to You
in loving all and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire to go forth as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ bearers,
that in seeing us only He is visible.
Amen

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One Minute Reflection – 17 May – ‘Take heart, I have conquered the world.’ John 16:33

One Minute Reflection – 17 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Seventh week of Easter, Readings: Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68:2-7, John 16:29-33 and the Memorial of St Paschal Baylon OFM (1540-1592)

“In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart, I have conquered the world.” ... John 16:33

REFLECTION – “Let nothing intervene to hinder the progress of any who travel alongside each other, in this evangelical life but let us walk with agile step though the road be rough and hard, let us show a brave and manly spirit, overcome obstacles, pass along from pathway to pathway, from hill to hill, until we climb onto the mountain of the Lord and make a home for ourselves in the holy place of His impassibility.

Now, companions assist each other on the way;  so then, my brothers, as the apostle says: “Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6:2) and make up for whatever is lacking to others (cf. 2 Cor 8:14 ; Phil 2:30).   To the negligence that perhaps holds sway today, noble courage will succeed tomorrow, now one is in gloom and then suddenly one rises to the surface and discovers joy again, at one moment our passions rise up but soon God comes to help us, they are broken and calm returns.   For you will only be seen like this yesterday and the day before but, dear friend, you will not always remain the same but the grace of God will draw near you, the Lord will fight for you and perhaps, like the great Antony, you will say:  “Where were you just now?” and he will answer: “I wanted to see your combat.”

For now, let us persevere, children, dear children, let us be patient for a little, brothers, dear brothers.…   Who will be crowned without having fought?   Who will go to rest if he is not tired (cf. 2 Tim 2:5-6)?   Who will gather the fruits of life without having planted virtues in his soul?   Cultivate them, prepare the earth with the greatest care, take trouble over it, sweat over it, children, God’s workers, imitators of the angels, competitors with incorporeal beings, lights for those who are in the world (cf. Phil 2:15)!” … St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Monk – Catechesis 28

PRAYER – Lord God, let the grace of the Holy Spirit come upon us, so that we may hold fast to Your Will with fidelity and love and show it forth by a holy life. May the Mother of our Lord and our Mother and St Paschal Baylon, Servant of the Blessed Sacrament, pray that we may live in the light of our Saviour. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, and the glory of God the Father forever and ever, amen.

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Thought for the Day – 21 April – The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

Thought for the Day – 21 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

“It is a great dignity to be a Christian.
By Baptism, we become sons of God, heirs to Heaven, temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Mystical Body of Jesus, which is the Church.
God’s grace raises us to the supernatural order and makes us, as St Paul expresses it, sharers in the divine nature.
By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit fortifies our faith and gives us the strength to resist the temptations of the devil and to fight like loyal soldiers, for the triumph in ourselves and in others, of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Penance, is our plank of salvation in the shipwreck of sin.

Although, we are all wretched sinners, by this give of the divine mercy, we can recover our lost innocence and return to the grace and friendship of God.
Moreover, in order to prevent us from falling back into sin, Jesus give us Himself in the Blessed Eucharist, which is called, by St Thomas Aquinas, the greatest miracle of His infinite love (Opusculum 56, Officium de festo Corporis Christi, lectures 1-4).

But this is not all.
If it is our vocation for form a family, God consecrates our union at the altar and gives us the graces necessary, to sanctify it, so that it may produce a good Christian family.
If God has called us, on the other hand, to become spiritual fathers of the souls redeemed by His Precious Blood, He raises us to this high dignity, by the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Finally, when we shall have come to the end of our mortal lives, the Priest will be still by our side, to wash away, by the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, the last traces of sin and to comfort us in our passage to eternity.
The whole life of a Christian, is a chain of favours which accompany him, from the cradle to the grave.
We should be grateful to God for the goodness with which He has treated us and continues to treat us.
We should co-operate generously with His gifts by recognising the lofty honour it is, to be a Christian and by living in accordance with this dignity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 17 April – The Storms of Life

Thought for the Day – 17 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Storms of Life

“The Evangelist describes how Jesus got nto a boat one day, alog with His Apostles and and set out across the lake of Genesareth.
Suddenly a great storm arose, so furious, that the waves covered the tiny vessel and threatened to submerge it.
The Apostles were terrified and turned to Jesus but, He was asleep.
They woke Him, crying out: “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He sat up and said to them: “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
Then, He rebuked the wind and the sea and immediately all was calm again.
His followers were astonished.
“What manner of man is this,” they asked one another, “that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mt 8:23-26; Mk 4:36-49; Lk 8:22-25).

