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One Minute Reflection – 30 July – “I will come to an end.   I will not remain forever.”

One Minute Reflection – 30 July – Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 13:36–43 and the Memorial of St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.   He who has ears, let him hear.” … Matthew 13:43

REFLECTION – Christians of the first centuries said, “The world was created for the sake of the Church” (Hermas).   God created the world for the sake of communion with His divine life, a communion brought about by the “convocation” of men in Christ and this “convocation” (ecclesia) is the Church.   The Church is the goal of all things and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels’ fall and man’s sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of His arm and the whole measure of the love He wanted to give the world:   “Just as God’s will is creation and is called “the world,” so His intention is the salvation of men and it is called “the Church” (St Clement of Alexandria).

The gathering together of the People of God, began, at the moment when sin destroyed the communion of men with God and that of men among themselves. the gathering together of the Church is, as it were, God’s reaction to the chaos provoked by sin.   This re-unification is achieved secretly in the heart of all peoples:  “In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable” to God (Acts 10,35).   The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when He calls Abraham and promises that He will become the father of a great people (Gn 12,2).   Its immediate preparation begins with Israel’s election as the People of God (Ex 19,5).   By this election, Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of all nations (Is 2,2)….

It was the Son’s task to accomplish the Father’s plan of salvation in the fullness of time. It’s accomplishment was the reason for His being sent… To fulfil the Father’s will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth, the Church “is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery” (Vatican II, LG 3)…   “The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” (LG 48) at the time of Christ’s glorious return…   Until that day, “the Church… longs for the full coming of the Kingdom… The Church and through her, the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials.   Only then will “all the just from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,’ be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father’s presence” (LG 2). … CCC #760-769matthew 13 43 then the righteous shall shine like the sun - it was the son's task ccc 760-766 30 july 2019.jpg

“This week, let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the wisdom of time, the wisdom regarding the end, the wisdom of the resurrection, the wisdom of the eternal encounter with Jesus, that we are able to understand that this wisdom is in our faith.   It will be a day of joyful encounter with Jesus.   Let us pray that the Lord prepare us for this.   Let each one of us end this week thinking about the end – “I will come to an end.   I will not remain forever. How would I like to come to an end?”… Pope Francis (Santa Marta, 27 November 2018)matthew 13 43 then the righteous shall shine - this week let us ask - 30 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, send forth Your Spirit, that we may be created and Thou shall renew the face of the earth.   O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations.   Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.   St Peter Chrysologus, pray for us! st peter chrysologus pray for us.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 July – ‘No-one who has land is free from care.’

One Minute Reflection – 27 July – Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: 13:24-30

“Let both grow together until the harvest and at harvest time, I will tell the reapers, gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned but gather the wheat into my barn.’”… Matthew 13:30

REFLECTION – “It is not only sheep who abide in the Church, nor do only clean birds fly there to and fro.   But amongst the grain other seed is sown, for “amidst the neat grain-fields, burrs and weeds and barren oats lord it in the land” (Virgil’s Georgics).   What is the farmhand to do?   Root up the darnel?   In that case the whole harvest is destroyed along with it!
Every day the farmer diligently drives away the birds by making a noise or by frightening them with scarecrows (…)   Nevertheless he suffers from the raids of nimble roes or the wantonness of wild asses, on the one hand, voles convey the grain to their underground barns, on the other, ants in a moving column ravage the crop.   This is how things are!   No-one who has land is free from care.
While the householder slept, the enemy sowed tares, when the servants hastened to go and root them up, the Master prevented them, reserving for Himself the separation of wheat and chaff. (…)   No-one, before the Day of Judgement, can take Christ’s winnowing fan in hand, no-one can pass judgement on another, whoever they might be.”… St Jerome (347-420) Priest, translator of the Bible, Father and Doctor of the Church – The dialogue against the Luciferians (SC 473, p 179-180)at harvest time i will tell the reapers - matthew 13 30 - not only sheep abide in the church st jerome 27 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – All-powerful and ever-living God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, chase away the night of sin and fill our minds with the glory of Your coming.   Take away our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, help us in our battle with sin and the devil.   By our prayers, Your holy sacraments and the strength of the Holy Spirit, may we be ever vigilant of the evil one.   Grant we pray, that the Blessed Virgin’s prayers, may protect us from all dangers.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl virgin mary mother of god pray for us 27 july 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 July – “The final judgement is already in progress…”

One Minute Reflection – 16 July – Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:20–24 and the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom than for you.”…Matthew 11:24matthew 11 24 - but i tell you it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment - 16 july 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “The final judgement is already in progress, it begins now over the course of our lives.   Thus judgement is pronounced at every moment of life, as it sums up our faith in the salvation which is present and active in Christ, or of our unbelief, whereby we close in upon ourselves.   But if we close ourselves to the love of Jesus, we condemn ourselves.   Salvation is, to open oneself to Jesus, it is He who saves us.”…Pope Francis – General Audience, 11 December 2013the-final-judgment-pope-francis-17-july-2018.jpg

if we close ourselves to the love of jesus - pope francis it is he who saves us 16 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, to whom this world with all its goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully to begin this day in Your name and to fill it, with an active love for You and for our neighbour.   Grant us the grace to repent of our sins, to turn to the Cross of Your Son and to beg Him in His great love and suffering to forgive us again!   “May the Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel, accompany you on your daily journey towards the Mountain of God.” (Pope Francis)   Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your mother!  Mary, Holy Mother, intercede for us in our weakness and help us to turn our backs on sin and look only at the face of Christ.   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.our lady of mount carmel - pray for us.2.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 9 May – The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Thought for the Day – 9 May – Thursday Third Week of Easter, C

The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Saint Irenaeus (130-202)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from a Against Heresies

If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with His blood, the Eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in His blood and the bread we break, does not make us sharers in His body.   There can be no blood without veins, flesh and the rest of the human substance and this the Word of God actually became – it was with His own blood that He redeemed us.   As the Apostle says – In Him, through His blood, we have been redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.

