Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COWARDICE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SPEAKING of ....., St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 June – Speaking of: Sin

Quote/s of the Day – 12 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 19:9, 11-16, Psalm 27:7-9, 13-14, Matthew 5:27-32

Speaking of:  Sin

” It is better for you to lose one of your members,
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.”

Matthew 5:29

matthew 5 29 it is better for you to lose on oe your members... 12 june 2020

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

the-dragon-sits-by-the-side-of-the-road-st-cyril-of-jerusalem-16-march-2019

“Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation,
for there is no conflict without an enemy,
no victory without strife.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

virtue is nothing - st pope leo the great - 1 feb 2018

“When God forgives a sinner who humbly confesses his sin,
the devil loses his dominion over the heart he had taken.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

when god forgives a sinner who mumbly confesses - st bernard 12 june 2020

“Let the enemy rage at the gate;
let him knock, pound, scream, howl;
let him do his worst.
We know for certain,
that he cannot enter our soul,
except by the door of our consent.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

let the enemy rage at the gate, let him knock - st francis de sales 12 june 2020

“We are generally, 
the carpenters
of our own crosses.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

we are generally the carpenters of our own crosses - st philip neri 12 june 2020

“The power of evil men
lives on the cowardice of the good.”

the-power-of-evil-st-john-bosco-31-jan-2018 and 12 june 2020

“Do not try to excuse your faults,
try to correct them.”

“Fly from bad companions
as from the bite
of a poisonous snake.”

“Act today in such a way,
that you need not blush
tomorrow.”

St John Bosco (1815-1888)

do-not-try-to-excuse-fly-from-bad-act-in-such-a-way-st-john-bosco-31-jan-2019 and 12 june 2020

“That conversation… was as dirty as a sewer!
It is not enough for you to take no part in it.
You must show your repugnance for it strongly!”

St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975)

that conversation was as dirty as a sewer - st josemaria escriva 12 june 2020

“For the sinner, hell begins on this earth!”

for-the-sinner-hell-begins-on-this-earth-bacci-4-jan-2020 and 12 june 2020

“The Sacrament of Penance,
is our plank of salvation
in the shipwreck of sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

the sacrament of penance is our plank of salvation in the shipwreck of sin - bacci 29 april 2020

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY COMMUNION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, Uncategorized

Quote/s of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Quote/s of the Day – 18 March – The Memorial of St Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386) Father and Doctor of the Church

“After all, He saved the thief
on the holy hill of Golgotha
because of one hour’s faith,
will He not save you too,
since you have believed? “

after all he save the good thief st cyril of jerusalem - 18 march 2020 no 2

“Since Christ Himself has said,
“This is My Body”
who shall dare to doubt
that It is His Body?”

since christ himself has said - st cyril of jerusalem 18 march 2020

On how to receive Holy Communion in the hand in the Fourth Century:

“Approaching,
do not come with thy palms stretched flat
nor with fingers separated.
But making thy left hand a seat for thy right
and hollowing thy palm,
receive the Body of Christ,
responding Amen.”

St Cyril of Jersualem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

st cyril of jerusalem on how to receive holy communion in the hand in the 4th century 18 march 2020

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 March – ‘…it is in human hearts, that He writes’

One Minute Reflection – 18 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19 and the Memorial of St Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386) Father and Doctor of the Church

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.”…Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “Grace, which was formerly veiled, so to speak, in the Old Testament, has been fully revealed in the Gospel of Christ by a harmonious disposition of the times, just as God usually disposes of everything with harmony…  But within this wonderful harmony we notice a great difference between the two ages.   On Sinai the people did not dare draw near the place where the Lord was giving His Law;  in the Upper Room, the Holy Spirit comes down on all those assembled there, while waiting for the fulfilment of the promise (Ex 19:23; Acts 2:1).   In the first instance, the finger of God inscribed the laws on tablets of stone but now, it is in human hearts, that He writes it (Ex 31:18; 2 Cor 3:3).   Formerly the Law was written without and brought fear to sinners but now, it has been given to them within, to make them righteous…

Indeed, as the apostle Paul says, everything written on the stone tablets, “you shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill…, you shall not covet” and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this saying:  “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.   Love does no evil to the neighbour, hence, love is the fulfilment of the Law” (Rm 13:9f.; Lv 19:18)…   This charity has been “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rm 5:5)….St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor On the spirit and the letter, 28-30matthew-5-17-think-not-that-i-have-come-to-abolish-the-law-st-augustine-in-the-first-instance-27march2019-1 and 18 march 2020

PRAYER – Protect Your family, Lord and strengthen us with Your consoling presence. Help us in our way to follow Your commandments and live as disciples of love.   Look now on Your chosen people, grant us the light of Your Spirit and bring us forever to eternal life.   May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Son and our Mother, be ever our protective shield.   St Cyril of Jerusalem, pray for us all that we may always remain true to the Cross of Christ and our Holy Mother Church, amen.  Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.salve-regina-pray-for-us-mary-27-march-2019 and 18 march 2020

ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM PRAY FOR US 18 MARCH 2020

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 18 March

St Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386) (Optional Memorial)
Father and Doctor of the Church
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/03/18/saint-of-the-day-18-march-st-cyril-of-jerusalem/

Bl Aimée-Adèle le Bouteiller
St Alexander of Jerusalem
St Anselm of Lucca the Younger (1036-1086)
St Braulio of Saragossa
Bl Celestine of the Mother of God
Bl Christian O’Conarchy
St Edward the Martyr
St Egbert of Ripon
St Eucarpius of Nicomedia
St Felix of Gerona
St Finan of Aberdeen
St Frigidian of Lucca
Bl John Thules
St Leobard of Tours
St Narcissus of Gerona
Bl Roger Wrenno
St Salvator of Horta
St Trophimus of Nicomedia

Martyrs of Nicomedia – Commemorates the Christians who were martyred anonymously, either singly and in small groups, by local pagans in the area of Nicomedia prior to the year 300 and who may have been over-looked in the waves of Diocletian persecutions that resulted in the deaths of thousands.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – ‘Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone…’

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Thursday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: James 2:1-9, Psalm 34:2-7,Mark 8:27-33 and the Memorial of Saint Eucherius of Orléans (c 687-743)

“Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him” … Mark 8:32

REFLECTION – “We should not be ashamed of the cross of the Saviour but rather make it our glory.
“The message of the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” but for us it is salvation.   For those who are perishing it is foolishness but for us who are being saved it is the power of God” (cf. 1 Cor 1:18-24).
For it is no mere man who died but the Son of God, God made man.
In Moses’ days the lamb caused the destroying angel to pass over (cf. Ex 12:23) and has not “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29) set us even more free from our sins?

