Posted in PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 13 October – Praise to the Holiest in the Height! for our Beloved Saint John Henry

Thought for the Day – 13 October – Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C and today, John Henry Newman will be Canonised

Today, at 10.30 Roman time, John Henry Newman and 4 others will be Canonised by Pope Francis.   They are:

– English Cardinal John Henry Newman, Founder of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in England

– Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini (born Giuditta Adelaide Agata), Founder of the Daughters of Saint Camillus

– Indian Sister Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family

– Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes (born Maria Rita) of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God

– Marguerite Bays of Switzerland, Virgin of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi.

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13 oct 2019 - today we call you st john henry newman praise to the holiest.jpg

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s Beatification Homily
Birmingham, Sunday, 19 September 2010

newman and benedict

Cardinal Newman’s motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, or “Heart speaks unto heart”, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God.   He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness.   As he wrote in one of his many fine sermons, “a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season, in every place, in every emergency – prayer, I say, has what may be called a natural effect in spiritualising and elevating the soul.   A man is no longer what he was before, gradually … he has imbibed a new set of ideas and become imbued with fresh principles   (Parochial and Plain Sermons, iv, 230-231).   Today’s Gospel tells us that no-one can be the servant of two masters (cf. Lk 16:13) and Blessed John Henry’s teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true Master, who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion (cf. Mt 23:10).   Newman helps us to understand what this means for our daily lives – he tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a “definite service”, committed uniquely to every single person:   “I have my mission”, he wrote, “I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.   He has not created me for naught.   I shall do good, I shall do his work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place … if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling” (Meditations and Devotions, 301-2).

The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing “subjects of the day”.   His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised societ, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.   I would like to pay particular tribute to his vision for education, which has done so much to shape the ethos that is the driving force behind Catholic schools and colleges today.   Firmly opposed to any reductive or utilitarian approach, he sought to achieve an educational environment in which intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment would come together.   The project to found a Catholic University in Ireland provided him with an opportunity to develop his ideas on the subject and the collection of discourses that he published as The Idea of a University, holds up an ideal from which all those engaged in academic formation can continue to learn. And indeed, what better goal could teachers of religion set themselves than Blessed John Henry’s famous appeal for an intelligent, well-instructed laity – “I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it”  (The Present Position of Catholics in England, ix, 390).   On this day when the author of those words is raised to the altars, I pray that, through his intercession and example, all who are engaged in the task of teaching and catechesis will be inspired to greater effort by the vision he so clearly sets before us.

While it is John Henry Newman’s intellectual legacy that has understandably received most attention in the vast literature devoted to his life and work, I prefer on this occasion to conclude with a brief reflection on his life as a priest, a pastor of souls.   The warmth and humanity underlying his appreciation of the pastoral ministry is beautifully expressed in another of his famous sermons:  “Had Angels been your priests, my brethren, they could not have condoled with you, sympathised with you, have had compassion on you, felt tenderly for you, and made allowances for you, as we can; they could not have been your patterns and guides, and have led you on from your old selves into a new life, as they can who come from the midst of you” (“Men, not Angels – the Priests of the Gospel”, Discourses to Mixed Congregations, 3).   He lived out that profoundly human vision of priestly ministry in his devoted care for the people of Birmingham during the years that he spent at the Oratory he founded, visiting the sick and the poor, comforting the bereaved, caring for those in prison.   No wonder that on his death so many thousands of people lined the local streets as his body was taken to its place of burial not half a mile from here.   One hundred and twenty years later, great crowds have assembled once again to rejoice in the Church’s solemn recognition of the outstanding holiness of this much-loved father of souls.   What better way to express the joy of this moment than by turning to our heavenly Father in heartfelt thanksgiving, praying in the words that Blessed John Henry Newman placed on the lips of the choirs of angels in heaven:

Praise to the Holiest in the height
And in the depth be praise.
In all his words most wonderful,
Most sure in all his ways!
(The Dream of Gerontius)Praise to the Holiest in the Height - bl john henry newman - 9 oct 2018.jpgJOHN HENRY CANONISATION TAPESTRY NEWMAN 13 OCT 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Hail MARY!, MARIAN TITLES, One Minute Reflection, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

One Minute Reflection – 7 October – “Go and do likewise.”

One Minute Reflection – 7 October – Monday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:25-37 and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” … Luke 10:37luke-10-37-go-and-do-likewise-the-good-samaritan-8-oct-2018 and 7 oct 2019

REFLECTION – “Jesus carries us to the inn.   Imagine you are in the arms of Jesus, being carried, half-dead in sin—some of your own making, some done to you—to a place of help.   You can rest in His arms.   In another surprise, the inn is the Church, the hospital for sinners.   The innkeeper might be a priest, family member, or friend who helps you through a dark time in your life.
This is the rest of the story – the Good Samaritan is Jesus!
He always pursues us, even when we don’t ask for it—even in our sins.   We must receive the Good Samaritan’s love and mercy first, or we have nothing to give away (1 Jn 4:19). And then our response to this love is repentance—going beyond the mind we have now/giving up the lies we believe about God or ourselves—and then going to confession. This is followed by The Ultimate Challenge – to be that good neighbour or the innkeeper in a world where everyone is wounded by something!
Be like Jesus—be a good spiritual neighbour in a dark and lonely world!
In a world which demands of Christians a renewed witness of love and fidelity to the Lord, may all of us feel the urgent need, to anticipate one another in charity, service and good works (cf. Heb 6:10).”…Pope Benedict (3 November 2011)be like jesus be a good spiritual neighbour - 7 oct 2019 good samaritan pope benedict.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, may we learn to trust your Son who carries us!   Grant us the grace, we pray, to lean on this great gift of faith which You bestow on us and to learn and understand the mystery of Your commandment of love, where love of You and love of neighbour become one.   Teach us good Jesus Your ways of true charity and may Your holy and blessed Mother always be at our side, as we pray her Rosary, which grants us peace and strength.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.our lady of the rosary pray for us 7 oct 2019

Posted in FRANCISCAN, ON the SAINTS, One Minute Reflection, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – ‘Listening to the Word’

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Friday of the Twenty-sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C Gospel: Luke 10:13-16 – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

“He who hears you, hears me and he who rejects you,
rejects me and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me.”…Luke 10:16luke 10 16 he who hears you hears me - 4 oct 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “The truth is that St Francis really did have an extremely intimate relationship with Jesus and with the word of God, that he wanted to pursue sine glossa – just as it is, in all its radicality and truth.   It is also true, that initially he did not intend to create an Order with the necessary canonical forms.   Rather he simply wanted, through the word of God and the presence of the Lord, to renew the People of God, to call them back to listening to the word and to literal obedience to Christ.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Catechesis on St Francis – General Audience, 27 January 2010he, francis, simply wanted - pope benedict 4 oct 2019.jpg

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received—only what you have given – a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”….St Francis of Assisiremember-that-when-you-leave-st-francis-4-oct-2017 and 2018 and 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Francis of Assisi, Christ-like in his poverty and humility, his gentleness and charity, his love and courage. Help us to walk in his ways that, with joy and love, we may follow Christ Your Son and be united with You. May the intercession of St Francis, be an assistance on our journey. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st francis of assisi - pray for us - 17 sept 2018.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MARTYRS, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 3 October – ‘That is, the joy of being His disciples.’

Thought for the Day – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy (1911-1953) Martyr

“Let us thank God for this heroic pastor of the Church who followed the Lamb to the very end!   May his witness bring comfort to those, who even today, are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.”

Pope Benedict XVI

We must always pray to the “Lord of the harvest”, namely, God the Father, that He send labourers into His field which is the world.
These imperatives show that the mission is based on prayer, that it is itinerant – it is not idle, it is itinerant, that it requires separation and poverty, that it brings peace and healing, signs of the closeness of the Kingdom of God, that it is not proselytism but proclamation and witness and that, it also requires frankness and the evangelical freedom, to leave, while highlighting the responsibility of having rejected the message of salvation but without condemnation and cursing.

If lived in these terms, the mission of the Church will be characterised by joy.
And how does this passage end?   The 72 “returned with joy” (cf. v. 17).   It is not an ephemeral joy, which flows from the success of the mission – on the contrary, it is a joy rooted in the promise that — as Jesus says – “your names are written in heaven” (v. 20).

That is, the joy of being His disciples.

Pope Francis
(Angelus 7 July 2019)

Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy
Pray for Us!bl szilard bogdanffy pray for us no 2 3 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 September – The Good News

Quote/s of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist- Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:9–13

“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Matthew 9:11b

“Our Lord chose Matthew, the tax collector,
to encourage his fellows to join Him.
He looked on sinners, called them
and brought them to sit beside Him.
What a wonderful sight!
Angels stand trembling while publicans, seated, rejoice.
The angels are struck with awe before the Lord’s greatness
while sinners eat and drink with Him.
The scribes choke with hatred and indignation,
the publicans rejoice because of His mercy.
The heavens saw the sight and were filled with wonder,
hell saw it and was maddened.
Satan saw it and was enraged,
death saw it and withered,
the scribes saw it and were much troubled.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church

Commentary on the Gospel, or Diatessaron, 5, 17 (SC 121, p.115 rev.)why-does-your-teacher-matthew-9-11b-he-looked-on-sinners-st-ephrem-21-sept-2018.jpg

“The good news of the Gospel
consists precisely in this –
offering God’s grace to the sinner!”the good news of the gospel - pope benedict 21 sept 2019.jpg

“The Gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew or Aramaic
is no longer extant but in the Greek Gospel that we possess,
we still continue to hear, in a certain way,
the persuasive voice of the publican Matthew,
who, having become an Apostle,
continues to proclaim God’s saving mercy to us.
And let us listen to St Matthew’s message,
meditating upon it ever anew,
also to learn to stand up and follow Jesus with determination.”

Pope Benedict XVI

General Audience
Wednesday, 30 August 2006the persausvie voice of the publican matthew 21 sept 2019 pope benedict.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, FRANCISCAN, GOD is LOVE, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 September – ‘Multiply love in our hearts…’

Thought for the Day – 17 September – Tuesday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Saint Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski (1822-1895)

From a young age, the life of Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński was marked by his striving after sanctity.   Christ was for him “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”   He wanted to achieve such a degree of unity with God so as to say after Saint Paul:   I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.

He was marked by unfaltering faith and utter trust in Providence.   He always placed love of God and Church, devotion to his country and respect for all people in the first place. His great integrity, fortitude and justice were characteristic features of his spirituality. Apart from that, he was full of devotion and mercy marked by Franciscan cheerfulness, humility and straightforwardness – work and poverty.   He was described as “the pride of the Polish episcopate”, “martyr”, “faithful son of the Church”.

Also nowadays, we can take the refreshing spirit and light from the treasury of his life. The Canonisation of the Shepherd-Exile encourages reflection on one’s own way of life, family and its revival, the building of the common house, the homeland, under God’s providential care and that of His Holy Mothe and ours.

During his Canonisation homily, on 11 October 2009, Pope Benedict said:
Archbishop of Warsaw, the Founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, was a great witness of faith and pastoral charity in very troubled times for the nation and for the Church in Poland.   He zealously concerned himself with the spiritual development of the faithful, he helped the poor and orphans.   At the Ecclesiastical Academy in St Petersburg he saw to the sound formation of priests and as Archbishop of Warsaw he instilled in everyone the desire for inner renewal.   Before the January 1863 Uprising against Russian annexation he put the people on guard against useless bloodshed.   However, when the rebellion broke out and there were repressions he courageously defended the oppressed.   On the Tsar of Russia’s orders he spent 20 years in exile at Jaroslaw on the Volga, without ever being able to return to his diocese. In every situation he retained his steadfast trust in Divine Providence and prayed:   “O God, protect us not from the tribulations and worries of this world… only multiply love in our hearts and obtain that in deepest humility, we may keep our infinite trust in Your help and Your mercy”.

Today his gift of himself to God and to humankind, full of trust and love, becomes a luminous example for the whole Church.

St Zygmunt Felinski, Pray for Us!prayer of st zygmunt felinski and pray for us 17 sept 2019 o god protect us not from.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN, FRANCISCAN, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, POETRY, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 12 September – Mary’s Name

Quote/s of the Day – 12 September – Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

“This most holy, sweet and worthy name
was eminently fitted
to so holy, sweet and worthy a virgin.
For Mary means a bitter sea, star of the sea,
the illuminated or illuminatrix.
Mary is interpreted Lady.
Mary is a bitter sea to the demons,
to men, she is the Star of the sea,
to the Angels, she is illuminatrix
and to all creatures she is Lady.”

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Seraphic Doctorthis most holy sweet name = st bonaventure 12 sept 2019 no 2.jpg

“Mary means Star of the sea,
for as mariners are guided to port
by the ocean star,
so Christians attain to glory,
through Mary’s maternal intercession.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Angelic Doctor
Common Doctor

mary means star of the sea - st thomas aquinas 12 sept 2019

“One cannot contemplate Mary
without being attracted by Christ
and one cannot look at Christ
without immediately perceiving
the presence of Mary.”

Pope Benedict XVIone-cannot-contemplate-mary-pope-benedict-open-house-conversations-with-st-louis-de-montfort-the-secret-of-mary-28-sept-2018.jpg

Mary’s Name

Rare perfume is a rough and reeking place,
A bell-like music breaking through the blare
Of strident streets, a dear remembered face
Appearing through the mind’s pondrous despair.

A foam of summer flowers fringing the drear
Immobile desert sea, a cherished voice
Calling in some long night of pain and fear
To make the heavy, heaving heart rejoice.
Such is the mystic wonder of her name
That is a shudder down Hell’s shaken halls,
And joy where angel-wings flit like white flames,
Where height to echoing height its glory calls.

Liam Bhophy

The Apostle – October 1962the most holy name of mary 12 sept 2019