Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY NAME

Thought for the Day – 20 May – St Bernardine, a human dynamo….

Thought for the Day – 20 May – Monday of the fifth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of St Bernadine of Siena OFM (1380-1444)

Most of the saints suffer great personal opposition, even persecution.   Bernardine, by contrast, seems more like a human dynamo who simply took on the needs of the world.

He was the greatest preacher of his time, journeying across Italy, calming strife-torn cities, attacking the paganism he found rampant, attracting crowds of 30,000, following St Francis of Assisi’s admonition to preach about “vice and virtue, punishment and glory.”

Compared with Saint Paul by the pope, Bernardine had a keen intuition of the needs of the time, along with solid holiness and boundless energy and joy.   He accomplished all this despite having a very weak and hoarse voice, miraculously improved later because of his devotion to Mary.

When he was 20, the plague was at its height in his hometown of Siena.   Sometimes as many as 20 people died in one day at the hospital.   Bernardine offered to run the hospital and, with the help of other young men, nursed patients there for four months. He escaped the plague but was so exhausted that a fever confined him for several months.   He spent another year caring for a beloved aunt whose parents had died when he was a child and at her death began to fast and pray to know God’s will for him.

At 22, he entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained two years later.   For almost a dozen years he lived in solitude and prayer but his gifts ultimately caused him to be sent to preach.   He always travelled on foot, sometimes speaking for hours in one place, then doing the same in another town. For nearly a quarter of a century he crisscrossed Italy on foot, calling people to repentance in exhortations like this:

“A sinner who repents learns to be prudent. He is like a donkey that, once he has fallen in a spot, afterwards looks more carefully where he sets his foot. For fear of punishment he takes care not to fall into those sins again, or into any others. Now, I want to ask older people about this. Old man and old woman, are you there? “Yes.” Tell me, have you fallen into sin over and over again? “Yes.”
Well, have you returned to God? “Yes.” They have fallen often and so they walk more gingerly. They think about how they had better set their feet. As they see death approaching, they thank God that they have had time to turn to him. And they do not trust themselves not to fall, but always ask God to help them not to fall again.”

Especially known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bernardine devised a symbol—IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek—in Gothic letters on a blazing sun.   This was to displace the superstitious symbols of the day, as well as the insignia of factions – for example, Guelphs and Ghibellines.   The devotion spread and the symbol began to appear in churches, homes and public buildings.   Opposition arose from those who thought it a dangerous innovation.   Three attempts were made to have the pope take action against him but Bernardine’s holiness, orthodoxy and intelligence were evidence of his faithfulness.

General of the Friars of the Strict Observance, a branch of the Franciscan Order, Bernardine strongly emphasised scholarship and further study of theology and canon law.   When he started there were 300 friars in the community, when he died there were 4,000.   He returned to preaching the last two years of his life, dying while travelling.

Another dynamic saint once said, “…I will not be a burden, for I want not what is yours but you…. I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes” (2 Corinthians 12:14).   There is danger that we see only the whirlwind of activity in the Bernardines of faith—taking care of the sick, preaching, studying, administering, always driving—and forget the source of their energy.   We should not say that Bernardine could have been a great contemplative if he had had the chance.   He had the chance, everyday and he took it.

St Bernardine of Siena, Pray for us!st brnadine of siena pray for us 20 may 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY NAME

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – St Bernadine of Siena (1380-1444)

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – Monday of the fifth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of St Bernadine of Siena OFM (1380-1444)

“The name of Jesus, is in fact,
the great foundation of the faith
that turns people into children of God.
The Catholic Faith indeed,
consists in the news of Jesus Christ,
as light of the soul,
gate of life
and foundation
of eternal salvation.”the-name-of-jesus-is-in-fact-the-reat-foundation-st-bernardine-3-jan-2019

“The Name of Jesus is the glory of preachers
because the shining splendour of that Name
causes His word to be proclaimed and heard.
And how do you think such an immense,
sudden and dazzling light of faith came into the world,
if not because Jesus was preached?
Was it not through the brilliance
and sweet savour of this Name
that God called us into His marvellous light?”the-name-of-jesus-st-bernardine-of-siena-3-jan-2018

“The last degree of love
is when He gave Himself to us
to be our Food;
because He gave Himself to be
united with us in every way.”the-last-degree-of-love-st-bernardine-of-siena-20-april-2018

“Let Mary never be far from your lips
and from your heart.
Following her, you will never lose your way.
Praying to her, you will never sink into despair.
Contemplating her, you will never go wrong.”let-mary-never-be-far-from-our-lips-st-bernardine-26-aug-2018

“The power of the priest,
is the power of the divine person,
for the transubstantiation of the bread,
requires as much power,
as the creation of the world.”

St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)the-power-of-the-priest-st-bernardine-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection -20 May – “We will come and make our home with him.”

One Minute Reflection -20 May – Monday of the fifth Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 14:21–26 and the Memorial of St Bernadine of Siena OFM. (1380-1444)

“We will come to him and make our dwelling with him”…John 14:24

REFLECTION – “My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.”   Consider, dearly beloved, how great this solemnity is, that commemorates the coming of God as a guest in our hearts.   If some rich and powerful friend were to enter your home, you would quickly clean the entire house, for fear something there, might offend your friend’s eyes, when he entered.   Let anyone then who is preparing his inner house for God, cleanse away the dirt of his evil deeds.

