Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, The DIVINE INFANT, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight

… Let us keep the Feast,
not after the manner of a heathen festival
but after a godly sort;
not after the way of the world
but in a fashion above the world;
not as our own
but as belonging to Him
who is ours,
or rather as our Master’s;
not as of weakness
but as of healing;
not as of creation
but of re-creation.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Archbishop of Constantinople
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Jesus Christ, the God-Man,
was born in a manger
and is spiritually reborn on the altar.
He suffered on Calvary
and continues to offer Himself on the altar.
In His earthly life, He spread His teaching
and worked miracles among the crowds.
In the Eucharist, He spans the centuries
and communicates Himself to all.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“… For God it was too small a thing
that His Son should show us the way,
He made of Him the Way (cf Jn 14:6),
the Way by which you would go
under His direction,
the Way you would follow…”

“Awake, mankind!
For your sake God has become man.
Awake, you who sleep,
rise up from the dead
and Christ will enlighten you.
I tell you again,
for your sake,
God became man.”

St Augustine 354-430)
Great Latin Father
and Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The DIVINE INFANT, The HEART, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 23 December – What Jesus Wants From Us

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

What Jesus Wants From Us

“Let us contemplate Jesus lying on a rough pallet of straw in the manger.
When we see Him looking at us, let us ask ourselves what it is that He requires of us.
In fact, He wants many things from us.
First of all, He wants us to weep for our sins and to promise, never to fall again, as long as we have the assistance of His grace, for which we should pray continually.
For this, He has become man and has entered into the world.
For this He will work miracles, preach His doctrine and shed His Precious Blood on the Cross.
All this He will do to redeem us from sin and to win Heaven for us.

If we return to the path of sin, we destroy the divine work of redemption, inasfar as it applies to ourselves.
We make Christ’s passion, death and resurrection useless in our case.
We brush aside the chain of favours with which His love has girdled us – the Gospel, the Sacraments and the Church, our good mother who is always at our side to instruct and direct us, to rescue us from peril and, to distribute to us, the gifts of her divine Founder.
When we sin, we commit an act of base ingratitude to Jesus and accomplish our own eternal ruin.

The Infant Jesus longs for us to give our hearts to Him.
Since He has given us His own, why should we be unwilling to give ours to Him?
Who or what can we love, if we do not love Jesus?
Nothing else is capable of giving us peace of soul and resignation in suffering.
Jesus alone can bestow these gifts on us, as long as we love and follow Him and abandon ourselves completely to His Holy Will.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Humility of Mary

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

The Humility of Mary

“The profound humility of Mary was commensurate with her high dignity.
As Dante put it, she was the humblest and noblest of creatures. “Umile ed altra piu che creatura” (Paradiso 33:2)
None of the saints was humbler than Mary, just as none of them was greater.
It was an Archangel who came down from Heaven and bowed before her as he praised her in the highest terms as “full of grace” and announced the unique dignity she was to receive as Mother of God.
She bowed her head in turn and declared herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, ready to do His will in all things.
Then she went to visit and congratulate her cousin, Elizabeth, because she had heard from the Angel that she was to be the mother of the Precursor.
When she arrived at the house, she was greeted by Elizabeth with the words: “How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Far from being flattered, however, Mary attributed all her glory to God and replied with the Magnificat, a hymn of praise and gratitude in God’s honour.
It was the same when Jesus was born in the manger at Bethlehem.
There was a sudden brightness in the sky and the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill.”
But even though she held the Lord of Heaven and earth, in her arms, the Blessed Virgin asked for nothing for herself.
Her only desire was to do the will of God.
The love of Jesus was enough for her.
She did not seek her own glory but the glory of God.
Likewise, on the weary journey into Egypt, she was content because, she was with Jesus and in the obscure life of Nazareth, she desired no other treasure but Her divine Son.
During His public life, she followed Him in silence.
Once only she spoke in a submissive tone, in order to ask a favour for others but not for herself.
It was at the wedding celebrations in Cana, when she asked for the first miracle, in such a way, that it was not even apparent that it was she who had wrung the favour from the filial heart of Jesus.
It was always like that, up to the time of Calvary and the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost.
She remained humbly in the background all the time.
Now, after her departure from this earth, her humility has been gloriously crowned in the dogma of the Assumption and in her Coronation as Queen of Angels and of Saints.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Advent Reflection – 22 December – O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations – ‘ … that we might see Him, touch Him and hear Him speak.”

Advent Reflection – 22 December – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-281 Samuel 2:14-56-78Luke 1:46-56

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!

…For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. … Luke 1:49

REFLECTION – “Then Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour … He has helped Israel his child (Lk 1:54 Gk), remembering his mercy and the covenant he made with Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Do you observe how the Virgin surpasses the perfection of the patriarch and seals the covenant God made with Abraham when He said to him: “This is to be the covenant between me and you”? (Gn 17:11) … It is the song of this prophecy that the holy Mother of God addressed to God when she said: “My soul magnifies the Lord …, for He who is Mighty has magnified me; holy is His name. In making me the mother of God He preserves my virginity. The full number of every generation is summed up within my womb, that they may be made holy in it. For He has blessed all ages, men and woman, young people, children, the old” (…)

“He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly” (…) The lowly, the gentile peoples hungry for righteousness (Mt 5:6), have been exalted. By making known their lowliness and hunger for God and by begging for God’s word, just as the Canaanite woman asked for crumbs (Mt 15:27), they have been satisfied with the riches concealed within the divine mysteries.
For Jesus Christ our God, son of the Virgin, has handed out to the gentiles the whole inheritance of divine favours.
He has raised up Israel his child: not just any Israel but His child, on whose exalted birth He bestows honour. This is why the Mother of God calls this people her child and her heir. God, who found this people worn out by the letter, wearied by the Law, calls it to His grace. By giving this name to Israel He raises him up, “remembering his mercy, as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.”
These few words sum up the whole mystery of our salvation. Wanting to save humankind and seal the covenant established with our fathers, Jesus Christ then “inclined the heavens and came down” (Ps 18[17]:10).
Thus He manifested Himself to us, putting Himself within our reach so that we might see Him, touch Him and hear Him speak.” – A 4th century homily (Incorrectly attributed to Gregory of Neocaesarea, called “Thaumaturgos”, no. 2)

Prayer – The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth, all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is His Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – Is she not our mother?

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

“And if any man
will not receive His birth from a virgin,
how shall he receive His resurrection
from the dead?
For it is nothing wonderful
and astonishing and extraordinary,
if one who was not born,
rose from the dead – nay indeed,
we cannot speak of a resurrection of him
who came unto being without birth.
For one who is unborn and immortal
and has not undergone birth,
will also not undergo death.
For He, who took not the beginning of man,
how could He receive His end?”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Martyr, Theologian, Father

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world but to God.”

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs
mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in HER,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
From his sermons – Sermon 20

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on TIME, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8

Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent

“But when the Son of Man comes,
will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:8

“Man’s Maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars,
might nurse at His mother’s breast,
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey,
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood,
that Strength might grow weak,
that the Healer might be wounded,
that Life might die.”

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

“The divine nature and the nature of a servant,
were to be united in one person,
so that the Creator of time,
might be born in time and He,
through whom all things were made,
might be brought forth in their midst.”

“He Himself will help us
and lead us
to what He has promised.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“You first loved us
so that we might love You—
not because You needed our love
but because, we could not be
what You created us to be,
except by loving You.”

William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
was a twelfth century French Benedictine Abbot of Saint-Thierry,
theologian and mystic who became a Cistercian monk and writer.

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Mary, our Hope!

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

REFLECTION – “If, as the Apostle declares, faith is nothing else than the substance of things to be hoped for” (Heb 11:1) everyone will easily allow, that our faith is confirmed and our hope aroused and strengthened, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The Virgin was kept the more free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ and she, was the Mother of Christ, that the hope of everlasting happiness, might be born again in our souls.

Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Rv 12:1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head.

The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth and was in pain to be delivered” (Rv 12:2). John, therefore, saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains, show the love and desire, with which the Virgin from heaven above, watches over us and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfilment of the number of the elect.

This same charity we desire that all should earnestly endeavour to attain, taking special occasion from … feasts in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” … Saint Pius X (1835-1914) Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum”

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749)
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WISDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY TRINITY, The REDEMPTION

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Father and Doctor of the Church

“And this Body, which we make present,
is the Body born of the Virgin.
Why do you expect to find in this case,
that nature takes its ordinary course
in regard to the Body of Christ,
when the Lord Himself was born of the Virgin
in a manner above and beyond the order of nature?
This is indeed the true flesh of Christ,
which was crucified and buried.
This is then, in truth,
the Sacrament of His Flesh.”

“Rise, you who were lying fast asleep…
Rise and hurry to the Church:
here is the Father,
here is the Son,
here is the Holy Spirit.”

“Let your door stand open
to receive Him,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind
and then you will see
the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the joy of grace.
Throw wide the gate of your heart,
stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”

“Prayer is the wing,
wherewith the soul flies to heaven
and meditation,
the eye,
wherewith we see God.”

“When we speak about WISDOM,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about VIRTUE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about JUSTICE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about PEACE,
we are speaking about CHRIST.
When we speak about TRUTH
and LIFE and REDEMPTION,
we are speaking about CHRIST.”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – The Most Holy Redeemer

Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

“I did not come to condemn the world
but to save the world.”

John 12:47

“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

Paschal Homily

“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 it’s 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 sepulcher and after the sepulcher,
who can fittingly recount them?
Yet no-one of them, can be compared,
to the miracle of my salvation.
A few drops of blood renew the whole world
and do, for all men,
what the rennet does for the milk –
joining us and binding us together.”

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

“The light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.”

“Our Saviour’s passion
raises men and women
from the depths,
lifts them up from the earth
and sets them in the heights.”

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“As they were looking on,
so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs.
We see His blood as He dies.
We see the price offered by the Redeemer,
touch the scars of His Resurrection.
He bows His head, as if to kiss you.
His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you.
His arms are extended, that He may embrace you.
His whole body is displayed for your redemption.
Ponder how great these things are.
Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind –
as He was once fixed to the cross,
in every part of His body for you,
so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers.
All love that takes not it’s beginning
from Our Saviour’s Passion is frivolous and dangerous.
Unhappy is death without the love of the Saviour,
unhappy is love without the death of the Saviour!
Love and death are so mingled
in the Passion of Our Saviour
that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other.
Upon Calvary one cannot have life without love,
nor love without the death of Our Redeemer.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

“Yes, my gentle Redeemer,
let me say it,
You are crazy with love!
Is it not foolish for You
to have wanted to die for me?
But if You, my God,
have become crazy with love for me,
how can I not become crazy with love for You?”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)

Jesus, by this Saving Sign,
bless this listless soul of mine.
Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast,
mend the missteps of my past.
Jesus, with Your riven hands,
bend my will to love’s demands.
Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare,
warm my inner coldness there.
Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head,
still my pride till it is dead.
Jesus, by Your muted tongue,
stay my words that hurt someone.
Jesus, by Your tired eyes,
open mine to faith’s surprise.
Jesus, by Your fading breath,
keep me faithful until death.
Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign,
save this wayward soul of mine.
Amen

“He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane,
He was betrayed by Judas,
denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles,
He was bound like a criminal,
insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death
and burdened with a cross;
finally, when He arrived at Calvary,
He was nailed to the gibbet,
where He shed His Precious Blood
and gave His life for our redemption.
Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us.
“Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.”
The Saints were moved to tears
by the strange spectacle of God-made-man,
dying on the Cross for men.
What is our reaction?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 26 September – The language of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 26 September – Saturday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:8, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14,17, Luke 9:43-45

“Let these words sink into your ears:
the Son of Man is about to be delivered
into the hands of men.”

Luke 9:44

“The language of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing
but to us, who are being saved,
it is the power of God”

1 Corinthians 1:18

“We give glory to You, Lord,
who raised up Your Cross to span the jaws of death
like a bridge by which souls might pass
from the region of the dead to the land of the living. ..
You are incontestably alive.
Your murderers sowed Your living body in the earth
as farmers sow grain but it sprang up
and yielded an abundant harvest of men
raised from the dead.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“On the cross, Christ
effected a great exchange.
There the purse
containing the price
to be paid for us,
was opened.”

“Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ.
How many things are enclosed inside this treasure!
Christ crucified!
Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science.
Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom.
Gather before the covering and pray, that it may be uncovered.
Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless…
What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? …
And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other?
In whom? In Christ crucified.
This is His commandment – that we believe in Christ crucified …
But where humility is, there is also majesty,
where weakness is, there shall one find power,
where death is, there shall be life as well.
If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first!“

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“Christ, who is your life, is hanging before you,
so that you may look at the Cross, as in a mirror.
There you will be able to know, how mortal were your wounds,
that no medicine other, than the Blood of the Son of God, could heal.
If you look closely, you will be able to realise,
how great your human dignity and your value are….
Nowhere other than looking at himself,
in the mirror of the Cross,
can man better understand how much he is worth”

(Sermones Dominicales et Festivi III, pp. 213-214)

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor of the Church

“Fix your minds on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Inflamed with love for us,
He came down from heaven to redeem us.
For our sake He endured every torment of body and soul
and shrank from no bodily pain.
He Himself gave us an example of perfect patience and love.
We, then, are to be patient in adversity.”

St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)

“Jesus will be in agony
even to the end of the world;
we must not sleep
during that time”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
(Pensées, 553)

“My beloved Redeemer,
how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin,
which I brought on myself through my sins?
What can I do without Your grace?
I can do nothing but pray
that You will help me
but even this prayer comes
from the merits of Your suffering and death!
O my Jesus, help me!”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most zealous Doctor

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 September – But they did not understand … Luke 9:44-45

One Minute Reflection – 26 September – Saturday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:8, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14,17, Luke 9:43-45 and the Memorial of St Nilus the Younger (910-1005)

“Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying and it was concealed from them … Luke 9:44-45

REFLECTION – “Of all Christ’s miracles and mighty acts, it is this one that far exceeds the limits of human wonder. It goes far beyond the weak power of the human mind to perceive or comprehend, how it is supposed to believe, that the divine majesty, that very Word of the Father (Jn 1:1) and Wisdom of God in which “all things were created, visible and invisible” (cf. Col 1:15), was held within the confines of the man who appeared in Judaea and, even more, that the Wisdom of God entered into the womb of a woman and was born a baby, who cried and wailed just like all little babies. And it is further reported that He suffered the anguish of death, as He Himself admitted by saying: “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Mt 26:38 par) and in the end, He was led to that death which is reputed to be the most shameful among men, even though He did rise again on the third day…

To present this to human ears and explain it in words far surpasses our poor merits… Indeed the explanation of this mystery is probably beyond the grasp even of the whole creation of heavenly powers.” … Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father – Treatise on First Principles

PRAYER – Holy God, help me to amend my life constantly and be sincerely converted to You. Let me seek Your interests rather than my own and be ever more closely united with You. Send Your Spirit of understanding to enkindle our minds but most of all, fill us with Your grace of faith, that whether we understand or not, our love and obedience, is our only guide. St Nilus, you constantly sought to bring all to Christ, your beloved, please pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 September – … The Son of Man must suffer many things – Luke 9:22

One Minute Reflection – 25 September – Friday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11Psalms 144:123-4Luke 9:18-22 and the Memorial of Saint Finbar (c 550– 623) Bishop of Cork

“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.” … Luke 9:22

REFLECTION – “Jesus made His way of His own free will towards the sufferings Scripture had foretold. He had frequently predicted them to His disciples and had even severely rebuked Peter, who had received their discovery with indignation (Mt 16:23). Finally, He showed how they were the cause of the world’s salvation. This was why, to the men coming to arrest Him, He referred to Himself as: “I am he whom you are seeking” (cf. Jn 18:5.8) (…) He was struck, covered with spittle, mocked, tortured, scourged and, in the end crucified. He allowed two outlaws, one at His right and one at His left, to share His suffering. Classed alongside murderers and criminals He took vinegar and gall, fruits of a bitter vine. He was struck in mockery by a reed, pierced by a lance in His side and, in the end, laid in a tomb.

All this He suffered while working our salvation (…) By His thorns He brought an end to the punishment laid on Adam, since the latter, having sinned, received this sentence: “Cursed be the ground because of you! Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you” (Gn 3:17-18). With the gall He took to Himself all that is bitter and painful in mortal life and sorrowful to men. With the vinegar He accepted human nature’s decline and bestowed on it, it’s restoration to a higher state. By the purple he symbolised His royalty; with the reed He indicated how weak and feeble the devil’s power is. Being slapped, He made known our enfranchisement [just as we do in the case of a slave]. He bore with the abuse, punishment and beating due to us.