We also are often subjected to the tempests of life.
Sometimes, these storms, are purely interior, as when our lower impulses threaten to overcome our good resolutions and to submerge our purity of soul.
In these serious crises, we should turn humbly and fervently to Jesus for help.
Sometimes perhaps, Jesus will seem to be asleep and deaf to our anguished entreaties.
But it is never so!
He simply wishes to test us, as He tested His Apostles on the lake of Genesareth.

We must persevere.
We must tell Him that we do not wish to lose His grace, that we do not wish to fall into sin but desire to go on loving Him.
If our prayers are humble and insistent, we may rest assured, that after our moment of trial, Jesus Christ will speak to us.
At the sound of His Voice, the tempest will be stilled and there will come, a great calm.
Then, we shall experience the peace, which only God can give.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 11 April – Faith , Hope and Trust

Quote/s of the Day – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31

“According to your faith,
be it done to you.”

Matthew 9:30

“He [Christ], protects their faith
and gives strength to believers,
in proportion to the TRUST,
that each man,
who receives that strength,
is willing to place in Him.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church

“Place all your trust in God,
let Him be your fear and your love.
He will answer for you,
He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home.
You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be
and you shall have no rest,
until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here
when this is not the place of your repose?”

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

“He who trusts in God
can do all things.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

Posted in I BELIEVE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty Seven of our Lenten Journey – 15 March – ‘God does not deceive you …’

Day Twenty Seven of our Lenten Journey – 15 March – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 65:17-21, Psalms 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12 and 13, John 4:43-54

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” … John 4:48

“Whoever examines the majesty of God will be crushed by His glory” (Prv 25:27 Vg).
God can do works that pass man’s understanding. …
Faith is required of you and sincerity of life, not high intelligence, nor penetrating knowledge of the mysteries of God.
If you do not understand nor grasp what is below you, how will you comprehend what is above you?
Be subject to God, submit your feeling to the faith and the light of knowledge will be given to you, as much as you need and can use.

Some have grave temptations concerning faith in the Blessed Sacrament, which are not to be imputed to them but rather, to the enemy.
Take no notice, do not argue with your thoughts, nor answer the doubts with which the devil attacks you, believe God’s word, believe His saints and prophets and the wicked enemy will be routed.
It is often most profitable to God’s servant to endure such things.
For the devil does not tempt the infidel or sinner, of whom he has already secure possession but, he uses various means to tempt and harass the devout faithful.

Go on then, with simple unquestioning faith and approach the Sacrament with reverent beseeching.
Anything you cannot understand, commit it surely to God who is omnipotent.
God does not deceive you, the over-confident person deceives himself.
God walks in step with the simple ones, He shows Himself to the humble ones, He grants understanding to the little ones, “He reveals hidden meanings to little ones” and hides away His grace from the inquisitive and the proud.
Human reason is feeble and fallible but true faith cannot be deceived.
All use of reason, all human inquiry should walk in the footsteps of faith, it should not go on, in front of it, nor call it in question.
(Book4 Ch 18)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 20 February – Doing Everything for the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 20 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Doing Everything for the Love of God

“The beginning of perfection consists in doing the will of God, even in our smallest actions.
But, to do everything for the love of God, is the summit of Christian perfection.
If we aimed always at doing God’s will and acting from the motive of love for Him, we should be contented and at peace, because we should be holy.
The saints are the only people who remain calm and undisturbed in the midst of worldly adversity.
They are always content, because they live in God.
Their lives are in full conformity with His Will, guided by His Love and dedicated to His Service.
As a result, they live in a kind of spiritual stratosphere far above the storms of this world.
There they are above the clouds of pride, ambition, avarice and all the other major vices.
There they see and contemplate everything in the Light of God.
Let us become saints.
Then we shall have solved all the problems of life!.” Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SOLITUDE, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 February – “Come away … ” Mark 6:31

One Minute Reflection – 8 February – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time Readings: Hebrews 13:15-1720-21Psalms 23:1-33-456Mark 6:30-34 and the Memorial of Saint Amand of Maastricht (c 584-c 679) Bishop

