Posted in JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for PRIESTS, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD and CONSECRATED LIFE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on WATCHING, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 August– ‘ …This Sacred Household is the Holy, Catholic Church …’

One Minute Reflection – 19 August – “The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” and the Memorial of St John Eudes (1601-1680) Confessor, “The Apostle of Two Hearts”– Sirach 31:8-11, Luke 12:35-40

Blessed are those servants whom the Master, on His return, shall find watching.” – Luke 12:37

REFLECTION – “Wishing to emphasize the special office of the servants, whom He has placed in charge of His people, the Lord says, ‘Who, do you think, is the faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord sets over His household, to give to them their measure of wheat at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his Master will find so doing when he comes.” Who is that Master, brethren? Without a doubt, it is Christ, Who says to His disciples: “You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right, for so I am” (Jn 13,13). What, too, is the Master’s Household? Doubtless it is the one which the Lord Himself ransomed… This Sacred Household is the Holy, Catholic Church, which is spread through the whole earth with abundant fertility and glories in the fact, that she has been redeemed by the Precious Blood of her Master. As He Himself says: “The Son of Man came, not to be served but to serve and to give His Life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10,45).

He is, too, the Good Shepherd ”Who laid down His Life for His sheep” (Jn 10,11)…As to who the steward is, who ought to be faithful as well as wise, the Apostle Paul shows us, when, speaking of himself and his companions, he says: “This is how one should regard us, as the servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be found trustworthy” (1Cor 4,1-2).

Now, lest anyone of us should think that it is only the Apostles who have been made stewards…, the blessed Apostle Paul shows us that the Bishops also are stewards, when he says: “For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless” (Tt 1,7)…We, therefore, who are the servants of the Master of the Household, we are the stewards of the Lord, we have received the measure of wheat to disburse to you.” – St Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-532) Bishop in North Africa (Homily 1, on the Lord’s servants) (trans. Breviary Common of Pastors).

PRAYER – O God, Who wondrously enkindled St John, Thy Confessor, to promote the religious veneration of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and through him, willed to found new religious families in the Church, grant, we beseech Thee that we may honour his holy merits and may learn from the example of his virtues. ThroughJesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, GOOD FRIDAY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 18 June – The Holy Mass

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

The Holy Mass

The Sacrifice of the Mass is the noblest act of our religion.
In it is renewed, in a real but unbloody manner, the Sacrifice of Calvary.

Jesus desired to remain with us throughout the centuries in the Blessed Eucharist as our friend, comforter and spiritual food.
Similarly, not being satisfied with having shed His Precious Blood on the Cross for our Redemption, it was His wish that this sacrificial action should be renewed daily in every corner of the world, in such a way, that everyone could participate in it and benefit from it.
When we are present at Holy Mass, therefore, we should imagine that we are on Calvary at the foot of the Cross on which our Divine Redeemer is voluntarily giving His Life, as an innocent Victim, for our sins.
Let us see Him hanging between earth and sky, a holocaust of propitiation between God and men.

Let us see Him imploring with His dying glance, forgiveness for His executioners and for us sinners.

Let us imagine, moreover, His most Holy Mother as she gazes sorrowfully upon her suffering Son.
With love far greater than that of any other human creature, she offers herself in union with Jesus, for our salvation.

We should make a similar offering when we assist at the Sacrifice of the Altar.
We should sacrifice ourselves along with Jesus.
If we are tormented by sufferings, let us offer them up along with those of Jesus.
If we are troubled by passionate inclinations to sin, let us sacrifice these bravely, along with Jesus and for love of Him.
If we are full of hatred and coldness towards others, let us sacrifice these feelings for love of Jesus, Who forgave everyone who asked and repented and prayed even for His executioners.

Let us remember, that the Sacrifice of the Mass should be our sacrifice too,
It is not only the Priest who offers it but we offer it along with the Priest and with Jesus.

Receive, O Holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee.
Let us unite the offering of our entire selves to the Sacrifice of Jesus and we sgall obtain great spiritual benefits.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ASPIRATIONS and EJACULATIONS, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PARTIAL Indulgence, PLENARY Indulgences, Quotes on SALVATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 June –

One Minute Reflection – 10 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart” – Ember Friday – Joel 2:23-24; 26-27, Luke 5:17-26 and the Memorial of St Margaret of Scotland (1045-1093

But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins – He said to the paralytic – I say to you, arise! – Luke 5:24

REFLECTION – “The Word of God has come to dwell in man; He became “Son of Man” in order to accustom man to receive God and God to dwell in man, as it has pleased the Father. See now why the sign of our salvation, Emmanuel born of a Virgin, has been given by the Saviour Himself (Is 7:14). Indeed, it is the Saviour Himself Who saves men, since of themselves they cannot save themselves. … The prophet Isaiah has said: “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak! Take courage, frightened hearts, be strong, fear not! Here is your God who comes with vindication; He Himself comes, He comes to save us,” (Is 35:3-4). For it is only by God’s help and not of ourselves, that we can stand up to our salvation.

And here is another text where Isaiah predicted that the One who saves us is neither simply a man, nor an incorporeal being: “It was not a messenger or an angel but the Lord Himself Who saved His people. Because of His love and pity, He forgave them; He redeemed them Himself,” (Is 63:9). Yet this Saviour is also truly Man, truly visible: “City of Zion, behold, your eyes shall see our Saviour” … And another prophet has said: “He will again have compassion on us and cast into the depths of the sea all our sins,” (Mi 7:19) … From the land of Judah, from Bethlehem (Mi 5:1) will come the Son of God, He Who is also God, to pour out His praise on all the earth … Thus God has become Man indeed and the Lord Himself has saved us, by giving us the sign of the Virgin.” – St Irenaeus (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Church Father, Theologian and Martyr (Against the heresies III),

