Our Morning Offering – 25 August – St Louis IX (1214-1270) Confessor, King of France
O God, We Love Thee Prayer inspired by St Louis’ Last Instructions to his Eldest Son, Philip (Perhaps Philip prayed thus)
O God, we love Thee. We wish to do nothing to displease Thee. If we have troubles, let us thank Thee. If we do not, we also humbly thank Thee. Let us pray diligently and be compassionate and generous to the poor. May we hold fast all that is good and all that is bad, discard. We thank Thee for friends, who help us bear our burdens and help us grow in holiness. Let us turn away from calumniators and slanderers and lend a willing ear to those who speak of God. Let us always do what is right and just for those we serve and promote peace among our neighbours. Let us be quick to defend our Faith. O Holy Lord, all Thy holy Saints, defend us from all evils. Grant us Thy grace to fulfil always, Thy Holy Will, so that Thou may be glorified and honoured and so we may be with Thee forever. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 21 August – The Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal VHM (1572-1641)
Prayer of Abandonment By St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)
O sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God! I abandon myself forever to Thy arms. Whether gentle or severe, lead me henceforth whither Thou will. I will not regard the way through which Thou will have me pass but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee, my God, who guides me. My soul finds no rest without the arms and the bosom of this heavenly Providence, my true Mother, my strength and my rampart. Therefore I resolve with Thy Divine assistance, 0 my Saviour, to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances, without regarding or examining why Thou does this rather than that but I will blindly follow Thee, according to Thy Divine will, without seeking my own inclinations. Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee, taking no part therein, save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms, desiring nothing, except as Thou incites me to desire, to will, to wish. I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God, beseeching Thee to bless it. I undertake all it includes, relying on Thy goodness, liberality and mercy, with entire confidence in Thee, distrust of myself, and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 13 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Work and Worry
“There are many people who claim that they are working for God and for souls. In fact, they do work hard and make great sacrifices but, at the first sign of failyre, they are disappointed and discouraged. Why is that? It is because, they only believed that they were working for God and for His Church, whereas, in their heart and soul, they were more influenced by self-love and by a desire fore the praise and approval of others. Their motives were not completely disinterested and their sacrifices were not made entirely for God. Therefore, they were disturbed by visions of success in human terms and were agitated at the prospect of failure.
The Saints worked hard too but they never worried. They were always calm because, their attention was focused on Heaven, rather than on themselves.
As long as we work entirely for God and accept, as His Will, the outcome of our efforts, everything will go well for us, even when it seems to be going badly!”
Thought for the Day – 10 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Confidence in the Providence of God
“God does not forbid us, naturally, to work and to provide for the future. But, He condemns such immoderate anxiety as would tend to distract our attention from our spiritual obligations. We should be occupied certainly but never preoccupied. We should always have perfect confidence in God and resignation to His Will.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 August – The Memorial of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – On the Saints
“Let listening to worldly news be BITTER FOOD for you and let the words of Saintly men be as combs filled with honey.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Instead of speaking saintly words, we must act them.”
St Jerome (343-420) “The Man of the Sacred Scripture” Father and Doctor of the Church
“Perfection consists in one thing alone, which is doing the will of God. For, according to Our Lord’s words, it suffices for perfection to deny self, to take up the cross and to follow Him. Now who denies himself and takes up his cross and follows Christ better, than he who seeks not to do his own will but always that of God? Behold, now, how little is needed to become as Saint? Nothing more than to acquire the habit of willing, on every occasion, what God wills.”
St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“All a person’s holiness, perfection and profit lies in doing God’s will perfectly…. Happy are we, if we succeed in pouring out our heart into God’s, in uniting our desires and our will to His, to the point, that one heart and one will are formed, wanting, what God wants, wanting, in the way, in the time and in the circumstances, what He desires and willing it all, for no other reason, than that God wills it.”
Thought for the Day – 3 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Holy Death
“When we meditate on death, then we should resolve to remain always prepared. Besides this, we should make an Act of Perfect Resignation to the Will of God, accepting from Him, whatever illnesses He may ask us to endure and, whatever kind of death He has destined for us. We should promise to accept everything, as long as He will allow us to die in the state of grace.
We should frequently offer to God, as a guarantee of our love and, as satisfaction for our sins and negligences, the sufferings with which we shall be afflicted during our last illness. We shall be comforted in our final hours by the remembrance of this total offering of ourselves, which we have so often repeated. Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, we shall be able to pray: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me, yet, not as I will but as Thou willest” (Mt 26:39).”
