Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 15 September – Each of us and all of us!

Quote/s of the Day – 15 September – Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 15:1–32 and the Memorial of Blessed Paolo Manna PIME (1872-1952)

“Just so, I tell you,
there will be more joy in heaven
over one sinner who repents,
than over ninety-nine righteous persons
who need no repentance.”

Luke 15:7luke 15 7 just so i tell there will be more joy in heaven - 15 sept 2019.jpg

“The whole Church for the whole world!”

the whole church for the whole world - bl paolo manna 15 sept 2019

“Go for a divine call,
go where obedience has destined you.
Go for the love of Jesus,
for the interests of Jesus
and Jesus will always be at your side,
always in your heart”

go for a dvivne call bl paolo manna 15 sept 2019

“We are apostles!
We are apostles
and we wander far and wide,
we work generously,
only for the sake of souls,
only for the Church,
only for heaven!”

Blessed Paolo Manna (1872-1952)we are apostles - bl paolo manna 15 sept 2019

Christ only knows
how to count to one and that one,
is each of us!

christ only knows how to count to one fr raniero cantalamessa 15 sept 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Corpus Christi, The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – 23 June

Blessed Solemnity of Corpus Christi to you all!

corpus-christi-this-is-my-body-mark-14-22-3-june-2018.jpg

The Feast of Corpus Christi also known in Liturgical Latin as Dies Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Iesu Christi  – Latin for “Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord” and as Solemnity of the Corpus Christi “Body of Christ” is a Christian liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist.   Two months earlier, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday.   The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the priesthood.

The feast of Corpus Christi was proposed by St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) , Doctor of the Church to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist emphasising the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.   Recognised the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena on input of St Thomas, in 1264 the pontiff, established the feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity and extended it to the universal Catholic Church.corpus-christi-1

The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, “where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day”, which is now the case in most countries.    In the liturgical reforms of 1969, under Pope Paul VI, the bishops of each nation have the option to transfer it to the following Sunday.

At the end of Holy Mass, there is a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance.   A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St John Lateran and passes to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where it concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The feast of Corpus Christi is one of five occasions in the year on which a diocesan bishop is not to be away from his diocese unless for a grave and urgent reason.Corpus_Christi_Procession_with_Pope_Gregory_XVI_in_the_Vatican

By tradition, Catholics hear Mass then go in procession through the streets of their parish church’s neighbourhood, all whilst praying and singing.   The Eucharist, known as the Blessed Sacrament, is placed in a monstrance and is held aloft by a member of the clergy during the procession.   Usually, there are anything from 3 – 5 stops, where altars have been erected and Benediction takes place.   The final Benediction usually takes place back in the Church.

Let us be transported to the same climate of expectation and joyful hope as we feel in the Adoro Te Devote with these last words of the Lauda Sion, the Eucharistic hymn/sequence also written by St Thomas Aquinas. (Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa O.F.M. “This is My Body”)

Source of all we have or know,
feed and lead us here below.
Grant that with Your saints above,
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see You face to face.

Amen Alleluia!

Lord Jesus Christ,

in the Most Blessed Sacrament,

we Adore and Love You!lauda-sion-lord-jesus-christ-in-the-most-blessed-sacrament-corpus-christi-3-june-2018-sunday-reflection.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

One Minute Reflection – 22 May – “Holiness is like a sculpture”

One Minute Reflection – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457) and St Julia (5th Centrury) Martyr

“I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower.   He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit and everyone that does, he prunes so that it bears more fruit” … John 15:1-2

REFLECTION – “Holiness is like a sculpture.   Leonardo da Vinci defined sculpture as “the art of removing.”   The other arts consist in adding something – colour to the canvas in painting, stone on stone in architecture, note after note in music.
Only sculpture consists of removing, of taking away the pieces of marble that are in excess, so that the figure can emerge that one has in mind.   Christian perfection is also obtained like this, by removing and making useless pieces fall off, namely, desires, ambitions, projects, carnal tendencies that disperse us and do not let us finish anything.
One day, Michelangelo walking through a garden in Florence saw a block of marble in a corner protruding from the earth, half covered by grass and mud.   He stopped suddenly, as if he had seen someone and turning to friends, who were with him, exclaimed:  “An angel is imprisoned in that marble, I must get him out.”   And, armed with a chisel, he began to work on that block until the figure of a beautiful angel emerged.
God also looks at us and sees us this way – as shapeless blocks of stone.   He then says to Himself:  “Therein is hidden a new and beautiful creature that waits to come out to the light, more than that, the image of my own son Jesus Christ is hidden there, I want to bring it out!”   We are predestined to “be conformed to the image of his son” (Romans 8:29).
Then, what does He do?   He takes the chisel, which is the cross and begins to work on us. He takes the pruning shears and begins to prune us.
We must not worry ourselves thinking of what terrible crosses He may send us! Normally, He does not add anything to what life presents us in terms of suffering, effort, tribulations.   He makes all these things serve for our purification.   He helps us to not waste them.”…Father Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM – Preacher to the Papal Householdjohn 15 1-2 i am the true vine - one day michelangelo - fr raneior cantalamessa 22 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us.   Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You.   When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You.   Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love.   St Rita of Cascia, you prayed so earnestly to give yourself totally to the Lord and suffer for Him, please pray for us, amen.st julia pray for us 22 may 2019st-rita-pray-for-us - 22 may 2017

Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The GOOD SHEPHERD

Quote of the Day – 12 May – He knows us “by name”

Quote of the Day – 12 May – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C, Gospel: John 10:27-30– “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday”

“What Jesus wants to say with these images is clear.
He knows His disciples (and, as God, all men),
He knows them “by name,” which, for the Bible,
means their innermost essence.
He loves them with a personal love
that treats each as if, they were the only one
who existed for Him.
Christ only knows how to count to one
and that one, is each of us.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM CAP
Preacher to the Pontifical Householdchrist only knows how to count to one - fr raneiro cantelamessa 12 may 2019 good shep sun.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote of the Day – 17 February – Every Eucharist is a “Mass on the world.”

Quote of the Day – 17 February – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Every Eucharist is a “Mass on the world.”

Beyond the daily life of the believer, the Eucharist extends its action to the whole cosmos.
As Teilhard de Chardin wrote:
“When He (Christ) says through the priest “This is my body”, His words go well beyond the piece of bread over which they are pronounced:  they effect the birth of the whole Mystical Body.
Beyond the transubstantiated Host, the priestly action extends to the cosmos itself.”

Every Eucharist is a “Mass on the world.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM
Preacher to the Papal Household

(“This is My Body”)beyond-the-daily-life-of-the-fr-raneiro-cantalamessa-18-feb-2018-sunday-reflection.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:25–37

One Minute Reflection – 8 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:25–37 – Monday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year B

“Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?”   He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.  ” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”...Luke 10:36-37which of these three do you think - good samaratan parable - luke 10 36-37 - 8 oct 2018

REFLECTION – “Jesus brings about an unexpected reversal in the traditional concept of neighbour.   The Samaritan is the neighbour and not the wounded man, as we would have expected.   This means that we must not wait till our neighbour appears along our way, perhaps quite dramatically.   It belongs to us to be ready to notice him, to find him. We are all called to be the neighbour!   The problem of the doctor of the law is reversed. From an abstract and academic problem, it becomes a concrete and living problem.   The question to ask is not “Who is my neighbour?” but “Whose neighbour can I be here and now?…
If one of us were to pose Jesus the question “Who is my neighbour?” what would he answer?   He would certainly remind us that our neighbour is not only our fellow countrymen but also those outside our community, not only Christians but Muslims also, not only Catholics but Protestants also.   But he would immediately add that this is not the most important thing.   The most important thing is not to know who my neighbour is but to see whose neighbour I can be here and now, for whom I can be the Good Samaritan.”…Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa – Preacher to the Papal Household (14 July 2007)the most important thing - good samaratan parable luke 10 36-37 - fr raneiro cantalamessa - 8 oct 2018

PRAYER – Lord God and Father, who entrusted the earth to men and each to the other, as one family of man, give us the grace this day, to see Your Face in our neighbour and to seek all who need our help.   Grant us the grace to work faithfully for Your glory and for our neighbour’s good.   May the prayers of St Hugh Canefro who worked tirelessly for his neighbour be a help to us all and may Mary our Holy Mother, keep us ever in her guiding care.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

st hugh canefro pray for us - 8 oct 2018holy mary mother of god pray for us sinners - 4 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 3 June 2018 – The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Sunday Reflection – 3 June 2018 – The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

There is a claim that the Adoro Te Devote, our morning offering today, was the prayer that St Thomas Aquinas addressed to Christ as he was dying.   The claim remains doubtful, (in the sense that it is a highly intricate prayer and it would be difficult to write whilst very ill) but the account that his biographer, William of Tocco, gives of the holy Doctor’s last moments of life is, in itself, an extraordinary testimony of Eucharistic devotion and reveals the source of the doctrine that, directly or indirectly, inspired the most beautiful Eucharistic texts of the Latin Church, including the Adoro Te Devote.

“Feeling his strength failing and sensing the nearness of his departure from this world, the holy Doctor, with great devotion, requested the viaticum of the Christian pilgrimage, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
After the abbot and the monks had brought the Eucharist to him, he prostrated himself on the ground, weak in body but strong in spirit and went, with tears, to meet his Lord.
Then, in the presence of the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, as is the custom with every Christian at the moment of death, he was asked if he believed that in that consecrated host was the true Son of God, born of the womb of the Virgin, suspended from the scaffold of the Cross, who died and rose for us on the third day. With a free voice and great devotion, mingled with tears, he replied:
“I truly believe and hold as certain that He is true God and true man, Son of God and of the Virgin Mother and I believe with my heart and profess with my lips, that which the priest has asked me of this most Holy Sacrament.”
And after some words of devotion (at this point it is believed St Thomas quoted the Adoro), receiving the Sacrament, he exclaimed:
“I receive You, price of the Redemption of my soul, for love of which I have studied, watched and worked, I have preached and taught You, I have said nothing against You nor am I obstinate in my opinion, if in some part I have spoken poorly of this Sacrament, I submit all to the correction of the Holy Roman Church, in who obedience, I pass from this life.”

May we also, at the end of life, be able to say the same as St Thomas Aquinas!

Let us be transported to the same climate of expectation and joyful hope as we feel in the Adoro Te Devote with these last words of the Lauda Sion, the Eucharistic hymn/sequence also written by St Thomas Aquinas. (Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa O.F.M. “This is My Body”)

Source of all we have or know,
feed and lead us here below.
Grant that with Your saints above,
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see You face to face.

Amen Alleluia!

Lord Jesus Christ, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we Adore and Love You!lauda sion - lord jesus christ in the most blessed sacrament - corpus christi - 3 june 2018 - sunday reflection

St Thomas Aquinas, Pray for us!st thomas aquinas pray for us - corpus christi - 3 june 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

“A fiery sword, barred of old,
the gates of Paradise,
a fiery tongue, which brought salvation,
restored the gift.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Doctor of the Church
(Catechetical Lectures:  Lecture 17 no. 15)

a fiery sword, barred of old - st cyril of jerusalem - 20 may 2018 - pentecost sunday

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling
and scatter there, Your cheerful beams.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace

o holy spirit descend plentifully - st augustine - 20 may 2018 - pentecost

“A soul, that possesses the Holy Spirit,
tastes such sweetness, in prayer,
that it finds the time, always too short,
it never loses, the holy presence of God.”

“The Holy Spirit forms thoughts
and suggests words, in the hearts of the just.”

“The Holy Spirit is like a gardener,
cultivating our souls.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

a soul that posseses - the holy spirit is like a gardener - the holy spirit forms - st john vianney - 20 may 2018 pentecost sunday

“Pentecost is the moment
when a heart of stone is
shattered and a heart of
flesh takes its place.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa
(Preacher to the Papal Household)

pentecost-is-the-moment-fr-raneiro-cantalamessa-20 may 2018. pentecost sunday

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The GOOD SHEPHERD

Quote/s of the Day – 22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday”

Quote/s of the Day – 22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday” – Todays Readings: Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29, 1 John 3:1-2, John 10:11-18

“God has, in fact, thought of us from eternity
and has loved us as unique individuals.
He has called every one of us by name,
as the Good Shepherd ‘calls His sheep by name.'”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)god has in fact thought of us from eternity - 22 april 2018 - good shepherd sunday - st pope john paul

“What Jesus wants to say with these images is clear.
He knows His disciples (and, as God, all men),
He knows them “by name,” which, for the Bible,
means their innermost essence.
He loves them with a personal love
that treats each as if, they were the only one
who existed for Him.
Christ only knows how to count to one
and that one, is each of us.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM CAP
Preacher to the Pontifical Householdchrist only knows how to count to one - fr raneriro cantalamessa - 22 april 2018 - vocations good shepherd sunday-no 2

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Quote of the Day – 25 February 2018 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Quote of the Day – 25 February 2018 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Watch over your thoughts because they become words.

Watch over your words because they become actions.

Watch over your actions because they become habits.

Watch over your habits because they become your character.

Watch over your character because it becomes your destiny.

Unknown Authorwatch over your thoughts - unknown author - 25 feb 2018 2nd sun lent

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 18 February – The First Sunday of Lent Year B

Sunday Reflection – 18 February – The First Sunday of Lent Year B

Beyond the daily life of the believer, the Eucharist extends its action to the whole cosmos.
As Teilhard de Chardin wrote:
“When He (Christ) says through the priest “This is my body”, His words go well beyond the piece of bread over which they are pronounced:  they effect the birth of the whole Mystical Body.
Beyond the transubstantiated Host, the priestly action extends to the cosmos itself.”

