One Minute Reflection – 15 May – “Mary’s Month” – Readings: Acts 18: 23-28, Psalms 47: 2-3, 8-9, 10, John 16: 23-28
“In that day you will ask in my name” – John 16:26
REFLECTION – “At the end of our prayers we say: “Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord” and not “Through the Holy Spirit.” This practice of the universal Church is not without reason. At its root lies the mystery according to which Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), a Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek, He who, with His own blood, entered into the Holy of holies, not that which was only a copy but into heaven itself, where He is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Heb 6:20; 9:24).
It was in His consideration of Christ’s Priesthood, that the Apostle said: “Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Heb 13:15). It is through Him that we offer the sacrifice of praise and prayer because it is His death that r,econciled us while we were still enemies (Rom 5:10). He willed to offer Himself in sacrifice for our sakes and, since then, it is through Him, that our offerings can be acceptable in God’s sight. This is why Saint Peter warns us in these words: “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 2:5). This is the reason why we say to God the Father: “Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord.” – Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-532) – Bishop in North Africa – Letter 14,36
PRAYER – Since it is from You, God our Father, that redemption comes to us, Your adopted children, look with favour on the family You love, hear our prayer as we unite our voices in the name of Your Son, our Lord and Redeemer. May our faith, love and joy in Christ bring us all alike to our eternal heritage and may the prayer of His blessed Mother and ours lead us safely home. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, loving Father, forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 13 May – Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322-1333) Child Mystic, Virgin. Born in 1322 AS Imelda Dpmenica Lambertini at Bologna, Italy and died on the Feast of the Ascension, 12 May 1333 Bologna, Italy. Patronage – First Communicants (named by Pope Saint Pius X).
Imelda Lambertini was born of a noble family in Bologna, Italy in 1322. Her parents raised her to love her Catholic faith and through their influence she developed a love for prayer, especially for the Mass. Often she would attend Mass and Compline (Night Prayer of the Divine Office) at a nearby Dominican Church. Her mother also taught Imelda to cook and sew for the poor and cultivated in her child an eagerness to perform the corporal works of mercy. Even so, her mother and father, both of whom were getting on in years, were surprised when Imelda asked permission at the tender age of nine to go to live with the Dominican nuns at a neighbouring Monastery. As difficult a decision as this was, her parents evidently sensed the depth of their child’s desire and entrusted her spiritual formation to the Dominicans at Val di Pietra.
At this distance of centuries and culture it is not easy to determine precisely what little Imelda’s status was at the Convent. It seems she was well loved by the Sisters, who allowed her to wear the Dominican habit, to pray with them and to follow their way of life, to the extent that a little girl would be able to do, while still remaining a child. Imelda, we are told, longed (and intensely, it seems) to be allowed to receive Holy Communion with the nuns but in that day, such a thing would have been unheard of for a child her age. Her pleading was again and again gently refused, with the explanation that she would need to wait until she was older and more prepared.
For a time Imelda had to be content with this answer, meanwhile learning to chant Office from hearing the nuns in choir and developing her own interior prayer life in simple childlike ways. The saints, whose stories she had learned from her parents and from the nuns, became her “secret companions” and probably had a hand, in nurturing the longing she felt, to receive Jesus intimately in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In her private conversations with Jesus, with whom she was developing a deep friendship, we can imagine that she often made known her desire to be allowed to receive Communion. There is no evidence that He put up any opposition to the proposal—but neither did the Sisters relent. And so, Imelda continued, with the intensity of a child, to get to know Jesus more deeply and to desire Him all the more.
As spring approached, the sisters, who perhaps thought that they had succeeded in diverting Imelda’s “childish fancy” to go to Communion with the grown-ups, were a bit startled when she asked again, shortly before the Feast of the Ascension, to receive her First Holy Communion. (“Asked,” in fact, is not the word. She begged them insistently, it seems.) When the Chaplain was consulted, he agreed with the Sisters and responded with no hesitation that Imelda was much too young. On the Vigil of the Ascension Imelda was in her place in the Chapel, quietly praying as the Sisters received Communion. Then Jesus did a little “insisting” of His own. After Mass, as one of the nuns was clearing the Altar, she heard a noise and looked up to the choir to see Imelda, a glowing light shining above her head, with the Sacred Host suspended in the light.
The Chaplain was called at once and he understood that Jesus Himself was making his desire known. “Let the little children come to Me and do not stop them.” The Priest gave Imelda her First Holy Communion.
We can well imagine that the nuns were amazed and thrilled both at the great blessing to their little one and to their Convent. The Prioress allowed Imelda to remain for some time in thanksgiving and then sent for her to come and have her breakfast. Imelda was still kneeling as they had left her, a smile on her face. Yet when called for, Imelda’s body was still. She had died of pure joy. Her thanksgiving had been well completed and she had nothing left to desire.
Imelda’s story is so well entrenched in the collective memory of her Dominican Brothers and sisters, that it has remained firmly in the Order’s history. She continues to offer the witness of a child with mature desires,and a faith unspoiled in its intensity.
