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

Our Morning Offering – 26 August – Give me Strength, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 26 August – Monday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

Give me Strength, O Lord
By St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church

Lord Jesus Christ,
King of kings,
You have power over life and death.
You know even things that are uncertain and obscure,
and our very thoughts and feelings are not hidden from You.
Cleanse me from my secret faults,
for I have done wrong and You saw it.
You know how weak I am,
both in soul and in body.
Give me strength, O Lord,
in my frailty and sustain me in my sufferings.
Grant me a prudent judgement, dear Lord,
and let me always be mindful of Your blessings.
Let me retain until the end, Your grace
that has protected me till now.
Amengive me strength o lord - by st ephrem - 26 august 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Quote of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“This Virgin Mother of the Only begotten of God, is called Mary,
worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate,
one of the one.”

Origen (c185-253)
(244)this virgin mother-origen-8dec2018

“Thou alone and Thy Mother
are in all things fair;
there is no flaw in Thee
and no stain in Thy Mother.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Doctor of the Church
(270)thou alone and thou mother - st ephrem 8dec2018

“Mary, a Virgin,
not only not only UNDEFILED
but a Virgin whom grace
has made INVIOLATE,
FREE from EVERY STAIN of SIN.”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor
Sermon 22, in the year 338m,ary, a virgin - st ambrose - 8dec2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

One Minute Reflection – 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

“…And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”...John 3:14-15and as moses lifted up - john 3 - 14-15 - 14 sept 2018

REFLECTION – “From now on, through the cross, all shadows have been dispelled and the truth arises, as the apostle John says:  “The old order has passed away; all things are new” (Rv 21:4-5).   Death has been stripped of prey, hell’s captives liberated;  man is set free;  the Lord reigns;  creation rejoices.   The cross is victorious and all nations, races, languages and peoples (Rv 7:9) come to adore him.   Together, in the cross we find our joy, exclaiming with blessed Paul:  “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14).   The cross gives light to the whole universe;  it casts out darkness and gathers nations together in charity into one Church, one faith, one baptism, from West and East, from the North and from the seas.   It stands at the very centre of the world, set up on Calvary.
Armed with the cross, the Apostles go out to preach and gather together in adoration of it the whole universe, treading under foot every hostile power.   Through it the martyrs have bravely confessed the faith, fearless of tyrants’ cunning.   Having taken it upon themselves, monks have joyfully made solitude their home.
When Christ returns, this cross will first appear in heaven, the Great King’s precious sceptre, living, true and holy.   “Then,” says the Lord, “the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven” (Mt 24:30).   We will see it escorted by angels, illuminating the earth from one end of the universe to the other, brighter than the sun, proclaiming the Day of the Lord.”…Homily attributed to Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe cross gives light - st ephrem - 14 sept 2018

PRAYER – O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have known his mystery on earth, may merit the grace of His redemption in heaven.
For you placed the salvation of the human race on the wood of the Cross, so that, where death arose, life might again spring forth and the evil one, who conquered on a tree, might likewise on a tree be conquered through Christ.   O cross, you are the glorious sign of victory.   Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus.
We adore You Christ and we praise You, for by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. Ameno-cross-you-are-the-glorious-sign-of-victory-feast-of-the-exaltation-of-the-holy-cross

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei

Quote/s of the Day – Speaking of Prayer

Quote/s of the Day – Speaking of Prayer

“Virtues are formed by prayer.
Prayer preserves temperance.
Prayer suppresses anger.
Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy.
Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit
and raises man to Heaven.”

St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchvirtues are formed by prayer - st ephrem - 12 jan 2018

“When we pray,
the voice of the heart
must be heard
more than proceedings
from the mouth.”

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Churchwhen we pray - st bonaventure - 12 jan 2018

“We do not have to talk very much
in order to pray well.
We know that God is there,
in His holy tabernacle;
let us open our hearts to Him;
let us rejoice in His Presence –
this is the best prayer.”

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859) Patron of Priestswe do not have to talk - st john vianney - 12 jan 2018

“Without Prayer nothing good is done.
God’s works are done with our hands joined
and on our knees.
Even when we run,
we must remain spiritually
kneeling before Him.”

Blessed Luigi Orione (1872-1940)without prayer - bl luigi orione - 12 jan 2018

“You go to pray;
to become a bonfire,
a living flame,
giving light and heat.”

“You don’t know how to pray?
Put yourself in the presence of God
and as soon as you have said,
‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’
you can be sure you have already begun.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)you go to pray - st josemaira - 12 jan 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 August

