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Quote/s of the Day – 2 June – Speaking of: Belonging to God

Quote/s of the Day – 2 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Peter 3:12-15, 17-18, Psalm 90:2-4, 10, 14, 16, Mark 12:13-17

Speaking of: Belonging to God

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s
and to God, the things that are God’s.”

Jesus

John 12:17

john 12 17 render to caesar 2 june 2020

“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord
and our hearts are restless
until they rest in You.”

you have made us for yourself - st augustine 14 feb 2019

“Love God, then do what you will.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

love god then do what you will - st augustine - belonging to god 2 june 2020

“Love God, serve God,
everything is in that.”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

love-god-serve-god-everything-is-in-that-st-clare-1-jan-2019 and 2020

“Lord, take me from myself
and give me to Yourself.”

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

lord take me from myself and give me to your yourself - st catherine of siena - 30 april 2020

“If you wish to enter into life,
keep My commandments.
If you will know the truth,
believe in Me.
If you will be perfect,
sell all.
If you will be My disciple,
deny yourself.
If you will possess the blessed life,
despise this present life.
If you will be exalted in heaven,
humble yourself on earth.
If you wish to reign with Me,
carry the Cross with Me.
For only the servants of the Cross
find the life of blessedness
and of true light.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ Chapter 56

if you wish to enter into life keep my commandments - thomas a kempis 2 june 2020 belonging to god

“I am the king’s good servant
but God’s first.”

St Thomas More (1478-1535)
Martyr

i am the kings good servant but god's first - st thomas more 29 jan 2019

“God gave Himself to you,
now give yourself to God.”

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)

god gave himself - st robert southwell - 21 feb 2018

“Jesus will be in agony
even to the end of the world;
we must not sleep
during that time”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

(Pensées, 553)

jesus will be in agony even to the end of the world - we must not sleep during that time blaise pascal 2 june 2020

“Who except God can give you peace?
Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?”

St Gerard Majella C.Ss.R. (1726-1755)

who except god can give you peace - st gerard majella 2 june 2020

“We are like the penny,
because we have the image of the king stamped on us,
the divine King.”

we are like the penny - gk chesterton 30 april 2020

“A Catholic is a person,
who has plucked up courage,
to face the incredible and inconceivable idea,
that something else may be wiser than he is.”

G K Chesterton (1874-1936)

a catholic is a person - seeking chesterton - part two - 8 may 2018

“What you are is God’s gift to you,
what you become,
is your gift to God.”

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

what you are is god's gift to you what you become is your gift to god - hans urs von balthasar 20 april 2020

“If you truly love God and His will,
then doing what you will,
will, in fact,
be doing what God wills.”

Peter Kreeft

if you truly love god and his will then doing what you will - peter kreeft 2 june 2020

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – ‘Make room for God…’

Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: Acts 4:23-31, Psalm 2:1-9, John 3:1-8

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3

john 3 3 - unless one is born again 20 april 2020

“We read in Saint John – No-one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.   To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection.   Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation.   A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light.   It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished…  The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but on the window.   If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray.  Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.john-3-6-that-which-is-born-of-the-spirit-a-ray-of-sunlight-st-john-of-the-cross-29-april-2019 and 20 april 2020

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window.   A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God   When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Doctor of the Church

a soul makes room for god by wiping away all the smudges and smears - st john of the cross - 20 april 2020

“What you are is God’s gift to you,
what you become,
is your gift to God.”

Hans Cardinal Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

what you are is god's gift to you what you become is your gift to god - hans urs von balthasar 20 april 2020

“If God is your co-pilot, switch seats!”

if god is your co-pilot switch seats fr mike schmitz

“God is King of the entire universe,
except for possibly one little corner of it –
Your heart.”

Father Mike Schmitz

god is king of the entire universe fr mike schmitz 20 april 2020

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 14 March – ‘…Whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!

Lenten Reflection – 14 March – Saturday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18- 20, Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Who is a God like you, who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but instead delights in mercy …” …Micah 7:18luke-15-31-32-sat-of-the-second-week-lent-23-march-2019and 14 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
“For what was it Jesus’ detractors said?   “No man can forgive sins but God alone.” Inasmuch then, as they themselves laid down this definition, they themselves introduced the rule, they themselves declared the law.   He then proceeded to entangle them by means of their own words. “You have confessed,” he says in effect, “that forgiveness of sins is an attribute of God alone;  my equality therefore is unquestionable.”   And it is not these men only who declare this but also the prophet Micah, who said, “Who is a God like you?” and then indicating his special attribute he adds, “pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression.” ..St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor

Intercessions:
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour and ask him with confidence:
Lord, help us with Your grace.

May we keep our bodies pure,
– as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this day to the service of others,
– and do Your will in all things throughout the day.
Teach us to seek the bread of everlasting life,
– the bread that is Your gift.
May Your Mother, the refuge of sinners, pray for us,
– and gain for us Your loving forgiveness.

Closing Prayer:
God of infinite love,
You shower me with limitless gifts in my life.
In my every thought and action today
guide me to the bright and loving light of Your kingdom.
Help me to be aware of
the many ways You allow me
to share in Your life so intimately today.
Thank You for the gifts You have placed in my life.
Let me be grateful every moment of this day.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“For us, a portion of God’s inheritance, is our existence, our freedom, our intellect, our accountability – all of these, are the most sublime goods imaginable, goods that only God could give us.   That we, waste it all and end up in distress and that the distress brings us to our senses, is not really as significant, as the father’s vigil, compassion, extravagant greeting, refurbishing of the prodigal and the feast announced in his honour.
Not even for the refractory and envious brother, does the father have a harsh word – he is not scolding him when he speaks to him, he merely speaks the full truth- whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!”

