Thought for the Day – 3 December – Woe to Me if I do not Preach the Gospel

Thought for the Day – 3 December – Tuesday of the First week of Advent, Year A and The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

Woe to Me if I do not Preach the Gospel

Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552)
Priest and Missionary

An excerpt from Letters to Saint Ignatius

“We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago.   No Portuguese live here—the country is so utterly barren and poor.   The native Christians have no priests.   They know only that they are Christians.   There is nobody to say Mass for them, nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.

I have not stopped since the day I arrived.   I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages.   I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptised. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left.   The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand – the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

I could not refuse so devout a request, without failing in devotion myself.   I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father and Hail Mary.   I noticed among them persons of great intelligence.   If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt, that they would make excellent Christians.

Many, many people hereabouts, are not becoming Christians for one reason only – there is nobody to make them Christians.   Again and again, I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity – “What a tragedy, how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!”what a tragedy how many souls - st francis xavier - 3 dec 2019.jpg

I wish they would work as hard at this as they do at their books and so settle their account with God, for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.

This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them.   They would forget their own desires, their human affairs and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and His choice.   They would cry out with all their heart – Lord, I am here!   What do you want me to do?   Send me anywhere you like—even to India.”

How can we too fail!

It is Advent. All our answers remain fragmentary.
The first thing we have to accept is, ever and again,
the reality of an enduring Advent.
If we do that, we shall begin to realise
that the borderline between “before Christ” and “after Christ”
does not run through historical time, in an outward sense
and cannot be drawn on any map,
it runs through our own hearts.
Insofar, as we are living on a basis of selfishness, of egoism,
then even today, we are “before Christ.”
But in this time of Advent, let us ask the Lord to grant
that we may live less and less “before Christ”
and certainly not “after Christ”
but truly “with Christ and in Christ” –
with Him who is indeed Christ yesterday, today and forever.

Joseph Ratzinger (1964)
aka Pope Emeritus Benedict XVIit is advent - all our answers remain - joseph ratzinger - pope benedict 3 dec 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 3 December – St Francis Xavier

Quote/s of the Day – 3 December – The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

“Leave your country, your people
and your father’s household
and go to the land I will show you.”

Genesis 12:1

genesis 12 1 - leave your country your people - st francis xavier 3 dec 2019.jpg

“I am in a country
where all the niceties of life are lacking.
But I am filled with many inner consolations.
Indeed, I run the risk of crying my eyes out
because of my tears of joy”

i am in a country - st francis xavier 3 dec 2019.jpg

“When trying to evangelise,
no tool is more effective,
than that of personal witness.
…People can argue with points of doctrine
but no-one can argue,
with a personal testimony!”


“Prayer is powerful!
It fills the earth with mercy,
it makes the Divine clemency
pass from generation to generation,
right along the course of the centuries.
wonderful works have been achieved.
through prayer.”

St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)



Advent Reflection – 3 December – Proclaiming the Hope of Christ

Advent Reflection – 3 December – Tuesday of the First week of Advent, Year A and the Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)- Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-2, 7-9, 12-13, Luke 10:21-24

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Isaiah 11:6

“In these passages, the meaning of Christmas shines through – God fulfils the promise by becoming man, not abandoning His people, He draws near to the point of stripping Himself of His divinity.   In this way God shows His fidelity and inaugurates a new Kingdom, which gives a new hope to mankind.   And what is this hope?   Eternal life. ”
... Pope Francis – General audience 21 December 2016Tuesday of the first week of advent - 3 dec 2019.jpg

Advent Action
Advent is a time to practice discipleship and the joy of sharing the message given to us! Today, share just a little of this joy of the Gospel and the hope of Christ, with those around you.   Giving this gift is immense, as the Lord shared His Father in the Gospel of today, so we share Him.   Spiritual love is tender, it is holy ground.   There is simply no greater investment.

” …. Paul does not seek himself, he does not want to make a fan club for himself, he does not wish to go down in history as the head of a school of great knowledge, he is not self-seeking, rather, St Paul proclaims Christ and wants to gain people for the true and real God.   Paul’s wish is to speak of and preach the One who entered his life and who is true life, who won him over on the road to Damascus.
Therefore, talking about God means making room for the One who enables us to know Him, who reveals His face of love to us; it means emptying ourselves of our own ego, offering it to Christ, in the awareness that it is not we who can win over others for God but, that we must expect God to send them, we must entreat God for them.
Talking about God, therefore, stems from listening, from our knowledge of God which is brought about through familiarity with Him, through the life of prayer and in accordance with the Commandments.”Pope Benedict XVI (Excerpt – How to speak about God – The Year of Faith – 28 November 2012)

Lord, it is my hope that I may always be in “Your will
and way.”
Sometimes I am selfish with my time and my own desires.
Today, help me sort out things in my life.
I need to make You the first priority in my life
and not the things that really do not matter.
Assist me in conducting myself in ways that are most pleasing to You.
Lord, it is my desire to live more for You this day
and share the joy of Your love with all I meet.

And today, we remember St Francis Xavier, the “second Paul”

please pray for us!
Amenst francis xavier pray for us 3 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in Gerard MANLEY HOPKINS SJ, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 3 December – I Love Thee, God, I love Thee

Our Morning Offering – 3 December – The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

I Love Thee, God, I love Thee
By St Francis Xavier
Translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

I love Thee, God, I love Thee—
Not out of hope for heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach Thine arms out dying,
For my sake suffered nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death and this for me,
And Thou could see me sinning.
Then I, why should not I love Thee,
Jesu so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake, not to be
Out of hell by loving Thee,
Not for any gains I see,
But just the way that Thou didst me
I do love and will love Thee.
What must I love Thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God.
Ameno love thee god i love thee - st francis xavier - 3 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 3 December

St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552) (Memorial)

One of the Greatest Missionaries since St Paul:

St Abbo of Auxerre
St Abran
St Agapius
St Agricola of Pannonia
St Alvaro González López
St Anthemius of Poitiers
St Attalia of Strasbourg
Bl Bernard of Toulouse
St Birinus of Dorchester
St Cassian of Tangiers
St Claudius of Africa
St Claudius the Martyr
St Crispin of Africa
St Edward Coleman
St Eloque of Lagny
St Emma of Bremen
St Ethernan
St Francisco Delgado González
St Francisco Fernández Escosura
St Hilaria the Martyr
St Jason the Martyr
Bl Johann Nepomuk von Tschiderer (1777-1860)
St John of Africa
St Juan Bautista Ferris Llopis
St Julián Heredia Zubia
St Lucius
St Lucy the Chaste
St Magina of Africa
St Mamas
St Manuel Santiago y Santiago
St Marcos García Rodríguez
St Maurus the Martyr
St Seleucus
St Stephen of Africa
St Theodore of Alexandria
St Theodulus of Edessa
St Valeriano Rodríguez García
St Veranus
Zephaniah the Prophet

Martyrs of Nicomedia: Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Ambicus, Julius and Victor. c 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Alvaro González López
• Blessed Francisco Delgado González
• Blessed Francisco Fernández Escosura
• Blessed Juan Bautista Ferris Llopis
• Blessed Julián Heredia Zubia
• Blessed Manuel Santiago y Santiago
• Blessed Marcos García Rodríguez
• Blessed Valeriano Rodríguez García

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 5 November – The Crucifix Encounter – St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552) and St Guido Maria Conforti

Thought for the Day – 5 November – The Memorial of St Guido Maria Conforti   (1865-1931)

The Crucifix Encounter – St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

and St Guido Maria Conforti, Founder of the Xaverian Missionaries

The Source of My Vocation alongside St Francis Xavier

Conforti had  similar experience of the crucifix as Saint Francis Xavier had. It is divided into two part,; first is the similar experience of the cross since their childhood and second is the experience during their ministry.   Both Conforti and Xavier, contemplated the crucifix since they were children.

