Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – Blessed is the Babe

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

Blessed is the Child, who gladdened Bethlehem today.
Blessed is the Babe, who today renewed the youth of humankind.
Blessed is the Fruit, who bowed Himself down to our hunger.
Blessed is the gracious One,
who suddenly enriched our poverty and supplied our need.
Blessed is He, whose tender mercy led Him to heal our infirmities.
Blessed is He, whom freedom crucified, because He permitted it.
Blessed is He, whom also the wood bore, because He gave it leave.
Blessed is He, whom the grave bound, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He, whose free choice brought Him to the womb and to birth.
Blessed is He, who sealed our soul
and adorned and betrothed her to Himself.
Blessed is the beautiful One, who remade us in His image.
Blessed is He, who made our flesh a tabernacle for His hiddenness.
Blessed is He, who with our tongue spoke out His secrets.
Blessed is the Word of the most high, who became flesh today for us.blessed is the child - 25 dec 2019 st ephrem.jpg

“The Firstborn entered the womb …
Glorious and unseen in entering,
humble and visible in birth.
He was God in entering
and He was man in birth.
A marvel and mystery to hear –
fire entered the womb,
put on a body
and came forth!”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthe firstborn entered the womb - st ephrem 25 dec 2019.jpg


“Christ is born, glorify Him!
Christ from heaven,
go out to meet Him!
Christ on earth, be exalted!
Sing to the Lord all the whole earth
and that I may join both in one word,
let the heavens rejoice
and let the earth be glad,
for Him who is of heaven
and then of earth.
Christ in the flesh,
rejoice with trembling and with joy,
with trembling because of your sins,
with joy because of your hope.”

St Gregory Nazianzen (329-390)
Father and Doctor of the Churchchrist is born glorify him - st regory of nazianzen 25 dec 2019.jpg

“This day,
He who Is,
is Born
and He, who Is,
becomes what He
was not.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthis day he who IS is born and becomes what he IS not - st john crysostom 25 dec 2019

“Let the just rejoice,
for their Justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
for their Saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
for their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
for their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
for Jesus Christ is born!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchlet the just rejoice their justifier is born st augustine 25 dec 2019.jpg

“Never was a whimpering bit of humanity
so powerful that, while lying on His bed of straw,
He could command the very stars
to direct whom He wished to visit Him.
Never a child so wise or so rich as this little Infant
who was full of grace and incarnate truth.
Never anyone so marvellous
as to be at once so small and so great,
true God and true Man,
the Uncreated Word and weak human flesh,
mighty King and a lowly slave.
Never had any child so emptied Himself
of all that He really was,
in order to become a tiny, speechless, naked, unknown babe.”never-was-a-whimpering-bit-of-humanity-st-peter-canisius-25-dec-2018 and 2019jpg

“Christmas Day is nothing if not a day of universal joy.
Children should rejoice because on this day,
God Himself
became as one of them;
virgins, because a Virgin brought forth
and remained unstained,
even after giving birth;
wives, because one of their number,
became the Mother of God;
sinners, because their Mediator and Saviour and Healer,
has come to redeem them;
the just, because their Reward, exceeding great,
has been born into the world.
In truth, all faithful Christians,
should rejoice, that their Creator and Lord,
has taken on human flesh and begun His reign
over the hearts of men,
not only as God
but also as the Son of Man
among the children of men.”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Churchchristmas-day-is-nothing-if-not-st-peter-canisius-25-dec-2018 and 2019.jpg

“Arise, all you nobles and peasants,
Mary invites all, rich and poor,
just and sinners,
to enter the cave of Bethlehem,
to adore and to kiss the feet
of her new-born Son.
Go in, then, all you devout souls,
go and see the Creator
of heaven and earth on a little hay,
under the form of a little Infant
but so beautiful that He sheds
all around rays of light.
Now that He is born
and is lying on the straw,
the cave is no longer horrible
but is become a paradise.
Let us enter,
let us not be afraid!”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Churcharise all you nobles and peasants, mary invites all - 25 dec 2019

“Today, the Son of God is born and everything changes.
The Saviour of the world comes to partake of our human nature;
no longer are we alone and forsaken.
The Virgin offers us her Son
as the beginning of a new life.
The true light has come to illumine our lives
so often beset by the darkness of sin.
Today we once more discover who we are!
Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey’s end.
Now must we put away all fear and dread,
for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem.
We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle.
We must set out to see our Saviour lying in a manger.
This is the reason for our joy and gladness:
this Child has been “born to us”;
he was “given to us”, as Isaiah proclaims (cf. 9:5).
The people who for for two thousand years
has traversed all the pathways of the world,
in order to allow every man and woman to share in this joy,
is now given the mission of making known “the Prince of peace”
and becoming His effective servant in the midst of the nations.”

Pope Francis
Homily on the Solemnity
of the Nativity of the Lord, 2015today the son of god is born - pope francis - I think 25 dec 2018.jpg


Thought for the Day – 22 December – Joseph fully finds himself

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah7:10-14, Psalm 24:1-6, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24

When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home. … Matthew 1:24

By accepting himself according to God’s design,
Joseph fully finds himself, beyond himself.
His freedom to renounce even what is his,
the possession of his very life
and his full interior availability to the will of God,
challenges us
and shows us the way.

