Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 15 July – ‘Meditation on Christ in His humanity …’

Thought for the Day – 15 July – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11,1 and The Memorial of St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church

Saint Bonaventure saw the spires of the great cathedrals reaching up to heaven as a reflection of the human soul’s reaching up to God in his The Soul’s Journey into God. Likewise, the streams of light coming into the church through the stained-glass windows, reflect God expressing Himself, in the wide variety of creatures upon whom He showers His gifts of grace.

And the images go on and on as the saint reaches into human experience of creation and cultural artifacts and finds vestigium (the footprints) of God since everything in creation, reflects in some way, the grandeur of God.   Human beings, of course, are the actual image of God.

It was this ability to take the spirituality of Saint Francis—as reflected in Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Sun, for instance—and place it at the heart of his writings, keeping the simplicity of the Franciscan insights and creating a sublime theology, that truly deserves the name “Seraphic.”

When Bonaventure was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V, he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”   Merriam-Webster defines a seraph as one of the highest-ranking angels as well as “one of the six-winged angels standing in the presence of God.”   It was as a seraph that Christ appeared to Saint Francis when he received the stigmata on Mount La Verna.   Therefore, it is fitting to use the term to describe the soaring mysticism of Saint Bonaventure.

In his General Audience on 3 March 2010, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the life of St Bonaventure.   He called to mind the great works of literature, art, philosophy and theology that were inspired by the Christian faith during the time period in which the saint lived.

“Among the great Christian figures who contributed to the composition of this harmony between faith and culture, Bonaventure stands out, a man of action and contemplation, of profound piety and prudent government,” Pope Benedict said.

The Pope called on the faithful to take note of “the central role that Christ always played in Bonaventure’s life and teaching,” and to imitate the way in which “the whole of his thinking was profoundly Christocentric.”

“Meditation on Christ in His humanity is corporeal in deed, in fact but spiritual in mind. . . . By adopting this habit, you will steady your mind, be trained to virtues and receive strength of soul….Let meditation of Christ’s life be your one and only aim, your rest, your food, your desire, your study.” – St Bonaventure

St Bonaventure, Pray for us!let meditationof christ's life - st bonaventure pray for us 15 july 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 2 July – The Anguish of an Absence

Thought for the Day – 2 July – Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8:23-37

The Anguish of an Absence

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing.”
Matthew 8:25

There is a Gospel scene which in an extraordinary way anticipates the silence of Holy Saturday and which again, therefore, seems to be a profile of the moment in history we are living now.   Christ is asleep on a boat which, buffeted by a storm, is about to sink.
The prophet Elijah had once made fun of the priests of Baal who were futilely invoking their god to send down fire on their sacrifice.   He urged them to cry out louder in case their god was asleep.
But is it true that God does not sleep?   Does not the prophet’s scorn also fall upon the heads of the faithful of the God of Israel who are sailing with Him in a boat about to sink?   God sleeps while His very own are about to drown – is not this the experience of our lives?   Don’t the Church, the faith, resemble a small boat about to sink, struggling futilely against the waves and the wind and all the time God is absent?   The disciples cry out in dire desperation and they shake the Lord to wake Him but He is surprised at this and rebukes them, for their small faith.   But are things any different for us?   When the storm passes we will realise just how much this small faith of ours was charged with stupidity.
And yet, O Lord, we cannot help shaking You, God,   You who persist in keeping Your silence, in sleeping and we cannot help crying to You – Wake up, can’t You see we are sinking?   Stir Yourself, don’t let the darkness of Holy Saturday last forever, let a ray of Easter fall, even on these times of ours, accompany us when we set out in our desperation towards Emmaus so that our hearts may be enflamed by the warmth of Your nearness.
You who, hidden, charted the paths of Israel only to become a man in the end with men – don’t leave us in the dark, don’t let Your word be lost in these days of great squandering of words.

Lord, grant us Your help, because without You we will sink. Amen

matthew 8 25 save us lord we are perishing - joseph ratzinger - the anguish of absence - wake up lord 2 july 2019.jpg

Posted in Catholic NEWS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

29 June 1951-2019 – The 68th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Papa Benedict XVI

29 JUNE 1951-2019
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Congratulations, Prayers and Love
to our dearly beloved
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
on the occasion of the
68th Anniversary
of his Priestly Ordination68th anniversary of pope benedict's ordination 29 june 2019

“Domineering over your faith is not my purpose.   I prefer to work with you for your happiness”.   It is what the Apostle Paul (II Cor 1,24) wrote and his quote was used 65 years ago on the celebration day of Peter and Paul Patron Saints – 29th June 1951 – during the priestly ordination of Joseph Ratzinger.   It was held in the Cathedral of Freising and celebrated by Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of Munich.   Paul’s quote was written on the holy card in order to celebrate the event.   This important anniversary will be marked by a solemn celebration in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on 28th June. Pope Francis and the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI will attend the celebration. Joseph Ratzinger will receive a book on priesthood as a present.

