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Quote/s of the Day – 19 May – The Church

Quote/s of the Day – 19 May – The Memorial of St Peter Celestine (1210-1296) Pope and Confessor – 1 Peter 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19

Upon this rock I will build My Church
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

Of one Bread did both Peter and Judas partake
and yet, what communion had the believer
with the infidel?
Peter’s partaking was unto life
but that of Judas, unto death.
For that good Bread
was just like the sweet savour.
For as the sweet savour,
so also does the good Bread
give life to the good
and bring death to the wicked.
“For he that eateth unworthily,
eateth and drinketh judgement to himself:” –
judgement to himself,” not to thee.
If, then, it is judgement to himself, not to thee,
bear as one that is good,
with him that is evil,
that you may attain the rewards
of the good,and be not hurled
into the punishment of the wicked.

People who associate the name of Christian
with a dishonest life, injure Christ! …
If God’s Name, is blasphemed by bad Christians,
it is praised and honoured,
on the other hand,
by the good:
“For in every place, we are the aroma of Christ”
(2 Cor,14-15).
And it is said in the Song of Songs:
“Your name is oil poured out” (1,3).

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

(On John 12:1-9 Monday of Holy Week).

Better that only a few Catholics
should be left,
staunch and sincere in their religion,
than that they should,
remaining many,
desire as it were,
to be in collusion
with the Church’s enemies
and in conformity with the open foes
of our faith.

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Church

The path to Heaven is narrow,
rough and full of wearisome
and trying ascents,
nor can it be trodden without great toil
and, therefore, wrong is their way,
gross their error
and assured their ruin,
who, after the testimony
of so many thousands of Saints,
will not learn where to settle their footing!

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 May – ,“Upon this rock I will build my church” …

One Minute Reflection – 19 May – The Memorial of St Peter Celestine (1210-1296) Pope and Confessor – 1 Peter 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19

Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the Wisdom and Power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, Angels served Him. … And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many Priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. …

The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know, what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord, is he, who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say, blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover Me but He, Whose only Son I am.

And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested My Divinity to you, so, I Am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11). But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My Strength and, what I have by virtue of My Power, you have in common with Me, by the fact,, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church” … On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and my Church, whose summit is to reach to Heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” … Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church ( 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Conse

PRAYER – O God, Who raised blessed Peter Celestine to the lofty dignity of Supreme Pontiff and taught him to prefer self-abasement instead; mercifully grant that by his example, we may look upon all worldly things as naught and may be worthy, to reap in joy, the rewards promised to the humble. 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 "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The 3rd Glorious Mystery - DESCENT of the HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 May – ‘… The blessing of nobility …’

One Minute Reflection – 18 May – The Memorial of St Venantius (Died c 250) Martyr – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15:1-7

He who abides in Me and I in Him, the same bears much fruit” – John 5:5

REFLECTION – “Because Christ wished to show His disciples, how necessary it is, to be rooted in love of Him and how beneficial it is, to cling to Him, He told them … that He was the vine and that the branches of the vine, were those, who were united to Him and, so to speak, inserted in Him so as to “participate in His nature” (2 Pt 1:4), through a share in the Holy Spirit. For we are made one with Christ the Saviour, by His Holy Spirit …

For we have been reborn from Him and in Him, that is, in the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the old life we used to live but the life that consists of newness of faith and of love for Him. We are preserved in being, if we grow onto Him and cling fast to the holy commandment ,which has been handed down to us and, if we are eager to keep the blessing of nobility, that is to say, if we never consent, in any way, to “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30), Who has come to dwell in us and, through Whom, we believe, God has made His home in us.

For just as the vine-stock supplies and distributes, the virtue of its own inherent natural quality to the shoots, so, too, the Only-Begotten Word of God, implants, in His people, a sort of affinity with His own nature and that of the Father. By the gift of the Spirit, they are united with Him by every kind of holiness. He nourishes them, so that they become devout and He moves them to knowledge of all virtue and good works.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – O God, Who made this day holy by the triumph of blessed Venantius, Your Martyr, listen to the prayers of Your people, and grant that we, who honour his noble deeds, may imitate the constancy of his faith. 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 WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 May – May your door be open to Him Who comes …

One Minute Reflection – 17 May – The Memorial of St Paschal Baylon OFM (1540-1592) Confessor – Sirach 31:8-11, Luke 12:35-40

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36

REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us, if He does not always enter, or always remain. May your door be open to Him Who comes; open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart; run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.

So, even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true that He could enter but He does not want to use force, He does not put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give Light to all. Those who long to receive the Light, which shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church – 12th Sermon on Psalm 118

PRAYER – O God, Who endowed blessed Paschal, Your Confessor, with a wondrous love for the Sacred Mysteries of Your Body and Blood, mercifully grant that we may be found worthy to share in the same spiritual abundance, which he received in this Divine Banquet. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – I have chosen you

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23

Well done, good and faithful servant …
Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Matthew 25:23

I have chosen you
and have appointed you,
that you should go
and should bring forth fruit
and your fruit should remain,
says the Lord.

John 15:16

If we follow Christ closely
we shall be allowed,
even on this earth,
to stand, as it were,
on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem
and enjoy the contemplation,
of that everlasting feast,
like the blessed Apostles,
who, in following the Saviour as their leader,
showed and still show,
the way to obtain the same gift from God.
They said – See, we have left all things and followed You.
We too follow the Lord
and we keep His feast
by deeds rather than by words.

St Athanasius (297-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Rejoice and be happy!
Persevere to the end
and prefer to die
rather than abandon the post,
to which God has called you!

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

All Highest, Glorious God

All highest, glorious God,
cast Your light into the darkness of our hearts,
give us true faith, firm hope,
perfect charity and profound humility,
so that with wisdom,
courage and perception, O Lord,
we may do what is truly Your holy will.
Amen.

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

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One Minute Reflection – 16 May – “A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them.” – Matthew 25:14

One Minute Reflection – 16 May – The Memorial of St John Nepomucene (c 1345–1393) Priest, Martyr, “The First Martyr of the Seal of the Confession.” – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23

“A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them.” – Matthew 25:14

REFLECTION – “There is no question but that this Householder is Christ. After His Resurrection, when He was about to return triumphantly to the Father, He called His Apostles and entrusted them with the Gospel teaching, giving more to one, less to the other, never too much or too little but according to the abilities of those who received it. In the same way, the Apostle Paul said that he had fed with milk those unable to take solid food (1Co 3,2)…

Five, two, one talent: let us take these to be the different graces granted to each, whether the five senses for the first; understanding of faith and works for the second; the reasons for distinguishing us from other creatures, for the third. “The one who received five talents went away and traded with them and made another five.” That is to say, besides the physical and material senses he had received, he added knowledge of heavenly things. His knowledge was raised from the creatures to the Creator, from the corporal to the incorporeal, from the visible to the invisible, from the transient to the eternal. “The one who received two made another two.” This one likewise, according to his ability, doubled in the school of the Gospel what he had learned in the school of the Law. Or perhaps we could say, that he understood that knowledge of faith and the works of this present life, lead to future happiness. But the man who received one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” In the grip of works here below and of worldly pleasures, the wicked servant neglected God’s commands.  However, let us note that, according to another evangelist, he wrapped it in a linen cloth – by this we could understand that he took away the force of his Master’s teaching, by a life of softness and pleasure…

The Master welcomed the first two servants… with the same words of praise. “Come,” He said, “share in your master’s joy and receive what eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart” (1Cor 2,9). What greater reward could be bestowed on a faithful servant?” – St Jerome (343-420) Translator of Sacred Scripture (the Vulgate), Father and One of the Original Four Doctors of the Latin Church .

PRAYER – Mercifully give us Your help, we beseech You, O Lord and by the intercession of blessed John, Your Confessor and Martyr, stretch over us the right hand of Your mercy against all wickedness of the devil. 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.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – I will send him to you. – John16:7

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – The Fourth Sunday after Easter – James 1:17-21, John 16:5-14 and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) “The Father of Modern Education,” Confessor, Priest, Founder

“But I tell you the truth, it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you but if I go, I will send him to you.” – John16:7

REFLECTION – “The Holy Spirit is the wheat that comforts us along the road to the fatherland, the wine that gives us joy in tribulation, the oil that sweetens life’s sorrows. This threefold support, was needed by the apostles who had to go out to preach through the whole world. This is why Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to them. They are filled with Him – filled, so that no impure spirits might gain entrance into them; when a container is completely full, nothing else can enter into it.