Not by force did He lose His life, not by might was He sacrificed but by His own will.
Hear what he said: “I have power to lay down my life and I have power to take it up again” (Jn 10:18). (…)
He came to His Passion of set will, happy in His exploit, laughing at His victory, satisfied to be saving us.
He was not ashamed of the cross because He was saving the whole earth.   It was not some poor man who was suffering but God made man who entered the combat to win the prize of patience. (…)

Do not rejoice in the cross only in times of peace, preserve the same faith in times of persecution.
Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone, only to become His enemy in times of war.
You are now receiving forgiveness for your sins and the spiritual gifts lavishly bestowed by your king so, when war breaks out, fight valiantly for your king.
Jesus has been crucified for you, He who was without sin. (…)
It is not you who bestowed this grace on Him, for you first of all received it.
But you offer thanks to Him who paid the price by being crucified for you on Golgotha.” … St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)) – Father and Doctor of the Church – Baptismal catecheses nos. 13, 3.6.23mark 8 32 then peter took him aside - do not rejoice in the cross only in times of peace - st cyril jerusalem 20 feb 2020

PRAYER – Lord of heaven and earth, by Your grace You have brought our hearts and mind to seek and hope in Your saving love, in Your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.   May we, who like Peter, our father in faith, declare, ‘You are the Christ!’, remain ever in His steps, carrying the cross behind Him.   We thank You for the blessing of St Eucherius of Orléans, grant that, through his intercession, we may, like him, constantly follow the Light of Christ and so rise to eternal life.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amenst eucherius of orleans pray for us 20 feb 2020

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING

Thought for the Day – 1 December – On the Twofold Coming of Christ – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Thought for the Day – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent, Year A

On the Twofold Coming of Christ

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Catechetical Instruction, Catechesis 15

We do not preach only one coming of Christ but a second as well, much more glorious than the first.   The first coming was marked by patience, the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects.   There is a birth from God before the ages and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time.   There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.

At the first coming He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger.   At His second coming He will be clothed in light as in a garment.   In the first coming He endured the cross, despising the shame;  in the second coming He will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.   We look then beyond the first coming and await the second.   At the first coming we said – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.   At the second we shall say it again, we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
The Savior will not come to be judged again, but to judge those by whom he was judged. At His own judgement He was silent, then He will address those who committed the outrages against Him when they crucified Him and will remind them – You did these things and I was silent.

His first coming was to fulfil His plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion.   This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of His kingdom by necessity. Malachi the prophet speaks of the two comings.   And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to His temple – that is one coming.

Again he says of another coming – Look, the Lord almighty will come and who will endure the day of His entry, or who will stand in His sight?   Because he comes like a refiner’s fire, a fuller’s herb and He will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus – The grace of God the Saviour has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires and live temperately, uprightly and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.   Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words:  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father and He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven.   He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day.   For there will be an end to this world and the created world will be made new.

Grant, almighty Father,
that when Christ comes again,
we may go out to meet Him,
bearing the harvest of good works,
achieved by Your Grace.
We pray, that He will receive us
into the company of the saints
and call us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ, our Lord,
with the Holy Spirit,
God for all eternity,
Amenfirst sun advent - grant almighty father that when your son comes again 1 dec 2019 be prepared.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH

Thought for the Day – 6 November – The Power of Faith Transcends Man’s Strength – St Cyril of Jersualem

Thought for the Day – 6 November –  Wednesday of the Thirty First week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 14:25-33

The Power of Faith Transcends Man’s Strength

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from the Catecheses, 5

The one word faith can have two meanings.   One kind of faith concerns doctrines  . It involves the soul’s ascent to and acceptance of, some particular matter.   It also concerns the soul’s good, according to the words of the Lord – Whoever hears my voice and believes in him who sent me has eternal life and will not come to be judged.   And again – He who believes in the Son is not condemned but has passed from death to life.

How great is God’s love for men!   Some good men have been found pleasing to God because of years of work.   What they achieved by working for many hours at a task pleasing to God, is freely given to you by Jesus in one short hour.   For, if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved and taken up to paradise by Him, just as He brought the thief there.   Do not doubt that this is possible.   After all, He saved the thief on the holy hill of Golgotha because of one hour’s faith, will He not save you too, since you have believed?after he saved the good thief - ast cyril of jerusalem 6 nov 2019.jpg

The other kind of faith is given by Christ by means of a special grace.   To one wise sayings are given through the Spirit, to another perceptive comments by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing.   Now this kind of faith, given by the Spirit as a special favour, is not confined to doctrinal matters, for it produces effects beyond any human capability.   If a man who has this faith says to this mountain move from here to there, it will move.   For when anybody says this in faith, believing it will happen and having no doubt in his heart, he then receives that grace.

It is of this kind of faith, moreover, that it is said – If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed.   The mustard seed is small in size but it holds an explosive force, although it is sown in a small hole, it produces great branches and when it is grown, birds can nest there.   In the same way faith produces great effects in the soul instantaneously. Enlightened by faith, the soul pictures God and sees Him as clearly as any soul can.   It circles the earth, even before the end of this world, it sees the judgement and the conferring of promised rewards.   So, may you have the faith which depends on you and is directed to God, that you may receive from Him that faith too, which transcends man’s capacity.