Imelda understood instinctively what many of us have forgotten – that it is the single-hearted who are blessed and that unless we become like children we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Lord Jesus Christ, You received into heaven Blessed Imelda, who loved You in the Eucharistic banquet. By her prayers, may we learn to approach Your holy table with that same fervent love and so fulfill our longing to be with You, Who live and reign with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
General Calendar of the Order of Preachers
Her remains are kept in Bologna at the Church of San Sigismondo, beneath the wax effigy of her likeness. Blessed Imelda was Beatified on 20 December 1826 by Pope Leo XIII.
Our Morning Offering – 2 May – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary Before Holy Mass
O most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of tenderness and mercy, I, a miserable and unworthy sinner, fly to you with all the affection of my heart and I beseech your motherly love, that, as you stood by your most dear Son, while He hung on the Cross, so, in your kindness, you may be pleased to stand by me, a poor sinner, and all Priests who today are offering the Sacrifice here and throughout the entire holy Church, so that with your gracious help we may offer a worthy and acceptable oblation in the sight of the most high and undivided Trinity. Amen.
(This prayer is adapted from the Priests’ Prayers Before each Mass)
Quote/s of the Day – 1 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
“We will follow You, Lord Jesus. But in order for us to follow You, call us,because without You, no-one will ascend towards You. For You are the way, the truth, the life. You are also our help, our trust, our reward. Welcome those who belong to You, You who are the way; strengthen them, You who are the truth; give them life, You who are the life.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“O you sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? … Behold – daily He humbles Himself as when from heaven’s royal throne He came down into the womb of the Virgin. Daily, He Himself, comes to us with like humility; daily He descends from the bosom of the Father, upon the Altar, in the hands of the Priest.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 April – Friday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 117:1-2, John 6:52-59
“ He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and, I in him. ” … John 6:56
REFLECTION – “This bread you see on the Altar, consecrated by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. This cup consecrated by the word of God, or rather its contents, is the Blood of Christ. In these two elements our Lord desired to hand over, for our veneration and love, His Body and Blood, shed for the remission of our sins. If you have received them with a good disposition, then you are what you have received. As the apostle Paul declares: “We are, all of us, one bread, one body” (1 Cor 10,17)…
This bread reminds you how much you ought to love unity. Was this bread made out of only one wheat grain? To begin with, weren’t there a large number of grains? Before taking on the form of bread, they were separated. It was water that brought them together once they had been ground. If the wheat isn’t first of all, crushed and then soaked, one cannot give it the shape of a loaf.
In the same way, you have been ground down by the humiliation of fasting and the exorcism of the scrutinies. Then the baptismal water came to soak you, so that you could take on the form of bread.
However, we cannot make bread without fire. What represents the fire here? Holy chrism. For the oil that feeds our fire is the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit… On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was revealed in the form of tongues of fire… … Thus the Holy Spirit comes here like fire after water and you become that bread which is the body of Christ. Thus this Sacrament is like a symbol of unity.” – St Augustine (3540430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace – Sermon 227, 4th Sermon for Easter day; to the newly baptised, concerning the Sacrament
PRAYER – Almighty God, You sent Your Son and we have now come to know the grace of His Resurrection. Through Him we live and move and have our being. As we follow Him, He walks with us and leads us to You. Grant we pray, that His Mother and ours, may guide our way to Him and be a solace in our trials. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 9: 1-20 1 And Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 And asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus and suddenly, a light from heaven shone around about him. 4 And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 He said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecute. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. 6 And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? 7 And the Lord said to him: Arise and go into the city and there, it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him, stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the ground and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hand, brought him to Damascus. 9 And he was there three days, without sight and he did neither eat nor drink. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision – Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him: Arise and go into the street that is called Stait and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prays. 12 (And he saw a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) 13 But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that invoke thy name. 15 And the Lord said to him: Go thy way; for this man is to me a vessel of election, to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way and entered into the house. And laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, he that appeared to thee in the way as thou came; that thou may receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes, as it were, scales and he received his sight and rising up, he was baptised.
Gospel: John 6: 52-59 52 The Jews, therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 54 He that eateth my flesh and drinks my blood, has everlasting life and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and, I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father, so he that eats me, the same also shall live by me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eats this bread, shall live forever. 59These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.
One Minute Reflection – 22 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:26-40, Responsorial Psalm 66(65):8-9.16-17.20, John 6:44-51
“The bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.” – John 6:51
REFLECTION – “They are wholly mistaken who reject God’s plan for His creation, deny the salvation of the flesh and scoff at the idea of its regeneration, asserting that it cannot put on an imperishable nature. If the flesh is not saved, then the Lord did not redeem us with His Blood, the Chalice of the Eucharist is not a share in His Blood and the Bread which we break is not a share in His Body (1Cor 10,16). For… the human substance, which the Word of God truly became, redeems us with His Blood…
Since we are His members (1Cor 6,15) and are nourished by His creation… He declared, that the Chalice of His creation is His own Blood, from which He augments our own blood and He affirmed, that the Bread of His creation is His own Body from which He gives growth to our being.
So, when the mixed chalice and the baked loaf receive the word of God and when the Eucharistic elements become the Body and Blood of Christ, which brings growth and sustenance to our bodily frame, how can it be maintained that our flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?
For our flesh feeds on the Lord’s Body and Blood and is His member. So Saint Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Eph 5,30; Gn 2,23). He is not speaking about some spiritual and invisible man…: he is speaking of the anatomy of a real man, consisting of flesh, nerves and bones. It is this that is nourished by His Chalice, the Chalice of His Blood and gains growth from the Bread which is His Body… In the same way, our bodies are nourished by the after being buried in the earth and… rise again in due season, when the word of God confers resurrection upon them “for the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2,11).” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr Against the heresies, V, 2, 2
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, in Your Word, You shed the light of Your glory on the peoples who are living in the shadow of death. By Your Word, You teach us all things and ‘draw’ us in the way of hope and love. For Your Word is Truth and Your Word became flesh and filled our world with the Sun of Justice, Your Son, He who is the Sun and the Truth. May our steps be guided by His Mother, Our Blessed Lady, as we follow in the footsteps of Your Word and be a protection in our trials by the Bread of Life. Through Christ, our Lord Jesus, with You in union with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, amen.
Acts 8: 26-40 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza:=, this is desert. 27 And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the Queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore. 28 And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understand what thou readest? 31 Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth. 33 In humility his judgEment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth? 34 And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip, opening his mouth and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water and the eunuch said: See, here is water, what doth hinder me from being baptised? 37 And Philip said: If thou believe with all thy heart, thou may. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch:and he baptised him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found in Azotus and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Gospel: John 6: 44-51 44 No man can come to me, except the Father, who has sent me, draw him and I will raise him up in the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Everyone that has heard of the Father and has learned, cometh to me. 46 Not that any man has seen the Father but he who is of God, he has seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believes in me, hath everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that if any man eat of it, he may not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.
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.”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap. (1818-1894)
“I am the bread of life; he who comes to me, shall not hunger and he who believes in me, shall never thirst.”
“May Jesus be known, loved and adored by all and be, in every moment, the receiver of thanksgiving, in the most holy and most divine Sacrament.”
Bl Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation (1770-1824)
Prayer of Adoration and Repentance/Night Prayer By St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)
I have come to spend a few moments with You, O Jesus and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust before Your Holy Tabernacle to adore You, my Lord and God, in deepest humility. Once more, a day has come to its close, dear Jesus, another day which brings me nearer to the grave and my beloved heavenly home. Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for You, the true Bread of Life, which contains all sweetness and relish. O my Jesus, mercifully grant me pardon for the faults and ingratitude of this day and come to me, to refresh my poor heart which longs for You. As the heart pants for the waters, as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven, even so does my poor heart long for You, You Fount of Life. I love You, O Jesus, I hope in You, I love You and out of love for You, I regret sincerely all my sins. May Your peace and Your benediction be mine, now and always and for all eternity. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anselm (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church
“I am the bread of life” John 6:35
REFLECTION – “When Christ Himself has said of the bread: “This is my body” who could waver? And when He asserts that “This is my blood” who could be in doubt? Once, in Cana of Galilee, Jesus changed water into wine – which is akin to blood. So who could now refuse to believe it, if He transforms wine into blood? He wrought this amazing miracle when invited to an earthly marriage, so how could anyone refuse to acknowledge that He might grant the happiness of His own Body and Blood, to “the friends of the Bridegroom,” (Mt 9,15)?
For His body, has been given to you under the appearance of bread and His blood, under the appearance of wine, so that, when you have partaken of the body and blood of Christ, you might be one body and one blood with Him. So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”]. His body and blood are diffused through all our members – see, then, how we become participants in the divine nature! Formerly, when He was talking to the Jews, Christ said: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life in you” (Jn 6,53. If the bread and wine only seem to be purely natural substances to you, don’t stop at that… If your senses lead you astray, let your faith reassure you.
So when you draw near to receive him do not do so without respect, holding out the palms of your hands with your fingers spread apart. But since the King is about to rest in your right hand, make a Throne for Him with your left. Receive the Body of Christ in the hollow of your hand and answer: Amen!” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father & Doctor of the Church – Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptised, 22
PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule and feed us with the bread of life, Your Divine Son Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life. May the prayers of Mary our Mother and St AAnselm, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 8: 1b-8 1 There was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all dispersed through the countries of Jude, and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral, and made great mourning over him. 3 But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison. 4 They. therefore. that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God. 5 And Philip going down to the City of Samaria, preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing and seeingthe miracles which he did. 7 For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. 8 And many, taken with the palsy and that were lame, were healed.
Gospel: John 6: 35-40 35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life,-he that comes to me, shall not hunger and he that believeth in me, shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, that you also have seen me and you believe not. 37 All that the Father gives to me, shall come to me; and him that comes to me, I will not cast out. 38 Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him that sent me. 39 Now this is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing but should raise it up agaiin, the last day. 40 And this is the will of my Father that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him, may have life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day.