Servant of God Cardinal Hans Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)

luke-15-20-but-while-he-was-still-at-a-distance-for-us-hans-urs-von-bathasar-31-march-2019 and 14 march 2020

“You are always with me and all that is mine, is yours”

The Elder Brother’s Prayer

Teach me, my Lord,
to be sweet and gentle in all the events of life,
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.
Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others,
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.
Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may make me
patient, not irritable.
That it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty and overbearing.
May no one be less good
for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind,
less noble for having been a fellow traveller
in our journey toward Eternal Life.
As I go my rounds from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time,
a word of love to Thee.
May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.
Amenprodigal-the-elder-brothers-prayer-beautiful-fantastic-8-october-2019-martha-mary-luke-10-42 prodigal son 14 mach 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 February – “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

One Minute Reflection – 14 February – Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinay Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:19, Psalm 81:10-15, Mark 7:31-37 and the Memorial of Blessed Vicente Vilar David (1889-1937) Martyr

“Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” … Mark 7:34

REFLECTION – “The Gospel relates the healing of a deaf-mute by Jesus.   For Him, this clearly has to do with more than a physical disability.   It is a parable for the people of Israel, who, in turn, represent all mankind.
As the prophets have said so often, Israel is hard of hearing when it comes to the Word of God, which, in turn, renders it incapable of giving a valid response.
Jesus does not make a spectacle out of His miracles.
Hence, He takes the sick man aside, seeking the middle line between entirely avoiding publicity and helping the people.
Physically touching both ears and tongue precedes His upward look toward the Father (in this miracle, the Father acts through Him) and His sign, which probably points to His having been filled with the Holy Spirit.
This trinitarian fullness, indicates that the prayer “Be opened!” speaks not only of physical healing but, of effective grace for Israel and for all mankind.” … Hans Cardinal Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)mark 7 34 ephphatha be opened - physically touching - hans ur von balthasar 14 feb 2020

PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, open the ears and eyes of our hearts and fill us with Your grace.   May we follow You in holiness all the days of our lives.   Grant we pray, that as You brought Your Martyr Blessed Vicente to overcome fearlessly, the persecutions of Your people, that we too may remain invincible under Your protection and by his prayers be strengthened against the snares of the enemy.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.BL VICENTE VILAR DAVID PRAY FOR US 14 FEB 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – ‘No-one listens to his own heart …’

Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – the Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

“Happiness is secured through virtue,
it is a good attained by man’s own will.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor

happiness is secured through virtue - st thomas aquinas 13 feb 2020

Meeting a vagabond upon the road who feigned sickness and poverty, Blessed Jordan gave him one of his tunics, which the fellow at once carried straight to a tavern for drink. The brethren, seeing this done, taunted him with his simplicity:

‘There now, Master, see how wisely you have bestowed your tunic.’

‘I did so,’ said he,
‘because I believed him to be in want,
through sickness and poverty
and it seemed, at the moment,
to be a charity to help him.
Still, I reckon it better, to have parted
with my tunic than with charity.’

Blessed Jordan of Saxony (1190-1237)

it is better to have parted with my tunic than with charity - bl jordan of saxony 13 feb 2020

The Heart of Christ

This Heart lives on service.
It does not seek to glorify itself but the Father alone.
It does not speak of its love.
It performs it’s service so unobtrusively,
that it is almost forgotten, as we forget our heart under the stress of our affairs.
We think that life lives of itself.
No-one listens to his own heart, not even for a second —
his heart, that bestows life, hour after hour on him.
We have grown used to the slight tremor in our being,
to the eternal beating of the waves that from within us,
dash on the shore of consciousness.
We accept it as we do our destiny, or nature, or the course of things.
We have grown used to love.
And we no longer hear the tapping finger, that knocks day and night at the gate of our soul, we no longer hear this question, this request to enter.

Hans Cardinal Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

~From Heart of the World

we no longer hear this tapping finger - hans urs von balthasar 13 feb 2020

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday – The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

Advent Reflection – 15 December – Gaudete Sunday – Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.gaudete-sunday-17-dec-2018-REJOICE and 15 dec 2019.jpg

“Are you he who is to come…” … Matthew 11:3

REFLECTION – “It is part of the Baptist’s approaching witness-to-death, that, even in prison, he must put up with the darkness God has given him.   He had expected a mighty One who would baptise with Spirit and fire.   And now there appears in the Gospel, this gentle One, who “will not quench a smouldering wick” (Is 42:3).   Jesus calms John’s disquie, by showing him that the prophecy is being fulfilled in Himself, in gentle miracles that still call for trusting faith:  “Blessed is the man who finds no stumblimg block in me.” Perhaps the darkness that burdens John as a witness to Christ, is the very reason why Jesus praises him to the crowd – he really is what he understood himself to be – the messenger sent in advance of Jesus to prepare the way.   John referred to himself as a mere voice in the wilderness, ringing out the marvel of the coming One.
The least among those belonging to the coming Kingdom is greater than John, who assessed himself as belong to the Old Covenant, yet, as “friend of the Bridegroom” he is showered with the light of new grace, as he humbly makes way for Christ.
On icons, he joins Mary the Mother, who also comes from the Old Covenant, yet steps across into the New Covenant, the two of them at the right and left hand, of the world’s Judge!” … Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) Theologian

MEDIATION – “I speak out in order to lead Him into your hearts but He does not choose to come where I lead Him, unless you prepare the way for Him.”
To prepare the way means to pray well – it means thinking humbly of oneself.   We should take our lesson from John the Baptist.   He is thought to be the Christ, he declares he is not what they think.   He does not take advantage of their mistake to further his own glory.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the ChurchI-speak-out-in-order-to-lead-Him-st-augustine-16-dec-2018 and 15 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – We begin this third week of Advent asking to feel the joy that comes from knowing our Lord’s coming to us is near.
In these precious days ahead, we are praying, longing, hoping in the background of our everyday lives.
His mission is to the poor, the brokenhearted, prisoners and captives.   His mission is for us.   It is “good news,” full of healing, liberty and release.   We can smile today as we imagine the freedom He has won for us and how liberating it will be to live it, with Him, for others.
It is right to give our God thanks and praise and to follow His mission in our lives.
Jesus will come again, very soon!ero-cras-tomororow-i-will-come-17-dec-2017 and 15 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – O infinite God and only love of my soul,
I thank You, for having given me Your Son.
For the sake of this same Son,
accept me and bind me with chains of love
to my Redeemer. Amen … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:9–14

‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ … Luke 18:13

REFLECTION – “The Gospel of the two men praying in the temple, the Pharisee and the tax collector, reveals to what kind of prayer penetrates to God.
We notice a difference even in their respective postures.   The one stands “with unbowed head” as if the temple belongs to him, while the other “keeps his distance,” as if he has crossed the threshold of a house in which he really does not belong.
The first one prays “to himself,” really, not even praying to God but reviewing for himself the list of his virtues assuming that, when God Himself notices them, He will respect them and marvel at them.   Moreover, this man catalogues his virtues as a means of setting himself off from “other men,” none of whom have attained his level of perfection. He is travelling the road of “self-discovery,” which is precisely the path of “loss of God.” The other man can only discover sin in himself, can only find himself devoid of God, which, as he pleads, “be merciful to me,” turns into an empty place for God to occupy.  No-one, whose ultimate goal is his own perfection, will ever find God.
Anyone who has the humility to permit God’s perfection to take effect in his emptiness – not by being passive but by working with the talent He gives him – will be considered a “justified” person in the sight of God.” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)luke 18 13 be merciful to me a sinner pharisee and tax collector - the first one prays to himself hans urs von blathasar 27 oct 2019 

PRAYER – Lord God, deepen our faith, strengthen our hope, enkindle our love and so that we may obtain what You promise, make us love what You command.   Mary, holy Mother, teach us complete humility and trust, help us to be a total fiat as you are.   We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mother mary pray for us - 27 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – ‘The requirement to live “underway.”

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time Year C, Gospel: Luke 12:39-48 and The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

“Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required”…Luke 12:48luke 12 48 - everyone to whom much is given - 23 oct 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “In various ways the Gospel modifies the challenge to Christians to live in a constant state of departing.
The more richly God has endowed Christians with gifts and thereby with assignments, the more God varies the requirement to live “underway.”
God’s assignments are carried out best if His servant, never loses sight of the fact, that he might be called to account at any moment – in other words – if every temporal moment is lived and shaped directly in and toward the light of eternity.   If he forgets this immediacy, he has forgotten the content of his earthly mission and the justice and righteousness it incorporates (“he begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants”).   It now becomes clear, that this justice-righteousness, can only be retained if the believer looks beyond the world to the requirements of eternal justice-righteousness, which is not merely an “idea” but is the living Lord, for whose appearance, all of the world history waits!” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)luke 12 48 everyone to whom much is given - to live underway - hans urs von balthasar 23 oct 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to keep my death constantly before my eyes, for this is my final account. pray You for a holy life that my death may be holy and that I may come to You and live for all eternity with You. hen my hour is come, bid me come to You, Lord. ear the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother and your saints, who lived each moment of their lives for the glory of Your Kingdom. e ask this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!the jesus prayer - 23 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREEDOM, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 October – ‘Will the Lord “find faith upon the earth” when He returns?

One Minute Reflection – 20 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:1–8 and World Mission Sunday

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.” … Luke 18:6

REFLECTION – “As He often does, in today’s Gospel, Jesus takes the immoral realities of our world as His point of departure.   Here, it is the corrupt judge, elsewhere, it was the servant who defrauds his master, the prodigal son, the foolish rich man, the glutton, the wicked vineyard owner.
Beginning with what is familiar, Jesus wants to move up to the laws of the Kingdom of God.   Here, as in the parable of the friend knocking at the door at midnight, the point of comparison is the persistence of an importunate but not unjust request.
If even the wicked … then all the more God, who is good. Jesus wants to make utterly clear to us – God wants men to ask Him, even to pester Him.   If God gives man freedom and goes so far as to enter into covenant with him, then He is not merely concerned about human freedom but has bound Himself in a covenant with His partner without giving up His divine freedom – God will always give the petitioner what is best for him, “the good” (Mt 7:11), “the Holy Spirit” (Lk 11:12).   Whoever prays, in the Spirit of Christ, will be listened to without exception (Jn 14:12-14)   And the Gospel adds, “without delay.” God does not hear our prayers at some later date.   He hears and immediately responds with whatever best corresponds to the request.   A request, however, presupposes faith, which is why the Gospel ends with something for us to mull over – will the Lord “find faith upon the earth” when He returns?   It is we, who are listening here and not just anyone, who are being asked this!” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)luke 18 6 and the lord said listen to what the unrighteous judge says - whoever prays in the spirit of christ - hans ur von balthasar 20 oct 2019.jpg

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love.   May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your unfailing love and mercy.   Grant that by the prayers of your Saints we may be strengthened and depend only on You.   Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide  . We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed virgin mary mother of god - pray for us - 5 aug 2018.jpg

Posted in MYSTICS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 October – ‘Serving the Lord’

One Minute Reflection – 6 October – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 17:5–10 and the Memorial of St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds (1715-1791)

‘Prepare supper for me’ ...Luke 17:8

REFLECTION – “To believe is not simply to sit back and wait until the Lord comes and serves us with His grace.   Faith receives it’s incomprehensible efficacy (tossing a tree into the ocean), in the course of serving the Lord, who, after all, has become the servant of us all and cannot stand to see anyone lazily let himself be served by Him (sola fides). Instead, He takes it as self-evident, that His followers serve alongside Him, which really means they serve Him, for “where I am, there will my servant also be” (Jn 12:26).
Moreover, this serving does not take place in haughty pride over how useful to the Lord my co-service may be (as if He could not do anything without me).   Just the opposite, in modesty, the servant knows the words of Jesus – “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
Since He has already done everything for us, the correct estimation of ourselves, is the one commanded by the Lord Himself and expressed in the Confession – “We are useless servants, we have only done our duty.”Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)luke 17 8 - to believe is not simply to sit back and wait - hans urs von balthasar 6 oct 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, whose love surpasses all that we ask or deserve, guide us to perfect obedience to conform ourselves to Your holy will, that in the manner of St Mary Frances, our only wish may be to serve and find You.   May we always serve in modesty and humility and know that only in Your Son, are we complete.   May the prayers of St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds be a source of strength on our journey home.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.st mary frances of the five wounds pray for us 6 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 September – ‘The required faith embraces the act it includes – Discipleship ..’

One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Friday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Tim, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:18–22 and the Memorial of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)

“The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.”... Luke 9:22luke 9 22 the son of man must suffer many things - 27 sept 2019

REFLECTION – “The scene found n the Gospel reading forms a climax of the Synoptic Gospels.   It constitutes the watershed in Jesus’ life.   To this point, in accord with the mission given Him by the Father, He has acted messianically and has aroused a sense of who He is, especially in His disciples.   Because the shift that takes place in this scene is so important, Luke places it in the context of a prayer of Jesus in solitude.   By asking His disciples about His identity, He takes the opportunity to reveal the core of His mission.
Yet, the people’s perception of who He is, is so imperfect, that He cannot use it as a point of departure.   Peter’s statement, “you are the Messiah of God” hits the target, yet Peter’s image of the Messiah remains an Old Testament and contemporary one – the Messiah as Israel’s liberator.   That is why Jesus forbids them to use the title and, more profoundly, that is why He lays out clearly, what is the true task of the Messiah – to be rejected, to die, to rise again.   So that this will not be received as some sort of incomprehensible, mythological event, He immediately explains it’s implications for anyone who wishes to be His disciple – “Take up your cross daily” and “follow” the Messiah in this way.
The required faith embraces the act it includes – discipleship – but not by scheming to gain something – rather, by unconditional loss:  “Whoever loses his life for my sake … ” … Cardinal Han Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)you are the messiah of god luke 9 20 - yet peter's image hans urs von balthasar 27 sept 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us.   May the intercession of St Vincent de Paul, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria!   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-vincent-de-paul-pray-for-us-27 sepy 2017.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 June – The Truine Love present in the Eucharist

One Minute Reflection – 23 June – The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ 2019, Gospel: Luke 9:11–17

“…he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.”…Luke 9:16

REFLECTION – “The mystery of today’s feast has three aspects, as is the case with all the great feasts after Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.
First, the Gospel portrays it through the image of the multiplication of the loaves.   This is no bit of magic on Jesus’ part – to accomplish it He looks toward heaven, toward His Father, with both petition and thanksgiving (eucharistia):  “Father, I thank you for hearing me.” (Jn 11:42)   His lavish giving away of Himself in the loaves, will be a sign of the way the Father’s love utterly lavishes His Son on the world.
Then He blesses the bread, for the Father has left everything to the Son, including the bestowal of heaven’s blessing.
He breaks it, which points both to His own brokenness in the Passion and to the way His gifts will be limitlessly multiplied by the work of the Holy Spirit in every Eucharistic celebration.   Thus, through this visible image, we realise that truine Love itself, becomes present in the Eucharistic self-giving of Jesus.”… Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)luke 9 16 he looked up to heaven - he breaks it - hans urs von balthasar 23 june 2019 corpus christi

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You gave Your Church an admirable Sacrament as the abiding memorial of Your Passion.   Teach us so to worship the sacred Mystery of Your Body and Blood, that it’s redeeming power, may sanctify us always.   Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and every, amen.corpus christi 23 june 2019 mark 14 22 this is my body

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One Minute Reflection – 11 May – “Do you want to leave me too?”.

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – Saturday of the Third Week Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:60–69

“Do you want to leave me too?”...John 6:67

REFLECTION – “Jesus confronts His listeners, including His disciples, with an even more merciless decision, in the light of His promise of the Eucharist.   Because He refuses to back away, in the slightest, from His statements about the Eucharist, these words seems so ‘intolerable’ to his listeners, that they are faced with the toughest test of all.   Indeed, for His disciples, Jesus hones His assertions even more finely, when He predicts His ascent to the Father and claims that all His words are:  ‘Spirit and life.”
This draws a line among His disciples, a line that Jesus knew existed from the outset – it was already clear who would follow Him in faith and who would betray Him.
There could be no neutrality.
The account refers to ‘many disciples’ who excused themselves.   Judas is not the only one who does not believe.   Jesus is not concerned about numbers, hence He even confronts the twelve with the same choice:  “Do you want to leave me too?”   As spokesman for the small group of faithful ones, Peter gives voice to the word of faith, to the belief that Jesus is “the Holy One of God.”   Faith had brought him to a realisation and that realisation, made possible, the virtually blind faith needed for such a decision!”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)john 6 67 - do you want to leave me too - as spokesman for the small group - hans urs von balthasar 11 may 2019

PRAYER – Mould our minds and our hearts, we pray You Lord, by the union of Your Son and His Church.   As we belong to You, You joined us to Your Son to become one with Him.   May we always strive to live up to this union and may we make our lives, a constant sharing, in Christ’s death and Resurrection.   May His Mother give us her heart, to love Him as she does.   We make our prayer through Him and in Him and with Him, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.mary mother of god pray for us 11 may 2019

Posted in EASTER, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 5 May – “…Lead you where you do not wish to go.”

Thought for the Day – 5 May – Third Sunday of Easter, Year C, Gospel: John 21:1–19

“…Lead you where you do not wish to go.”…John 21:18

The Gospel of the appearance of the Lord at the Sea of Tiberias, ends with the installation of Peter in his pastoral office.   Everything that precedes this, is preparatory -unsuccessful fishing, then the miraculous catch, after which Peter swims to the Lord and stands beside Him on the bedrock of eternity, while the rest of the Church brings her harvest to the two of them, at which point, Peter, himself, hauls the entire netfull ashore. Finally, the crucial question to Peter – “Do you love me more than these?” You, the Denier, do you love me more than the Beloved Disciple there, who stood under the Cross?   Made conscious of his guilt by means of the threefold question, Peter answers with a repentant first ‘Yes’ (since he can, by no means say No), undoubtedly, gaining the strength to do so from John (in the communion of saints).
Without this confession of greater love, the Good Shepherd, who gives His life for his sheep, could not entrust His flock to Peter’s pasturing.
For the office Jesus has received from the Father, is identical, with His own loving sacrifice of His life, for His sheep.
Ever since Jesus bestowed this office on Peter, this unity of love and office has been unconditionally required.   This unity is then sealed by the prediction of Peter’s crucifixion, the gift of completed discipleship.   The cross will be bound up with the papacy, from this point onward, even when it is given to unworthy popes.
The more seriously a pope takes his office, the heavier the weight of the cross, on his shoulder becomes.

Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar

Light of the Worldthe gospel of the appearance of the lord at the sea-card hans urs von balthasar 5 may 2019.jpg

Pray for Pope Francis, amen!

