Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Saint of the Day – 11 June – St Barnabas, Apostle “Son of Encouragement”

st-barnabas-pray-for-us-11-june-2018.jpghttps://anastpaul.com/2018/06/11/saint-of-the-day-11-june-st-barnabas-apostle-son-of-encouragement/

https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/11/saint-of-the-day-st-barnabas-the-apostle-11-june/

News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.   When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad and he exhorted them all, to remain faithful to the Lord, with steadfast purpose;  for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.   And a large company was added to the Lord...Acts 11:22-24

“While we cannot see God, there is something we can do, to open a way, for the eye of our understanding to come to Him.   It is certain that we can see now in His servants, one whom we can in no way see in Himself.   When we see them doing astonishing things, we can be sure that God dwells in their hearts…   None of us can look directly at the rising sun by gazing at its orb.   Our eyes are repelled as they strain to see its rays.   But we look at mountains bathed in sunlight and see that it has risen.   Because we cannot see the Sun of righteousness (Mal 3,20) Himself, let us see the mountains bathed in His brightness, I mean the holy apostles.   They shine with virtues and gleam with miracles…  The power of His divinity, is in itself, like the sun in the sky;  in human beings it is like the sun shining on earth…”

St Pope Gregory the Great (c 540-604), Father & Doctor of the Church

(Homilies on the Gospel, no 30)

when-he-came-and-saw-acts-11-22-24-when-we-see-them-doing-st-pope-gregory-the-great-11-june-2018-st-barnabas.jpg

Posted in NOVENAS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day Seven – 6 June

Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day Seven – 6 June

“But it is God,

who establishes us, with you in Christ

and has anointed us,

by putting his seal on us

and giving us his Spirit in our heart,

as a first instalment.”

St Paul

2 Corinthians 1:21

2 cor 1 21 - but it is god who establishes us - 6 june 2019.jpg

For the Traditional Novena, here with the Act of Consecration: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/pentecost-novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts-day-one-11-may-2018/

Begin by reciting the following prayer…

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore You as my True God.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and enriched the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
with all favours,
I ask You to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favour
I so earnestly seek…
…………………………………. State your request here…
O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth, come into our hearts.

Let us Pray:

Come, Holy Spirit,
creator of all things:
come visit our hearts with Your power.
Fill with grace, friendly guest,
the hearts which You have created.
You are called the Consoler,
gift from the hand of God,
source of life,
light, love and flame, highest good.
You are the pledge of sevenfold grace,
finger of the Father’s hand,
promised us by Him,
and You make our tongues speak the truth.
Cast light on our senses,
pour love into our hearts.
Grant our weak bodies strength
that they may never grow weary of doing good
and grant me the favour I so earnestly seek in this novena…
Keep the enemy far from us,
give us peace always,
let us willingly follow in Your footsteps
that we may be far removed from sin.
Grant that through You
we may grow in knowledge
of the Father and of the Son
and that we may ever strongly believe in You,
the Spirit of both.
Praise and honour be forever
to the Father on the highest throne,
in the risen Son of God,
in the Consoler.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
Amenday-seven-pentecost-novena-17-may-2018

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 24 May – Firstborn of Many Brothers

Thought for the Day – 24 May – Friday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide: Today’s Gospel John 15:12-17

Firstborn of Many Brothers

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide”…John 15:16

Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist. (c 1100 – c 1170)
Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher

An excerpt from his Sermon 42

Just as the head and body of a man, form one single man, so the Son of the Virgin and those He has chosen to be His members, form a single man and the one Son of Man. Christ is whole and entire, head and body, say the Scriptures, since all the members form one body, which with its Head is one Son of Man and He, with the Son of God is one Son of God, who Himself with God is one God.   Therefore, the whole body with its Head is Son of Man, Son of God and God.   This is the explanation of the Lord’s words – Father, I desire that as you and I are one, so they may be one with us.

And so, according to this well-known reading of Scripture, neither the body without the head, nor the Head without the body, nor the Head and body without God, make the whole Christ.   When all are united with God, they become one God.   The Son of God is one with God by nature, the Son of Man is one with Him in His person;  we, His body, are one with him sacramentally.   Consequently, those, who by faith, are spiritual members of Christ, can truly say that they are what He is – the Son of God and God Himself.   But what Christ is, by His nature, we are as His partners, what He is of Himself in all fullness, we are as participants.   Finally, what the Son of God is by generation, His members are by adoption, according to the text – As sons you have received the Spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, Abba, Father.

Through His Spirit, He gave men the power to become sons of God, so that all those He has chosen might be taught by the firstborn, among many brothers to say – Our Father, who are in heaven.   Again He says elsewhere – I ascend to my Father and to your Father.

