Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, THE ASSUMPTION, VATICAN II - Documents

Quote of the Day – 15 August – On the Assumption

Quote of the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

“In the bodily and spiritual glory
which she possesses in heaven,
the Mother of Jesus,
continues in this present world
as the image and first flowering of the Church,
as she is to be perfected in the world to come.
Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth,
until the day of the Lord shall come (cf 2 Peter 3:10),
as a sign of certain hope
and comfort for the pilgrim People of God.”

Lumen Gentiumlumen gentium no 68 on the assumption in the bodily and spiritual glory 15 aug 2019.jpg

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #68.

“While she lived on this earth
she could only be close to a few people.
Being in God, who is close to us,
actually, “within” all of us,
Mary shares in this closeness of God.
Being in God and with God,
she is close to each one of us,
knows our hearts, can hear our prayers,
can help us with her motherly kindness
and has been given to us,
as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother”
to whom we can turn at every moment.”

Pope Benedict XVIwhile she lived on earth - pope benedict assumption 15 aug 2019.jpg

“As soon as we apprehend by faith,
the great fundamental truth, that Mary is the Mother of God,
other wonderful truths follow in its train and one of these, is that,
she was exempt from the ordinary lot of mortals,
which is not only to die but to become earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Bl John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)as-soon-as-we-apprehend-by-faith-bl-john-henry-19-aug-2018 and 2019.jpg

Posted in Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 9 August – ‘…So that our life may be a canticle of praise to God..’

Thought for the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola (1845-1912)

Excerpt from the Homily of Pope Benedict XVI
St Peter’s Square
Sunday, 17 October 2010

The celebration of holiness is renewed today in St Peter’s Square.   I joyfully address my cordial welcome to you who have come from even very far away to take part in it.   I offer a special greeting to the Cardinals, to the Bishops and to the Superiors General of the Institutes founded by the new Saints, as well as to the Official Delegations and to all the Civil Authorities.   Let us seek together to understand what the Lord tells us in the Sacred Scriptures proclaimed just now.   This Sunday’s Liturgy offers us a fundamental teaching – the need to pray always, without tiring.   At times we grow weary of praying, we have the impression that prayer is not so useful for life, that it is not very effective. We are, therefore, tempted to throw ourselves into activity, to use all the human means for attaining our goals and we do not turn to God.   Jesus himself says that it is necessary to pray always and does so in a specific parable (cf. Lk 18: 1-8).

This parable speaks to us of a judge who does not fear God and is no respecter of persons – a judge without a positive outlook, who only seeks his own interests.   He neither fears God’s judgement nor respects his neighbour.   The other figure is a widow, a person in a situation of weakness.   In the Bible, the widow and the orphan are the neediest categories, because they are defenceless and without means.   The widow goes to the judge and asks him for justice.   Her possibilities of being heard are almost none, because the judge despises her and she can bring no pressure to bear on him.   She cannot even appeal to religious principles because the judge does not fear God.   Therefore, this widow seems without any recourse.   But she insists, she asks tirelessly, importuning him and in the end, she succeeds in obtaining a result from the judge.   At this point Jesus makes a reflection, using the argument a fortiori – if a dishonest judge ends by letting himself be convinced by a widow’s plea, how much more will God, who is good, answer those who pray to Him.   God in fact, is generosity in person, He is merciful and is, therefore, always disposed to listen to prayers.   Therefore, we must never despair but always persist in prayer.

The conclusion of the Gospel passage speaks of faith – “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18: 8).   It is a question that intends to elicit an increase of faith on our part.   Indeed, it is clear, that prayer must be an expression of faith, otherwise it is not true prayer.   If one does not believe in God’s goodness, one cannot pray in a truly appropriate manner.
Faith is essential as the basis of a prayerful attitude.   It was so for the six new Saints who are held up today for the veneration of the universal Church – Stanisław Sołtys, André Bessette, Cándida María de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla Varano.