PRAYER – O God, Who made blessed Queen Margaret glorious by her remarkable charity toward the poor; grant, by her intercession and example, that Thy charity may continually increase in our hearts. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
SACRED Heart of JESUS, I trust in Thee. 300 Days Indulgence Once a Day – Plenary, Once a month. Raccolta 175 – St Pius X, 19 August 1905; 27 June 1906.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SACRAMENTS, The ASCENSION of the LORD, The HEART, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The SECOND COMING, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST

One Minute Reflection – 26 May – ‘… And so, our Redeemer’s Visible Presence has passed into the Sacraments. …’

One Minute Reflection – 26 May – The Ascension of Our Lord – Acts 1:1-11, Mark 16:14-20

And the Lord Jesus, after He spoke to them, was taken up into Heaven and took His seat at the Right Hand of God.” – Mark 16:19

REFLECTION – “And so, while at Easter it was the Lord’s Resurrection which was the cause of our joy, our present rejoicing is due to His Ascension into Heaven. With all due solemnity, we are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up in Christ, above all the Hosts of Heaven, above all the ranks of Angels, beyond those Heavenly Powers, to the very throne of God the Father.

It is upon this ordered structure of divine acts, that we have been firmly established, so that the grace of God may show itself still more marvelous when, in spite of the withdrawal from our sight of everything that is rightly felt to command our reverence, faith does not fail, hope is not shaken, charity does not grow cold. It was in order that we might be capable of such blessedness, that on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, after He had made careful provision for everything concerning the preaching of the Gospel and the Mysteries of the New Covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ was taken up to Heaven before the eyes of His Disciples and so, His Bodily Presence among them, came to an end.

From that time onward, He was to remain at the Father’s Right Hand, until the completion of the period, ordained by God, for the Church’s children to increase and multiply, after which, in the same Body with which He ascended, He will come again to judge the living and the dead. And so, our Redeemer’s Visible Presence has passed into the Sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because, empirical sight has been replaced by a reliable teaching, whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high.” – St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope , Great Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 74).

PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that as we do believe Thine Only-Begotten Son, our Saviour to have this day ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind, ascend and with Him continually dwell. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 May – ‘O Good Shepherd, Who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders …’

One Minute Reflection – 3 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and the Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross – 1 Peter 2:21-25, John 10:11-16

“I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me.”- John 10:14

REFLECTION – “Let us consider Christ, our shepherd …. He rejoices in those sheep of His that are around Him and goes in search of those, that stray. Mountains and forests cause Him no fear; He crosses ravines to reach the sheep that is lost. Even if He finds it in a piteous state, He is not angry but touched with pity; He takes it on His shoulders and, from His own weariness, heals the exhausted sheep (Lk 15:4 f.) …

With good reason Christ declares: “I am the Good Shepherd, I seek out the lost sheep, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal (Ez 34:16). I have seen the flock of mankind struck down by sickness; I have witnessed my lambs wander about where demons dwell; I have seen my flock ravaged by wolves. All this I have seen and have not witnessed it from on high. That is why I took hold of the withered hand, gripped by pain as if by a wolf; I have unbound those whom fever had bound; I taught him to see whose eyes had been shut from his mother’s womb; I brought Lazarus out from the tomb where he had lain for four days (Mk 3:5; 1:31; Jn 9; 11). For I am the Good Shepherd and the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” 

The prophet knew this shepherd when, long before His Passion, He declared what would take place: “Like a sheep led to the slaughter or a sheep, dumb before the shearers, he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). Like a sheep, the shepherd has offered His neck for His flock …. By His death, He heals from death; by His tomb, He empties the tomb …. The tombs are full and the prison shut until the shepherd, comes down from the cross, He has come to bring His captive sheep the joyful news of their liberation. We see Him in hell where He gives the order for their release (1 Pt 3:19); we see Him call His sheep once more, giving them the call to life from the dwellings of the dead. “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” This is how He intends to win the affection of His sheep and those who know how to listen to His voice, love Christ.” – Basil of Seleucia (Died 448) Bishop of Seleucia, Writer – Oratio 26

PRAYER – O Good Shepherd,
You Whom My Soul Loves.
By St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

Where are You pasturing Your flock,
O good Shepherd,
Who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders?
(For the whole of human nature is one sheep
and You have lifted it onto Your shoulders).
Show me the place of peace,
lead me to the good grass that will nourish me,
call me by name so that I,
Your sheep, hear Your voice
and by Your speech,
give me eternal life.
Answer me, You Whom my soul loves.
… Show me then (my soul says),
where You pasture Your flock,
so that I can find that saving pasture too
and fill myself with the food of Heaven,
without which, no-one can come to eternal life
and run to the spring
and fill myself with the drink of God.
You give it, as from a spring,
to those who thirst –
water pouring from Your side, cut open by the lance,
water that, to whoever drinks it,
is a spring of water,
welling up to eternal life.
Amen

This is a tiny excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa’s commentary on the Song of Songs (Cap. 2: PG 44, 802), using the imagery of Psalm 23, appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promised green pastures, restful waters and noonday rest that is the final, eternal destination of those who love God and walk in His ways.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross – 3 May

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross

The Liturgical Year
by Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)

“It was most just that our Divine King should show Himself to us with the sceptre of His power, to the end, that nothing might be wanting to the majesty of His empire. This sceptre is the Cross; and Paschal Time was to be the Season, for its being offered to Him in glad homage. A few weeks back and the Cross was shown to us, as the instrument of our Emmanuel’s humiliation and as the bed of suffering, whereon He died but, has He not, since then, conquered Death? and what is His Cross now but a trophy of His victory? Let it then be brought forth to our gaze and let every knee bend before this Sacred Wood, whereby our Jesus won the honour and praise we now give Him!

On the day of His Birth at Bethlehem, we sang these words of the Prophet Isaias: A Child is born unto us and a Son is given unto us and His government is upon His Shoulder (Is. ix. 6. The Introit of the Third Mass for Christmas Day). We have seen Him carrying this Cross upon His Shoulder, as Isaac carried the wood for his own immolation but now, it is no longer a heavy burthen. It is shining with a brightness that ravishes the eyes of the Angels and, after having received the veneration of man, as long as the world lasts, it will suddenly appear in the clouds of heaven, near the Judge of the living and the dead, a consolation to them that have loved it but a reproach to such as have treated it with contempt or forgetfulness.