Prayer for Pope Francis

O God, shepherd and ruler of all the faithful,
look favourably on Your servant Francis,
whom You have set
at the head of Your Church as her shepherd;
Grant, we pray, that by word and example
he may be of service to those over whom he presides
so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care,
he may come to everlasting life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the
unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amenprayer for pope francis - 5 may 2019.jpg

Posted in EASTER, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen, Alleluia! – Thought for the day – 23 April – “Church of men, Church of women”

Christ is Risen!   He is Truly Risen, Alleluia! – Thought for the day – 23 April – Tuesday of Easter WeekChrist is risen - easter sunday - christc3b3s-anc3a9sti-1-april-2018

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know, where they have laid him.”…John 20:2the-greatest-easter-painting-elise-ehrhard-crises-mag

“Church of men, Church of women”

By Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

In the Gospel, Mary of Magdala, the first person to see the open grave, rouses the two most important disciples – Peter (ecclesial office) and John (ecclesial love).

Both disciples run there “together” yet not together, for, unburdened by the cares borne by Office, Love runs faster.   Yet Love yields to Office when it comes to examining the tomb and Peter thus becomes the first to view the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head and establish that no theft had occurred.   That is enough to permit Love to enter, who “sees and believes” – not precisely in the Resurrection but in the correctness of all that has happened with Jesus.   This is as far as the two symbolic representatives of the Church go – things have happened properly, faith in Jesus is justified, despite all the opaqueness of the situation.

It is the woman for whom this first turns into genuine belief in the Resurrection.   She does not “go home” but perseveres at the place where the dead one disappeared, searching for Him.

The empty place becomes luminous, measured off by the two angels at the head and the foot.   But this luminous emptiness is not enough for the Church’s love – the forgiven woman here, seems to represent the Woman herself, Mary the Mother, she has to have her one true Love.   This she receives in Jesus’ call – “Mary!”   With that, everything is more than complete – the sought after corpse is the eternally Living One.   But she dare not hold Him, for He is on His way to the Father and earth ought not hold Him back. Instead it must consent.   As it was with His Incarnation, so now with His return to the Father.

This Yes, turns into the happiness of the mission to the brethren, giving is more blessed than holding on.

The Church is Woman at her most profound depths, as woman she embraces both ecclesial office and ecclesial love, which belong together.   “The woman will encompass the man” (Jer 31:22).mary of magdala rouses the two most important - hans urs von balthasar 23 april 2019 church of men church of women.jpg

Posted in HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 April -He loved them to the end…”

One Minute Reflection – 18 April – Holy Thursday, Gospel: John 13:1–15

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end...John 13:1john 13 1 -now before the feast of the passover - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

REFLECTION“The footwashing” – This shows “His love for them to the end” – this is an act of love that Peter, understandably, perceives as completely unacceptable, as turning the world upside-down. Yet, precisely this inversion, is the most upright thing possible. One must first let it happen to himself, precisely as the Lord did it – in His incomparable love’s humbling – before he can take it as “an example” (13:14) for himself and practice this self-abasement with the brethren.  This is the Gospel’s tangible demonstration of the subsequent passage’s description of the mystery of the Eucharist – Christians should, like Christ Himself, become edible food and potable drink, for each other.”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)the footwashing - this shows his love for them to the end - hans urs von blathasar 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

“Christianity is above all a gift: God gives himself to us – He does not give some thing but Himself. And this takes place not only at the beginning, at the moment of our conversion. He continually remains the One who gives. He always offers us His gifts anew. He always precedes us. For this reason, the central action of being Christians is the Eucharist: gratitude for having been gratified, the joy for the new life that He gives us.”...Pope Benedict XVI 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supperchristianity-is-above-all-a-gift-pope-benedict-18 april 2019 also used 29 march 2018-holy-thursday.jpg

PRAYER – Love of You, with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness.   Increase then Your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in Your Son’s Death, You made us hope for what we believe, You may likewise, in His Resurrection, make us come to You, our final end.  Listen we beg, to the prayers of Your holy ones and may the Blessed Mother walk along with us and keep our hand, ever in hers.   Through Jesus Himself, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.our lady mother of sorrows pray for us 26 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SEVEN LAST WORDS of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Father, forgive them”

One Minute Reflection – 14 April – Palm Sunday, Year C, Gospel: Luke 22:14-23:56

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do……And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”… Luke 23:34,43THE FIRST WORD - LUKE 23 34 - THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 26 MARCH 2018

REFLECTION“Words of Salvation – Whereas Matthew and Mark, report only Jesus’ cry of abandonment, Luke’s account of Jesus’ words from the Cross, carry a different tone. It is as if we hear, translated into spoken words, what the Word of God essentially accomplishes and intends by His suffering.
First He requests of His Father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do” – the Jews are blinded, they fail to recognise their Messiah. The Gentiles do professionally what they had done a thousand times over, crucify a supposed criminal in accord with military orders.
In fact, no-one knows who Jesus is. His request aims at excusing those who are culpable and it finds a reason to excuse!
His words to the thief, are part of the ‘Grace of Forgiveness’ earned on the Cross.
His dying words, “into your hands Father, I commend my spirit,” replace the cry of abandonment found in the other gospels. Even if the Son no longer senses the Father, even if the Father’s hands have become imperceptible, He has no other place to place Himself. In Jesus’ words, Luke allows something of the Grace so painfully won for us, to radiate from the Cross.”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)his dying words - hans urs von balthasar 14 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty, everliving God, You gave our Saviour the command to become man and undergo the Cross, as an example of humility for all men to follow and showed the Grace of Your love for us. We have the lessons of His suffering, grant us also the fellowship of His Resurrection. With Mary, His Mother and ours, who stood in pain and sorrow at the foot of the Cross, we ask her for prayers for our pardon and mercy. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary mother of sorrows - pray for us - 17 may 2018.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 April – He has suffered for all

One Minute Reflection – 7 April – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 8:1–11

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.”…John 8:11

REFLECTION – “The Gospel shows us sinners who accuse another sinner in Jesus’ presence.   Bending over to write on the ground, Jesus seems to be absent. He breaks His silence only twice – the first time to gather accusers and accused together into their shared culpability; the second time, to give voice to His forgiveness, since no-one is left, to condemn another. In the light of Jesus; silent suffering for all of us, every accusation has to fall silent, for “God has locked everyone up in the same disobedience,” not to punish them (as the accusers wanted) but “the he might have mercy on all” (Rom 11:32).   That no-one can condemn the woman, follows from Jesus’ second rather than first statement. He has suffered for all, in order to gain heaven’s forgiveness for all and for that reason, no-one, can accuse anyone else in God’s presence.”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)john 8 11 - neither do i condemn you - he has suffered for all - hans urs von balthasar 7 april 2019

PRAYER – Give us good God, a heart of flesh, that we might resemble the heart of Your love.   For truly following the steps of Your divine Son, we would make peace in the world and give glory to Your kingdom.   Help us Lord, to see with Your eyes and hear with Your ears, that the Word may dwell in us all and bring mercy to all.  May the immaculate heart of Mary, our Mother dwell in us and help us to reach our eternal home.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary mother of god pray for us - 27 july 2018

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – The Heart of the Father

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Luke 15:1–32

But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him...Luke 15:20

REFLECTION – “The Father ran and embraced him and kissed him.”  The parable of the prodigal son is, perhaps, the most moving of the parables Jesus tells in the gospels.   The experience and life of the two sons serve solely to reveal the heart of the father.  Nowhere else, does Jesus portray the Father in heaven, more vitally, more plainly.   The impressiveness of the story, begins already, with the fact, that the father grants the son’s request and hands over to him his portion of the inheritance.   For us, a portion of God’s inheritance, is our existence, our freedom, our intellect, our accountability – all of these, are the most sublime goods imaginable, goods that only God could give us.   That we, waste it all and end up in distress and that the distress brings us to our senses, is not really as significant, as the father’s vigil, compassion, extravagant greeting, refurbishing of the prodigal and the feast announced in his honour.
Not even for the refractory and envious brother, does the father have a harsh word – he is not scolding him when he speaks to him, he merely speaks the full truth- whoever sticks by God, possesses everything in common with God!
The remarkable thing about Jesus’ glorification of the Father, is that Jesus Himself, does not figure in this portrayal of God’s reconciliation with sinful men.   He is nothing other than the Word that reports the reconciliation – really, an always-already-reconciledness. He says nothing about the fact, that He is the Word, through which God establishes His eternal reconciliation with the world!”Cardinal Hans Urs von Bathasar (1905-1988)luke 15 20 but while he was still at a distance - for us - hans urs von bathasar 31 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy Father, we are sinners who stand in Your presence and serve You.   Grant us Your mercy and forgiveness, for we are all Your prodigal children.   Your Word, our Christ, came to redeem us.   May we honour, love and serve You through His example and by following in His steps.   Grant we pray, that by the intercession of the Mother of Christ and our Mother, we may rejoice in eternity with You.   Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.mary mother of god pray for us 31 march 2019.jpg

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Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – In her, God spun a garment with which to save us

Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

“And so when God’s birth is proclaimed to you, keep silent.
Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind 
for nothing is impossible to this glorious Majesty,
who humbled Himself for us
and was born of our humanity.”and so when god's birth is proclaimed to you - st ephrem - 25 march 2019 annunciation.jpg

“God assumed smallness in her –
yet without diminishing His nature –
to make us great!”god assumed smallness in her to make us great - st ephrem 25 march annunciation.jpg

“In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.”

Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctorin her god spun - st pehrem - annunciation 25 march 2019.jpg

“Him, whom the heavens cannot contain,
the womb of one woman bore.
She ruled our Ruler,
she carried Him, in whom we are,
she gave milk to our Bread.”

St Augustine (354-430)him, whom the heavens cannot contain - st augustine 25 march annunciation .jpg

“The scene of the Annunciation
merits consideration for another reason, too,
it is not only wholly Christological;,
it is wholly trinitarian as well…
The angel’s initial salutation…
brings her the greeting of the ‘Lord’, the Father…
she will give birth to the ‘Son of the Most High’…
the Holy Spirit will overshadow her…”

Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988)the scene of the annunciation - hans urs von balthasar - 25 march 2019.jpg

“The Annunciation, recounted at the beginning
of St Luke’s Gospel, is a humble, hidden event –
no-one saw it, no one except Mary knew of it –
but, at the same time,
it was crucial to the history of humanity.
When the Virgin said her “yes”
to the Angel’s announcement,
Jesus was conceived and with Him began
the new era of history that was to be ratified
in Easter as the “new and eternal Covenant”.

Pope Benedict XVI

 Angelus
St Peter’s Square, Fifth Sunday of Lent, 25 March 2007the annunciation - pope benedict 25 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST

Lenten Thoughts – 9 March – Do not leave Him alone

Lenten Thoughts – 9 March – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

“The enormity of the fact that Christ has, on our behalf, already taken the most extreme punishment upon Himself, should move us, not to leave Him isolated.
It should also inspire us to rejoice that another has taken our place in representing sin before God – for not to rejoice at that, would be a further enormity.
Instead of leaving Him alone, we should be moved to enter into His suffering for us, doing together with Him, what little we can do, to atone for the world’s sin!”

Hans Urs von Balthasar

“Light of the World”

 

instead-of-leaving-him-alone-hans-urs-sat after ash-wed 9 march 2019.jpg

Posted in EASTER, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday

Thought for the Day – 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

“The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep”

Despite Jesus’ realistic word-picture, the parable of the Good Shepherd only fully comes alive in Jesus Himself, God’s appointed “Shepherd” of men.   He names two characteristics of such a shepherd:  first the shepherd’s commitment to the flock even to the point of death;  and second, the reciprocal recognition between sheep and shepherd, which is anchored in the innermost mystery of God.

The theme of self-giving to the point of death, is found at both the beginning and the end of the Gospel.   This devotion, contrasts sharply with the flight of the “hired hand”, who, when facing danger, has the excuse that the life of a man is more valuable than the life of a dumb animal.   This argument loses its force, however, when the shepherd cares so much for his sheep, that he prefers them to his own life.   That is scarcely conceivable in purely natural terms but it becomes a central truth in the realm of grace.   It only makes sense with the aid of the second theme of the parable – the shepherd knows his sheep and the animals likewise instinctively recognise him.   For Jesus, this is merely the point of comparison for a completely different recognition:  “as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”   This has nothing to do with instinct but with the most profound mutual recognition, as it is found in absolute trinitarian love.   When Jesus applies this utterly sublime trinitarian love recognition to the inward mutuality between Himself and His own, He elevates this knowledge far above that which is hinted at by the parable.

And thus, it becomes clear, that the first motif of the parable (giving one’s life for the sheep) and the second motif (mutual recognition) coincide rather than merely parallel each other.   The Father’s and the Son’s knowledge of each other is identical with their mutual and perfect selfgiving and therefore, the knowledge exchanged between Jesus and His own, is one with the perfect selfgiving of Jesus for and to His own and it implicitly includes the unity of the Christian’s knowledge and loving dedication to his Lord.