Our Morning Offering – 16 August

Prayer For Strength
By St EPHREM of Syria (306-373) Doctor of the Church

Lord Jesus Christ,
King of kings,
You have power over life and death.
You know even things that are uncertain and obscure,
and our very thoughts and feelings are not hidden from You.
Cleanse me from my secret faults,
for I have done wrong and You saw it.
You know how weak I am,
both in soul and in body.
Give me strength, O Lord,
in my frailty and sustain me in my sufferings.
Grant me a prudent judgment, dear Lord,
and let me always be mindful of Your blessings.
Let me retain until the end, Your grace
that has protected me till now.
Amen

prayer for strength by st ephrem of syria

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 June – St Ephrem of Syria – Father and Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 9 June – St Ephrem of Syria – Father & Doctor of the Church – Also known as:  Ephrem of Edessa, Ephrem the Syrian, Ephraem, Ephraim, Ephraem Syrus, Deacon of Edessa, Harp of the Holy Spirit, Jefrem Sirin, Sun of the Syrians/Venerable Father.  Deacon and Confessor, Exegesist, Writer, Poet, Hymnographer, Theologian, Teacher, Orator, Defender of the Faith – declared Doctor of the Church in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.    Born – c 306 at Nisibis, Mesopotamia (in modern Syria) – Died on 9 June 373 at Edessa (in modern Iraq) of natural causes.   His tomb is in an Armenian monastery, Der Serkis, west of Edessa.   Patron of Spiritual directors and spiritual leaders.   Attributes –  hermit sitting on a column, deacon’s vestments and thurible, man composing hymns with a lyre, man in a cave with a book, man with a cross on his brow, pointing upwards, vine and scroll.

st ephrem 3

Born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia, he was baptised as a young man and became famous as a teacher in his native city.   When the Christian emperor had to cede Nisibis to the Persians, Ephrem fled as a refugee to Edessa, along with many other Christians.   He is credited with attracting great glory to the biblical school there.   He was ordained a deacon but declined becoming a priest as he felt he was unworthy.

He had a prolific pen and his writings best illumine his holiness.   Although he was not a man of great scholarship, his works reflect deep insight and knowledge of the Scriptures.   In writing about the mysteries of humanity’s redemption, Ephrem reveals a realistic and humanly sympathetic spirit and a great devotion to the humanity of Jesus.   It is said that his poetic account of the Last Judgment inspired Dante.

Over four hundred hymns composed by Ephrem still exist.   Granted that some have been lost, Ephrem’s productivity is not in doubt.   Church historians credit Ephrem with having written over three million lines.ephrem_the_syrian_mosaic_in_nea_moni

The most important of his works are his lyric, teaching hymns.   These hymns are full of rich, poetic imagery drawn from biblical sources, folk tradition and other religions and philosophies.
Particularly influential were his Hymns Against Heresies.   Ephrem used these to warn his flock of the heresies that threatened to divide the early church.   He lamented that the faithful were “tossed to and fro and carried around with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness and deceitful wiles.”   He devised hymns laden with doctrinal details to inoculate right-thinking Christians against heresies such as docetism.   The Hymns Against Heresies employ colourful metaphors to describe the Incarnation of Christ as fully human and divine.   Ephrem asserts that Christ’s unity of humanity and divinity represents peace, perfection and salvation;  in contrast, docetism and other heresies sought to divide or reduce Christ’s nature and, in doing so, rend and devalue Christ’s followers with their false teachings.

Ephrem is popularly believed to have taken legendary journeys.    In one of these he visits St Basil of Caesarea.   This links the Syrian Ephrem with the Cappadocian Fathers and is an important theological bridge between the spiritual view of the two, who held much in common.   Ephrem is also supposed to have visited Saint Pishoy in the monasteries of Scetes in Egypt.    As with the legendary visit with Basil, this visit is a theological bridge between the origins of monasticism and its spread throughout the church.

St Ephrem eventually settled in Edessa (modern Şanlıurfa) in 363.   He was in his late fifties then and in Edessa he applied himself to ministry in his new church and seems to have continued his work as a teacher, perhaps in the School of Edessa.   Edessa had always been at the heart of the Syriac-speaking world and the city was full of rival philosophies and religions.   Ephrem comments that orthodox Nicene Christians were simply called “Palutians” in Edessa, after a former bishop. Arians, Marcionites, Manichees, Bardaisanites and various gnostic sects proclaimed themselves as the true church.   In this confusion, Ephrem wrote a great number of homilies and hymns defending Nicene orthodoxy.   After a ten-year residency in Edessa, in his sixties, Ephrem succumbed to the plague as he ministered to its victims.   The most reliable date for his death is 9 June 373.

John of Damascus, Ephrem the Syrian
With St John Damascne – left
Posted in HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 12 April

Our Morning Offering – 12 April

PRAYER OF ST EPHREM OF SYRIA
(In Honour Of Christ’s Passion)

I give You glory, O Christ,
because You, the Only-begotten,
the Lord of all,
underwent the death of the Cross
to free my sinful soul from the bonds of sin.
What shall I give to You, O Lord,
in return for all this kindness?
Glory to You, O Lord, for Your love,
for Your mercy, for Your patience.
Glory to You,
for forgiving us all our sins,
for coming to save our souls,
for Your incarnation in the Virgin’s womb.
Glory to You, for Your bonds,
for receiving the cut of the lash,
for accepting mockery.
Glory to You, for Your crucifixion,
for Your burial, for Your resurrection.
Glory to You, for being taken up heaven.
Glory to You who sit
at the Father’s right hand and will return in glory.
Glory to You for willing that the sinner
be saved through Your great mercy and compassion.

PRAYER OF ST EPHREM OF SYRIA