St Helena and St Macarius and the discovery of the True Cross

Our Saviour did not think the time between His Resurrection and Ascensio,n a fitting one for glorifying the Instrument of His Victory. The Cross was not to be brought into notice, until it had subjected the world to Him, Whose glory it so eloquently proclaimed. Jesus was three days in the tomb; His Cross is to lie buried unknown to men, for three centuries but it is to have its Resurrection and the Church celebrates this Resurrection today. Jesus would, in His own good time, add to the joy of Easter by miraculously revealing to us, this Sacred Monument of His love for mankind. He entrusts it to our keeping, it is to be our consolation, as long as this world lasts – is it not just, that we should love and venerate it?

Never had Satan’s pride met with a humiliation like that of his seeing the instrument of our perdition, made the instrument of our salvation. As the Church expresses it in her Preface for Passiontide: “he that overcame mankind by a Tree, was overcome by a Tree.” Thus foiled, he vented his fury upon this saving Wood, which so bitterly reminded him, both of the irresistible power of his Conqueror and of the dignity of man, who had been redeemed at so great a price. He would fain have annihilated the Cross but knowing that this was beyond his power, he endeavoured to profane it and hide it from view. He, therefore, instigated the Jews to bury it. At the foot of Calvary, not far from the Sepulchre, was a deep hole. Into this was the Cross thrown, together with those of the two Thieves, the Nails, the Crown of Thorns and the Inscription, or Title, written by Pilate . The hole was then filled up with rubbish and earth and the Sanhedrim exulted in the thought of its having effaced the memory of the Nazarene, Who could not save Himself from the ignominious death of the Cross.

Forty years after this, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, the instruments of God’s vengeance. The Holy Places were desecrated by the idolaters. A small temple to Venus was erected on Calvary and another to Jupiter over the Holy Sepulchre. By this, the pagans intended derision; whereas, they were perpetuating the knowledge of two spots of most sacred interest. When peace was restored under Constantine, the Christians had but to remove these pagan monuments and their eyes beheld the holy ground that had been bedewed with the Blood of Jesus and the glorious Sepulchre.

As to the Cross, it was not so easily found. The sceptre of our Divine King was to be raised up from its tomb by a royal hand. The saintly Empress Helena, Constantine’s Mother, was chosen by heaven to pay to Jesu, and that, too, on the very spot where He had received His greatest humiliations, the honours which are due to Him as the King of the world. Before laying the foundations of the Basilica of the Resurrection, this worthy follower of Magdalene and the other holy women of the Sepulchre, was anxious to discover the Instrument of our Salvation. The Jews had kept up the tradition of the site where it had been buried, the Empress had the excavations made accordingly. With what holy impatience must she not have watched the works! and with what ecstasy of joy did she not behold the Redeeming Wood, which, though not, at first, distinguishable, was certainly one of the three Crosses that were found! She addressed a fervent prayer to the Saviour, Who alone could reveal to her which was the trophy of His Victory – the Bishop, St Macarius, united his prayers with hers and their faith was rewarded by a miracle, that left them no doubt as to which was the true Cross.

The Finding of the True Cross (Giandomenico Tiepolo), where Bishop Macarius blesses the sick with the True Cross

The glorious work was accomplished and the Church was put in possession of the instrument of the world’s Redemption. Both East and West were filled with joy at the news of this precious discovery, which Heaven had set on foot and which gave the last finish to the triumph of Christianity. Christ completed His Victory over the Pagan world, by raising thus His Standard, not a figurative one but His own real Standard, His Cross, which, up to that time, had been a stumbling-block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles;but before which every Christian is, henceforth, to bend his knee.

Helena placed the Holy Cross in the Basilica that had been built by her orders and which the same St Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem oversaw and which covered both the glorious Sepulchre and the hill of the Crucifixion. Another Church was erected on the site, where the Cross had lain concealed for three hundred years and the faithful are enabled, by long flights of steps, to go down into the deep grotto, which had been its tomb. Pilgrims came, from every part of the world, to visit the hallowed places, where our Redemption had been wrought and to venerate the Sacred Wood of the Cross. But God’s merciful providence willed, not that the precious pledge of Jesus’ love for mankind should be confined to one only Sanctuary, however venerable it might be. Immediately after its discovery, Helena had a very large piece cut from the Cross and this fragment she destined for Rome, the new Jerusalem. The precious gift was enshrined in the Basilica built by her son Constantine in the Sessorian garden,and which was afterwards called the Basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem.

By degrees, other places were honoured by the presence of the Wood of the Holy Cross. As far back as the 4th Century, we have St Cyril of Jerusalem attesting that many of the Pilgrims used to obtain small pieces of it, and thus carried the precious Treasure into their respective countries and St. Paulinus of Nola, who lived in the same century, assures us that these many gifts lessened not the size of the original Relic. In the 6th century, the holy Queen, St Radegonde, obtained from the Emperor Justin 2nd a large piece from the fragment that was in the imperial treasury of Constantinople . It was for the reception of this piece of the True Cross into France, that St Venantius Fortunatus composed the , that beautiful Hymn which the Church uses in her Liturgy, as often as she celebrates the praises of the Holy Cross.

After several times losing and regaining it, Jerusalem was, at length, forever deprived of the precious Relic. Constantinople was a gainer by Jerusalem’s loss. From Constantinople, especially during the Crusades, many Churches of the West procured large pieces. These again supplied other places; until, at length the Wood of the Cross was to be found in almost every town of any importance.

There is scarcely to be found a Catholic, who, some time or other in his life, has not had the happiness of seeing and venerating a portion of this sacred object. How many acts of love and gratitude have not been occasioned by this? And who could fail to recognise, in this successive profusion of our Jesus’s Cross, a plan of divine providence for exciting us to an appreciation of our Redemption, on which rest all our hopes of eternal happiness?