“[Lord God] I believe in You, increase my faith.   All my hopes are in You, secure my trust.   I love You, teach me to love You more each day… I adore You as my first beginning, I long for You as my final end.   I praise You as my constant helper and call on You as my loving protector.   Guide me by Your Wisdom, correct me with Your Justice, comfort me with Your Mercy, protect me by Your Power… Lord, enlighten my understanding, enflame my will, purify my heart, sanctify my soul.   Help me to repent of my past sins and to rise above my human weaknesses and to grow stronger as a Christian…”

(from the Universal Prayer by Pope Clement XI (1649-1721))

lord-god-i-believe-from-the-universal-prayer-pope-clement-xi-27-april-2018.jpg

Posted in CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November

Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November

All Saints Day is connected to the doctrine of The Communion of Saints.   This is the Catholic teaching that all of God’s people, on heaven, earth and in Purgatory are spiritually connected and united.   In other words, Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that the saints of God, are just as alive, as those on earth and are constantly interceding on our behalf.   Our connection with the saints in heaven is grounded in an eucharistic communion.   Because of our common communion with and through Jesus Christ, our prayers are joined with the heavenly community of Christians.   St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387), testifies to this belief:

“We mention those who have fallen asleep, first the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition..”.(Catechetical Lecture 23:9).communionsaints_bon-678x380.jpg

The Catholic Catechism concisely describes this communion among believers, by which we are connected to Christ and thus to one another:

“Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…  They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us…  So, by their fraternal concern, our weakness is greatly helped.”

“…as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace and the life of the People of God itself.   We worship Christ as God’s Son, we love the martyrs as the Lord’s disciples and imitators and rightly so, because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master.   May we also be their companions and fellow disciples.” (CCC 956, 957)

all saints solemnity

There are thousands of Canonised saints, that is, those individuals officially recognised by the Church as holy men and women worthy of our imitation.   Because miracles have been associated with them and their lives have been fully examined and found holy by the Church, we have assurance they are prime examples of holiness and powerful intercessors before God on our behalf.

There are also many patron saints, guardians or protectors of different areas and states of life.   For instance, St Vitus is the patron saint against oversleeping and St Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of air travellers.   It may sound odd to have a patron saint “against oversleeping” but the Church has something meaningful for every area of our human lives.400px-All saints - Estella-_Iglesia_de_San_Juan_Bautista_01

Christians have been officially honouring saints and martyrs since at least the second century.   The Martyrdom of St Polycarp, probably written near the middle of the second century, attests to this reality:

Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, more precious than the most exquisite jewels and more pure than gold and deposited them in a fitting place, so that when being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps (18).Allsaints.jpg

Initially the calendars of saints and martyrs varied by location, with churches honouring local saints.   However, gradually feast days became more universal.   The first reference to a general feast celebrating all saints occurs in St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373).   St John Chrysostom (347-407) assigned a day to the feast, the first Sunday after Pentecost, where in the Eastern Churches the feast is celebrated to this day.

The earliest certain observance of a feast in honour of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of “all the martyrs.”   In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagon-loads of bones and re-interred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods.   The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended “that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honoured in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons” (On the Calculation of Time).

In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls’ Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven.   Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the ‘church penitent’ and the ‘church triumphant’, respectively) and the ‘church militant’ who are the living.

All-Saints-Montage.jpg

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SACRAMENTS, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – “Speaking of:   Temptation”

Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: 13:24-30

“Speaking of:   Temptation”

‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?
How then has it weeds?’

Matthew 13:27matthew 13 27 sir did you not sow good seed - 27 july 2019 temptation.jpg

“As we do battle and fight, in the contest of faith,
God, His angels and Christ Himself, watch us.
How exalted is the glory,
how great the joy of engaging in a contest with God presiding,
of receiving a crown,
with Christ as judge.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258)
Bishop, Martyr, Father of the Churchas-we-do-battle-and-fight-st-cyoprian-of-carthage-6-may-2019-the-contest-of-faith.jpg

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-dragon-sits-by-the-side-of-the-road-st-cyril-of-jerusalem-16-march-2019.jpg

“So let us not be afraid of temptations.
Rather, let us glory in them saying:
“When I am weak, then am I strong.”
[2 Cor. 12:10]”

St Ambrose (339-397 AD)
Doctor of the Churchluke-4-1-2-jesus-in-the-wilderness-tempted-so-let-us-not-be-afrai-st-ambrose-10-march-2019.jpg

“He could have kept the devil from Himself
but if He were not tempted,
He could not teach you
how to triumph over temptation.”

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father
and Doctor of the Churchhe could have kept the devil from himself - st augustine - 10 march 1st sun lent 2019.jpg

“Three things are absolutely
necessary against temptation –
prayer to enlighten us,
the sacraments to strengthen us
and vigilance to preserve us.
Happy are souls that are tempted!
It is when the devil discerns
that a soul is tending towards
union with God
that he redoubles his rage!”

St John Marie Vianney (1786-1859)three things are absolutely necessary against temptation - 27 july 2019.jpg

“God will never permit anything,
to happen to us, that is not for our greater good.”

“The storms that are raging around you,
will turn out to be for God’s glory,
your own merit
and the good of many souls.”the-storms-that-are-god-will-never-permit-st-pio-23-sept-2018

“We have close to us, an angelic spirit,
who never leaves us for an instant,
from the cradle to the grave,
who guides and protects us,
like a friend or a brother.”

St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)we-have-close-to-us-an-angelic-spirit-st-padre-pio-23-sept-2018.jpg

Posted in BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY ORDERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, Sacrament of the SICK, SACRAMENTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 26 April – The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter

The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in Him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God.   Having destined us to be His adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in His glory and living as we do, in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.”   When He said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us.