By the Spirit, from the womb of the Virgin, was born our Head, the Son of Man and by the same Spirit, in the waters of baptism, we are reborn as His body and as sons of God. And just as He was born without any sin, so we are reborn in the forgiveness of all our sins.   As on the cross, He bore the sum total of the whole body’s sins in His own physical body, so He gave His members the grace of rebirth, in order that no sin might be imputed to His mystical body.   It is written – Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no sin.   The blessed man of this text is undoubtedly Christ, who forgives sins insofar as God is His head.   Insofar as this Man is the Head of the body, no sin is forgiven Him.   But insofar as the body that belongs to this Head consists of many members, sin is not imputed to it.

Just in Himself, it is He who justifies Himself.   He alone is both Saviour and saved.   In His own body on the cross, He bore what He had washed from His body by the waters of baptism.   Bringing salvation through wood and through water, He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, which He took upon Himself.   Himself a priest, He offers Himself as sacrifice to God and He Himself is God.   Thus, through His own self, the Son is reconciled to Himself as God, as well as to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.jut as the head of a body - bl isaac of stella - 24 may 2019 - firstborn of many brothers.jpg

Posted in BLAISE PASCAL, BREVIARY Prayers, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 24 May – Speaking of Love…

Quote/s of the Day – 24 May – Friday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide: Today’s Gospel John 15:12-17

Speaking of Love…

“This is my commandment,
that you love one another,
as I have loved you…

John 15:12john 15 12 this is my commandment that you love ...24 may 2019.jpg

“What is the mark of love for your neighbour?
Not to seek what is for your own benefit
but what is for the benefit of the one loved,
both in body and in soul.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)

Father & Doctor of the Churchwhat-is-the-mark-of-love-for-your-neighbour-st-basil-the-great-4-may-2018-speaking-of-love.jpg

“Since love grows within you,
so beauty grows.
For love is the beauty of the soul.”since-love-grows-within-you-st-augustine-3-may-2018.jpg

“God is always trying to give good things to us
but our hands are too full to receive them!”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Gracegod is always trying to give good things to us - st augustine - 24 may 2019 fav.jpg

“Nothing is sweeter than love,
nothing stronger or higher or wider;
nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller
and nothing better in heaven or on earth,
for love is born of God
and cannot rest except in God,
Who is above all created things.”

Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471) – Imitation of Christnothing-is-sweeter-than-love-thomas-a-kempis-6-april-2018.jpg

“Love knows no limit
to its endurance,
no end to its trust,
no fading of its hope,
it can outlast anything.
Love still stands,
when all else has fallen.”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)love-knows-no-limits-blaise-pascal-6-april-2018.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 May – “You did not choose me but I chose you…”

One Minute Reflection – 24 May – Friday of the Fifth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 15:12–17 and the Memorial of Our Lady Help of Christians and Blessed Maria Gargani (1892-1973)

“You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide”…John 15:16

REFLECTION – “Oh, how happy and blessed are those who love God and do as the Lord Himself says in the Gospel – “You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and your neighbour as yourself.”    Let us love God, therefore and adore Him with a pure heart and a pure mind…

And let us love our neighbours as ourselves.   And if there is anyone who does not wish to love them as himself, at least let him do no harm to them but rather do good.   But those who have received the power to judge others, should exercise judgement with mercy, as they themselves desire to receive mercy from the Lord…   Let us then have charity and humility, let us give alms since this washes our souls from the stains of our sins.   For people lose everything they leave behind in this world but they carry with them, the rewards of charity and the alms which they gave, for which they will have a reward and a suitable remuneration from the Lord…

Upon all men and women, if they have done these things and have persevered to the end, the Spirit of the Lord will rest and He will make His home and dwelling among them.   They will be children of the heavenly Father whose works they do.   And they are spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ…   Oh, how glorious it is, how holy and great, to have a Father in heaven!   Oh, how holy, consoling, beautiful and wondrous it is to have a Spouse!  Oh, how holy… humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all things to have such a Brother and Son, who laid down his life for his sheep and who prayed to the Father for us, saying: “Holy Father, protect those in your name whom you have given to me…; and I wish, Father, that where I am they also may be with me so that they may see my glory in your kingdom” … St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226) Founder of the Friars Minor – Letter to all the faithful, 2nd version