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile” … Mark 6:31

REFLECTION – “If you wish to come and find Me, seek me aside. As Mark says: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile. People were coming and going in great numbers and they had no opportunity even to eat.” (Mk 6:31).
Alas, such are the passions of the flesh and the turmoil of thoughts coming and going in our hearts that we have no time to eat the food of everlasting sweetness, nor perceive the taste of interior contemplation. That is why our Lord says: “Come away” from the noisy crowd “to a deserted place,” to solitude of mind and heart, “and rest awhile.” For truly, as the book of Revelation says: “There will be silence in heaven for about half an hour” (Rv 8:1); and in the Psalm: “Who will give me wings like a dove that I might fly away and find rest” (Ps 54[55]:7 LXX).
But let us listen to what the prophet Hosea says: “I will seduce her and lead her into the wilderness and I will speak to her heart” (cf. Hos 2:16 Vg). These three expressions: seduce, lead into the wilderness, speak to her heart, represent the three stages of the spiritual life – the beginning, development and perfection. The Lord seduces the beginner when He enlightens him with His grace so that he may grow and progress from virtue to virtue. Then he leads him aside from the din of the vices and disordered thoughts, into peace of spirit. Finally, once guided to perfection, God speaks to his heart. Then the soul experiences the sweetness of divine inspiration and can surrender totally to joy of spirit.
What depth of devotion, of wonderment and happiness in his heart! By devotion, he is raised above himself, through wonder, he is led above himself, through happiness, he is transported out of himself.
” … St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the feast of Saint John the Evangelist

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our hearts be eternally longing for that time alone with You, our one true Love. May our worldly duties be such that they never impede our progress in devotion and may the intercession of our Holy Mother, St Amand and all the saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.

Posted in DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART

Thought for the Day – 3 February – Religion and Devotion

Thought for the Day – 3 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Religion and Devotion

“Religion, should not be a cold, mehcanical practice of obedience to the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church.
Deep spiritual devotion and supernatural charity are necessary, as well as religion.
In other words, religion should not be merely external but, should spring from the mind and heart, this is devotion, which is the spirit of religion.
“Devotion,” wites Aquinas, “seems to be the determination to give one’s self readily to the service of God” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 82, a 2, ad 1).
But this determination should be loving and effective because, as St Thomas also observes, “charity generates devotion” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 82, a 2, ad 2).

St Francis de Sales analysed and expanded these ideas.
“True and living devotion,” he writes, “presupposes the love of God – indeed, it really is a true love of God… but a love… which has reached that height of perfection at which it not only causes us to act but, to act zealously, frequently and promptly…” (Introduction to the Devout Life, Bk I, C 1).
He continues: “Since devotion consists in an unique degree of charity, it not only makes us prompt, active and zealous in the observance of all the divine commands but, incites us, furthermore, to perform readily and lovingly, as many good works as we can… even if they are only recommended or suggested” (Ibid).
From this solid and sincere devotion flows, that taste for divine things, that inner gentleness and peace of spirit which the Saints enjoyed, even in the midst of sorrow and disillusionment.
It is the spontaneous homage of the mind and heart, that God wants most of all.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/06/thought-for-the-day-6-february-religion-and-devotion/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – Run, … do not stay asleep

Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – Saturday after Epiphany

“He must increase
but I must decrease.”

John 3:30

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips
and the world in your heart.”

St Ignatius of Antioch (37-105)
Bishop & Martyr

“You hide your heart from man –
hide it from God if you can.
… Where will you go?
Where will you flee?
Do you want to hear some advice?
If you want to flee from Him – flee to Him.
Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him, by hiding,
for you cannot hide but you can Confess.
Tell Him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7)
and let there be nursed in yo,
the love that alone leads to life.”

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

“If we would God discern
The world we must despise,
His love and hate must learn,
See all things with His eyes.
And we must self forgo
If God we would attain,
His grace must in us grow
And ease us from all pain.
So shall we sing His praise
And be at one with Him,
In peace our voices raise
In the celestial hymn,
That with quadruple harmony
And all mellifluous melody,
In Heaven resounds eternally.”

Bl Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381)

Embrace, then, Jesus crucified,
raising to Him the eyes of your desire!
Consider His burning love for you,
which made Jesus pour out His blood
from every part of His body!
Embrace Jesus crucified,
loving and beloved and in Him,
you will find true life because He is God made man.
Let your heart and your soul burn
with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!
… You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus!
Run, … do not stay asleep
because time flies and does not wait one moment!
Dwell in God’s sweet love!”