He was struck in the side, making Him more like Adam. But, far from bringing forth the woman who, by her straying, gave birth to death, He made a spring of life to gush out (Gn 2:21; Jn 19:34). And this gives life to the world by means of a twofold stream – the first renews and re-clothes us in the garment of immortality in the baptistery and following this birth, the second, feeds us at God’s table, just as one suckles a newborn child.” … Theodoret of Cyrus (c 393-c 460) Bishop – Treatise on the Incarnation, 26-27

PRAYER – O God of love, You sent Your beloved Son to the world to proclaim the Good News of Salvation, to heal every illness and to cure all infirmity of body and soul. Help us to continue the mission of the merciful Christ in the service towards our neighbour, preaching the Gospel and offering our help in whatever way we can. May the example of Your saints, teach us how to love and serve You. Through their intercession, grant us the grace to go forth in love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The HOLY CROSS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Behold your mother.”

One Minute Reflection – 15 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, Readings: 1 Corinthians 12:12-1427-31,Psalms 100:1-2345John 19:25-27 

“Near the cross of Jesus, there stood his mother…” … John 19:25

REFLECTION – “Mary, the mother of the Lord, stood by her Son’s cross. No-one has taught me this but the holy Evangelist John. Others have related how the earth was shaken at the Lord’s passion, the sky was covered with darkness, the sun withdrew itself and how the thief was, after a faithful confession, received into paradise. John tells us what the others have not told, how the Lord, while fixed on the cross called to His mother. He thought it was more important that, victorious over His sufferings, Jesus gave her the offices of piety, than that He gave her a heavenly kingdom. For, if it is the mark of religion to grant pardon to the thief, it is a mark of much greater piety, that a mother is honoured with such affection by her Son. “Behold,” He says, “your son.” “Behold your mother.” Christ testified from the cross and divided the offices of piety, between the mother and the disciple.

Nor was Mary below what was becoming of the mother of Christ. When the Apostles fled, she stood at the cross and with pious eyes beheld her Son’s wounds. For she did not look to the death of her offspring but to the salvation of the world. Or perhaps, because that “royal hall” knew that the redemption of the world would be through the death of her Son, she thought that by her death, she also might add something to that universal gift. But Jesus did not need a helper for the redemption of all, who saved all without a helper. This is why He says, “I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am like those who have no help.” He received indeed the affection of His mother but sought not another’s help. Imitate her, holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son, set forth so great an example of maternal virtue. For neither have you sweeter children, nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able, to bear another son.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church – Letter 63

PRAYER – Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, amen.

Posted in GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 13 September – The Redemption

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

The Redemption

“The Incarnation of God, was sufficient to have saved us.
It would have been enough for God made man, to have offered Himself to God, for our redemption in a single act of love.
Every act of Jesus, the God-Man, had infinite value and was, therefore, sufficient to be offered to the Father as an infinite satisfaction for all our sins.

But, if Jesus had desired to show more clearly His great love for us, He could have offered Hi sufferings as a child in the cold cave at Bethlehem, when He lay whimpering on a wretched straw bed.
He could have offered the sorrow of His exile in Egypt, He could have offered a single drop of His Precious Blood , during the ceremony of the circumcision.
He could have offered the difficulties and privations of His simple working life at Nazareth, or the fatiguing exertions of His apostolic journeys.
All these, would have been more than enough to have made amends to the divine Father for all the sins of humanity, to have ransomed us from the devil and to have restored to us, God’s grace and love.
But in God, everything is infinite.
His love has no limit.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart,” He as commanded men “and with thy whole soul and with thy whole strength and with they whole mind and thy neighbour as thyself.”
He, Himself, did infinitely more than this, however, Jesus was not satisfied merely to love us, His brothers by adoption, as He loved Himself but, He wished to love us “more than He loved Himself. Greater love than this no-one has,” He said, “that one lay down his life for his friends” (1 Jn 15:13).
This was what he Himself did.
Sinful though we are, He called us friends.
“You are my friends” (Jn 15:14).
Out of love for us, He gave Himself entirely.
He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles, He was bound like a criminal, insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death and burdened with a cross; finally, when He arrived at Calvary, He was nailed to the gibbet, where He shed His Precious Blood and gave His life for our redemption.
Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us.

“Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.”
The Saints were moved to tears by the strange spectacle of God-made-man, dying on the Cross for men.
What is our reaction?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci