Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 22 March – Sorrow of Heart

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41-62, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, John 8:1-11

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Go and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys.

It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life.
Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls but often indulge in empty laughter, when we have good reason to weep.
No liberty is true and no joy is genuine, unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.

Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself, in holy contrition.
Happy is the man who casts from himself, all that can stain or burden his conscience.

Fight like a man.
Habit is overcome by habit.
If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do.
Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others …
Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself, instead of your friends.

If you do not enjoy the favour of men, do not let it sadden you but consider it a serious matter, if you do not conduct yourself as well, or as carefully, as is becoming for a servant of God …

It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of the body.
Yet, if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.

Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation.
When a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.

A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep, whether he thinks of himself, or of his neighbour, he knows that no-one lives here, without suffering and the closer he examines himsel, the more he grieves.

The sins and vices in which we are so entangled, that we can rarely apply ourselves to the contemplation of heaven, are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.

I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestl,y if you would think more of an early death than of a long life.
And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of purgatory, I believe. you would willingly endure labour and trouble and would fear no hardship.
But since these thoughts never pierce the heart and, since we are enamoured of flattering pleasure, we remain very cold and indifferent.
Our wretched body complains so easily because, our soul is altogether lifeless.

Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: “Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears, in full measure.”
(Book 1 Ch 24)


Quote/s of the Day – 22 March – Sin

Quote/s of the Day – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41-62, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, John 8:1-11

“Go and from now on,
sin no more”

John 8:11

“The sky and the earth and the waters
and the things that are in them, the fishes
and the birds and the trees are not evil.
All these are good;
it is evil men who make this evil world.”

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

“Our God, … being good and merciful,
wants us to confess [our sins] in this world,
so that we may not be ashamed
because of them in the next.
So if we confess them them,
He, on His part,
shows Himself to be merciful;
if we acknowledge them,
then He forgives … ”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
Bishop and Monk

“Oh, what peril attaches to sin, wilfully committed!
For it is so difficult for man to bring himself to penance
and without penitence,
guilt remains and will ever remain,
so long as man retains unchanged,
the will to sin,
or is intent upon committing it.”

St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

“Sin is the assassin of the soul.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)


One Minute Reflection – 22 March – “Go and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-915-1719-3033-62 or 13:41-62Psalms 23:1-33-456John 8:1-11

“Go and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

REFLECTION – “One after another all withdrew.
The two were left alone, the woman in need of mercy and Mercy.
But the Lord, having struck them through with that dart of justice, deigned not to heed their fall but, turning His eyes away from them, “again he wrote with his finger on the ground.”

But when that woman remained alone and all had gone, He raised His eyes to her. We have heard the voice of justice; let us listen too to the voice of clemency…
This woman expected to be punished by Him, in whom sin could not be found.
But He, who had driven back her adversaries with the voice of justice, lifting the eyes of mercy to her, asked her: “Has no-one condemned you?” She answered, “No-one, Lord.”
And He said: “Neither do I condemn you. I by Whom, perhaps, you were afraid of being condemned because you have found no sin in Me; neither do I condemn you.”

What is this, O Lord?
Do you favour sins, then?
Certainly not!
But take note of what follows: “Go, henceforth sin no more.
The Lord did condemn, therefore but He condemned the sin, not the sinner… Let them be careful, then, those who love the goodness in the Lord but who fear His truthfulness…
The Lord is gracious, the Lord is slow to anger, the Lord is merciful BUT the Lord is also just and the Lord is abounding in truth (Ps 85[86],15).
He gives you time for amendment but you prefer to take advantage of the delay, rather than to reform your ways.
Did you act wickedly yesterday? Be good today. Have you spent today in evil? At any rate change your behaviour tomorrow.

This, then, is the meaning of the words He addresses to this woman, “Neither do I condemn you but, having been made secure concerning the past, be on your guard in the future. I, for My part, will not condemn you, I have blotted out what you have done; keep what I have commanded, that you may gain what I have promised.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace –Tractate 33 on the Gospel of John, 5-8

PRAYER O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition
By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church

O my God,
I am exceedingly grieved,
for having offended Thee
and with my whole heart,
I repent of the sins I have committed.
I hate and abhor them above every other evil,
not only because, by so sinning,
I have lost heaven and deserved hell
but still more because I have offended Thee,
O infinite Goodness,
who art worthy to be loved above all things.
I most firmly resolve,
by the assistance of Thy grace,
never more to offend Thee for the time to come
and to avoid those occasions
which might lead me into sin.


Lenten Reflection – 30 March – ‘The Holy and sublime ladder …’

Lenten Reflection – 30 March – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62, Psalm 23, John 8:1-11

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

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

Daily Meditation:
Help us to pass from our old life of sin
to our new life of grace.

“The Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, “made himself all things to all men” (1 Cor 9:22) in such a way that He revealed Himself as being smaller than the small, He who was greater than the great.   To save a soul who was surprised in adultery and accused by the demons, He lowered Himself to the point of writing on the ground with His finger…. He, Himself, is the holy and sublime ladder that the traveller Jacob saw in his sleep (Gen 28:12),… the ladder that was set up from the earth to God and that God held out to the earth.   When He wants, He goes up to God. Sometimes He is accompanied by a few people … and sometimes no-one can follow Him.   And when He wants, He joins the crowd… He heals lepers, eats with publicans and sinners… touches the sick to heal them.he himself is the holy and sublime ladder - isaac of stella 30 march 2020

Blessed is the soul that can follow the Lord Jesus wherever He goes, going up to the rest of contemplation… and on the other hand, coming down by the practice of charity, following Him to the point of lowering itself in service, of loving poverty, of bearing with (…) fatigue, work, tears, prayer and finally compassion and the passion.   For He came in order to obey even to death, to serve and not to be served, not to give gold or silver but His teaching and His help to the many, His life for the many (Mk 10:45)…

So, brethren, may this be the model for your life: (…) to follow Christ by going up to the Father… to follow Christ by going down to your neighbour, refusing no practice of charity, making yourselves all things to all persons.” … Isaac of Stella (c 1100-c 1171) Cistercian Monk, theologian, philosopher – Sermon 12

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters,
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3monday of the fifth week 30 march 2020

Praise to Jesus, our Saviour.
By His death He has opened for us the way of salvation.
Let us ask Him:
Lord, guide Your people to walk in Your ways.

God of mercy, You gave us new life through Baptism,
– make us grow day by day in Your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
– in helping them may we find You.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in Your sight,
– and to seek You always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of Your family,
– make us one in heart and spirit.

Closing Prayer:

I Unite My Sacrifice
Prayer for Submission to Divine Providence
By St Joseph Maria Pignatelli SJ (1737 – 1811)

My God, I do not know
what must come to me today.
But I am certain
that nothing can happen to me
that You have not foreseen, decreed
and ordained from all eternity.
That is sufficient for me.
I adore Your impenetrable
and eternal designs,
to which I submit with all my heart.
I desire, I accept them all
and I unite my sacrifice to that of
Jesus Christ, my Divine Saviour.
I ask in His name
and through His infinite merits,
patience in my trials
and perfect and entire submission,
to all that comes to me
by Your good pleasure.
Ameni unite my sacrifice by st joseph pignatelli sj 30 march 2020


One Minute Reflection – 30 March – “Go and do not sin again.”