Thought for the Day – 20 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Frequent Confession and Communion
“The purifying and reforming action of frequent Confession is completed by the practice of receiving Communion, as frequently as possible.
Sacramental Confession gives us the grace of God, while Holy Communion gives us the Author of that grace, Jesus Christ, living and really present, Who comes to dwell in our poor hearts. How can anybody who goes frequently to Confession and Communion sin? How can any man cast himself once more into the clutches of the devil after experiencing the heavenly consolation of the Eucharist?
Do not protest that we are not worthy to go to Holy Communion frequently… It is true that we are not worthy but, we have a great need of this divine nourishment. If we wait until we are worthy, we shall never approach the Sacred Banquet but, if we realise our need of Jesus, we shall want to receive Him everyday. This was the practice of the early Christians, who were persevering in prayer and in the ‘Breaking of Bread’ that is, in receiving Holy Communion. From the divine Eucharist, they gained the courage to endure martyrdom. A good life is a slow martyrdom – we, who must be virtuous, have a continual need of Holy Communion, the food of the strong!”
Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 7:51–8:1, Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21, John 6:30-35
“My dear souls, let us recognise, I pray you, Christ’s infinite charity towards us in the institution of this Sacrament of the Eucharist. In order that our love be a spiritual love, He wills a new heart, a new love, a new spirit for us. It is not with a carnal heart but with a spiritual one, that Christ has loved us with a gratuitous love, a supreme and most ardent love, by way of pure grace and charity. Ah! One needs to love Him back with one’s whole, whole, whole, living, living, living and true, true, true heart!!”
St Lawrence of Brindisi(1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor of the Church
“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist?
It is God, who, as our Saviour, offers Himself each day for us to His Father’s justice.
If you are in difficulties and sorrows, He will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, He will either cure you or give you strength to suffer, so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world and the flesh are making war upon you, He will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist and to win the victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and for eternity. Let us open the door of His Sacred and Adorable Heart and be wrapped about for an instant, by the flames of His love and we shall see, what a God who loves us, can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”
St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
Sweet Sacrament, We Thee Adore
I see upon the Altar placed The Victim of the greatest love. Let all the earth below adore and join the heavenly choirs above: Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore, Oh! make us love Thee more and more.
Jesus! dear Shepherd of the flock, that crowds in love, about Thy feet, Our voices yearn to praise Thee, Lord and joyfully Thy presence greet: Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore, Oh! make us love Thee more and more.
O Precious Blood of Jesus, cleanse my soul from every stain! Most pure Heart of Jesus, purify me! Most humble Heart of Jesus, teach me Thy humility! Sweet Heart of Jesus, communicate to me Thy gentleness and patience! Most merciful Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me! Most loving Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart with love of Thee! Amen
One Minute Reflection – 20 April – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 7:51–8:1, Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21, John 6:30-35
“I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” … John 6:35
REFLECTION – “God, – Whose nature is goodness, Whose substance is love and Whose whole life is benevolence – sent His own Son into the world, the bread of angels, “because of the great love he had for us” (Eph 2,4), because He wanted to show us the meekness of His nature and the affection He has for His children. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3,16).
This is the real bread that the Lord sent from heaven so that we may eat it…; this is what God, in His goodness, has prepared for the poor (Ps 67,9s). For Christ, who came down form heaven for all men and to the level of each one, attracts everything to Himself through His inexpressible goodness; He does not reject anybody and He receives all men who wish to repent. He gives all those who receive Him, the most delicious taste. He is the only one who can fulfill all our desires… and, He adapts Himself in different ways, to one and the other, according to the tendencies, the desires and the appetites of each one…
Everyone finds in Him a different taste… For He does not have the same flavour for the one who repents and for the beginner, for the one who progresses and for the one who is at the end. He does not have the same taste, in an apostolic life and in a contemplative life, nor for the one who makes use of the world and for the one who does not, for the bachelor and for the married man, for the one who fasts and for the one who makes a distinction between the different days and for the one who considers all days alike (Rom 14,5)…
This bread has a sweet taste because it delivers one from all worries, it heals sicknesses, it eases trials, it assists one’s efforts and strengthens one’s hopes…Those who have tasted it hunger for it, those who hunger, will be satisfied.” – Baldwin of Canterbury O.Cist (c 1125-1190) Cistercian Abbot, then Bishop – The Sacrament of the Altar III, 2
PRAYER – Almighty Father, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully to begin this day in Your name and to fill it with the active love for You and our neighbour. By the food You give us, to sustain us on this journey, we are brought to holiness in Your Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, whom You gave to us as our food. May the Mother of Your Son and our mother, lead us to You and be a succour on our way. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 7: 51 -60 51 You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do you also. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels,and have not kept it. 54 Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. 56 And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears and with one accord ran violently upon him. 58 And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.
Gospel: John 6: 30-35 30 They said, therefore, to him: What sign, therefore, dost thou shew, that we may see, and may believe thee? What dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you,Moses gave you not bread from heaven but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. 34 They saidthereforeunto him: Lord, give us always this bread. 35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life, he that comes to me, shall not hunger and he that believes in me, shall never thirst.