You see what Truth tells us – “We will come and make our home with him.”   He does indeed enter the hearts of some but does not make His home there, because through repentance, they acquire respect for God but during a time of temptation, they forget that they have repented and so return to committing sins, as if they had never wept over them at all.   The Lord comes into the heart and makes His home in one, who truly loves God and observes His commandments, since the love of His divine nature, so penetrates him that he does not turn away from it during times of temptation.   That person loves truly, whose heart does not consent to be overcome by wicked pleasures…   Hence the following clarification – “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”   Dearly beloved, enter into yourselves and inquire if you truly love God.    But let no-one believe the answer his heart gives in his own case, apart from the testimony of his works….St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Doctor of the Church Homilies on the Gospels no 30.john 14 24 we will come to him - if some rich and powerful friend - st gregory the great 20 may 2019

PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart.   Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy.   May the angels and saints intercede for us and may our Mother, the Mother of God, be a constant assistant and guiding hand.   We make our prayer, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.mary immaculate holy mother of god - pray for us - 28 may 2018

st-bernardine-of-siena-pray-for-us-2

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 20 May

St Bernadine of Siena OFM (1380-1444) (Optional Memorial)
About St Bernardine:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/saint-of-the-day-20-may-st-bernardine-of-siena/

St Abercius
Bl Albert of Bologna
St Alexander of Edessa
St Althryda
St Anastasius of Brescia
St Aquila of Egypt
St Arcangelo Tadini
Bl Arnaldo Serra and Companions
St Asterius of Edessa
St Austregisilus of Bourges
St Basilla of Rome
St Baudelius of Nîmes
St Codrato
Bl Columba of Rieti
St Ethelbert of East Anglia (died 794) Martyr
Bl Guy de Gherardesca
St Helena
St Hilary of Toulouse
St José Pérez Fernández
St Lucifer of Caglieri
St Marcello
Bl Maria Angelica Perez
St Plautilla of Rome
St Protasius Chong Kuk-bo
St Rafaél García Torres
St Talaleo of Egea
St Thalalaeus of Edessa
St Theodore of Pavia
St Tomás Valera González

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOSEPH, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 19 March – St Joseph The faithful foster-father and guardian by St Bernardine

Thought for the Day – 19 March – Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The faithful foster-father and guardian

Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)

An excerpt from his On Saint Joseph (Sermon 2)

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfil the task at hand.

This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels.   He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of His greatest treasures, namely, His divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife.   He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying – Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.

What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ?   Is he not a man chosen and set apart?   Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world.   Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ.   But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.

In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close.   He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment.   What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.

Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which He gave him on earth, as a son to His father.   Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects, all that He gave at Nazareth.obviously, christ does not now deny to joseph - st bernardine 19 march 2019.jpg

Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph – Enter into the joy of your Lord.   In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph – Enter into joy.   His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us.   They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.

Remember us, Saint Joseph and plead for us to your foster-child.   Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of Him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally.   Amenholy mary holy joseph - pray for us - 15 june 2018.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY NAME, THOMAS a KEMPIS, Uncategorized

Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

“The sweet Name of Jesus
produces in us holy thoughts,
fills the soul with noble sentiments,
strengthens virtue,
begets good works
and nourishes pure affection.
All spiritual food leaves the soul dry,
if it contain not,
that penetrating oil,
the Name Jesus.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153) Doctor of the Churchthe sweet name of jesus - st bernard - 3 jan 2019

“The name of Jesus, is in fact,
the great foundation of the faith
that turns people into children of God.
The Catholic Faith indeed,
consists in the news of Jesus Christ,
as light of the soul,
gate of life
and foundation
of eternal salvation.”the name of jesus is in fact the reat foundation - st bernardine 3 jan 2019

“The Name of Jesus is the glory of preachers
because the shining splendour of that Name
causes His word to be proclaimed and heard.
And how do you think such an immense,
sudden and dazzling light of faith came into the world,
if not because Jesus was preached?
Was it not through the brilliance
and sweet savour of this Name
that God called us into His marvelous light?”

St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)the-name-of-jesus-st-bernardine-of-siena-3-jan-2018

“Oh that you were worthy
to suffer something for the
Name of Jesus!
What great glory would await you,
what great rejoicing among all the Saints
and, moreover, what great edification
to your neighbour!”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

(Imitation Book 2- Chapter 12)oh that you were worthy to suffer something for the name of jesus - thomas a kempis 3 jan 2019.jpg

…There is one Christian name in the world
which casts a spell over eye or ear
when we see it written on the page of a book,
or overhear it mentioned in conversation.
We are thrilled by the mere encounter of it.
…It produces in us a sudden lightening of the heart,
because we are in love!”

Monsignor Ronald Knox (1888-1957)there is one christian name in the world - mons ronald knox 3 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 26 August – The Feat of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland

Quote/s of the Day – 26 August – The Feat of Our Lady of Czestochowa,

Queen of Poland

“Let Mary never be far from your lips
and from your heart.
Following her, you will never lose your way.
Praying to her, you will never sink into despair.
Contemplating her, you will never go wrong.”

St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)let mary never be far from our lips - st bernardine - 26 aug 2018

“… in Mary there is accomplished
the stupendous
and complete victory of good over evil,
of love over hatred,
of grace over sin.”

St John Paul (1920-2005)in-mary-there-is-accomplished-st-john-paul-26 aug 2017