St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

“Without the Way, there is no going,
Without the Truth, there is no knowing,
Without the Life, there is no living.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Merit and the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Merit and the Love of God

“The more we know, writes St Catherine of Siena, the more we love and the more we love, the more we receive.
Our merit, she concludes, increases in accordance with the measure of our love (Dialogues, c 131).
We tend to judge men on the strength of their achievements and to judge ourselves, according to the degree of success which we have attained.
Our standards could hardly be more false.
How much soever each one is in Thy eyes,” the author of The Imitation of Christ cries out to God in the words of St Francis, “so much is he and no more” (Bk III, c 50).

It is not success which counts with God and still less, human esteem.
What matters with God, is our intention of pleasing Him and of working for His glory, from the motive of pure love.
If we are successful in our work, let us praise God.
If we are unsuccessful, let us thank Him, just the same.
Our merit is commensurate with our love for God.
If we love Him very much, we shall work hard and make sacrifices for His sake.
We must work to satisfy God alone, however and not, for ourselves.
If we work for any other purpose, all our labour is wasted.
We sow abundantly and reap little or nothing.
God alone matters.
If we work only for Him, we shall be blessed by Him and shall reap the fruits of everlasting life.
Amen!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – Shine like that star – St Pope Leo the Great

One Minute Reflection – 7 January – The Second Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 3:22 – 4:6, Psalms 2:7-8, 10-12, Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25 and the Memorial of St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275) “Father of Canon Law”

“ …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 4:16

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 Church

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 St Raymond of Peñafort , our way may be smoothed and our troubles eased. We ask this through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MARIAN QUOTES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – St Basil and St Gregory Nazianzen

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)

“… In the conceitedness of our souls,
without taking the least trouble
to obey the Lord’s commandments,
we think ourselves worthy
to receive the same reward
as those who have resisted sin to the death!”

“A tree is known by its fruit,
a man by his deeds.
A good deed is never lost,
he who sows courtesy,
reaps friendship
and he who plants kindness,
gathers love.”

“There is still time for endurance,
time for patience,
time for healing,
time for change.
Have you slipped?
Rise up!
Have you sinned?
Cease!
Do not stand among sinners
but leap aside!”

“O sinner, be not discouraged
but have recourse to Mary
in all you necessities.
Call her to your assistance,
for such is the divine Will
that she should help
in every kind of necessity.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Grace is given, not to those who speak [their faith]
but to those, who live their faith.”

“Remember God
more often
than you breathe!”

“Let us become like Christ,
since Christ became like us.
He assumed the worse,
that He might give us the better;
He became poor,
that we through His poverty,
might be rich.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/02/quote-s-of-the-day-2-january-the-memorial-of-st-basil-the-great-329-379-and-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-330-390-fathers-doctors-of-the-church/

Posted in NOTES to Followers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

My Wishes to You All for a Blessed and Grace-filled 2021

My Wishes to You All
for a Blessed and Grace-filled 2021

Do not let love and fidelity forsake you,
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then will you win favour and esteem
before God and human beings.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely.
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:3-6

“We implore You,
O All-Holy, Long-Suffering
Life and Restoration,
Source of goodness,
look down from heaven
and visit all those
who ever trust in You;
rescue our life, Lord,
from all constraint and affliction,
and, in the faith of truth, guide us all.
At the prayers of the
Immaculate Mother of God and Virgin,
Save your world
and those in the world
and spare us all,
You who, for us,
became man without change,
only Lover of mankind.”

St Romanos the Melodios (c 490-c 556)

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, POETRY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – “If you want…”

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – O Emmanuel

“In adoring our Saviour’s birth,
it is our origin that we celebrate.
Christ’s temporal generation
is the source of the Christian people,
the birth of His Mystical Body.
All of us encounter in this Mystery,
a new birth in Christ.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“If you want,
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy,
and say, “I need shelter for the night.
Please take me into your heart, my time is so close. ”

Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy, the divine, the Christ,
taking birth forever, as she grasps your hand for help;
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yet there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally, through your womb,
dear pilgrim – the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help;
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the street
pregnant with Light and sing…”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Mystical Doctor of the Church

“No-one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have everything,
look down on others,
those who have no need,
even of God- for them
there will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that Someone.
That Someone is God.
Emmanuel.
God-with-us.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.”

