Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 24 May – Firstborn of Many Brothers

Thought for the Day – 24 May – Friday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide: Today’s Gospel John 15:12-17

Firstborn of Many Brothers

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide”…John 15:16

Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist. (c 1100 – c 1170)
Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher

An excerpt from his Sermon 42

Just as the head and body of a man, form one single man, so the Son of the Virgin and those He has chosen to be His members, form a single man and the one Son of Man. Christ is whole and entire, head and body, say the Scriptures, since all the members form one body, which with its Head is one Son of Man and He, with the Son of God is one Son of God, who Himself with God is one God.   Therefore, the whole body with its Head is Son of Man, Son of God and God.   This is the explanation of the Lord’s words – Father, I desire that as you and I are one, so they may be one with us.

And so, according to this well-known reading of Scripture, neither the body without the head, nor the Head without the body, nor the Head and body without God, make the whole Christ.   When all are united with God, they become one God.   The Son of God is one with God by nature, the Son of Man is one with Him in His person;  we, His body, are one with him sacramentally.   Consequently, those, who by faith, are spiritual members of Christ, can truly say that they are what He is – the Son of God and God Himself.   But what Christ is, by His nature, we are as His partners, what He is of Himself in all fullness, we are as participants.   Finally, what the Son of God is by generation, His members are by adoption, according to the text – As sons you have received the Spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, Abba, Father.

Through His Spirit, He gave men the power to become sons of God, so that all those He has chosen might be taught by the firstborn, among many brothers to say – Our Father, who are in heaven.   Again He says elsewhere – I ascend to my Father and to your Father.

By the Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin, was born our Head, the Son of Man and by the same Spirit, in the waters of baptism, we are reborn as His body and as sons of God. And just as He was born without any sin, so we are reborn in the forgiveness of all our sins.   As on the cross, He bore the sum total of the whole body’s sins in His own physical body, so He gave His members the grace of rebirth, in order that no sin might be imputed to His mystical body.   It is written – Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no sin.   The blessed man of this text is undoubtedly Christ, who forgives sins insofar as God is His head.   Insofar as this Man is the Head of the body, no sin is forgiven Him.   But insofar as the body that belongs to this Head consists of many members, sin is not imputed to it.

Just in Himself, it is He who justifies Himself.   He alone is both Saviour and saved.   In His own body on the cross, He bore what He had washed from His body by the waters of baptism.   Bringing salvation through wood and through water, He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, which He took upon Himself.   Himself a priest, He offers Himself as sacrifice to God and He Himself is God.   Thus, through His own self, the Son is reconciled to Himself as God, as well as to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.jut as the head of a body - bl isaac of stella - 24 may 2019 - firstborn of many brothers.jpg

Posted in CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD

Quote of the Day – 14 April – “…You yourselves will be His praise.”

Quote of the Day – 14 April – Palm Sunday, Year C

“It is there, on Calvary, that Jesus has His final appointment with a sinner,
to throw open the gates of His Kingdom for him too.
This is interesting, it is the only time that the word “Paradise”
appears in the Gospels.
Jesus promises it to a “poor devil” who, on the wood of the cross,
had the courage to proffer Him the most humble of requests:
“Remember me when you have entered your kingdom” (cf. Lk 23:42).
He had no good works to assert,
he had nothing but he entrusted himself to Jesus,
whom he recognised as innocent, good, so different from himself.
Those words of humble remorse were enough to touch Jesus’ heart.
The good thief reminds us of our true condition before God-
that we are His children, that He feels compassion for us,
that He is defenceless each time
we show our nostalgia for His love.”

Pope Francis

General Audience, 25 October 2017it is there on calvary tht Jesus has his final appointment with a sinner - pope francis palm sunday 14 april 2019.jpg

My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me, or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:   Sing to the Lord a new song.   Look, you tell me, I am singing.   Yes indeed, you are singing, you are singing clearly, I can hear you.   But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.   Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives – Sing to the Lord a new song’.

Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love but you ask me how to sing His praises.   You have heard the words – Sing to the Lord a new song and you wish to know what praises to sing.   The answer is – His praise is in the assembly of the saints – it is in the singers themselves.   If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express.   Live good lives and you yourselves will be His praise.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

his-praise-is-in-the-assembly-of-saints-st-augustine-25-march-2018-palm-sunday.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 13 April – Thy Book

Quote/s of the Day – 13 April – Saturday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

“Study then, mortal, to know Christ, to learn your Saviour.
His body hanging on the cross, is a book, opened before your eyes.
The words of this book are Christ’s actions.
as well as His suffering and passion,
for everything that He did serves for our instruction.
His wounds are the letters or characters,
the five chief wounds being the five vowels
and the others the consonants of your book . . .
However much else you may know,
if you do not know this, I count all your learning for naught,
because without knowledge of this book,
both general and particular, it is impossible for you to be saved.

So eat this book which in your mouth and understanding
shall be sweet but which will make your belly bitter,
that is to say your memory,
because He that increases knowledge increases sorrow too.