How dear, then, to us should not this day be, which blends together the recollection of the Holy Cross and the joys of the Resurrection of that Jesus, Who, by the Cross, has won the throne to which we shall soon see Him ascend|! Let us thank our Heavenly Father for His having restored to mankind a treasure so immensely precious as is the Cross. Until the day comes for its appearing, with Himself, in the clouds of heaven, Jesus has intrusted it to His Spouse, as a pledge of His Second Coming. On that day, He, by His divine power, will collect together all the fragments and the Tree of Life will, then, gladden the Elect with its dazzling beauty and invite them to eternal rest beneath its refreshing shade”. – Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey
All hail, O Cross, our only hope!

[From the Hymn Vexilla Regis by St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)]

If you would like to read St Macarius life:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/03/10/saint-of-the-day-10-march-saint-macarius-died-c-335/

For the Life of St Venantius go here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/14/saint-of-the-day-14-december-saint-venantius-fortunatus-c-530-c-609/

For the Life of St Radegunde here:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/08/13/saint-of-the-day-13-august-saint-radegunde-c-518-587/

And her life by St Venantius Fortunatus go here:
https://sites.uwm.edu/carlin/venantius-fortunatus-life-of-st-radegund/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Our Morning Offering – 13 April – In Your Hour of Holy Sadness

Our Morning Offering – 13 April – Wednesday of Holy Week

In Your Hour of Holy Sadness
By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Father & Doctor of the Church

In Your hour of holy sadness
could I share with You, what gladness
should Your Cross to me be showing.
Gladness past all thought of knowing,
bowed beneath Your Cross to die!
Blessed Jesus, thanks I render
that in bitter death, so tender,
You now hear Your supplicant calling,
Save me Lord
and keep from falling from You,
when my hour is nigh.
Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Friday of Passion Week – 8 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – “THE DARKENING OF ONE makes many bright… “

Friday of Passion Week – 8 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Jeremiah 17:13-18, John 11:47-54

O Lord, deal with us not according to our sins, nor requite us according to our crimes.”Psalm 102:10

… It is expedient for us,
that one man die for the people,
instead of the whole nation perishing
.”

John 11:50

“THE DARKENING OF ONE makes many bright… “It is better,” said Caiaphas, “for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” It is better that One be darkened “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” (Rm 8:3) for the sake of all, than for the whole of mankind to be lost by the darkness of sin; that the splendour and image of the substance of God, should be shrouded in the form of a Slave, in order that a slave might live; that the brightness of eternal Light should become dimmed in the flesh, for the purifying of the flesh; that He, Who surpasses all mankind in beauty (Ps 44:2), should be eclipsed by the darkness of the Passion, for the enlightening of mankind; that He should suffer the ignominy of the Cross, grow pale in death, be totally deprived of beauty and comeliness, that He might gain the Church as a beautiful and comely Bride, without spot or wrinkle (Ep 5:27).

BUT UNDER HIS DARK COVERING (Sg 1:5), I recognise the King… I recognise Him and I embrace Him. For, although He presents this dark exterior… within, is the brightness of Divine life, the beauty of His strength, the splendour of grace, the purity of innocence. But covering it all, is the abject hue of infirmity, His Face, as it were, hidden and despised – “one tempted in every respect, as we are, yet without sinning” (Heb 4:15).

I RECOGNISE HERE ,the image of our sin-darkened nature; I recognise the garments that clothed our first parents after their sin (Gen 3:21). My God has clothed Himself in them by assuming the condition of a Slave and becoming, as men are, He was seen in their likeness (Phil 2:7). Under the skin that Jacob wore (Gen 27:16), symbol of sin, I recognise, both the Hand that committed no sin and the Neck which never bowed to evil; no word of treachery was found in His Mouth. I know, Lord, that You are gentle by nature, meek and humble of heart, pleasing in appearance and lovable in Your ways, “anointed with the oil of gladness above Your companions” (Mt 11:29; Ps 44:8). Why then this disfigured likeness to Esau? Whose haggard image this?… Ah! It is mine! He has taken my likeness, taken on my sin… And beneath the rough skin of my sinfulness, I recognise my God and my Saviour.!” – St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (28th Homily on the Song of Songs).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, QUOTES on DEATH, The LAST THINGS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – ‘ … No longer, then, do we die as men condemned …’

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows – Friday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week in Lent – Jeremiah 17:13-18, John 11:47-54

… It is expedient for us, that one man die for the people, instead of the whole nation perishing.” – John 11:50

REFLECTION “God, the Word of the all-good Father, did not disregard the human race, His own creation, when it was sinking back into corruption but rather, by the offering of His own Body, He destroyed the death men had incurred and by His teaching, He corrected their negligence. So, He restored by His power, all that belongs to man’s estate.

Anyone can find confirmation of this from the Saviour’s own disciples who spoke of Him, for in their writings one reads: The charity of Christ constrains us as we judge that if one died on behalf of all, then all died and He died for all, in order that we may live, no longer for ourselves but for Him Who died for us and rose from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ. And again: We see Jesus, Who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death, that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone. Then the writer goes onto show why it had to be God, the Word and no other Who became Man: Indeed it was fitting that in bringing many sons to glory, God, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, should make perfect the One Who leads them to salvation. By this He means, that the task of bringing men back from the corruption into which they had fallen, belonged to no other save God the Word, Who had made them in the beginning. Further, Scripture shows, that the Word assumed a Body for the purpose of offering It in sacrifice on behalf of other bodies like His own, for the writer continues: Since the children have blood and flesh in common, He likewise, shared in them Himself ,so that, by His own Death, He might destroy the one who had power over death, that is, the devil and might deliver those, who all their life long, were enslaved by fear of death.

For by the sacrifice of His own Body, He both put an end to the law that stood against us and made a new beginning of life for us, by giving us the hope of resurrection. Hence Paul, the Christbearer, declares: As through a man came death, so through a Man has come the Resurrection of the dead. For as all died in Adam, so also in Christ all shall be made to live.

