Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 23 March – ‘Without labour there is no rest and without fighting, no victory.’

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 23 March – Tuesday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21, John 8:21-30

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)

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I AM” – John 8:28

CHRIST: WHAT are you saying, My child? Think of My suffering and that of the saints and cease complaining. You have not yet resisted to the shedding of blood. What you suffer is very little compared with the great things they suffered who were so strongly tempted, so severely troubled, so tried and tormented in many ways. Well may you remember, therefore, the very painful woes of others, that you may bear your own little ones the more easily. And if they do not seem so small to you, examine if perhaps your impatience is not the cause of their apparent greatness; and whether they are great or small, try to bear them all patiently. The better you dispose yourself to suffer, the more wisely you act and the greater is the reward promised you. Thus you will suffer more easily if your mind and habits are diligently trained to it.
Do not say: “I cannot bear this from such a man, nor should I suffer things of this kind, for he has done me a great wrong. He has accused me of many things of which I never thought. However, from someone else I will gladly suffer as much as I think I should.”
Such a thought is foolish, for it does not consider the virtue of patience or the One Who will reward it, but rather weighs the person and the offense committed. The man who will suffer only as much as seems good to him, who will accept suffering only from those from whom he is pleased to accept it, is not truly patient. For the truly patient man does not consider from whom the suffering comes, whether from a superior, an equal, or an inferior, whether from a good and holy person or from a perverse and unworthy one; but no matter how great an adversity befalls him, no matter how often it comes or from whom it comes, he accepts it gratefully from the hand of God and counts it a great gain. For with God nothing that is suffered for His sake, no matter how small, can pass without reward. Be prepared for the fight, then, if you wish to gain the victory.
Without struggle you cannot obtain the crown of patience and if you refuse to suffer, you are refusing the crown. But if you desire to be crowned, fight bravely and bear up patiently. Without labour there is no rest and without fighting, no victory.

DISCIPLE: O Lord, let that which seems naturally impossible to me become possible through Your grace. You know that I can suffer very little and that I am quickly discouraged when any small adversity arises. Let the torment of tribulation suffered for Your name be pleasant and desirable to me, since to suffer and be troubled for Your sake, is very beneficial for my soul.
(Book 3 Ch 19)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 March – “I AM” – John 8:28

One Minute Reflection – 23 March – Tuesday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9Psalms 102:2-316-1819-21John 8:21-30

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I AM – John 8:28

REFLECTION – “Isaiah the prophet describes an exalted vision for us: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne” (Is 6:1). What a wonderful sight, my brethren! Happy the eyes that saw it! Who would not want with all their heart, to behold the splendour of so great a glory? … Yet here, I am listening to that same prophet give us an account of a very different vision of the same Lord: “We saw Him; He had no beauty, no splendour – we took Him for a leper” (Is 53:2f. Vg.) (…)

And so, if you desire to see Jesus in His glory, try, first of all, to contemplate Him in His humiliation. Begin by gazing on the serpent raised up in the desert, (cf. Jn 3:14) if you wish to see the King seated on His throne. Let the first vision fill you with humility, so that the second, may raise you from your humiliation. Let the former, reprove and heal your pride, before the latter fulfils and satisfies, your desire. Do you see the Lord “emptied?” (Phil 2:7). Do not let this vision leave you untouched, or you will not be able to behold Him later on, in the glory of His exaltation, without anxiety.

“You will be like Him,” indeed, when you see Him “as He is” (1 Jn 3:2); so, be like Him now, as you see what He became for your sake.
If you do not refuse to become like Him in His humiliation, He will certainly give you, the likeness of His glory in return.
He will never allow someone who has shared His Passion, to be excluded from communion in His glory.
So little does He refuse, to admit someone who has shared His Passion, into the Kingdom with Him, that the thief found himself in paradise that very day with Him because he confessed Him on the cross (Lk 23:42) …
Yes indeed, “if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him” (Rm 8:17).
St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian Monk and Mellifluous Doctor of the Church – Sermon 1 for the first Sunday of November.

PRAYER – Holy Father, we have sinned against You and beg for Your forgiveness and mercy. Through the merits of the saving Cross of Your Son, help Your people O Lord, to persevere in obedience to Your will, so that through this obedience, we may reach our eternal home. May the eyes of our hearts, never cease contemplating the Holy Cross and following the way of its humiliation. We hope for the intercession of your angels and saints and our most loving Mother Mary. Through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, LENTEN THOUGHTS, POETRY, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – The Word of the Cross

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 102:2-3, 16-21, John 8:21-30

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

“When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I Am He…”…John 8:28

john-8-28-when-yu-have-lifted-up-the-son-of-man-tuesdayfifthweeklent-9-april-2019 and 31 March 2020

Daily Meditation:
May we be lifted up with you.

“Jesus lifted up draws all to Himself.
Jesus lifted up on the Cross, reveals fully Whoe He really is.
Jesus is most Jesus, when He is on the Cross.
Even though at Calvary, Jesus was taunted and mocked
by the rabid rabble, to come down from the Cross,
He remained transfixed on it, till the very end.
We need to mount the Cross with Jesus!
We need to see the world from that vantage viewpoint.
Then, everything falls into proper perspective,
then we begin to see the world, as it is.
It is only when we are with Jesus on the Cross,
that we are stretched to our fullest dimensions!” … Msgr Alex Rebello

For my days pass away like smoke
and my bones burn like a furnace.
Psalm 102:3

Intercessions:
Praise to Christ, who has given us Himself as the bread from heaven.
Let us pray to Him, saying:
Jesus, You feed and heal our souls, come to strengthen us.

Lord, feed us at the banquet of the Eucharist,
– with all the gifts of Your Paschal Sacrifice.
Give us a perfect heart to receive Your word,
– that we may bring forth fruit in patience.
Make us eager to work with You in building a better world,
– so that it may listen to Your Church and its gospel of peace.
We confess, Lord, that we have sinned,
– wash us clean by Your gift of salvation.

Closing Prayer:

The Word of the Cross
by Saint Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431) 

Look on thy God, Christ hidden in our flesh.
A bitter word, the cross and bitter sight:
Hard rind without, to hold the heart of heaven.
Yet sweet it is, for God upon that tree
Did offer up His life upon that rood
My Life hung, that my life might stand in God.
Christ, what am I to give Thee for my life?
Unless take from Thy hands the cup they hold,
To cleanse me with the precious draught of death.
What shall I do? My body to be burned?
Make myself vile? The debt’s not paid out yet.
Whate’er I do, it is but I and Thou,
And still do I come short, still must Thou pay
My debts, O Christ, for debts Thyself hadst none.
What love may balance Thine? My Lord was found
In fashion like a slave, that so His slave
Might find himself in fashion like his Lord.
Think you the bargain’s hard, to have exchanged
The transient for the eternal, to have sold
Earth to buy Heaven? More dearly God bought me.

the word of the cross by st paulinus of nola - 31 march 2020

“Christ’s shoulders are the arms of the cross,
there it is, that I have laid down my sins,
on that gallows I have found my rest. “

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

christs-shoulders-are-the-arms-of-the-cross-st-ambrose-good-shepherd-luke-15-1-32-15-sept-2019 and 31 march 2020

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – The ‘Book’ of the Cross

One Minute Reflection – 31 March – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 102:2-3, 16-21, John 8:21-30

“When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I Am He…”...John 8:28

REFLECTION – “Wonder is the source from which philosophers draw their great learning.   They encounter and reflect on the marvels of nature, such as earthquakes or thunder (…) or eclipses of the sun and moon, for example.   Moved by these wonders, they seek out their cause.   Thus, by patient research and extensive investigation, they attain remarkable knowledge and subtlety, which men call “natural philosophy”.

But there is another, even higher form of philosophy, above that of nature, to which one likewise attains, through wonder – this is the philosophy of Christians.   And there is no question that, of all that characterises Christian doctrine, it is particularly wonderful and marvellous, that the Son of God, for love of man, consented to be crucified and to die on the cross (…).   Is it not astonishing that He, for whom we should have the most respectful awe, felt such fear that He sweated water and blood? (…)   Is it not astonishing that He, who gives life to every creature, should have endured so humiliating, cruel and painful a death?

And so, those who strive to meditate on and wonder, at so extraordinary a “book”, as is the Cross, with sensitive heart and sincere faith, will attain a far more fruitful knowledge than many another, who daily studies and meditates on ordinary books.   For the true Christian, this book, is sufficient as an object of study for all the days of his life.” … Saint John Fisher (c.1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr – A Sermon preached on Good Fridayjohn 8 28 - when you have lifted up - those who strive to meditate - st john fisher 31 march 2020

PRAYER – Holy Father, we have sinned against You and beg for Your forgiveness and mercy.   Through the merits of the saving Cross of Your Son, help Your people O Lord, to persevere in obedience to Your will, so that through this obedience, we may reach our eternal home.   We hope for the intercession of your angels and saints and our most loving Mother of Mercy.   Through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

mary-mothr-of-mercy-pray-for-us-5-oct-2018 and 31 march 2020

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 9 April – “You will know that I Am He”

Lenten Reflection – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent, First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9, Gospel: John 8:21–30

The Readings:
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21; John 8:21-30

“Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.”…Numbers 21:9

St Justin Martyr (100-165) Father of the Church and Martyr
comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Tell me, did not God, through Moses, forbid the making of an image or likeness of anything in the heavens or on earth?   Yet didn’t He Himself have Moses construct the brazen serpent in the desert?   Moses set it up as a sign by which those who had been bitten by the serpents were healed.   In doing so, was Moses not free of any sin?   By this, as I stated above, God through Moses announced a mystery by which He proclaimed that He would break the power of the serpent, who prompted the sin of Adam.   He promises that He would deliver from the bites of the serpent (that is, evil actions, idolatries and other sins) all those who believe in Him who was to be put to death by this sign, namely, the Cross.”

(Dialogue with Trypho, 94)numbers 21 9 the brazen serpent - st justin martyr did not God - 9 april 2019.jpg

“When you have lifted up the Son of man,
then you will know that I Am He…”… John 8:28

Daily Meditation:
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
which represents the full onslaught of all our sins
and the crushing defeat of death itself.
Praying the Stations again,
might help us grow in a sense
that this is all “for me,” for my freedom.

We grow in a sense of repentance and deep sorrow.
We grow in a desire to celebrate
the glorious Light in the midst of all darkness.

Rid yourself of all your sins
and make a new heart and a new spirit.
Gospel antiphon, based upon Ezekiel 18:31

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
You have heard my complaints, my impatience.
Sometimes I become frightened when I move away from You.
Guide my heart back to You.
Help me to think beyond my own wants
and to desire only to do You will.

Thank You for the many blessings in my life
and for the ways I feel Your presence.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.john 8 28 when yu have lifted up the son of man - tuesdayfifthweeklent 9 april 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – ” And all of our sins were there.”

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent, First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9, Gospel: John 8:21–30

“When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I Am He…”...John 8:28

REFLECTION – “What is the serpent?   The serpent is the sign for sin.   We think of the Book of Genesis – it was the serpent that seduced Eve, that suggested that she sin.   And God commands [Moses] to lift up the serpent, that is sin, as a flag of victory.   It is something that one cannot understand well, if one does not understand what Jesus said in the Gospel.   Jesus says to the Jews – ‘When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me”.   Lifting up the symbol of their sin and transforming it into an instrument of salvation, therefore, represents the redemption which comes from Christ lifted up on the Cross.

“Christianity, is not a philosophical doctrine, it is not a programme of life that enables one to be well formed and to make peace.   These are its consequences.   Christianity is a person, a person lifted up on the Cross.   A person who emptied Himself to save us.   He took on sin.   And so just as in the desert sin was lifted up, here God made man was lifted up for us.   And all of our sins were there.   Therefore, one cannot understand Christianity, without understanding this profound humiliation of the Son of God, who humbled Himself and made Himself a servant unto death, on the Cross.   To serve”.john 8 28 when you have lifted up - what is the serpent - pope francis 9 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy Father, we have sinned against You and beg for Your forgiveness and mercy.   Through the merits of the saving Cross of Your Son, help Your people O Lord, to persevere in obedience to Your will, so that through this obedience, we may reach our eternal home.   We hope for the intercession of your angels and saints and our most loving Mother of Mercy.  Through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary, mothr of mercy - pray for us - 5 oct 2018.jpg