Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers – St Augustine

Lenten Thoughts – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms (Psalm 85)

God could give no greater gift to men than to make His Word, through whom He created all things, their head and to join them to Him as His members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father and one man with all men.  The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from Him and when the body of the Son prays, it does not separate its head from itself, it is the one Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is Himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, He is the object of our prayers as our God.he prays for us as our priest - st augustine 10 april 2019.jpg

Let us then recognise both our voice in His and His voice in ours.   When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Christ that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite Himself with us.   Every creature is His servant, for it was through Him that every creature came to be.

We contemplate His glory and divinity when we listen to these words:   In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made.   Here we gaze on the divinity of the Son of God, something supremely great and surpassing all the greatness of His creatures.   Yet in other parts of Scripture we hear Him as one sighing, praying, giving praise and thanks.

We hesitate to attribute these words to Him because our minds are slow to come down to His humble level when we have just been contemplating Him in His divinity.   It is as though we were doing Him an injustice, in acknowledging in a man the words of one, with whom we spoke, when we prayed to God;  we are usually at a loss and try to change the meaning.   Yet our minds find nothing in Scripture that does not go back to Him, nothing that will allow us to stray from Him.

Our thoughts must then be awakened to keep their vigil of faith.   We must realise that the one whom we were contemplating, a short time before, in his nature as God took to Himself the nature of a servant, He was made in the likeness of men and found to be a man like others, He humbled Himself by being obedient even to accepting death, as He hung on the cross He made the psalmist’s words His own:  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We pray to Him as God, He prays for us as a servant.   In the first case, He is the Creator, in the second a creature.   Himself unchanged, He took to Himself our created nature in order to change it and made us one man, with Himself, head and body.   We pray then to Him, through Him, in Him and we speak along with Him and He along with us.we pray then to him and in him and with him 10 april 2019 st augustine lenten thoughts.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 8 April – “Praying means …”

Lenten Thoughts – 8 April – Monday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

“Praying means giving up your false security, no longer looking for arguments that will protect you if you get pushed into a corner and no longer setting our hope on a couple of lighter moments which your life might still offer.
To pray, means to stop expecting from God, the same small-mindedness, you discover in yourself.
To pray is to walk in the full Light of God and to say simply, without holding back, “I am human and You are God!”
At that moment, conversion occurs, the restoration for the true relationship.
A human being is not someone who once in a while makes a mistake and God is not someone who now and then forgives.
No!   Human beings are sinners and God is love.
The conversion experience makes this obvious with stunning simplicity and disarming clarity.”

Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)to pray is to walk simply in the full Light of God and to say I am human and you ae God henri nouwen 8 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Thoughts – 7 April – “If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first”

Lenten Thoughts – 7 April – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C

“Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ.   How many things are enclosed inside this treasure! Christ crucified!   Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science.   Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom.   Gather before the covering and pray that it may be uncovered.   Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless… What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? …  And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other? In whom?   In Christ crucified.   This is His commandment – that we believe in Christ crucified …  But where humility is, there is also majesty, where weakness is, there shall one find power, where death is, there shall be life as well.   If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor
(Sermon 160, 3-4)this is his commandment that we believe - st augustine 7 april 2019 lenten thoughts.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The SIGN of the CROSS

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – THE BELOVED CROSSES

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

THE BELOVED CROSSES
“Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)

The saints, my dear brethren, all loved the Cross and found in it their strength and their consolation.

But, you will say to me, is it necessary, then, always to have something to suffer? …. Now sickness or poverty, or again scandal or calumny, or possibly loss of money or an infirmity?

Have you been calumniated, my friends?   Have you been loaded with insults?   Have you been wronged?   So much the better!   That is a good sign, do not worry, you are on the road that leads to Heaven.   Do you know when you ought to be really upset? I do not know if you understand it but it should be precisely for the opposite reason — when you have nothing to endure, when everyone esteems and respects you.   Then you should feel envious of those who have the happiness of passing their lives in suffering, or contempt, or poverty.

Are you forgetting, then, that at your Baptism you accepted the Cross, which you must never abandon until death and that it is the key that you will use to open the door of Heaven?   Are you forgetting the words of our Saviour: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.   The saints had a great fear of passing any time without suffering, for they looked upon it as time lost.

According to St Teresa, man is only in this world to suffer and when he ceases to suffer, he should cease to live. St John of the Cross asks God, with tears, to give him the grace to suffer more as a reward for all his labours.

What should we conclude, my dear children, from all that?

Just this – Let us make a resolution to have a great respect for all the crosses, which are blessed and which represent to us in a small way all that our God Suffered for us.   Let us recall that from the Cross flow all the graces that are bestowed upon us and that as a consequence, a cross which is blessed is a source of blessings, that we should often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves and always with great respect and, finally, that our houses should never remain without this symbol of salvation.

“Everything is a reminder of the Cross.
We ourselves are made in the shape of a cross.”

Fill your children, my dear brethren, with the greatest respect for the Cross and always have a blessed cross on yourselves, it will protect you against the Devil, from the vengeance of Heaven and from all danger.   This is what I desire for you.everything is a reminder of the cross - st jon vianney 2018.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – O Fountain of Everlasting Love

Lenten Thoughts – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471): Book 3, Chapter 10

That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God.

Now, will I speak again, O Lord and will not be silent, I will say in the hearing of my God and my King Who is on high:  Oh, how great is the abundance of Your sweetness, O Lord, which You have hidden for those that fear You!

But what are You, for those who love You?   What, to those who serve You with their whole heart?   Unspeakable indeed, is the sweetness of Your contemplation, which You bestow on those who love You.   In this most of all, have You shown me the sweetness of Your love, that when I had no being, You did make me and when I was straying far from You, You brought me back again, that I might serve You and You have commanded me to serve You.

O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of You?   How can I forget You, Who have vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost?

Beyond all hope, You show mercy to Your servant and beyond all desert, have You manifested Your grace and friendship.   What return shall I make to You for this favour? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world and to assume the monastic life  . Is it much that I should serve You, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve?   It ought not to seem much to me to serve You but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that You vouchsafe to receive one so wretched and unworthy as Your servant.   It is a great honour, a great glory, to serve You and to despise all things for You for they who willingly subject themselves to Your holy service, shall have great grace.   They shall experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of You, have cast aside all carnal delight.o fountain of everlasting love - thomas a kempis 3 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Lenten Thoughts – 2 April – “If you wish…” Thomas à Kempis

Lenten Thoughts – 2 April – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

On the Fervent Amendment of our Whole Life

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“When a certain anxious person, who often times wavered between hope and fear, once overcome with sadness, threw himself upon the ground in prayer, before one of the altars in the Church and thinking these things in his mind, said “Oh, if I only knew how to persevere,” that very instant he heard within him, this heavenly answer: “And if thou did know this, what would thou do? Do now what you would do and thou shall be perfectly secure.” And immediately being consoled and comforted, he committed himself to the Divine Will and his anxious thoughts ceased. He no longer wished for curious things, searching to find out what would happen to him but studied rather to learn what was the acceptable and perfect will of God for the beginning and the perfection of every good work.”

“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.”if-you-wish-to-enter-into-life-imitation-chapeter-56-12-feb-2018.jpg

“MY CHILD, the more you depart from yourself,
the more you will be able to enter into Me.
As the giving up of exterior things, brings interior peace,
so the forsaking of self, unites you to God.
I will have you learn perfect surrender to My will,
without contradiction or complaint.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christmy child the more you depart from yourself-  thomas a kempis - 2 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST

Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Coming nigh to God

Lenten Thoughts – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

Act of self-abandonment
Coming nigh to God

This is an anonymous prayer, inspired by St Augustine – taken from “Providence” – God’s loving care for man and the need for confidence in Almighty God” by Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP (1877-1964)

O my God, I leave myself entirely in Your hands.
Turn and turn again, this mass of clay, as a vessel that is fashioned in the potter’s hand (Jer 18:6).
give it a shape, then break it if You will –
it is Yours, it as nothing to say.
Enough for me that it serves all Your designs
and that nothing resists Your good pleasure,
for which I was made.
Ask, command.
What would You have me to do?
What would You have me not to do?
Lifted up, cast down, in persecution,
in consolation, in suffering,
intent upon Your work,
good for nothing,
I can do no more than repeat
with Your holy Mother –
“Be it done unto me according to Your word” (Luke 1:38).
Give me that love which is beyond all loves,
the love of the Cross –
not those heroic crosses with a glory that might foster self-love
but those ordinary crosses
which we bear with so much distaste –
those daily crosses with which our life is strewn
and which at every moment
we encounter on our way through life –
contradictions,
neglect,
failures,
opposition,
false judgements,
the coldness or impulsiveness of some,
the rebuffs or contempt of others,
bodily infirmities,
spiritual darkness,
silence and interior dryness.
Only then, will You know that I love You,
even though I neither know
nor feel it myself
and that is enough for me!

And, may we:

“Be holy by living out your commitment with joy.”

Pope Francisbe holy by living out your commitment with joy - pope francis 1 april 2019.jpg