Posted in I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – Jesus worked a new creation.

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – The Fourth “Laetare” Sunday of Lent, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13, Psalm 23:1-6, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

“He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay” … John 9:6

john 9 6 he spat on the ground and made clay - 22 march 2020

REFLECTION – “Let us reflect briefly on the account of the man born blind (Jn 9: 1-41). According to the common mentality of the time, the disciples take it for granted that his blindness was the result of a sin committed by him or his parents.   Jesus, however, rejects this prejudice and says – “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents but that the works of God might be made manifest in him” (Jn 9: 3).
… And He immediately takes action – mixing a little earth with saliva he made mud and spread it on the eyes of the blind man.   This act alludes to the creation of man, which the Bible recounts using the symbol of dust from the ground, fashioned and enlivened by God’s breath (Gn 2: 7).   In fact, “Adam” means “ground” and the human body was in effect formed of particles of soil.   By healing the blind man, Jesus worked a new creation.
But this healing sparked heated debate because Jesus did it on the Sabbath, thereby, in the Pharisees’ opinion, violating the feast-day precept.   Thus, at the end of the account, Jesus and the blind man are both cast out, the former because he broke the law and the latter because, despite being healed, he remained marked as a sinner from birth.
Jesus reveals to the blind man whom He had healed that He had come into the world for judgement, to separate the blind who can be healed, from those who do not allow themselves to be healed because they consider themselves healthy.   Indeed, the temptation to build himself an ideological security system is strong in man – even religion can become an element of this system, as can atheism or secularism but in letting this happen, one is blinded by one’s own selfishness.” … Pope Benedict XVI – 2 March 2008

and he immediately takes action - pope benedict man born blind - 22 march 2020

PRAYER – Holy Father, we are sinners who stand in Your presence and serve You.   Grant us Your mercy and forgiveness, for we are all Your prodigal children.   Your Word, our Christ, came to redeem us, to relieve our blindness and open our eyes, to open our ears, that we might hear.   May Mary Most Holy, who, by conceiving Christ in the flesh, gave the world the true light, help us to conquer the ‘great transgression’ of our pride.   May we honour, love and serve You through His example and by following in His steps. Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

MARY immaculate pray for us 22 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 March – ‘Seeing with the eyes of Christ …’

One Minute Reflection – 20 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Hosea 14:1-9 (2-10), Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17, Mark 12:28-34 and the Memorial of St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus (1842-1912)

“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’   There is no other commandment greater than these.” …Mark 12:30-32mark 12 30-32 you shall love the lord your god - 20 march 2020

REFLECTION – “The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will, increases in a communion of thought and sentiment and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide – God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without, by the commandments but it is now, my own will, based on the realisation that God is, in fact, more deeply present to me, than I am to myself.   Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28).

Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible, in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.   It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know.   This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings.   Then, I learn, to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.   His friend is my friend… Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more, than their outward necessities, I can give them the look of love which they crave.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Deus caritas est ”, # 17 – 18seeing-with-the-eyes-of-christ-pope-beneidct-29-march-2019 and 20 march 2020

PRAYER – Holy and eternal Father, we give praise to You for the radiant light You sent into the world, Your divine Son, Your Word made flesh.   For He guides our steps in a path of light and teaches us how to live.   May we love and glorify You and love our neighbour as ourselves.   Grant, we pray, that by the help of Your angels and saints and Mary, our Immaculate Mother, we may proceed to live Your Word of Truth.   St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus please pray for us today.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.immaculate-mary-poray-for-us 20 march 2020 and 29 march 2019st maria josefa of the heart of jesus pray for us 20 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 March – 70 x 7

One Minute Reflection – 18 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35 and the Memorial of Saint Jan Sarkander (1576-1620) Priest and Martyr of the Seal of Confession

“I forgave you all that debt because you besought me and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”… Matthew 18:32-33

REFLECTION – “We must wash one another’s feet in the mutual daily service of love.   But we must also wash one another’s feet, in the sense, that we must forgive one another ever anew.   The debt for which the Lord has pardoned us is always infinitely greater than all the debts that others can owe us….not to allow resentment toward others to become a poison in the depths of the soul.   It urges us to purify our memory constantly, forgiving one another whole-heartedly, washing one another’s feet, to be able to go to God’s banquet together.”…Pope Benedict XVI (Holy Thursday homily 20 March 2008)

matthew-18-32-33-i-forgave-you-all-the-debt-the-debt-for-which-the-lord-has-pardoned-us-pope-benedict-26-march-2019 and 17 march 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God, we thank You for Your endless mercy.   We are sinners but trust in Your merciful forgiveness when we turn to You in sorrow.   Open our hearts, make them forgiving to our brother, teach us Your mercy.  May Mary, Mother of Sorrow, pray for us. Grant that the prayers of St Jan Sarkander may continue to defend us, as he did in the world.   We make our prayer through our forgiving Saviour, who even to those who killed Him, turned to them in love and mercy and asked You for their forgiveness.   In union with the Holy Spirit, one God, for all eternity, amen.our-lady-mother-of-sorrows-pray-for-us-26-march-2019 and 17 March 2020

st jan sarkander pray for us 17 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 15 March – ‘He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.’