One Minute Reflection – 30 March – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62, Psalm 23, John 8:1-11 and the Memorial of St Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Martyr

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

REFLECTION – “The scene is full with drama – the life of that person and also His own life depend on Jesus.   Indeed, the hypocritical accusers pretend to entrust the judgement to Him whereas it is actually He, Himself, whom they wish to accuse and judge.   Jesus, on the other hand, is “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1: 14) – He can read every human heart, He wants to condemn the sin but save the sinner and unmask hypocrisy.   St John the Evangelist highlights one detail – while His accusers are insistently interrogating Him, Jesus bends down and starts writing with His finger on the ground.   St Augustine notes that this gesture portrays Christ as the divine legislator, in fact, God wrote the law with His finger on tablets of stone (cf. Commentary on John’s Gospel, 33,5).   Thus Jesus is the Legislator, He is Justice in person.   And what is His sentence? “Let him who is without sin among you, be the first to throw a stone at her.”   These words are full of the disarming power of truth that pulls down the wall of hypocrisy and opens consciences to a greater justice, that of love, in which consists the fulfilment of every precept (cf. Rom 13: 8-10). This is the justice that also saved Saul of Tarsus, transforming him into St Paul (cf. Phil 3: 8-14).
When His accusers “went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest,” Jesus, absolving the woman of her sin, ushers her into a new life oriented to good.   “Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.” … Pope Benedict XVI – 21 March 2010john 8 11 neither do i condemn you - jesus bends down and start writing pope benedict 30 march 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, Your abounding grace has enriched us with every blessing. Transform us from our sinful condition to newness of life and prepare us for the glory of Your kingdom.   Open our eyes to see by the light of Your Son, who always walks with us. Let us lift our eyes to Him, for even now He is preparing for us a place, in His Father’s house.   Listen, we pray, to the prayers of all the angels and saints, St Antoine Daveluy a Martyr for Christ, who petition on our behalf and may our Mother Mary, keep ever close to our path.   Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen. st antoine daveluy martyr for christ pray for us 30 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2019, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 7 April – “Scapegoating violence”

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

The Readings:
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6; Philippians 3: 8-14; John 8:1-11

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

Bishop Robert Barron

JOHN 8:1-11

“Friends, our Gospel today tells about the woman that scribes and Pharisees caught in adultery.   Imagine where they were standing when they caught her in the very act.   The voyeurism and perversion of these men!   Then they come en masse, in the terrible enthusiasm of a mob and they present the case to Jesus.

Now, what does Jesus do in the face of this violent mob?   First, He writes on the ground. The mysterious writing might indicate the listing of the sins of each person in the group. As He said in another Gospel, “Remove the plank in your own eye, and then you can see more clearly the speck in your brother’s eye.”

And then He says, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”   He forces them to turn their accusing glance inward, where it belongs.   Instead of projecting their violence outward on a scapegoat, they should honestly name and confront the dysfunction within themselves.

This story, like all the stories in the Gospels, is a foreshadowing of the great story toward which we are tending.   Jesus will be put to death by a mob bent on scapegoating violence.

Reflect: What is “scapegoating violence” and where do you see it in our culture? Have you ever been involved in this type of violence yourself?”john 8 11 - he forces them to turn their accusing glance inwards - bishop robert barron 7 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Inspired by His love, guided by His example,
change our selfishness into self-giving.
Today we celebrate the Third Scrutiny,
as we journey to the font with those preparing for Baptism.
We are in our last week before Holy Week.
It seems that there is so much left to do,
to ask for, to be open to, to surrender, to change.
Jesus assures us that He is the “resurrection and the life,”
that if we place our faith in Him, we will “never die.”
“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”

Today we beg for the graces we need and desire this week.
We ask for courage in the journey ahead.

Indeed I count everything as loss
because of the surpassing worth
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Philippians 3:8the fifth sunday of lent 7 april 2019

Closing Prayer:
it’s so hard to love the world sometimes
and to love it the way Jesus did seems impossible.
Help me to be inspired by His love and
guided by His example.
Most of all, I want to accept that I can’t do it alone,
and that trying is an arrogance of self-centredness.
I need You, dear God, to give me support in this journey.
Show me how to unlock my heart
so that I am less selfish.
Let me be less fearful of the pain and darkness
that will be transformed by You into Easter joy.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

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