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One Minute Reflection – 26 May- “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”

One Minute Reflection – 26 May- “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 20:17-27, Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21, John 17:1-11 and The Memorial of St Mariana de Jesus de Paredes OFS (1618-1645) “The Lily of Quito”

“Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.” … John 17:1-2

REFLECTION – “At the conclusion of the central section of the Church’s great Credo—the part that recounts the mystery of Christ, from His eternal birth of the Father and His temporal birth of the Virgin Mary, through His Cross and Resurrection to the second coming—we find the phrase:  “he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”   From the earliest times, the prospect of the Judgement has influenced Christians in their daily living, as a criterion by which to order their present life, as a summons to their conscience and at the same time as hope in God’s justice.   Faith in Christ, has never looked merely backwards or merely upwards but always also forwards to the hour of justice that the Lord repeatedly proclaimed…

In Christ who was crucified, the denial of false images of God is taken to an extreme.  God now reveals His true Face in the figure of the Sufferer who shares man’s God-forsaken condition, by taking it upon Himself.   This innocent Sufferer has attained the certitude of hope – there is a God and God can create justice, in a way that we cannot conceive, yet, we can begin to grasp it through faith.   Yes, there is a resurrection of the flesh.   There is justice.   There is an “undoing” of past suffering, a reparation that sets things aright.

For this reason, faith in the Last Judgement is first and foremost hope—the need for which, was made abundantly clear in the upheavals of recent centuries.   I am convinced that the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favour of faith in eternal life.   The purely individual need for a fulfilment, that is denied to us in this life, for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly an important motive for believing, that man was made for eternity but, only in connection with the impossibility, that the injustice of history should be the final word, does the necessity for Christ’s return and for new life become fully convincing.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Pope from 2005 to 2013 – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ” § 41, 43john 17 1-2 give glory to your son so that he may give eternal life - faith in christ - pope benedict 26 may 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, You opened for us, the way to eternal life, when Christ Your Son was take up to glory and Your Holy Spirit, came to enlighten Your Church.   Grant that, as we share in so great a gift, our longing and hope, for our eternal home may grow every stronger and so our service ever more loyal to Your commandments.   Listen to the prayers of Holy Mother Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Your Son and of St Maria de Jesus de Paredes, whom we beg to pray for our intercession.   Through Christ, Our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all time and for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mother pray for us 26 may 2020

ST MARIANA DE JESUS DE PAREDES PRAY FOR US 26 MAY 2020

Posted in ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, VATICAN Documents, VATICAN Resources

18 May 2020 – The Centenary of the Birth of St John Paul (1920-2005) – Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter

Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter Marking St John Paul II’s Birth Centenary

The English translation of this letter,
dated 4 May was released 15 May
by the Polish Bishops’ Conference.centenary of the birth of st john paul II 18 may 2020 no 2

“100 years ago, on 18 May, Pope John Paul II was born in the small Polish town of Wadowice.

After having been divided for over 100 years by three neighbouring major powers of Prussia, Russia, and Austria, Poland regained Her independence at the end of the First World War.   It was a historic event that gave birth to great hope but it also demanded much hardship as the new State, in the process of Her reorganisation, continued to feel the pressure of the two Powers of Germany and Russia.   In this situation of oppression, bu,t above all, in this situation marked by hope, young Karol Wojtyła grew up.   He lost his mother and his brother quite early and, in the end, his father as well, from whom he gained deep and warm piety.   The young Karol was particularly drawn by literature and theatre.   After passing his final secondary school exam, he chose to study these subjects.