Quote/s of the Day – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, mMself.”
“Elizabeth says: ‘Blessed are you because you have believed.’ You also are blessed, because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes, both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.”
St Ambrose of Milan (340-397) Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church
“Have faith and the One you cannot see, is with you.”
“The Lord is near do not be anxious about anything.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)
“Only by faith is He known to be present… He removed His visible presence and left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight, that He might be present in the Sacrament and in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible … ”
Our Morning Offering – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter
My Lord, I am Unworthy! Prayer before Holy Communion By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
My Lord, Who are You and who am I, that I should dare to take You into my body and soul? A thousand years of penance and tears would not be sufficient to make me worthy to receive so royal a Sacrament even once! How much more am I unworthy of it, who fall into sin daily, I, the incorrigible, who approach You so often without due preparation! Nevertheless, Your mercy infinitely surpasses my unworthiness. Therefore, I make bold to receive this Sacrament, trusting in Your love. Amen
Thought for the Day – 16 April– “Month of the Blessed Sacrament” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“St Therese of the Child Jesus truly claimed, that one Holy Communion, made with perfect dispositions, was enough to produce a saint! When we receive Holy Communion properly, we are transformed into Jesus and, therefore, we become holy. We live, no longer as ourselves but, we live in Jesus. Not alone are we purified of all our imperfections but, we are emptied of ourselves in order to receive Jesus into ourselves. Jesus becomes the dominant thought in our minds and the central desire of our hearts.
Holy Commuion, therefore, should be a supernatural miracle which causes us to live the life of Jesus.
This is the reason why the early Christians gathered daily at the Eucharistic table. They felt the need of achieving, everyday, the transformation of their souls into Jesus. They hungered for Jesus, they burned with love for Him, they were one in heart and in soul.
Let us examine ourselves and see if our communions have anything like this effect on us. “Let a man prove himself,” says St Paul “and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the cup, for he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgement to himself ” (1 Cor 2:28-29).
We should examine ourselves before Holy Communion and make an act of sorrow for our sins and imperfections. Then we shall be able to approach Jesus with love and confidence. We need not be afraid, for it is He Who invites us. It is He Who desires to be united with us in order to make us like Himself.
Let us go to Him, with repentance, with humility and with love. Then He will make us holy.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Friday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 5: 34-42, Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 4, 13-14, Gospel: John 6: 1-15 and the Month of the Blessed Sacrament
“And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them”
“O precious and wonderful banquet that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
“Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“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.”
St Jerome (343-420) Father and Doctor of the Church
“O you sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? … Behold – daily He humbles Himself as when from heaven’s royal throne He came down into the womb of the Virgin. Daily, He Himself, comes to us with like humility; daily He descends from the bosom of the Father, upon the altar, in the hands of the priest.”
One Minute Reflection – 16 April – Friday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 5: 34-42, Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 4, 13-14, Gospel: John 6: 1-15
“They gathered up and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves” – John 6:13
REFLECTION – “In the twinkling of an eye the Lord multiplied a little bread. What human beings do in ten months of work, His ten fingers do in an instant … Nevertheless, He didn’t measure this miracle by its power but, according to the hunger of those who were there. If the miracle had been measured by its power, it would be impossible to evaluate it; measured according to the hunger of those thousands of people, the miracle went beyond the twelve baskets. Among artisans, their power is inferior to the customers’ desire; they cannot do everything that is asked of them. Contrary to them, what God accomplishes goes beyond all desire …
When they had been satiated, like the Israelites in past times through the prayer of Moses, they cried out: “This is undoubtedly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” They were referring to the words of Moses: “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you.” Not just any prophet, but “a prophet like me” (Dt 18:15), Who will satiate you with bread in the desert. Like me, He walked on the sea, He appeared in the luminous cloud (Mt 17:5), He freed His people. He handed Mary over to John just like Moses handed over his flock to Joshua … But the bread of Moses was not perfect, it was only given to the Israelites. Because He wanted to show, that His gift is superior to that of Moses and the call to the nations still more perfect, our Lord said: “If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever,” for the bread from God “has come down from heaven” and is given to the whole world (Jn 6:51).” – St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father & Doctor of the Church – Diatessaron, 12, 4-5, 11
PRAYER – Stay with us Lord Jesus, be our companion on our way. In Your mercy enflame our hearts and raise our hope, so that, in union with our brethren, we may share with each other Your food of life. Listen to the prayers of your Angels and Saints and as we entrust ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, may she open our hearts to compassion. Through Your grace with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever amen.
Acts 5: 34-42 34 But one in the council rising up, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, respected by all the people, commanded the men to be put forth a little while. 35 And he said to them: Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do, as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theodas, affirming himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves; who was slain and all that believed him were scattered and brought to nothing. 37 After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the enrolling and drew away the people after him – he also perished and all, even as many as consented to him, were dispersed. 38 And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men and let them alone; for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought; 39 but if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him. 40 And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus and they dismissed them. 41 And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. 42 And every day they ceased not in the temple and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus.