May this book never depart from my hands, O Lord
but let the law of the Lord be ever in my mouth,
that I may know what is acceptable in Your sight.”

Dom John Whiterig OSB (c 1320–1371)
Hermit of Farne

Meditacio ad Crucifixum, Chapter 53, fols. 29v-30study therefore mortal 13 april 2019 - dom john whiterig - THY BOOK.jpg

“Thy body, sweet Jesus,
is like a book all written with red ink,
so is Thy body all written with red wounds . . .
grant me to read upon Thy book
and somewhat to understand,
the sweetness of that writing
and to have liking
in studious abiding of that reading.”

Richard Rolle (1290-1349)

Hermit, Mystic, Writer
Meditations on the Passionthy body sweet jesus - richard rolle - hermit - 13 april 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – O Lamb of God

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

O Lamb of God
By St Irenaeus (c 135- c 202)
Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Ameno-lamb-of-god-st-irenaeus-of-lyons-28-june-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – “The dead will hear his voice”

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalms 145:8-9, 13CD-14, 17-18; John 5:17-30

Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming, when all who are in the tombs, will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement.…John 5:28-29wed of the fourth week lent - john 528-29 3 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Grant us Your forgiveness.

We know that this whole journey is about our reconciliation.
We know that God wants to forgive us.
We know we are preparing to renew our Baptismal promises,
and “refuse to be mastered by sin.”
Today we hear the invitation and ask more earnestly.

In the marvellous discourse that follows His sign of healing,
Jesus says, “I am not seeking my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
I am filled with a sense of sorrow and gratitude,
as I see what He did for me.

I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message
and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life
and will never be condemned.
They have already gone from death to life.
John 5:24

“The dead will hear his voice”  – “Lazarus, come forth” (Jn 11:43)

Saint Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church

Our Lord had raised Jairus’s daughter but while the body was still warm and death was only halfway through its work (Mt 9:18f.)… He also raised the widow’s only son but by halting the stretcher and forestalling the tomb… before the dead man had fallen completely under the law of death (Lk 7:11f.).   But the whole event that takes place with regard to Lazarus is unique.. Lazarus, in whom all death’s power had been completed and in whom, equally, a complete image of the resurrection shone out… Christ, indeed, returned as Lord on the third day; Lazarus, as servant, was called back to life on the fourth day…

The Lord said and repeated to His disciples:  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified” (Mt 20:18f.).   And when He said this, He saw them growing uncertain, sad, comfortless.   He knew they had to be crushed by the weight of His Passion until nothing of their own life, their own faith, their own light would remain within them but, to the contrary, their hearts would be darkened with the almost total darkness of their lack of faith.   That is the reason why He let Lazarus’s death continue for four days… From this follows what our Lord said to His disciples:  “Lazarus has died.   And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe” (vv.14-15).   Therefore Lazarus’s death was necessary so that the disciples’ faith might rise from the tomb along with Lazarus.

“That I was not there.”   Now was there anywhere where Christ was not?… My brethren, Christ as God was there but Christ the man was not.   Christ God was there when Lazarus was dying but now Christ man was going to the dead man because Christ our Lord was going enter into death:  “It is there, in death, in the tomb, in hell, that all the power of death is to be crushed through me and my death.”he knew they had to be crushed - st peter chrysologus 3 april 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving and merciful God,
I am so aware of my sins and weaknesses.
But as painfully aware of my faults as I am,
Let me also remember Your tender love,
Your gentle and limitless forgiveness.
I come before You filled with pain and guilt
but look into Your eyes and see the forgiving love of my Father,
I so long for in my life.
Help me to forgive the same way.
Teach me to love as You love.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – St Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180)

Quote/s of the Day – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C – Saint Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180) Early Church Father

Prayer in Praise of Christ

Born as a son,
led forth as a lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
He rose from the dead as a God,
for He was by nature God and man.

He is all things:
He judges and so He is Law,
He teaches and so He is Wisdom,
He saves and so He is Grace,
He begets and so He is Father,
He is begotten and so He is Son,
He suffers and so He is Sacrifice,
He is buried and so He is man,
He rises again and so He is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.born as a son led forth as a lamb no 2 st melito 1 april 2019.jpg

“The Lord, though He was God, became man.   He suffered for the sake of whose who suffer, He was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave but He rose from the dead and cried aloud:  “Who will contend with me?  Let him confront me.”   I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves.   Who has anything to say against me?   I, He said, am the Christ,  I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one and taken men up to the heights of heaven.   I am the Christ.   Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you.   I am your forgiveness.   I am the Passover that brings salvation.   I am the lamb who was immolated for you.   I am your Ransom, your Life, your Resurrection, your Light, I am your Salvation and your King.   I will bring you to the heights of heaven.   With my own right hand I will raise you up and I will show you the eternal Father.”

– from a letter by Saint Melito of Sardis

St Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180)

Early Church Fatheri am the lamb who was immolated for you - st melito 1 april 2019.jpg