Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS

Sunday Reflection – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

Sunday Reflection – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

LET US SING TO THE LORD A SONG OF LOVE
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

Sing to the Lord a new song;  His praise is in the assembly of the saints.   We are urged to sing a new song to the Lord, as new men who have learned a new song.   A song is a thing of joy, more profoundly, it is a thing of love.   Anyone, therefore, who has learned to love the new life has learned to sing a new song and the new song reminds us of our new life.   The new man, the new song, the new covenant, all belong to the one kingdom of God and so the new man will sing a new song and will belong to the new covenant.

There is not one who does not love something but the question is, what to love.   The psalms do not tell us not to love but to choose the object of our love.   But how can we choose unless we are first chosen?   We cannot love unless someone has loved us first. Listen to the apostle John:  We love him, because he first loved us.   The source of man’s love for God can only be found in the fact that God loved him first.   He has given us Himself as the object of our love and He has also given us its source.   What this source is you may learn more clearly from the apostle Paul who tells us:  The love of God has been poured into our hearts.   This love is not something we generate ourselves;  it comes to us through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Since we have such an assurance, then, let us love God with the love He has given us.   As John tells us more fully:  God is love and whoever dwells in love dwells in God and God in him.   It is not enough to say:  Love is from God.   Which of us would dare to pronounce the words of Scripture:  God is love?   He alone could say it who knew what it was to have God dwelling within him.   God offers us a short route to the possession of Himself.   He cries out:  Love me and you will have me for you would be unable to love me if you did not possess me already.

My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me, or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:   Sing to the Lord a new song.   Look, you tell me, I am singing.   Yes indeed, you are singing, you are singing clearly, I can hear you. But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.   Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives:   Sing to the Lord a new song’.

Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love but you ask me how to sing His praises.   You have heard the words:  Sing to the Lord a new song and you wish to know what praises to sing.   The answer is:   His praise is in the assembly of the saints – it is in the singers themselves.   If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express.   Live good lives and you yourselves will be His praise.his praise is in the assembly of saints - st augustine - 25 march 2018 palm sunday

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

Our Morning Offering – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

To You, O Jesus
By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Church

To You, O Jesus,
do I turn as my true and last end.
You are the river of life
which alone can satisfy my thirst.
Without You all else is barren and void.
Without all else, You alone are enough for me.
You are the Redeemer of those that are lost;
the sweet consoler of the sorrowful;
the Crown of Glory for the victors;
the recompense of the Blessed.
One day I hope to receive of Your fullness
and to sing the song of praise in my true home.
Give me only on earth some few drops of consolation
and I will patiently wait Your coming,
that I may enter into the Joy of my Lord.
Hosanna!
Amen.to you, o Jesus - by st bonaventure - palm sunday - 25 march 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, LENT, MORNING Prayers

Palm or Passion Sunday – 25 March 2018

Palm or Passion Sunday – 25 March 2018

Today we commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem for the completion of the Paschal Mystery.   In the old calendar before Vatican II, the Church celebrated Passion Sunday two Sundays before Easter and then Palm Sunday was the beginning of Holy Week.   The Church has combined the two to reinforce the solemnity of Holy Week.Entry into Jerusalem Van Dyck

The Palm Sunday procession is formed of Christians who, in the “fullness of faith,” make their own the gesture of the Jews and endow it with its full significance.   Following the Jews’ example we proclaim Christ as a Victor… Hosanna to the Son of David!   Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.   But by our faith we know, as they did not, all that His triumph stands for.   He is the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God.   He is the sign of contradiction, acclaimed by some and reviled by others.   Sent into this world to wrest us from sin and the power of Satan, He underwent His Passion, the punishment for our sins but issues forth triumphant from the tomb, the victor over death, making our peace with God and taking us with Him into the kingdom of His Father in heaven.palm sunday.infopalm sunday

Homily of St Andrew of Crete (650-740)

Palm Sunday marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.   But he entered in humility, not in pomp and power.   To humble ourselves and make our souls the garments that we spread before him, this is the greeting he desires says St Andrew of Crete (650-740), one of the Early Church Fathers – his Memorial is 4 July.

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives.   Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation.   He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority and power and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem.   He comes without pomp or ostentation.   As the psalmist says:   He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.

Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish.   Then we shall be able to receive the Word at His coming and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.

In His humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and He is glad that He became so humble for our sake, glad that He came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to Himself.   And even though we are told that He has now ascended above the highest heavens – the proof, surely, of His power and godhead – His love for man will never rest until He has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory and made it one with his own in heaven.

So let us spread before His feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither but ourselves, clothed in His grace, or rather, clothed completely in Him.   We who have been baptised into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before Him.   Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of His victory.   Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.

This Lenten or Holy Week reading on the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in humility is an excerpt from a Palm Sunday sermon (Oratio 9 in ramos palmarum: PG 97, 990-994) by Andrew of Crete, a bishop and Early Church Father who died in 740 AD.   It is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Palm Sunday with the accompanying biblical reading of Hebrews 10:1-18.

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842PALM title image final gpalm sunday by james tissot no 1james tissot - palm sunday

St Andrew of Crete
St Andrew of Crete (c. 660-740) was born around 660 AD in Damascus and eventually entered monastic life at Mar Saba.   He later served at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and was ordained a deacon at the great cathedral of Constantinople and mother Church of Eastern Christendom, Hagia Sophia, around 685.   Always exhibiting great pastoral solicitude for orphans, widows, and the aged, Saint Andrew spent his last days as Archbishop of Gortyna on Crete, a position to which he was elevated in 692. Attrbuted by many with the invention of the canon as a style of religious writing, his works display not only great rhetorical skill but an incomparable depth of theological understanding.   He is considered one of the great spiritual writers on the theme of repentance and his Great Canon, prayed during Lent in the Eastern Churches of Byzantine tradition, stands as a great testimony to man’s repentant cry to God, our merciful Father.  Saint Andrew of Crete is numbered among those great Christian writers known as the Early Church Fathers or “Fathers of the Church.”st andrew of crete

Posted in DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

25 March 2018, Palm Sunday, the Solemnity of the Annunciation and Memorials of the Saints

Palm Sunday (2018)

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity): The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Gabriel the Archangel that she was to be the Mother of God (Luke 1), the Word being made flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit.   The feast probably originated about the time of the Council of Ephesus, c 431 and is first mentioned in the Sacramentary of Pope Gelasius (died 496).   The Annunciation is represented in art by many masters, among them Fra Angelico, Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Philippe de Champaigne (1 and 2 below), Ghirlandajo, Holbein the Elder, Lippi, Pinturicchio, Titian (2nd last below), Tintoretto (last below) and Del Sarto.Annunciation_Philippe de Champaigneannunciation-philippe-de-champaignethe annunciation - paolo de matteis 1712the-annunciation1200px-Zwiastowanie_Tintoretta

Our Lady of Betania:   Actually the name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela.   Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small chapel was built here and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas
St Dula the Slave
Bl Emilian Kovch
Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Margaret Clitherow
Bl Margaretha Flesch
St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas
St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.