“I looked at Him and He looked at me
and it seemed as though
He was telling me many things.”

st guido's crucifix.JPG
This is the actual Crucifix which ‘spoke’ to St Guido

God revealed the fullness of His love in His Crucified Son.   One day this love touched the
heart of young Guido Conforti in an almost natural way.   He was but a child  . Every morning, He stopped at the “Church of Peace” to gaze at the the large Crucifix there.

“The huge crucifix which embellished the altar fascinated him.   He looked at the figure of Jesus and he really believed that Jesus looked at him.   Whatever the nature of the experience, it moved him deeply.   Indeed, so entranced did he become with this crucifix that he became increasingly reluctant to leave the church.   ‘It looked at me and told me so many things’, he was to remark one day, speaking of ‘his crucifix’, ‘for me it is a miraculous crucifix.   I owe my vocation to it’ he was heard to tell one of his friends.”

This was the beginning of an uninterrupted dialogue with Christ crucified.   Later when he was sixty years old and bishop, his sister often found him rapt in ecstasy before that crucifix, which had been brought to his residence, at his request.   Was it that dialogue with the Crucified Lord that sparked the idea to found a missionary congregation?

In the same way, Saint Francis Xavier had an experience with the crucifix in the chapel of the castle in Navarra.   The story says, that while he was cared by his mother in academic and religious education, he passed some time alone contemplating the crucifix which has a special smile.

“During these early years, Francis was often quite late coming home from classes. When that happened, his mother would begin to worry. Soon she would be searching for him in the squares and alleys of the castle town. Usually, she would find her son alone in Church, kneeling before the main altar, apparently absorbed in prayer.”

This experience of both, Xavier and Conforti, is important because it influenced their entire lives.   Both have shown the influence of the crucifix in their writings and especially in their ministry.

Conforti expressed the contemplation of the cross in his writings as bishop and as a founder.   As bishop he promoted his motto “Christ is all things” because his spirituality was centred on the person of Christ: “ Christ was always present in his thoughts and in the heart.   Christ was his constant companion in all the actions of his life.”   He always encouraged the Christians of his dioceses to contemplate the crucifix and to be formed by Him.

As founder of the Xaverian Missionaries, Conforti gave to them the contemplation of the crucifix as the centre of their spirituality.   “In the mind of Blessed Guido Conforti, consecration is born of the contemplation of the crucified Christ and of the love made manifest therein  .”Consecration is not only to make vows but it is more, an experience of the love of Christ on the cross, which invites the consecrated to imitate this love.”

St Francis Xavier, St Guido Maria Conforti, Pray for Us!sts francis xavier and guido maria conforti pray for us 5 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 14 February -Prayer for Unbelievers

Our Morning Offering – 14 February – Thursday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Sts Cyril and Methodius “Apostles to the Slavs”- Patrons of Europe

Prayer for Unbelievers
By St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)

Eternal God,
Creator of all things
remember that the souls of unbelievers
have been created by You,
in Your own image and likeness
and formed to become Your own People..
Behold, O Lord,
how, to Your dishonour,
hell is being filled with these very souls.
Remember that Jesus Christ, Your Son,
for their salvation, suffered a most cruel death.
Do not permit, O Lord, I beseech You,
that Your divine Son be any longer
despised by unbelievers
but rather, being appeased by the prayers
of Your saints and the Church,
the most holy spouse of Your Son,
deign to be mindful of Your mercy
and forgetting their idolatry
and their unbelief,
bring them to know Him,
Whom You did send,
Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord,
Who is our health, life and resurrection,
through Whom,
we have been redeemed and saved,
and to Whom,
be all glory forever.
Amenprayer for unbelievers by st francis xavier sj 14 feb 2019.jpg

Prayer on the Memorial of Sts Cyril & Methodius
“Patrons of Europe”

Almighty and everlasting God,
who by the power of the Holy Spirit
moved Your servant Cyril
and his brother Methodius,
to bring the light of the Gospel
to a hostile and divided people,
overcome all bitterness
and strife among us,
by the love of Christ.
May we take Your word
into our hearts
that we may share it with all
and be one in professing the true faith.
Make us one united family
under the banner of the Prince of Peace,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever,
amen.prayer - sts cyril and methodius memorial 14 feb 2019.jpg