“In order to avoid the deportation, in the fall of 1940 he went to work in a quarry of the Solvay chemical plant.”  (cf. Gift and Mystery).   “In the fall of 1942, he made the final decision to enter the Seminary of Kraków, which Kraków’s Archbishop Sapieha had secretly established in his residence.   As a factory worker, Karol already started studying theology in old textbooks; and so, on 1 November 1946, he could be ordained a priest.” (cf. Ibid.)   Of course, Karol not only studied theology in books but also through his experience of the difficult situation that he and his Country found itself in.   This is somewhat a characteristic of his whole life and work.   He studied books but the questions that they posed, became the reality that he profoundly experienced and lived. As a young Bishop — as an Auxiliary Bishop since 1958 and then Archbishop of Kraków from 1964 — the Second Vatican Council became the school of his entire life and work. The important questions that appeared, especially in connection with the so-called Schema 13 which would subsequently become the Constitution Gaudium et Spes, were questions that were also his own.   The answers developed by the Council would pave the way for his mission as Bishop and, later, as Pope.

When Cardinal Wojtyła was elected Successor of St Peter on 16 October 1978, the Church was in a dramatic situation.   The deliberations of the Council had been presented to the public as a dispute over the Faith itself, which seemed to deprive the Council of its infallible and unwavering sureness.   A Bavarian parish priest, for example, commented on the situation by saying, “In the end, we fell into the wrong faith.”   This feeling that nothing was no longer certain, that everything was questioned, was kindled even more by the method of implementation of liturgical reform.   In the end, it almost seemed that the liturgy could be created of itself.  St Paul VI brought the Council to an end with energy and determination but after its conclusion, he faced ever more pressing problems that ultimately questioned the existence of the Church Herself.   At that time, sociologists compared the Church’s situation to the situation of the Soviet Union under the rule of Gorbachev, during which the powerful structure of the Soviet State collapsed under the process of its reform.

Therefore, in essence, an almost impossible task was awaiting the new Pope.   Yet, from the first moment on, John Paul II aroused new enthusiasm for Christ and his Church.   His words from the sermon at the inauguration of his pontificate:  “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors for Christ!”   This call and tone would characterise his entire pontificate and made him a liberating restorer of the Church.   This was conditioned by the fact that the new Pope came from a country where the Council’s reception had been positive – one of a joyful renewal of everything rather than an attitude of doubt and uncertainty in all.

The Pope travelled the world, having made 104 pastoral voyages, proclaiming the Gospel wherever he went as a message of joy, explaining in this way, the obligation to defend what is Good and to be for Christ.

In his 14 Encyclicals, he comprehensively presented the faith of the Church and its teaching in a human way.   By doing this, he inevitably sparked contradiction in Church of the West, clouded by doubt and uncertainty.

It seems important today to define the true centre, from the perspective of which we can read the message contained in the various texts.   We could have noticed it at the hour of his death.   Pope John Paul II died in the first moments of the newly established Feast of Divine Mercy.   Let me first add a brief personal remark that seems an important aspect of the Pope’s nature and work.   From the very beginning, John Paul II was deeply touched by the message of Faustina Kowalska, a nun from Kraków, who emphasised Divine Mercy as an essential centre of the Christian faith.   She had hoped for the establishment of such a feast day.   After consultation, the Pope chose the Second Sunday of Easter.   However, before the final decision was made, he asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to express its view on the appropriateness of this date.   We responded negatively because such an ancient, traditional and meaningful date like the Sunday “in Albis” concluding the Octave of Easter should not be burdened with modern ideas.   It was certainly not easy for the Holy Father to accept our reply.   Yet, he did so with great humility and accepted our negative response a second time.   Finally, he formulated a proposal that left the Second Sunday of Easter in its historical form but included Divine Mercy in its original message.   There have often been similar cases in which I was impressed by the humility of this great Pope, who abandoned ideas he cherished because he could not find the approval of the official organs that must be asked according established norms.

When John Paul II took his last breaths on this world, the prayer of the First Vespers of the Feast of Divine Mercy had just ended.   This illuminated the hour of his death, the light of God’s mercy stands as a comforting message over his death.   In his last book Memory and Identity, which was published on the eve of his death, the Pope once again summarised the message of Divine Mercy.   He pointed out that Sister Faustina died before the horrors of the Second World War but already gave the Lord’s answer to all this unbearable strife.   It was as if Christ wanted to say through Faustina:  “Evil will not get the final victory.   The mystery of Easter affirms that good will ultimately be victorious, that life will triumph over death and that love will overcome hatred”.