Thought for the Day – 31 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Entrusting Ourselves to God
“St Joseph is only one example. He had the joy of seeing the Son of God born of his Immaculate spouse but he also saw Him being born on a cold dark night in the most squalid conditions. He heard the choirs of Angels praising God above the lowly manger and saw the shepherd and the Magi adoring the Divine Child. But soon afterwards, he heard from a heavenly messenger that Herod was seeking to put Jesus to death and that, it would be necessary, to flee into exiles in Egypt.
This holy Patriarch was as resigned to the poverty of the manger and the discomforts of exile, as he was grateful to God for the wonderful gifts and joys which he had been granted. He knew that God could have solved, by a single act of His Divine Will, all the problems which he encountered throughout life. But he never asked for such a favour. His only desire was to do God’s Will perfectly.
Let this be our desire too and let us never cease to ask God for this grace.”
One Minute Reflection – 30 July – Our Lady’s Saturday – Ecclesiasticus 24:14-16, Luke 11:27-28
“Blessed is the womb that bore Thee ” – Luke 11:27
REFLECTION – “Stretching out His Hand over His disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are My mother and My brothers; anyone who does the Will of My Father Who sent Me, is mM brother and sister and My mother. I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her—did she not do the Will of the Father? Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s Will and so, it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’s disciple, than to have been His Mother and she was more blessed in her discipleship, than in her Motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb Him, Whom she would obey as her Master.
Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said. The Lord was passing by and crowds were following Him. His miracles gave proof of Divine power and a woman cried out – Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied: – More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. Mary heard God’s Word and kept it and so, she is blessed. She kept God’s Truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying His Body in her womb. The Truth and the Body were both Christ, He was kept in Mary’s mind insofar as He is Truth, He was carried in her womb, insofar as He is Man but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order, than what is carried in the womb.
The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed and yet,the Church is greater than she. Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent—the most eminent—member but still, only a member of the entire body. The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members. This body has the Lord for its Head and Head and body together, make up the whole Christ. In other words, our Head is Divine—our Head is God!
Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ, you also are the body of Christ. Consider how you, yourselves, can be among those of whom the Lord said: Here are my mother and my brothers. Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ? He Himself said: Whoever hears and fulfills the will of My Father in Heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother. As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this because,, although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the Only Son, His Mercy would not allow Him to remain alone. It was His wish that we too should be heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Himself.
Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you His mother? Much less would I dare to deny His own Words. Tell me how Mary became the Mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ? You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ. Of whom were you born? “Of Mother Church,” I hear the reply of your hearts. You became sons of this mother at your Baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ. Now you, in your turn, must draw to the Font of Baptism, as many as you possibly can. You became sons when you were born there yourselves and now, by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power to become the Mothers of Christ!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of Grace (An excerpt from Sermon 25).
PRAYER – Grant us, Thy servants, O Lord God, we beseech Thee, to enjoy lasting health of mind and body; and by the intercession of glorious and blessed Mary, ever virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrow and partake of the fullness of eternal 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).
Our Morning Offering – 27 July – “The Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Prayer for Five Graces By St Alphonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Eternal Father, Thy Son has promised that Thou would grant, all the graces we ask of Thee in His Name. Trusting in this promise and in the Name of and through the Merits of Jesus Christ, I ask of Thee five special graces: First, I ask pardon, for all the offenses I have committed, for which I am sorry with all my heart because I have offended Thine infinite goodness. Second, I ask for Thy Divine Light, which will enable me to see the vanity of all things of this earth and see also, Thy Infinite greatness and goodness. Third, I ask for a share in Thy love, so that I may detach myself from all creatures, especially from myself and love only Thy Holy Will. Fourth, grant me the grace to have confidence in the Merits of Jesus Christ and in the intercession of Mary. Fifth, I ask for the grace of perseverance, knowing that, whenever I call on Thee for assistance, Thou will answer my call and come to my aid. I fear only, that I will neglect to turn to Thee in time of need and thus bring myself to ruin. Grant me the grace to pray always, O Eternal Father, in the Name of Our Lord Jesus. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 19 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Voice of God – The Saints
“God speaks to us through His Saints.
The Saints are those in whom God dwells in such a special way that their entire personalities reflect Him. They live the Gospel perfectly. They have renounced themselves in order to belong completely to God. Not only have they overcome their evil inclinations but, they have conquered themselves in the process of that Christian annihilation which, sublimates human nature, rather than destroys it. They have enthroned God in the place of their own will and of their own ego, so that, like St Paul, they can claims: “It is no longer I that live but Christ lives in me.”