The Holy Spirit “will teach you.” (Jn 16,13) so that you can know; he will prompt you. so that you can will. He gives both knowledge and will add to this our “ability,” according to the measure of our strength and we shall be temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6,19).” – St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan, Doctor of the Church – Sermons

PRAYER – God, Who raised up the holy Confessor John Baptiste for the Christian education of the poor and to strengthen youth in the way of truth and through him, formed a new family in the Church, graciously grant, by his intercession and example, that we, striving to save souls out of zeal for Your glory, may be found worthy to share his heavenly crown. T hrough Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Our Mother

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Mary’s Day – Sirach 24:14 -16, John 19:25-27

Behold, thy mother”

John 19:27

“Go to Mary and sing her praises
and you will be enlightened.
For it is through her,
that the true Light
shines on the
sea of this life.”

St Ildephonsus (607-670)

O Mary,
you give assistance
to everyone endeavouring
to rise to God!

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

Wherefore, in the same holy bosom
of His most chaste Mother,
Christ took to Himself flesh
and united to Himself,
the spiritual Body formed
by those who were to believe in Him.
Hence Mary, carrying the Saviour
within her, may be said,
to have also carried, all those.
whose life was contained
in the life of the Saviour.
Therefore, all we,
who are united to Christ
and, as the Apostle says,
are members of His body,
of His flesh and of His bones (Eph 5:30),
have issued from the womb of Mary,
like a body united to it’s Head.

St Pius X (1835-1914)
Pope from 1903 to 1914

Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum” #10-11

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One Minute Reflection – 14 April – “Behold, thy mother” – John 19:27

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Mary’s Day – Sirach 24:14 -16, John 19:25-27

Behold, thy mother” – John 19:27

REFLECTION – “Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved, the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all, when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labour with great pain as she stands at the foot of the Cross.

At the hour of His Passion, the Lord Himself rightly compared the Apostles to a woman in childbirth, when He said: “When a woman is in labour she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a Son compare such a Mother, the Mother standing at the foot of His Cross, to a woman in labour? What am I saying? “Compare?” She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her Son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labour because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). …

When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labour (Lk 2:35), then, no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new Man who renews the entire human race and reigns forever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her Son’s Passion, then she is indeed the Mother of us all! – Rupert of Deutz (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete and Writer – Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789.

PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto all Thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness, both of mind and body and, by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. 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 DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – The least in the Kingdom of Heaven.

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church – Wisdom 7:7-14, Matthew 5:13-19

“Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments, will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” – Matthew 5:19

REFLECTION – “For what reason then does He call some of these commandments “least,” although they are so magnificent and lofty? Jesus spoke this way because He was about to introduce His own teaching, as a new law . As He humbles Himself and speaks of Himself with great modesty, so He refers to His own teaching in the same manner. In this way, Jesus teaches us to practice humility in everything. And besides, since some suspected His teaching to be a new departure, He temporarily taught it in a more reserved way.

But when you hear “least in the Kingdom of Heaven,” you are to think of nothing but hell and punishment. For it was His practice to speak, not only of the joy the Kingdom brings but also, of the time of the resurrection and the fearful event of the Second Coming.

Think of one who calls a brother a fool. That one, transgresses only one commandment, maybe even the slightest one and falls into hell. Compare that one with another, who breaks all the commandments and instigates others to break them too. Do both have the same relationship to the Kingdom? This is not the argument Jesus is making. Rather, He means, that one who transgresses only one of the commands will, on the final day, be the least—that is, cast out—and last and will fall into hell!” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (The Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 16).

PRAYER – O God, Who endowed blessed Robert, Your Bishop and Doctor, with wondrous learning and virtue to repel the deceits of error and to defend the rights of the Apostolic See, grant, by his merits and intercession, that we may ever grow in love of truth and that the hearts of the erring may return to the unity of Your Church. 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 "Follow Me", CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on REASON/INTELLECT, QUOTES on TRUTH, The CREED, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – “And himself believed and his whole house.” John 4:53

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.

And himself believed
and his whole house.

