Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent

Advent Reflection – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent, Year A –
Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122:1-9, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:37-44

“So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”

Matthew 24:44

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Doctor of the Church
Sermons 4 and 5 for Advent

“It is only right, my brothers, to celebrate our Lord’s coming with all possible devotion, so greatly does His comfort gladden us… and His love burn within us.   But do not just think about His first coming when He came “to seek and save the lost” (Lk 19:10), think, too, of that other coming when He will come to take us with Him.  I should like to see you constantly occupied in meditating on these two comings… “resting among the sheepfolds” (Ps 68[67]:14), for they are the two arms of the Bridegroom in which the Bride of the Song of Songs took her rest:  “His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me” (2:6)…

But there is a third coming between the two to which I have just referred and those who know of it, can rest in it for their greater happiness.   The other two are visible but this one is not.   In the first, “ the Lord has appeared on earth and has spoken to us” (Bar 3:38)… in the last, “all mankind shall see the salvation of God” (Lk 3:6; Is 40:5)…   But the one that comes between them is secret, it is that in which the elect alone see the SavioUr within themselves and their souls find salvation.

In His first coming, Christ came in our flesh and in our weakness;  in His coming in the midst of time, He comes in Spirit and power;  in His final coming, He will come in His glory and majesty.   But it is by the strength of the virtues, that we attain to glory, as it is written:  “The Lord, the king of armies, he is the king of glory” (Ps 24[23]:10) and, in the same book:  “That I may see your power and your glory” (Ps 63[62]:3).   And so the second coming is like a road leading from the first to the last.   In the first, Christ has been our redemption, in the last, He will appear as our life, in His coming between, He is our rest and our consolation.”in-the-first-coming-st-bernard-3-dec-2017 AND 1 DEC 2019.jpg

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God,
we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ,
for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Saviour of us all.
O Lord,
let Your blessing come upon us
as we light the first (purple) candle of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Waiting

We light a advent candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark.   But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master.   The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come,
the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.

We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle.   We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuelthe first sunday of advent - 1 dec 2019 matthew 24 44

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on THANKSGIVING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 November – “Let us show our gratitude, not just in our words and on our lips but in deed and in truth.”- St Bernard

One Minute Reflection – 13 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:   Luke 17:11–19 and the Memorial of All Benedictine and Cistercian Saints and Blessed Karl Lampert (1894-1944) Martyr

“Was no-one found to return and give praise to God, except this foreigner?” … Luke 17:18

REFLECTION – “How happy was that Samaritan leper who recognised that “he possessed nothing he had not received” (1Cor 4:7). “He guarded what had been entrusted to him” (2 Tm 1:12) and turned back to the Lord to thank Him.   Blessed are they who, after each gift of grace, turn back to Him in whom is the fullness of all the graces, for if we show ourselves thankful in regard to Him for all we have received, then we make ready a place for grace within ourselves… in even greater abundance.   In fact, our ingratitude is the only thing, that prevents us making progress, following our conversion…
Happy, then, are they who think of themselves as strangers and who give great thanks for even the least blessing, thinking that everything given to a stranger and foreigner is a wholly free gift.   How unfortunate and wretched we are, on the other hand, if after first of all appearing timid, humble and pious we then forget, just how freely given, is what we have received…
I beg you then, brethren, let us remain ever more humbly under the mighty hand of God (1 Pt 5:6)…  Let us continue in thanksgiving, with great devotion and He will grant us the grace, that alone can save our souls.   Let us show our gratitude, not just in our words and on our lips but in deed and in truth.” … St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Churchluke 17 18 was no-one found to return and give thanks, i beg you then brethren - st bernard 13 nov 2019.jpg

PRAYER – You Lord, Holy Father, never forget Your solemn covenant and grant us new life each day.   We, though in our hearts of stone do forget and cease to thank and bless You.   Make our hearts turn in gratitude, for all we are and have is by Your grace and we are as nothing without You.   May our minds, hearts and souls sing with love and thanks to You, Lord our God.   Grant us new hearts by the prayers of Blessed Karl Lampert and all the saints in heaven, who always lived with grateful hearts, praising You always.  We ask this this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl karl lampert pray for us 13 nov 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 13 November – Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Our Morning Offering – 13 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of All Benedictine and Cistercian Saints

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Church

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 shalt be.
In Thee be all our glory now
And through eternity.
Amen.

St Bernard was a French Abbot and a major leader in the reform of Benedictine Monasticism that caused the formation of the Cistercian order.jesus the very thought of thee by st bernard - 13 nov 2019 mem of all cistercian saints.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 October – Not as a son but as a hired servant

Quote/s of the Day – 27 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:9–14

“For everyone who exalts himself
will be humbled
and he who humbles himself
will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11for-everyone-who-exalts-himself-luke-14-11-1-sept-2019 27 oct 2019.jpg

‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Luke 18:13god be merciful to me a sinner luke 18 13 27 oct 2019.jpg

“If you wish to reach high, then begin at the lowest level.
If you are trying to construct some mighty edifice in height,
you will begin with the lowest foundation.
This is humility.
However great the mass of the building you may wish to design or erect,
the taller the building is to be, the deeper you will dig the foundation.
The building in the course of its erection, rises up high
but he who digs its foundation, must first go down very low.
So then, you see even a building is low before it is high
and the tower is raised, only after humiliation.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor (Sermon 69)if-you-wish-to-reach-high-then-begin-at-the-lowest-level-st-augustine-18-july-2019 27 oct 2019.jpg

“The three most important virtues are:
humility,
humility
and humility.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Churchthe-three-most-important-virtues-st-bernard-20-aug-2018-and-2019 and 27 oct 2019.jpg