We became “the anointed ones” when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit.   Indeed, everything took place in us by means of images, because we ourselves are images of Christ.   Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of His divinity and, when He came up from them, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like resting upon like.   So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with chrism, which signifies the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ was anointed and of whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor.

Christ’s anointing was not by human hands, nor was it with ordinary oil.   On the contrary, having destined Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, the Father Himself anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.   The words of Peter bear witness to this – Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit.   And David the prophet proclaimed: Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.   You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellows.

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil, it was in fact the Holy Spirit Himself, who is called the oil of gladness, because He is the source of spiritual joy.   But we too have been anointed with oil and by this anointing, we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in His life.   Beware of thinking that this holy oil is simply ordinary oil and nothing else.   After the invocation of the Spirit it is no longer ordinary oil but the gift of Christ and by the presence of His divinity, it becomes the instrument, through which we receive the Holy Spirit.   While symbolically, on our foreheads and senses, our bodies are anointed with this oil that we see, our souls are sanctified by the holy and life-giving Spirit.beware of thinking that this holy oil - st cyril of jerusalem 26 april 2019 easter friday - anointingwiththeholyspirit.jpg

Posted in BAPTISM, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 25 April- Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Congratulations to those who entered
the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation,
(Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion)
at the Easter Vigil.
You are now members with us,
in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Welcome Home!

congrats to new catholics - welcome home - 25 april 2019 easter thurs

Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolised the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water, it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again, it was like coming into broad daylight   In the same instant, you died and were born again, the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse – a time to die and a time to be born, although, in fact, both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!   It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.  We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails, He suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet, by the share that I have in His sufferings, He freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.  This is why Paul exclaims:  Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in His death?   By baptism we went with Him into the tomb.we know perfectly weel that baptism - st cyril of jerusalem - 25 april 2019 easter thurs.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – “Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

“Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.
Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?
You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.
For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.
Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)

Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-never-sinned-yet-he-was-crucified-for-you-st-cyrilofjerusalem-7feb2019.jpg

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

“The cross of Christ is the true ground
and chief cause of Christian hope.”

“Let no one be ashamed of the cross
by which Christ has redeemed the world.
None of us must be afraid to suffer
for the sake of justice or doubt the
fulfilment of the promises,
for it is through toil that we come to rest
and through death that we pass to life.”

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461) Doctor of the Churchby-baptism-st-leo-the-great-quotes-on-the-cross-10-nov-2018.jpg

“O Blessed Cross,
You are venerated, preached
and honoured by the faith of the Patriarchs,
the predictions of the Prophets,
the senate that judges the Apostles,
the victorious army of Martyrs
and the throngs of all the Saints”
(Sermo XLVII, 14, p. 304)

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churcho-blessed-cross-st-peter-damian-21-feb-2019.jpg

“This is that enviable and blessed cross of Christ . . .
the cross in which alone we must make our boast,
as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”

St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275)
“Father of Canon Law”

this-is-that-enviable-st-raymond-of-penafort-7 jan 2019.jpg

“And if He gave His life for us,
then it should not be difficult
to bear whatever hardships arise for His sake.
If you seek patience,
you will find no better example than the cross.
Christ endured much on the cross and did so patiently,
because “when he suffered he did not threaten,
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter
and he did not open his mouth.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchand-if-he-gave-his-life-for-us-st-thomas-aquinas-28-jan-2018 (1).jpg

“The Cross is God’s chair in the world.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)the-cross-is-gods-chair-in-the-world-st-john-paul-22feb2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Quote of the Day – 16 March – “it is necessary to pass by the dragon”

Quote of the Day – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:43–48

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthe dragon sits by the side of the road - st cyril of jerusalem 16 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – “When war comes, fight courageously for Him.”

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – Friday of the First week of Lent, Year C Gospel: Matthew 5:20–26

“Will you refuse to be crucified for Him,
who for your sake was nailed to the cross?”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Catecheses, 13

The Catholic Church glories in every deed of Christ.   Her supreme glory, however, is the cross.   Well aware of this, Paul says – God forbid that I glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!

At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder and rightly so.   A man born blind recovered his sight.   But of what importance is this, when there are so many blind people in the world?   Lazarus rose from the dead but even this affected only Lazarus.  What of those countless numbers who have died because of their sins?   Those five miraculous loaves fed five thousand people.   Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the world who were starved by ignorance.   After eighteen years a woman was freed from the bondage of Satan.   But are we not all shackled by the chains of our own sins?

For us all, however, the cross is the crown of victory!   It has brought light to those blinded by ignorance.   It has released those enslaved by sin.   Indeed, it has redeemed the whole of mankind!

Do not, then, be ashamed of the cross of Christ, rather, glory in it.   Although it is a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, the message of the cross is our salvation.   Of course it is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.   For it was not a mere man who died for us but the Son of God, God made man.

In the Mosaic law a sacrificial lamb banished the destroyer.   But now it is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.   Will He not free us from our sins even more? The blood of an animal, a sheep, brought salvation.   Will not the blood of the only-begotten Son bring us greater salvation?

He was not killed by violence, He was not forced to give up His life.   His was a willing sacrifice.   Listen to His own words – I have the power to lay down my life and take it up again.   Yes, he willingly submitted to His own passion.   He took joy in his achievement, in His crown of victory He was glad and in the salvation of man He rejoiced.   He did not blush at the cross for by it He was to save the world.   No, it was not a lowly man who suffered but God incarnate.   He entered the contest, for the reward He would win by His patient endurance.

Certainly in times of tranquillity the cross should give you joy.   But maintain the same faith in times of persecution.   Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and His enemy during war.   Now you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the generous gift of grace from your King.   When war comes, fight courageously for Him.

Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.   Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?   You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.   For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.   Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.jesus never sinned yet he was crucified for you - st cyril of jerusalem 15 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Go Forth Set the World on Fire!