St Óscar Romero (1917-1980)
Priest Martyr

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The ANNUNCIATION, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 20 December – O Clavis David/O Key of David

Advent Reflection – 20 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12, 14, 16, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38

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

O KEY OF DAVID,
and Sceptre of the House of Israel,
who opens and no-one shuts,
who shuts and no-one opens.
Come and bring forth the captive from his prison,
he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:32-33

REFLECTION“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary.” What is said of the house of David applies not only to Joseph but also to Mary. It was a precept of the law that each man should marry a wife from his own tribe and kindred. Saint Paul also bears testimony to this when he writes to Timothy: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my Gospel” (2 Tm 2:8) …

“He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” The angel refers to the kingdom of the Israelite nation as the throne of David because, in his time, by the Lord’s command and assistance, David governed it with a spirit of faithful service … As David had once ruled the people with temporal authority, so Christ would now lead them to the eternal kingdom by His spiritual grace …

“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.. The house of Jacob here refers to the universal Church which, through its faith in and witness to Christ, shares the heritage of the patriarchs. This may apply either to those who are physical descendants of the patriarchal families, or to those who come from gentile nations and are reborn in Christ by the waters of baptism. In this house Christ shall reign forever and “of his kingdom there will be no end.”
During this present life, Christ rules in the Church. By faith and love He dwells in the hearts of His elect and guides them by His unceasing care toward their heavenly reward. In the life to come, when their period of exile on earth is ended, He will exercise His Kingship, by leading the faithful to their heavenly country. There, forever inspired by the vision of His presence, their one delight will be, to praise and glorify Him.” – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Priest and Monk, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies for Advent, no 3

PRAYER – Lord, at the angel’s message, Mary, the immaculate Virgin became the temple of God and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, when she received Your divine Word. Grant that, after her example, we may humbly and steadfastly follow Your will. Through Christ the Incarnate Word, our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all ages, amen.

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

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

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

The Lamb of God

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

John 1:29

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

1 Corinthians 1:18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thought for the Day – 11 December – Christ’s Work in Us

Thought for the Day – 11 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Christ’s Work in Us

“It is not enough that Jesus live in us ; He must increase and act in us continually.
The Spiritual life is like natural life.
It cannot stop, for to halt would mean death!
If Jesus is our life, He should live in us with ever-increasing intensity.
Life is like a stairway, we are either going up or coming down.

If we continue to climb energetically towards Jesus, we shall be coming nearer to Christian perfection.
If, on the other hand, we halt, the supernatural life of Jesus in us, will begin to weaken.
Tepedity will replace fervour and sin will succeed tepidity.
It is difficult to remain unchanged because, life involves movement.
‘Jesus Christ,” writes St Augustine, “was born a baby but, He did not remain one. He grew to boyhood, to adolescence and then, to maturity.”

It is necessary for us to grow also.
More precisely, it is necessary that Jesus grow continuously in us through faith, charity and good works.
“Court the good,” admonishes St Paul, “from a good motive always … until Christ is formed in you” (Gal 4:18-19).

It is not enough that Christ be born in us, it is necessary that He increase to the fullness of perfection (Cf Eph 4:13-16).
“Jesus increases daily,” writes Origen, “in the soul of the holy and just man, which mirror His grace, His wisdom and His sanctity. In the soul of the unfortunate sinner, however, Christ decreases and dies.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Mary, our Hope!

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

REFLECTION – “If, as the Apostle declares, faith is nothing else than the substance of things to be hoped for” (Heb 11:1) everyone will easily allow, that our faith is confirmed and our hope aroused and strengthened, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The Virgin was kept the more free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ and she, was the Mother of Christ, that the hope of everlasting happiness, might be born again in our souls.

Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Rv 12:1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head.

The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth and was in pain to be delivered” (Rv 12:2). John, therefore, saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains, show the love and desire, with which the Virgin from heaven above, watches over us and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfilment of the number of the elect.

