One Minute Reflection – 17 November – ‘… Anything which seemed to be hers, belonged to the poor. …’

One Minute Reflection – 17 November – Readings: 2 Maccabees 7: 1, 20-31; Psalm 17: 1, 5-6, 8b and 15; Luke 19: 11-28 and the Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary TOSF (1207-1231) Princess

He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’” – Luke 19:13

REFLECTION – “From this time onward, Elizabeth’s goodness greatly increased. She was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her Castles, should be converted into a Hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities and finally, she sold her luxurious’ possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.

Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave food, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. Finally, when her husband died, she sought the highest perfection; filled with tears, she implored me to let her beg for alms from door to door.

On Good Friday of that year, when the Altars had been stripped, she laid her hands on the Altar in a Chapel in her own Town, where she had established the Friars Minor,and before witnesses, she voluntarily renounced all worldly display and everything that our Saviour in the gospel advises us to abandon. Even then, she saw that she could still be distracted by the cares and worldly glory which had surrounded her while her husband was alive. Against my will she followed me to Marburg. Here in the Town she built a hospice, where she gathered together the weak and the feeble. There she attended the most wretched and contemptible at her own table.

Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman. When she was coming from private prayer, some religious men and women often saw her face shining marvelously and light coming from her eyes like the rays of the sun!

Before her death I heard her Confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers, belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the Body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died.” – Conrad of Marburg (1180-1233) Priest, Spiritual Director of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (An excerpt from Letter).

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, grant us a strong Faith! Poor Your graces into our hearts that we may believe with all our hearts, minds and souls and that in believing, we may constantly raise our entire being to You in prayer and supplication, in prayer and adoration, in prayer and love. May the intercession of St Elizabeth of Hungary, a woman of deep prayer and charity from her youth, strengthen our perseverance and trust. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen


One Minute Reflection – 20 November – ‘For there is God’s gift but also our contribution. ‘

One Minute Reflection – 20 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:11–28 and the Memorial of Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti OSB (1827-1922)

“He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.'” … Luke 19:13

REFLECTION – “What have we to offer God?   Faith and love.   That is where we find what God asks of us, as it is written:  “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul” (Dt 10:12).   These are the offerings and these the gifts we should make to the Lord.   And if we are to offer Him these gifts with all our heart, then first of all, we must get to know Him.   We must have drunk of the knowledge of His goodness from the deep waters of His well…

People who deny that salvation lay within the power of the our freedom, should be ashamed on hearing these words!   Would God ask something from us if we weren’t capable of responding to God’s demand and giving Him what he owed?   For there is God’s gift but also our contribution.   For example, it was well within that man’s power that one gold coin should make ten or five more but, that the man should possess that gold coin, with which to produce ten more, in the first place, belonged to God.   Once he had given God the ten gold coins he had made, the man received a new sort of gift – not money this time but the power and sovereignty over ten cities.

In the same way, God asked Abraham to make an offering of his son, Isaac, on the mountain He would show him.   And Abraham, without hesitation, offered his only son – he laid him on the altar and drew out his knife to slay him.   But at once a voice restrained him and a ram was given him to be sacrificed in his son’s place (Gn 22).   So you see – what we offer God depends on us but, this offering is asked of us, so that, in making our gift, we might witness to our love for God and faith in Him.” … Origen (c185-253) Priest and Theologian – Homilies on the Book of Numbers, no. 12, #3luke 19 13 - he called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins - would god ask of us something which we were not able to give - origen 20 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, true Light and Creator of light, grant that faithfully pondering on all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence.   Protect us by Your power throughout our days, that even as You enable us to begin, do not let us turn aside to any sin but let our every thought, word and deed, aim at doing what is pleasing in Your sight.   Listen, we pray, to the intercession of Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti on our behalf.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, maria fortunata viti pray for us 20 nov 2019.jpg