No longer, then, do we die as men condemned but as men being raised even now, we await the general resurrection of all, which God, Whose work and gift it is, will reveal at the appointed time. St Athanasius (297-373) Archbishop of Alexandria, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his “On the Incarnation of the Word” 10).

PRAYER – O God, in Whose Passion the sword, according to the prophecy of blessed Simeon, pierced through the soul of Mary, the glorious Virgin and Mother, mercifully grant that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing through and her suffering, may, by the interceding glorious merits of all the saints faithfully standing by the Cross, obtain the abundant fruit of Your Passion. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FATHERS of the Church, Hail MARY!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The ANNUNCIATION, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Annunciation – ‘ … Chosen from among all other beings …’

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Annunciation – Isaias 7:10-15, Luke 1:26-38

Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28

REFLECTION – “The degeneration caused by sin had obscured the beauty of our original nobility. But when the mother of supreme Beauty is born, our nature finds its purity once more and sees itself moulded according to the perfect model, worthy of God (Gn 1,26)… We had all preferred the world below to that above. There no longer remained any hope of salvation. The state of our nature cried aloud to Heaven to come to the rescue… Then at last, in His good pleasure, the world’s Divine Artificer determined to make a new world appear, a different world full of harmony and youth.

Now was it not fitting, that a most pure virgin without stain, should place herself at the service of this mysterious plan first of all?… And where was this virgin to be found, if not in this woman, alone of her kind, chosen by the world’s Creator before all generations? Yes, she indeed is Mother of God, divinely named Mary, whose womb gave birth to God Incarnate and whom, He Himself had supernaturally prepared, as His Temple…

In this way, then, the design of the Redeemer of our race was to bring about a birth and, as it were, a new creation to replace the one that went before. Therefore, just as in Paradise, He had taken a litle clay out of the pure and spotless earth, to fashion the first Adam (Gn 2,7), so, at the moment of bringing about His Own Incarnation, He made use of another earth, so to speak, namely, this Pure and Immaculate Virgin, chosen from among all other beings He had created. It is in her that He, Adam’s Creator, has remade us in our very substance and become a new Adam (1Cor 15,45), that the old might be saved by the new and eternal.” – St Andrew of Crete (660-740) Bishop (Sermon 1 for the Nativity of the Mother of God ; PG 97, 812).

PRAYER – The Angelus
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – . Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent – Esther 13:8-11; 15-17, Matthew 20:17-28

“You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” … the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” … Matthew 20:22,28

REFLECTION – “It is our task and, in our case, an obligation, to make of you the object of all our care, our zeal, our ministrations, by word and deed, by warnings, encouragement, admonitions and incitement, (…) so that, in this way, we might insert you into the rhythm of the divine will and face you towards the goal set before us – to give pleasure to God. …

He Who is immortal, voluntarily shed His Blood He Who created the host of Angels, was bound at the hands of soldiers and He Who is to judge the living and the dead, was dragged to justice (cf. Acts 10:42; 2 Tm 4:1). Truth was exposed to false witnesses, was slandered, struck, covered with spittle, hung on the wood of the cross – the Lord of glory (cf. 1 Cor 2:8) endured every outrage and suffering without Himself needing these trials. How could this have happened to Him Who, even as Man, was without sin and Who, to the contrary, snatched us away from the tyranny of the sin through which death came into the world and falsely took possession of our first father?

So, there is nothing surprising about it, if we submit to even one of these trials since such is our condition … Therefore, we too have to be offended and tempted, afflicted by the cutting off of our wills. According to the interpretation of our Fathers, there is in this, a shedding of blood for this is what it means to be a monk. And we must gain the Kingdom of Heaven in that way, by spending our lives in imitation of the Lord. … Apply yourselves zealously to your duties, in the thought that by means of them, far from being slaves of men, you are serving God.” … St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople (Catecheses 1).

PRAYER – Look mercifully upon Your people, we beseech You, O Lord and grant that they whom You command to abstain from food, may also refrain from harmful vices. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in INDULGENCES, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRECIOUS BLOOD PRAYERS, Quotes on SALVATION, SACRED HEART PRAYERS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Our Morning Offering – 16 March – O Most Compassionate Jesus!

Our Morning Offering – 16 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

O Most Compassionate Jesus!
By Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)
Indulgence of 100 days, once a day
6 October 1870

O Most compassionate Jesus!
Thou alone art our salvation,
our life and our resurrection.
We implore Thee, therefore,
do not forsake us
in our needs and afflictions
but by the agony of
Thy Most Sacred Heart
and by the sorrows of
Thy Immaculate Mother,
succour Thy servants,
whom Thou hast redeemed
by Thy most Precious Blood.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Holy Name PRAYERS, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, Quotes on SALVATION, The HOLY NAME, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Our Morning Offering – 21 January – Complete Us, O Lord Jesus Christ

Our Morning Offering – 21 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”

Complete Us, O Lord Jesus Christ
By St Anselm (1033-1109)
Magnificent and Marian
Doctor of the Church

O Lord Jesus Christ,
our Redemption and our Salvation,
we praise You and give You thanks.
Although we are unworthy of Your benefits
and cannot offer to You, the devotion You deserve,
let Your loving-kindness complete
whatever our weakness tries to do.
Before You, O Lord,
we lay all our desires
and whatever our heart rightly wishes,
it is because of Your gifts.
Help us to love You as You command.
Do not let Your gifts be unfruitful in us.
Complete what You have begun,
give what You have made us desire,
convert our lukewarmness
into fervent love of You,
for the glory of Your Holy Name.
Amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GRACE, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Help of God

Thought for the Day – 16 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Help of God

“There are several passages in Sacred Scripture which emphasise clearly and effectively, our utter weakness and dependence on God.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” says St Paul, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).