John 4:53

Believing is:
an act of the intellect
assenting to the divine truth,
by command of the will,
moved by God through grace.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus.
Doctor Communis

Do you also wish to go away?” He asked.
It was then that Simon Peter
made his memorable reply,
“Lord, to whom shall be go?
Thou hast the words of everlasting life.”
(Jn 6:68-69).
We also may experience, at times,
a sense of uncertainty
concerning the words of Jesus Christ.
There are such tremendous mysteries
in the Christian religion.
But, a religion which contained
no mysteries could scarcely be true.
There are mysteries of nature surrounding us
and within us.
How can we imagine that there are
no mysteries in God, the supreme
and most perfect Being?
Could it be possible
for our petty intellects fully
to comprehend God in Himself
and in His revelation?
Let us bow our heads, therefore,
before the mysteries of the Divinity.
Let us adore God and repeat with St Peter:
We cannot go away from You, O God
because You have the words of everlasting life.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.
Amen

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on REASON/INTELLECT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

One Minute Reflection – 12 May – ‘ … God walks in step with the simple ones, He shows Himself to the humble ones … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 12 May – The Memorial of Sts Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla (Virgin) and Pancras, Martyrs – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.

Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not.” – John 4:48

REFLECTION –Whoever examines the majesty of God will be crushed by His glory” (Prv 25,27 Vg). God can do works that surpass man’s understanding… Faith is required of you and sincerity of life – not high intelligence, nor penetrating knowledge of the mysteries of God. If you do not understand, nor grasp what is below you, how will you comprehend what is above you? Be subject to God, submit yourself to the faith and the light of knowledge will be given to you, as much as you need and can use.

Some have grave temptations concerning faith and sacraments, which are not to be imputed to them but rather, to the enemy. Take no notice, do not argue with your thoughts, nor answer the doubts with which the devil attacks you; believe God’s word, believe His saints and prophets and the wicked enemy will be routed. It is often most profitable to God’s servant, to endure such things. For the devil does not tempt the infidel or sinner, of whom he has already secure possession but he uses various means, to tempt and harass the devout faithful.

Go on then with simple unquestioning faith and approach the Sacrament with reverent beseeching. Anything you cannot understand, commit it surely to God, Who is omnipotent. God does not deceive you – the over-confident person deceives himself. God walks in step with the simple ones, He shows Himself to the humble ones, He grants understanding to the little ones; “He reveals hidden meanings to little ones” and hides away His grace from the inquisitive and the proud. Human reason is feeble and fallible but true faith cannot be deceived. All use of reason, all human inquiry should walk in the footsteps of faith; it should not go on in front of it, nor call it in question.” – Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471) (The Imitation of Christ IV, 18).

PRAYER – May the holy feast of Your Martyrs, Nereus, Achilles, Domitilla and Pancras, ever comfort us, we beseech You, O Lord and make us worthy to serve You.
And grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto all Thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness, both of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. 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.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, St JOSEPH, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – ‘Is he not a man chosen and set apart?’

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – Octave Day of St Joseph – Genesis 49:22-26, Luke 3:21-23

And Jesus, Himself, was beginning about the age of thirty years, being – (as it was supposed) – the son of Joseph … “” – Luke 3:23

REFLECTION – “There is a general rule, concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen, with all the gifts of the Spirit, needed to fulfil the task at hand.

This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the Foster-Father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the Angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy Guardian and Protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his Divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.

What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world. Holy Church, in its entirety, is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her, it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her, we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.

In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the Divine Goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms. Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which He gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather, we must say that in Heaven, Christ completes and perfects, all that He gave at Nazareth.

Now, we can see ,how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph – Enter into the joy of your Lord. In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph – Enter into joy. His intention was, that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey, not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy but also, that it surrounds him and engulfs him, like an infinite abyss.

Remember us, Saint Joseph and plead for us to your Foster-Child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the Mother of Him Who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns eternally. Amen.” – St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) (An excerpt on his Sermon 2 of St Joseph).

PRAYER – O God, Who in thine unspeakable foreknowledge, didst choose Thy blessed servant Joseph to be the husband of thine Own most holy Mother; mercifully grant, that now that he is in heaven with Thee, we, who on earth do reverence him for our Defender, may worthily be assisted by the succour of his prayers to Thee ,on our behalf. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD and CONSECRATED LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM

One Minute Reflection – 10 May – Talents – Matthew 25:14-23.

