Posted in BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY ORDERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, Sacrament of the SICK, SACRAMENTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 26 April – The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter

The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in Him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God.   Having destined us to be His adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in His glory and living as we do, in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.”   When He said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us.

We became “the anointed ones” when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit.   Indeed, everything took place in us by means of images, because we ourselves are images of Christ.   Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of His divinity and, when He came up from them, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like resting upon like.   So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with chrism, which signifies the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ was anointed and of whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor.

Christ’s anointing was not by human hands, nor was it with ordinary oil.   On the contrary, having destined Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, the Father Himself anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.   The words of Peter bear witness to this – Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit.   And David the prophet proclaimed: Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.   You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellows.

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil, it was in fact the Holy Spirit Himself, who is called the oil of gladness, because He is the source of spiritual joy.   But we too have been anointed with oil and by this anointing, we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in His life.   Beware of thinking that this holy oil is simply ordinary oil and nothing else.   After the invocation of the Spirit it is no longer ordinary oil but the gift of Christ and by the presence of His divinity, it becomes the instrument, through which we receive the Holy Spirit.   While symbolically, on our foreheads and senses, our bodies are anointed with this oil that we see, our souls are sanctified by the holy and life-giving Spirit.beware of thinking that this holy oil - st cyril of jerusalem 26 april 2019 easter friday - anointingwiththeholyspirit.jpg

Posted in BAPTISM, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 25 April- Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Congratulations to those who entered
the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation,
(Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion)
at the Easter Vigil.
You are now members with us,
in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Welcome Home!

congrats to new catholics - welcome home - 25 april 2019 easter thurs

Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolised the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water, it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again, it was like coming into broad daylight   In the same instant, you died and were born again, the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse – a time to die and a time to be born, although, in fact, both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!   It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.  We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails, He suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet, by the share that I have in His sufferings, He freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.  This is why Paul exclaims:  Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in His death?   By baptism we went with Him into the tomb.we know perfectly weel that baptism - st cyril of jerusalem - 25 april 2019 easter thurs.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY TRINITY, The WORD

One minute Reflection – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

One minute Reflection – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Gospel:  Luke 3:15-22 and Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

“…when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son with thee I am well pleased.”…Luke 3:21-22when jesus also had been baptised luke 3 21-22 13 jan 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Jesus rises from the waters;  the world rises with Him.   The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open.   The Spirit comes to Him as to an equal, bearing witness to His Godhead.  A voice bears witness to Him from heaven, His place of origin.   The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.
Today, let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness.   Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.   Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom His every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world.   You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the light of heaven.   You are to enjoy, more and more, the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. “…St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390 – Father & Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Oration 39: On Holy Light)he wants you to become a living force - st gregory of nazianzen - 13 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen…St Hilary of Poitierso-holy-trinity-prayer-for-perseverance-in-truth-st-hilary-of-poitiers-13-jan-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplicain, Friend and Teacher of St Ambrose and the “spiritual father of my soul” of St Augustine, both Fathers and Doctors of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplicain, Friend and Teacher of St Ambrose and the “spiritual father of my soul” of St Augustine, both Fathers and Doctors of the Church

“Only the “new” person can sing a new song to the Lord:
the person restored from a fallen condition through the grace of God.
Let us sing a new song –
not with our lips
but with our lives!”

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

only the new person NO 2 - st augustine

 

“All the children of the Church are priests.
At Baptism, they received the anointing
that gives them a share in the priesthood.
The sacrifice which they must offer to God
is completely spiritual – it is THEMSELVES!”

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

ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE CHURCH - NO 2 - ST AMBROSE

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote of the Day – 17 April Easter Monday – 2nd Day of the Easter Octave

Quote of the Day – 17 April Easter Monday – 2nd Day of the Easter Octave

“There flowed from His side water and blood.   Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought;  it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolised baptism and the holy Eucharist.   From these two sacraments the Church is born:-  from baptism, the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit and from the holy Eucharist.    Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from His side, it was from His side that Christ fashioned the Church, as He had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam. Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim:- Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!   As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from His side to fashion the Church.   God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after His own death.

Do you understand, then, how Christ has united His bride to Himself and what food He gives us all to eat?   By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished.    As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with His own blood those to whom He himself has given life.’

St John Chrysostum (347-407) – Father & Doctor

ST JOHN CHRYSOSTUM-BAPTISM AND EUCHARIST

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 April – Easter Monday 2nd Day of the Octave

One Minute Reflection – 17 April – Easter Monday 2nd Day of the Octave

Meditation for the Day:   Help us put our baptism into action.

The women were frightened and yet very happy,
as they hurried from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples.
— Matthew 28:8

REFLECTION – “We imitate Christ’s death by being buried with him in baptism.   If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life and our Lord Himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again.    In other words, we have to begin a new life and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction.    So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another…….Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations:   You will wash me, says the psalmist and I shall be whiter than snow.    We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world and baptism is its symbol.”………St Basil the Great

Prayer – Loving Father, How do I live the baptismal promises I made again over the weekend? I want to live my life in service of You.
Help me to carry the gift of faith I received from You. Help me to welcome those who joined the church in baptism.
Guide me and give me the courage to live my faith, to accept Your love. Amen

MATTHEW 28-8ST BASIL THE GREAT-BAPTISM