Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 18 May – O Blessed Lady, Mediatrix and Advocate

Our Morning Offering – 18 May – ‘Mary’s Month” – Saturday Fourth Week of Easter, C

O Blessed Lady,
Mediatrix and Advocate
By St Bernard (1090-1153)

Our Mediatrix and Advocate
O blessed Lady,
you found grace,
brought forth the Life,
and became the Mother of Salvation.
May you obtain the grace for us to go to the Son.
By your mediation,
may we be received by the One
who through you, gave Himself to us.
May your integrity compensate with Him
for the fault of our corruption;
and may your humility,
which is pleasing to God,
implore pardon for our vanity.
May your great charity
cover the multitude of our sins;
and may your glorious fecundity
confer on us a fecundity of merits.
Dear Lady,
our Mediatrix and Advocate,
reconcile us to your Son,
recommend us to Him,
and present us to your Son.
By the grace you found,
by the privilege you merited,
by the mercy you brought forth,
obtain for us the following favour,
O blessed Lady.
Ameno blessed lady mediatrix and advocate - 18 may 2019 by st bernard.jpg

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

Marian Thoughts – 11 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

Marian Thoughts – 11 May – ‘Mary’s Month’

The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Replymary's fiat - luke 1 38 behold i am the handmaid of the lord - 11 may 2019.jpg

On the Annunciation and Mary’s “fiat”
Saint Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son, you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit.   The angel awaits an answer, it is time for him to return to God who sent him.   We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion, the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you.   We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be and behold, we die.   In your brief response we are to be remade, in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise.   Abraham begs it, David begs it.   All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death.   This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet.   It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin.   Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord.   Answer with a word, receive the Word of God.   Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word.   Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid?   Believe, give praise and receive.   Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident.   This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence.   In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary.   Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator.  See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter.   If He should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seekHhim afresh, the One whom your soul loves.   Arise, hasten, open.   Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving.   Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.

This homily excerpt of St Bernard is in the Office of Readings for
20 December the fourth week of Advent.
Hom. 4, 8-9answer quickly o virgin - st bernard - 11 may 2019 homily on the annunciation.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 7 May – Run, Hasten, O Lady

Our Morning Offering – 7 May – ‘May, the Month of Mary’ -Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, C

O Lady, I Call upon You
By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Church

Run, hasten, O Lady,
and in your mercy help your sinful servant,
who calls upon you,
and deliver him from the hands of the enemy.
Who will not sigh to you?
We sigh with love and grief,
for we are oppressed on every side.
How can we do otherwise than sigh to you,
O solace of the miserable,
refuge of outcasts,
ransom of captives?
We are certain that when you see our miseries,
your compassion will hasten to relieve us.
O our sovereign Lady and our Advocate,
commend us to your Son.
Grant, O blessed one,
by the grace which you have merited,
that He who through you
was graciously pleased to become a partaker
of our infirmity and misery,
may also, through your intercession,
make us partakers, of His happiness and glory.
Ameno lady i call upon you - st bernard, run hasten o lady - 30 may 2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 19 April – Our Lord’s Passion

Our Morning Offering – 19 April – Friday of the Passion of the Lord

Our Lord’s Passion
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

In Your hour of holy sadness
could I share with You, what gladness
should Your Cross to me be showing.
Gladness past all thought of knowing,
bowed beneath Your Cross to die!

Blessed Jesus, thanks I render
that in bitter death, so tender,
You now hear Your supplicant calling,
Save me Lord and keep from falling
from You,
when my hour is night.our-lords-passion-st-bernard-17-march-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – St Bernard – “The liquid myrrh of mercy”

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – Monday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 12:1–11

Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard and with it, anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was filled with the scent of the ointment…John 12:3john-12-3 mary ointments jesus feet.jpg

REFLECTION – “Anointing the feet of Christ with perfumed oil of compassion
I have already discussed two ointments with you – one of contrition, that takes account of numerous sins — it is symbolised by the perfumed oil with which the sinful woman anointed the feet of Lord: “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”, the other of devotion, that embodies numerous blessings…  But there is another ointment, far excelling these two, to which I give the name, loving-kindness, because the elements that go into its making, are the needs of the poor, the anxieties of the oppressed, the worries of those who are sad, the sins of wrong-doers and finally, the manifold misfortunes of all people who endure affliction, even if they are our enemies.   These elements may seem rather depressing but the ointment made from them, is more fragrant, than all other spices.   It bears the power to heal, for “Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5:7)

A collection therefore of many miseries, on which the eye rests with loving-kindness, represents the ingredients from which the best ointments are made…  Happy the soul that has been wise enough to enrich itself with an assortment of spices such as these, pouring upon them the oil of mercy and warming them with the fire of charity!   Who, in your opinion, is “the good man who takes pity and lends” (Ps 112:5), who is compassionate, quick to render assistance, who believes that there is “more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35), who forgives easily but is not easily angered, who never seeks to be avenged and in all things takes thought for his neighbour’s needs as if they were his own?

Whoever you may be, if your soul is thus disposed, if you are saturated with the dew of mercy, overflowing with affectionate kindness, making yourself “all things to all people” (1 Co 9:22) yet considering your deeds, like a discarded flask, in order to be always ready to supply to others what they need, in a word, so dead to yourself, that you live only for others — if this be you, then you possess the third and best of all ointments.   Your hands have dripped with liquid myrrh that is utterly enchanting (cf Sg 5:5).   It will not run dry in times of stress nor evaporate in the heat of persecution but God will perpetually “remember all your oblations and find your holocaust acceptable.” (Ps 20:4)”...Saint Bernard (1091-1153) Doctor of the Churchbut there is another ointment - st bernard- mon holy week - the annointing of jesus feet - 15 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that we who are constantly betrayed by our own weakness, may draw the breath of new life from the passion and death of Your only-begotten Son.  May our hands to drip with the liquid myrrh of mercy to all our neighbours and may our hearts be ever open to forgiveness.   Listen, we pray, to the prayers of Your Holy angels and Saints and grant that the Blessed Virgin may guide our steps in this vale of tears. Through our Lord and Saviour, who suffered and died for us, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl virgin mother of sorrows pray for us 15 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS to the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 10 April – Jesus, the very thought of Thee!

Our Morning Offering – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

Jesus, the very thought of Thee!
By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.
No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
The Saviour of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shall be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.
Amenjesus the very thought of thee - st bernard - 10 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 13 March – “…Something greater than Jonah is here.”

Lenten Reflection – 13 March – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Year C

“…Something greater than Jonah is here.”…Luke 11:32wed of the 1st week - something greater than jonah 13 march 2019.jpg

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Doctor of the Church

“Come back to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12)

“Be converted with all your heart,” the Lord says.   My brothers, if he had just said “Be converted” without adding anything, perhaps we should have been able to reply – it’s done, now you can give us something else to do.

But if I understand correctly, Christ is speaking to us here about a spiritual conversion that does not come about in a day.   May it even be achieved in our lifetime!   So pay attention to what you love, what you fear, at what makes you happy or what makes you sad and you will sometimes see that, beneath your religious habit you are still a man of the world.   Indeed, the heart is wholly contained in these four feelings and it is concerning them, I think, we must understand these words: “Be converted to the Lord with all your heart.”
May your loving be converted, in such a way, that you love nothing but the Lord, or rather that you love nothing except for God’s sake.   May your fear also be turned towards Him, for any fear that makes us afraid of something apart from Him and not because of Him is bad.   May your joy and your sadness be converted to Him, this is how it will be if you neither suffer nor rejoice except in Him.   Thus, if you mourn for your own sins or those of your neighbour you do well and your sadness is salutary.   If you rejoice in the gifts of grace, this joy is holy and you are able to enjoy it in peace in the Holy Spirit.   In the love of Christ you should be glad of your brothers’ good fortunes and sympathise with their misfortunes according to this verse:  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Rm 12:15)come back to me with all your heart - lent 2019

Daily Meditation:
Hear our prayer.

The Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent take on a more penitential tone.
Our longing intensifies.
We know we have to work hard to resist temptation
and to change some of our bad habits.
We know that spiritual renewal won’t come easily.
But we know that all we will ultimately be able to do
will come from God’s inspiration – as a gift.
So we ask from a deeper and deeper place in our hearts.

We listen to the wonderful story about Nineveh.
They responded to God’s word and repented.

My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Psalm 51

“And as Jonah was sacrificed for those endangered by the storm, so Christ was offered for those who are drowning in the storm of this world.”

St Augustine (354-430)and as jonash was sacrified so christ - st augustine 13 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:

Dear Lord,
I know You receive what is in my heart.
Let me be inspired by Your words
and by the actions of Your son, Jesus.
Guide me to make sacrifices this Lent
in the spirit of self-denial
and with greater attention to You
and to those around me.
Help me to believe that You will grant me this
because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.