One Minute Reflection – 10 May – The Memorial of St Antoninus OP (1389-1459) – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23.

To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately …” – Matthew 25:15

REFLECTION – “The man who is the landowner is actually the Creator and Lord of all. The Word compares the time the landowner spends away from home, in the parable, to either the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, or, at any rate, to the unseen and invisible character of the Divine Nature. Now, one must conceive of the property of God, as those in each country and city who believe in Him. He calls His servants, those who according to the times, Christ crowns with the glory of the Priesthood. For the holy Paul writes, “No-one takes this honoUr upon himself; he must be called by God.

He hands over [His property] to those who are under Him, to each giving a spiritual gift, so that he might have character and aptitude. We think that this distribution of the talents, is not supplied to the household servants in equal measure because, each is quite different from the other, in their understanding. Immediately they head out for their labours, He says, directly, indicating to us here, that apart from the procrastination of one, they are fit to carry out the work of God.

Surely those who are bound by fear and laziness will end up in the worst evils. For he buried, Jesus says, the talent given to him in the earth. He kept the gift hidden, making it unprofitable for others and useless for himself. For that very reason, the talent is taken away from him and will be given to the one who is already rich. The Spirit has departed from such as these and the gift of the divine gifts. But to those who are industrious, an even more lavish gift will be presented.”St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Fragment 283)

PRAYER – O Lord, may the merits of Antoninus, Your Confessor and Bishop, help us and just as we praise You for the wonders You have wrought in him, so may we glory in Your mercy toward us. T hrough 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 "Follow Me", ArchAngels and Angels, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The ASCENSION of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – “A little while now and you shall not see me” – John 16:16

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – The Third Sunday after Easter – 1 Peter 2:11-19, John 16:16-22 and the Feast of the Apparition of St Michael the Archangel at Monte Gargano, Italy (492)

A little while now and you shall not see me” – John 16:16

REFLECTION – “The Ascension of Christ into Heaven is in accord with reason – firstly, because Heaven was due to Christ by His very nature.   It is natural for someone to return to the place from whence they take their origin.   The beginning of Christ is from God, Who is above all things.   Jesus says to the Apostles (Jn 16:28):  “I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” … The just ascend into Heaven but not in the manner that Christ ascended, namely by His own power, for they are taken up by Christ – “Draw me, we will run after thee.” (Sg 1:3)  Or indeed, we can say, that no-one but Christ has ascended into Heaven because the just do not ascend, except, insofar as they are members of Christ, Who is the Head of the Church. …   Secondly, Heaven is due to Christ because of His Victory.   For He was sent into the world to combat the devil and He did overcome him.   Therefore, Christ deserved to be exalted above all things – “I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on His throne” (Rv 3:21)

Finally, the Ascension was owing to Christ because of His humility.   There never was humility so great as that of Christ Who, although He was God yet wished to become man and although He was the Lord, yet He wished to take the form of a servant and, as Saint Paul says:  “He was obedient even unto death” (Phil 2:7) and descended even into hell. Therefore, He deserved to be exalted even to Heaven, to God’s throne, for humility leads to exaltation.   “For whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14:11) and, “the one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens” (Eph 4:10).” … St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus/Doctor Communis (Commentary on the Apostle’s Creed).

PRAYER – O God, Who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels and men in a wonderful order, mercifully grant, that as Thy holy Angels alway do Thee service in Heaven, so, by Thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth. 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).

St Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the
wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell, Satan
and all the evil spirits
who prowl throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUTH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – “Without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Quote/s of the Day – 7 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15,1-7.

Without Me
you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

Whoever does not gather
with me, scatter
s.”

Luke 11:23

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.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – “I am the vine, you the branches.” – John 15:5

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).

Posted in "Follow Me", FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, OUR Cross, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The HOLY CROSS, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – ‘ … Thus, in the Cross of Christ, there is death and in the Cross of Christ, there is life. …’

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?”

Matthew 20:22

“If anyone serves me,
he must follow me
and where I am,
there will my servant be also.

John 12:26

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 spiri
t.”

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.

