Posted in ON the SAINTS, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Pope Francis celebrates Canonisation Mass of 5 New Saints and says “Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights”

Pope Francis celebrates Canonisation Mass of 5 New Saints and says “Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights.”

HOLY MASS AND CANONISATION OF THE BLESSEDS:
JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, GIUSEPPINA VANNINI,
MARIAM THRESIA CHIRAMEL MANKIDIYAN, DULCE LOPES PONTES, MARGUERITE BAYS
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
St Peter’s Square
XXVIII Sunday of Ordinary Time
13 October 2019CANONISAITION MASS JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 13 oct 2019

“Your faith has saved you” (Lk 17:19).   This is the climax of today’s Gospel, which reflects the journey of faith.   There are three steps in this journey of faith.   We see them in the actions of the lepers whom Jesus heals.   They cry out, they walk and they give thanks.

First, they cry out.   The lepers were in a dreadful situation, not only because of a disease that, widespread even today, needs to be battled with unremitting effort but also because of their exclusion from society.   At the time of Jesus, lepers were considered unclean and, as such, had to be isolated and kept apart (cf. Lev 13:46).   We see that when they approach Jesus, they “kept their distance” (Lk 17:12).  Even though their condition kept them apart, the Gospel tells us that they “called out” (v. 13) and pleaded with Jesus.  They did not let themselves be paralysed because they were shunned by society, they cried out to God, who excludes no-one.   We see how distances are shortened, how loneliness is overcome – by not closing in on ourselves and our own problems, by not thinking about how others judge us but rather by crying out to the Lord, for the Lord hears the cry of those who find themselves alone.

Like those lepers, we too need healing, each one of us.   We need to be healed of our lack of confidence in ourselves, in life, in the future we need to be healed of our fears and the vices that enslave us, of our introversion, our addictions and our attachment to games, money, television, mobile phones, to what other people think.   The Lord sets our hearts free and heals them if only we ask Him, only if we say to Him : “Lord, I believe you can heal me.   Dear Jesus, heal me from being caught up in myself.   Free me from evil and fear”.   The lepers are the first people, in this Gospel, who called to the name of Jesus. Later, a blind man and a crucified thief would do so, all of them needy people calling on the name of Jesus, which means:  “God saves”.   They call God by name, directly and spontaneously.   To call someone by name is a sign of confidence and it pleases the Lord. That is how faith grows, through confident, trusting prayer.   Prayer in which we bring to Jesus, who we really are, with open hearts, without attempting to mask our sufferings. Each day, let us invoke with confidence the name of Jesus, “God saves”.   Let us repeat it: that is prayer, to say “Jesus“ is to pray.   And prayer is essential!   Indeed, prayer is the door of faith, prayer is medicine for the heart.

The second word, is to walk.   It is the second stage.   In today’s brief Gospel, there are several verbs of motion.   It is quite striking is that the lepers are not healed as they stand before Jesus, it is only afterwards, as they were walking.   The Gospel tells us that:  “As they went, they were made clean” (v. 14).   They were healed by going up to Jerusalem, that is, while walking uphill.   On the journey of life, purification takes place along the way, a way that is often uphill since it leads to the heights.   Faith calls for journey, a “going out” from ourselves, and it can work wonders if we abandon our comforting certainties, if we leave our safe harbours and our cosy nests.   Faith increases by giving, and grows by taking risks.  Faith advances when we make our way equipped with trust in God.   Faith advances with humble and practical steps, like the steps of the lepers or those of Naaman who went down to bathe in the river Jordan (cf. 2 Kings 5:14-17).   The same is true for us.   We advance in faith by showing humble and practical love, exercising patience each day and praying constantly to Jesus as we keep pressing forward on our way.

There is a further interesting aspect to the journey of the lepers: they move together.   The Gospel tells us that, “as they went, they were made clean” (v. 14).   The verbs are in the plural.   Faith means also walking together, never alone.   Once healed, however, nine of them go off on their own way and only one turns back to offer thanks.   Jesus then expresses His astonishment:  “The others, where are they?” (v. 17).   It is as if He asks the only one who returned, to account for the other nine.   It is the task of us, who celebrate the Eucharist as an act of thanksgiving, to take care of those who have stopped walking, those who have lost their way.   We are called to be guardians of our distant brothers and sisters, all of us!   We are to intercede for them, we are responsible for them, to account for them, to keep them close to heart.   Do you want to grow in faith?   You, who are here today, do you want to grow in faith?   Then take care of a distant brother, a faraway sister.

To cry out.   To walk.   And to give thanks.   This is the final step.   Only to the one who thanked Him did Jesus say:  “Your faith has saved you” (v. 19).   It made you both safe and sound.   We see from this, that the ultimate goal is not health or wellness but the encounter with Jesus.   Salvation is not drinking a glass of water to keep fit, it is going to the source, which is Jesus.   He alone frees us from evil and heals our hearts.   Only an encounter with Him can save, can make life full and beautiful.   Whenever we meet Jesus, the word “thanks” comes immediately to our lips, because we have discovered the most important thing in life, which is not to receive a grace or resolve a problem but to embrace the Lord of life.   And this is the most important thing in life – to embrace the Lord of life.

It is impressive to see how the man who was healed, a Samaritan, expresses his joy with his entire being – he praises God in a loud voice, he prostrates himself and he gives thanks (cf. vv. 15-16).   The culmination of the journey of faith is to live a life of continual thanksgiving.   Let us ask ourselves – do we, as people of faith, live each day as a burden, or as an act of praise?   Are we closed in on ourselves, waiting to ask another blessing, or do we find our joy in giving thanks?   When we express our gratitude, the Father’s heart is moved and He pours out the Holy Spirit upon us.   To give thanks is not a question of good manners or etiquette, it is a question of faith.   A grateful heart is one that remains young.   To say “Thank you, Lord” when we wake up, throughout the day and before going to bed – that is the best way to keep our hearts young, because hearts can grow old and be spoilt.   This also holds true for families and between spouses.   Remember to say thank you.   Those words are the simplest and most effective of all.

To cry out.   To walk.   To give thanks. Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new Saints.   They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.   Three of them were religious women, they show us that the consecrated life is a journey of love at the existential peripheries of the world.   Saint Marguerite Bays, on the other hand, was a seamstress, she speaks to us of the power of simple prayer, enduring patience and silent self-giving.   That is how the Lord made the splendour of Easter radiate in her life, in her humbleness.   Such is the holiness of daily life, which Saint John Henry Newman described in these words – “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming, has no pretence… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, V, 5).
Let us ask to be like that, “kindly lights amid the encircling gloom.”   Jesus, “stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as Thou shinest, so to shine as to be a light to others”  (Meditations on Christian Doctrine, VII, 3).   Amen … Vatican.va

Saint John Henry Newman, Pray for Us!st john henry newman pray for us 13 oct 2019.jpg

 

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – ‘But let us continue on our way …’

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Goaspel: Luke 10:38–42

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious
and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Luke 10:42

“Our Lord’s words teach us that though we labour
among the many distractions of this world,
we should have but one goal.
For we are but travellers
on a journey without as yet a fixed abode,
we are on our way, not yet in our native land,
we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment.
But let us continue on our way
and continue without sloth or respite,
so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor
(Sermo 103, 1-2, 6: PL 38, 613, 615)our-lords-words-teach-us-st-augustine-martha martha luke 10 42 8 oct 2019.jpg

“Action and contemplation
are very close companions;
they live together in one house on equal terms.
Martha and Mary are sisters.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Doctor of the Churchaction-and-contemplation-st-bernard-20-aug-2017-and-2019 and 8 oct 2019.jpg

“In bustling about and busying herself,
Martha risks forgetting —
and this is the problem —
the most important thing,
which is the presence of the Guest…
Most importantly He ought to be listened to. “

Pope Francisin busdtling about - forgets the guest - pop francis martha and mary - 8 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Quote/s of the Day – 7 October – Our Lady of the Rosary

Quote/s of the Day – 7 October – Our Lady of the Rosary

“Never,
as in the Rosary,
do the life of Jesus
and that of Mary,
appear so deeply joined.
Mary lives
only in Christ
and
for Christ!”never, as in the rosary - st john paul - no 15 rosarium virginis  mariae 7 oct 2019.jpg

“By making our own,
the words of the Angel Gabriel
and Saint Elizabeth contained in the Hail Mary,
we find ourselves constantly drawn
to seek out afresh in Mary,
in her arms and in her heart,
the “blessed fruit of her womb.”

by making our own, the words of the angel gabriel - st john paul 7 oct 2019

“The centre of gravity
in the Hail Mary,
the hinge, as it were,
which joins its two parts,
is the name of Jesus.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

#15, 24 and 33 – Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae”the centre of gravity - st john paul rosarium virginis mariae 7 oct 2019.jpg

“Mary joins us, she fights at our side.
She supports Christians in the fight
against the forces of evil… through the Rosary.”mary-joins-us-in-the-fights-against-evil-opope-francis-7-oct-2018.and 2019

“Do you pray the Rosary each day?”

Pope Francisdo-you-pray-the-rosary-each-day-pope-francis-7-oct-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 "Follow Me", CATHOLIC Quotes, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, One Minute Reflection, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 September – The three languages of knowing Jesus

One Minute Reflection – 26 September – Thursday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:7–9 and The Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damian (Died c 286) Martyrs

“Who is this about whom I hear such things?”   And he sought to see him. … Luke 9:9

REFLECTION – “You cannot know Jesus without having problems.   You cannot know Jesus “by sitting in first class” or “in the calm”, much less “in the library.”   We only come to know Jesus on the daily path of life. … knowing Him with the mind is a step in the right direction but in order to know Jesus, we need to enter into a dialogue with Him.  By talking with Him, in prayer, on our knee  s. If you don’t pray, if you don’t talk to Jesus, you don’t know Him.   The third way to know Jesus is by following Him, by going with Him, by walking with Him, by travelling along the road of His ways.   If you know Jesus with these three languages – of mind, heart and action, then you can say that you know Jesus.   Therefore, in order truly to know Him, it is necessary to read what the Church tells us about Him, to speak with Him in prayer and to walk along the path of His ways with Him.   This is the road and everyone has a decision to make.”luke 9 9 wo is this - if you know jesus with these 3 languages pope francis 26 sept 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy God, through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit, with Mary Mother of the Church, St Joseph her spouse, the communion of Saints, we pray, be with us, lead us, guide us, never leave us.   May we learn the ways of Your Son, may we follow them and may we constantly seek His Face in prayer and the Sacraments.   Grant we pray, that by the intercession of Sts Cosmas and Damian, we may be filled with courage and joy as we follow behind Him.  We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sts cosmas and damian pray for us 26 sept 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MARIAN TITLES, One Minute Reflection, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 September – ‘Salvation enters the heart, only when we open the heart’

One Minute Reflection – 19 September – Thursday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 7:36–50 and The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much”….Luke 7:47luke 7 47 her sins which are many are forgiven - 19 sept 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “At this point, an even greater amazement falls on all those at table:  “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” (v.49).   Jesus does not give an explicit answer but the conversion of the sinful women stands before everyone’s eyes and shows that in Him shines forth the power of God’s mercy, capable of transforming hearts.

The sinful woman teaches us the link between faith, love and gratitude.   Her “many sins” were forgive her and therefore she loves much, “but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (v. 47).   Even Simon has to admit that the one who has been forgiven more, loves more.   God has enclosed everyone in the mystery of mercy and from this love, which always goes before us, all of us learn to love.   As St Paul reminds us: “In Christ, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he has lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8).   In this text, the word “grace” is practically synonymous with mercy and is called “lavish,” that is, beyond our expectations, for it carries out God’s saving plan for each of us. … Salvation enters the heart, only when we open the heart, in the truth of our sins.” … Pope Francis 18 September 2014 (“Pope Francis” painting by Natalia Tsarkova)salvation-enters-the-heart-only-when-we-pope-francis-20-sept-2018

PRAYER – Grant us Lord, a true knowledge of salvation, so that, freed from fear and from the power of our foes, we may serve You faithfully in love and sorrow for our sins.   May we, through the love You grant us, extend our love to all we meet and may the tears of the Holy Virgin of Reconciliation, not reject our prayers but intercede for us, obtain for us the grace to love our Lord Jesus above all else.   May we console you by a holy life and so come to share the eternal life Christ gained by His Cross.   Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever,amen.our-lady-of-salette-pray-for-us19 sept 2017