At the end, both themes are expressly joined together:  the Father (also) loves the Son for His perfect selfgiving for the sake of men, a selfgiving which is both freely chosen by the Son and commissioned by the Father.   This unmitigated surrender to mankind because it is Divine Love, is at the same time the power that achieves victory over death (“the power to take up life again”).

“No other name under heaven”  in the First Reading, Peter gives the Lord all glory for the miracle he has effected.   The point is not that, Jesus excepted, all who care for sheep are “hired hands” for the Lord Himself installed Peter to pasture His flock – precisely Jesus’ Flock, not Peter’s.   Thus everything effective and appropriate ultimately is accomplished by the “chief Shepherd alone” (1 Pet 5:4), even if through the activity of His assistants.

Hans Urs von Balthasar “Light of the Word”

john 10 11 - good shepherd no 2

 

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The HOLY CROSS, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD

25 February 2018 – Lenten Reflection – The Second Sunday in Lent, Year B THE GLORY OF THE CRUCIFIED CHRIS

25 February 2018 – Lenten Reflection – The Second Sunday in Lent, Year B
THE GLORY OF THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST

Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18, Psalms 116:10, 15-19, Romans 8:31-34, Mark 9:2-10

Mark 9:2-3 – And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves;  and he was transfigured before them and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them.second sunday lenten reflection - mark 9 3

On the second Sunday in Lent we always read the Gospel of the Transfiguration of our Lord.   We do so in order that our focus may be directed towards the glory of Easter and our Lord’s victory over sin and death by His glorious Resurrection.   Our Lenten penance is not an end in itself but a means to an end;  that cleansed of our faults and sanctified in both body and mind we might more fully appreciate and participate in God’s own glory. The word that Sacred Scripture most commonly uses to describe the nature of God is glory.   We associate glory with power, majesty, radiance, awe and wonder.   Yet all the Gospels, especially the Gospel of John, speak of God’s humiliation as His exaltation, His glory.   By faith, we are seized by the beauty and glory of the Crucified Christ.   In this mystery of the Transfiguration a twofold glory is revealed:  the glory which our Lord possesses as the eternal Son of the Father and the glory that is manifested in His sacred Passion;  the glory that is manifested from the unsurpassable torture of Holy Week.   God Himself is “whipped to blood, crowned with thorns, mocked, spat upon, ridiculed, nailed, pierced…   In this consummate ugliness, this unspeakable outrage, shines a picture of divine beauty, of divine glory.   The Gospel of the Transfiguration presents us with a vision of the glory of God on its way to the Passion”… (Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar 1905-1988).

The glory revealed to Peter, James and John is a glimpse of the glory of the Resurrection, a glory that we too are destined to share;  however, it is the Passion that “leads to the glory of the Resurrection” (Preface for the Second Sunday in Lent, The Roman Missal). Consequently, we are ever mindful that “we preach Christ crucified … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:23-24).   Our Lord Jesus Christ “is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of His nature” (Heb 1:3).   Those who gaze on the Crucified Christ in faith are able to perceive that His hour of highest spiritual beauty—and glory—is a moment of utmost bodily degradation.   In the humiliation of the Cross the Saviour brings near and makes visible the divine glory for we see in Him the ineffable love of God for sinners.   This is a love, a beauty and a glory that can only be perceived by a prayerful, contemplative gaze  . It is only by means of prayer and penance that we can come to some understanding of why our Lord brought about our salvation in such weakness, diminishment and pain.

No human life is exempt from diminishment and pain.   If we are given the grace to grow older, the weight of years alone brings about diminishment.   Why must it be so?   Perhaps our own diminishment is meant to conform us to the self-emptying of the Son of God on the Cross.   This may very well be the grace of old age.   That our redemption has taken place through suffering of the flesh and spilling of blood may mean that it could take place in no other way.   It is for this reason that above all things we must seek simply to be with Jesus and to learn from Him what He alone can teach us in the silence of prayer.   On the Cross we have the ultimate and only adequate answer to the problem of evil, the only solution to the mystery of sin.   The world’s redemption could only be brought about “in the mystery of a love that by suffering understands all the insults inflicted upon it” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar).   Our profession of faith, if taken seriously, is journey into the depth of this Mystery.

What do we discover as we come to know more of this mystery?   Quite simply, that the essence of Christian discipleship is to be with Jesus and to learn from Him who accompanies us on life’s journey and who is never distant from us by means of His grace. We must endeavour to abandon ourselves to the will of the Father as He did and in this is our peace:  not only our peace but also our way to holiness, to glory.   Christians are not immune from suffering.   Indeed, our long history teaches us that often we suffer more precisely because of our Christian faith but as St Paul asks, “who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us” (Rom 8:35-37).   These words are more than ever relevant as we witness the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.   Our faith enables us not only to overcome the trials we suffer but also to be sanctified by them and through them.   We understand these as our means to holiness; a state to which we are called.

“The entire virtue of what we call holiness lies in faithfulness to what God ordains” (Jean Pierre de Caussade, The Joy of Full Surrender, [Paraclete Press], p.17).   Surely, this is what we learn when we contemplate the life and Passion of our Lord.   Fidelity to duty, discipline of life, moral rectitude;  these are the ways in which we are faithful to what God ordains.   They are no less the means by which our lives are so transformed and so transfigured that we come to “live for the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:12).   Anything that contradicts these principles is a path to misery and destruction and a betrayal of the Cross of Christ.

After His glorious resurrection our Lord asked the disciples on the road to Emmaus, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Lk 24:26).   And so it is with us; we must be willing to recognise what is best for us in what God ordains for us.   Like the disciples on the mountain, the revelation of God’s will for us, whether it be in the suffering that He asks of us or permits us to endure, or simply in the challenges that we face in living; these may confound us and might even cause us to be very much afraid.   Like Peter, James and John, however, we too are privileged to perceive the glory of the Lord;  a glory however that is veiled in the poverty, humility, and vulnerability of the Crucifix that hangs before us and in the Sacrament of the Cross, the Eucharist.   These reveal a love so powerful that neither hate nor death could conquer it.   Because we receive and worship this Sacrament, this same love is at work in the hearts of all who believe.   By its power great deeds of love are done and great evils are faced and overcome.   The Passion of our Lord gives a human face to the love of God for a fallen humanity.   Our own sufferings, mysterious as they may be in both their origin and purpose, place us in the very heart of the Paschal Mystery.   Suffering is not meaningless nor is it without purpose and neither is our life.   “Nothing short of suffering, except in rare cases, makes us what we should be;  gentle instead of harsh, meek instead of violent, conceding instead of arrogant, lowly instead of proud, pure-hearted instead of sensual”   (Bl. John Henry Newman (1801-1890), “The Sweet Yoke of Christ,” 1839).

