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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on TRUTH, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 31 March – Christ the Way

Lenten Thoughts – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C

Christ is the Way to the Light, the Truth and the Life

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Treatise on John

The Lord tells us – I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.   In these few words He gives a command and makes a promise.   Let us do what He commands so that we may not blush to covet what He promises and to hear Him say on the day of judgement:  “I laid down certain conditions for obtaining my promises.   Have you fulfilled them?”   If you say: “What did you command, Lord our God?” He will tell you: “I commanded you to follow Me. You asked for advice on how to enter into life.   What life, if not the life about which it is written:  With you is the fountain of life?”

Let us do now what He commands.   Let us follow in the footsteps of the Lord.  Let us throw off the chains that prevent us from following Him.   Who can throw off these shackles without the aid of the one addressed in these words – You have broken my chains?   Another psalm says of Him: -The Lord frees those in chains, the Lord raises up the downcast.

Those who have been freed and raised up follow the light.   The light they follow speaks to them – I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness.   The Lord gives light to the blind.   Brethren, that light shines on us now, for we have had our eyes anointed with the eye-salve of faith.   His saliva was mixed with earth to anoint the man born blind.   We are of Adam’s stock, blind from our birth, we need Him to give us light.   He mixed saliva with earth and so it was prophesied:  Truth has sprung up from the earth  . He himself has said:  I am the way, the truth and the life.

We shall be in possession of the truth when we see Him face to face.   This is His promise to us.   Who would dare to hope for something that God in His goodness did not choose to promise or bestow?

We shall see face to face. The Apostle says: Now I know in part, now obscurely through a mirror, but then face to face.   John the apostle says in one of his letters -Dearly beloved, we are now children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be.   We know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.   This is a great promise.

If you love me, follow me.   “I do love you,” you protest, “but how do I follow you?”   If the Lord your God said to you:  “I am the truth and the life,” in your desire for truth, in your love for life, you would certainly ask Him to show you the way to reach them.   You would say to yourself: “Truth is a great reality, life is a great reality; if only it were possible for my soul to find them!”i am the way the truth and the life jon 14 8 31 march 2019 laetare sunday.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Lenten Thoughts – 30 March – The Ladder of Divine Ascent – The Steps

Lenten Thoughts – 30 March – Saturday of the Third week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St John Climacus (c 525-606)

The Ladder of Divine Ascent is an ascetical treatise on avoiding vice and practising virtue so that at the end, salvation can be obtained. Written by Saint John Climacus initially for monastics, it has become one of the most highly influential and important works used by the Church as far as guiding the faithful to a God-centred life, second only to Holy Scripture.

Structure and Purpose:
The aim of the treatise is to be a guide for practising a life completely and wholly devoted to God.   The ladder metaphor—not dissimilar to the vision that the Patriarch Jacob received—is used to describe how one may ascend into heaven by first renouncing the world and finally ending up in heaven with God.   There are thirty chapter,; each covers a particular vice or virtue.   They were originally called logoi, but in the present day, they are referred to as “steps.”   The sayings are not so much rules and regulations, as with the Law that St Moses received at Sinai, but rather observations about what is being practised.   Metaphorical language is employed frequently, to better illustrate the nature of virtue and vice.   Overall, the treatise does follow a progression that transitions from start (renunciation of the world) to finish (a life lived in love).the 30 steps of the ladder of divine ascent - 30 march 2019.jpg

