Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Advent Reflection – 5 December – ‘He became small because you were small…’

Advent Reflection – 5 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 26:1-6, Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27, Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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

A nation of firm purpose You keep in peace, in peace for its trust in You.   Trust in the Lord forever!   For the Lord is an eternal Rock. … Isaiah 26: 3-4

REFLECTION – “The psalmist says: “The Lord is great and worthy of praise” (96[95]:4). Who is this ‘Lord’ if not Jesus Christ, great and worthy of praise?   You surely know He appeared as man, you know, too, that He was conceived in the womb of a woman, that He was born of that womb, nourished, cradled in her arms, circumcised, that an offering was made for Him (Lk 2:24) and that He grew up.

You also know that He was struck, covered with spittle, crowned with thorns, crucified, and that He died, pierced by a lance.   You know well that He suffered all those things. Yes, “he is great and worthy of praise”.   Guard yourselves from despising His littleness – understand His greatness.   He became small because you were small – understand how great He is and you will become great along with Him.   This is how houses are built, how the solid walls of a building are raised.   The stones brought to construct the building increase, you, too, increase, understanding how great Christ is and how He who appeared to be small is great, very great indeed…

What can poor, human language say in praise of Him who is so great?   In saying “very” great it is trying to express what it feels and believes… but, it is as if it were saying:  “Try to grasp in thought what I am unable to express in words and yet, you must know, that whatever you may have grasped is only a fragment.”   For how can any language translate something that surpasses all thought?   “Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise!”   May He be praised, then, may He be preached, may His glory be proclaimed and His dwelling place erected.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthursday of the first week of advent 5 dec 2019 isaiah 26 3-4 - st augustine he became small.jpg

Meditation:
We cannot eliminate upsets and anxiety from our lives but Advent is a good time to slow down and remember where we should look for stability and peace.
The readings today present God offering us a gate, a passageway into God’s will.   For Isaiah, the gateway to God, consists in being just and keeping the faith.   Jesus says, it is the person who hears God’s word and puts those words into practice.
Throughout these weeks of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, the Scriptures for our liturgies tell us again and again, to turn to God, to build our house on the rock of Jesus.   Only there we will find peace.

Advent Action:
Call someone who is lost.   A friend, who hears not the word of God.   Perhaps your words of faith might be a light in their darkness.

Prayer:
We thank You, Lord, for all that we have received.   Move us to give of our plenty to those who have little.   Lord, open the gate of my heart.   Let Your words be a light that will lead me to follow Your will and thus lead others to You.   Amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – “But not a hair of your head shall perish.” … Luke 21:9

Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:12–19

“Blessed are you
when men revile you
and persecute you …
on my account”

Matthew 5:11matthew 5 11 blesed are you wqhen men revile you and persecute you on my account 27 nov 2019.jpg

But to bear with insult,
patiently undergo humiliation,
pray for those who persecute us (Mt 5,39.44) –
that is the Lord’s cup,
that is the Lord’s feast.“

Saint Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchbut-to-bear-with-insult-patiently-undergo-humiliation...st-augustine-feast-of-st-james-25-july-2019. and 27 nov 2019.jpg

“Sheltered under the name of
Jesus Christ,
I do not fear these pains ….”

Saint Lawrence (Died 258), Deacon and Martyrsheltered-under-the-name-of-jesus-christ-st-lawrence-10-aug-2019 and 27 nov 2019.jpg

“One doesn’t suffer
when one suffers
for Christ.”

Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyrone-doesnt-suffer-when-one-suffers-for-christ-bl-jerzy-pray-for-us-19-oct-2019and 27 nov 2019.jpg

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men,
I also will acknowledge before my Father,
who is in heaven…”

Matthew 10:32matthew-10-32-so-everyone-who-acknowledges-me-13-july-2019 and 27  nov 2019.jpg

 

Posted in C S LEWIS, CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HERESY, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C S Lewis (1898-1963)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 22 November – Sing to God with Songs of Joy

Thought for the Day – 22 November – The Memorial of St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – Patron of Musicians

Sing to God with Songs of Joy

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Discourse on Psalm 32

Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to Him with the harp of ten strings!   Sing to Him a new song.   Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song.   A new man, a new covenant—a new song.   This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it, the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven.   To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song.   Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.

Sing to Him a new song, sing to Him with joyful melody.   Everyone of us tries to discover how to sing to God.   You must sing to Him but you must sing well.   He does not want your voice to come harshly to His ears, so sing well, brothers!

If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art.   An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you.   Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes?   When will you be able to offer Him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?

See how He Himself provides you with a way of singing.   Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure.   Sing to Him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.

But how is this done?   You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart.   Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress.   Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in sung words, yet shortly there is a change.   As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables.   They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation.   Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.

Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God Himself, whom all words fail to describe?   If words will not serve and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy?   Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds.   Sing to Him with jubilation.

Saint Cecilia, Pray for Us!let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives - st cecilia 22 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOCTRINE, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY, MATER ECCLESIAE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 21 November – She Who Believed by Faith, Conceived by Faith

Thought for the Day – 21 November – The Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

She Who Believed by Faith, Conceived by Faith

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Sermon 25

“Stretching out His hand over His disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother.   I would urge you to ponder these words.   Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her—did she not do the will of the Father?   Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s will and so it was for her, a greater thing, to have been Christ’s disciple, than to have been His mother and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood.   Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb, Him, whom she would obey as her master.

Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said  . The Lord was passing by and crowds were following Him.   His miracles gave proof of divine power and a woman cried out:  Happy is the womb that bore you, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied:  More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.   Mary heard God’s word and kept it and so she is blessed.   She kept God’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying His body in her womb.   The Truth and the Body were both Christ – He was kept in Mary’s mind, insofar as He is Truth, He was carried in her womb, insofar as He is man but, what is kept in the mind, is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.

