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, Papa FRANCIS, 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