“For it is well known, that,
on the spiritual road, not to go on,
overcoming self,
is to go backwards
and not to increase our gain,
is to lose.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Doctor of the Churchon-the-spiritual-road-not-to-go-on-overcoming-self-st-john-of-the-cross-23-july-2019-27 oct 2019.jpg

“We are ever but beginning,
the most perfect Christian,
is to himself but a beginner,
a penitent prodigal
who has squandered God’s gifts
and comes to Him,
to be tried over again,
not as a son
but as a hired servant.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)we-are-ever-but-beginning-bl-john-henry-newman-16-aug-2019 and 27 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – ‘But let us continue on our way …’

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Goaspel: Luke 10:38–42

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious
and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Luke 10:42

“Our Lord’s words teach us that though we labour
among the many distractions of this world,
we should have but one goal.
For we are but travellers
on a journey without as yet a fixed abode,
we are on our way, not yet in our native land,
we are in a state of longing, not yet of enjoyment.
But let us continue on our way
and continue without sloth or respite,
so that we may ultimately arrive at our destination.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor
(Sermo 103, 1-2, 6: PL 38, 613, 615)our-lords-words-teach-us-st-augustine-martha martha luke 10 42 8 oct 2019.jpg

“Action and contemplation
are very close companions;
they live together in one house on equal terms.
Martha and Mary are sisters.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Doctor of the Churchaction-and-contemplation-st-bernard-20-aug-2017-and-2019 and 8 oct 2019.jpg

“In bustling about and busying herself,
Martha risks forgetting —
and this is the problem —
the most important thing,
which is the presence of the Guest…
Most importantly He ought to be listened to. “

Pope Francisin busdtling about - forgets the guest - pop francis martha and mary - 8 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, Hail MARY!, HOMILIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Thought for the Day – 7 October – We should Meditate on the Mysteries of Salvation

Thought for the Day – 7 October – The Memorial of – Our Lady of the Rosary

We should Meditate on the Mysteries of Salvation

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Abbot and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from one of his Sermons

The child to be born of you will be called holy, the Son of God, the fountain of wisdom, the Word of the Father on high.   Through you, blessed Virgin, this Word will become flesh, so that even though, as He says:  I am in the Father and the Father is in me, it is still true for him to say:  “I came forth from God and am here.”

In the beginning was the Word.   The spring was gushing forth, yet still within Himself. Indeed, the Word was with God, truly dwelling in inaccessible light.   And the Lord said from the beginning – I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction.   Yet your thought was locked within you and whatever you thought, we did not know, for who knew the mind of the Lord, or who was His counsellor?

And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace – The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us.   It is by faith that He dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination.   What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image of Him in his heart?   By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, He was invisible and unthinkable but now He wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of.

But how, you ask, was this done?   He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin’s breast, preached on a mountain and spent the night in prayer.   He hung on a cross, grew pale in death and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell.   He rose again on the third day and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory and finally, in their presence, He ascended to the sanctuary of heaven.

How can we not contemplate this story in truth, piety and holiness?   Whatever of all this I consider, it is God I am considering, in all this, He is my God.   I have said it is wise to meditate on these truths and I have thought it right to recall, the abundant sweetness, given by the fruits of this priestly root and Mary, drawing abundantly from heaven, has caused this sweetness to overflow for us.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for Us!our-lady-of-the-rosary-pray-for-us-7 oct 2017.2.jpg

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels – 2 Octobe – Sermon on the Holy Guardian Angels by St Bernard

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels – 2 October

Sermon on the Holy Guardian Angels

By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Churchguardian angels snip.JPG

“He hath given his angels charge over thee.”   O wonderful bounty and truly great love of charity!   Who?   For whom?   Wherefore?   What has He commanded?   Let us study closely, brethren and let us diligently commit to our memory, this great mandate.   Who is it that commands?  Whose angels are they?   Whose mandates do they fulfil?   Whose will do they obey?   In answer, “He hath given his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”   And they do not hesitate even to lift thee up in their hands.

So the Supreme Majesty has given charge to the angels.   Yes, He has given charge to His own angels.   Think of it!   To those sublime beings, who cling to Him so joyfully and intimately, to His very own He has given charge over you!   Who are you?   “What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visit him?”   As if man were not rottenness and the son of man a worm!   Now why, do you think, he Has given them charge over thee? — To guard thee!Bernardo_Strozzi_-_The_Guardian_Angel_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

With what great reverence should you treat this word!   What devotion should you proffer it, what great confidence should you place in it.   Reverence because of their presence, devotion because of their benevolence, confidence because of their solicitude. Walk carefully, in all thy ways, as one with whom the angels are presen,t as He has given them charge.   In every lodging, at every corner, have reverence for thy Angel.   Do not dare to do in his presence what you would not dare to do if I were there.   Or do you doubt that he is present whom you do not behold?   What if you should hear him?   What if you should touch him?   What if you should scent him?   Remember that the presence of something is not proved only by the sight of things.guardian angels 2.jpg

In this, therefore, brethren, let us affectionately love His angels as one day our future coheirs, meanwhile, however, as counsellors and defenders appointed by the Father and placed over us.   Why should we fear under such guardians?   Those who keep us in all our ways, can neither be overcome, nor be deceived, much less deceive.   They are faithful, they are pruden, they are powerful, why do we tremble?   Let us only follow them, let us remain close to them and in the protection of the God of heaven, let us abide. As often, therefore, as a most serious temptation is perceived to weigh upon you and an excessive trial is threatening, call to your guard, your leader, your helper in your needs, in your tribulation, cry to him and say: “Lord, save us; we perish!”

This excerpt from a sermon by St Bernard of Clairvaux (Sermo 12 in psalmum Qui habitat, 3. 6-8: Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc. 4 [1966], 458-462) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the memorial of the Guardian Angels on 2 October.angelorum-guardian angel5a.jpg