We are His members and we are nourished by creatures, which is His gift to us, for it is He who causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall.   He declared that the chalice, which comes from His creation, was His blood and He makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from His creation, was His body and He makes it, the nourishment of our body.   When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake, receive the Word of God, the Eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies, live and grow.   How then can it be said, that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by His body and blood, is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?   Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of His body, of His flesh and bones.   He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones.   He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is His body.

The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time.   The grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things.   The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word, they become the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ.   In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the Eucharist, will be buried in the earth and will decay but they will rise again at the appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up, to the glory of God the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s power is shown most perfectly in weakness.we are his members and we are nourished - st ireneus on the eucharist and resurrection 9 may 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The LAST THINGS, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Do as Abraham did

Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Deuteronomy 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; John 8:31-42

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God, this is not what Abraham did....John 8:39-40john 8 39-40 if you were abrahams children - wedfifthweeklent 10 april 2019.jpg

Do as Abraham did

St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Doctor of the Church

Looking wholly to God’s promise and setting aside all human ways of looking at things, knowing God to be capable of accomplishments beyond nature to achieve, Abraham put his trust in the words addressed to him, he let no shadow of doubt cross his mind and did not waver as to the meaning he should give God’s words.   For, it is in the nature of faith to put its trust in the power of the one who promises…  God had promised Abraham that a posterity without number would be born of him.   This promise exceeded the possibilities of nature and all purely human forms of perception and that is why his faith towards God “was credited him as righteousness” (Gn 15:6; Gal 3:6).

Well then, if we are on the watch, yet more wonderful promises have been made to us and we will be satisfied to an even greater extent, than human thought can dream.   And for this we have only to put our trust in the power of Him who has made these promises to us, so as to merit the righteousness, that comes from faith and obtain the promised reward.   For all those good things we are hoping for, far exceed all human conception and thought, so exceedingly wonderful is what we have been promised!

Indeed, these promises do not concern only the present, the flourishing of our lives and the enjoyment of visible goods but they are even more, about the time, when we have left this earth, when our bodies have become subject to corruption, when our remains have been reduced to dust.   God promises us, that He will then raise them up and establish them in glorious splendour, “for that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility,” Saint Paul assures us (1Cor 15:53).   More than this, after the resurrection of our bodies, we have received the promise, of enjoying the Kingdom and of obtaining, throughout endless ages, in the company of the saints, those ineffable goods that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard nor has it not entered the human heart” (1Cor 2:9).   Do you grasp the superabundance of the promises?   Do you grasp the greatness of these gifts?do you grasp the superabundance of the promise - st john chrysostom - wedfifthweeklent 10 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
which represents the full rejection of all our sins,
and the crushing defeat of death itself.
Praying the Stations again,
might help us grow in a sense that this is all “for me,” for my freedom.

We grow in a sense of repentance and deep sorrow.
We grow in a desire to celebrate
the glorious Light in the midst of all darkness.

Rid yourself of all your sins
and make a new heart and a new spirit.
Gospel antiphon, based upon Ezekiel 18:31

Closing Prayer:
Loving Creator,
I know in Your great love for me,
You see the deep sorrow in my heart.
Hear my prayers which are offered with such trust in You.

Be with me in both mind and heart
as I renew my life in Your spirit.

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

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 WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on TRUTH, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 31 March – Christ the Way

Lenten Thoughts – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C

Christ is the Way to the Light, the Truth and the Life

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Treatise on John

The Lord tells us – I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.   In these few words He gives a command and makes a promise.   Let us do what He commands so that we may not blush to covet what He promises and to hear Him say on the day of judgement:  “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining my promises.   Have you fulfilled them?”   If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” He will tell you: “I commanded you to follow Me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life.   What life, if not the life about which it is written:  With you is the fountain of life?”

Let us do now what He commands.   Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord.  Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following Him.   Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the one addressed in these words – You have broken my chains?   Another psalm says of Him: -The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.

Those who have been freed and raised up follow the light.   The light they follow speaks to them – I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness.   The Lord gives light to the blind.   Brethren, that light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith.   His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind.   We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth, we need Him to give us light.   He mixed saliva with earth and so it was prophesied:  Truth has sprung up from the earth  . He himself has said:  I am the way, the truth and the life.

We shall be in possession of the truth when we see Him face to face.   This is His promise to us.   Who would dare to hope for something that God in His goodness did not choose to promise or bestow?

We shall see face to face. The Apostle says: Now I know in part, now obscurely through a mirror, but then face to face.   John the apostle says in one of his letters -Dearly beloved, we are now children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be.   We know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.   This is a great promise.

If you love me, follow me.   “I do love you,” you protest, “but how do I follow you?”   If the Lord your God said to you:  “I am the truth and the life,” in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask Him to show you the way to reach them.   You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality; if only it were possible for my soul to find them!”i am the way the truth and the life jon 14 8 31 march 2019 laetare sunday.jpg