God still speaks to us through His Saints, for even in this troubled and [digital] age, there are pure and humble souls declared to God and the service of their fellowmen. Whenever we encounter one of these privileged beings, whether in the pages of a book [or online] or in our actual surrounding world, let us pay attention to them and do our best to imitate their virtues.”
Quote/s of the Day –19 July – The Memorial of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) Confessor
“Every time, that some unexpected event befalls us, be it affliction, or be it spiritual or corporal consolation, we should endeavour to receive it. with equanimity of spirit, since all comes from the Hand of God.”
“He who submits himself to God, in all thing, is certain that whatever men say or do, against him, will always turn to his advantage.”
“After knowing the Will of God, in regard to a work which we undertake, we should continue courageously, however difficult it may be. We should follow it to the end with as much constancy as the obstacles, which we encounter, are great.”
“We ought to have a special devotion to those saints who excelled in humility, particularly to the Blessed Virgin, Mary, who declares that the Lord regarded her on account of her humility.”
Thought for the Day – 16 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Accepting the Will of God
“Let us pray fervently to God for spiritual peace. Let us surrender ourselves to His Will and accept everything from His Hands, remembering that everything, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, temptation and spiritual consolation, should form a mystical ladder which will gradually bring us nearer to Heaven and finally unite us to God for evermore. Everything passes but God is unchangeable.
Sufferings have to end but the merits we gain remain, if we have offered our afflictions to God. Let us surrender ourselves completely into the hands of God, Who in His goodness, gives us some happiness on earth for our consolation and causes us to suffer, so that we may be purified and made holy.”
Quote/s of the Day – 9 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart” – Pentecost Thursday – Acts 8:5-8, Luke 9:1-6
“Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; neither have two tunics.”
“You are the salt of the earth.”
“It is as a matter of absolute necessity that He commands all this. Why must you be salt? Jesus says in effect: “You are accountable, not only for your own life but also, for that of the entire world. I am sending you not to one or two cities, nor to ten or twenty, nor even to one nation, as I sent the Prophets. Rather, I am sending you to the entire earth, across the seas, to the whole world, to a world fallen into an evil state.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“What is reprehensible, is that while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some, fearing to offend, shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice.”
St Augustine (354-407) Father and Doctor of Grace
“The love of Jesus is noble and generous, it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always, that which is most perfect. Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath. Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections… for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God, above all things created. The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held. He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in One Sovereign Good above all, from Whom all good flows and proceeds.”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
(Book III, Chapter V, 3-4)
“Entrust yourself entirely to God. He is a Father and a most loving Father at that, Who would rather let Heaven and earth collapse, than abandon anyone who trusted in Him.”
St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
“Chosen soul, how will you bring this about? What steps will you take to reach the high level to which God is calling you? The means of holiness and salvation, are known to everybody, since they are found in the Gospel, the masters of the spiritual life have explained them, the Saints have practised them… These means are – sincere Humility, unceasing Prayer, complete Self-denial, abandonment to Divine Providence and obedience to the Will of God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 April – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Saturday within the Octave of the Ascension
“There are two ways of keeping God’s word, namely, one, whereby we store in our memory what we hear and the other, whereby we put into practice, what we have heard (and none will deny that the latter is more commendable, inasmuch, as it is better to sow grain, than to store it in the barn).”
Blessed Jordan of Saxony (1190-1237)
“Those who risk all for God, will find. that they have both lost all and gained all.”
St Teresa of Jesus of Ávila (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer of the Church
“Our business is to love what we have. He wills our vocation as it is. Let us love that and not trifle away our time hankering after other people’s vocations.”
“By giving yourself to God, you not only receive Himself in exchange but, eternal life as well!”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritatis
“Teach Us Good Lord” By St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
Teach us, good Lord, to serve You as You deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that we are doing Your will. Amen
Thought for the Day – 27 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Lesson from Scripture God Alone
“O Mary, my most Holy Mother, free me from useless desires and from an excessive longing for worldly things. Help me to think always of Heaven. Grant that I may find my happiness in God alone, as you did by acting in perfect accordance with His Holy Will. By loving Him above everything in the world, may I one day enjoy, with you, the everlasting happiness of Heaven. Amen.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 May – St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church –
“Unfurl the sails and let God steer us, where He will.”