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Thursday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C. Gospel: Mark 6:7-13

He charged them to take nothing for their journey...Mark 6:8

For all Christians, wherever they live, are bound to show forth, by the example of their lives and by the witness of the word, that new man put on at baptism and that power of the Holy Spirit, by which they have been strengthened at Confirmation.   Thus other men, observing their good works, can glorify the Father and can perceive more fully the real meaning of human life and the universal bond of the community of mankind. (cf Col 3:10; Mt 5:16)….Decree on the missionary activity of the Church, “ Ad Gentes ”, # 10-11 – Vatican Council II

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.   

Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?   

You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.   

For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.   

Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father & Doctor of the Church

jesus never sinned yet he was crucified for you - st cyrilofjerusalem 7feb2019.jpg

“Go Forth, Set the World on Fire”

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)go forth set the world on fire - st ignatius 7 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22

And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name?”…Acts 9:21acts-26-16 2019 - is not this the man - feast conv of st paul.jpg

REFLECTION – “We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).   Who then is this?   The former persecutor.   O mighty wonder!   The former persecutor himself preaches Christ.   But why?   Was he bribed?   No, there was no one who could have persuaded him in that way.   Was it the sight of Christ on earth that blinded him?   But Jesus had already been taken up into heaven.   Saul set out from Jerusalem to persecute Christ’s church and after three days the persecutor had become a preacher in Damascus.   By what power?   Other people call on friends as witnesses for their friends but I have presented to you as a witness the former enemy.

Do you still doubt?   The testimony of Peter and John is weighty… but they were istcyrilofjerusalemndeed His friends.   But of the testimony of one who was formerly His enemy and afterwards died for His sake, who can any longer doubt the truth?   I am amazed at the wise dispensation of the Holy Spirit;… to Paul, the former persecutor, He gave the privilege of writing fourteen letters… In order that his teaching might be beyond question, He granted the former enemy and persecutor the privilege of writing more letters than Peter and John so that we might all be thus made believers.   For “all were amazed at Paul and said: ‘Isn’t this the man who was formerly a persecutor?   Didn’t he come here to take us away bound to Jerusalem?’” (Acts 9:21) “Do not be not amazed,” said Paul, I know how “it is hard for me to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14);  I know that “I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God” (1 Cor 15:9); yet “mercy was shown to me because I did it in ignorance”… “the grace of God was exceedingly abundant in me” (1 Tm 1:13-14).”…St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Father & Doctor of the Churchbut the testimony - st cyril - conv of st paul 25 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world.   Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day.   Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;  insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st-paul-pray-for-us-25-jan2018-catechesis-of-pope-benedict-no-1.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – The Sign of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time and The Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)

Speaking of:  The Sign of the Cross

“The illusions of this world soon vanish,
especially if a man arms himself with
the Sign of the Cross.
The devils tremble
at the Sign of the Cross of our Lord,
by which He triumphed over
and disarmed them.”

St Anthony Abbot (251-356)the-illusions-of-this-world-st-anthony-abbot-17-jan-2018.jpg

“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified.
Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers
on our brow and in everything;
over the bread we eat and the cups we drink;
in our comings in and goings out;
before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake;
when we are in the way and when we are still.
Great is that preservative;
it is without price, for the poor’s sake;
without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God.
It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of evils;
for He has triumphed over them in it,
having made a shew of them openly;
for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified;
they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon.
Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift
but for this rather honour thy Benefactor.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctorbe the cross our seal - st cyril of jerusalem - 17 jan 2019.jpglet-us-not-then-be-ashamed-st-cyril-of-jerusalem-17-jan-2018.jpg

“The sign of the cross
is the most terrible weapon
against the devil.
Thus the Church wishes not only,
that we have it continually
in front of our minds,
to recall to us
just what our souls are worth
and what they cost Jesus Christ
but also that we should make it
at every juncture ourselves:
when we go to bed,
when we awaken during the night,
when we get up,
when we begin any action,
and, above all,
when we are tempted.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)the sign of the cross - st john vianney.- new version - 17 jan 2018 jpg

“The cross is the badge that shows who we are –
our speaking, thinking, looking, working,
we are under the sign of the cross,
that is, the love of Jesus, to the end.”the cross is the badge - pope francis 17 jan 2019.jpg

“Making the sign of the cross when we wake up,
before meals, before a danger, to defend against evil,
at night before sleep means to tell ourselves
and others who we belong to, who we want to be.”

Pope Francismaking the sign of the cross - pope francis 17 jan 2019.jpg

3 Things to Know about the Cross – Fr Mike Schmitz

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

One Minute Reflection – 11 August – Saturday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 17:14–20

One Minute Reflection – 11 August – Saturday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 17:14–20

He said to them, “Because of your little faith.   For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”…Matthew 17:20

REFLECTION – “The word “faith” has one syllable but two meanings.   First of all it is concerned with doctrine and it denotes the assent of the soul to some truth.   Faith in this sense brings blessing and salvation to the soul, as the Lord said:  “He who hears my word and believes in him who sent me, has eternal life.” (Jn 5:24)…
The word “faith” has a second meaning:  it is a particular gift and grace of Christ.  “To one is given throu gh the Spirit the utterance of wisdom and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing” (1Cor 12:8-9).   Faith in the sense of a particular divine grace conferred by the Spirit is not, then, primarily concerned with doctrine but with giving a person powers quite beyond their natural capability.   Whoever has this faith will say to a mountain: “Move from here to there” and it will move and anyone who can in fact say these words through faith and “believes without hesitation that they will come to pass,” (Mk 11:23) receives this particular grace.   It is to this kind of faith that the Lord’s words refer: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed.”   Now a mustard seed is small in size but its energy thrusts it upwards with the force of fire.   Small are its roots, great the spread of its boughs and once it is fully grown the birds of the air find shelter in its branches (Mt 13:32).  So too, in a flash, faith can produce the most wonderful effects in the soul.
Enlightened by faith the soul gazes at the glory of God so far as human nature allows and, even before the consummation of all things, ranging beyond the boundaries of the universe, it has a vision of the judgement and of God making good the rewards he promised.    As far as it depends on you then, cherish this gift of faith that leads you to God and you will then receive the higher gift which no effort of yours can reach, no power of yours attain.”…Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father & Doctor of the Church (Baptismal Catechesis 5)if you have faith the size of a mustard seed - matthew 17 20 - as far as it depends on you then - sy cyril of jerusalem - 11 aug 2018