St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 May – Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? – Matthew 20:22

One Minute Reflection – 6 May – Tthe Feast of St John Before the Latin Gate – Wisdom 5:1-5, Matthew 20:20-23

You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?” – Matthew 20:22

REFLECTION – “Through their mother’s mediation, the sons of Zebedee press Christ as follows in the presence of their fellow apostles:  “Command that we may sit, one at your right side and one at your left” (cf. Mk 10:35f.)… Christ hastens to free them from their illusions, telling them they must be prepared to suffer insults, persecutions, even death. “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the chalice that I shall drink?” 

Let no-one be surprised to see the Apostles displaying such imperfect dispositions.   Wait until the Mystery of the Cross has been fulfilled and the strength of the Holy Spirit given to them.   If you want to see the strength of their souls, take a look at them later and you will see them to be above all human weakness.   Christ does not conceal their pettiness, so that you will be able to see what they become later by the power of the grace which will transform them! …”… St John Chrysostom (c 345-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – O God, Who sees that sins and sufferings do, on every side rise up to trouble us, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may find a shield in times of need, through the glorious intercession of Thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist beloved Saint John. 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 DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 May – ‘ … Out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen …’

One Minute Reflection – 5 May – The Memorial of St Pius V OP (1504-1573) – 1 Peter 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19

Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the Wisdom and Power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, Angels served Him. … And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many Priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. …

The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know, what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord, is he, who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say, blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover Me but He, Whose only Son I am.

And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested My Divinity to you, so, I Am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11). But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My Strength and, what I have by virtue of My Power, you have in common with Me, by the fact,, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church” … On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and my Church, whose summit is to reach to Heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church ( 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Consecration).

PRAYER – O, God, Who graciously chose the blessed Pius as Supreme Pontiff, to crush the enemies of Your Church and to restore divine worship, grant that we may be guarded by his help and remain so steadfast in Your service, that, having overcome the snares of all enemies, we may enjoy a lasting peace. T hrough 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 WORD and WISDOM, GOD ALONE!, OUR Cross, POETRY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 May – ‘You touched me’

Quote/s of the Day – 4 May – The Memorial of St Monica (322-387) Mother of St Augustine – 1 Timothy 5:3-10, Luke 7:11-16

My grace is sufficient for thee,
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly
about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight.
I do not know what there is now for me to do
or why I am still here,
all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.”

Saint Monica,
on the conversion
of St Augustine

Our Lord and Saviour lifted up His Voice
and said with incomparable majesty:
“Let all men know, that grace comes after tribulation.
Let them know, that without the burden of afflictions,
it is impossible to reach the height of grace.
Let them know,
that the gifts of grace increase,
as the struggles increase.
Let men take care not to stray and be deceived.
This is the only true stairway to paradise
and without the cross,
they can find no road to climb to Heaven
.”

St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

Late Have I Loved You
By St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Late have I loved You,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved You!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside,
seeking there for You,
and upon the shapely things
You have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me
but I was not with You.
They held me back far from You,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in You.
You called, shouted,
broke through my deafness.
You flared, blazed,
banished my blindness.
You lavished Your fragrance,
I gasped
and now I pant for You.
I tasted You
and now I hunger and thirst.
You touched me
and I burned for Your peace.
Amen

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DEATH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – Why then did He not work the miracle by only a word but also touched the bier?

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – The Memorial of St Monica (322-387) Mother of St Augustine – 1 Timothy 5:3-10, Luke 7:11-16

Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Naim and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.” – Luke 7:11

REFLECTION – “Observe how He joins miracle to miracle. In the former instance, the healing of the centurion’s servant, He was present by invitation but here, He draws near without being invited. No-one summoned Him to restore the dead man to life but He comes to do so of His own accord. He seems to me to have purposely made this miracle also follow upon the former.

The dead man was being buried and many friends were conducting him to his tomb. Christ, the Life and Resurrection, meets him there. He is the Destroyer of death and of corruption. He is the One in whom we live and move and are. He is Who has restored the nature of man to that which it originally was and has set free, our death-fraught flesh, from the bonds of death. He had mercy upon the woman and that her tears might cease,, He commanded saying, “Weep not.” Immediately the cause of her weeping was done away.