Jesus warns us, that without Him, we can do nothing: “Without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
He uses the allegory of the vine and the branches as an illustration of this.
I am the vine, He says and you are the branches.
So it is necessary for you to remain united to me and I to you.
In the same way as a branch that does not live on, in the vine, can yield no fruit of itself, so you can do nothing, if you do not live on in Me.
If anyone does not remain united to Me, he will be like a withered branch which is thrown into the fire to be burned (
Jn 15),

We must remain united to Jesus, therefore, if we wish to do anything good and to merit everlasting life.
Otherwise, the supernatural life of grace will not be transmitted to us.
If Jesus is not there, death comes into our souls.
Let us remain close to our Divine Redeemer.
If we continue to live in Him, He will give us everything we ask, as He has promised: “If you abide in me and, if my words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done to you” (Jn 15:7).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY NAME, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Jesus is ….

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – and the Feast of the Holy Name celebrated today (Feast 3 January), Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24

“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him and for Him and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace.

PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, POETRY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on WATCHING, The DIVINE INFANT, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – ‘He has come down to earth, to take you to heaven …’

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She [Anna] spoke about the child to all
who were awaiting
the redemption of Jerusalem…

Luke 2:38

“He has come down to earth
to take you to heaven,
He became mortal
that you might become God
and put on your original beauty
.”

St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556)
Monk, Composer of Hymns, Poet

“The Angel said to the shepherds,
“This is a sign for you” (Lk 2: 12),
you who are humble,
you who are obedient,
you who are not haughty (Rom 12: 16),
you who are keeping vigil
and meditating on God’s law,
day and night (Ps 1:2).
“This is a sign for you,” he said.
What is this sign?
The sign the Angels promised,
the sign the people asked for,
the sign the prophets foretold,
the Lord Jesus has now made
and He shows it to you. …

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

“Listen! the reason He is called Saviour
is because, for all those
to whom He is united,
He gains salvation.
Now salvation means,
to be delivered from all ills and,
at the same time,
to find all blessings forever –
Life instead of death,
Light in place of darkness
and, instead of the slavery
of the passions and unworthy deeds,
the complete freedom granted
to all those, who are united to Christ,
Saviour of all beings.
Thus they will possess,
without being able to lose it,
all joy, all happiness, all blessedness (…)
that that none can ever know,
or conceive, or see,
if not sincerely and ardently
attached to Christ
.”

St Symeon the New Theologian (c 949-1022)

Who lives in Love
By St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Martyr

Who lives in Love, loves least to live
and long delays doth rue,
if Him he love by Whom he lives,
to Whom all praise is due,
Who for our love did choose to live
and was content to die,
Who loved our love more than His life
and love with Life did buy.
Let us in life, yea with our life
requite His Living Love,
for best we live when least we live,
if Love our life remove.
Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s death,
life only him annoy
and when he taketh leave of life
then Love begins his joys.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, POETRY, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 14 December – St Venantius Fortunatus

Quote/s of the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey
All hail, O Cross, our only hope!”

There are the gates of our true country,
the two lights of the immense world.
There Paul’s voice is heard like thunder;
there Peter withholds or hurls the bolt .
The former opens the hearts of men,
the latter opens Heaven.
Peter is the Foundation-stone,
Paul the Architect of the temple
where stands the Altar
by which God is propitiated.
Both together form a single Fountain,
which pours out its healing
and refreshing waters.

St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
“The Troubadour of Christ”


Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 13 October – The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – The Crucifixion

Thought for the Day – 13 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
The Crucifixion

“Jesus had only one consolation in the midst of His terrible sufferings.
His mother, Mary was beside the Cross along with His beloved Apostle and the holy women who had always followed Him.
Mary loved her Son with a love greater than that of any mother, which is the greatest love possible on earth.
She loved Jesus with the heart of a Mother and of a Virgin – He was her only treasure.
Moreover, she loved Him, not only as her Son but, also as her God.
Precisely because she loved Him as her God, her love was in perfect harmony with the divine will.

She understood the mystery which led Jesus to accept death on the Cross – the mystery of the Redemption.
“He was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7).
He was offered on our behalf, as a voluntary victim to His heavenly Father.

In the same way, Mary freely offered herself to God, as a victim of expiation along with her Son.
She saw on one hand, the Child of her womb – murdered and dying in frightful agony and, on the other, sinful humanity in need of redemption from its iniquity.
She did not hesitate; even as she pronounced her Fiat when the Angel told her that she was to be the instrument of the Incarnation, so now, she repeated her acceptance of her part in the Redemption.

By her first Fiat, she became the Mother of God; by her second Fiat, she became the loving Mother of poor sinners and our co-redemptrix in Jesus and for Jesus.
Woman, behold thy son,” (Jn 19:27) the Redeemer said, referring to John and to the entire humans race as represented by him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/12/thought-for-the-day-12-october-the-fifth-sorrowful-mystery-the-crucifixion/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, LENT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, STATIONS of the CROSS, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION, The STATIONS of the CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 September – “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?

One Minute Reflection – 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalms 78:1-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38, Philippians 2:6-11, John 3:13-17

“…And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” – John 3:14-15

REFLECTION – “That brazen serpent was hung up as a remedy for the biting serpents, not as a type of Him that suffered for us but, as a contrast. It saved those that looked upon it, not because they believed it to live but because it was killed and killed with it, were the powers that were subject to it, being destroyed as it deserved. And what is the fitting epitaph for it from us? O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” You are overthrown by the Cross. you are slain by Him, Who is the Giver of Life. You are without breath, dead, without motion, even though you keep the form of a serpent lifted up high on a pole.” – St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Oration 45).

PRAYER – O God, who willed that Your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have known His mystery on earth, may merit the grace of His redemption in heaven. For You placed the salvation of the human race on the wood of the Cross, so that, where death arose, life might again spring forth and the evil one, who conquered on a tree, might likewise on a tree be conquered through Christ. O Cross, You are the glorious sign of victory. Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus. We adore You O Christ and we praise You, for by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world. Amen.

Posted in GOD ALONE!, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The HEART, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 23 July – The Divided Heart

Thought for the Day – 23 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Divided Heart

Even if your heart has not become the property of the devil and retains a horror of mortal sin, it is still possible, that you have not given it completely to God.
Your heart is divided.
Part of it belongs to God and part of it to the world.
You are distracted by your own self-love and earthly desires.
A heart which is divided in its affections between God and the world, is dazzled by everything around it and tends to forget God, more and more.