(Biblical references : Mt 22:37-39; cf. Lk 6:37; Is 11:2; Jn 14:23; Mt 5:45; Mt 12:50; Jn 10:15; Jn 17:11-24)john 15 16 you did not choose me - oh how holy - st francis - 24 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You gave us a new birth in holy baptism and a new life in Your Son, who gave His life for us.   Give us the grace to bear much fruit always striving after what He has taught who goes ahead of us to lead us to You.   May the prayers of His beloved Mother and ours and Blessed Maria Gargani, grant us help and inspiration as we travel the road to eternal life.   Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.our-lady-help-of-christians-pray-for-us-24-may-2018.jpg

bl maria gargani pray for us 24 may 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 May – ‘… Believing is not enough’

One Minute Reflection – 23 May – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C, First Reading: Acts 15:7-21 and the Memorial of St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)

“He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts.” …Acts 15:9

REFLECTION – “Faith in God purifies the heart, the pure heart sees God.   But faith is sometimes defined, as followed by people, who wish to deceive themselves, —  as if it were enough merely to believe — some people, you see, promise themselves the vision of God and the kingdom of heaven for believing, while living bad lives.  Against these the apostle James indignantly took umbrage out of spiritual charity, so he says in his letter, “You believe that God is one.”   You pat yourself on your back for your faith, you observe that many godless people assume there are many gods and you congratulate yourself for believing that there is only one God.   “You do well. The demons also believe — and shudder.”   Shall they too see God?   Those who are pure of heart shall see Him.  Whoever would say, that the unclean spirits are pure of heart?   And yet, “they believe—and shudder.”

So our faith must be distinguished from the faith of demons.   Our faith, you see, purifies the heart, their faith makes them guilty.    So let us distinguish our faith and see that believing is not enough.   That is not the sort of faith that purifies the heart. “Purifying their hearts,” it says, “by faith.”   But which faith, what sort of faith?   The one, surely, which the apostle Paul defines when he says “faith that works through love.”   This faith is different from the faith of demons, different from the morals of dissolute and desperate people.   “Faith,” he says. “Which faith?”   The one “that works through love,” hopes for what God promises.   You could not have a more perfect, a more carefully thought-out definition than that.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor (Sermon 53)acts 15 9 by faith he purified - faith in god purifies the heart - st augustine 23 may 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, we were sinners and Your grace made us holy, we were without hope and You filled us with faith and joy.   Stand by us, in Your saving work and stay with us, in Your gifts of grace.   May we never fail to persevere in the holiness that comes from faith.   Listen to the prayers of the Mother of our Lord and our Mother and those of St John Baptist de Rossi, whom we ask for supplication.   Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.blessed virgin mary holy mother pray for us 23 may 2019

st john baptist de rossi pray for us 23 may 2019

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PEACE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS, Uncategorized

One Minute Reflection – 21 May – “My peace I give to you”

One Minute Reflection – 21 May – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 14:27–31 and the Memorial of St Eugene de Mazenod (1782-1861)

“My peace I give to you”... John 14:27john 14 27 my peace if give to you - 21 may 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “We could have great peace if we were willing not to busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others, for which we bear no responsibility.   How can you remain long at peace, if you interfere in other people’s business, if you are on the watch for a chance to leave your solitude, if your inner recollection is slight and sporadic? Blessed are the simple, for they have great peace.   What is it that made some of the saints such perfect contemplatives?   Their whole study was to deaden themselves to every earthly desire and so they could wholly cleave to God, from the very depth of their heart and freely give time to Himself.    But as for us, we are too much taken up with our appetites, too anxious about transitory things.   We seldom perfectly conquer even one fault, so frigid and tepid we remain.

If we were perfectly dead to ourselves and free of all inner involvements; then we could also taste the things of God and have some experience of heavenly contemplation.   It is total and utter hindrance to me that we are not free from passion and lust and we do not undertake the perfect way of the Saints.   When we meet with even slight adversity, we are quickly thrown and we turn to human comforts.   If we were to try like gallant warriors, to stand firm in battle, then surely we should see the help of God upon us from heaven.   For He is ready to help those who struggle, hoping in His grace…   If you did but mind what peace for yourself, what joy for others your good dispositions would secure!   I think you would take much more thought for spiritual progress.”… Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) – The Imitation of Christ – Book 1, ch.11how can you remain long at peace - thomas a mepis - 21 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant us the grace to strive after perfect love.   Help us to bring forth frequents acts of love so that we may grow in this greatest of virtues.   In the great love of Your divine Son, who gave Himself for us, He filled us with peace and hope.   May these gifts grow always in our hearts.   We ask for the intercession of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, His Mother and of St Eugene de Mazenod, who overflowed with love, they said his heart was as big as the world.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.holy-mother-mary-at-prayer-pray-for-us-21-may-2018

st eugene de mazenod pray for us 2 21 may 2019.jpg