Transfiguration
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

They were talking to Him about resurrection,
about law, about the suffering ahead.
They were talking as if to remind Him who He was and
who they were. He was not

Like his three friends watching a little way off,
not like the crowd At the foot of the hill.
A grey-green thunderhead massed
from the sea

And God spoke from it and said He was His.
They were talking about how the body, broken or
burned,
could live again, remade.

Only the fiery text of the thunderhead could explain it.
And they were talking
About pain and the need for judgement
and how He would make Himself

A law of pain, both its spirit and its letter in His own
flesh,
and then break it,
That is, transcend it.
His clothes flared like magnesiumtransfiguration by bl john henry newman - 2nd sun lent 25 feb 2018

My Lord, I Offer You Myself
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

My Lord,
I offer You myself in turn,
as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
You have died for me,
And I in turn make myself over to You.
I am not my own.
You have bought me:
I will, by my own act and deed,
complete the purchase.
My wish is to be separated
from everything of this world;
To cleanse myself simply from sin;
To put away from me even what is innocent,
If used for its own sake
and not for Yours.
I put away reputation and honour
and influence and power,
For my praise and strength,
shall be in You.
Enable me to carry out what I profess
Amenmy lord i offer you myself - bl john henry newman - lenten prayer - 25 feb 2018 - 2nd sun lent

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DEVOTIO, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD, YouTube VIDEOS

Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018

Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018

Joel 2:12-18, 2 Corinthians 5:20 — 6:2, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily.   The blessed ashes are then “imposed” on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.   The ashes are blessed at least during the first Mass of the day but they may also be imposed during all the Masses of the day, after the homily and even outside the time of Mass to meet the needs of the faithful.   Priests or deacons normally impart this sacramental but instituted acolytes, other extraordinary ministers or designated lay people may be delegated to impart ashes, if the bishop judges that this is necessary.   The ashes are made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies. …— Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J Elliott

The act of putting on ashes symbolises fragility and mortality and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God.   Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolise that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptised are called during Lent. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ’s passion and death was observed by a period of self-denial.   St Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days’ fast he saw practised in Rome and elsewhere, “to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days.” On Ash Wednesday in the early days, the Pope went barefoot to St Sabina’s in Rome “to begin with holy fasts the exercises of Christian warfare, that as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial.

“In the course of this trial of forty days, which our weakness only finds long, we shall not be deprived of our Saviour’s presence.   He has preceded and outpaced us on the royal road.   He has tried it and accomplished its course before us, in order to answer, by His example, the excuses and arguments our self-indulgence or pride may urge.   Let us accept the lesson fully and so arrive at an understanding of the law of expiation.   “Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is drawing near.”   Let us open our heart to this appeal, that the Saviour may not be compelled to awake us from our lethargy by the terrible threat He employed on another occasion:  “If you do not repent you shall all perish.”...Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger

“The enormity of the fact that Christ has, on our behalf, already taken the most extreme punishment upon Himself, should move us, not to leave Him isolated.   It should also inspire us to rejoice that another has taken our place in representing sin before God – for not to rejoice at that, would be a further enormity.   Instead of leaving Him alone, we should be moved to enter into His suffering for us, doing together with Him, what little we can do, to atone for the world’s sin!”…Hans Urs von Balthasar “Light of the World”instead of leaving him alone - hans urs - 14 feb 2018 ash wed

ACT OF CONTRITION

Forgive my sins, O my God, forgive my sins:
the sins of youth,
the sins of age;
the sins of my soul
and the sins of my body;
the sins which, through frailty, I have committed;
my deliberate and grievous sins,
the sins I know and the sins I do not know,
the sins I have laboured so long to hide from others,
that now they are hidden from my own memory;
let me be absolved from all these iniquities
and delivered from the bond of all these evils,
by the Life, Passion, and Death
of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amenact of contrition - ash wed - 14 feb 2018

Posted in ADVENT, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 18 December – Monday of Gaudete Week and the Memorial of Bl Giulia Nemesia Valle (1847-1916) – Called “the Angel of Charity”

Thought for the Day – 18 December – Monday of Gaudete Week and the Memorial of Bl Giulia Nemesia Valle (1847-1916) – Called “the Angel of Charity”

Try to gather together more frequently to give thanks to God and to praise Him.   For when you come together frequently, Satan’s powers are undermined and the destruction that he threatens is done away with in the unanimity of your faith.   Nothing is better than peace, in which all warfare between heaven and earth is brought to an end.

None of this will escape you if you have perfect faith and love toward Jesus Christ.  These are the beginning and the end of life:  faith the beginning, love the end.  When these two are found together, there is God and everything else concerning right living follows from them.   No one professing faith sins: no one possessing love hates.   A tree is known by its fruit.   So those who profess to belong to Christ will be known by what they do. For the work we are about is not a matter of words here and now but depends on the power of faith and on being found faithful to the end.

…Nothing is hidden from the Lord but even our secrets are close to Him.   Let us then do everything in the knowledge that He is dwelling within us that we may be His temples, and He, God within us.   He is and will reveal Himself, in our sight, according to the love we bear Him in holiness.

St Ignatius of Antioch (35-108)

(excerpt from a letter to the Ephesians by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr, Father of the Church)

Faith means the fundamental response
to the love that has offered itself up for me.
It thus becomes clear that faith is ordered primarily
to the inconceivability of God’s love,
which surpasses us and anticipates us.
Love alone is credible;
nothing else can be believed
and nothing else ought to be believed.
This is the achievement, the ‘work’ of faith:
to recognise this absolute prius,
which nothing else can surpass;
to believe that there is such a thing as love, absolute love
and that there is nothing higher or greater than it.

Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988)faith means - card hans urs von balthasar - 18 dec 2017