Gospel: John 6: 1-15 1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him because they saw the miracles which he did on them, that were diseased. 3 Jesus, therefore, went up into a mountain and there he sat with his disciples. 4 Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. 5 When Jesus, therefore, had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to try him. for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: 9 there is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes; but what are these among so many? 10 Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. 12 And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. 13 They gathered up, therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. 14 Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. 15 Jesus, therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.
Thought for the Day – 14 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Tabernacle Lamp
“Look up at the lamp quietly glowin before the Taberncle in honour of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, the Light of the world. We also, should be like living lamps of love.
The lamp burns night and day in the Presence of Jesus and burns itself out for Him. For what do we wear out our lives? In useless and unnecessary projects, perhaps for worldly reasons, for the satisfaction of our ego or of our passions? We shall certainly never find peace this way but only disillusionment and remorse.
The lamp is the light in the darkness. Our lives should be a light of good example to others.
The lamp has a flame which gives heat. We should burn with love for God, our one and only good and, for all men, whom we should regard as our brothers in Jesus Christ.
The lamp is raised above the ground and is suspended from tbe ceiling by three chains. We should be above earthly things and should be attached to Heaven by the three chains of faith, hope ad charity. As the lamp opens out, only on top, so should we be open to Heavenly inspirations and closed to worldly preoccupations. God should be tbe centre of our thoughts and our lives should be dedicated to Him. In this way, we shall find peace on earth and happiness hereafter.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 April – Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 32-37, Psalm: Psalms 93: 1ab, 1cd-2, 5, Gospel: John 3: 7b-15
“And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul”
Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.”
“No-one can have God as his father, if he does not have the Church as his mother… The Lord warned us of this when He said: “Whoever is not with me, is against me and whoever does not gather together with me, scatters.” The person who breaks the peace and concord of Christ, acts against Christ; the person who gathers together, outside of the Church, scatters the Church of Christ.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church On the unity of the Church
“No Christian should think of himself as his own master but each should rather so think and act, as though given by God, to be slave to his fellow brothers and sisters.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor
“By nature, each one of us is enclosed, in his own personality but supernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Him. Therefore, He asked His Father “that they may all be One, as We also are one.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
“And so we pray, that, by the same grace, which made the Church Christ’s Body, all its members may remain firm in the unity of that Body, through the enduring bond of love.”
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) Bishop, Father of the Church
Saint of the Day – 6 April – Saint Juliana of Cornillon (c 1192-1258) Nun, Mystic “Apostle of the Blessed Sacrament.” Born in c 1192 or 1103 at Retinnes, Flanders, Belgium and died on 5 April 1258 of natural causes. Patronage– Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. St Juliana is little known but the Church is deeply indebted to her, not only because of the holiness of her life but also because, with her great fervour, she contributed to the institution of one of the most important solemn Liturgies of the year, namely the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. She is also known as Juliana of Mount Cornillon, Julliana, Juliana of Liège.
We know several facts about her life, mainly from a Biography that was probably written by a contemporary cleric; it is a collection of various testimonies of people who were directly acquainted with the Saint.
Juliana was born near Liège, Belgium between 1191 and 1192. It is important to emphasise this place because at that time, the Diocese of Liège was, so to speak, a true “Eucharistic Upper Room.” Before Juliana, eminent theologians had illustrated the supreme value of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and, again in Liège, there were groups of women generously dedicated to Eucharistic worship and to fervent communion. Guided by exemplary Priests, they lived together, devoting themselves to prayer and to charitable works.
Orphaned at the age of five, Juliana, together with her sister Agnes, was entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns at the Convent and leprosarium of Mont-Cornillon. She was taught mainly by a Sister called “Sapienza” [wisdom], who was in charge of her spiritual development to the time Juliana received the religious habit and thus became an Augustinian Nun.
She became so learned that she could read the words of the Church Fathers, of St Augustine and St Bernard in particular, in Latin. In addition to a keen intelligence, Juliana showed a special propensity for contemplation from the outset. She had a profound sense of Christ’s presence, which she experienced by living the Sacrament of the Eucharist especially intensely and by pausing frequently to meditate upon Jesus’ words: “And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20).
When Juliana was 16 she had her first vision, which recurred subsequently several times during her Eucharistic adoration. Her vision presented the moon in its full splendour, crossed diametrically by a dark stripe. The Lord made her understand the meaning of what had appeared to her. The moon symbolized the life of the Church on earth, the opaque line, on the other hand, represented the absence of a liturgical feast for whose institution Juliana was asked to plead effectively, namely, a feast in which believers would be able to adore the Eucharist so as to increase in faith, to advance in the practice of the virtues and to make reparation for offences, to the Most Holy Sacrament.
Juliana, who in the meantime had become Prioress of the convent, kept this revelation that had filled her heart with joy a secret for about 20 years. She then confided it to two other fervent adorers of the Eucharist, Blessed Eva, who lived as a hermit, and Isabella, who had joined her at the Monastery of Mont-Cornillon. The three women established a sort of “spiritual alliance” for the purpose of glorifying the Most Holy Sacrament. They also chose to involve a highly regarded Priest, John of Lausanne, who was a Canon of the Church of St Martin in Liège. They asked him to consult theologians and clerics on what was important to them. Their affirmative response was encouraging.
