Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, GOD the FATHER, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on CREATION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on UNITY, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – St Gregory Nazianzen

Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – The Memorial of St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Bishop, Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church

He wants you to become
a living force for all mankind,
lights shining in the world.
You are to be radiant lights
as you stand beside Christ,
the Great Light,
bathed in the glory of Him
who is the Light of Heaven.”

Many indeed are the wondrous happenings
of that time:
God hanging from a Cross,
the sun made dark
and again flaming out;
for it was fitting,
that creation should mourn
with its Creator.
The temple veil rent,
blood and water flowing
from His side –
the one as from a Man,
the other as from what was above man;
the earth shaken,
the rocks shattered because of the Rock;
the dead risen to bear witness
to the final and universal
resurrection of the dead.
The happenings at the sepulchre
and after the sepulchre,
who can fittingly recount them?
Yet not one of them, can be compared,
to the Miracle of my Salvation.
A few drops of Blood
renews the whole world
and do, for all men,
what the rennet does for the milk –
joining us and binding us together!

God accepts our desires as though
they were of great value.
He longs ardently for us
to desire to and love Him.
He accepts our petitions for benefits,
as though we were doing Him a favour.
His joy in giving,
is greater than ours in receiving.
So let us not be apathetic in our asking,
nor set too narrow bounds to our requests;
nor ask for frivolous things
unworthy of God’s greatness.

“If anyone does not believe
that Holy Mary
is the Mother of God,
such a one is a stranger
to the Godhead.

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

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 FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, HOLY SATURDAY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Holy Saturday – 16 April – The Lord Descends into Hell

Holy Saturday (Vigil Mass of Easter) – 16 April – Matthew 28:1-7

When Christ should appear, Who is your Life, then you also shall appear with Him, in glory.” Colossians 3:4

“And at the end of the Sabbath,
when it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalen
and the other Mary,
to see the sepulchre
.”

Matthew 28:1

Ancient Christian Writer
Anonymous
(An excerpt from Homily on Holy Saturday)

The Lord Descends into Hell

SOMETHING STRANGE IS HAPPENING — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and He has raised up all who have slept even since the world began. God has Died in the Flesh and hell trembles with fear!

HE HAS GONE TO SEARCH for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, He has gone to free from sorrow, the captives Adam and Eve, He Who is both God and the Son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the Weapon that had won Him the Victory. At the sight of Him, Adam, the first man He had created, struck His breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper and rise from the dead and Christ will give you light.”

I AM YOUR GOD, Who, for your sake, have become your Son! Out of love for you and for your descendants, I now by My Own Authority, command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness, to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the Life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in My image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in Me and I Am in you; together, we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

FOR YOUR SAKE I, your God, became your Son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, Whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden and I was Crucified in a garden.

SEE ON MY FACE the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in My Image. On My Back see the marks of the scourging I endured, to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See My Hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I SLEPT ON THE CROSS and a sword pierced My Side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My Side has healed the pain in yours. My Sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced Me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

RISE, LET US LEAVE THIS PLACE.
The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise but I will enthrone you in Heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life but see, I Who am Life itself, am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The Kingdom of Heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity!

Posted in GOOD FRIDAY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The SECOND COMING, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 April – There they crucified Him – John 19:18

One Minute Reflection – 15 April – Good Friday – The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John 18:1-40.19,1-42.

There they crucified Him and with Him two others, one on either side and Jesus between them. ” – John 19:18

REFLECTION – “Truly, you are a hidden God!” (Is 45:15).   Why hidden?   Because He had neither form nor beauty, yet power was in His Hands.   It was there His fortitude was hidden.

Was He not hidden when He submitted His Hands to brutes and His Palms received the nails?   The print of the nails gleamed on His Hands and His innocent Side received the wound.   They shackled His Feet in fetters, the iron pierced His soles and His Feet were fastened to the tree.   These wounds did God suffer on our behalf, at the hands of His own people, in His own home.   O how marvellous are His Wounds by which the wounds of the world were healed!   How victorious His Wounds, by which He slew death and stung hell! … Therefore, O Church, O dove, You have coverts in the rock and a hollow in the wall in which to rest (cf. Sg 2:14). …

And what will you do … when He comes in the clouds with great power and majesty? (cf. Mt 24:30)   He will come down with Heaven and earth ablaze and by the terror of His coming, He will dissolve the elements.   When He has come, the Sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky and the beloved One will show the scars of His Wounds and the prints of the nails, by which He was transfixed in His own home.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) – Cistercian Monk, Bishop

PRAYER – We adore Thee, O Christ and we bless Thee
because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast Redeemed the world. Amen

Posted in CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – This is Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

“He loved them unto the end.”

John 13:1

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

He is all things –
He judges and so, He is Law.
He teaches and so, He is Wisdom.
He saves and so, He is Grace.
He begets and so, He is Father.
He is begotten,and so, He is Son.
He suffers and so, He is Sacrifice.
He is buried and so, He is Man.
He rises again and so, He is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Early Church Father

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MAUNDY THURSDAY, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – ‘… Place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified …’

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Maundy Thursday – 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, John 13:1-15

“Jesus, knowing that his hour was come, … he loved them unto the end.” – John 13:1

REFLECTION – “Be obedient to the death, following the example of the spotless Lamb who obeyed His Father even to a shameful death on the Cross. Reflect that He is the way and the rule you are to follow. Always hold Him present before the eyes of your spirit. See how obedient He is, this Word, this Utterance of God! He does not refuse to take up the burden of suffering laid on Him by His Father; to the contrary, He throws Himself into it, spurred on by His great desire. Isn’t this what He reveals during the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, when He says: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15)? By “eat this Passover” He means, the accomplishment of the Father’s will and His desire. Seeing that scarcely any time lies before Him (He was already looking ahead to the end, when He would sacrifice His body for our sake), He rejoices, He is glad and joyfully says: “I have greatly desired.” Here is the Passover He is speaking about – that which consists in giving His own self as food, in laying down His own body in obedience to the Father.

Jesus had celebrated many another Passover with His disciples but never this one, O unspeakable, sweet and burning charity! You think neither of Your suffering nor of Your humiliating death – if You had thought of them, You would not have been so joyful, You would not have called it a Passover. The Word sees ,that it is He Himself Who has been chosen, He Himself Who has received all our humanity as His spouse. He has been asked to give us His own Blood so that God’s will might be accomplished in us, so that it might be His Blood that sanctifies us. This is, indeed, the sweet Passover, this Lamb without blemish accepts (cf. Ex 12:5) and it is with great love and great desire that He fulfils the Father’s will and wholly carries out His design. What unspeakably sweet love! …

That is why, my beloved, I beg you never to entertain the least dread and to place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified … May all servile fear be banished from your spirits. You will say with Saint Paul …: “I can do all things through Christ crucified, since he is within me by desire and love and he strengthens me” (cf. Phil 4:13; Gal 2:20). Love, love, love! By His Blood, the gentle Lamb has made an unassailable rock of your soul.” – St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, Co-patron of Europe – Letter 129

PRAYER – O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency, that even as in His Passion, our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each a retribution according to his merits, so having taken away our old sins, He may bestow upon us the grace of His Resurrection. Who with Thee lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen

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 CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LENT 2022, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Friday of the First Week of Lent – 11 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – “The Lord has had pity on us”

Friday of the First Week of Lent – 11 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Ezechiel 18:10-28, John 5:1-15

Bring me out of distress, O Lord; put an end to my affliction and my suffering
and take away all my sins
.” – Psalm 24:17-18

Now a certain man was there
who had been thirty-eight years
under his infirmity.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been
in this state a long time, He said to him,
Do you want to get well?

John 5:5-6

“The Lord has had pity on us”

HAPPY ARE WE if we do the deeds of which we have heard and sung. Our hearing of them means having them planted in us, while our doing them, shows that the seed has borne fruit. By saying this, I wish to caution you, dearly beloved, not to enter the Church fruitlessly, satisfied with mere hearing of such mighty blessings and failing to do good works. For we have been saved by His grace, says the Apostle and not by our works, lest anyone may boast; for it is by His grace that we have been saved. It is not as if a good life of some sort came first and that thereupon, God showed His love and esteem for it from on high, saying: “Let us come to the aid of these men and assist them quickly because they are living a good life.” No, our life was displeasing to Him. He will, therefore, condemn what we have done but He will save, what He Himself has done in us.

WE WERE NOT GOOD but God had pity on us and sent His Son to die, not for good men but for bad ones, not for the just but for the wicked. Yes, Christ died for the ungodly. Notice what is written next: One will hardly die for a righteous man, although perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. Perhaps someone can be found who will dare to die for a good man but for the unjust man, for the wicked one, the sinner, who would be willing to die except Christ alone, Who is so just, that He justifies even the unjust?

AND SO, MY BROTHERS, we had no good works, for all our works were evil. Yet although men’s actions were such, God in His mercy did not abandon men. He sent His Son to redeem us, not with gold or silver but at the price of His Blood poured out for us. Christ, the Spotless Lamb, became the Sacrificial Victim, led to the slaughter for the sheep that were blemished — if indeed one can say that they were blemished and not entirely corrupt. Such is the grace we have received! Let us live so as to be worthy of that great grace and not do injury to it. So mighty is the Physician Who has come to us, that He has healed all our sins! If we choose to be sick once again, we will not only harm ourselves,but show ingratitude to the Physician as well.

LET US THEN FOLLOW Christ’s paths which He has revealed to us, above all, the path of humility, which He Himself became for us. He showed us that path by His precepts, and He Himself followed it by His suffering on our behalf. In order to die for us —because as God, He could not die — the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The immortal One took on mortality, that He might die for us and by dying, put to death our death. This is what the Lord did, this the gift He granted to us. The mighty one was brought low, the lowly one was slain and after He was slain, He rose again and was exalted. For He did not intend to leave us dead in hell but to exalt, in Himself, at the Resurrection of the Dead, those whom He had already exalted and made just by the faith and praise they gave Him. Yes, He gave us the path of humility. If we keep to it we shall confess our belief in the Lord and have good reason to sing: We shall praise You, God, we shall praise You and call upon Your Name.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from a Homily 23).

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2022, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Quotes on SALVATION, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – Do you want to get well?

Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – Ember Friday of the First Week of Lent – Ezechiel 18:10-28, John 5:1-15

Now a certain man was there
who had been thirty-eight years
under his infirmity.
When Jesus saw him lying there,
and knew that he had been
in this state a long time, He said to him,
Do you want to get well?

John 5:5-6

Rescue Me, Most Merciful God
By Father Martin von Cochem OSFC (c 1630-1712)

Most merciful God,
remember at how great a price
Thou didst purchase me
and how much Thou didst suffer for me.
For the sake of that inestimable price,
do not permit me to be lost,
rescue me,
number me amongst the sheep
of Thy fold.
With them, I will then
praise and magnify Thy loving kindness,
to all eternity.
Amen

Fr Martin von Cochem was a German Capuchin theologian, preacher and prolific ascetic writer. Father Martin’s works embrace a great variety of subjects: a huge volume of apologetics against Protestantism, the life of Christ, lives of the Saints, edifying narratives, the setting forth of certain points in Christian asceticism, forms of prayer, methods to be followed for the worthy reception of the sacraments, etc.
The prayer above is from the renowned “The Four Last Things.”

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – ‘ … If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him,…’

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – The Memorial of St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church – 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Matthew 5:13-19

I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “In Him, the promise made through the shadows of prophecy, stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the One Who teaches the Truth of prophecy, through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”  St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Sermo 51).

PRAYER – Grant us, we beseech You, almighty God, to follow the counsel and examples of St Peter, Your Confessor and Bishop, so that by setting earthly goods at naught, we may attain everlasting happiness. 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 INGRATITUDE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Sin

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Sin

“In order to understand more clearly, the gravity of sin, it is helpful at this stage, to consider three things:

(a) The world with all its evils – sorrows, diseases, wars, plagues and death.
All these things do not come directly from the Will of God, Who is the highest good but happen, with His permission.”
They are the effect of original sin and of the continuing transgressions of men.

(b) Hell, which is the handiwork of sin, God, infinitely good but also infintely just, has ordained this terrible and everlasting punishment for the rebellious sinner.

(c) The Crucifix.
To save us from sin, the God-Man has suffered the cruellest of torments and death but, men go on offending Him with unbelievable ingratitude!

Now, let us turn the spotlight on ourselves and think of our past lives.
So many sins and abuses of God’s grace!
Such coldness and ingratitude!
Where has all this brough us?
Spiritually, sin has deprived us of God and of the supernatural life, which His grace gives us.
Intellectually, it is an absurdity, a dishonour and a degradation.
Physically, it is an inversion of the right order and often means total ruin.

Let us humbly repent, therefore and make resolutions so firm, that we shall be ready to face any sacrifice, even death, in order to put them into practice.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/09/13/thought-for-the-day-13-september-sin/

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 LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The BEATITUDES, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 2 December – The Thirst for Justice

Thought for the Day – 2 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Thirst for Justice

“Jesus commands us, in the Beatitudes, to seek justice, that is perfection in the fulfilment of our obligations to God, to ourselves and, to our neighbour.
He commands us, to hunger and thirst for this justice, which is identical to holiness.

When Christ tells us to hunger and thirst for justice, He imposes on us, the obligation of doing our very best to acquire the virtue of Christian justice, which is the sythesis of all the virtues.
We must be aware, therefore, of laziness, apathy, tepidity, or mediocrity, for our advance in spiritual perfection, must be continuous.
There must be no hesitation or backsliding.
The high target which God has set for us, demands hard work and boundless generosity on our part.
Jesus Christ loved us so much that He gave Himself entirely for us and shed His Precious Blood to the last drop, for our Redemption.
How can we possibly be niggardly or half-hearted in our relatioas with Him?

Whenever God’s cause is at stake, whether in our efforts to achieve our own spiritual perfection or in the fulfilment of our obligations towards our neighbour, we should never refuse anything but, should display absolute dedication to God and to our fellowman.
“Let us hunger,” said St Catherine of Siena, “for God’s honour and for the salvation of souls” (Vrev di perfezioe, p81).
The hunger and thirst for justice, nourished by the love of God and of our neighbour, should exclude all mediocrity and selfishness from our lives.
It should urge us on, as it did the Saints, towards the highest pinnacles of sanctity.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ATHEISM, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 27 November – The Salvation of Souls

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

The Salvation of Souls

“We have only to look around us to realise the sad state of the greater part of human society.
Men may be divided into three principal categories – the evil, the indifferent and the good.
The evil are very numerous.
The Holy Spirit tells us that the number of fools is infinite (Eccles 1:15).
Now, the greatest and most real folly, is sin because, sin offends God, our supreme good, our Creator and Redeemer and because, it endangers the salvation of the soul.
Nevertheless, countless sins are committed.
There is an immense number of people who commit sin not merely through human frailty but who have abandoned God absolutely by denying or insulting Him and by striving to eradicate Him from the consciousness of their fellow-men.
Their God is themselves!

The second group is that of the indifferent, those for whom God, religion and the supernatural are quite unimportant.
They are content to lead materialistic lives without any thought of eternity.
It is enough for them to be able to live, make money and to enjoy themselves.
Nothing else matters.
Their God is the world and its goods!
The number of such people is increasing at an alarming rate.

Lastly, there are the good people who desire to become more and more perfect.
Unfortunately, there are very few of these now and one would like to see them displaying greater generosity and enthusiasm for the salvation of those around them.

To which group do you belong?
Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind completely to dedicate yourself to the pursuit of sanctity?
Perhaps you are still wavering between the alternatives of good and evil?
Anyone who remains inactive, becomes an accomplish!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on WATCHING, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The HOLY NAME, The REDEMPTION, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 November – ‘… Your redemption is at hand.’

Quote/s of the Day – 25 November – Readings: Daniel 6: 12-28; Psalm: Daniel 3: 68-74; Luke 21: 20-28

Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

Luke 21:28

So everyone who acknowledges me
before men,
I also will acknowledge
before my Father,
who is in heaven…

Matthew 10:32

Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day
nor the hour.

Matthew 24:13

Sheltered under the name of
Jesus Christ,
I do not fear these pains ….

St Lawrence (Died 258)
Martyr

When insults have no effect on us,
when persecutions and penalties,
have no terror for us,
when prosperity or adversity,
has no influence on us,
when friend and foe,
are viewed in the same light…
do we not come close,
to sharing, the serenity of God?

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
St Bernard of the North

Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.

Luke 21:36

Life is short,
Death is certain
and the world to come is everlasting.

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The REDEMPTION, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 November – ‘ … The redemption you have sought, is coming near!’

One Minute Reflection – 25 November – Readings: Daniel 6: 12-28; Psalm: Daniel 3: 68-74; Luke 21: 20-28 – The Memorial of St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305)

Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” – Luke 21:28

REFLECTION –The powers of heaven will be moved.” What does the Lord mean by the powers of heaven if not the Angels and Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Rulers and Powers? (Col 1,6). At the coming of the severe Judge, they will appear visibly before our eyes… “Then they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great authority and majesty.” In other words, they are going to see, in power and majesty, Him Whom they chose not to hear in a state of humility… He said these things about the condemned; words of consolation for the elect follow at once: “When these things begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near. Truth is exhorting His elect by saying: When the disasters of the world become more frequent… let your hearts exult! While the world, which is not your friend, is coming to an end, the redemption you have sought ,is coming near.!”

Those who love God are ordered to rejoice and be merry at the world’s end. They will soon find Him Whom they love, while what they have not loved is passing away. It should be far from the hearts of all the faithful who long to see God to grieve over the disasters of a world, for they know, these very disasters, are soon to end. It is written that: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world, makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas 4,4). Someone who does not rejoice as the end of the world approaches, testifies, that he is its friend and this itself convicts him, of being God’s enemy!

Let this be far from the hearts of the faithful, let it be far from those who believe ,by their faith, that there is another life and who love it by their activities… What is our mortal life except a way? Consider carefully, my friends, what sort of thing it is to grow weary with the exertions of the way and yet to be unwilling, that the way be ended!… Therefore, my friends, do not love what you see cannot long exist.” – St Gregory the Great (c 540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church – [Homilies on the Gospel, n.3 (Migne; trans. ©Cistercian publications Inc.]

PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption. May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St Catherine of Alexandria be a help in our struggle. Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to the banquet which awaits us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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 CARMELITES, DIVINE MERCY, I BELIEVE!, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MORNING Prayers, ORIGINAL SIN, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRECIOUS BLOOD PRAYERS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Our Morning Offering – 31 August – Heal Us Lord God

Our Morning Offering – 31 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart”

Heal Us Lord God
By St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307)

O my God,
You have created the human race
by Your wonderful power.
It is an act of Your clemency that has called us
to share Your glory and eternal life.
When the first sin condemned us to suffer death,
out of Your goodness,
You wished to redeem us
through the Blood of Your Son,
To unite us to Yourself
through our faith
and Your great mercy.
You have brought us back
from the shame of our sin,
You have veiled our dishonour
in the brightness of Your glory.
Look now and see that what You have created,
giving it subtle limbs and joints
and made beautiful through its immortal soul,
is now subject to the attack of Satan.
Be pleased Lord
to reconstitute Your work and heal it.
May Your power be glorified
and may the malice of the enemy be stunned.
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 JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 5 July – Faith and Hope

Thought for the Day – 5 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Faith and Hope

“Christian hope derives from faith.
When we believe in the infinitely good and merciful God, Who was made man for us and Who shed His Precious Blood, for our salvation, we experience a great hope and a great confidence.
No matter how numerous our sins and our defects, as long as we are sincerely repentant, we should continue to hope for the forgiveness of God.
Despair, which led Judas to commit suicide, should never be allowed to enter our minds.
Like the penitent Magdalen, like the prodigal son, like the lost sheep and, like the good thief, let us trust in Jesus with faith, hope and sorrow for our sins.
Let us remember, that He is infinitely good and merciful and ardently desires to pardon us.
Together with this hope of God’s forgiveness, we should nurture the hope of gaining Heaven, which the Lord, in His infinite goodness, has promised, not only to innocent souls but, also to repentant sinners.
In order that this hope may not be in vain, however, we should include, in our repentance for our sins, a firm purpose of amendment.

Let us remember, that the more we hope for, the more we shall obtain!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/04/thought-for-the-day-4-july-faith/

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 "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 April – Easter Saturday – ‘What He offers us, is so precious, that what He asks of us, is as nothing.’ St Augustine

One Minute Reflection – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15 *First Reading and Gospel in full below

“Preach the gospel to every creature” – Mark 16:15

REFLECTION – “You have heard what the Lord said to His disciples after the Resurrection. He sent them out to preach the Gospel and they did so. Listen: “Through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world, their message” (Ps 18[19],5). Step by step, the Gospel has reached even to us and the ends of the earth. In a few words the Lord, addressing Himself to His disciples, set out what we are to do and what we have to hope for. Just as you have heard, He said: “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved.” He asks for our faith and offers us salvation. What He offers us, is so precious, that what He asks of us, is as nothing.

“The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings, O my God… from your delightful stream You give them to drink, for with you is the fountain of life” (Ps 35[36],8f.). Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Life. Before the Gountain of Life came to us, we had only a human salvation, like that of the beasts of which the psalm speaks: “Man and beast you save, O Lord” (Ps 35[36],7). But now, the Fountain of Life has come even to us, the Fountain of Life died for our sakes. Will He refuse us His life Who, for our sakes, gave His death? He is salvation and this salvation is not worthless, like the other one. Why? Because it does not pass away. The Lord has come. He died, but He killed death. In Himself, He brought an end to death. He assumed it and He killed it. Where is death now, then? Look for it in Christ and it is no longer there. It used to be there but there it died. O life, death of death! Take heart, it will also die in us. What was fulfilled in the Head, will also be fulfilled in the members and death will die in us, too.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon 233

PRAYER – Lord our God, You increase and multiply Your faithful by Your abundant gift of grace.   Look now on Your chosen people and clothe them forever in the garment of eternal life.   May we, in confident love of You, go forth and live our lives in witness and speaking with joy of the ways of truth.   Grant that the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the Saints and Angels, may accompany us on our journey.   Through our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Acts 4: 13-21
13 Now seeing the constancy of Peter and of John, understanding that they were illiterate and ignorant men, they wondered and they knew them that they had been with Jesus.
14 Seeing the man also who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
15 But they commanded them to go aside out of the council; and they conferred among themselves,
16 Saying: What shall we do to these men? for indeed a known miracle hath been done by them, to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: it is manifest and we cannot deny it.
17 But that it may be no farther spread among the people, let us threaten them that they speak no more in this name to any man.
18 And calling them, they charged them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John answering, said to them: If it be just in the sight of God, to hear you rather than God, judge ye.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
21 But they threatening, sent them away, not finding how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified what had been done, in that which had come to pass.

Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15
9 But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 She went and told them that had been with him, who were mourning and weeping.
11 And they hearing that he was alive and had been seen by her, did not believe.
12 And after that he appeared in another shape to two of them walking, as they were going into the country.
13 And they going, told it to the rest: neither did they believe them.
14 At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart because they did not believe them, who had seen him after he was risen again.
15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Posted in EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, The LAMB of GOD, The REDEMPTION

Our Morning Offering – 8 April – Easter Thursday – O Lamb of God

Our Morning Offering – 8 April – Easter Thursday

O Lamb of God
By St Irenaeus (c 130 – c 202)
Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us,
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOOD FRIDAY, HOLY WEEK, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 3 April – The Death of our Saviour

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

The Death of our Saviour

“Quite apart from the most fearful physical torments, such as the Scourging, the Crowning with Thorns and the Crucifixion, Jesus willed to endure extreme moral sufferings, such as the betrayal by Judas, the desertion by His Apostles in His hour of trial and the denial by the Head of the Apostles himself.
He willed to endure an even greater spiritual affliction than these, which was so mysterious as to be almost beyond our understanding.
This, was His abandonment by His heavenly Father.
“My God, my God,” He cries out in His last agony, “why hast thou forsaken me.”
His human heart elected to experience, at that moment, the removal of the inmost consolations and joys, which flowed from His continual union with His heavenly Father.
He was both Man and God.
His human nature was hypostatically united to the Word and in this way, even His human nature participated in His infinite happiness.
As Man, however, He chose to be deprived of this happiness.
Being burdened with all our sins, He wished to endure the most frightful sufferings and even abandonment by His heavenly Father.

We shall be able to understand this, if we ever experience moral affliction, which can be much worse than physical pain.
On thee occasions, we should we should console ourselves with the reflection, that Jesus has walked this way of sorrows before us.
Then we shall remain united in these tials to Him, Who is the only source of comfort and resignation.
Let us prostrate ourselves before His lifeless Body, covered with sores and furrowed with blood!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/14/thought-for-the-day-14-april-the-death-of-our-saviour/

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, HOLY SATURDAY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The REDEMPTION

Quote of the Day – 3 April – ‘By nothing else except the CROSS …’

Quote of the Day – 3 April – Holy Saturday

By nothing else except the CROSS
of our Lord Jesus Christ
has death been brought low.
The sin of our first parent destroyed,
hell plundered,
resurrection bestowed,
the power given us to despise the things of this world,
even death itself,
the road back to the former blessedness made smooth,
the gates of paradise opened,
our nature seated at the right hand of God
and we made children and heirs of God.
By the CROSS, all these things have been set aright…
It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,
a raising up of those who lie fallen,
a support for those who stand,
a staff for the infirm,
a crook for the shepherded,
a guide for the wandering,
a perfecting of the advanced,
salvation for soul and body,
a deflector, of all evils,
a cause of all goods,
a destruction of sin,
a plant of resurrection
and a tree of eternal life!”

St. John Damascene (675-749)
Father and Doctor