Lenten Reflection – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” … John 4:13-14

Daily Meditation:
Jesus spoke of a “living water” able to quench her thirst and become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” in addition, He demonstrated that He knew her personal life, He revealed that the hour has come to adore the one true God in spirit and truth and lastly, He entrusted her with something extremely rare – that He is the Messiah.

All this began from the real and notable experience of thirst.   The theme of thirst runs throughout John’s Gospel, from the meeting with the Samaritan woman to the great prophecy during the feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7: 37-38), even to the Cross, when Jesus, before He dies, said to fulfil the Scriptures:  “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28).   Christ’s thirst is an entranceway to the mystery of God, who became thirsty to satisfy our thirst, just as He became poor to make us rich (cf. II Cor 8: 9).   Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love.   As a good and merciful father, He wants our total, possible good and this good is He
Himself.
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, represents the existential dissatisfaction of one who does not find what he seeks.   She had “five husbands” and now she lives with another man, her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life.   However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus, who upsets her to the point that she leaves her pitcher of water and runs to tell the villagers:  “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.   Can this be the Christ?” (Jn 4: 29).
Dear brothers and sisters, like the Samaritan woman, let us also open our hearts to listen trustingly to God’s Word in order to encounter Jesus who reveals His love to us and tells us: “I who speak to you am he” (Jn 4: 26), the Messiah, your Saviour.   May Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of the Word made flesh, obtain this gift for us.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Third Sunday of Lent, 24 February
2008the third sunday of lent 15 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace,
and pray to Him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with You and rose to life with You,
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, You have brought blessings to all mankind,
– bring us to share Your concern for the good of all.
May we work together to build up the earthly city,
– with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts forever.
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through Your constant care.

Closing Prayer:
Loving Father,
So many times I turn away from You
and always You welcome me back.
Your mercy and love gives me confidence
Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray
so that You can form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the Easter joy You share with us.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“Come, then, behold our Lord, He has come into the world from His Father’s side, He has emptied Himself so as to complete His course in humility (Phil 2:7) (…).   He saw the Gentiles like a parched flock whose spring of life was closed by sin as by a stone.   He saw the Church like Rachel and so He ran towards her and removed the heavy sin as though it were a rock.   He has opened up the baptistery for His bride to bathe in, He has drawn water and refreshed the nations of earth as if they were His sheep.  With His almighty power, He has removed the heavy burden of sin, He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.”

Saint Jacob of Sarug (c 449-521)
Bishop and Monk

with his almight power he has removed the heavy burden of sin - st jacob of sarug 15 march 2020

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 10 March – God’s Sign

Lenten Reflection – 10 March – Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Matthew 23:1-12

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
The eyes of the Lord look on the lowly to make them glad.   But the face of the Lord turns away from the proud to humble them.   The lowly always receive pity from God…   Make yourself small before everyone and you will be raised up higher than this world’s princes.   Make all creatures go before you, embrace them, humble yourself before them, and you will be honoured more than those who make an offering of gold.   Descend lower than your own self and you will see God’s glory within you.
For where humility sprouts, God’s glory spreads…  If you have humility in your heart, God will reveal His glory to you in it… St Isaac the Syrian of Nineveh (c 613-c 700) Bishop of Nineveh, Monk at Mosul

But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes,
or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline
and you cast my words behind you.
Psalm 50:16-17tuesday of the second week of lent 10 march 2020

Intercessions:
God the Father has given us His only Son, the Word made man,
to be our food and our life. Let us thank him and pray:
May the word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness.

Help us in this Lenten season to listen more frequently to Your word,
-that we may celebrate the solemnity of Easter with greater love for Christ, our paschal teacher,
-that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good.
Enable us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Anointed One,
-that our lives may reveal Him more effectively.
Lift us out of the mire of pride and honour
-that we may seek only Christ’s Cross as our mantle of humility.
Purify and renew Your Church in this time of salvation,
-that it may give an even greater witness to You.