We protest that we belong entirely to God but, in practice, we are so absorbed by work, ambition and pleasure, that we neglect God.

A man who is torn between love of God and love of the world is like Cain who, unlike Abel, did not offer God, the best part of his flock but kept this for himself and offered God whatever he had rejected.
God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but had no regard for that of Cain, who finally became a murderer and was cursed by his Creator.

Do we offer God the leavings of life while we keep the best part of it for our selves?
Do we think of ourselves nearly all the time and give very little thought to God?
This is not the way in which God has dealt with us.
Not only has He created us but, He loves us with an everlasting love.
He came down to earth and lived as our fellow man.
He redeemed us by His Precious Blood and gave Himself to us as our food!

Why are we not willing to give ourselves to Him forever in return?
Gratitude demands that we should do so.
God, moeover, is our supreme and only good.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/30/thought-for-the-day-30-april-the-divided-heart/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Thought for the Day – 18 June – Belonging Entirely to God

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

Belonging Entirely to God

“Let us reflect on the extent to which God is deserving of all our love.
He is our Creator, our final end and our Redeemer.
Jesus was not satisfied with giving us part of Himself but He gave us Himself completely.
Although, as God He was infinite, He could not have given us more.

One drop of Hs Precious Blood or a solitary tear, would have sufficed to redeem us from our sins.
But He shed His Blood to the last drop and gave His life for us.
Better still, He willed to remain amongst us in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist as our constant spiritual nourishment.
What more could He have done in order to merit our love?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/18/thought-for-the-day-18-june-belonging-entirely-to-god/

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on PRAYER, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – “In that day you will ask in my name” – John 16:26

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 Thy 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 which 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 reconciled 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 Thy 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.

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The HEART, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 22 April – The Divided Heart

Thought for the Day – 22 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Divided Heart

Even if your heart has not become the property of the devil and retains a horror of mortal sin, it is still possible, that you have not given it completely to God.
Your heart is divided.
Part of it belongs to God and part of it to the world.
You are distracted by your own self-love and earthly desires.
A heart which is divided in its affections between God and the world, is dazzled by everything around it and tends to forget God, more and more.

We protest that we belong entirely to God but, in practice, we are so absorbed by work, ambition and pleasure, that we neglect God.

A man who is torn between love of God and love of the world is like Cain who, unlike Abel, did not offer God, the best part of his flock but kept this for himself and offered God whatever he had rejected.
God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but had no regard for that of Cain, who finally became a murderer and was cursed by his Creator.

Do we offer God the leavings of life while we keep the best part of it for our selves?
Do we think of ourselves nearly all the time and give very little thought to God?
This is not the way in which God has dealt with us.
Not only has He created us but, He loves us with an everlasting love.
He came down to earth and lived as our fellow man.
He redeemed us by His Precious Blood and gave Himself to us as our food!

Why are we not willing to give ourselves to Him forever in return?
Gratitude demands that we should do so.
God, moeover, is our supreme and only good.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/30/thought-for-the-day-30-april-the-divided-heart/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES for CHRIST, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Journey to the Cross – Maundy Thursday – 1 April – The Lamb That Was Slain, Has Delivered Us from Death and has Given Us Life

Journey to the Cross – Maundy Thursday – 1 April

The Lamb That Was Slain, Has Delivered Us from Death

and has Given Us Life

Today we leave dear Thomas à Kempis and read instead a reflection by Saint Melito, Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180) Father of the Church, whose Feast day it is today.

There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover – that mystery is Christ and to Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

For the sake of suffering humanity He came down from heaven to earth, clothed Himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, He took the pain of fallen man upon Himself; He triumphed over the diseases of soul and body, that were its cause, and by His Spirit, which was incapable of dying, He dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.

He was led forth like a lamb; He was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as He had ransomed Israel from the hand of Egypt; He freed us from our slavery to the devil, as He had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with His own Spirit and the members of our body, with His own Blood.

He is the One, Who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One, Who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One, Who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be His own forever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.

It is He who endured every kind of suffering, in all those who foreshadowed Him. In Abel, He was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonoured in the prophets.

It is He who was made man of the Virgin, He who was hung on the tree; it is He who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute Lamb, the slain Lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of His was broken; in the earth His body knew no decay. He is the One, Who rose from the dead and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.

From an Easter homily by St Melito of Sardis

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on UNITY/with GOD, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 March – ‘The Source of all Blessings …

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”

John 11:52

“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

8th Homily on the Passion

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – ‘ … If He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied …’ John 12:20-33

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – Passion Sunday, Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34Psalms 51:3-412-1314-15Hebrews 5:7-9John 12:20-33

“If it dies, it produces much fruit” … John 12:24

REFLECTION – “Through the glorious achievements of the holy Martyrs with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we are ourselves, proving to our own eyes, how true are the words we have been singing that:  “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116[115]:15).   For it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of Him, in whose name the death took place.

But the price of those deaths is the death of one man.   How many deaths did that one man purchase by His death, for, if He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied?   You heard His words when He drew near His passion, that is when He was drawing near to our redemption:  “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”   On the Cross He carried out a vast transaction, there, the purse of our price was unfastened and, when His side was opened by the lance of the soldier, there streamed the price for the redemption of the whole earth (cf. Jn 19:34).