PRAYER – Holy God, grant we pray, Your Holy Spirit of love and divine grace to grow ever more in faith.   By our prayers and love for You and our neighbour, may we merit Your divine assistance.   Lord Jesus, help us to dwell often on the manner in which we are following You.   Let us strive each day to become more and more like You in all things and, to become beacons of Your Light, to all the world.   St Clare of Assisi, you who were a light to all, pray for us, amen.st-clare-of-assisi-pray-for-us-11 aug 2017

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

Quote/s of the Day – 20 May – The Solemnity of Pentecost, Alleluia!

“A fiery sword, barred of old,
the gates of Paradise,
a fiery tongue, which brought salvation,
restored the gift.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Doctor of the Church
(Catechetical Lectures:  Lecture 17 no. 15)

a fiery sword, barred of old - st cyril of jerusalem - 20 may 2018 - pentecost sunday

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling
and scatter there, Your cheerful beams.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace

o holy spirit descend plentifully - st augustine - 20 may 2018 - pentecost

“A soul, that possesses the Holy Spirit,
tastes such sweetness, in prayer,
that it finds the time, always too short,
it never loses, the holy presence of God.”

“The Holy Spirit forms thoughts
and suggests words, in the hearts of the just.”

“The Holy Spirit is like a gardener,
cultivating our souls.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

a soul that posseses - the holy spirit is like a gardener - the holy spirit forms - st john vianney - 20 may 2018 pentecost sunday

“Pentecost is the moment
when a heart of stone is
shattered and a heart of
flesh takes its place.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa
(Preacher to the Papal Household)

pentecost-is-the-moment-fr-raneiro-cantalamessa-20 may 2018. pentecost sunday

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SPEAKING of ....., St Pope JOHN PAUL, The PASSION

Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide “Speaking of: Sin and Suffering”

Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide

“Speaking of:  Sin and Suffering”

“The dragon, sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary,
to pass by the dragon.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe dragon sits by the side - st cyril of jerusalem - 27 april 2018

“Only those who do not fight
are never wounded.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

only those who do not fight - st john chrysostom - 27 april 2018

“The life of each and every one of us has been written.
The crucifix is my autobiography.
The blood is the ink.
The nails the pen.
The skin the parchment.
On every line of that body, I can trace my life.
In the crown of thorns I can read my pride.
In the hands that are dug with nails,
I can read avarice and greed.
In the flesh hanging from him like purple rags,
I can read my lust.
In feet that are fettered, I can find the times
that I ran away and would not let Him follow.
Any sin that you can think of is written there.”

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)the life of each and every one of us - ven fulton sheen - 27 april 2018

“My key to heaven
is that I loved Jesus
in the night.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)my key to heaven = st mother teresa - 27 april 2018

“Don’t waste your suffering.”

St John Paul the Great (1920-2005)don't waste your suffering - st john paul - 27 april 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 17 January – The Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356) 

Thought for the Day – 17 January – The Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)

In an age that smiles and jeers at the notion of devils and angels, a person known for having power over evil spirits must at least make us pause.   And in a day when people speak of life as a “rat race,” one who devotes a whole life to solitude and prayer points to an essential of the Christian life in all ages.   Anthony’s hermit life reminds us of the absoluteness of our break with sin and the totality of our commitment to Christ.   Even in God’s good world, there is another world whose false values constantly tempt us.

Our most powerful protection IS the Sign of the Cross.

“Let us not then be ashamed
to confess the Crucified.
BE THE CROSS OUR SEAL,
made with boldness by our fingers,
on our brow and in everything,
over the bread we eat and the cups we drink,
in our comings in and goings out,
before our sleep,
when we lie down
and when we awake,
when we are in the way
and when we are still.
Great is that preservative,
it is without price,
for the poor’s sake,
without toil,
for the sick,
since also its’ grace is from God.
It is the Sign of the faithful
and the dread of evils –
for He has triumphed over them in it,
having made a shew of them openly –
for when they see the Cross,
they are reminded of the Crucified;
they are afraid of Him,
Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon.
Despise not the Seal
because of the freeness of the Gift,
but for this,
rather honour thy Benefactor!”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father & Doctor of the Churchlet us not then be ashamed - st cyril of jerusalem - 17 jan 2018

“The sign of the cross
is the most terrible weapon
against the devil. 
Thus the Church wishes not only,
that we have it continually
in front of our minds,
to recall to us 
just what our souls are worth 
and what they cost Jesus Christ 
but also that we should make it
at every juncture ourselves: 
when we go to bed, 
when we awaken during the night, 
when we get up, 
when we begin any action, 
and, above all, 
when we are tempted.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)the sign of the cross - st john vianney.- new version - 17 jan 2018 jpg

St Anthony Abbot Pray for us!st anthony abbot - pray for us

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Thought for the Day – Tuesday of the First Week of Advent – 5 December 2017

Thought for the Day – Tuesday of the First Week of Advent – 5 December 2017

THE TWOFOLD COMING OF CHRIST
St CYRIL OF JERUSALEM (313-386)  Father & Doctor of the Church

We do not preach only one coming of Christ but a second as well, much more glorious than the first.   The first coming was marked by patience;  the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects.   There is a birth from God before the ages and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time.   There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.

At the first coming He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger.   At His second coming He will be clothed in light as in a garment.   In the first coming He endured the cross, despising the shame;  in the second coming He will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.