“We were more than forty candidates and we all answered Adsum – that is “Here I am” – Ratzinger wrote in his Autobiography .   It was a beautiful and unforgettable summer day, the most important moment in my life.”    I shouldn’t be superstitious but while the old archbishop was laying his hands on me, a little bird – maybe a lark – raised from the high altar of the Cathedral and sang a short joyful song – I thought it was a voice from above saying: you are in the right way.” Ratzinger said.   

His elder brother Georg was ordained with him.   “The day of the first Mass the church of Saint Oswald was in its splendour and people showed us their joy and involvement.   We had been asked t  o bring the blessing of the first Mass to the town and we were welcomed everywhere. Everybody showed friendliness, even the people we didn’t know at all.   I became aware of the expectations men and women have with a priest – they trust in his blessing and the power of the sacrament.   It was not because of me or my brother =  what did we mean to the people we met?   They saw us as the men to whom Christ had given a task, that was to show His presence.”

“Priesthood is not “a job, but a sacrament.   God asks a poor man to be like Him, to be with all men and women and to act on their behalf” said Benedict XVI on 11th June 2010, during the homily at the end of the Year for Priests, that he established on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, Saint Patron of Priests.

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 23 June – Through Our Gazing in Adoration

Thought for the Day – 23 June – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Through Our Gazing in Adoration

Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, 17 November 2010

Dear friends, fidelity to the encounter with the Eucharistic Christ in Sunday’s Holy Mass is essential for the journey of faith but let us try as well to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle!   Gazing in adoration at the consecrated Host, we discover the gift of the love of God, we discover the passion and the cross of Jesus and also His Resurrection.   Precisely through our gazing in adoration, the Lord draws us to Himself, into His mystery, to transform us as He transforms the bread and wine.

The saints always found strength, consolation and joy in the Eucharistic encounter.   With the words of the Eucharistic hymn “Adoro te devote,” let us repeat before the Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament:  “Make me believe ever more in You, that in You I may have hope, that I may love You!”

Thank you.

Adoro te Devote
By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church
Trans. Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows,
shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God Thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in Thee deceived –
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed,
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do,
Truth Himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.

On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken –
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call Thee Lord and God as he,
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O Thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom He died,
Lend this life to me then – feed and feast my mind,
There be Thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican,
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran—
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech Thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on Thee face to face in light
And be blest forever with Thy glory’s sight.
Amenadoro te devote - copus christi 23 june 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 June

One Minute Reflection – 22 June – Saturday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 6:24–34 and the Memorial of St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyr

Look at the birds in the sky,they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? ..Matthew 6:26matthew 6 26 look at the birds of the air - 22 june 2019

REFLECTION – “I will not mistrust Him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember, how Saint Peter at a blast of wind, began to sink because of his lack of faith and I shall do as he did, call upon Christ and pray to Him for help. And then I trust He shall place His holy hand on me and in the stormy seas, hold me up from drowning.”…St Thomas More (1478-1535)i-will-not-distrust-him-meg-st-thomas-more-11-jan-2018 and today 22 june 2019

“In the face of the situations of so many people, near and far, who live in wretchedness, Jesus’ discourse might appear hardly realistic, if not evasive  . In fact, the Lord wants to make people understand clearly, that it is impossible to serve two masters – God and mammon [riches].   Whoever believes in God, the Father, full of love for His children, puts first the search for His Kingdom and His will.   And this is precisely the opposite of fatalism or ingenuous irenics.   Faith in Providence does not, in fact, dispense us from the difficult struggle, for a dignified life but frees us, from the yearning for things and from fear of the future.
It is clear that although Jesus’ teaching remains ever true and applicable for all it is practised in different ways according to the different vocations – a Franciscan friar will be able to follow it more radically, while a father of a family must bear in mind his proper duties to his wife and children.   In every case, however, Christians are distinguished by their absolute trust in the heavenly Father, as was Jesus.   It was precisely Christ’s relationship with God the Father that gave meaning to the whole of His life, to His words, to His acts of salvation until His Passion, death and Resurrection.   Jesus showed us what it means to live with our feet firmly planted on the ground, attentive to the concrete situations of our neighbour, yet, at the same time keeping our heart in Heaven, immersed in God’s mercy.” … Pope Benedict XVI (Sunday, 27 February 2011).faith in providence - pope bendict 22 june 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, we trust in You and abide in You. Grant us we pray, that by the prayers of our heavenly Mother, our Mother of divine Providence and St Thomas More, who said “I will trust Him”, that we too may ever know that You are with us and guide, help and feed us everyday.   Through Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary, mother of divine providence, pray for us 22 june 2019

st thomas more pry for us 22 june 2019

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 June – “Offer no resistance” – The Christian Revolution

Quote/s of the Day – 17 June – Monday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:  Matthew 5:38–42, First Reading:  2 Corinthians 6:1–10

“We are treated as deceivers and yet, are truthful,
as unrecognised and yet, acknowledged,
as dying and behold we live,
as chastised and yet, not put to death,
as sorrowful yet, always rejoicing,
as poor yet, enriching many,
as having nothing and yet, possessing all things.”

