Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Thoughts for Holy Week – 15 April – We are soon going to share in the Passover

Thoughts for Holy Week – 15 April – Monday of Holy Week

We are soon going to share in the Passover

Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Bishop and Great Eastern Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Oration 45

We are soon going to share in the Passover and although we still do so, only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol.   Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of His Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way and with deeper understanding.   He will then reveal to us and make clear what He has so far only partially disclosed.   For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.

It is for us to learn what this drinking is and for Him to teach us.   He has to communicate this knowledge to His disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.

So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way but according to the teaching of the Gospel, not in an imperfect way but perfectly, not only for a time, but eternally.   Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one, the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies.   We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon His heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise.   We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies.   I will say more – we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating His passion by our sufferings and honouring His blood by shedding our own.   We must be ready to be crucified.

If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ.   If you are crucified beside Him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God.   For your sake and because of your sin, Christ Himself was regarded as a sinner, for His sake, therefore, you must cease to sin.   Worship Him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself.   Derive some benefit from the very shame, purchase salvation with your death.   Enter paradise with Jesus and discover how far you have fallen.   Contemplate the glories there and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.

If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion and ask for Christ’s body.   Make your own, the expiation for the sins of the whole world.   If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial.   If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning.   Be the first to see the stone rolled back and even the angels perhaps and Jesus Himself.i will say more - we mut sacrifice ourselves to god - st gregory of nazianzen - mon of holy week 15 april 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“Speaking of Charity”

“The bread which you use
is the bread of the hungry;
the garment hanging in your wardrobe
is the garment of him who is naked;
the shoes you do NOT wear,
are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;
the acts of charity that you do NOT perform,
are so many INJUSTICES that you commit.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-bread-you-store-up-st-basil-the-great-1-jan-2019.jpg

“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God,
if we have given what we could.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Churchgive-something-however-small-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2016.jpg

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity-may-be-a-very-short-word-st-aelred-12-jan-2019.jpg

“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy,
we can never fail to do good,
so long as we have the strength.
For if we share with the poor,
out of love for God,
whatever He has given to us,
we shall receive according to His promise,
a hundredfold in eternal happiness.
What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!
With outstretched arms He begs us
to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins
and to become the servants of love,
first for ourselves, then for our neighbours.
Just as water extinguishes a fire,
so love wipes away sin.”

St John of God (1495-1550)with-outstretched-arms-he-begs-us-st-john-of-god-8-march-2019.jpg

“Nothing makes us
so prosperous
in this world,
as to give alms.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchnothing-makes-us-so-prosperous-st-francis-de-sales-24jan2019.jpg

“Help me, O Lord, …
that my eyes may be merciful,
so that I will never be suspicious
or judge by appearances
but always look for what is beautiful
in my neighbours’ souls
and be of help to them…
That my ears may be merciful,
so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs
and not indifferent to their pains and complaints.…
That my tongue may be merciful,
so that I will never speak badly of others
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.…
That my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds.…
That my feet may be merciful,
so that I will hasten to help my neighbour,
despite my own fatigue and weariness.…
That my heart may be merciful,
so that I myself will share
in all the sufferings of my neighbour.”

St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

(Extract from Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, 163)
This prayer was used by Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy 2015 to be universally prayed by the


Lenten Thoughts – 11 March – Let us show each other God’s generosity – Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)

Lenten Thoughts – 11 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent, Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46

Let us show each other God’s generosity

Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Bishop. Father, Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Oration 14: On Love of the Poor

Recognise to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity.   You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this and from whom?

Let me turn to what is of less importance – the visible world around us.   What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs, like the music of a harp?   Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?

Who has given you dominion over animals, those that are tame and those that provide you with food?   Who has made you lord and master of everything on earth?   In short, who has endowed you with all that makes man superior to all other living creatures?

Is it not God who asks you now in your turn to show yourself generous above all other creatures and for the sake of all other creatures?   Because we have received from Him so many wonderful gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse Him this one thing only, our generosity?   Though He is God and Lord, He is not afraid to be known as our Father. Shall we for our part repudiate those who are our kith and kin?