We look then beyond the first coming and await the second.   At the first coming we said: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.   At the second we shall say it again;  we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration:  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

The Saviour will not come to be judged again but to judge those by whom He was judged. At His own judgement He was silent;  then He will address those who committed the outrages against Him when they crucified Him and will remind them:  You did these things and I was silent.

His first coming was to fulfil His plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion.   This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of His kingdom by necessity.

The prophet Malachi speaks of the two comings.   And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to His temple: that is one coming.

Again he says of another coming:   Look, the Lord almighty will comeand who will endure the day of His entry, or who will stand in His sight?   Because He comes like a refiner’s fire, a fuller’s herb and He will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus:   The grace of God the Saviour has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires and live temperately, uprightly and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.   Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words:  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven.   He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day.   For there will be an end to this world and the created world will be made new.

“Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.”the twofold coming of christ - st cyril of jerusalem - 5 dec 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY TRINITY

Thought for the Day – 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Thought for the Day – 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The Trinity dogma is not the result of poetic fantasies or of philosophical elucubrations. Nor it is a rational theological formulation that offers the pretext of saying that it is a mystery so detached from our lives that more than one Christian feels quietly authorised to ignore it.   The Mystery of the Trinity is a great mystery which surpasses our minds but speaks deeply to our heart because it is, in its essence, nothing but the explication of the profound expression of Saint John: “God is love” (1 Jn 4: 8,16).   If God is love, he cannot be loneliness in Himself.   In order to have a love affair, it must be at least two.   To love only oneself is not love, it is selfishness.   God Love is, at least, one who always loves and one who has always been loved and reciprocates love:  an eternal Lover, an eternal Beloved and an eternal Love.

The Lover is God, the Father in love, infinitely free and generous in love, motivated to love by no other thing than love.

The eternal Beloved, is the one who always welcomes love:  He is eternal gratitude, grace without beginning and end.  He is the Son in love.

Love is the Holy Spirit, in whom Their love is always open to self-donation and to “go out of their being”.   Therefore, the Spirit is said to be a gift of God, a living source of love, a fire that powers in us the ability to reciprocate Love with love.

This mystery of love is concrete and close to us more than we think and we live it in practice when, above all in the most important or critical times where we most need God, we make the sign of the cross.   By marking this holy sign, almost without being fully aware, we call upon the One and Triune God , saying, “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.   Not only do we invoke God Trinity to help us but we praise with the prayer “Glory to the Father, and to the Son and the Holy Ghost … Amen”. St. Teresa of Calcutta often recited as follows: “Glory to the Father-Prayer and to the Son -Poverty and the Holy Spirit- Zeal for souls. Amen-Mary. “   (JUNE 9, 2017 ARCHBISHOP FRANCESCO FOLLO)

Making the Sign of the Cross (1)the sign of the cross

How can we put the sign of the Cross into practice? Here are some ways you can make the sign of the Cross a part of your daily life.

1.   Immediately after waking and before sleeping – making the sign of the Cross immediately after waking and before sleeping is as ancient as Christianity. It is a powerful way to consecrate our day to Our Lord.

2.   When passing a Catholic Church – there is a beautiful Catholic tradition of crossing oneself while passing a Catholic Church in order to recognize Jesus present in the tabernacle and to show Him honour and love.

2.   At the Name of the Holy Trinity – in Catholic prayer, the name of the Holy Trinity is often invoked.   To show honour to the Holy Trinity, it is a good idea to Cross yourself when saying the Glory Be or any other time the Name is invoked.

3.   In reparation for blasphemy – the name of God is abused frequently in daily conversations.   If you want to make an act of reparation to God for this abuse of his Name, you can quietly make the sign of the Cross.

4.   Before entering a room or house – G.K. Chesterton, the famous Catholic convert and all around genius, was said to have made the sign of the cross before entering any room. This Catholic custom also applies to entering a house and many have Holy Water fonts next to the door for blessings oneself when entering or leaving the home.

5.   Blessing people or things – a small sign of the cross can be traced on the forehead of a child or upon an object which you wish to bless.

6.   When afraid – in old movies that involve Catholicism, you will often see people cross themselves when in the presence of death, upon receiving bad news, or when generally afraid.   Sadly, this custom has fallen out of use but it is an excellent way to drive away fear and to inspire courage.

There are countless other ways to employ the powerful sign of the Cross.  The point is, we should use this powerful sign frequently and reverently, paying attention to what we are doing.

 

be he cross our seal-st cyril of jerusalem

“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified.   Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink;  in our comings in and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake;  when we are in the way and when we are still.   Great is that preservative;  it is without price, for the poor’s sake;  without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God.   It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of evils;  for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly;  for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified;  they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon.   Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honour thy Benefactor.”

– St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Saturday 18 March

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Saturday 18 March
St Cyril of Jerusalem,  (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The symbolic meaning of the sacrament of baptism as sharing in Christ’s passion according to Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop of Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century and one of the most important sources we have for how the church celebrated the sacraments during that era.  In his Jerusalem Catechesis from which this excerpt comes, St. Cyril instructs new Christians in the days immediately before and after their initiation into the life of the Church at the Easter Vigil.

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolized the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight.   In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

SAT 18 MARCH LENTEN REFLECTION-ST CYRIL ON BAPTISM

 

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse: a time to die and a time to be born, although in fact both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!    It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.   We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails; he suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet by the share that I have in his sufferings he freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.   This is why Paul exclaims: Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in his death?    By baptism we went with him into the tomb.

These words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem on the symbolic meaning of the sacrament of baptism, a symbol of Christ’s passion, are read in the Roman Catholic liturgy’s Office of Readings on the Thursday in the Octave of Easter (Cat. 21 Mystagogica 3, 1-3 PG 33. 1087-1091) with the accompanying biblical reading of I Peter 3:1-17.