The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed and yet, the Church is greater than she.   Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent—the most eminent—member but still only a member of the entire body.   The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members.   This body has the Lord for its head and head and body together make up the whole Christ.   In other words, our head is divine—our head is God.

Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ, you also, are the body of Christ.   Consider how you yourselves can be among those, of whom the Lord said:  Here are my mother and my brothers.   Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ?   He Himself said:  Whoever hears and fulfils the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother.   As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this, because, although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, His mercy would not allow Him to remain alone. It was His wish, that we too should be heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Himself.the virgin mary is holy and blessed and yet the church - st augustine - 21 nov 2019 presentation of mary.jpg

Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you His mother?   Much less would I dare to deny His own words.   Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ?   You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ.   Of whom were you born?   “Of Mother Church,”   I hear the reply of your hearts.   You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ.   Now you, in your turn, must draw to the font of baptism as many as you possibly can.   You became sons when you were born there yourselves and now, by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power, to become the mothers of Christ.   Amen!”

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,

Mother of the Church, Pray for Us!

mary pray for us - preesentation 21 nov 2019

mary mater ecclesiae pray for 10 july 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 November – ‘May your peace be in your love.’

One Minute Reflection – 21 November – Thursday of the Thirty Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:41-44 and Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace!”…Luke 19:41-42and-when-he-drew-near-he-wept-luke-19-41-42-22-nov-2018 and 21 nov 2019.jpg

REFLECTION“I rejoiced because they said to me, ‘We will go up to the house of the Lord.’ And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Ps 122[121]:1-2).   What Jerusalem is this?   On earth there is a city of this name but it is a mere shadow of that other Jerusalem.   What kind of happiness is there in standing in a Jerusalem here below that is unable to stand of itself but which fell to the ground in ruins?…   It is not of the Jerusalem here below that someone speaks who has such great love, such great longing, such great desire to come to the Jerusalem, “our mother”, of which Saint Paul says that it is “eternal in the heavens” (Gal 4:26; 2 Cor 5:1)…

“O Jerusalem, may your peace be in your strength” (Ps 122[121]:7).   That is to say, may your peace be in your love, for your love is your strength.   Hear the Song of Songs: “Love is strong as death” (8:6)…   And indeed, love destroys what we have been, so that we might become, through a sort of death, what we were not…   This was the sort of death that was working in him who said: “The world is crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal 6:14).   It was of this death that the same apostle was speaking when he said:  “You have die, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). Yes, “love is strong as death”.   If love is strong, then it is powerful, it has great strength, it is strength itself…   So may your peace be in your strength, O Jerusalem.   May your peace be in your love.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor – Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 121[122]:1, §3,12if love is strong then it is powerful - st augustine 21 nov 2019 luke 19 41-44.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, as we honour the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary and seek her help, grant that we, like her, may shine in the fullness of Your grace.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.presentation of mary - our hope pray for us 21 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 20 November -The Heart of the Just Man will Rejoice in the Lord

Thought for the Day – 20 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:11–28 and the Memorial of Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti OSB (1827-1922)

The Heart of the Just Man will Rejoice in the Lord

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Sermon 21

“The just man will rejoice in the Lord and put his hope in Him, the hearts of all good men will be filled with joy.   We must surely have sung these words with our hearts as well as with our voices.   Indeed, the tongue of the Christian expresses his deepest feelings when it addresses such words to God.   The just man will rejoice, not in the world but in the Lord.   Light has dawned for the just, Scripture says in another place and joy for the upright of heart.   Were you wondering what reason he has for joy?   Here you are told – the just man will rejoice in the Lord. Another text runs – Delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires.

What are we instructed to do then and what are we enabled to do?   To rejoice in the Lord.   But who can rejoice in something he does not see?   Am I suggesting that we see the Lord then?   No, but we have been promised that we shall see Him.   Now, as long as we are in the body, we walk by faith, for we are absent from the Lord.   We walk by faith and not by sight.   When will it be by sight?   Beloved, says John, we are now the sons of God, what we shall be has not yet been revealed but we know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.   When this prophecy is fulfilled, then it will be by sight.

That will be the great joy, the supreme joy, joy in all its fullness.   Then we shall no longer drink the milk of hope but we shall feed on the reality itself.   Nevertheless, even now, before that vision comes to us, or before we come to that vision, let us rejoice in the Lord, for it is no small reason for rejoicing to have a hope that will some day be fulfilled.

Therefore, since the hope we now have inspires love, the just man rejoices, Scripture says, in the Lord but because he does not yet see, it immediately goes on to say and hopes in Him.

Yet already we have the first-fruits of the Spirit and have we not also other reasons for rejoicing?   For we are drawing near to the one we love and not only are we drawing near—we even have some slight feeling and taste of the banquet we shall one day eagerly eat and drink.

But how can we rejoice in the Lord if He is far from us?   Pray God He may not be far.   If He is, that is your doing.   Love and He will draw near, love and He will dwell within you. The Lord is at hand, have no anxiety.   Are you puzzled to know how it is that He will be with you if you love? God is love.

“What do you mean by love?” you will ask me.   It is that which enables us to be loving. What do we love?   A good that words cannot describe, a good that is forever giving, a good that is the Creator of all good. Delight in Him from whom you have received everything that delights you.   But in that I do not include sin, for sin is the one thing that you do not receive from Him.   With that one exception, everything you have comes from Him.”

“The Love and the Power of God!”

Blessed Maria Fortunata Viti, Pray for Us!bl maria fortunata viti pray for us no 2 20 nov 2019.jpg