Brethren and friends, let us never allow ourselves to misuse what has been given us by God’s gift.   If we do, we shall hear Saint Peter say – Be ashamed of yourselves for holding onto what belongs to someone else.   Resolve to imitate God’s justice and no-one will be poor.   Let us not labour to heap up and hoard riches while others remain in need.   If we do, the prophet Amos will speak out against us with sharp and threatening words -Come now, you that say:  When will the new moon be over, so that we may start selling?   When will the sabbath be over, so that we may start opening our treasures?

Let us put into practice the supreme and primary law of God.   He sends down rain on just and sinful alike and causes the sun to rise on all without distinction.   To all earth’s creatures He has given the broad earth, the springs, the rivers and the forests.   He has given the air to the birds and the waters to those who live in the water.   He has given abundantly to all the basic needs of life, not as a private possession, not restricted by law, not divided by boundaries but as common to all, amply and in rich measure.   His gifts are not deficient in any way, because He wanted to give equality of blessing to equality of worth and to show the abundance of His generosity.resolve to imitate god's justice and noone will be poor - st gregory of nazianzen 11 march 2019 1st mond of lent.jpg


Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Two – 26 February 2019 “Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Two – 26 February 2019
“Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lent 2019 will begin on
Wednesday, 6 March
The Holy Triduum is
Thursday, 18 April, Good Friday, 19 April, Holy Saturday, 20 April
Easter Sunday – 21 April 2019

And he sat down and called the twelve and he said to them,
“If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:35


“Answer those whom the marks of the Passion in Christ’s body plunge into uncertainty and who put the question:   “Who is this king of glory?” (Ps 24[23]:8).   Answer them that He is the Christ,“the mighty, the valiant” (ibid.) in everything He has done and continues to do…

Is He insignificant because He made Himself humble for your sake?   Is He to be despised because, as a Good Shepherd laying down His life for His flock, He came in search of the lost sheep and, having found it, brought it back on the shoulders that bore the cross for its sake and, when He had carried it back to the life on high, set it down amongst the faithful flock who remained in the fold? (cf. Jn 10:11; Lk 15:4).

Do you despise Him because he lighted a lamp, His own flesh and swept His house in search of the lost coin, cleansing the world from sin, while losing the beauty of His royal likeness through His Passion? (Lk 15,8f.; Mk 12,16)…

Do you consider Him less great, because He girds Himself with a linen towel to wash His disciples’ feet, showing them, that the certain way to be exalted, is to humble oneself? (Jn 13:4f.).   Do you hold a grievance against God because Christ humbles Himself, turning His mind to earth so as to raise up with Himself those who are bowed beneath the weight of sin? (Mt 11:28).

Do you accuse Him of having eaten with publicans and sinners… for their salvation? (Mt 9:10).   How can you take to task a doctor who bends over the sufferings and wounds of the sick to bring them healing?”

St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)

Father & Doctor of the Churchhow can you take to task a doctor - st gregory of nazianzen - 26 feb day two lenten novena 2019.jpg

A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’

Do I despise the great gift of God’s Love?

“Is it not, I say, quite a common case for men and for women to neglect religion in their best days?   They have been baptised, they have been taught their duty, they have been taught to pray, they know their Creed, their conscience has been enlightened, they have opportunity to come to Church.   This is their birthright, the privileges of their birth of water and of the Spirit but they sell it, as Esau did.   They are tempted by Satan, with some bribe of this world and they give up their birthright, in exchange for what is sure to perish and to make them perish with it.   Esau was tempted by the mess of pottage which he saw in Jacob’s hands.   Satan arrested the eyes of his lust and he gazed on the pottage, as Eve gazed on the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.   Adam and Eve sold their birthright for the fruit of a tree—that was their bargain.   Esau sold his for a mess of lentils—that was his.

And men now-a-days often sell theirs, not indeed for any thing so simple as fruit or herb but for some evil gain or other, which at the time they think worth purchasing at any price, perhaps for the enjoyment of some particular sin, or more commonly for the indulgence of general carelessness and spiritual sloth, because they do not like a strict life and have no heart for God’s service.   And thus, they are profane persons, for they despise the great gift of God.”

