Posted in DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on JUDGING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 November – Forgive him …

Quote/s of the Day – 8 November – Readings: Wisdom 1: 1-7; Psalm 139: 1b-10; Luke 17: 1-6

If your brother sins, rebuke him
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times
in one day and returns to you
seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.

Luke 17:3-4

Judge not and you will not be judged;
condemn not and you will not be condemned;
forgive and you will be forgiven;
give and it will be given to you,
good measure, pressed down,
shaken together, running over,
will be put into your lap.
For the measure you give,
will be the measure you get back.

Luke 6:37-38

Then Peter came up and said to him,
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him,
“I do not say to you seven times
but seventy times seven
.”

Matthew 18:21-22

Gloriously has God slain enmity,
in order to save us,
may we never risk the life of our souls
by being resentful
or by bearing grudges
.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395)
Father of the Church

(Excerpt from his treatise,
On Christian Perfection
)

“In conformity with
the philosophy of Christ,
let us make of our life,
a training for death.”

To harbour no envy, no anger,
no resentment against an offender,
is still not to have charity for him.
It is possible, without any charity,
to avoid rendering evil for evil.
But, to render, spontaneously, good for evil –
such belongs to a perfect spiritual love.

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Father of the Church

We must show love
for those who do evil to us
and pray for them.
Nothing is dearer
or more pleasing to God than this.

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303-1373)

Posted in "Follow Me", ArchAngels and Angels, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – ‘… To follow God, wherever He might lead, is to behold God

One Minute Reflection – 24 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Jeremiah 31: 7-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Hebrews 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 46-52 and the Feast of Saint Raphael the Archangel

And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way” .…Mark 10:52

REFLECTION – “[Moses said to the Lord on Mount Sinai]: “Let me see your glory!” He answered: “I will make all my beauty pass before you … but my face you cannot see” (Ex 33:18 f).] Such an experience seems to me to belong to the soul which loves what is beautiful. Hope always draws the soul from the beauty which is seen, to what is beyond … And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire, asks this – to enjoy the Beauty, not in mirrors and reflections but face-to-face. The divine Voice granted what was requested in what was denied … – the munificence of God assented to the fulfilment of the desire but did not promise any cessation or satiety of the desire … The true sight of God consists in this, that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire. For He says: “You cannot see my face and live” …

But when the Lord who spoke to Moses came to fulfil His own law, He likewise gave a clear explanation to His disciples, laying bare the meaning of what had previously been said in a figure, when He said: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine “ (Lk 9:23) and not “If any man will go before me.” And to the one asking about eternal life, He proposes the same thing, for He says: “Come, follow me” (Lk 18:22). Now, he who follows, sees the back. So Moses, who eagerly seeks to behold God, is now taught how he can behold Himto follow God wherever he might lead, is to behold God (…).

Someone who does not know the way, cannot complete his journey safely in any other way, than by following behind his guide. He who leads, then, by His guidance shows the way to the one following. He who follows, will not turn aside from the right way, if he always keeps the back of his leader in view. For he who moves to one side or brings himself to face his guide, assumes another direction for himself, than the one his guide shows him. Therefore, God says to the one who is led: “My face is not to be seen”, that is, “Do not face your guide”. If he does so, his course will certainly be in the opposite direction …. to follow God wherever He might lead, is to behold God! No longer does any offence which comes about through evil, withstand the one who thus follows Him.” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395) Bishop, Father (Brother of St Basil the Great) – The Life of Moses, II.

PRAYER – Lord God of Hosts, in Your all-wise Providenc, You assign to Angels and to men, the services they have to render You. Grant that the Angels who adore You in Heaven, may protect and guid us here on earth. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God now and for all eternity, amen.

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 13 September – ‘But only say the word …’

Quote/s of the Day – 13 September – Readings: Timothy 2: 1-8; Psalm 28: 2, 7-9; Luke 7: 1-10

“Lord, … I am not worthy
to have you enter
under my roof…
but only say the word …”

Luke 7:6,7

God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Luke 18:13

“’You can make me clean.’”