Throughout his life, the Pope sought to subjectively appropriate the objective centre of Christian faith, the doctrine of salvation and to help others to make it theirs.   Through the resurrected Christ, God’s mercy is intended for every individual.   Although this centre of Christian existence is given to us only in faith, it is also philosophically significant, because if God’s mercy were not a fact, then we would have to find our way in a world where the ultimate power of good against evil is not recognisable.   It is finally, beyond this objective historical significance, indispensable for everyone to know, that in the end God’s mercy is stronger than our weakness.   Moreover, at this point, the inner unity of the message of John Paul II and the basic intentions of Pope Francis can also be found – John Paul II is not the moral rigourist as some have partially portrayed him.   With the centrality of divine mercy, he gives us the opportunity to accept moral requirement for man, even if we can never fully meet it.   Besides, our moral endeavours are made in the light of divine mercy, which proves to be a force that heals for our weakness.

While Pope John Paul II was dying, St Peter’s Square was filled with people, especially many young people, who wanted to meet their Pope one last time.   I cannot forget the moment when Archbishop Sandri announced the message of the Pope’s departure. Above all, the moment when the great bell of St Peter’s took up this message remains unforgettable.   On the day of his funeral, there were many posters with the words “Santo subito!”   It was a cry that rose from the encounter with John Paul II from all sides. Not from the square but also in different intellectual circles the idea of giving John Paul II the title “the Great” was discussed.

The word “saint” indicates God’s sphere and the word “great” the human dimension. According to the Church’s standards, sanctity can be recognised by two criteria – heroic virtues and a miracle.   These two standards are closely related.   Since the word “heroic virtue” does not mean a kind of Olympic achievement but rather that something becomes visible in and through a person that is not his own but God’s work which becomes recognisable in and through him.   This is not a kind of moral competition but the result of renouncing one’s own greatness.   The point is, that a person lets God work on him and so God’s work and power become visible through him.

The same applies to the criterion of the miracle – here too, what counts is not that something sensational happening but the visible revelation of God’s healing goodness, which transcends all merely human possibilities.   A saint is the man who is open to God and permeated by God.   A holy man is the one who leads away from himself and lets us see and recognise God.   Checking this juridically, as far as possible, is the purpose of the two processes for Beatification and Canonisation.   In the case of John Paul II, both were carried out strictly according to the applicable rules.   So, now he stands before us as the Father, who makes God’s mercy and kindness visible to us.

It is more difficult to correctly define the term “great.”   In the course of the almost 2,000-year long history of the papacy, the title “the Great” has been maintained only for two popes:  Leo I (440 – 461) and Gregory I (590 – 604).   In the case of both, the word “great” has a political connotation but precisely because something of the mystery of God himself becomes visible through their political success.   Through dialogue, Leo the Great was able to convince Attila, the Prince of Huns, to spare Rome – the city of the Apostolic Princes Peter and Paul.   Without weapons, without military or political power, through the power of his conviction for his faith, he was able to convince the feared tyrant to spare Rome.   In the struggle between the spirit and power, the spirit proved stronger.

Gregory I’s success was not as spectacular but he was repeatedly able to protect Rome against the Lombard — here too, by opposing the spirit against power and winning the victory of the spirit.

If we compare both stories with that of John Paul II, the similarity is unmistakable.   John Paul II also had no military or political power.   During the discussion about the future shape of Europe and Germany in February 1945, it was said that the Pope’s reaction should also be taken into account.   Stalin then asked: “How many divisions does the Pope have?”   Well, he had no available division.   However, the power of faith turned out to be a force that finally unhinged the Soviet power system in 1989 and made a new beginning possible.   Undisputedly, the Pope’s faith was an essential element in the collapse of the powers.   And so, the greatness that appeared in Leo I and Gregory I is certainly also visible here.