Every Eucharist is a “Mass on the world.”

This vision inspired a prayer of Teilhard de Chardin that we can make our own, each time we participate in the Mass and even when we cannot participate:

“On the altar of the whole earth
I offer You, Lord,
the work and the toil of the world….
All that will grow in the world
in the course of this day,
all that will decline in it
and all that will die in it…
Receive, Lord,
this total Host that Creation
presents to You,
drawn and moved by You,
at the dawn of a new day.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM (Preacher to the Papal Household) “This is My Body”beyond the daily life of the - fr raneiro cantalamessa - 18 feb 2018 sunday reflection

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – – 28 January – The Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor communis (Common Doctor)

Sunday Reflection – – 28 January – The Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor communis (Common Doctor)

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM – Preacher to the Papal Household – “This is My Body”

The Eucharist is the Father’s gift to the world.   The mystery contained in the words: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16) is made present in every Mass.   In the priest who offers us the body and blood of Christ at the moment of Communion, we can see, with the eyes of faith, the Father in person, who comes to give us “the bread of heaven, the true bread” and says: “Take, this is the body of my Only Begotten Son, which I have given for you.”

Not only does the Father give us the Eucharist, He also gives Himself in the Eucharist because there is only one indivisible divine nature, in receiving the divinity of the Son, we also receive the Father.   “Whoever sees me sees the Father,” also means “whoever receives me, receives the Father.”

One day (it was the Saturday of the Second Week of Lent) after listening to the Gospel passage of the parable of the Prodigal Son, I understood clearly that Communion offered me, there and then, the incredible opportunity of receiving the Father’s forgiving embrace – and not only mentally!

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM – Preacher to the Papal Household – “This is My Body” (out of interest, this entire book is a series of lectures to the Holy Father and his household, who was St John Paul at the time, (during the Year of the Eucharist 2004-2005) on St Thomas Aquinas, Adore Te Devote.the eucharist is god's gift to the world - fr raneiro - 28 jan 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 21 January 2018 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday Reflection – 21 January 2018 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM “This is My Body”the eucharist is the hope - st saturninus - 21 jan 2018

“What the Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist represented for Christians at the time of the persecutions is shown in a moving way in the acts of the North African Martyrs, Saturninus and companions, who died under the Diocletian persecution in 305.*
They were the first martyrs of the Eucharist. Their words and example might constitute a strong call and the starting point for an examination of conscience for us modern Christians.
To the Roman judge who accused them of having transgressed the emperor’s order not to hold meetings and hand out the Scriptures, the martyrs responded one after the other:

” A Christian cannot live without the Eucharist and the Eucharist without the Christians.   Don’t you know that the Christian exists for the Eucharist and the Eucharist for the Christian?”
“Yes, I participated with the brothers in the meeting, I celebrated the mysteries of the Lord and I have with me, written in my heart, the divine Scriptures… The Eucharist is the hope and salvation of Christians.”**

* Acta ss. Saturnini et sociorum martyrum (ca.304), 9, 11 (ed PT Ruinart, Acta martyrum 1959). A phrase of these acts: “Sine dominico non possumus” is sometimes translated: ‘We cannot live without Sunday.’ A suggestive translation but unfortunately inexact. The neuter noun dominicum indicates the ‘celebration of the Lord’s Mysteries’, ‘the Lord’s Banquet’, namely ‘the Lord’s Supper’ of 1 Cor 11:20.
The term recurs with such meaning in the African writers of the time – Tertullian, Ad Uxorem, 2,4; Cyprian, De opere et eleemosynis, 15.
The accent is therefore on the Eucharist, not on Sunday, the latter is included indirectly, inasmuch as the Lord’s Supper, was celebrated as a rule and for a certain period exclusively, on Sunday. The complete meaning of dominicum is, therefore, that of “Sunday celebration of the Lord’s supper.”
** Acta, 10-13.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 4 June 2017 – The Solemnity of Pentecost!

