Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 1 July – He totally encloses us …

One Minute Reflection – 1 July – Monday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel Matthew 8:18–22 and the Memorial of Bl Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855)

“Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”…Matthew 8:20matthew 8 20 - foxes have dens 1 july 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “He [ Jesus] is our clothing, that for love wraps us and winds us,
embraces us and totally encloses us, hanging about us in tender love.”… Blessed
Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)he-jesus-is-our-clothing-julian-of-norwich-1-july-2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, be the beginning and the end of all that we are and do and say. Prompt our actions with Your grace, may Your light be our only way, may Your commands be our only need and complete all, with Your all-powerful help.   Blessed Antonio Rosmini who gave all for the sake of glory of God, pray for us!   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.bl antonio rosmini praty for us 1 july 2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – And all will be well, all manner of things shall be well!

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)all will be well - bl julian of norwich ccc 13 may 2019.jpg

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on Julian of Norwich

Wednesday, 1st December 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September.   England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching.   One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.

It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France.   God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave.   After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

“‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing?   Learn it well – Love was His meaning.   Who showed it to you?   Love…. Why did He show it to you?   For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision.   Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.   She may have taken the name of Julian, precisely from that Saint, to whom was dedicated the church, in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us.   But she was not the only one to make such a choice.   In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167).

The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study.   In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people.   Men and women of every age and condition, in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them.   It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice, precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.

We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life.   This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains.   She had become a mother to many.

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others.   As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.

It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love.   Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older and one that is longer.   This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.

In this book we read the following wonderful words:  “And I saw full surely that ere God made us He loved us, which love was never lacking nor ever shall be.   And in this love He has made all His works and in this love He has made all things profitable to us and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning.   And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love.   This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.   The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children.   In fact, the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says:  “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life – God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

I would like to emphasise another point.   The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist?   And the Saints themselves asked this very question.   Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote:   “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations.   If we are present to God, to His immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed.   “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well” – this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today.   Many thanks…Vatican.va

Blessed Julian, Pray for us!bl julian of norwich pray for us 13 may 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, GOD is LOVE, MYSTICS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY TRINITY

Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – Revelations of Divine Love

Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430) – “Revelations of Divine Love”

“He [ Jesus] is our clothing,
that for love wraps us and winds us,
embraces us and totally encloses us,
hanging about us in tender love.”he-jesus-is-our-clothing-julian-of-norwich-2-july-2018.jpg

“Prayer is not
overcoming
God’s reluctance.
It is laying hold
of His willingness.”prayer is not overcoming god's reluctance - bl julian of norwicb 13 may 2019.jpg

“Despite all our feelings of woe or of well-being,
God wants us to understand and to believe,
that we are more truly in heaven than on earth.
…for God is never out of the soul,
in which He will dwell blessedly without end.”despite-all-our-feelings-of-woe-julian-of-norwich-21-aug-20181.jpg

“The fullness of Joy
is to behold God
in everything.”the fullness of joy - bl julian of norwich 13 may 2019.jpg

“Truth sees God
and wisdom contemplates God
and from these two comes a third,
a holy and wonderful delight in God,
who is love.”truth sees god - bl julian of norwich 13 may 2019.jpg

“In You, Father almighty, we have
our preservation and our bliss.
In You, Christ,
we have our restoring and our saving.
You are our mother, brother and Saviour.
In You, our Lord the Holy Spirit,
is marvelous and plenteous grace.
You are our clothing,
for love You wrap us and embrace us.
You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe,
that by Your grace
all shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things
shall be well.
Amen”

Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)all-shall-be-well-julian-of-norwich-2-july-2018.jpg

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 May – Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416)

Saint of the Day – 13 May – Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416) (aged 73–74) Anchorite, Mystic, Writer, Ascetic, Spiritual director – also known as Dame Julian or Mother Julian – born late 1342 and died after 1416) was the greatest of all the English anchorites of the Middle Ages.   She wrote the earliest surviving book in the English language to be written by a woman, Revelations of Divine Love.header bl julian.png

It was popular in the 14th century for a number of English men and women to withdraw from the world as hermits, they were known as anchorites.   Their hermitage, was a small room attached to a local church.   Each room had two windows.   One through the church wall permitting the anchorite to receive communion.   Through the second window, the anchorite received food brought to him or her by village people.   Thus they at all times had the window of their heart open to Christ and open to the world.