2 Corinthians 8-102 corinthians 8 - 10 we are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful 17 june 2019

“But I say to you,
offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.”

Matthew 5:39but I say to you offer no resistance to one who is evil - matthew 5 39 - 17 june 2019

“Love of one’s enemy constitutes
the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution,’
a revolution not based on strategies
of economic, political or media power –
the revolution of love, a love that does not rely
ultimately on human resources but, is a gift of God
which is obtained, by trusting solely
and unreservedly in His merciful goodness.
Here is the newness of the Gospel
which silently changes the world!
Here is the heroism, of the ‘lowly,’
who believe in God’s love and spread it,
even at the cost of their lives”

Pope Benedict XVI

(Angelus, 18 February 2007)love of one's enemies - pope benedict 17 june 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Saint of the Day – 13 June – St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231)

Saint of the Day – 13 June – St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) Doctor of the Churchst anthony of padua.jpg

The gospel call, to leave everything and follow Christ, was the rule of Saint Anthony of Padua’s life.   Over and over again, God called him to something new in his plan.   Every time, Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing  to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.

His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power, to be a servant of God.   Later, when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus Himself: those who die for the Good News.

So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors.   But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal.   He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.Teofilo Patini—1898 - st anthony padua.jpg

The call of God came again at an general chapter where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthon,y hesitantly accepted the task.   The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving Him in poverty, chastity and obedience, had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents.   Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words.

Recognised as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar, Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars.   Soon he was called from that post to preach to the Albigensians in France, using his profound knowledge of Scripture and theology, to convert and reassure those, who had been misled by their denial of Christ’s divinity and of the sacraments..

After he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua.   He resumed his preaching and began writing sermon notes to help other preachers.   In the spring of 1231, Anthony withdrew to a friary at Camposampiero, where he had a sort of treehouse built as a hermitage.   There he prayed and prepared for death.st anthony of padua miracle with a donkey

On 13 June, he became very ill and asked to be taken back to Padua, where he died after receiving the last sacraments.   Anthony was Canonised less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.

Anthony should be the patron of those, who find their lives completely uprooted and set in a new and unexpected direction.   Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one’s life completely over to Christ.   God did with Anthony as God pleased—and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today heaping miracle upon miracle during Anthony’s lifetime.  He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects, found himself by losing himself totally, to the providence of God.

St Anthony writes:  “Christ, who is your life, is hanging before you, so that you may look at the Cross, as in a mirror.   There you will be able to know, how mortal were your wounds, that no medicine other, than the Blood of the Son of God, could heal.  If you look closely, you will be able to realise, how great your human dignity and your value are…. Nowhere other than looking at himself, in the mirror of the Cross, can man better understand how much he is worth”   (Sermones Dominicales et Festivi III, pp. 213-214).christ-who-is-your-life-st-anthony-of-padua-13-june-2018.jpg

In meditating on these words we are better able to understand the importance of the image of the Crucified One for our culture, for our humanity that is born from the Christian faith.   Precisely by looking at the Crucified One we see, as St Anthony says, how great are the dignity and worth of the human being.   At no other point can we understand how much the human person is worth, precisely because, God makes us so important, considers us so important that, in His opinion, we are worthy of His suffering, thus, all human dignity appears in the mirror of the Crucified One and our gazing upon Him is ever a source of acknowledgement of human dignity…..Pope Benedict XVI (General Audience – February 10, 2010)

St Anthony of Padua, pray for us!st-anthony-pray-for-us-13-june-2017.jpg

Wonderful St Anthony the miracle worker:   https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/13/saint-of-the-day-13-june-st-anthony-of-padua-o-f-m-evangelical-doctor-hammer-of-heretics-professor-of-miracles-wonder-worker-ark-of-the-tes/

Celebrating St Anthony:   https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/13/celebrating-the-life-and-miracles-of-st-anthony-of-padua-on-his-memorial-today-13-june/

More quotes by St Anthony:  https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/13/quote-s-of-the-day-13-june-the-memorial-of-st-anthony-of-padua-1195-1231-doctor-of-the-church/

O God, send forth Your Holy Spirit
By St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church

O God,
send forth Your Holy Spirit
into my heart
that I may perceive,
into my mind,
that I may remember,
and into my soul,
that I may meditate.
Inspire me to speak
with piety,
holiness,
tenderness
and mercy.
Teach, guide and direct my thoughts
and senses, from beginning to end.
May Your grace,
ever help and correct me,
and may I be strengthened now
with wisdom from on high,
for the sake of Your infinite mercy.
Ameno god send forth your holy spirit - st anthony of padua 13 june 2019.jpg