Now the faithful ones and Martyrs have been purchased but the faithfulness of the Martyrs has been proved – their blood is the proof … “As Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1Jn 3:16).   In another place it is stated:  “At a grand table you have sat;  now carefully consider what has been put before you, since it is your duty to prepare for such things” (cf. Prv 23:1).   That table is great where the Lord of the table is Himself the meal.   No-one feeds guests with Himself as food but this is exactly what the Lord Christ does, He, Himself is the host who in­vites;  He, Himself is the food and the drink.   Therefore, the Martyrs have recognised what they were eating and drink­ing so as to be able to repay such gifts.  But whence can they make such return unless He who first paid the cost, supplies the source from which restitu­tion may be made?   That is the reason for the Psalm, where we sing what is written: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” ... St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor – Sermon 329, for the Feast of the Martyrs, 1-2 ; PL 38, 1454

PRAYER – Lord our God, Your Son so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake. Strengthen us by Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by that same love. With Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus and our Mother, may we stand at His Cross. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LENT 2021, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HEART, The HOLY CROSS, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – – 14 March – For God so loved the world … John 3:14-21

One Minute Reflection – – 14 March – Laetare Sunday, Readings: 2 Chronicles 36:14-1619-23Psalms 137:1-23,4-56Ephesians 2:4-10John 3:14-21

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life…” – John 3:14-15

REFLECTION – “Let us praise the Son first of all, venerating the blood that expiated our sins. He lost nothing of His divinity when He saved me, when like a good physician He stooped to my festering wounds.
He was a mortal man but He was also God. He was of the race of David but Adam’s creator.
He who has no body clothed Himself with flesh. He had a mother who, nonetheless, was a virgin.
He who is without bounds, bound Himself with the cords of our humanity. He was victim and high priest—yet He was God.
He offered up His blood and cleansed the whole world.
He was lifted up on the cross but it was sin, that was nailed to it.
He became as one, among the dead but He rose from the dead, raising to life also many who had died before Him.
On the one hand, there was the poverty of His humanity, on the other, the riches of His divinity.
Do not let what is human in the Son permit you, wrongfully, to detract from what is divine. For the sake of the divine, hold in the greatest honour, the humanity, which the immortal Son took on Himself, for love of you!” – St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor – Poem 2

PRAYER – “All-powerful God, Benefactor and Creator of the universe,
hearken to my groaning in my peril.
Deliver me from fear and anguish,
free me, by the strength of Your might, You who can do all…
O Lord Christ, cut the threads of my net
with the sword of Your triumphant Cross, with the weapon of life.
This net encompasses me on every side,
holding me captive so as to bring me to my death.
Guide to their rest, my tottering and unsteady steps,
heal the stifling fever of my heart.” – St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010)
Doctor of the Church – Book of prayers, no 40 (Excerpt)

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DOUBT, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Thought for the Day – 6 March – Filial and Servile Fear

Thought for the Day – 6 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Filial and Servile Fear

“We should not be afraid of God because He is our greatest benefactor and loves us infinitely.
When we are lost, He searches for us as a loving father would search for a wandering son.
Because they think only of the majesty and justice of God, some people keep themselves at a distance from Him, as Adam did, after he had sinned.
They forget that the Lord told Adam, the sinner, of the coming of the pardoning Redeemer (Gen 3:9).
Bossuet truly observes, that “after the curse which came upon men through sin, there has always remained in their hearts, a certain dread of the supernatural, which prevents them from approaching God with confidence.”
Jansenism increased this fear, emphasising the justice and majesty of God, rather, than the infinite love of Jesus and the beauty of His teaching.

Some writers compare our souls with the divine majesty and justice, in order to stress our unworthiness but, they forget, that Jesus is “Meek and humble of heart,” that He forgave the penitent woman, the good thief and the adulteress and, had kind words for the lost sheep and the prodigal son.
They never think of the wonderful words of the beloved disciple: “God is love” (1 Jn 4:16).

This false fear of God, dries up our piety and lessens our trust in His mercy.
It can lead to moroseness, to scrupulosity and to discouragement.

We should avoid this excessive fear which separates us from God.
Even though we are sinful and unworthy, we should remember, that God is our loving Father, Who is always ready to help us and to grant us forgiveness.
We should recall, moreover, that out of love for us, He did not spare His own Son, (Cf Rom 8:32) but gave Him to us for our redemption.
If Jesus shed His blood and died for us, how can we doubt His love?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 January – “Why are you so afraid? – Mark 4:40

Quote/s of the Day – 30 January – Mark 4:35-41

And the wind ceased
and there was a great calm.
He said to them,
“Why are you so afraid?
Have you still no faith?”

Mark 4:39-40

“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening
and the day is almost over.”

Luke 24:29

“Come along then, every human family,
full of sin as you are
and receive the forgiveness of your sins.
For I Myself, am your Forgiveness,
I am the Passover of salvation,
the Lamb slain for your sakes,
your redemption, life and resurrection;
I am your Light, your Salvation and your King.
It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven,
I, who will raise you up;
it is I, who will bring you to see the Father
who is from all eternity;
it is I, who will raise you up
by My all-powerful Hand.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Apologist

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“Look upon the face of the Crucified,
who invites you to follow Him.
He will be a Father, Mother–everything to you.”

St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

“Keep Jesus Christ
as your dial, at all times,
His Cross for mast,
on which to hoist
your resolutions, as a sail.
Let your anchor be,
profound trust in Him
and set out early!”

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

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Thought for the Day – 17 January – The Help of God

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

The Help of God

“There are several passages in Sacred Scripture which emphasise clearly and effectively, our utter weakness and dependence on God.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” says St Paul, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).

Jesus warns us, that without Him, we can do nothing: “Without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
He uses the allegory of the vine and the branches as an illustration of this.
I am the vine, He says and you are the branches.
So it is necessary for you to remain united to me and I to you.
In the same way as a branch that does not live on, in the vine, can yield no fruit of itself, so you can do nothing, if you do not live on in Me.
If anyone does not remain united to Me, he will be like a withered branch which is thrown into the fire to be burned (Jn 15),

We must remain united to Jesus, therefore, if we wish to do anything good and to merit everlasting life.
Otherwise, the supernatural life of grace will not be transmitted to us.
If Jesus is not there, death comes into our souls.
Let us remain close to our Divine Redeemer.
If we continue to live in Him, He will give us everything we ask, as He has promised: “If you abide in me and, if my words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done to you” (Jn 15:7).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of this thread here:
https://anastpaul.com/?s=the+beggars+of+god