As a young woman, Julian, who was born about 1342, became an anchorite at the Church of St Edmund and St Julian in Norwich.  309px-Julian_of_Norwich.jpgWhen she was 30 Julian suffered from a severe illness.   Whilst apparently on her deathbed, Julian had a series of intense visions of Jesus Christ, which ended by the time she recovered from her illness on 13 May 1373.   Julian wrote about her visions immediately after they had happened (although the text may not have been finished for some years), entitled Revelations of Divine Love.    Twenty to thirty years later, perhaps in the early 1390s, Julian began to write a theological exploration of the meaning of the visions, known as The Long Text.   This work seems to have gone through many revisions before it was finished, perhaps in the first or even second decade of the fifteenth century.   Until her death in about 1416, Julian stayed in her simple room.   Like most anchorites, she prayed, fasted, did penance, studied, sewed clothing for the poor and advised the village people.

In her book, she described her 16 visions of Jesus.   As she wrote this book about God’s great compassion for us, Julian developed a special vocabulary.   She called the Creator, our mother and our father.   She called Jesus the Redeemer, our brother.  bl julian snipRevelations is a celebrated work in Catholicism because of the clarity and depth of Julian’s visions of God.   Julian of Norwich is now recognised as one of England’s most important mystics.

Julian of Norwich lived in a time of turmoil but her theology was optimistic and spoke of God’s love in terms of joy and compassion, as opposed to law and duty.   For Julian, suffering was not a punishment that God inflicted, as was the common understanding. She believed that God loved everyone and wanted to save them all.   Popular theology, magnified by catastrophic contemporary events such as the Black Death and a series of peasant revolts, asserted that God punished the wicked  . Julian suggested a more merciful theology, she believed that behind the reality of hell is a greater mystery of God’s love.   In modern times, she has been classified as a proto-universalist, although she did not claim more than hope, that all might be saved.

At the time of Julian’s death, people from all over Europe travelled to her room, or cell, to ask her advice.   Everyone recognised that she was close to God.   The Church never formally declared her a saint but through the ages, people have called her “Blessed.”

“If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me.   But this was shown – that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.”
Julian of Norwich

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Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

Our Lady of Fatima, 102nd Anniversary, Our Lady of Help and Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament – 13 May and Memorials of the Saints

Our Lady of Fatima 102nd Anniversary of the First Apparition (Optional Memorial)
All about Our Lady of Fatima: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/the-centenary-of-the-apparitions-of-our-lady-of-fatima-our-lady-of-the-holy-rosary-13-may-2017/FATIMA 2.jpg

Our Lady of Help:  Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title began in Palermo, Sicily in the 14th century and has since spread throughout the Augustinians. It began when Father Nicola Bruno, who suffered from severe and long-term pains in his side, prayed to Our Lady for healing while meditating on a painting of Mary in which she used a stick or club to chase away the dragon and protect the infant Jesus, the artist was making reference to passages in Genesis and Revelations that referred to the eternal enmity between The Woman and the serpent.  That night, Father Nicola received a vision of Mary and was healed.   The painting received the title “Our Lady of Help” and the devotion began.   Since 1804 the celebration has had its own liturgy.

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament:  st peter julian eymard and our lady of the blessed sacrament The title of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament was first given to Mary by St Peter Julian Eymard in May 1868, while speaking to his novices.   A few years later he described what her statue should look like:  “The Blessed Virgin holds the Infant in her arms and He holds a chalice in one hand and a Host in the other.”   He exhorted them to invoke Mary:   “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”

The Story:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/feast-of-our-lady-of-the-most-blessed-sacrament-13-may/

St Abban of Abingdon
St Agnes of Poitiers
St André-Hubert Fournet
St Anno of Verona
St Argentea of Cordoba
St Euthymius the Illuminator
Bl Fortis Gabrielli
Bl Gerard of Villamagna
Bl Gemma of Goriano
St Glyceria of Trajanopolis
St John the Silent
Bl Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416)

St Lucius of Constantinople
St Mael of Bardsey
Bl Magdalen Albrizzi
St Merewenna of Rumsey
St Mucius of Byzantium
St Natalis of Milan
St Onesimus of Soissons
St Servatus of Tongres
St Valerian of Auxerre

Martyrs of Alexandria: A group of Catholic Christians martyred in the church of Theonas, Alexandria, Egypt by order of the Arian Emperor Valens. Their names have not come down to us. 372 in Alexandria, Egypt.