What happened to Juliana of Cornillon occurs frequently in the lives of Saints. To have confirmation that an inspiration comes from God, it is always necessary to be immersed in prayer to wait patiently, to seek friendship and exchanges with other good souls and to submit all things to the judgement of the Shepherds of the Church. It was in fact Bishop Robert Torote, Liège who, after initial hesitation, accepted the proposal of Juliana and her companions and first introduced the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in his Diocese. Later other Bishops following his example and instituted this Feast in the territories entrusted to their pastoral care.
However, to increase their faith the Lord often asks Saints to sustain trials. This also happened to Juliana who had to bear the harsh opposition of certain members of the clergy and even of the Superior on whom her Monastery depended. Of her own free will, therefore, Juliana left the Convent of Mont-Cornillon with several companions. For 10 years — from 1248 to 1258 — she stayed as a guest at various Monasteries of Cistercian sisters. She edified all with her humility, she had no words of criticism or reproach for her adversaries and continued zealously to spread Eucharistic worship.
She died at Fosses-La-Ville, Belgium, in 1258. In the cell where she lay, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and, according to her biographer’s account, Juliana died contemplating with a last effusion of love Jesus in the Eucharist, Whom she had always loved, honoured and adored.
Jacques Pantaléon of Troyes was also won over to the good cause of the Feast of Corpus Christi during his ministry as Archdeacon in Lièges. It was he, who, having become Pope with the name of Urban IV in 1264, instituted the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Pentecost as a Feast of precept for the universal Church.
In the Bull of its institution, entitled Transiturus de hoc mundo, (11 Aug. 1264), Pope Urban even referred discreetly to Juliana’s mystical experiences, corroborating their authenticity. He wrote: “Although the Eucharist is celebrated solemnly everyday, we deem it fitting, that at least once a year. it be celebrated with greater honour and a solemn commemoration.
Indeed we grasp the other things we commemorate with our spirit and our mind but this does not mean, that we obtain their real presence. On the contrary, in this sacramental commemoration of Christ, even though in a different form, Jesus Christ is present with us in His own substance. While He was about to ascend into Heaven, He said ‘And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Matthew 28:20)”.
The Pontiff made a point of setting an example by celebrating the solemnity of Corpus Christi in Orvieto, the town where he was then residing. Indeed, he ordered that the famous Corporal with the traces of the Eucharistic miracle which had occurred in Bolsena the previous year, 1263, be kept in Orvieto Cathedral — where it still is today.
While a Priest was consecrating the bread and the wine, he was overcome by strong doubts about the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. A few drops of blood began miraculously to ooze from the consecrated Host, thereby confirming what our faith professes.
Urban iv asked one of the greatest theologians of history, St Thomas Aquinas — who at that time was accompanying the Pope and was in Orvieto — to compose the texts of the Liturgical Office for this great Feast. They are masterpieces, still in use in the Church today, in which theology and poetry are fused into glorious prayers. These texts pluck at the heartstrings in an expression of praise and gratitude to the Most Holy Sacrament, while the mind, penetrating the mystery with wonder, recogniSes in the Eucharist, the Living and Real Presence of Jesus, of His Sacrifice of Love, that reconciles us with the Father and gives us salvation.
Although, after the death of Urban iv the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi was limited to certain regions of France, Germany, Hungary and Northern Italy, it was another Pontiff, John XXII who in 1317, re-established it for the universal Church. Since then, the Feast experienced a wonderful development and is still deeply appreciated by the Catholic faithful.
In remembering St Juliana of Cornillon, let us also renew our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As we are taught “Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with His Body and His Blood, with His Soul and His Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic Species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man” (n. 282). (Excerpt – Pope Benedict XVI)
St Juliana was Canonised in 1869 by Blessed Pope Pius IX.
The Saints never failed to find strength, consolation and joy in the Eucharistic encounter. Let us repeat before the Lord present in the Most Blessed Sacrament ,the words of the Eucharistic hymn “Adoro te devote”: [Devoutly I adore Thee]: Make me believe ever more in you, “Draw me deeply into faith, / Into Your hope, into Your love.”
“The masterpiece of Jesus Christ’s love for humanity is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is within our reach. We can all get close to Christ the guest and talk with Him and perceive the warmth of His word. The word! How it inflames the spirits! How will the word of Christ inflame them! We can all get to the altar when He immolates Himself and shouts at us: Look how much I have loved and loved you! And we can all sit at His table and eat the bread and drink the intoxicating wine of charity. “
Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre (1835-1906) Cardinal-Priest
Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – Saturday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: First Reading: Ezekiel 37: 21-28, Responsorial Psalm: Jeremiah 31: 10, 11-12abcd, 13, Verse Before the Gospel: Ezekiel 18: 31, Gospel: John 11: 45-56
“It was to gather into one the dispersed children of God”
“For Your Cross is the Source of all Blessings, the Origin of all Grace. From the weakness of the Cross believers gain strength, glory for shame, life for death. Now, too, the proliferation of sacrifices has ceased – the one Offering of Your Body and Blood fulfills all those different sacrifices offered throughout the world. For You are the true Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). In Yourself You bring to completion all religions of all peoples, so that all these peoples, might make up but one Kingdom.”