Christ raised him who was descending to his grave. The manner of his rising is plain to see. “He touched,” it says, “the bier and said, ‘Young man, I say unto thee, arise.’” How was not a word enough for raising him who was lying there? What is so difficult to it or past accomplishment? What is more powerful than the Word of God? Why then did He not work the miracle by only a word but also touched the bier? It was, my beloved, that you might learn, that the Holy Body of Christ is productive for the salvation of man. The Flesh of the Almighty Word is the Body of Life and was clothed with His Might. Consider, that iron, when brought into contact with fire, produces the effects of fire and fulfills its functions. The Flesh of Christ also has the power of giving life and annihilates the influence of death and corruption because, it is the flesh of the Word, Who gives life to all. May our Lord Jesus Christ also touch us, that delivering us from evil works, even from fleshly lusts, He may unite us to the assemblies of the saints.” St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Luke, Homily 36).

PRAYER – O God, the consoler of those who mourn and the safety of those who put their trust in You; Who mercifully accepted the holy tears of blessed Monica for the conversion of Augustine, her son; grant us through the intercession of both, to bewail our sins and to obtain the grace of Your forgiveness. 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, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The PASSION, The WORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – ‘It is not I who undertook this work …’

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).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HEART, The HOLY NAME of MARY, The WORD

MAY – The Month of our Loving Mother Mary!

It’s 1 May
The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Month of our Loving Mother!

The name of Mary
is a tower of strength,
which saves sinners from punishment
and defends the just
from the assaults of hell.

St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1455)

Mary Pondered All These Things in Her Heart (Cf Luke 2:19)

From a Sermon by St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1455) Bishop of Venice, Confessor
His Biography here:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/09/05/saint-of-the-day-5-september-saint-lawrence-justinian-1381-1455/

“While Mary contemplated all she had come to know through reading, listening and observing, she grew in faith,increased in merits and was more illuminated by Wisdom and more consumed by the fire of charity.
The Heavenly Mysteries were opened to her and she was filled with joy; she became fruitful by the Spirit, was being directed toward God and watched over protectively, while on earth.
So remarkable are the divine graces, that they elevate one from the lowest depths to the highest summit and transform one to a greater holiness.
How entirely blessed was the mind of the Virgin which, through the indwelling and guidance of the Spirit, was always and in every way, open to the power of the Word of God.
She was not led by her own senses, nor by her own will, thus, she accomplished outwardly, through her body. what Wisdom, from within, gave to her faith.
It was fitting for Divine Wisdom, which created itself a home in the Church, to use the intervention of the most Blessed Mary, in guarding the law, purifying the mind, giving an example of humility and providing a spiritual sacrifice.
Imitate her, O faithful soul!
Enter into the deep recesses of your heart, so that you may be purified spiritually and cleansed from your sins.
God places more value on goodwill in all we do, than on the works themselves.
Therefore, whether we give ourselves to God in the work of contemplation or whether we serve the needs of our neighbour by good works, we accomplish these things because, the love of Christ urges us on.
The acceptable offering of the spiritual purification, is accomplished, not in a man-made temple but, in the recesses of the heart where the Lord Jesus freely enters!”

Mary! How Sweetly Falls That Word
Anonymous, 19th Century

Mary! How sweetly falls that word
On my enraptured ear!
Oft do I breathe in accents low,
That sound when none are near.
Chorus:
Sing, O my lips and loudly proclaim:
O Mary, O Mary, how sweet is thy name!
Sing, O my lip, and loudly proclaim;
O Mary, O Mary, how sweet is thy name!

Sweet as the warbling of a bird,
Sweet as a mother’s voice;
So sweet to me is that dear name,
It makes my soul rejoice.
Chorus.

Bright as the glittering stars appear,
Bright as the moonbeams shine,
So bright in my mind’s eye is seen
Thy loveliness divine!
Chorus.

Through thee I offer my requests,
And when my prayer is done,
In ecstasy sublime I see
Thee seated near thy Son.
Chorus.