The steps are:
On renunciation of the world
On detachment
On exile or pilgrimage – concerning dreams that beginners have
On blessed and ever-memorable obedience (in addition to episodes involving many individuals)
On painstaking and true repentance which constitutes the life of the holy convicts; and about the Prison
On remembrance of death
On joy-making mourning
On freedom from anger and on meekness
On remembrance of wrongs
On slander or calumny
On talkativeness and silence
On lying
On despondency
On that clamorous mistress, the stomach
On incorruptible purity and chastity, to which the corruptible attain by toil and sweat
On love of money, or avarice
On non-possessiveness (that hastens one Heavenwards)
On insensibility, that is, deadening of the soul and the death of the mind before the death of the body
On sleep, prayer and psalmody with the brotherhood
On bodily vigil and how to use it to attain spiritual vigil, and how to practise it
On unmanly and puerile cowardice
On the many forms of vainglory
On mad pride and (in the same Step) on unclean blasphemous thoughts; concerning unmentionable blasphemous thoughts
On meekness, simplicity, and guilelessness which come not from nature but from conscious effort, and about guile
On the destroyer of the passions, most sublime humility, which is rooted in spiritual perception
On discernment of thoughts, passions and virtues; on expert discernment; brief summary of all aforementioned
On holy stillness of body and soul; different aspects of stillness and how to distinguish them
On holy and blessed prayer, the mother of virtues, and on the attitude of mind and body in prayer
Concerning Heaven on earth, or Godlike dispassion and perfection, and the resurrection of the soul before the general resurrection
Concerning the linking together of the supreme trinity among the virtues; a brief exhortation summarising all that has said at length in this book.

Read the book, here

“Repentance is the renewal of baptism. 
Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. 
A penitent is a buyer of humility. 
Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. 
Repentance is self-condemning reflection of carefree self-care. 
Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. 
A penitent is an undisgraced convict. 
Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord 
by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. 
Repentance is purification of conscience. 
Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. 
A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. 
Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach
and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.”repentance-is-the-renewal-of-baptism-st-john-climacus-and 30 march 2019 - 29-jan-2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TRUTH

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Repairing the Wrong Done by St John Vianney

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment
greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-32

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

REPAIRING THE WRONG DONE

Having made satisfaction to God, we must then make satisfaction to our neighbour for the wrong which-either in his body or in his soul — we have done him.   I say that it is possible to wrong him in his body, that is to say, in his person, by attacking him either by injurious or insulting words or by bad treatment.   If we have sinned against him by injurious words, then we must apologise to him and make our reconciliation with him.   If we have done him some wrong by belabouring his animals, as sometimes happens when we find that they have been doing damage among our crops, we are obliged to give him all that we have been the cause of his losing: -we could have got compensation without maltreating these animals.   If we have done any harm, we are obliged to repay as soon as we can, otherwise we will be gravely at fault.   If we have neglected to do that, we have sinned and we must confess it.

If you have done wrong to your neighbour in his honour, as, for instance, by scandalous talk, you are obliged to make up by favourable and beneficent talk for all the harm you have done to his reputation, saying all the good of him which you know to be true and concealing any faults which he may have and which you are not obliged to reveal.   If you have calumniated your neighbour, you must go and find the people to whom you have said false things about him and tell them that what you have been saying is not true, that you are very grieved about it and that you beg them not to believe it.

But if you have done him harm in his soul, it is a still more difficult thing to repair and yet it must be done as far as possible, otherwise God will not pardon you.

You must also examine your conscience as to whether you have given scandal to your children or to your next-door neighbours.   How many fathers, mothers, masters and mistresses are there who scandalise their children and their servants, by not saying their prayers morning or evening or by saying them when they are dressing or sitting back in a chair, who do not even make the Sign of the Cross before and after a meal?   How many times are they heard swearing, or perhaps even blaspheming?

How many times have they been seen working on Sunday morning, even before Holy Mass?

You must consider, too, whether you have sung bad songs, or brought in bad books, or whether you have given bad counsel, as, for instance, advising someone that he should take his revenge on someone else, should exact satisfaction by force.

Consider, too, whether you have ever taken anything from a next-door neighbour and neglected to pay it back, whether you have neglected to give some alms which you had been told to give or make some restitution which your parents, who are dead, should have made.   If you wish to have the happiness of having your sins forgiven, you must have nothing belonging to anyone else, which you should and could pay back.   So if you have sullied your neighbour’s reputation, you must do all in your power to repair the damage.   You must be reconciled with your enemies, speak to them as if they had never done you anything but good all your life, keeping nothing in your heart but the charity, which the good Christian should have for everyone, so that we can all appear with confidence before the tribunal of God. repairing the wronge done - you must be reconciled - st john vianney 29 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – St Ambrose: “Hold fast to God”

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

Hold fast to God, the one true good

Saint Ambrose (340-397)
Bishop and Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Flight from the World

Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.   God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one.   Since He is good and especially to those who are faithful to Him, let us hold fast to Him with all our soul, our heart, our strength and so enjoy His light and see His glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy.   Let us reach out with our hearts to possess that good, let us exist in it and live in it, let us hold fast to it, that good which is beyond all we can know or see and is marked by perpetual peace and tranquillity, a peace which is beyond all we can know or understand.

This is the good that permeates creation.   In it we all live, on it we all depend.   It has nothing above it, it is divine. No-one is good but God alone.   What is good, is therefore, divine, what is divine is therefore good.   Scripture says:  When you open your hand all things will be filled with goodness.   It is through God’s goodness that all that is truly good is given us and in it, there is no admixture of evil.

These good things are promised by Scripture to those who are faithful – The good things of the land will be your food.

We have died with Christ.   We carry about in our bodies the sign of His death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us.   The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ, a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue.   We have risen with Christ.   Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below, to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world.   You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body.   You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord.   Your soul must hold fast to Him, you must follow after Him in your thoughts, you must tread His ways by faith, not in outward show.   You must take refuge in Him.   He is your refuge and your strength.   David addresses Him in these words:  I fled to you for refuge and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great sabbath, as Moses said – The sabbaths of the land will provide you with food.   To rest in the Lord and to see His joy, is like a banquet and full of gladness and tranquillity.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters.   Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain.   What is that fountain?   Listen to David – With you is the fountain of life.   Let my soul say to this fountain, When shall I come and see You face to face?   For the fountain is God Himself.let us take refuge - st ambrose hold fast to god 28 march 2019 thurs3rdweek lent.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Thoughts – 27 March – Progress towards Perfection

Lenten Thoughts – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

Progress towards Perfection

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

“We too often forget that maxim of the Saints which warns us to consider ourselves as each day recommencing our progress towards perfection.   If we consider it frequently, we shall not be surprised at the poverty of our spirit, nor how much we have to refuse ourselves.

The work is never finished, we have continually to begin again and that courageously. What we have done so far is good but what we are going to commence, will be better and when we have finished that, we shall begin something else that will be better still and then another – until we leave this world to begin a new life that will have no end because it is the best that can happen to us.

It is not then a case for tears, that we have so much work to do for our souls, for we need great courage to go ever onwards (since we must never stop) and much resolution to restrain our desires.   Observe carefully this precept that all the Saints have given to those who would emulate them – to speak little, or not at all, of yourself and your own interests.”the work is never finished - st francis de sales - 27 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Lenten Thoughts – 24 March – Take a step back

Lenten Thoughts – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:1-9 (The fruitless vine) and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back and to see things from a distance.

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back
and to see things from a distance.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is also beyond our visions.
In our lives, we manage to achieve only a small part
of the marvellous plan that is God’s work.
Nothing that we do is complete,
which is to say that the Kingdom is greater than ourselves.
No statement says everything that can be said.
No prayer completely expresses the faith.
No Creed brings perfection.
No pastoral visit solves every problem.
No programme fully accomplishes the mission of the Church.
No goal or purpose ever reaches completion.
This is what it is about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that others will watch over them.
We lay the foundations of something that will develop.
We add the yeast which will multiply our possibilities.
We cannot do everything,
yet it is liberating to begin.
This gives us the strength to do something and to do it well.
It may remain incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way.
It is an opportunity for the grace of God to enter and to do the rest.
It may be that we will never see its completion
but that is the difference between the master and the labourer.
We are labourers, not master builders,
servants, not the Messiah.
We are prophets of a future that does not belong to us.

Saint Óscar Romero (1917–1980) Martyr, Pray for us!

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Posted in DOMINICAN OP, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on ETERNITY

Lenten Thoughts – 23 March – Behave like a true Knight!

Lenten Thoughts – 23 March – Saturday of the Second Week of Lent, Year C

“Remember that you will derive strength
by reflecting that the saints, 
yearn for you
to join their ranks,
desire to see you fight bravely,
and behave like a true knight
in your encounters
with the same adversities
which they had to conquer
and that breathtaking joy
is the eternal reward,
for having endured a few years, 
of temporal pain.
Every drop of earthly bitterness,
will be changed into
an ocean of heavenly sweetness.”

Blessed Henry Suso OP (1290-1365)remember that you will derive strength - lenten thought 23 march 2019 bl henry suso.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 22 March – “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

Lenten Thoughts – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

“These are thoughts, I need hardly say, especially suited to this season.
From the earliest times down to this day, these weeks before Easter have been set apart every year, for the particular remembrance and confession of our sins.   From the first age downward, not a year has passed but Christians have been exhorted to reflect how far they have let go their birthright, as a preparation for their claiming the blessing.   At Christmas we are born again with Christ, at Easter we keep the Eucharistic Feast.

In Lent, by penance, we join the two great sacraments together.   Are you, my brethren, prepared to say,—is there any single Christian alive who will dare to profess—that he has not in greater or less degree, sinned against God’s free mercies as bestowed on him, in Baptism without, or rather against his deserts?   Who will say that he has so improved his birthright that the blessing is his fit reward, without either sin to confess, or wrath to deprecate?

See, then, the Church offers you this season for the purpose. “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

Now it is that, God being your helper, you are to attempt to throw off from you the heavy burden of past transgression, to reconcile yourselves to Him who has once already imparted to you His atoning merits and you have profaned them.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)at christmas we are born again - bl john henry newman - fri2ndweeklent 22 march 2019.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, The LAST THINGS

Lenten Thoughts – 20 March – Each of us must enter on eternity

Lenten Reflection – 20 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

Each of us must enter on eternity

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

“Each of us must come to the evening of life.   Each of us must enter on eternity.   Each of us must come to that quiet, awful time, when we will appear before the Lord of the vineyard and answer for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad.   That, my dear brethren, you will have to undergo. … It will be the dread moment of expectation when your fate for eternity is in the balance and when you are about to be sent forth as the companion of either saints or devils, without possibility of change. There can be no change, there can be no reversal.   As that judgement decides it, so it will be forever and ever.   Such is the particular judgement. … when we find ourselves by ourselves, one by one, in His presence and have brought before us most vividly all the thoughts, words and deeds of this past life.   Who will be able to bear the sight of himself?

And yet we shall be obliged steadily to confront ourselves and to see ourselves.   In this life we shrink from knowing our real selves.   We do not like to know how sinful we are. We love those who prophesy smooth things to us and we are angry with those who tell us of our faults.each of us must come to theat quiet awful time - bl john henry newman wed 2nd week lent 20march2019.jpg

But on that day, not one fault only but all the secret, as well as evident, defects of our character will be clearly brought out.   We shall see what we feared to see here and much more.   And then, when the full sight of ourselves comes to us, who will not wish that he had known more of himself here, rather than leaving it for the inevitable day to reveal it all to him! …………………….We can believe what we choose.   We are answerable for what we choose to believe.”we-can-believe-what-we-choose-bl-j-h-newman-14-march-2018.jpg

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

Lenten Thoughts – 16 March – Why Forty Days?

Lenten Thoughts – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C

Why Forty Days?

St Pope Gregory the Great

(540-604)

Father & Doctor of the Church

He, the Author of all things, for forty days tasted no food.   Let us likewise, as far as we are able, afflict our flesh by abstinence during the season of Lent.   A fast of forty days is observed, since the perfection of the Decalogue is completed by the four books of the Holy Gospel – ten multiplied by four being forty.

Or, again, because this mortal body is made up from four elements and because of its pleasures, we are bound by the commandments of the Lord, made known in the Decalogue, it is therefore, fitting, that we who through the desires of the flesh despise the commands of God, should chastise this same flesh, four times ten times.

Or, as by the Law men had to offer up tithes of their possessions, so ought we strive to offer tithes of our days.   For from the first Sunday of Lent, until the joys of the Paschal feast, there are six weeks – which are two and forty days, from which, since the six days of Sunday are subtracted from the fast, there remains but thirty six days.   Since the year continues for three hundred and sixty five days, we do penance for thirty six days, as though offering to God a tenth of our year.why 40 days - st pope gregory the great answers 16 march 2019.jpg

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

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – “When war comes, fight courageously for Him.”

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – Friday of the First week of Lent, Year C Gospel: Matthew 5:20–26

“Will you refuse to be crucified for Him,
who for your sake was nailed to the cross?”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Catecheses, 13

The Catholic Church glories in every deed of Christ.   Her supreme glory, however, is the cross.   Well aware of this, Paul says – God forbid that I glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!

At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder and rightly so.   A man born blind recovered his sight.   But of what importance is this, when there are so many blind people in the world?   Lazarus rose from the dead but even this affected only Lazarus.  What of those countless numbers who have died because of their sins?   Those five miraculous loaves fed five thousand people.   Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the world who were starved by ignorance.   After eighteen years a woman was freed from the bondage of Satan.   But are we not all shackled by the chains of our own sins?

For us all, however, the cross is the crown of victory!   It has brought light to those blinded by ignorance.   It has released those enslaved by sin.   Indeed, it has redeemed the whole of mankind!

Do not, then, be ashamed of the cross of Christ, rather, glory in it.   Although it is a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, the message of the cross is our salvation.   Of course it is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.   For it was not a mere man who died for us but the Son of God, God made man.

In the Mosaic law a sacrificial lamb banished the destroyer.   But now it is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.   Will He not free us from our sins even more? The blood of an animal, a sheep, brought salvation.   Will not the blood of the only-begotten Son bring us greater salvation?

He was not killed by violence, He was not forced to give up His life.   His was a willing sacrifice.   Listen to His own words – I have the power to lay down my life and take it up again.   Yes, he willingly submitted to His own passion.   He took joy in his achievement, in His crown of victory He was glad and in the salvation of man He rejoiced.   He did not blush at the cross for by it He was to save the world.   No, it was not a lowly man who suffered but God incarnate.   He entered the contest, for the reward He would win by His patient endurance.

Certainly in times of tranquillity the cross should give you joy.   But maintain the same faith in times of persecution.   Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and His enemy during war.   Now you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the generous gift of grace from your King.   When war comes, fight courageously for Him.

Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.   Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?   You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.   For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.   Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.jesus never sinned yet he was crucified for you - st cyril of jerusalem 15 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Lenten Thoughts – 10 March – We progress by means of trial.

Lenten Thoughts – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent

In Christ we suffered temptation and in Him we overcame the devil

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

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms, Psalm 60.

Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer.   Who is speaking?   An individual, it seems.   See if it is an individual – I cried to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish.   Now it is no longer one person, rather, it is one in the sense, that Christ is one and we are all His members.   What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth?   The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance.   It was said to him:  Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession.   This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth.   What does it cry?   What I said before – Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer, I cried out to you from the ends of the earth.   That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth, that is, on all sides.

Why did I make this cry?   While my heart was in anguish.   The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.

Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial.   We progress by means of trial.   No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.our pilgrimage on earth - st augustine - 1st sun lent 10 march 2019.jpg

The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are His body, by means of His body, in which He has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of His body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.

He made us one with Him when He chose to be tempted by Satan.   We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.   Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil.   In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received His flesh from your nature but by His own power gained life for you, He suffered insults in your nature but by His own power gained glory for you, therefore, He suffered temptation in your nature but by His own power gained victory for you.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in Him we overcame the devil.   Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of His victory?   See yourself as tempted in Him and see yourself as victorious in Him.   He could have kept the devil from Himself but if He were not tempted, He could not teach you how to triumph over temptation. he could have kept the devil from himself - st augustine - 10 march 1st sun lent 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”

 

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