Posted in "Follow Me", FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, THE ASSUMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – ‘ … She “follows the Lamb wherever he goes.”’ – St Aelred

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, Readings: Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10,; Psalm 45: 10-12, 16; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56

For behold, henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed.” – Luke 1:48

REFLECTION – “If Saint Mary Magdalene – who had been a sinner and from whom the Lord had cast out seven demons – merited to be glorified by him to the extent that her praise abides forever among the assembly of the saints, who can measure the extent to which “the upright rejoice and dance for joy in the presence of the Lord” with regard to holy Mary, who knew not man? … If the Apostle Peter, – who was not only unable to watch for one hour with Christ but, who even went so far as to deny him, – afterwards won such favour that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were entrusted to him, of what praises is holy Mary not worthy, who bore the King of Angels Himself in her womb, He Whom the Heavens cannot contain? If Saul, who “breathed murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord” … was the object of such mercy … that he was “caught up to the third heaven, whether in the body or out of the body,” it is not surprising, that the holy Mother of God – who stayed beside her Son through all the trials He endured, from His cradle onwards – should have been lifted up to Heaven, even in her body and exalted high above the Choirs of Angels.

If there is “joy in heaven before the angels over one sinner who repents”, who can tell what joyful and lovely praises rise up before God, concerning Holy Mary who never sinned? … Indeed, if those who “once were darkness” and have now become “light in the Lord” “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” who is able to tell “the eternal weight of glory” of Holy Mary, who came into the world “like dawn arising, beautiful as the moon, resplendent as the sun” and of whom was born “the true light which enlightens everyone coming into the world?” Moreover, since our Lord said: “Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, there will my servant also be,” where do we think His Mother must be, who served Him with such eagerness and fidelity? If she followed Him and obeyed Him, even to death, no-one can wonder, that now, more than anyone else, she “follows the Lamb wherever he goes.” – St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) – Cistercian Monk – 2nd sermon for the Assumption, from the Durham collection. (Biblical references : Lk 8:2; Ps 149[148]:1; Ps 68[67]:4; Lk 1:34; Mt 26:40.70; Mt 16:19; Acts 9:1; 2 Cor 12:2; Lk 22:28; Lk 15:7; Eph 5:8; Mt 13:43;  2 Cor 4:17; Sg 6:9; Jn 1:9; Jn 12:26; Rv 14:4)

PRAYER – God our Father, You crowned the Blessed Virgin Mary on the day of her Assumption with a glory beyond compare. You had looked on her lowliness and had made her the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son. Grant that by her prayers, we may be saved by the mystery of Your redemption and share with her in the glory of eternal life. We make our prayer through Christ Your Son, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, St PETER!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 August – St Peter

Quote/s of the Day – 5 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Numbers 20: 1-13; Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9; Matthew 16: 13-23

“Upon this rock I will build my church”

Matthew 16:18

“… Out of all the world,
one man, Peter … is chosen.”

“Nothing escaped the wisdom and power of Christ,
the elements of nature lay at His service,
spirits obeyed Him, angels served Him.
… And yet, out of all the world,
Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head,
for the calling of all the peoples
and the oversight of all the apostles
and Fathers of the Church. .”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

And what shall we say of Peter?
Even if he had undergone nothing for Christ,
it would be sufficient to celebrate him today
in that he was crucified for Him…
He well knew where, He Whom he loved,
He whom he longed for was… –
his cross has been his road to heaven.”

St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167),

O Peter, who were Named by Christ!
By Stanbrook Abbey
For the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

O Peter who were named by Christ!
The guardian-shepherd of His flock,
Protect the Church He built on you
To stand unyielding, firm on rock.

Your weakness, Christ exchanged for strength,
You faltered but He made you true.
He knew the greatness of your love
And gave the keys of heav’n to you
.

Unseen, eternal Trinity,
We give You glory, praise Your name,
Your love keeps faith with faithless men,
Through change and stress, You are the same.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 23 July – Good ground

Quote/s of the Day – 23 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 20: 1-17; Psalms 19: 8, 9, 10, 11; Matthew 13: 18-23

“But he that received the seed upon good ground”

Matthew 13:23

“ If you would rise,
shun luxury,
for luxury lowers and degrades.“

St John Chyrsostum (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“You have made us for Yourself
and our hearts are restless
until they rest in You.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus
our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh but living in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ,
there is death
and in the Cross of Christ, there is life.
The death of death is there
and the life of life.
The death of sins is there
and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there
and the life of the spirit.
… It was fitting, that we,
who had fallen because of a tree,
might rise up because of a tree.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“St Bernard of the North”

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

One Minute Reflection – 29 June – ‘ … They are the two pillars who support the Church …’

One Minute Reflection – 29 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Readings: Acts 12:1-11, Psalm 34:2-9, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18, Matthew 16:13-19

Upon this rock I will build my church” – Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Though the earth and all who dwell in it quake, I have set firm its pillars” (Ps 74[75],40). All the Apostles are pillars of the earth but, at their head, the two whose feast we are celebrating. They are the two pillars who support the Church with their teaching, their prayer and the example of their steadfastness. The Lord Himself strengthened these pillars. For at first they were weak, completely incapable of supporting either themselves or others. And in this, the Lord’s great design appears – if they had always been strong, people could have thought their strength came from themselves. That is why the Lord wanted to show, what they were capable of, before strengthening them, so that all might know their strength came from God… Peter was thrown to the ground by the voice of a mere servant… and the other pillar was very weak too: “I was once a blasphemer and persecutor and an arrogant man” (1Tm 1,13)…

Hence, we ought to praise these Saints with all our heart – our fathers who bore such trials for the Lord’s sake and who persevered with such determination. It is nothing to persevere in joy, happiness and peace. But this is what is great – to be stoned, scourged, struck for Christ (2Cor 11,25) and in all this, to persevere with Christ. With Paul it is a great thing to be cursed and to bless, to be persecuted and to endure, to be slandered and to console, to be like the world’s rubbish and to draw glory from it (1Cor 4,12-13)… And what shall we say of Peter? Even if he had undergone nothing for Christ, it would be sufficient to celebrate him today in that he was crucified for him… He well knew where, He Whom he loved, He whom he longed for was…: his cross has been his road to heaven.” – St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian Monk – Sermon 18, for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul – PL 195, 298

PRAYER – Almighty ever-living God, You give us the great joy of devoting this day to the honour of the great Apostles Peter and Paul. Grant Your Church may follow their teachings fully because these are the men who first taught us to worship You in Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on JEALOUSY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 May – “Lord and what shall this man do?” – John 21:21

One Minute Reflection – 22 May – “Mary’s Month” – Readings: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31, Psalm 11:4-5, 7, John 21:20-25

“Lord and what shall this man do?” – John 21:21

REFLECTION – “There are some persons who think they are not loved because they cannot be promoted, and who allege that they are despised, if they are not entrusted with responsibilities and offices. We know that as a result of this type of thinking no small discord has sprung up among those who were considered friends, so that estrangement followed upon indignation and railings upon estrangement ….

To Peter He commended His Church; to John, His most beloved Mother (Jn 19:27).
To Peter He gave the keys of His kingdom (Mt 16:19); to John He revealed the secrets of His heart (Jn 13:25).
Peter, therefore, was the more exalted; John, the more secure.
Although Peter was established in power, nevertheless, when Jesus said, “One of you will betray me,” (Jn 13:21) He was afraid and trembled along with the rest but John, leaning on the bosom of his Master, was made the bolder and at a nod from Peter, asked who the traitor was.
Peter, therefore, was exposed to action, John was reserved for love, according to the words of Christ: “So will I have him remain till I come.” Thus Christ, gave us the example, that we might do in like manner. – St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167) Cistercian Monk – Spiritual Friendship, III, 115, 117

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

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – “If the world hates you …

Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 16:1-10, Psalm 100:1-3, 5, John 15:18-21

“If the world hates you,
know that it has hated me first.”

John 15:18

“If you were of the world,
the world would love you as its own
but because you are not of the world
but I chose you out of the world,
therefore, the world hates you.”

John 15:19

“God watches us – we, His children –
take part in the combat
and Himself gives us a heavenly crown ( 1Cor 9:25).
The angels watch us too
and Christ comes to our aid.
So let us arm ourselves with all our might,
let us fight the good fight,
with brave hearts and solid faith.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr,
Father of the Church

“Do not rejoice in the Cross only in times of peace,
preserve the same faith in times of persecution.
Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone,
only to become His enemy in times of war.
You are now receiving forgiveness for your sins
and the spiritual gifts lavishly bestowed by your King so,
when war breaks out, fight valiantly for your King.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“When insults have no effect on us,
when persecutions and penalties,
have no terror for us,
when prosperity or adversity,
has no influence on us,
when friend and foe,
are viewed in the same light…
do we not come close,
to sharing, the serenity of God?”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

“O man, when the world hates you and is faithless toward you,
think of your God, how He was struck and spat upon.
You should not accuse your neighbour of guilt
but pray to God, that He be merciful to you both.”

St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

“Catholics are part of the Church Militant.
They struggle and they suffer for the triumph of Christ.
They must never lose sight of their Divine Model,
so that their trials will be turned into joy.”

Saint Pius X (1835-1914)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 23 March – The Word of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 23 March – Tuesday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21, John 8:21-30

“Are you able to drink the cup
that I am to drink?”

Matthew 20:22

“…And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

John 3:14-15

“The servant is not greater than his Master”

John 13:16

“He conquered death,
broke the gates of hell,
won for Himself a people
to be His co-heirs,
lifted flesh from corruption
up to the glory of eternity.”

“The Son of God is nailed to the Cross
but on the Cross,
God conquers human death.
Christ, the Son of God, dies
but all flesh is made alive in Christ.
The Son of God is in hell
but man is carried back to heaven.”

St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Church

The Word of the Cross
by Saint Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431)

Look on thy God, Christ hidden in our flesh.
A bitter word, the cross and bitter sight:
Hard rind without, to hold the heart of heaven.
Yet sweet it is, for God upon that tree
Did offer up His life upon that rood
My Life hung, that my life might stand in God.
Christ, what am I to give Thee for my life?
Unless take from Thy hands the cup they hold,
To cleanse me with the precious draught of death.
What shall I do? My body to be burned?
Make myself vile? The debt’s not paid out yet.
Whate’er I do, it is but I and Thou,
And still do I come short, still must Thou pay
My debts, O Christ, for debts Thyself hadst none.
What love may balance Thine? My Lord was found
In fashion like a slave, that so His slave
Might find himself in fashion like his Lord.
Think you the bargain’s hard, to have exchanged
The transient for the eternal, to have sold
Earth to buy Heaven? More dearly God bought me.

“How can you become a sharer,
in His glory (1 Pt 5:1)
if you will not consent,
to become a sharer,
in His humiliating death?”

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh, but liv­ing in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ, there is death
and in the Cross of Christ there is life.
The death of death is there and the life of life.
The death of sins is there and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there and the life of the spirit.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

“ … If you die with Him,
you shall also likewise
live with Him.
If you are His companion in punishment,
so shall you be in glory.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

(Book II, Ch 12)

Posted in "Follow Me", LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, The SECOND COMING

Quote/s of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx

Quote/s of the Day – 12 January – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

“We should consider how much good
our Lord did us,
by His first coming
and how much more He will do for us,
by His second.
This thought will help us,
to have a great love
for that first coming of His
and a great longing for His return.”

“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus
our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh but living in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ,
there is death
and in the Cross of Christ, there is life.
The death of death is there
and the life of life.
The death of sins is there
and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there
and the life of the spirit.
… It was fitting, that we,
who had fallen because of a tree,
might rise up because of a tree.”

“Faith is not even a virtue,
unless it is expressed by love,
nor is hope,
unless it loves,
what it hopes for.”

“When insults have no effect on us,
when persecutions and penalties,
have no terror for us,
when prosperity or adversity,
has no influence on us,
when friend and foe,
are viewed in the same light…
do we not come close,
to sharing, the serenity of God?”

“If I see him [my neighbour] in distress,
whether it be on account
of the austerity of the food.
or because of work or the vigils –
if, I say, I see that he is tormented
in body and tempted in spirit,
if I see him in such affliction,
and…do not on occasion
accommodate myself to the infirmities of the weak
I am not running in the fragrance
of Christ’s ointments
but with the harshness of the pharisees.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“St Bernard of the North”

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Behold Me, O Sweet Lord, Behold Me! By St Aelred

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Seventh day in the Octave of Epiphany and the Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

Behold Me, O Sweet Lord, Behold Me!
By St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

Behold me, O sweet Lord, behold me!
For I hope. that in Your loving kindness,
O Most Merciful One,
You will behold me,
either as a loving physician to heal,
a kind teacher to correct,
or an indulgent father to pardon…
confident in Your sweet powerful mercy
and most merciful power,
I ask in virtue of Your sweet Name
and of the mystery of Your sacred humanity
that, mindful of Your kindness
and unmindful of my ingratitude,
You forgive me my sins
and heal the languors of my soul.
Amen

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Conquest, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Memorials of the Saints – 12 January

Our Lady of Conquest, Santa Fe, New Mexico – 12 January:
In the North Chapel of the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Fe stands a little statue (scarcely three feet tall) of Our Lady holding the Child Jesus. It was skilfully carved by loving hands in Spain. Mary is clad in a richly embroidered dress, topped by a jewelled crown. Her regal countenance wears a serene, detached expression that is strangely impressive. This is Our Lady of Conquest, or La Conquistadora.
The statue of Our Lady of Conquest came to the new world in the care of the Franciscan missionary Fray Alonso da Venevides. She was installed with great ceremony in a Church in Santa Fe. Over the ensuing decades, as often happens, the men living in the region did not practice their religion as they should. Mary appeared in a vision to a young girl, warning her that the colony would be overrun due to the loss of reverence for Priests and the Faith.
In the year 1680 the local Indians rose up and attacked the Spanish. Twenty-one Priests were killed and the colonists completely driven out of the region. The statue was rescued from the burning Church and taken back to Mexico with the colonists who escaped the wrath of the Indians.


It was not until the year 1691 that Don Diego de Vargas was sent by the King of Spain to attempt the re-settlement of the city of Santa Fe. Like so many Spanish heroes who had accomplished seemingly impossible deeds during their lifetimes, he was as fervent a Catholic as he was a capable knight. Don Diego de Vargas carried with him the statue of Our Lady as he re-entered New Mexico. Although he had only a small force, he was able to peacefully negotiate a peace with the various Indian nations. He attributed his success to “the Sovereign Queen, Most Blessed Mary.” He is said to have vowed to build a chapel for her and hold a yearly procession if she would grant him a speedy and bloodless victory over the Indian, which she did.
Upon reaching his goal, however, the Indians refused to allow the Spanish colonists to return to Santa Fe. The Spanish under Don Diego were few in number and they were forced to fight a numerically superior force.
The colonists prayed the Rosary before the statue of the Blessed Virgin, as the men engaged the Indians in battle. The fighting lasted all day and it was not until evening when they reclaimed the city. Once again, Mary was credited for the victory and to show her sovereignty, Don Diego placed an officer’s baton in her hand.
The Shrine symbolises a spirit of deep-rooted Faith and devotion, which characterised the “Conquistadores” of this land. There is still a great deal of devotion shown to Mary at the Cathedral of St Francis, which includes processions, fiestas and other celebrations.
The statue was formally crowned by Cardinal Francis Spellman and in 1960 received a Papal Coronation.

St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)
About St Aelred:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/saint-of-the-day-12-january-st-aelred-of-rievaulx-1110-1167-saint-bernard-of-the-north/

Bl Antoine Fournier
St Antonio Maria Pucci OSM (1819-1892)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/12/saint-of-the-day-st-anthony-mary-pucci-osm-1819-1892/
St Arcadius of Mauretania
Bl Bartholomew Alvarez
Bl Bernardo de Plano
St Biccianus
St Benedict Biscop OSB (c 628-690) – Bishop and Abbot of Wearmouth, who introduced Stained Glass windows to England and raised the Venerable Saint Bede
St Bernard of Corleone
St Caesaria of Arles
St Caroticus
Bl Emmanuel d’Abreu
St Eutropius
St Ferreolus of Grenoble
Bl John Gaspard Cratz
St John of Ravenna
Bl Lucia of Valcaldara
St Marguerite Bourgeoys CND (1620-1700)
St Marguerite’s Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/saint-of-the-day-12-january-st-marguerite-bourgeoys/

St Martinian of Belozersk
St Martin of León
Bl Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
St Peter of Abessala
Blessed Pierre-François Jamet (1762-1845)
About Blessed Pierre-François:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/12/saint-of-the-day-12-january-blessed-pierre-francois-jamet-1762-1845/
St Probus of Verona
St Quinctus the Soldier
St Satyrus
St Tatiana of Rome
St Tigrius
St Victorian of Asana
Bl Vincent da Cunha

Martyrs of Africa – 44 saints: A group of 44 Christian soldiers murdered together for their faith in Africa. The only details that survive are four of their names – Castulus, Modestus, Rogatus and Zoticus.

Martyrs of Ephesus – 42 saints: Forty-two monks martyred at a monastery in Ephesus (modern Turkey) during the persecutions of the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred c 762.

Martyrs of Iona – 38 saints: Thirty-eight monks martyred in Iona, Ireland. Their names have not come down to us. They were Martyred in 750 at Iona, Ireland.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARY'S MONTH, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – Mary, Mother of God

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

“If anyone does not believe
that Holy Mary
is the Mother of God,
such a one is a stranger
to the Godhead.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“That anyone could doubt, the right
of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God,
fills me with astonishment.
Surely, she must be the Mother of God,
if our Lord Jesus Christ is God
and she gave birth to Him!”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor

“Having confidence in you,
O Mother of God, I shall be saved.
Being under you protection,
I shall fear nothing.
With your help,
I shall give battle to my enemies
and put them to flight,
for devotion to you,
is an arm of Salvation.”

St John Damascene (676-749)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world but to God.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Hail MARY!, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The REDEMPTION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – Is she not our mother?

Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

“And if any man
will not receive His birth from a virgin,
how shall he receive His resurrection
from the dead?
For it is nothing wonderful
and astonishing and extraordinary,
if one who was not born,
rose from the dead – nay indeed,
we cannot speak of a resurrection of him
who came unto being without birth.
For one who is unborn and immortal
and has not undergone birth,
will also not undergo death.
For He, who took not the beginning of man,
how could He receive His end?”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Martyr, Theologian, Father

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world but to God.”

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs
mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in HER,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
From his sermons – Sermon 20

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 September – Seventy times seven – Matthew 18:21-22

One Minute Reflection – 13 September – Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Sirach 27:30 – 28:7Psalms 103:1-23-49-1011-12Romans 14: 7-9Matthew 18:21-35 and the Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Doctor – “John of the Golden Mouth”

“Then Peter came up and said to him,
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me
and I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him,
“I do not say to you seven times
but seventy times seven.”
… Matthew 18:21-22

REFLECTION – “The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies.
We can find no greater inspiration for this, than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ. He who is more fair than all the sons of men, offered His fair face to be spat upon by sinful men. He allowed those eyes, that rule the universe, to be blindfolded by wicked men. He bared His back to the scourges. He submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers, to the sharpness of the thorns. He gave Himself up to be mocked and reviled and, at the end, endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace. In short, He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb before the shearers He kept silent and did not open his mouth.
Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity – Father, forgive them – and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love?
Father, He says, forgive them. Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer?
Yet He put into it, something more. It was not enough to pray for them, He wanted also to make excuses for them. Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. They are great sinners, yes but they have little judgement, therefore, Father, forgive them. They are nailing Me to the cross but they do not know who It is that they are nailing to the cross, if they had known, they would never have Crucified the Lord of glory.
Therefore, Father, forgive them. They think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people. I have hidden My Face from them and they do not recognise My glory. Therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulging his sinful nature.
If he wishes to resist the promptings of his sinful nature, he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love, to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord.
Further, if he wishes to savour the joy of brotherly love with greater perfection and delight, he must extend even to his enemies the embrace of true love.
But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Saviour.” … St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110 – 1167)Speculum Caritatis 3,5

PRAYER – Lord God, strength of those who hope in You, by Your will, St John Chrysostom became renowned in the Church, for his astounding eloquence and his forbearance in persecution. Grant that we may be enriched by his teaching and thus grow in sanctity, to follow the commandments You set forth in Your Word, Your Son who is our Saviour and Redeemer. By the prayers of St John Chrysostom, may we attain the place You have prepared for us. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day 11 September – Blessed Charles Spinola – Martyr

Quote/s of the Day 11 September – Friday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12, Luke 6:39-42 and the Memorial of Blessed Charles Spinola SJ (1564-1622) Priest, Martyr, Missionary to Japan

“A disciple is not above his teacher…”

Luke 6:40

“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh, but liv­ing in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ, there is death
and in the Cross of Christ there is life.
The death of death is there and the life of life.
The death of sins is there and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there and the life of the spirit.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

Blessed Charles Spinola went underground, going by the foreshadowing alias “Joseph of the Cross”, a haunt of the shadows who was obliged to conceal himself from daylight because his foreign features were instantly recognisable. With the help of Nagasaki’s ample Christian community he eluded capture for an amazingly long time.

“For nearly two years and a half I have devoted myself to encourage and support the Christians of this country, not without great difficulty. Having no home, I pass secretly from house to house, to hear confessions and celebrate our holy mysteries by night. Most of my time I spend in utter solitude, deprived of all human converse and consolation, having only that which God gives to those who suffer for His love … However I am tolerably well and, though destitute of almost everything and taking but one scanty meal a day, I do not fall away. Does not this prove that “man liveth not by bread alone?”

-Letter of Spinola dated March 20, 1617

“Father, how sweet and delightful
is it to suffer for Jesus Christ!
I have learned this better by experience
than I am able to express,
especially since we are in these dungeons
where we fast continually.
The strength of my body fails me
but my joy increases as I see death draw nearer.
O what a happiness for me,
if next Easter I shall sing the heavenly Alleluia
in the company of the blessed!”

“Oh, if you had tasted the delights
with which God fills the souls
of those who serve Him
and suffer for Him,
how would you condemn all that the world can promise!”

“… God is to be served chiefly for Himself alone,
for He is the fountain of all goodness
and merits all our devotion,
without any hope of reward.”

Bl Charles Spinola SJ (1564-1622)
Priest, Martyr

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 September – “If your brother sins against you” Matthew 18:15-17

Quote/s of the Day – 6 September – Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ezekiel 33:7-9, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9, Romans 13:8-10, Matthew 18:15-20

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”

Matthew 18:15-17

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart
but you shall reason with your neighbour,
lest you bear sin because of him.
You shall not take vengeance
or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people
but, you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord”

Leviticus 19:17-18

“Someone who shows no clemency,
who is not clothed with the bowels of mercy and tears,
no matter what sort of student he is in spirituality,
such a one does not fulfil the law of Christ.”

St Jerome (347-420)
Priest, Translator of the Bible,
Father & Doctor of the Church

“If you do not close your ear to others,
you open God’s ear to yourself.”

“If you want God to know that you are hungry,
know that another is hungry.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.
If you ask for yourself what you deny to others,
your asking is a mockery.”

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

“Be gentle to the weak,
firm to the stubborn,
steadfast to the proud,
humble to the lowly.”

St Columban (543-615)

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

“See to it that you refrain from harsh words.
But if you do speak them,
do not be ashamed to apply the remedy
from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”

St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)

“O man, when the world hates you and is faithless toward you,
think of your God, how He was struck and spat upon.
You should not accuse your neighbour of guilt
but pray to God, that He be merciful to you both.”

St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

“You must be reconciled with your enemies,
speak to them as if they had never done you
anything but good all your life,
keeping nothing in your heart but the charity,
which the good Christian should have for everyone,
so that we can all appear with confidence
before the tribunal of God.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SPEAKING of ....., The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – “Mary”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“Speaking of Mary”

“In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor

in her god spun - st pehrem - annunciation 25 march 2019

“A gentle maiden
having lodged
a God in her womb,
asks as it’s price,
peace for the world,
salvation for those who are lost
and life for the dead.”

St Peter Chrysologus “Golden Words”
(c 400-450) Father & Doctor

a gentle maiden having lodged a god in her womb - st peter chrysologus 30 july 2019

“No-one will ever be,
the servant of the Son
without serving the Mother.”

St Ildephonsus (607-670)

no-one-will-ever-be-a-servant-of-the-son-st-ildephonsus-5-may-2018 and 16 july 2020 (1)

“If the hurricanes of temptation rise against you,
or you are running upon the rocks of trouble,
look to the star – call on Mary!”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

if-the-hurricanes-of-temptation-st-bernard-5-may-2018 and 16 july 2020

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren,
she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world
but to God.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

what-shall-we-say-brethren-st-aelred-9-may-2019

“Mary is the most
sweet bait,
chosen,
prepared
and ordained by God,
to catch the hearts of men.”

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

mary is the most sweet bait - st catherine of siena 16 july 2020

“Just as there is not one among all the Blessed
who loves God as Mary does, so there is no-one,
after God, who loves us as much as this most loving Mother does.
Furthermore, if we heaped together
all the love that mothers have for their children,
all the love of husbands and wives,
all the love of all the angels and Saints for their clients,
it could never equal Mary’s love for even a single soul.”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church
(The Glories of Mary)just-as-there-is-not-one-15-jan-2018-st-alphonsus-liguori ad 16 july 2020

“Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest;
from now until then, she is much too busy with her children.”

“To serve the Queen of Heaven, is already to reign there
and to live under her commands, is more than to govern.”

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

only-after-the-last-judgment-st-john-vianney-15-jan-2018 and 16 july 2020

”To desire grace, without recourse to the Virgin Mother,
is to desire to fly without wings!”

Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

to desire grace - ven pope pius XII - 15 jan 2018

“Always stay close to this Heavenly Mother,
because she is the sea to be crossed
to reach the shores of Eternal Splendour.”

St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

always stay close to this heavenly mother - st padre pio - 5 may 2018

“Honouring Mary,
no matter how sacred,
is only the door
leading to Jesus.
Mary is the means,
Jesus is the end.
Mary is the road,
Jesus is the destination.”

mary-is-the-road-jesus-is-the-destination-26-june-2019-1-1 and 16 july 2020

Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad (1875-1954)

honouring-mary-bl-jacques-ghazir-haddid-26-june-2019-1 and 16 july 2020

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 January – Behold me, O Sweet Lord, Behold me!

Our Morning Offering – 16 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Behold me, O Sweet Lord, Behold me!
By St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

Behold me, O sweet Lord, behold me!
For I hope that in Your loving kindness,
O Most Merciful One,
You will behold me
either as a loving physician to heal,
a kind teacher to correct,
or an indulgent father to pardon…
confident in Your sweet powerful mercy
and most merciful power,
I ask in virtue of Your sweet Name
and of the mystery of Your sacred humanity,
that, mindful of Your kindness
and unmindful of my ingratitude,
You forgive me my sins
and heal the languors of my soul.
Amenbehold me o sweet lord behold me by st aelred 16 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – 12 January and Memorials of the Saints

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – 12 January 2020
2019:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/13/feast-of-the-baptism-of-the-lord-13-jan-2019/
St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)
About St Aelred:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/saint-of-the-day-12-january-st-aelred-of-rievaulx-1110-1167-saint-bernard-of-the-north/

Bl Antoine Fournier
St Antonio Maria Pucci OSM (1819-1892)

Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/12/saint-of-the-day-st-anthony-mary-pucci-osm-1819-1892/
St Arcadius of Mauretania
Bl Bartholomew Alvarez
Bl Bernardo de Plano
St Biccianus
St Benedict Biscop
St Bernard of Corleone
St Caesaria of Arles
St Caroticus
Bl Emmanuel d’Abreu
St Eutropius
St Ferreolus of Grenoble
Bl John Gaspard Cratz
St John of Ravenna
Bl Lucia of Valcaldara
St Marguerite Bourgeoys CND (1620-1700)

St Marguerite’s Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/saint-of-the-day-12-january-st-marguerite-bourgeoys/

St Martinian of Belozersk
St Martin of León
Bl Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
St Peter of Abessala
Blessed Pierre-François Jamet (1762-1845)
St Probus of Verona
St Quinctus the Soldier
St Satyrus
St Tatiana of Rome
St Tigrius
St Victorian of Asana
Bl Vincent da Cunha

Martyrs of Africa – 44 saints: A group of 44 Christian soldiers murdered together for their faith in Africa. The only details that survive are four of their names – Castulus, Modestus, Rogatus and Zoticus.

Martyrs of Ephesus – 42 saints: Forty-two monks martyred at a monastery in Ephesus (modern Turkey) during the persecutions of the Iconoclast Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred c 762.

Martyrs of Iona – 38 saints: Thirty-eight monks martyred in Iona, Ireland. Their names have not come down to us. They were Martyred in 750 at Iona, Ireland.

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – “Speaking of Mary”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 July – The Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“Speaking of Mary”

“In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.”

Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctorin-her-god-spun-st-pehrem-annunciation-25-march-2019.jpg

“What shall we say, brethren?
Is she not our mother?
Certainly, brethren,
she is in truth our mother.
Through her we are born,
not to the world
but to God.”what-shall-we-say-brethren-st-aelred-9-may-2019

“But what are we to do for her?
What sort of gifts shall we offer her?
O that we might at least repay to her,
the debt we owe her!
We owe her honour,
we owe her devotion,
we owe her love,
we owe her praise.
We owe her honour
because she is the mother of Our Lord.
He who does not honour the mother,
will without doubt dishonour the son.
Besides, scripture says:
‘Honour your father and your mother.’”but what are we to do for her - st aelred - 16 july 2019.jpg

“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.
If the Lord is to be praised in those saints
through whom He performs mighty works and miracles,
how much more should He be praised in her,
in whom He fashioned Himself,
He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”

Saint Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

From his sermons – Sermon 20

scripture-says-praise-the-lord-st-aelred-on-mary-9-may-2019

“Who is the flower but our Blessed Lord?
Who is the rod, or beautiful stalk
or stem or plant out of which the flower grows
but Mary, Mother of our Lord, Mary, Mother of God?”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)who-is-the-flower-but-our-blessed-lord-bl-john-henry-newman-1-may-2018.jpg

“Honouring Mary,
no matter how sacred,
is only the door
leading to Jesus.
Mary is the means,
Jesus is the end.
Mary is the road,
Jesus is the destination.”

Blessed Jacques Ghazir Haddad (1875-1954)honouring mary - bl jacques ghazir haddid 26 june 2019.jpg

mary is the road jesus is the destination - 26 june 2019 .jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Marian Thoughts – 9 May – Mary, our Mother

Marian Thoughts – 9 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Thursday Third Week of Easter, C

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)

From his sermons – Sermon 20

Mary, our Mother

what shall we say brethren - st aelred 9 may 2019

Let us come to His bride, let us come to His mother, let us come to the best of His handmaidens.   All of these descriptions fit Blessed Mary.

But what are we to do for her?   What sort of gifts shall we offer her?   O that we might at least repay to her the debt we owe her!   We owe her honour, we owe her devotion, we owe her love, we owe her praise.   We owe her honour because she is the mother of Our Lord.   He who does not honour the mother, will without doubt dishonour the son. Besides, scripture says: ‘Honour your father and your mother.’

What shall we say, brethren?   Is she not our mother?   Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother.   Through her we are born, not to the world but to God.

We all, as you believe and know, were in death, in the infirmity of old age, in darkness, in misery.   In death because we had lost the Lord, in infirmity of old age , because we were in corruptio, in darkness because we had lost the light of wisdom and so we had altogether perished.

But through blessed Mary we all underwent a much better birth than through Eve, inasmuch as Christ was born of Mary.   Instead of the infirmity of old age, we have regained youth, instead of corruption, incorruption, instead of darkness, light.

She is our mother, mother of our incorruption, of our light.   The Apostle says of our Lord, ‘Whom God made our righteousness, our sanctification and our redemption.’

She, therefore, who is the mother of Chris,t is the mother of our wisdom, mother of our righteousness, mother of our sanctification, mother of our redemption.   Therefore, she is more our mother than the mother of our flesh.   Better, therefore, is our birth, which we derive from Mary, for from her is our holiness, our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption.

Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’.   If the Lord is to be praised in those saints through whom He performs mighty works and miracles, how much more should He be praised in her, in whom He fashioned Himself, He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.

From the Little Office of Mary
++++++++++++++++scripture says praise the lord - st aelred on mary - 9 may 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“Speaking of Charity”

“The bread which you use
is the bread of the hungry;
the garment hanging in your wardrobe
is the garment of him who is naked;
the shoes you do NOT wear,
are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;
the acts of charity that you do NOT perform,
are so many INJUSTICES that you commit.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-bread-you-store-up-st-basil-the-great-1-jan-2019.jpg

“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God,
if we have given what we could.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Churchgive-something-however-small-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2016.jpg

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity-may-be-a-very-short-word-st-aelred-12-jan-2019.jpg

“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy,
we can never fail to do good,
so long as we have the strength.
For if we share with the poor,
out of love for God,
whatever He has given to us,
we shall receive according to His promise,
a hundredfold in eternal happiness.
What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!
With outstretched arms He begs us
to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins
and to become the servants of love,
first for ourselves, then for our neighbours.
Just as water extinguishes a fire,
so love wipes away sin.”

St John of God (1495-1550)with-outstretched-arms-he-begs-us-st-john-of-god-8-march-2019.jpg

“Nothing makes us
so prosperous
in this world,
as to give alms.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchnothing-makes-us-so-prosperous-st-francis-de-sales-24jan2019.jpg

“Help me, O Lord, …
that my eyes may be merciful,
so that I will never be suspicious
or judge by appearances
but always look for what is beautiful
in my neighbours’ souls
and be of help to them…
That my ears may be merciful,
so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs
and not indifferent to their pains and complaints.…
That my tongue may be merciful,
so that I will never speak badly of others
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.…
That my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds.…
That my feet may be merciful,
so that I will hasten to help my neighbour,
despite my own fatigue and weariness.…
That my heart may be merciful,
so that I myself will share
in all the sufferings of my neighbour.”

St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

(Extract from Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, 163)
This prayer was used by Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy 2015 to be universally prayed by the Church.help-me-o-lord-that-i-may-be-merciful-st-faustina-15-feb-2019.jpg

Posted in PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)

Thought for the Day – 12 January – 6th day after Epiphany and The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity may be a very short word - st aelred - 12 jan 2019

Aelred of Rievaulx on Jesus Christ as the model of brotherly love and patience through His forgiveness of persecutors and enemies and His prayer from the cross
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

“The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies.   We can find no greater inspiration for this, than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ.   He who is more fair than all the sons of men, offered His fair face to be spat upon by sinful men;  He allowed those eyes that rule the universe to be blindfolded by wicked men;  He bared His back to the scourges;  He submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers, to the sharpness of the thorns;  He gave Himself up to be mocked and reviled and, at the end, endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace.

In short, He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb before the shearers, He kept silent and did not open His mouth.

Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity – Father, forgive them – and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love?   Father, He says, forgive them!   Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer?

Yet He put into it something more.   It was not enough to pray for them – He wanted also to make excuses for them.  Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.   They are great sinners, yes but they have little judgement;  therefore, Father, forgive them.   They are nailing me to the cross but they do not know who it is that they are nailing to the cross – if they had known, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory, therefore, Father, forgive them.   They think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people.   I have hidden my face from them and they do not recognise my glory, therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulging his sinful nature.   If he wishes to resist the promptings of his sinful nature he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord.   Further, if he wishes to savour the joy of brotherly love, with greater perfection and delight, he must extend even to his enemies the embrace of true love.

But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Saviour.”

This excerpt from the Mirror of Love by Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, abbot (Lib 3, 5: PL 195, 382) focuses on Christ as the supreme model of brotherly love, shown primarily in His love of persecutors and enemies.   It is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Friday of the 1st week in Lent with the accompanying biblical reading taken from Exodus 12: 21-36.

St Aelred, Pray for Us!st-aelred-pray-for-us-12-jan-2019

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – Behold me, O Sweet Lord – St Aelred

Our Morning Offering – 12 January – 6th day after Epiphany and The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx OCSO (1110-1167)

Behold me, O Sweet Lord, Behold me!
By St Aelred of Rievaulx

Behold me, O sweet Lord, behold me!
For I hope that in Your loving kindness,
O Most Merciful One,
You will behold me
either as a loving physician to heal,
a kind teacher to correct,
or an indulgent father to pardon…
confident in Your sweet powerful mercy
and most merciful power,
I ask in virtue of Your sweet Name
and of the mystery of Your sacred humanity,
that, mindful of Your kindness
and unmindful of my ingratitude,
You forgive me my sins
and heal the languors of my soul.
Amenbehold me o sweet lord behold me - st aelred 12 jan 2019

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 12 Jan – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

Thought for the Day – 12 Jan – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)  “St Bernard of the North”

Although St Aelred lived a millennium ago, his life and writings have a distinctively contemporary feel.   An extremely competent administrator of Rievaulx, a vast Yorkshire abbey in Northern England, yet even more a spiritual father to hundreds of men, had we met Aelred we would identify him with Pope John XXIII or Carlo Martini, the archbishop of Milan, Italy.   Like these beloved shepherds of the modern church, Aelred loved his flock and was much loved in return.   As I was walking around the cloisters, he said, all the brothers were sitting together.   And in the whole throng I could not find one whom I did not love and by whom I was not loved.


As a writer, too, Aelred seems to address our modern concerns and sensibilities.   In his teaching that the interior life is communal—that we move from self and sin to find God in community—we might imagine we are hearing Father Henri Nouwen or Dorothy Day. Consider, for example, Aelred’s reflections on how spiritual friendship leads us to Christ:

It is no small consolation in this life to have someone who can unite with you in an intimate affection and the embrace of a holy love.   Someone in whom your spirit can rest, to whom you can pour out your soul, to whose pleasant exchanges, as to soothing songs, you can fly in sorrow.   To the dear breast of whose friendship, amidst the many troubles of the world, you can safely retire.   A person who can shed tears with you in your worries, be happy with you when things go well, search out with you the answers to your problems, whom with the ties of charity you can lead into the depths of your heart.   A person who, though absent in body, is yet present in spirit, where heart to heart you can talk to him, where the sweetness of the Spirit flows between you, where you so join yourself and cleave to him that soul mingles with soul and two become one.

And so praying to Christ for your friend and longing to be heard by Christ for your friend’s sake, you reach out with devotion and desire to Christ Himself.   And suddenly and insensibly, as though touched by the gentleness of Christ close at hand, you begin to taste how sweet He is and to feel how lovely He is.   Thus from that holy love with which you embrace your friend, you rise to that love by which you embrace Christ. (LoyolaPress)

May all our friendships lead us to Christ!   St Aelred, Pray for us!

st aelred pray for us - 12 jan 2018 - no 2

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – The Memorials of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) and St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – The Memorialsof St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) and St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)

And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.   And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours…1 John 5:14-151 john 5 - 14 15

REFLECTION – “It seems to me, that we do not pay enough attention to prayer, for unless it arises from the heart, which ought to be its centre, it is no more than a fruitless dream. Prayer ought to carry over into our thoughts, our words and our actions…..It is true that all I have ever desired most deeply and what I still most ardently wish, is that the great precept of the love of God, above all things and of the neighbour as oneself, be written in every heart.”… St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)
“Charity may be a very short word but with its tremendous meaning of pure love, it sums up man’s entire relation to God and to his neighbour.”…St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) it seems too me - st amarguerite bourgeoys - 12 jan 2018charity may be - st aelred - 12 jan 2018

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me the grace to strive after perfect love.   Help me to bring forth frequent acts of love towards my neighbour, which flow from You, the summit of my prayer and the teacher of all that is good and in this, to grow each day in love for You and for all your creatures….St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167), St Marguerite Bourgeoys Pray for us, amen.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “Saint Bernard of the North”

Saint of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Writer, Spiritual director, Poet, Preacher, Historian, Advisor and peacemaker.    He is called  “Saint Bernard of the North”.   St Aelred was born in 1110 at Hexham, England and he died on 12 January 1167 at Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, England of kidney disease.   He was buried in the Rievaulx Chapter House.   In 1191 his relics were translated to the abbey church and enshrined behind the high altar.   Patronage – kidney stone sufferers.   Attributes – monk holding a book or scroll.

St Aelred was the son of Eilaf, a priest during a period when English priests were allowed to marry and keeper of the shrine of Hexham.    He was the Master of the household of the court of King David of Scotland and was known for his gentle spirituality and his personal austerity amid the court life.    King David wanted to make his friend a bishop, but instead Aelred left Scotland in 1134 to become a Cistercian monk at Rievaulx, Yorkshire, England.

Their he became the Master of novices and later the first abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Revensby, Lincolnshire, England in 1142.

He returned to Rievaulx to become the Abbot in 1147, which made him the superior of all Cistercians in England and kept him much on the road, travelling from house to house, preaching throughout England and Scotland.    He acted as peacemaker among the Picts in Galway, ending disputes and revitalising the faith in the area.   He composed sermons and prayers, wrote works on the spiritual and aescetic life, wrote on the lives of King David of Scotland, Saint Ninian and Saint Edward the Confessor and was considered a living saint by those who knew him.

O God, who gave the blessed Abbot Aelred the grace of being all things to all men, grant that, following his example, we may so spend ourselves in the service of one another, as to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

As the author of Spiritual Friendship, Saint Aelred’s Pastoral Prayer is a profound meditation on the Rule of Saint Benedict which shaped his thinking and led him (and his disciples) to prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

So, with today’s liturgical memorial of Saint Aelred celebrated especially by Benedictines and Cistercians, the Church’s memory of the life and teaching of Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, ought to open for us a renewed interest in friendship with Christ and with one another, as well as a more sincere devotion to the Cross.   It is the Cross that shapes the life of the Christian and more poignantly, that of the person professing monastic vows as a monk, nun or the oblate promise.   In his well-known treatise, Spiritual Friendship, Saint Aelred has a well-known and bold teaching:  “God is friendship.”   This is clearly an understanding of Saint John’s theology, “God is love.”   God is friendship is Saint Aelred’s personal experience of God’s intimacy with him.

Aelred was never formally canonised in the manner that was later established but he became the centre of a cult in the north of England that was officially recognised by Cistercians in 1476.    As such, he was venerated as a saint, with his body kept at Rievaulx.   In the sixteenth century, before the dissolution of the monastery, John Leland, claims he saw Aelred’s shrine at Rievaulx containing Aelred’s body glittering with gold and silver.   Today, Aelred of Rievaulx is listed as a saint on 12 January, the traditional date of his death, in the latest official edition of the Roman Martyrology, which expresses the official position of the Roman Catholic Church.

From 1147 to 1167, Aelred governed 150 choir monks and 500 lay brothers at the Cistercian abbey at Rievaulx.   He ruled firmly but with kindness.   In two decades he did not dismiss even one person from the monastery.   Although constantly suffering from kidney stones, Aelred visited many other abbeys, extending his gentle influence throughout western monasticism.   Encouraged by St Bernard of Clairvaux, he wrote numerous books, including The Mirror of Charity and On Spiritual Friendship.   For the last four years of his life, illness confined him to a cell attached to the abbey where small groups of monks daily sought his counsel.   He died on January 12, 1167.

The Writings:

• A Certain Wonderful Miracle
• Genealogy of the Kings of the English
• Jesus as a Boy of Twelve
• Lament for the Death of King David of Scotland
• Mirror of Charity
• On Spiritual Friendship
• On the Saints of Hexham
• On the Soul
• Pastoral Prayer
• Relatio de Standardo
• Rule of Life for a Recluse • The Life of Saint Ninian
• The Life of Saint Edward, King and ConfessorAelred-of-Rievaulx-Life-of-Edward-the-Confessor

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 13 July

Our Morning Offering – 13 July

Prayer of St Aelred of Rievaulx

Behold me, O sweet Lord, behold me!
For I hope that in Your loving kindness,
O Most Merciful One,
You will behold me
either as a loving physician to heal,
a kind teacher to correct,
or an indulgent father to pardon…
confident in Your sweet powerful mercy
and most merciful power,
I ask in virtue of Your sweet Name
and of the mystery of Your sacred humanity,
that, mindful of Your kindness
and unmindful of my ingratitude,
You forgive me my sins
and heal the languors of my soul.
Amen

prayer of st aelred - behold my sweet lord