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)is-it-not-i-say-quite-a-common-case-bl-john-henry-newman- no 2 used 26 feb 2019

“The world tells us to seek success, power and money.
God tells us to seek humility, service and love.”

Pope Francisthe world tells us to seek success - pope francis - which is your choice lent 2019 26feb2019.jpg

Lenten Preparation Novena

Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.

Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself, I cannot do Your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.

Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with Your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)

Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.
Amenlenten prep novena day two - come back to me - 26 feb 2019.jpg


One minute Reflection – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

One minute Reflection – 13 January – The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Gospel:  Luke 3:15-22 and Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church

“…when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son with thee I am well pleased.”…Luke 3:21-22when jesus also had been baptised luke 3 21-22 13 jan 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Jesus rises from the waters;  the world rises with Him.   The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open.   The Spirit comes to Him as to an equal, bearing witness to His Godhead.  A voice bears witness to Him from heaven, His place of origin.   The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God.
Today, let us do honour to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness.   Be cleansed entirely and continue to be cleansed.   Nothing gives such pleasure to God as the conversion and salvation of men, for whom His every word and every revelation exist. He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world.   You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the light of heaven.   You are to enjoy, more and more, the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received—though not in its fullness—a ray of its splendour, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. “…St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390 – Father & Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Oration 39: On Holy Light)he wants you to become a living force - st gregory of nazianzen - 13 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen…St Hilary of Poitierso-holy-trinity-prayer-for-perseverance-in-truth-st-hilary-of-poitiers-13-jan-2018.jpg

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

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Christmas Weekday – Today’s Gospel: John 1:35–42

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Christmas Weekday – Today’s Gospel: John 1:35–42

“….he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”   The two disciples heard him say this and they followed Jesus.”...John 1: 36-37behold the lamb of god - john 1 36-37 4 jan 2019

REFLECTION – “He is the Way, because He leads us through Himself;   Door, as letting us in;   Shepherd, as making us dwell in green pastures and bringing us up to the waters of rest, leading us there and protecting us from wild beasts, restoring the erring and bringing back the lost sheep.  He binds the wounded, guards the strong and thanks to His words of pastoral knowledge He gathers them together into the Fold on high.”…St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctorhe is the way because he leads us - st gregory of nazianzen 4 jan 2019

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of eternity.   Help me to live each day in such a way that I may deserve to be a child of Yours forever.   Grant that by the prayers of St Elizabeth Ann Seton and St Manuel Gonzalez Garcia, we may strive always to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, our entry to You, our Shepherd and our Saviour who will lead us to our eternal home.   May we never waiver from Your commandments.

st manuel gonzalez garcia pray for us 4 jan 2019

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 2 January – Sts Basil & Gregory

Thought for the Day – 2 January – The Memorial of St Basil the Great and St Gregory of Nazianzen

“It often happens, that men of very dissimilar talents, tastes, are attracted together by their very dissimilitude …. Gregory the affectionate, the tender-hearted, the man of quick feelings, the accomplished, the eloquent preacher – and Basil, the man of firm resolve and hard deeds, the high-minded ruler of Christ’s flock, the diligent labourer in the field of ecclesiastical politics.
Thus they differed, yet not as if they had not much in common still – both had the blessing and the discomfort of a sensitive mind; both were devoted to an ascetic life; both were men of classical tastes’ both were special champions of the Catholic creed; both were skilled in argument and successful in their use of it; both were in highest place in the Church, the one Exarch of Caesarea, the other Patriarch of Constantinople.”…Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Historial Sketches

“Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians.”St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) (from his writings on his friendship with St Basil).

It may be small comfort, but post-Vatican II turmoil in the Church is a mild storm compared to the devastation caused by the Arian heresy, a trauma the Church has never forgotten.   Christ did not promise the kind of peace we would love to have—no problems, no opposition, no pain.

In one way or another, holiness is always the way of the cross.

Sts Basil and Gregory, Pray for Us!different-men-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2-jan-2019.jpg