Pope Francis
Angelus 22 December 2013joseph fully finds himself - pope francis 22 dec 2019.jpg


Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December – ‘David’s Lord was made David’s Son’

Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December
Jeremiah 23:5-8, Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19, Matthew 1:18-24

“See, days are coming — oracle of the LORD — when I will raise up a righteous branch for David. As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land.” … Jeremiah 23:5

REFLECTION – “There was only one remedy in the secret of the divine plan that could help the fallen living in the general ruin of the entire human race.   This remedy was, that one of the sons of Adam should be born free and innocent of original transgression, to prevail for the rest by his example and by his merits.   This was not permitted by natural generation.   There could be no clean offspring from our faulty stock by this seed. The Scripture says, “Who can make a clean thing conceived of an unclean seed?   Isn’t it you alone?”   David’s Lord was made David’s Son and from the fruit of the promised branch sprang.   He is one without fault, the twofold nature coming together into one person.   By this one and the same conception and birth, sprung our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom was present both true Godhead for the performance of mighty works and true manhood for the endurance of sufferings.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor (Sermon 28)david's lord was made david's son - the two requirements in the gospel - pope francis 18 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION – “Are we in the core group of Christians who embody and live the purest form of the Gospel?   Or do we find ourselves among the masses that acknowledge Jesus, enjoy being Christian but don’t pursue it at any deep level?   The two requirements in the Gospel are that we repent and believe.   If we repent, we do no wrong and speak no lies. If we believe with all our hearts, we follow the Star to the Manger.” Pope Francis Angelus, 22 December 2013

ADVENT ACTION – “Let these last few days, be a time, when we begin the journey to the Christmas core – to the Christ Child.   “Let us make ourselves ready to celebrate Christmas by contemplating Mary and Joseph – Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to the Word of God;  Joseph, the faithful and just man, who chose to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride.   With them, let us walk together toward Bethlehem.” …  Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 December 2013



of the House of Israel,

who appeared to Moses in the flame

of the burning bush

and gave him the law on Sinai:

Come and redeem us with outstretched arms.o-lord-and-ruler-18-december 2018, 2019.jpg


Advent Reflection – 16 December – He made of Him the Way

Advent Reflection – 16 December – Monday of the Third Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 21:23-27

“The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore him.”

“We do not know.”   And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” … Matthew 21:27

REFLECTION – “In truth, brethren, what God promised seemed humanly unbelievable, that starting from this mortal state in which people are corruptible, despicable, weak, dust and ashes, they would become equal to God’s angels!   That is why God wasn’t satisfied with making a scriptural covenant for them, to believe but put forward a mediator as proof of His faith – no prince, no angel or archangel but His only Son.   In this way, He would point out and bestow through His own Son, the way by which He would lead us to the end promised to us.   Yet for God it was too small a thing that His Son should show us the way, He made of Him the Way (cf. Jn 14:6), the Way by which you would go under His direction, the Way you would follow…

How far we were from Him!   He who is so high and we so low!   We were sick, with no hope of healing.   A doctor was sent but the patient did not recognise Him, “for if they had known him they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1Cor 2:8).   But the death of the doctor has been the cure of the patient, the doctor came to visit him and died to heal him.   He made those who believed in Him understand He was God and man, God who created us, man who recreated us.   The one was visible in Him, the other hidden and that which was hidden, far exceeded what was seen…   The patient has been healed by what was visible, that later he might be able to see in full.   God postponed this final vision by concealing it, He did not refuse it.” … St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace – Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 110[109]advent monday of the third week 16 dec 2019 for god it was too small a thing - st augustine .jpg

MEDITATION – “Now is the time to say to Jesus:  “Lord, I have let myself be deceived;  in a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with You. I need you.   Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into Your redeeming embrace”. … Pope FrancisThe Joy of the Gospelnow-is-the-time-to-say-to-jesus-15-dec-2018-from-the-joy-of-the-gospel and 16 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – Let us go to Confession!   Lead your family to the door of God’s love and mercy.

PRAYER – “My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins?   What can I do without Your grace?   I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death!   O my Jesus, help me!” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most zealous Doctormy beloved redeemer - how much did it cost you - st alphonsus - christmas confession.jpg


Advent Reflection – – 8 December – The Second Sunday of Advent – “My Father and I will come to him and make our dwelling within him”

Advent Reflection – – 8 December – The Second Sunday of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17, Romans 15:4-9, Matthew 3:1-12

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” … Matthew 3:2

REFLECTION – “John the Baptist said:  “Every valley shall be filled” (Lk 3:5) but it was not John who filled every valley, it was our Lord and Saviour… “And the winding roads shall be made straight.”   Every one of us was going astray… and it was Christ’s coming, fulfilled within our very souls, that straightened all that was crooked…  Nothing was so resistant as you were.   Consider your former unruly desires, your fits of anger and other evil tendencies, as to whether they have disappeared.   You will realise that nothing was so resistant as you were, or, in an even more expressive phrase, that nothing was brought so low as you were.   Your behaviour was low, your words and deeds were low.

But my Lord Jesus came – He smoothed down your roughness, He changed all that muddle into roads that joined up to create a way without obstacles within you, well articulated and swept clean, so that God our Father could walk in you and Christ the Lord could make His home in you and say:  “My Father and I will come to him and make our dwelling within him” (Jn 14:23).” … Origen (c 185-253)my father and i will come to him and make our dwellin within him - john 14 23 - 8 dec 2019 2nd sun advent.jpg

MEDITATION – ” … The good news that Jesus brings us — and that John predicts — is that we do not need to wait for the kingdom of God in the future – it is at hand.   In some way it is already present and we may experience spiritual power from now on.   “The kingdom of God is in your midst!”  Jesus will say.   God comes to establish His lordship in our history, today, everyday, in our life and there — where it is welcomed with faith and humility — love, joy and peace blossom.” … Pope Francis (ANGELUS, 4 December 2016)

ADVENT ACTION – May we open the doors of our hearts, where the Lord dwells and share His hospitality with those in need, wherever we find them!

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence.   Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.   Give courage to those who falter because of their failures.   In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit.   May they we share Your saving acts of kindness today and one day proclaim them in your eternal kingdom.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.the second sunday of advent - 8 dec 2019 .jpg


Advent Reflection – – 6 December – “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

Advent Reflection – – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, Matthew 9:27-31

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”   And their eyes were opened.

Matthew 9:28-30

REFLECTION – “We too have been “illuminated” by Christ in Baptism and thus  we are called to behave as children of the light.   Acting as children of the light requires a radical change of mind-set, a capacity to judge men and things according to another scale of values, which comes from God.   The Sacrament of Baptism, in fact, requires the choice of living as children of the light and walking in the light.

MEDITIATION – If I were to ask you:  “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?   Do you believe that He can change your heart?   Do you believe that He can show reality as He sees it, not as we see it?   Do you believe that He is light, that He gives us the true light?”   How would you answer?   Each of you, respond in your heart.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 March 2017matthew 9 28 - 30 do you believe - pope francis 6 dec 2019.jpg

ADVENT ACTION – Faith engenders hope, which is a future-oriented virtue.   It acknowledges that there is a future awaiting us that is much, much better than the present.   The virtue of hope, with its orientation to the future, enables us to handle present distresses and struggles in a positive way.
Pope Benedict reminds us in Spe Salvi that this perspective. does not mean for one moment. that we live only for the future (4).   People in hope are building up the kingdom on earth but, they are also on pilgrimage, to that eternal kingdom, God has in store for those who follow Him.

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people who come to You in confidence.   Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.   Give courage to those who falter because of their failures.   In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in faith and hope, by the power of your Holy Spirit.   May they proclaim Your saving acts of kindness here on earth and one day, in Your eternal kingdom.    Amen.friday of the first week of advent - 6 december 2019.jpg


Advent Reflection – 3 December – Proclaiming the Hope of Christ

Advent Reflection – 3 December – Tuesday of the First week of Advent, Year A and the Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)- Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-2, 7-9, 12-13, Luke 10:21-24

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Isaiah 11:6

“In these passages, the meaning of Christmas shines through – God fulfils the promise by becoming man, not abandoning His people, He draws near to the point of stripping Himself of His divinity.   In this way God shows His fidelity and inaugurates a new Kingdom, which gives a new hope to mankind.   And what is this hope?   Eternal life. ”
... Pope Francis – General audience 21 December 2016Tuesday of the first week of advent - 3 dec 2019.jpg

Advent Action
Advent is a time to practice discipleship and the joy of sharing the message given to us! Today, share just a little of this joy of the Gospel and the hope of Christ, with those around you.   Giving this gift is immense, as the Lord shared His Father in the Gospel of today, so we share Him.   Spiritual love is tender, it is holy ground.   There is simply no greater investment.

” …. Paul does not seek himself, he does not want to make a fan club for himself, he does not wish to go down in history as the head of a school of great knowledge, he is not self-seeking, rather, St Paul proclaims Christ and wants to gain people for the true and real God.   Paul’s wish is to speak of and preach the One who entered his life and who is true life, who won him over on the road to Damascus.
Therefore, talking about God means making room for the One who enables us to know Him, who reveals His face of love to us; it means emptying ourselves of our own ego, offering it to Christ, in the awareness that it is not we who can win over others for God but, that we must expect God to send them, we must entreat God for them.
Talking about God, therefore, stems from listening, from our knowledge of God which is brought about through familiarity with Him, through the life of prayer and in accordance with the Commandments.”Pope Benedict XVI (Excerpt – How to speak about God – The Year of Faith – 28 November 2012)

Lord, it is my hope that I may always be in “Your will
and way.”
Sometimes I am selfish with my time and my own desires.
Today, help me sort out things in my life.
I need to make You the first priority in my life
and not the things that really do not matter.
Assist me in conducting myself in ways that are most pleasing to You.
Lord, it is my desire to live more for You this day
and share the joy of Your love with all I meet.

And today, we remember St Francis Xavier, the “second Paul”

please pray for us!
Amenst francis xavier pray for us 3 dec 2019.jpg


Advent Reflection – 2 December – How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? 

Advent Reflection – 2 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 4:2-6, Psalm 122:1-9, Matthew 8:5-11

“Amen, I say to you, in no-one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 8:10-11

Vatican Council II – “Gaudium et Spes” #45
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

“While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention – that God’s kingdom may come and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass.   For every benefit, which the People of God, during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family, stems from the fact, that the Church is “the universal sacrament of salvation”, (Lumen Gentium), simultaneously manifesting and actualising the mystery of God’s love.

For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh, so that, as perfect man, He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself.   The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilisation, the centre of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.   He it is, Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead.   Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love:  “To re-establish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth” (Eph. 1:10).

The Lord Himself speaks:   “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works.   I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end,” (Rv 22:12-13).”matthew 8 10-11 amen i say to you in no-one in israel - centurion - for gods words - gaudium et spes no 45 2 dec 2019.jpg

Christ is the ultimate centre of meaning in the universe.   It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father.   How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God?   Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.

“The Lord always goes beyond, goes first.   We take one step and He takes ten.   Always.   The abundance of grace, of His love, of His tenderness that never tires of seeking us.   Even, at times, with small things – we think that encountering the Lord would be something magnificent, like that man of Syria, Naaman, who was a leper [did].   And it’s not simple… And he too had a great surprise at God’s way of acting.
And our God is the God of surprises, the God that is seeking us, is awaiting us and asks of us only the little step of good will.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 28 November 2016monday firsdt week advent 2 dec 2019 the lord always goes first - pope francis.jpg

Advent Action
Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.

Our Lives Multiply by Giving Them Away
Fr Henri Nouwen

“The fruitfulness of our little life, once we recognise it and live it, as the life of the Beloved, is beyond anything we can imagine.   One of the greatest acts of faith is to believe that the few years we live on this earth are like a little seed planted in very rich soil.   For this seed to bear fruit, it must die.   We often see, or feel, only the dying but, the harvest will be abundant, even when we ourselves are the harvesters.
How different would our life be, were we truly able to trust, that it multiplied in being given away?
How different would our life be, if we could believe, that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace, will multiply and multiply, as long as there are people to receive it … and that – even then – there will be left-overs!”


One Minute Reflection – 30 November – ‘To carry the Word to all the peripheries!’

One Minute Reflection – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ, Gospel: Matthew 4:18–22

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” … Matthew 4:19

REFLECTION – “The call reaches them in the middle of their daily activity – the Lord reveals Himself to us, not in an extraordinary or impressive way but in the everyday circumstances of our life.   There we must discover the Lord and there, He reveals Himself, makes His love felt in our heart and there — with this dialogue with Him in the everyday circumstances of life — He changes our heart.   The response of the four fishermen is immediate and willing – “Immediately they left their nets and followed him” (v. 20).   On the shores of the lake, in an inconceivable land, the first community of disciples of Christ was born.   May the knowledge of these beginnings give rise in us to the desire to bear Jesus’ word, love and tenderness in every context, even the most difficult and resistant.   To carry the Word to all the peripheries! … Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 January 2017matthew 4 19 - follow me and I will make you fishers of men - the lord calls them in the middle - 30 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, in Your kindness hear our petitions.   You called Andrew the Apostle, to preach the Gospel and guide Your Church in faith.   May he always be our friend in Your presence, to help us with his prayers.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amenst andrew apostle pray for us-30nov2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 28 November – ‘…Let us lift up our heads.’

One Minute Reflection – 28 November – Thursday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:20–28

“Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”…Luke 21:28now-when-these-things-begin-to-take-place-luke-21-28-29nov2018 and 28 nov 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “When we think of the end of time, with all of our sins, with our history, let us think of the banquet which will be freely offered us and let us lift up our heads.  Do not give way to depression.  Hope! Reality is ugly.   There are many, many people, cities and people, so many people who are suffering;  many wars, so much hatred, so much envy, so much spiritual worldliness and so much corruption.   Yes, it’s true!   All of this will fall!
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to be prepared for the banquet that awaits us, always with our heads held high.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 27 November 2014when-we-think-of-the-end-of-times-pope-francis-29-nov-2018 and 28 nov 2018.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption.   May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St James of the Marches be a help in our struggle.   Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to the banquet which awaits us.  We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, james of the marches pray for us 28 nov 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 26 November – Speaking of: False Prophets – The Culture of our Times

Quote/s of the Day – 26 November – Tuesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:5–11

“Speaking of: False Prophets – The Culture of our Times”

“Take heed that you are not led astray,
for many will come in my name,
saying, ‘I am he!’

Luke 21:8luke 21 8 - take heed that you are not led astray 26 nov 2019.jpg

“If you believe what you like in the Gospels
and reject what you don’t like,
it is not the Gospel you believe
but yourself.”

Saint Augustine (354-430)if you believe what you like - st augustine 26 nov 2019.jpg

“If you only follow the teachings of the Church
that you like and reject what you don’t like,
then it is not Christ and the Catholic faith
that you claim to believe in but yourself.
The creed that we profess
does not begin by saying,
“I believe in me…”if you only follow the teachings of the church that you like - g k chesteron 26 nov 2019.jpg

“A dead thing goes with the stream
but only a living thing can go against it.”

G K Chesterton (1874-1936)a dead thing goes with the stream - g k chesterton - 26 nov 2019.jpg

“Really great moral teachers
never do introduce new moralities,
it is quacks and cranks who do that.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)

Mere Christianityreally great moral teachers - c s lewis crancks and quacks 26 nov 2019.jpg

“We are no longer able to hear God.
There are too many frequencies filling our ears.”

Pope Benedict VXIwe are no longer able to hear god - pope benedict 26 nov 2019.jpg

“No age has been more prone
to confuse the sin with the sinner,
not by hating the sinner along with the sin
but by loving the sin along with the sinner.
We often use “compassion”
as an equivalent for moral relativism.”

Peter Kreeftno age has been more prone - peter kreeft 26 nov 2019.jpg

“We have laws against polluting our rivers
but not against polluting our minds!”

Bishop Robert Barronwe have laws against polutting our rivers - robert barron - 26 nov 2019.jpg

“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries,
to swim against the tide,
yes, I am asking you
to rebel against this culture.”

Pope Francisi ask you instead to be revolutionaries pope francis 26 nov 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 26 November – ‘..Do not be terrified..’

One Minute Reflection – 26 November – Tuesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:5–11

“And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified” …Luke 21:9

REFLECTION – “Jesus’ words are perennially relevant, even for us today living in the 21st century too.   This Christian virtue of understanding, is a call to discern where the Lord is and where the evil spirit is present.   Today, too, in fact there are false “saviours” who attempt to replace Jesus – Jesus warns us:  “Do not follow them, do not follow them!”   The Lord also helps us not to be afraid in the face of war, revolution, natural disasters and epidemics.   Jesus frees us from fatalism and false apocalyptic visions.   Despite the turmoil and disasters that upset the world, God’s design of goodness and mercy will be fulfilled!   And this is our hope – go forward on this path, in God’s plan, which will be fulfilled.   Jesus’ message causes us to reflect on our present time and gives us the strength to face it, with courage and hope, with Mary who always accompanies us.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 17 November 2013luke 21 9 and when you hear of wars - the lord also helps us not to be afraid - pope francis 26 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming, by preparing the ways of justice, love and peace.   Help us to live as Your children and by our lives to bring Your salvation and joy to all the world.   May the Holy Spirit fill us with all His gifts and virtues so that we may await the coming of Your Son, guided by His Light and may Mary, the blessed Virgin, accompany us, guarding and giving us her prayerful help.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed-virgin-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-26-nov-2018 and 26 nov 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 24 November – The Solemnity of Christ the King – ‘He is the secret of history. He is the key to our destiny.’

Quote/s of the Day – 24 November – The Solemnity of Christ the King

“Christ, has dominion over all creatures,
a dominion not seized by violence
nor usurped but His,
by essence and by nature.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father & Doctor of the Churchchrist has dominion over all - st cyril of alexandria 24 nov 2019 christ the king.jpg

“Christ’s kingdom is not just a figure of speech.
Christ is alive, He lives as a man,
with the same body
He took when He became man,
when He rose after His death,
the glorified body which subsists
in the person of the Word
together with His human heart.
Christ, true God and true man, lives and reigns.
He is the Lord of the universe.
Everything that lives
is kept in existence
only through Him.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)christ's kingdom is not just a figure of speech - st josemaria christ the king 24 nov 2019.jpg

“Jesus Christ
You have heard Him spoken of,
indeed the greater part of you are already His – you are Christians.
So, to you Christians I repeat His name,
to everyone I proclaim Him –
Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end,
the Alpha and the Omega.
He is the king of the new world.
He is the secret of history.
He is the key to our destiny.”

St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)so-to-you-christians-i-repeat-his-name-st-popepaul-vi-no-2-25-nov-christ-the-king-2018and 2019 24 nov.jpg

“You say that I am a king.   For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”

John 18:37

“But what is the “truth” that Christ
came into the world to witness to?
The whole of His life reveals that God is love –
so this is the truth to which He witnessed to the full,
with the sacrifice of His own life on Calvary.”

Pope Benedict XVIjohn-18-37-for-this-i-was-born-but-what-is-this-truth-pope-benedict-25-nov-2018-christ-the-king.jpg

“When did Jesus reveal Himself as king?
In the event of the Cross!”

Pope Franciswhen-did-jesus-reveal-himself-as-king-pope-francis-25-nov-2018-christ-the-king-no-2.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 22 November – ‘Let us be attentive to what happens in our temple …’

One Minute Reflection – 22 November – Gospel: Luke 19:45–48 – Friday of the Thirty Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:45–48 – and the Memorial of St Pedro Esqueda Ramirez (1887-1927) Priest, Martyr of the Cristero War

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”…Luke 19:45-46and-he-entered-the-temple-and-began-to-drive-out-luke-19-45-46-23-nov-2018 and 22 nov 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Have I learned to watch over myself, that the temple of my heart is only for the Holy Spirit?   Purify the temple, the inner temple and watch.  Be careful, be careful, what happens in the heart.   Who comes in and who goes out, the feelings, the ideas…  Do we speak to the Holy Spirit?   Do we listen to the Holy Spirit?   Watch out.   Let us be attentive to what happens in our temple, in (us) ourselves.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 24 November 2017let-us-be-attentive-pope-francis-23-nov-2018and 22 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord our God, in Your mercy listen to our prayers! Teach us the peace of Your love. Guide us in the ways of Your Commandments. Let the path laid out by Your Son, be our Light and our Joy. Grant that by the prayers of Your Martyr, St Pedro and all Your Saints, we may receive strength for our journey. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, pedro esqueda ramirez pray for us 22 nov 2019.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 17 November – Living communion with Christ

Sunday Reflection – 17 November – The Third World Day of the Poor and the Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed,,

and broke and gave the loaves” … Matthew 14:19

“Jesus loves us so much and wants to be close to us and looks after those who follow Him.   The Lord meets the needs of mankind but wants to render each one of us, a concrete participant in His compassion.
Now let us pause on this, Jesus’ gesture of blessing:
“taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke and gave the loaves” (v. 19).
As you see, they are the same signs that Jesus performed at the Last Supper and they are also the same gestures, that each priest performs when he celebrates the Holy Eucharist.
The Christian community is born and reborn continually from this Eucharistic communion.

Living communion with Christ is, therefore, anything but being passive and detached from daily life, on the contrary, it includes us more and more in the relationship with the men and women of our time, in order to offer them the concrete sign of mercy and of the attention of Christ.   Jesus wants to reach everyone, in order to bring God’s love to all.”

Pope Francis (General Audience, 17 August 2016)matthew-14-19-he-looked-up-to-heaven-the-christian-community-is-born-and-reburn-pope-francis-5-aug-2019 and sun reflection 17 nov 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 17 November – ‘The poor save us …’

Thought for the Day – 17 November – The Third World Day for the Poor and The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

“The poor acquire genuine hope, not from seeing us gratified by giving them a few moments of our time but from recognising in our sacrifice, an act of gratuitous love, that seeks no reward.

I encourage you to seek, in every poor person whom you encounter, his or her true needs, not to stop at their most obvious material needs but to discover their inner goodness, paying heed to their background and their way of expressing themselves and in this way to initiate a true fraternal dialogue.

For once, let us set statistics aside – the poor are not statistics to cite when boasting of our works and projects.   The poor are persons to be encountered, they are lonely, young and old, to be invited to our homes to share a meal; men women and children who look for a friendly word.   The poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Jesus Christ.” … Pope Francis Third World Day of Poor Message (Excerpt)

“Elizabeth was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry.   She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble.   She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities and finally she sold her luxurious possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.”

From a letter by Fr Conrad of Marburg,
spiritual director of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

St Elizabeth of Hungary,
please Pray for the poor and homeless,
Pray for us all!st-elizabeth-pray-for-us1.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 15 November – ‘Let us try to merit this hour of eternal delights.’

One Minute Reflection – 15 November – Friday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 17:26–37 and the Memorial of St Albert the Great OP (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church and of Bl Bl Mary of the Passion FMM (1839-1904)

“Whoever seeks to gain his life, will lose it but whoever loses his life, will preserve it.   I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed, one will be taken and the other left.”…Luke 17:33-34

REFLECTION – “Today the Church, the Lord, with His goodness, tells each one of us, ‘Stop, stop, not every day will be so.   Do not get used to this as if it were eternity.   There will be one day that you will be taken, while the other one will remain, you will be taken, you will be removed.’   It means going with the Lord, thinking that our life will end.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 17 November 2017whoever-seeks-to-gain-his-life-today-the-church-the-lord-pope-francis-16-nov-2018 and 15 nov 2019.jpg

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for “God is Charity” (1 John 4:8) … it is by the path of love - st albert the great 15 nov 2019

“We will not be proclaimed blessed on the altars in all probability but if we are faithful, in Heaven we will be proclaimed ‘blessed’ and that is enough for us.   Let us try to merit this hour of eternal delights.” … Bl Mary of the Passion (1839-1904)we will not be proclaimed blessed - bl mary of the passion 15 nov 2019 pray for us .jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Albert great by his gift for reconciling human wisdom with divine faith.   Help us so to follow his teaching that every advance in science may lead us to a deeper knowledge and love of You.   May his prayers on our behalf be a succour to us all.   We ask too for the intercession of the blessed Mary of the Passion that her zeal and perseverance may be the driving force of our lives.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, 2 - 15 nov 2017


One Minute Reflection – 30 October – ‘Jesus is the door.’

One Minute Reflection – 30 October – Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year , Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

“Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be able…”…Luke 13:24.

REFLECTION – “Jesus is the door.   It is a narrow door but always wide open to everyone. It is narrow not because it is oppressive but so as to prohibit the entry of pride which bloats us.   To go along this path, one must pass through a door.   But where is the door? What is it like?   Who is the door?   Jesus himself is the door (cf. Jn 10,9).   He himself says it, ‘I am the door’ in John’s Gospel.   He leads us in communion with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. …the-whole-of-our-life-must-pass-through-the-narrow-door-pope-francis-25-june-2019-and 30 oct 2019.1.jpg

… The door of God’s mercy is narrow but always wide open, wide open for everyone!   God has no favourites but always welcomes everyone, without distinction.   A door, that is narrow to restrict our pride and our fear.   Open because God welcomes us without distinction.   And the salvation that He gives us is an unceasing flow of mercy…which breaks down every barrier and opens up surprising perspectives of light and peace.   The narrow but always open door…” … Pope Francis 21 August 2016luke 13 24 strive to enter through the narrow door - jesusd is the door - pope francis 30 oct 2019

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled.   Grant that the prayers of the Virgin Mary, merciful Mother, we ask help so that we seize the opportunities that the Lord gives us to cross the threshold of faith.   Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed virgin merciful mother pray for us 30 oct 2019


One Minute Reflection – 24 October – “I came to cast fire upon the earth”

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – Thursday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 12:49-53 and the Memorial of St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)

“I came to cast fire upon the earth” …Luke 12:49

REFLECTION – “The fire that Jesus speaks of, is the fire of the Holy Spirit, the presence living and working in us from the day of our Baptism.   It — the fire — is a creative force that purifies and renews, that burns all human misery, all selfishness, all sin, which transforms us from within, regenerates us and makes us able to love.   If we open ourselves completely to the action of this fire, … He will give us the boldness and the fervour to proclaim, to everyone, Jesus and His consoling message of mercy and salvation, navigating on the open sea, without fear.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 14 August 2016i came to cast fire upon earth luke 12 49 - the fire which jesus speaks of - pope francis - 24 oct 2019

O Spirit of God, Spirit of love and of mercy,
Who pours into my heart the balm of trust,
Your grace confirms my soul in what is good,
Giving it an invincible strength – constancy!

O Spirit of God, Spirit of peace and of joy,
Who comforts my thirsting heart,
Pour into it the living spring of divine love
And make it dauntless in battle.

O Spirit of God, my soul’s most lovable guest,
I, for my part, desire to be faithful to You
In days of joy, as much as in days of suffering.
Spirit of God, I desire to live always in Your presence.

O Spirit of God who penetrates my being
And lets me know Your divine and Trinitarian life,
You initiate me to Your divine Being;
Thus united with You, I have eternal life. … St  Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)o spirit of god spirit of love and of mercy st faustina 24 oct 2019

St Anthony Mary Claret, Pray for us!   Amenst anthony mary claret pray for us 24 oct 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 21 October – The Mafia is Blasphemy

Thought for the Day – 21 October – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi (1937-1993) Priest, Martyr of the Mafiabl pino pope francis

Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi was killed in Palermo on 15 September 1993, his 56th birthday.   A courageous defender of the poor in the Sicilian capital’s inner city neighbourhood of Brancaccio, Blessed Father Puglisi worked tirelessly to convince young people that there was a better life than organised crime.   He was extremely outspoken about the Mafia and preached against collusion, intimidation and omerta–the code of silence.   As the BBC reported, “He was famous for a rhetorical question, which he used as a catch phrase in order to encourage Sicilians to stand up and fight organised crime – ‘And what if somebody did something?’”   Despite numerous threats against him, he continued to teach the word of Christ and support men, women, and children in need with the hopes that they would peacefully join his anti-Mafia mission.

Once on trial, his killers revealed that they were haunted by Father Pino’s smile.   They recalled that when they gunned him down in front of his home and the church where he preached, he said, while looking them in the eyes, “I’ve been expecting you.”   Six men are currently serving life sentences for his murder.

Blessed Father Puglisi was declared a Martyr by Pope Benedict XVI and was Beatified on 25 May 2013, when more than 50,000 people attended the ceremony.

When Pope Francis visited Palermo on the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Blessed Pino Puglisi, he honoured this priest shot at point-blank range by the Mafia.  Pope Francis insisted that true happiness and a real change in Sicilian society will come only when people love and care for one another rather than trying to grab as much money and power as they pino 25th anniversary of the martyrdomcq5dam.thumbnail.cropped.750.422

“Having always leads to wanting.   I have something and immediately want another and another without end.   The more you have the more you want  . It’s a horrible addiction,” Pope Francis said, celebrating Mass in Palermo.

“On the other hand, one who loves finds himself and discovers how beautiful it is to help others has joy on the inside and a smile on the outside, just like Father Pino”   The pope’s visit to Sicily ended with an outdoor meeting with tens of thousands of teenagers and young adults in a Palermo square.

He urged them to dream and to love one another and to fight every form of corruption that flows from or builds up the Mafia.

“No to the Mafia mentality, to illegality, to the logic of crime, which are corrosive poisons for human dignity,” the pope said. “No to every form of violence.   Those who use violence are not human.   And the youngest of you, remember and promise me none of you will be bullies.”

“Promise me – No violence.   No bullying,” he said. “No to resignation.   Everything can change if people open their hearts and stand firm in hope.”

Blessed Pino Puglisi, Pray for Sicily, pray for us all!bl giuseppe pino puglisis pope francis at his tombbl pino puglisi pray for us 21 oct 2019 no 2


Thought for the Day – 20 October – World Mission Sunday – The Holy Father’s Message

Thought for the Day – 20 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:1–8 and World Mission Sundayworld mission sun 20 oct 2019 i am a mission you are a mission

The Holy Father’s Message

Baptised and Sent
The Church of Christ on Mission in the World

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

For the month of October 2019, I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment as we commemorate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV (30 November 1919).   Its farsighted and prophetic vision of the apostolate has made me realise once again the importance of renewing the Church’s missionary commitment and giving fresh evangelical impulse to her work of preaching and bringing to the world the salvation of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.
The title of the present Message is the same as that of October’s Missionary Month—Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.   Celebrating this month will help us, first, to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism.   Our filial relationship with God, is not something simply private but always in relation to the Church.   Through our communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we, together with so many of our other brothers and sisters, are born to new life.   This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practice proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed – that is the meaning of mission.   We received this gift freely and we share it freely (cf. Mt 10:8), without excluding anyone.   God wills that all people be saved by coming to know the truth and experiencing His mercy through the ministry of the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation (cf. 1 Tim 2:4; Lumen Gentium, 48).

The Church is on a mission in the world.   Faith in Jesus Christ enables us to see all things in their proper perspective, as we view the world with God’s own eyes and heart.   Hope opens us up to the eternal horizons of the divine life that we share.   Charity, of which we have a foretaste in the sacraments and in fraternal love, impels us to go forth to the ends of the earth (cf. Mic 5:4; Mt 28:19; Acts 1:8; Rom 10:18).   A Church that presses forward to the farthest frontiers requires a constant and ongoing missionary conversion.   How many saints, how many men and women of faith, witness to the fact that this unlimited openness, this going forth in mercy, is indeed possible and realistic, for it is driven by love and its deepest meaning as gift, sacrifice and gratuitousness (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-21)!   The man who preaches God must be a man of God (cf. Maximum Illud).

This missionary mandate touches us personally – I am a mission, always, you are a mission, always, every baptised man and woman is a mission.   People in love never stand still – they are drawn out of themselves, they are attracted and attract others in turn, they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving.   As far as God’s love is concerned, no-one is useless or insignificant.   Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love.   Even if parents can betray their love by lies, hatred and infidelity, God never takes back His gift of life.   From eternity He has destined each of His children to share in His divine and eternal life (cf. Eph 1:3-6).

This life is bestowed on us in baptism, which grants us the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the conqueror of sin and death. Baptism gives us rebirth in God’s own image and likeness and makes us members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.   In this sense, baptism is truly necessary for salvation for it ensures that we are always and everywhere sons and daughters in the house of the Father, and never orphans, strangers or slaves.   What, in the Christian, is a sacramental reality – whose fulfilment is found in the Eucharist – remains the vocation and destiny of every man and woman in search of conversion and salvation.   For baptism fulfils the promise of the gift of God that makes everyone a son or daughter in the Son.   We are children of our natural parents but in baptism, we receive the origin of all fatherhood and true motherhood, no-one can have God for a Father who does not have the Church for a mother (cf. Saint Cyprian, De Cath. Eccl., 6).

Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church. The mandate given by the Risen Jesus at Easter is inherent in Baptism – as the Father has sent me, so I send you, filled with the Holy Spirit, for the reconciliation of the world (cf. Jn 20:19-23; Mt 28:16-20).   This mission is part of our identity as Christians, it makes us responsible for enabling all men and women to realise their vocation to be adoptive children of the Father, to recognise their personal dignity and to appreciate the intrinsic worth of every human life, from conception until natural death.   Today’s rampant secularism, when it becomes an aggressive cultural rejection of God’s active fatherhood in our history, is an obstacle to authentic human fraternity, which finds expression in reciprocal respect for the life of each person.   Without the God of Jesus Christ, every difference is reduced to a baneful threat, making impossible, any real fraternal acceptance and fruitful unity, within the human race.

The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ led Benedict XV to call for an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism, or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the economic and military interests of the colonial powers.   In his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, the Pope noted that the Church’s universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one’s own country and ethnic group.   The opening of the culture and the community to the salvific newness of Jesus Christ requires leaving behind every kind of undue ethnic and ecclesial introversion.

Today too, the Church needs men and women who, by virtue of their baptism, respond generously to the call to leave behind home, family, country, language and local Church, and to be sent forth to the nations, to a world not yet transformed by the sacraments of Jesus Christ and His holy Church.   By proclaiming God’s word, bearing witness to the Gospel and celebrating the life of the Spirit, they summon to conversion, baptise and offer Christian salvation, with respect for the freedom of each person and in dialogue with the cultures and religions of the peoples to whom they are sent.

The missio ad gentes, which is always necessary for the Church, thus contributes in a fundamental way to the process of ongoing conversion in all Christians.   Faith in the Easter event of Jesus, the ecclesial mission received in baptism, the geographic and cultural detachment from oneself and one’s own home, the need for salvation from sin and liberation from personal and social evil – all these demand the mission that reaches to the very ends of the earth.

The providential coincidence of this centenary year with the celebration of the Special Synod on the Churches in the Amazon allows me to emphasise how the mission entrusted to us by Jesus with the gift of His Spirit is also timely and necessary for those lands and their peoples.   A renewed Pentecost opens wide the doors of the Church, in order that no culture remain closed in on itself and no people cut off from the universal communion of the faith.   No-one ought to remain closed in self-absorption, in the self-referentiality of his or her own ethnic and religious affiliation.   The Easter event of Jesus breaks through the narrow limits of worlds, religions and cultures, calling them to grow in respect, for the dignity of men and women and towards a deeper conversion to the truth of the Risen Lord, who gives authentic life to all.

Here I am reminded of the words of Pope Benedict XVI at the beginning of the meeting of Latin American Bishops at Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007.   I would like to repeat these words and make them my own:  “Yet what did the acceptance of the Christian faith mean for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean?   For them, it meant knowing and welcoming Christ, the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realising it, in their rich religious traditions. Christ is the Saviour for whom they were silently longing.   It also meant that they received, in the waters of Baptism, the divine life that made them children of God by adoption, moreover, they received the Holy Spirit who came to make their cultures fruitful, purifying them and developing the numerous seeds that the incarnate Word had planted in them, thereby guiding them along the paths of the Gospel…   The Word of God, in becoming flesh in Jesus Christ, also became history and culture.   The utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbian religions, separating them from Christ and from the universal Church, would not be a step forward, indeed, it would be a step back.   In reality, it would be a retreat towards a stage in history anchored in the past” (Address at the Inaugural Session, 13 May 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 [2007], 855-856).

We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother.   In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation, the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way.   She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross – the mission of co-operating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith.

I would like to conclude with a brief word about the Pontifical Mission Societies, already proposed in Maximum Illud as a missionary resource.  The Pontifical Mission Societies serve the Church’s universality as a global network of support for the Pope in his missionary commitment by prayer, the soul of mission, and charitable offerings from Christians throughout the world.   Their donations assist the Pope in the evangelisation efforts of particular Churches (the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith), in the formation of local clergy (the Pontifical Society of Saint Peter the Apostle), in raising missionary awareness in children (Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood) and in encouraging the missionary dimension of Christian faith (Pontifical Missionary Union). In renewing my support for these Societies, I trust that the extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 will contribute to the renewal of their missionary service to my ministry.

To men and women missionaries and to all those who, by virtue of their baptism, share in any way in the mission of the Church, I send my heartfelt blessing.

From the Vatican, 9 June 2019, Solemnity of Pentecost

Holy Mother, Pray for us all!holy mother pray for us 30 jan 2019.jpg


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.”

St Peter’s Square
XXVIII Sunday of Ordinary Time

“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 …

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



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


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

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

as in the Rosary,
do the life of Jesus
and that of Mary,
appear so deeply joined.
Mary lives
only in Christ
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


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


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


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


One Minute Reflection – 18 September – “Arise! “

One Minute Reflection – 18 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 7:11–17, Tuesday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Saint Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski (1822-1895)

And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”... Luke 7:14band 17 sept 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “God wants us to stand upright.   He created us to be on our fee,: for this reason, Jesus’ compassion leads to that gesture of healing, to heal us, of which the key phrase is:  “Arise! Stand up, as God created you!”.   Standing up. “But Father, we fall so often” — “Onward, arise!”.   This is Jesus’ word, always.   His word revives us, gives us hope, refreshes weary hearts, opens us to a vision of the world and of life which transcends suffering and death” .…Pope Francis – General audience, 10 August 2016young-man-i-say-to-arise-luke-7-14b-pope-francis-god-wants-us-to-stand-upright-18-sept-2018 and 17 sept 2019

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help us to be holy in the way that You have laid out for us. Let us stand upright and carry out my duties of our state of life to the full. Only in You may we attain holiness, learning to give ourself, our will, our heart and to You. Keep us ever faithful to Your precepts and bring us to Your home, to look upon Your Face. May the prayers of Your saints assist us on our journey. In your untiring life of trust in God, St Zygmunt Felinksi, you sought to make Him the goal of all and the love of all, please pray that we may imitate your zeal and love. We ask all this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, zygmunt felinski 17 sept 2019 pray for us.jpg