St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461) Father and Doctor Unitatis Ecclesiae
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)
Thought for the Day – 17 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Commandments and the Desires of Jesus Christ
“Whoever has Jesus in his heart,” writes St Francis de Sales, “has Him also in his actions.” If God really lives in us, He cannot be inactive but will work with us for our sanctification. Our actions must be the actions of Jesus Christ. Remember that the Gospel says, that a good tree will produce good fruit, while a bad tree will produce bad fruit (Cf Mt 7:17). From the fruits which we produce, we can see clearly, if Jesus is working in us. Holiness consists in accepting the will of God, whatever it is, whether it be sacrifice, sorrow or humiliation. We must allow Jesus to act in us as He desires. Not only must we conform to His holy will but, we must do so, with enthusiasm. We must be obedient instruments of His grace, doing precisely what He wants us to do. If He wishes us to suffer, we must be prepared to do so for Him, knowing that we are participating and, co-operating, in the work of His Redemption. If He desires us to be happy, we should humbly accept happiness from His Hands. Everything must be as Jesus wills. We must transform ourselves into Him, like the white host which first is bread and through the act of consecration, becomes Jesus Christ!”
Our Morning Offering – 28 February – The Second Sunday of Lent
My Lord, I am Unworthy! Prayer before Holy Communion By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Church
My Lord, Who are You and who am I, that I should dare to take You into my body and soul? A thousand years of penance and tears would not be sufficient to make me worthy to receive so royal a Sacrament even once! How much more am I unworthy of it, who fall into sin daily, I, the incorrigible, who approach You so often without due preparation! Nevertheless, Your mercy infinitely surpasses my unworthiness. Therefore, I make bold to receive this Sacrament, trusting in Your love. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 26 February – Friday of the First Week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 18:21-28, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, Matthew 5:20-26
“Go first and be reconciled with your brother”
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.”
“This is what I proclaim, what I testify, what I cry out with a resounding voice: Let n- one who has an enemy, draw near the holy table, to receive the Body of the Lord! Let no-one who does approach it, have an enemy! Do you have an enemy? Do not come near! If you want to do so, then first go and be reconciled, then receive the Sacrament.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“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.”
St Jerome (347-420) Father & Doctor of the Church
“If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”
“If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.”
St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“See to it that you refrain from harsh words. But if you do speak them, do not be ashamed to apply the remedy from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”
St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)
“You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God.”
Thought for the Day – 19 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter
“Besides being our infallible teacher, the Church is also our affectionate Mother. Along with the inexhaustible treasury of His graces, it has inherited, from Jesus, His infinite love fo all mankind. Let us consider what the Church does and has done for us. As soon as we are born into this mortal life, She gives us, through the waters of Baptism, a second life, which is supernatural and everlasting. When we are a little older and exposed to the onslaughts of evil, She stengthens us in gace by means of another Sacrament and makes us soldiers of Christ. She raises us up. In the Sacament of Penance, She gives us God’s forgiveness and the spiritual strength to rise agin. Moeover, She gives us Jesus Christ Himself, in the Blessed Eucharist. By means of another Sacament, she elevates those who receive the power of Orders. In yet another, She blesses and consecrates matrimonial love and the pure marriage union. When we are dying, She comes, compassionately to our side again and, through the final Sacrament, gives us strength and purity of purpose, for the great journey into eternity. Nor is this enough. She is present with her prayers and blessings, even by our coffin nd by our graveside.
We owe the Church more than obedience! We owe Her our love! We should love very much, this good Mother, who accompanies us from the cradle to the grave, from our birth upon earth, to our spiritual birth into everlasting happiness!” Amen
Our Morning Offering – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent
Soul of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from the side of Christ, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me Good Jesus, hear me Within Your wounds, shelter me from turning away, keep me From the evil one, protect me At the hour of my death, call me Into Your presence lead me to praise You with all Your saints Forever and ever, Amen
For many years the Anima Christi was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) , as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St. Ignatius Loyola and so my image shows St Ignatius at prayer.
However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth. The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates back to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).
The invocations in the prayer have rich associations with Catholic concepts that relate to the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), Baptism (water) and the Passion of Jesus (Holy Wounds).
Thought for the Day – 12 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Jesus, not only desires to come to us but, He desires to remain continually present in us with His love and grace. “If anyone love me, he will keep my word,” He tells us “and, my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode with him” (Jn 14:23). It is enough for us to love Him and to be ready to keep His commandments. Such an act of sincere and effective love for Jesus, will cause Him to enter and to remain in our hearts, even after the sacramental species has been consumed. This is Spiritual Communion, which consists mainly in the yearning for Jesus. “I have come to cast fire upon the earth and what will I but, that it be kindled” (Lk 12:49).