Quote/s of the Day – 4 June 2017

“The Church of Christ is always,
so to speak, in a situation of Pentecost:
she is always gathered in the Upper Room in prayer
and at the same time,
driven by the powerful wind of the Spirit,
she is always on the streets preaching”……….St John Paul June 8, 2003

the church of christ-st john paul 2003

“The Pentecost of the Upper Room
in Jerusalem is THE BEGINNING
a beginning which endures.”……………Pope Francis – Pentecost 2013

Pentecost3

“Pentecost is the moment
when a heart of stone is
shattered and a heart of
flesh takes its place.”…………………Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa (Preacher to the Papal Household)

pentecost is the moment - fr raneiro cantalamessa

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

LENTEN REFLECTION – The First Sunday of Lent – 5 MARCH

first-sunday-of-lent-reflection

HE BORE OUR PRIDE IN HIS BODY ON THE CROSS

by Fr Raniero Cantalamessa

The cross is the tomb which absorbs all human pride:”Come thus far; I said and no farther: here your proud waves shall break” (Job 38:11).   The waves of human pride break against the rock of Calvary and they can go no further.   The wall God erected against them is too high and the abyss he dug before them too deep. ‘We must realize that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body’ (Romans 6:6).   The body of pride — for this is the sin par excellence, the sin that gives rise to all other sins. ‘He was bearing our faults in his own body on the cross’ (1 Peter 2:24).   He bore our pride in his body.
But what concerns us in all this?   Where is the ‘gospel’, the good and joyful news?   It is that Jesus humbled himself also for me, in my place. ‘If one man has died for all, then all have died’ (2 Corinthians 5:14); one has humbled himself for all, therefore all have humbled themselves.   Jesus on the cross is the new Adam obeying for all. He is the head, the beginning of a new mankind.    He acts in the name of all and for the benefit of all.   As ‘by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous’ (Romans 5:19), by one man’s humility, many will be made humble.

Pride, like disobedience, is no longer part of us.   It is part of the Old Adam.   It has become old-fashioned.   The new thing now is humility, which is full of hope because it opens up a new existence based on giving, love and solidarity and no longer on competitiveness, social climbing and taking advantage of one another. ‘The old creation has gone and now the new one is here’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Humility is one of these marvelous new things.

What, therefore, does it mean to celebrate the mystery of the cross ‘in spirit and in truth’? When applied to what we are celebrating, what is the significance of the ancient maxim: ‘Acknowledge what you are doing, imitate what you are celebrating’?   It signifies that you should implement within yourself what you represent externally; put into practice what you are commemorating in the liturgy.

…I must give Christ ‘the sinful body of my pride’, so that he can destroy it de facto just as he destroyed it by right once and for all on the cross.   When I was a boy, the people of my region used to light a bonfire in the country at nightfall on the eve of certain feasts which could be seen over the hills.  ach family would bring some wood and vine branches to keep the fire going while, around it, the rosary would be recited.   Something similar must take place here this evening in preparation for the great feast of Easter.   Each one of us should throw, in spirit, his load of pride, vanity, self-sufficiency, presumption, haughtiness into the great furnace of Christ’s passion.

We must imitate the saints in heaven as they adore the Lamb, for this is the model for our adoration here on earth. Revelation tells us the saints approach the throne in procession and fall down before him who is seated and they ‘threw down their crowns in front of the throne’ (Revelation 4:10).   They cast the real crowns of their martyrdom and we cast the false crown with which we have crowned ourselves.   We must ‘nail all feelings of pride to the cross’ (St Augustine, On Christian Doctrine 2,7,9).

On the cross Jesus did not just reveal or practice humility; he created it too.   True Christian humility consists in participating in Christ’s inner state on the cross.   St Paul says, ‘In your minds you must be the same as Jesus Christ’ (Phil. 2:5); the same mind and not a similar one.   Apart from this, many other things can be taken for humility which are really either natural inclination or timidness, or a liking for understatement, or simply common sense and intelligence, when they are not a refined form of pride.

Once we have put on Christ’s humility, it will be easier, among other things, to work for Christian unity, for unity and peace naturally follow humility.   This is also true in families. Marriage starts with an act of humility.   A young man who falls in love and who on his knees, as was once the custom, asks a girl to marry him, makes the most radical act of humility in his life.   He begs and it is as if he were saying, ‘Give me yourself.   Alone, I am not sufficient to myself, I need you!’    We could say that God created humankind male and female to help them to be humble, not to be haughty and self-sufficient and to discover the blessing of depending on someone who loves you.   He inscribed humility in our very flesh.   But, unfortunately, pride too often takes over again and the person we love has to pay for the initial need we had of him or her.   Then a dreadful wall of pride rises between the two partners and their incommunicability extinguishes all joy.   This evening, Christian spouses are also invited to place all resentment at the foot of the cross, to be reconciled to one another, embracing each other for the sake of Christ who, on this day on the cross, ‘killed the hostility’ (Ephesians 2:16).
(Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. is an Italian Catholic priest in the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and theologian and writer. He has served as the Preacher to the Papal Household since 1980, under Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.)

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