When the Son of man comes to do justice to the chosen ones, will he find this faith on earth? (cf. Lk 18: 8).   Today, contemplating figures such as Mother Cándida María de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola, we can say “yes” with relief and firmness.   That girl of simple origins, on whose heart God had set His seal and whom He brought very soon, with the guidance of her Jesuit spiritual directors, to make the firm decision to live “for God alone”.   She faithfully kept to her decision, as she herself recalled, when she was about to die.   She lived for God and for what He most desires – to reach everyone, to bring everyone the hope that does not disappoint, especially to those who need it most.   “Where there is no room for the poor, there is no room for me either” the new Saint said and with limited means, she imbued the other Sisters with the desire to follow Jesus and to dedicate themselves to the education and advancement of women.   So it was that the Hijas de Jesús [Daughters of Jesus] came into being – today they have in their Foundress a very lofty model of life to imitate and an exciting mission to carry on, Mother Cándida’s apostolate, with her spirit and aspirations, in many countries.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us thank the Lord for the gift of holiness that is resplendent in the Church and today shines out on the faces of these brothers and sisters of ours. Jesus also invites each one of us, to follow Him, in order to inherit eternal life.   Let us allow ourselves to be attracted by these luminous examples and to be guided by their teaching, so that our life may be a canticle of praise to God.   May the Virgin Mary and the intercession of the six new Saints whom we joyfully venerate today obtain this for us. Amen.

See the photogallery here of the Canonisation: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/photogallery/2010/20101017/index.html

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!mary mother of god - pray for us - 10 may 2018.jpg

St Candida Maria de Jesus, Pray for Us!st candida maria de jesus pray for us 9 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 2 August – ‘..Jealously guard the faith..’

Thought for the Day – 2 August – The Memorial of St Eusebius of Vercelli (c 283-371)

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s
Catechesis on St Eusebius, October 2007

Ambrose’s admiration for Eusebius was based, above all, on the fact that the Bishop of Vercelli governed his Diocese with the witness of his life:  “With the austerity of fasting he governed his Church.”   Indeed, Ambrose was also fascinated, as he himself admits, by the monastic ideal of the contemplation of God which, in the footsteps of the Prophet Elijah, Eusebius had pursued.   First of all, Ambrose commented, the Bishop of Vercelli gathered his clergy in vita communis and educated its members in “the observance of the monastic rule, although they lived in the midst of the city.”   The Bishop and his clergy were to share the problems of their fellow citizens and did so credibly, precisely by cultivating, at the same time, a different citizenship, that of Heaven (cf. Heb 13: 14).   And thus, they really built true citizenship and true solidarity among all the citizens of Vercelli.

While Eusebius was adopting the cause of the sancta plebs of Vercelli, he lived a monk’s life in the heart of the city, opening the city to God.   This trait, though, in no way diminished his exemplary pastoral dynamism.   It seems among other things that he set up parishes in Vercelli for an orderly and stable ecclesial service and promoted Marian shrines for the conversion of the pagan populations in the countryside.   This “monastic feature,” however, conferred a special dimension on the Bishop’s relationship with his hometown.   Just like the Apostles, for whom Jesus prayed at his Last Supper, the Pastors and faithful of the Church “are of the world” (Jn 17: 11), but not “in the world”.   Therefore, Pastors, Eusebius said, must urge the faithful not to consider the cities of the world as their permanent dwelling place but to seek the future city, the definitive heavenly Jerusalem.   This “eschatological reserve” enables Pastors and faithful to preserve the proper scale of values without ever submitting to the fashions of the moment and the unjust claims of the current political power.   The authentic scale of values – Eusebius’ whole life seems to say – does not come from emperors of the past or of today but from Jesus Christ, the perfect Man, equal to the Father in divinity, yet a man like us.   In referring to this scale of values, Eusebius never tired of “warmly recommending” his faithful “to jealously guard the faith, to preserve harmony, to be assiduous in prayer” (Second Letter, op. cit.).

Dear friends, I too warmly recommend these perennial values to you, as I greet and bless you, using the very words with which the holy Bishop Eusebius concluded his Second Letter:   “I address you all, my holy brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, faithful of both sexes and of every age group, so that you may… bring our greeting also to those who are outside the Church, yet deign to nourish sentiments of love for us.”

St Eusebius of Vercelli, Pray for Us!dy ridrnus of vercelli pray for us no 2 2 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in PAPAL PRAYERS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES on GRANDPARENTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 26 July – Prayer for Grandparents By Pope Benedict XVI

Thought for the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Grandparents of Jesus

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises.   Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed.   Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures.   Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfilment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah but remain obscure.

This is the “feast of grandparents.”   It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come – they must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children.   But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well.   It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms, are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

Prayer for Grandparents
By Pope Benedict XVI

Lord Jesus,
You were born of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment
for families, for the Church and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on, to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Lord Jesus,
help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.
May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which You give them.
Mary, Mother of all the living,
keep grandparents constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of live without end.
Amen!prayer for grandparents by pope benedict xvi 26 july 2019 sts joachim and anne.jpg

Saints Joachim and Anne, Pray for Us All!sts joachim and anne pray for us no 2 26 july 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Quote of the Day – 25 July -Learning from St James

Quote of the Day – 25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle

“…we can learn much from St James – promptness in accepting the Lord’s call even when He asks us to leave the “boat” of our human securities, enthusiasm in following Him on the paths that He indicates to us over and above any deceptive presumption of our own, readiness to witness to Him with courage, if necessary to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of life.

Thus James the Greater stands before us as an eloquent example of generous adherence to Christ.   He, who initially had requested, through his mother, to be seated with his brother next to the Master in His Kingdom, was precisely the first to drink the chalice of the passion and to share martyrdom with the Apostles.

And, in the end, summarising everything, we can say that the journey, not only exterior but above all interior, from the mount of the Transfiguration to the mount of the Agony, symbolises the entire pilgrimage of Christian life, among the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, as the Second Vatican Council says.   In following Jesus, like St James, we know that even in difficulties we are on the right path.”

Pope Benedict XVI

General Audience, June 21, 2006we-can-learn-much-from-st-james-pope-benedict-25 july 2017 and 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – The Word, Jesus Christ!

Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30.

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:29-30

“Jesus asks us to go to Him,
for He is true Wisdom,
to Him who is
“gentle and lowly in heart.”
He offers us “his yoke”,
the way of the wisdom of the Gospel,
which is neither,
a doctrine to be learned,
nor an ethical system
but rather a Person to follow –
He Himself, the Only Begotten Son,
in perfect communion with the Father.”

Pope Benedict XVI

General Audience, 7 December 2011come-to-me-all-who-are-burdened-matthew-11-28-29-jesus-asks-us-to-go-to-him-pope-benedict-19-july-2018.jpg

“The WORD
is not a bible verse
BUT living flesh and blood,
Jesus Christ!

Fr Enrico V Parry

the word is not a bible verse - fr enrico 9 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 July – “take my yoke upon you and learn from me” 

One Minute Reflection – 19 July – Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves…” … Matthew 11:29matthew 11 29 take my yoke upon you 18 july 2019

REFLECTION – “You are to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”   You are not learning from me how to refashion the fabric of the world, nor to create all things visible and invisible, nor to work miracles and raise the dead.   Rather, you are simply learning of me: “that I am meek and lowly in heart.”   If you wish to reach high, then begin at the lowest level.   If you are trying to construct some mighty edifice in height, you will begin with the lowest foundation.   This is humility.   However great the mass of the building you may wish to design or erect, the taller the building is to be, the deeper you will dig the foundation.   The building in the course of its erection, rises up high but he who digs its foundation, must first go down very low.   So then, you see even a building is low before it is high and the tower is raised, only after humiliation.”… St Augustine (354-430) Fater & Doctor (Sermon 69)if you wish to reach high then begin at the lowest level st augustine 18 july 2019

PRAYER“Holy God, our Father, we turn to You in confidence as children and pray, give us meekness of heart, make us “poor in spirit” that we may recognise that we are not self-sufficient, that we are unable to build our lives on our own but need You, we need to encounter You, to listen to You, to speak to You.   Help us to understand that we need Your gift, Your wisdom, which is Jesus Himself, in order to do the Your will in our lives and thus to find rest in the hardships of our journey.”   Hear the prayers we request of St Simon of Lipnica dear Lord and holy God, which we pray through Christ, our Light, in the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen. … Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 7 December 2011st simon of lipnica pray for us 18 july 2019