Let us leave open the question of whether the epithet “the great” will prevail or not.   It is true that God’s power and goodness have become visible to all of us in John Paul II.   In a time when the Church is again suffering from the oppression of evil, he is for us a sign of hope and confidence.”

On the Anniversary of his Birth, we ask for his intercession.

Vatican Official Prayer to St John Paul II

Oh, St John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing!
Bless the church that you loved and served and guided,
courageously leading it along the paths of the world,
in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus.
Bless the young, who were your great passion.
Help them dream again, help them look up high again,
to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless families, bless each family!
You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious
and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth.
St John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family
and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions,
wars and injustice.
You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love:
pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
Oh St John Paul, from heaven’s window,
where we see you next to Mary,
send God’s blessing down upon us all.
Amenprayer-to-st-john-paul-birthday-today-18-may-20181 and 18 May 2020

St John Paul, Pray for Us!

ST john paul pray for us 18 may 2020 centenary of his birth

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Quote/s of the Day – 15 May – “Love one another as I have loved you”

Quote/s of the Day – 15 May – Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 15:22-31, Psalm 57:8-12, John 15:12-17

“Love one another as I have loved you”

John 15:12

john 15 12 love one another as i have loved you 15 may 2020

“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.jesus carries us to the inn you can rest in his arms - pope benedict 15 may 2020

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)!the good samaritan is jesus he always pursues us - pope benedict 15 may 2020
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!

the ultimate challenge to be that good neighbour - pope benedict 15 may 2020

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 XVI

3 November 2011

be like jesus be a good spiritual neighbour - 7 oct 2019 good samaritan pope benedict

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One Minute Reflection – 10 May – Let us renew our faith in Him

One Minute Reflection – – 10 May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Readings: Acts 6:1-7, Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19, 1 Peter 2:4-9, John 14:1-12

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do ..” … John 14:12

REFLECTION – “In the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus tells His Apostles to put their faith in Him, for he is “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).   Christ is the way that leads to the Father, the truth which gives meaning to human existence and the source of that life which is eternal joy with all the saints in His heavenly Kingdom.   Let us take the Lord at His word!   Let us renew our faith in Him and put all our hope in His promises!
… Praying fervently for the coming of the Kingdom also means being constantly alert for the signs of its presence and working for its growth in every sector of society.   It means facing the challenges of present and future with confidence in Christ’s victory and a commitment to extending His reign.   It means not losing heart in the face of resistance, adversity and scandal.   It means overcoming every separation between faith and life and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness.   It also means rejecting a false dichotomy between faith and political life, since, as the Second Vatican Council put it, “there is no human activity – even in secular affairs – which can be withdrawn from God’s dominion” (Lumen Gentium, 36).   It means working to enrich … society and culture with the beauty and truth of the Gospel and never losing sight of that great hope which gives meaning and value to all the other hopes which inspire our lives.
… In today’s Gospel, the Lord promises His disciples that they will perform works even greater than His (see Jn 14:12).   Dear friends, only God in His providence, knows what works His grace has yet to bring forth in your lives and in the life of the Church! …  Let us now join our prayers to His, as living stones in that spiritual temple which is His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.   Let us lift our eyes to Him, for even now He is preparing for us a place in His Father’s house.   And empowered by His Holy Spirit, let us work with renewed zeal for the spread of His Kingdom.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Fifth Sunday of Easter, 20 April 2008john 14 12 whoever believes in me - let us renew our faith pope benedict 10 may 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, Your ways are not our ways, teach us to willingly agree to them, for You know which way we should go. Help us to say “yes” always to Your plan and to render ourselves, as a sacrament of Your divine love to all we meet.   Fill us with the grace to be Your tools, to bring glory to Your kingdom.   Our Father, who art in heaven, may Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.   Mary Mother of God, Mother of Faith, pray for us!   Through our Our Lord Jesus Christ with You, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary-mother-of-faith-pray-for-us-19-may-2018

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – ‘God does not leave us groping in the dark.’