Matthew 8:2

“Christ is the artist,
tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin
that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image
to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

“What are you afraid of, you men of little faith?
That He will not pardon your sins?
But with His own hands He has nailed them to the cross.
That you are used to soft living
and your tastes are fastidious?
But He knows the clay of which we are made (Gn 2:7).
That a prolonged habit of sinning binds you like a chain?
But the Lord loosens the shackles of prisoners.
Or perhaps that angered by the enormity
and frequency of your sins,
He is slow to extend a helping hand?
But where sin abounded,
grace became superabundant (Rom 5,20).
Are you worried about clothing
and food and other bodily necessities
so that you hesitate to give up your possessions?
But He knows that you need all these things (Mt 6,32).
What more can you wish?
What else is there to hold you back
from the way of salvation? ”

St Bernard (1091-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

“Aspire to God with short
but frequent outpourings of the heart,
admire His bounty,
invoke His aid,
cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His Cross,
adore His goodness,
treat with Him of your salvation,
give Him your whole soul –
a thousand times in the day.”

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

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 August – Forgive and be at peace

One Minute Reflection – 12 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Joshua 3: 7-10a, 11, 13-17; Psalms114: 1-6; Matthew 18: 21 – 19: 1 – Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) and St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.” –
Matthew 18:21-22

REFLECTION – “He is our peace, for He has made both one. Since we think of Christ as our peace, we may call ourselves true Christians, only if our lives express Christ by our own peace. As the Apostle says: He has put enmity to death. We must never allow it to be rekindled in us in any way but, must declare, that it is absolutely dead. Gloriously has God slain enmity, in order to save us, may we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges.

No, since we possess Christ who is peace, we must put an end to this enmity and live as we believe He lived. He broke down the separating wall, uniting what was divided, bringing about peace by reconciling in His single person, those who disagreed. In the same way, we must be reconciled not only with those who attack us from outside but also with those who stir up dissension within; flesh then will no longer be opposed to the spirit, nor the spirit to the flesh. Once we subject the wisdom of the flesh to God’s law, we shall be re-created as one single man, at peace. Then, having become one instead of two, we shall have peace within ourselves.

Now peace is defined as harmony among those who are divided. When, therefore, we end that civil war within our nature and cultivate peace within ourselves, we become peace. By this peace we demonstrate that the name of Christ, which we bear, is authentic and appropriate.

When we consider that Christ is the true light, having nothing in common with deceit, we learn that our own life also must shine with the rays of that true light. Now these rays of the Sun of Justice are the virtues which pour out to enlighten us so that we may put away the works of darkness and walk honourably as in broad daylight. When we reject the deeds of darkness and do everything in the light of day, we become light and, as light should, we give light to others by our actions. If we truly think of Christ as our source of holiness, we shall refrain from anything wicked or impure in thought or act and thus show ourselves to be worthy bearers of His Name. For the quality of holiness is shown, not by what we say but by what we do in life.” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) – Bishop and Father of the Church – Excerpt from his treatise, On Christian Perfection

PRAYER – Holy God, grant we pray, Your Holy Spirit of love and divine grace to grow ever more in faith and love. . 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, and St Jane Frances de Chantal, you who were lights to all, pray for us,amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – The Leaven of Life

Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 32: 15-24, 30-34; Psalms 106: 19-20, 21-22, 23; Matthew 13: 31-3

The Leaven of Life

“Just as the Father who has life sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so the man who feeds on me
will have life because of me.”

John 6:57

“An inborn imperfection in our human dough
was removed, thanks to the leaven
that comes from His perfect body…
To complete what was missing,
in these human bodies of ours,
He gave something of Himself,
just as He gives Himself to be eaten …”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Those who have been tricked into taking poison,
offset its harmful effect, by another drug.
The remedy, moreover,
just like the poison,
has to enter the system,
so that its remedial effect
may thereby spread through the whole body.
Similarly, having tasted the poison,
that is the fruit,
that dissolved our nature,
we were necessarily, in need of something, to reunite it.
Such a remedy had to enter into us,
so that it might, by its counteraction,
undo the harm the body had already encountered from the poison.
And what is this remedy?
Nothing else than the body
that proved itself superior to death
and became the source of our life.”

St Greogory of Nyssa (c 335– c 395)
Father of the Church

“The doctrine of Christ
is fittingly called leaven
because, the bread is Christ.”

St Anbrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“ … For He did not only give His Body but,
just as our flesh, drawn from the earth,
had lost its life and died through sin,
so He has introduced, so to speak,
another substance like a leaven,
this is His Body, the Body
sharing the same nature as ours but free from sin
and abounding in life.
And He has given it to all of us,
so that, fed with the banquet of this new food …
we might enter immortal life.”