Closing Prayer:
God in heaven and in my life,
guide me and protect me.
I so often believe I can save myself
and I always end in failure.
Lead me with Your love away from pride
and guide me on the right path.
May Your Spirit inspire the Church
and make us an instrument of your love and guidance.
Thank You for Your care for me,
for Your example which teaches me the way of humility
and self-abnegation.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

God’s Sign

“God’s sign is His humility.
God’s sign is that He makes himself small.
He becomes a child.
He lets us touch him and He asks for our love.
How we would prefer a different sign,
an imposing, irresistible sign of God’s power and greatness!
But His sign summons us to faith and love
and thus it gives us hope – this is what God is like.
He has power, He is Goodness itself.
He invites us to become like Him.
Yes indeed, we become like God,
if we allow ourselves
to be shaped by this sign,
if we ourselves learn humility
and hence true greatness;
if we renounce violence
and use only the weapons
of truth and love.”

Pope Benedict XVI (2009)

god's sign used in lent pope benedict xvi 10 march 2020

Posted in MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – ‘The magna carta of Christian non-violence.’ 

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18, Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13, 1 Corinthians 3:16-23, Matthew 5:38-48

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” … Matthew 5:44matthew-5-44-but-i-say-to-you-love-your-enemies-4-aug-2018

REFLECTION – “But what do his words mean?   Why does Jesus ask us to love precisely our enemies, that is, a love which exceeds human capacities?
Actually, Christ’s proposal is realistic, because it takes into account that in the world there is too much violence, too much injustice and, therefore, that this situation cannot be overcome except by countering it with more love, with more goodness.   This “more” comes from God, it is His mercy which was made flesh in Jesus and which alone can “tip the balance” of the world from evil to good, starting with that small and decisive “world” which is the human heart.
This Gospel passage is rightly considered the magna carta of Christian non-violence.   It does not consist in succumbing to evil, as a false interpretation of “turning the other cheek” (cf. Lk 6: 29) claims but in responding to evil with good (cf. Rom 12: 17-21) and thereby breaking the chain of injustice.
One then understands that for Christians, non-violence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that, he is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone.
… 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.
Dear brothers and sisters, Lent, which will begin this Wednesday with the Rite of Ashes, is the favourable season in which all Christians are asked to convert ever more deeply to Christ’s love.
Let us ask the Virgin Mary, docile disciple of the Redeemer, who helps us to allow ourselves to be won over without reserve by that love, to learn to love as He loved us, to be merciful as Our Father in Heaven is merciful (cf. Lk 6: 36).” … Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus, St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 18 February 2007matthew 5 44 but i say to you love your enemies this gospel passage magna carta - pope benedict 23 feb 2020

PRAYER – O Lord my God, give me the strength to endure with patience the sufferings I encounter in my life.  Teach me to do my daily work for You alone and to do more than that in every way I can, for your greater glory.   Teach me, Holy Father, to obey the words of Your Son, to pray for those who persecute me and to suffer for the glory of the Kingdom.   May our Blessed and loving Mother, who had to bear the pain and forgive those who killed her Son, be at our side to help us to forgive, to pray for our enemies and offer our pain in reparation for our sins and those of the world. Amenmater dolorosa blessed virgin holy mother pray for us 23 feb 2020

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 January – ‘God’s true “Parable” is Jesus Himself … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 29 January – Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-17, Psalm 89:4-5, 27-30, Mark 4:1-20

And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God but for those outside, everything is in parables…” … Mark 4:11

REFLECTION – “… This Gospel also puts the accent on Jesus’ preaching “method”, that is, on His use of parables.   “Why do you speak to them in parables?”, his disciples ask (Mt 13:10).   And Jesus answers distinguishing between them and the crowd – to His disciples, namely to those who have already decided for Him, He can speak openly about the Kingdom of God, to others, instead, He must proclaim it in parables, precisely to encourage their decision, conversion of the heart, indeed, by their very nature parables demand the effort of interpretation, they not only challenge the mind but also freedom. St John Chrysostom explained: “And this He [Jesus] says to draw them unto Him and to provoke them and to signify that if they would convert, He would heal them” (cf. Homily on the Gospel of Matthew, 45, 1-2).

Basically, God’s true “Parable” is Jesus Himself, His Person who, in the sign of humanity, hides and at the same time, reveals, His divinity.   In this manner, God does not force us to believe in Him but attracts us to Him with the truth and goodness of His incarnate Son – love, in fact, always respects freedom.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus, Sunday, 10 July 2011mark 4 11 - to you has been given - basically god's true parable is jesus himself - pope benedict 29 jan 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us, by Your providence You rule us, You have planted us, penetrate our inmost being Your holy Light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service to You.   May we never hesitate to run to Your all-forgiving arms of mercy, when we allow the rocks and thorns of this life to prevent our growth and our steps as we return home to You.   May the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother, all the angels and saints be unfailing assistance to us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.blessed virgin mary holy mother pray for us 23 may 2019