Quote/s of the Day – 9 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14

“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14:7

if yu know me then you will also know my father - john 14 7 9 may 2020

” God does not leave us groping in the dark.
He has shown Himself to us as a man.
In His greatness, He has let Himself become small.”

john-14-9-he-who-seen-me-god-does-not-leave-us-groping-in-the-dark-pope-benedict-18-may-2019 and 9 may 2020

“What is Faith?

First, faith is simple.
We believe in God – in God,
who is the Beginning
and End of human life.
We believe in a God,
who enters into a relationship
with us human beings,
who is our origin and our future.
Consequently, faith is,
always and inseparably, hope –
the certainty that we have a future
and will not end up as nothing.
And faith is love,
since God’s love is “contagious”.
This is the first thing –
we simply believe in God
and this brings with it,
hope and love.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Regensburg Homily, Tuesday 12 September 2006

what is faith - pope benedict 18 may 2019

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD is LOVE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 May – ‘Through Him we have become certain of God…’

One Minute Reflection – 6 May – ‘Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, Readings: Acts 12:24–13:5, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, John 12:44-50

“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world”…John 12:47john 12 47 i did not come to condemn the world but to save the world - 6 may 2020

REFLECTION – “It is not science that redeems man, man is redeemed by love.   This applies even in terms of this present world.   When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life.   But soon, he will also realise that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life.   It is a love that remains fragile.   It can be destroyed by death.   The human being needs unconditional love.   He needs the certainty which makes him say – “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39).   If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him, in his particular circumstances.

This is what it means to say, Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us.   Through Him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because His only-begotten Son has become man and of Him everyone can say:   “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20)….Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”#26it is not science that redeems man - pope benedict 15 may 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer.   We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience.   May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse.   Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary-mother-pray-for-us-15-may-2018 and 2019 and 6 may 2020

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MISSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 April – He always wishes to give more ….

One Minute Reflection – 24 April – Friday of the Second week of Easter, Readings: Acts 5:34-42, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, John 6:1-15

Jesus then took the loaves and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. … John 6:11

REFLECTION – “The miracle consists in the brotherly sharing of a few loaves which, entrusted to the power of God, not only sufficed for everyone but enough was left over to fill 12 baskets.   The Lord asked this of the disciples so that it would be they who distributed the bread to the multitude, in this way, he taught and prepared them for their future apostolic mission, in fact, they were to bring to all, the nourishment of the Word of life and of the sacraments.
In this miraculous sign, the incarnation of God and the work of redemption are interwoven.   Jesus, in fact, “went ashore” from the boat to meet the men and women (cf. Mt 14:14).   St Maximus the Confessor said that the Word of God made Himself present for our sake, by taking flesh, derived from us and conformed to us in all things save sin, in order to expose us to His teaching with words and examples suitable for us” (Ambigua 33: PG 91, 1285 C).
… Christ is attentive to material needs but he wished to give more, because man always “hungers for more, he needs more” (Jesus of Nazareth, Doubleday, New York 2007, p. 267 (English translation).   God’s love is present in the bread of Christ, in the encounter with Him “we feed on the living God Himself, so to speak, we truly eat the ‘bread from Heaven’” (ibid. p. 268).
Dear friends, “in the Eucharist, Jesus also makes us witnesses of God’s compassion towards all our brothers and sisters.   The Eucharistic mystery thus gives rise to a service of charity towards neighbour” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 88). ” … Pope Benedict XVI – 31 July 2011john 6 11 jesus then took the loaves - christ is always attentive to our material needs - pope benedict 24 april 2020

PRAYER – Stay with us Lord Jesus, be our companion on our way.   In Your mercy enflame our hearts and raise our hope, so that, in union with our brethren, we may share with each other Your food of life.   Listen to the prayers of your Angels and Saints and as we entrust ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, may she open our hearts to compassion and fraternal sharing.   Through Your grace with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever amen.ora pro nobis pray for us 24 april 2020