“He alone loves the Creator perfectly, who manifests a pure love for his neighbour.”
Grant us Your Light, O Lord By The Venerable St Bede (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church
Grant us Your light, O Lord, so that the darkness of our hearts, may wholly pass away and we may come at last, to the Light of Christ. For Christ is that Morning Star, who, when the night of this world has passed, brings to His saints, the promised light of life and opens to them, everlasting day. Amen.
St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church
St Bede became known as “Venerable Bede or Bede the Venerable” (Latin: Beda Venerabilis) by the 9th Century because of his great devotion and holiness but this was not linked to consideration for sainthood. According to a legend, the epithet was miraculously supplied by Angels. It was first utilised in connection with St Bede, where he was grouped with others, who were called “venerable,” at two Ecclesiastical Councils, held at Aachen in 816 and 836. Paul the Deacon (c 720-c 796) Italian Monk, Writer, Historian, then referred to him as Venerable consistently. By the 11th and 12th Centuries, the title had become commonplace and it is rarely omitted today.
Quote/s of the Day – 24 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – James 1:22-27, John 16:23-30
“Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
“So also, you now indeed have sorrow but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice. And your joy, no man shall take from you.”
“This is the time for Confession. Confess the sins you have committed in word or deed, by day or by night. Confess during this “favourable time” and on “the day of salvation,” receive Heaven’s treasure… ”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350), Father & Doctor of the Church
“Have faith and the One you cannot see, is with you.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Whoever has become a servant of the Lord, fears only his Master. But whoever is without the fear of God, is often afraid of his own shadow. Fearfulness is the daughter of unbelief. A proud soul is the slave of fear, hoping in itself, it comes to such a state, that it is startled by a small noise and is afraid of the dark.”
St John Climacus (579-649) Father of the Church
O Merciful God By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis
O merciful God, grant that I may ever perfectly do Your Will in all things. Let it be my ambition to work only for Your honour and glory. Let me rejoice in nothing but that leads to You, nor grieve for anything, that leads away from You. May all passing things be as nothing in my eyes and may all that is Yours, be dear to me and You, my God, dear above them all. May all joy be meaningless without You and may I desire nothing, apart from You. May all labour and toil delight me when it is for You. Make me, O Lord, obedient without complaint, poor without regret, patient without murmur, humble without pretence, joyous without frivolity, and truthful without disguise. Amen
Thought for the Day – 20 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, the Source of Holiness
“Since we are Mary’s children, we should try and reproduce her holiness in ourselves. Although, it is higher than that of the Angels, her sanctity is easy to imitate. There is no record that she ever had ecstasies or worked miracles. Her’s was a perfect internal sanctity, consisting of total conformity with the Will of God and an intense love for Him. We must aspire to this kind of holiness and model our lives upon it. There is no point in arguing that it is sufficient to be good Catholics and, that it is not necessary to be holy. A Catholic, to be truly such, MUST be holy!
St Paul referred to the early faithful as saints (Eph 1:1). “You are a chosen race,” said St Peter, “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people,” (1 Peter 1:16, Lev 11:44) “You are to be perfect,” Jesus Himself had commanded, “even as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Mt 5:48), This was the reason, He indicated why He had come into the world – “that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). This is the purpose of the Gospel and this must be the purpose of our lives. Some day, we shall either be holy in Heaven, or we shall be damned. We shall either be saints in Heaven or condemned forever in Hell. This truth merits careful though – everything else is passing but this is something which will never pass away. This command to sanctify ourselves is a reality which is present at every moment of our lives. Let us do our best to obey it, at any cost!”
Thought for the Day – 17 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Contemplation and Our Lady
“O Mary, my most Holy Mother, free me from useless desires and from an excessive longing for worldly things. Help me to think always of Heaven. Grant that I may find my happiness in God, as you did, by acting in perfect accordance with His Holy Will. By loving Him above everything in the world, may I, one day, enjoy with you, the everlasting happiness of Heaven. Amen. ”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 May – The Memorial of St Paschal Baylon OFM (1540-1592) Confessor, “Seraph of the Eucharist,” “Saint of the Blessed Sacrament,” “Servant of the Blessed Sacrament.” Franciscan Lay Brother.
“Go to Jesus in The Most Blessed Sacrament with folded hands and say “take my hands, use them as Your hands Lord.”
“Go to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament with a closed mouth and listen to Him, whispering to our soul and responding with “Yes Lord.”