Tune: St Basil’s Hymnal: Unnamed Tune. (1889)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St JOSEPH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 May – “Is not this the carpenter’s son? ”– Matthew 13:55

One Minute Reflection – 1 May – The Second Sunday after Easter – St Joseph the Worker, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Colossians 3:14-15, 17, 23-24, Matthew 13:54-58

“Is not this the carpenter’s son? ” – Matthew 13:55

REFLECTION – “For if I do not understand the nature placed at my service, I discern Your goodness from the mere fact that it is there to serve me. I perceive that I do not even understand myself but I wonder at You all the more… You have given me intellect, life and human feeling, the source of so many joys, yet I do not begin to understand how I began to be…
So it is through failing to understand what surrounds me, that I grasp what You are and, it is through perceiving what You are, that I come to adore You. That is why, in what concerns Your mysteries, my incomprehension lessens not a bit my faith in Your omnipotence… Your eternal Son’s birth exceeds even the idea of eternity – it is prior to the times everlasting. Before any other thing that exists, He was Son proceeding from You, O God and Father. He is true God… You have never existed without Him… Before ever time was, You are the eternal Father of Your Sole Begotten One.”… St Hilary (315-368) Bishop of Poitiers, Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ of the Church

PRAYER – O God, Creator of all things, Who dost impose on man the law of work, grant in Thy goodness, that, by the example and patronage of blessed Joseph, we may both accomplish the work Thou dost command and attain the reward Thou hast promised. 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 BRIDEGROOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 April – ‘ … Then is celebrated the wedding … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 30 April – The Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Virgin, Doctor of the Church – 2 Corinthians 10:17-18; 11:1-2, Matthew 25:1-13

“But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” – Matthew 25:6

REFLECTION – “The souls’ husband is the Holy Spirit, by His grace. When His interior inspiration calls the soul to repentance, then every enticement of vice is in vain. The pride that wants command, the greed and lust that consumes everything: this was the master that used to control and ravage the soul. Their very names have been removed from the repentant sinner’s mouth… When grace is poured into the soul and gives it light, God makes a covenant with sinners. He is reconciled with them… Then is celebrated the wedding of the Bridegroom with His bride, in the peace of a pure conscience.” – St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that we which do keep the birthday of Thy blessed Virgin Catherine and do year by year renew her memorial with solemn gladness in Thy presence, may likewise be conformed to the pattern of her saintly walk with Thee. 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 QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 29 April – Faith and Charity

Thought for the Day – 29 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Faith and Charity

“Our faith should be suffused by love of our neighbour , as well as, by the love of God.
We should love our neighbour as ourselves.
Does anybody really practise this fundamental Christian precept?
Once again, let us contrast the magnificent mansions and places of entertainment of the rich, with the slums and hovels where thousands are living, in conditions which are not fit for rational human beings.
Is this Christianity?

Is this the teaching of the Gospel?

What would Jesus say about such aspects of modern life?
It would seem, that the Gospel is still a closed book for many Christians.

Let us examine ourselves on this commandment, which is so generally ignored that the consequences are likely to be disastrous for everybody.
Let us investigate how much responsibility we bear for this sad and dangerous state of affairs.
Let us make appropriate resolutions, which will save us from the peril of God’s final and fearful condemnation – “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire… As long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me!” (Cf Mt 25:41-46).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/23/thought-for-the-day-23-april-faith-and-charity/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/19/thought-for-the-day-19-april-faith-and-charity/

Posted in "Follow Me", AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on STRENGTH, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – ‘Wholly United to Christ’

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7

I am the vine, you the branches;
whoever remains in me and I in him,
the same bears much fruit;
for without Me
you can do nothing
.”

John 15:5

“My sheep hear My Voice;
and I know them
and they follow Me.

John 10:27

He [Christ], protects their faith
and gives strength to believers,
in proportion to the TRUST,
that each man,
who receives that strength,
is willing to place in Him.

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Martyr, Father of the Church

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.”

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

“Place all your trust in God,
let Him be your fear and your love.
He will answer for you,
He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home.
You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be
and you shall have no rest,
until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here
when this is not the place of your repose?

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“For the branch,” says St Augustine,
“there can be no half-measures.
Either it remains united with the vine,
or it is thrown into the fire.”
The same holds true for each one of us.
We must choose, either close union with Jesus,
or separation and spiritual death.
We must decide between a life of fervour in Christ,
or a life of tepidity and sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, POETRY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Joined to Christ

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).

PRAYERSaint 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.