 

 

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 18 March

Thought for the Day – 18 March

In times of great turmoil and controversy, it is difficult sometimes to know what is true and what is right and sometimes we have to grope our way along.   We have to follow the truth and give it our full loyalty, at whatever cost.   Sometimes that will mean that we are a majority of one.   That is what truth demands of us!   Those who imagine that the lives of saints are simple and placid, untouched by the vulgar breath of controversy, are rudely shocked by history. Yet, it should be no surprise that saints, indeed all Christians, will experience the same difficulties as their Master. The definition of truth is an endless, complex pursuit, and good men and women have suffered the pain of both controversy and error. Intellectual, emotional and political roadblocks may slow up people like Cyril for a time. But their lives taken as a whole are monuments to honesty and courage.

During this Lenten season, we reflect upon our beliefs and as Easter approaches, we renew our baptismal vows, using the words that Saint Cyril used.
Is our faith strong enough to endure accusation and exile?
How can we commit ourselves more fully to our Lord, our Church and our Creed?

St Cyril of Jerusalem Pray for us!

ST CYRIL of JERUSALEM - MARCH 18

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 18 March

One Minute Reflection – 18 March

You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency and loathe to punish……….Jon 4:2

REFLECTION – “How great is God’s love for men!   Some good men have been found pleasing to God because of years of work.   What they achieved by working for many hours at a task pleasing to God is freely given to you by Jesus in one short hour.   For if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved and taken up to paradise by Him, just as He brought the thief there.   Do not doubt that this is possible.   After all, He saved the thief on the holy hill of Golgotha because of one hour’s faith; will He not save you too since you have believed? “………… St Cyril of Jersualem (315-386) Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Merciful Lord, come to my aid quickly in time of despair!   Let me rely on the infinite merits of Your suffering Son, Who died for me.  St Cyril pray for us all that we may always remain true to the Cross of Christ and our Holy Mother Church, amen.

ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM-AFTER ALL, HE SAVED THE THIEFST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM PRAY FOR US

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Saint of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386 aged 75) Bishop, Confessor and Father & Doctor of the Church, Theologian, Writer, Preacher, Catechist.

CYRIL

Little is known of his life before he became a bishop.  According to Butler, Cyril was born at or near the city of Jerusalem, and was apparently well-read in both the Church fathers and the pagan philosophers. Cyril was ordained a deacon by Bishop St. Macarius of Jerusalem in about 335 and a priest some eight years later by Bishop St. Maximus. About the end of 350 he succeeded St. Maximus in the See of Jerusalem.    It is not until his exile, historically recorded, that the event of his life are made clear.   During a great depression, Cyril was accused of selling church property to feed the poor and thus exiled.   Theologians and historians agree that his exile had less to do with service to the poor,and more to do with differences in doctrine, failure to conform to the Arian teachings,and continued preaching of the Nicene doctrine.   The Nicene Creed, which we still recite today, is believed to have had its origins in the teachings of Saint Cyril – as per his writings:

“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten by the Father true God before all ages, God of God, Life of Life, Light of Light, by Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. He was crucified and buried. He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and sat at the right hand of the Father. And He cometh in glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And in one Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, Who spake by the prophets; and in one baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and in one holy Catholic Church, and in the resurrection of the body, and in life everlasting.”

Saint Cyril is known for his catechetical writings, including twenty-three homilies he delivered to those preparing for baptism during Lent and then mystagogical reflections for the week after Easter.   In these writings, Cyril clearly outlines the liturgy of the Mass used at that time, including elements we continue celebrating today.   Saint Cyril states a fairly strong doctrine of the Eucharist both in symbolic and realistic terms, addressing transubstantiation of elements and proclaiming the bread and wine received to be the actual body and blood of Christ.   He affirms the true authority of the one Catholic Church, and provides instructions to the newly welcomed regarding how to receive the Holy Eucharist.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem lived in a time of great strife and conflict within the Church, a time of heresy, faction and political influence which questioned the Divinity of Jesus Christ (known as Arianism).  Saint Cyril, a man of peaceful and conciliatory temperament, opposed this movement, aligning himself with those true to Christ and teaching Nicene doctrine.   For this, he suffered exile multiple times, due to the power and political connections of the Arians at that time.  He finally returned to find Jerusalem torn with heresy, schism and strife, and wracked with crime. Even Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who was sent to help, left in despair.

They both went to the Council of Constantinople, where the amended form of the Nicene Creed was promulgated in 381.   Cyril accepted the word consubstantial–that is, Christ is of the same substance or nature as the Father.   Some said it was an act of repentance but the bishops of the Council praised him as a champion of orthodoxy against the Arians.

Following the eventual acceptance of the Nicene Doctrine, Cyril served the Church with jurisdiction over all of Jerusalem for the last five years of his life.   Ten years after Cyril’s death, the abbess, Lady Etheria, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and wrote that she found a peaceful Christian community.   This was the result of the efforts of Bishop Cyril, who suffered to heal the wounds that Arianism had inflicted on the Church.

Johann Lossaust cyril jerusalem 2

st augustine and st cyril
St Cyril and St Augustine

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 18 March

St Cyril of Jerusalem (Optional Memorial)

Bl Aimée-Adèle le Bouteiller
St Alexander of Jerusalem
St Anselm of Lucca the Younger
St Braulio of Saragossa
Bl Celestine of the Mother of God
Bl Christian O’Conarchy
St Edward the Martyr
St Egbert of Ripon
St Eucarpius of Nicomedia
St Felix of Gerona
St Finan of Aberdeen
St Frigidian of Lucca
Bl John Thules
St Leobard of Tours
St Narcissus of Gerona
Bl Roger Wrenno
St Salvator of Horta
St Trophimus of Nicomedia

Martyrs of Nicomedia – Commemorates the Christians who were martyred anonymously, either singly and in small groups, by local pagans in the area of Nicomedia prior to the year 300 and who may have been over-looked in the waves of Diocletian persecutions that resulted in the deaths of thousands.