“Go to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament with a fiat and say, “Not my will but Your will be done Lord!”
“O Father Eternal God, Grant me faith and courage. Son, wisdom of the Father, grant me light and make me wise. Holy Spirit, beloved of Father and Son, inflame my heart and purify my soul, that I may approach this majestic Sacrament, with faith and love.”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15,1-7.
“Without Me you can do nothing.”
“Whoever does not gather with me, scatters.”
“We recognise a tree by its fruit and we ought to be able to recognise a Christian by his action. The fruit of faith should be evident in our lives, for being a Christian, is more than making sound professions of faith. It should reveal itself in practical and visible ways. Indeed, it is better to keep quiet about our beliefs and live them out, than to talk eloquently about what we believe but fail, to live by it.”
St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108) Father of the Church
“… Now is the time in this life of suffering, when we journey apart from Him. … So let us fast and pray now because, we are in the days of childbirth!”
St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo Father and Doctor of Grace
“Girded with faith and the performance of good works, let us follow in His paths by the guidance of the Gospel.”
“For at all times, we must so serve Him, with the good things He has given us, that he may not, as an angry Father, disinherit his children, nor as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil deeds, deliver us to everlasting punishment, as wicked servants, who refuse to follow Him to glory.”
St Benedict (c 480-547)
“Each one of us has a thirst for all that is infinite, eternal and perfect. God alone can satisfy this thirst. Just as we are created by God, so we are created for Him. Just as we came from God, so we are gradually travelling back towards Him, for He is the final goal of our earthly journey. We should meditate on this great truth which we were first taught in the Catechism, namely, that we were created to know, love and serve God on this earth and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. God alone is the eternal beauty which will satisfy our hearts.”
One Minute Reflection – 7 May – The Memorial of St Stanislas (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15:1-7.
“I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself the Vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and, how important it is for us, to remain in His Love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.
On the part of those who come to the Vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will, on his part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the Foundation because it is upon Him that we, as living and spiritual stones, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other Foundation than Christ ,can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same Truth, by calling Himself the Vine, since the Vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.
From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but, the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment, in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s Presence in us.
Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit.Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them, to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Known as “The Pillar of Faith” Archbishop of Alexandria, Father & Doctor of the Church, Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) [Commentary on the Gospel of John].
PRAYER – O God, in defence of Whose honour Stanislaus, the glorious Bishop, died by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech Thee, that all who seek his help may obtain salvation as a result of his prayers. 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).
Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – Tthe Feast of St John Before the Latin Gate – Wisdom 5:1-5, Matthew 20:20-23
“Can you Drink the Chalice which I Shall Drink?”
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me and where I am, there will my servant be also.”
“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. …
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.”
St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople, Father (Catecheses 1)
“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus our proper way of living. Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’? Rather, both living and dying. Dying to the world, living for God. Dying to vices and living by the virtues. Dying to the flesh, but living in the spirit. Thu,s in the Cross of Christ, there is death and in the Cross of Christ, there is life. The death of death is there and the life of life. The death of sins is there and the life of the virtues. The death of the flesh is there and the life of the spirit.”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“God’s love calls us to move beyond fear. We ask God for the courage to abandon ourselves unreservedly, so that we might be moulded by God’s grace, even as we cannot see where that path may lead us.”
Thought for the Day – 5 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, Our Mother
“Holy Mary, it is consoling for me to know that you are my Mother, who loves and protects me and intercedes with God on my behalf, that I may obtain everlasting salvation. I desire to be your child and to love you and your Son Jesus, more and more. I wish to imitate your virtues, as far as possible, especially your complete acceptance in joy and in sorrow, of the Holy Will of God. Amen.”
Thought for the Day – 4 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, the Mother of God
“Most Holy Mary, not only were you raised to the dignity of Mother of God but, you carried out His holy Will, heroically on all occasions. Obtain for me, from your divine Son, Jesus, the grace to co-operate always and at all costs, with His designs for me, both in life and in death, amen.”
Thought for the Day – 3 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Imitation of Mary
“O Holy Mary, ever ready to protect and assist me, grant that I may be as truly your child as you are my are my Heavenly Mother. Grant that I may reproduce your most outstanding virtues, especially those which are most necessary for me to imitate. Help me to be humble, pure and inflamed with love for God and for my neighbour. Obtain for me a spirit of sacrifice and self-denial and, most of all, a complete and absolute acceptance of the will of God. Amen.”