This same charity we desire that all should earnestly endeavour to attain, taking special occasion from … feasts in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” … Saint Pius X (1835-1914) Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum”

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749)
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BEATITUDES, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints, Readings: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 1 John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12

REFLECTION – “Rejoice in the Lord without ceasing (cf. Phil 4:4), my dear children. I beg you rejoice, citizens of heaven but exiles on earth, inhabitants of the Jerusalem on high (cf. Gal 4:26) but banished from affairs here below, inheritors of the kingdom of heaven but disinherited from taking any part at all, in earthly pleasures! Rejoice, ardent travellers, at undergoing exile and maltreatment in a foreign land in the name of the commandment of God! Rejoice, you who are last in this world but lords of blessings that exceed our understanding (cf. Phil 4:7).
Rejoice, noble company, brought together by God, assembly united in heart and soul, who give life to filial and fraternal love, a replica on earth of the host of angels! (…) Rejoice, God’s workers, apostolic men. (…) Rejoice, you who set your joy in each other, each making his own the reputation of his brother, you in whom is found neither jealousy, rivalry nor envy but, in their place, peace and charity and life in common. In truth, I do not say that we are not attacked – indeed, who is crowned if not the one who struggles and fights, who exchanges thrusts and wounds with his assailants? – but I say that we should not let ourselves be brought down by the machinations of Satan.
Yes, my children, assembly of God, nourish yourselves with the food of the Spirit and drink the water given by the Lord: whoever comes to possess this water will never thirst again but it will become, in Him, a spring of living water welling up to eternal life (cf. Jn 4:14). (…) Yet a little while and we shall have vanquished. And blessed shall we be; blessed also, it shall be said, are the places, family and countries that have borne you (cf. Lk 11:27-28).” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) – Catechesis 47 (The Great Catecheses)

PRAYER – Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, our trusted guide and loving mother and all you holy Saints of the Church Triumphant, pray for us! We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 September – St Jerome

Quote/s of the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor, “The Man of the Bible”

A Light for Our Path
By St Jerome

O Lord,
You have given us Your word
for a light to shine upon our path,
grant us so to meditate on that word
and follow its teaching,
that we may find in it,
the light that shines more and more
until the perfect day.
Amen

“Let sleep find you holding your Bible
and when your head nods,
let it be resting on the sacred page.”

“Someone who shows no clemency,
who is not clothed with the bowels of mercy and tears,
no matter what sort of student he is in spirituality,
such a one does not fulfil the law of Christ.”

“Instead of speaking saintly words,
we must act them.”

“If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews
without food in the desert,
for fear that they would collapse on the way,
it was to teach us,
that it is dangerous
to try to get to Heaven,
without the Bread of Heaven.”

“You say in your book that while we live,
we are able to pray for each other
but afterwards, when we have died,
the prayer of no person for another, can be heard.
But if the apostles and martyrs,
while still in the body, can pray for others,
at a time, when they ought still be solicitous,
about themselves,
how much more will they do so,
after their crowns, victories and triumphs?”

(St Jerome from ‘Against Vigilantius,’ 406)

St Jerome wrote to Augustine in 418:
“You are known throughout the world;
Catholics honour and esteem you
as the one who has established anew the ancient Faith.”

Many more here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/30/quotes-of-the-day-30-september-st-jerome-speaking-of-holy-scripture/

https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/quote-s-of-the-day-30-september-memorial-of-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor/

https://anastpaul.com/2017/09/30/quotes-of-the-day-30-september-the-memorial-of-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor/

St Jerome (343-420)
“The Man of the Bible”
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 29 September – Frequent Confession and Communion, Part One

Thought for the Day – 29 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Frequent Confession and Communion – Part One

“Among the efficacious means of self-sanctification, are frequent Confession and Holy Communion.
Confession purifies the soul of sin, into which, unfortunately, we continue to fall and confers sacramental grace, through which we are fortified against the assaults of the devil.
It also gives us an opportunity of being guided on the right road by our Confessor, who knows our secret failings and will give us, in God’s name, words of encouragement, comfort and spiritual direction.
We should frequently receive this Sacrament of God’s mercy – in fact, those who are striving after holiness, should go to Confession every week, or, at least every fortnight.
Even if we have not committed grave sin, when we examine ourselves before God, we shall find many faults and failings.
The Holy Spirit reminds us that, even the just man sins seven times a day, which means many times.
“The just man falls seven times” (Prov 24:16).
“If we say that we have no sin” writes St John, “we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8).
Since then, we are all poor sinners and Jesus, in His infinite goodness has given us this means of purifying our souls, we should not neglect to use it to remain in the state of grace.
Frequent Confession, is not difficult.
On the contrary, if we have the proper disposition, it can be a great comfort and consolation to us.
There is not greater solace than to possess the grace of God and to be pure and free from all sin.
Furthermore, by remaining in venial sin, we are in danger of drifting gradually into more grievous sin and, into a state of tepidity, which is so dangerous, as well as so displeasing to God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci