Posted in Gerard MANLEY HOPKINS SJ, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 October – ‘That in Majorca, Alfonso watched the door.’

Thought for the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment, through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23.   Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died.   Meanwhile, business was poor.   Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life  . He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sister’s home.   There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation.

At the death of his son years later, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits.   He was not helped by his poor education.   He applied twice before being admitted.   For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca.   When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations.

His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including Saint Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian.  Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.

We like to think that God rewards the good, even in this life.   But Alphonsus knew business losses, painful bereavement and periods when God seemed very distant.   None of his suffering made him withdraw into a shell of self-pity or bitterness.   Rather, he reached out to others who lived with pain, including enslaved Africans.   Among the many notables at his funeral were the sick and poor people whose lives he had touched. May they find such a friend in us!

Alphonsus’ life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum but centuries later he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his most famous poems.

Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.

Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out;  Who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by, of world without event
That in Majorca, Alfonso watched the door.

Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889),
in honour of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)gerard manley hopkins poem for st alphonsus rodrigues 31 oct 2019 no 2.jpg

St Alphonsus Rodriguez, Pray for Us!st alphonsus rodriguez pray for us - 31 oct 2018.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 31 October – St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Quote/s of the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

“You must strive, with all possible care,
to please God, in such a manner,
as neither to do, nor behold anything,
without first consulting Him
and in everything,
to seek Him alone and His glory.”you must strive with akll possible care to seek - st alphonsus rodriguez 31 oct 2019.jpg

“I put myself in spirit before our crucified Lord,
looking at Him full of sorrow,
shedding His blood
and bearing great bodily hardships for me.
As love is paid for in love,
I must imitate Him, sharing in spirit all His sufferings.
I must consider how much I owe Him and what He has done for me.
Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say,
‘What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for Your love,
these small hardships? For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.’

Amid the hardship and trial itself, I stimulate my heart with this exercise.
Thus, I encourage myself, to endure for love of the Lord, who is before me,
until I make what is bitter, sweet.
In this way learning from Christ our Lord,
I take and convert the sweet into bitter,
renouncing myself and all earthly and carnal pleasures,
delights and honours of this life,
so that my whole heart is centred solely on God.”

St Alphonsus Rodriguez (1532-1617)as love is paid for in love - st alphonsus rodriguez - 31 oct 2019

“I’m Coming, Lord”

i'm coming lord - st alphonsus rodriguez.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The TRANSFIGURATION

Our Morning Offering – 31 October – This is my Joy, to Follow my Saviour

Our Morning Offering – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

This is my Joy, to Follow my Saviour
By St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Jesus, love of my soul,
centre of my heart!
Why am I not more eager to endure pains
and tribulations for love of You,
when You, my God,
have suffered so many for me?
Come, then, every sort of trial in the world,
for this is my delight, to suffer for Jesus.
This is my joy, to follow my Saviour
and to find my consolation
with my Consoler on the Cross.
This is my happiness,
this my pleasure:
to live with Jesus,
to walk with Jesus,
to converse with Jesus,
to suffer with and for Him,
this is my treasure.
Amenthis is my joy to follow my saviour st alphonsus rodrigues 31 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 August – “The Narrow Door”

Quote/s of the Day – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

“The Narrow Door”

“In the difficulties which are placed before me,
why should I not act like a donkey?
When one speaks ill of him – the donkey says nothing.
When he is mistreated – he says nothing.
When he is forgotten – he says nothing.
When no food is given him – he says nothing.
When he is made to advance – he says nothing.
When he is despised – he says nothing.
When he is overburdened – he says nothing.
The true servant of God must do likewise
and say with David:
“Before Thee I have become like a beast of burden.”

St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)in-the-difficulties-which-are-placed-before-me-st-alphonsus-rodriguez-20-june-2018.jpg

“All, can enter eternal life but for everyone,
the door is narrow.   They are not privileged.
The path to the eternal life is open to all
but it is narrow because it’s demanding,
asks for commitment, abnegation
and the mortification of selfishness.”all can enter eternal life but for everyone the doo is narrow - pope benedict 25 aug 2019.jpg

“To pass through the narrow gate, means
we must commit ourselves to being small,
that is humble of heart like Jesus,
like Mary, His and our mother.”to pass through the narrow gate means we must commit ourselves to being small humble - pope benedict 25 aug 2019.jpg

“True friendship with Jesus
is expressed in how one lives,
in the goodness of one’s heart,
in one’s humility, kindness and mercy,
in one’s love for justice and truth,
in one’s sincere commitment
to peace and reconciliation.
This, we might say, is the ‘identity card’
that qualifies us as true ‘friends,’
it is the ‘passport’
that will let us enter eternal life.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Angelus, 26 August 2007true friendship with Jesus is expressed - 25 aug 2019 the narrow door.jpg

“The whole of our life
must pass through the narrow door
which is Christ.”

Pope Francis

Angelus, 25 August 2013the whole of our life must pass through the narrow door - pope francis 25 june 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Thought for the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

The story of this humble Jesuit brother illustrates that status and achievements count for nothing for those who accept the responsibility assigned them with the conviction that it is God’s will.   Rodriguez set himself free of ego, he found meaning and fulfilment in the lowliest tasks accorded him and was zealous enough to give more than was demanded, in the spirit of the Ignatian Magis.
Early biographies describe Rodriguez as a superhero who spiritually survived a rather humdrum, tedious job for 46 years.   They tended to overlook the tenacity and uncompromising dedication of the unassuming brother who would inspire generations of Jesuits in the art of religious hospitality.   He was a multi-tasker, blending ‘spiritual conversation’ with business while always attending courteously to visitors.   He quietly counselled students and reached out to the poor who hang around outside the door. Rodriguez made sure his job was never humdrum and tedious!

He displayed unconditional discipleship to Jesus Christ.   He was a brother and companion, serving all as he would Christ personified.   “I’m coming Lord,” he would cry when someone knocked.   He had personalised his spirituality and this is what gave depth, appeal and credibility to his convictions.   The rosary entwining his fingers may not always have been used to pray the mysteries but to murmur aspirations that connected him with the divinity present everywhere.   He was a contemplative in action and spent most of his spare-time in prayer.   He was a mystic, as his autobiography penned under obedience would reveal, favoured by God with remarkable mystical graces, ecstasies and visions of our Lord, our Lady and the saints.

At the age of 72, Rodriguez would counsel and motivate St Peter Claver (1580-1654), a young student of theology in Palma, to volunteer for “the missions” in the New World.   In true Ignatian spirit Rodriguez looked beyond the boundaries of his world with the universal good of the Society of Jesus at heart – a typical Jesuit charism.   Claver achieved sainthood through his indefatigable service to African slaves in Colombia.

Rodriguez is the patron of Jesuit brothers.   The lay-brother of the olden days, who performed routine duties such as cooking, construction and farming, has vanished. Today the Jesuit brother can hardly be distinguished from the priest, because of his professional competence in many fields.   In the spirit of Alphonsus Rodriguez, brothers sacramentalise their work and bear witness to God’s compassionate love.

(Excerpt on the 400th anniversary of St Alphonsus death, 2017 – Hedwig Lewis SJ is the author of “Profiles in Holiness, Brief Biographies of Jesuit Saints” and “Jesuit Saints without Paint”)

St Alphonsus Rodriguez, Pray for Us!st alphonsus rodriguez pray for us - 31 oct 2018

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, POETRY, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Quote/s of the Day – 31 October –

The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

“In the difficulties which are placed before me,
why should I not act like a donkey?
When one speaks ill of him – the donkey says nothing.
When he is mistreated – he says nothing.
When he is forgotten – he says nothing.
When no food is given him – he says nothing.
When he is made to advance – he says nothing.
When he is despised – he says nothing.
When he is overburdened – he says nothing.
The true servant of God must do likewise
and say with David:
“Before Thee I have become like a beast of burden.”

St Alphonsus Rodriguez (1532-1617)in-the-difficulties-which-are-placed-before-me-st-alphonsus-rodriguez-20-june-2018

Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.

Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca, Alfonso watched the door.

Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889),
in honour of Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)gerard manley hopkins in honour of st alphonsus rodriguez - 31 oct 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 13:22–30 – Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

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

REFLECTION – “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.”   This reply may seem perhaps to wander from the scope of the question.   The man wanted to learn whether there would be few who are saved but He explained to him the way whereby he might be saved himself.   He said, “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.”   What do we answer to this objection? … It was a necessary and valuable thing to know how a man may obtain salvation.   He is purposely silent to the useless question.   He proceeds to speak of what was essential, namely, of the knowledge necessary for the performance of those duties by which people can enter the narrow door.
I now consider it my duty to mention why the door to life is narrow.   Whoever would enter must first, before everything else, possess an upright and uncorrupted faith and then a spotless morality, in which there is no possibility of blame, according to the measure of human righteousness.   One who has attained to this in mind and spiritual strength will enter easily by the narrow door and run along the narrow way.
“Wide is the door and broad the way that brings down many to destruction.”   What are we to understand by its broadness?   It means an unrestrained tendency toward carnal lust and a shameful and pleasure-loving life.   It is luxurious feasts, parties, banquets and unrestricted inclinations to everything that is condemned by the law and displeasing to God.   A stubborn mind will not bow to the yoke of the law.   This life is cursed and relaxed in all carelessness.   Thrusting from it the divine law and completely unmindful of the sacred commandments, wealth, vices, scorn, pride and the empty imagination of earthly pride spring from it.   Those who would enter in by the narrow door must withdraw from all these things, be with Christ and keep the festival with him.”…St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor (Commentary on Luke, Homily 9strive to enter - luke 13 24 - whoever would enter - st cyril of alex - 31 oct 2018

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled.   Grant that the prayers of our Blessed Mother and St Alphonsus Rodriguez, who always held Your Light up for others to see by, give us strength.   Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sancta maria -mary most holy - pray for us - 10 may 2018

st alphonsus rodriguez pray for us no 2- 31 oct 2018