Thought for the Day – 2 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Intercession of Our Lady
“Holy Mary, my loving Mother, hear my supplications and obtain for me, from your Divine Son, all the graces of which I am in need. Obtain for me, more of all the grace to become holy. Grant that I may do always and in all circumstances, whatever Jesus tells me to do. Grant that my will may be in harmony with His most Holy Will and, that my actions may be in accordance with His Divine Commandments, Amen”
One Minute Reflection – 2 May – The Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) Bishop, Confessor, Father & Doctor of the Church – 2 Corinthians 4:5-14, Matthew 10:23-28
“What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” … Matthew 10:27
REFLECTION – “It is not I who undertook this work but, it is Christ the Lord Who commanded me to come to be with these Irish pagans for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall Will it and shield me from every evil … But I do not trust myself “as long as I am in this mortal body” (2 Pt 1:13; Rm 7:24) … I did not lead a perfect life like other believers but I confess to my Lord and do not blush in His sight because I am not lying, from the time when I came to know Him in my youth, the love of God and fear of Him increased in me and right up until now, by God’s favour, “I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7).
What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding “the signs and wonders” (Dn 6:27) that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, He who knew everything, even before the beginning of time. Thus, I should give thanks unceasingly to God, who has frequently forgiven my folly and my negligence, in more than one instance and has never been angry with me, who am placed as His helper, though I did not easily assent to what had been revealed to me, as the Spirit was urging. The Lord “took pity” on me “thousands upon thousands” of times, (Ex 20:6) because He saw within me, that I was prepared to serve Him. … Many were trying to prevent this mission, they were talking among themselves behind my back and saying, “Why is this fellow throwing himself into danger among enemies who do not know God?” Not from malice did they say this, as I myself can testify, they perceived my rusticity. And I was not quick to recognise the grace that was then in me, I now know, that I should have done so earlier.
Now I have put it frankly to my brothers and co-workers, who have believed me because of what “I have proclaimed and still proclaim” (2 Co 13:2) to strengthen and reinforce your faith. I wish only, that you too, would make greater and better efforts. This will be my pride, for “a wise son makes a proud father.” (Pr 10:1)” … St Patrick (c 385-461) (The Confessions,# 43-47)
PRAYER – Hear, we beseech You, O Lord, our prayers which we offer You on the feast of blessed Athanasius, Your Bishop and Confessor and absolve us from all our sins by the merits and prayers of him, who had the grace to serve You worthily. 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).
One Minute Reflection – 29 April – The Memorial of St Peter Martyr of Verona OP (1205–1252) Martyr, Priest – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7
“I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
REFLECTION –“The Lord calls Himself, the vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and how important it is for us to remain in His love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.
On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on His part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ,and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: – He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation because, it is upon Him that we as living and spiritual stone, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ, can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling Himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.
From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.
Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us – The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: Commentary on the Gospel of John).
PRAYER – Saint Thomas Aquinas in Eulogy for Saint Peter the Martyr Here silent is Christ’s Herald; Here quenched, the People’s Light; Here lies the Martyred Champion Who fought Faith’s holy fight.
The voice the sheep heard gladly, The light they loved to see He fell beneath the weapons Of graceless Cathari.
The Saviour crowns His Soldier; His praise the people psalm. The Faith he kept adorns him With Martyr’s fadeless palm.
His praise new marvels utter, New light he spreads abroad And now the whole wide city Knows well the path to God.
Thought for the Day – 11 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Jesus in Gethsemane
“What was the prayer of Jesus in the moment of anguish when He saw Himself abandoned or betrayed by everyone on this earth and foresaw the terrible sufferings of His Passion and Death, which, despite His infinite love, would prove to be in vain for so many men? Face downwards upon the earth, He implored His Heavenly Father to take away, if possible, the bitter chalice. But, He added immediately, “Yet not My will but Thine be done” (Lk 22:42).
We should pray like Jesus, especially when we are suffering in body and tormented in mind. We should prostrate ourselves before God, with an act of deep humility and of perfect confidence in His infinite goodness. We should pray first of all, that His Name may be glorified throughout the world, as it is in Heaven. We should pray that His Kingdom may be established and may triumph over evil and that our own souls may be saved, along with those of our brothers in Christ. Only then, can we ask for the favours which we need in the present life and for freedom from physical and moral suffering. We can ask for all these things, certainly but, we should add with Jesus, “Yet not my will but Thine be done!” In other words, we should be ready to offer up our sufferings, as a proof of our love for Him. Amen.”