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

“Dust, so to speak,
had forcibly entered humanity’s eye;
earth had entered it,
had injured the eye
and it could not see the light.
… That physician made a salve for you.
And because He came, in such a way,
that by His flesh,
He might extinguish the faults of the flesh
and by His death He might kill death … ”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SACRED HEART QUOTES, SACRED HEART REFLECTIONS, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – “And all that were sick He healed” – Matthew 8:15

Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”- Readings: Genesis 18: 1-15, Luke 1: 46-47, 48-49, 50 and 53, 54-55, Matthew 8: 5-17

“And all that were sick He healed”

Matthew 8:15

“ Think of the many cures
of which the evangelists do not speak.
They do not tell us about all of them, one by one –
rather, in a single sentence,
they let us see an infinite ocean of miracles.
… The gospel brings the testimony of the prophet,
which is as extraordinary and as surprising
as the deeds themselves:
“ … thereby fulfilling what had been said
through Isaiah the prophet:
‘It was our infirmities he bore, our sufferings he endured.’”
(Lk 8:17; Isa 53:4)
It does not say “he destroyed” but “he bore”
and “he endured”
thus showing, in my opinion,
that the prophet was speaking more of sin
than of bodily illnesses.
And that is in conformity with John’s words:
“There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29)

St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Father and Doctor

Commentary on St Matthew’s Gospel, 27

“Christ is the artist,
tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin
that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image
to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

“Dust, so to speak,
had forcibly entered humanity’s eye;
earth had entered it,
had injured the eye
and it could not see the light.
… That physician made a salve for you.
And because He came, in such a way,
that by His flesh,
He might extinguish the faults of the flesh
and by His death, He might kill death … ”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Love Him, then, keep Him as a friend.
He will not leave you as others do,
or let you suffer lasting death.
Sometime, whether you will or not,
you will have to part with everything.
Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death,
trust yourself to the glory of Him,
Who alone can help you
when all others fail.“

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
(Book 2 Ch 7)

“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist?

It is God, who, as our Saviour, offers Himself each day for us to His Father’s justice.

If you are in difficulties and sorrows, He will comfort and relieve you.
If you are sick, He will either cure you or give you strength to suffer, so as to merit Heaven.
If the devil, the world and the flesh are making war upon you, He will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist and to win the victory.
If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and for eternity.
Let us open the door of His Sacred and Adorable Heart and be wrapped about for an instant, by the flames of His love and we shall see, what a God who loves us, can do.
O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”

St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on UNITY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 May – ‘The bond of this unity is glory and that the Holy Spirit is called “glory” no sensible person will deny … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 16 May – “Mary’s Month” – Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension or The Seventh Sunday of Easter, Readings: Acts 1:11, Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6), Second Ephesians 4: 1-1, John 17:1-11

“Holy Father, keep them in your name… so that they may be one just as we are one” – John 17:11

REFLECTION – “The Beloved in the Song of Songs says: “My dove, my perfect one, is only one. She is the only child of her mother…” (6,9). The same point is made even more clearly by the Lord’s own words in the Gospel. For when, in His blessing, He bequeathed all power to His disciples, in His prayer to His Father, He bestowed on His followers all good gifts,and He added the greatest gift of all, that they should never be fragmented or divided… but, they should all be one, united in growth with the one and only good. And so, through “the unity of the Holy Spirit,” they should all be clasped together in “the bond of peace” and become “one body, one spirit, through the one hope to which they are called” (Eph 4,3-4)…

“That they may all be one, even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be one.” The bond of this unity is glory and that the Holy Spirit is called “glory” no sensible person will deny, if he considers the Lord’s words: “The glory which you have given me, I have given them” (Jn 17,22). He truly gave such glory to His disciples, for He said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20,22). When He clothed Himself in human nature, Christ received this glory, which He had from all ages, “before the world began” (Jn 17,5) and, when His human nature was thus glorified by the Holy Spirit, the glory of the Spirit could be handed on to Christ’s kin, beginning with the disciples. This is the meaning of Christ’s words: “Father, the glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one as we are one.”St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335-395), Bishop, Brother of St Basil the Great – Sermon on the Song of Songs, no 15

PRAYER – Since it is from You, God our Father, that redemption comes to us, Your adopted children, look with favour on the family You love, grant us to seek You and to to find You in Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.,, May our whole being become a copy of Your Son’s obedience and thus follow Him to You in our eternal heritage. We entreat Our Lady, Queen of Heaven to offer her prayers to You, to strengthen us in our temptations and trials. Through Christ, Our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The GOOD SHEPHERD

Our Morning Offering – 25 April – O Good Shepherd, You Whom My Soul Loves. By St Gregory of Nyssa

Our Morning Offering – 25 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter / Good Shepherd Sunday

O Good Shepherd,
You Whom My Soul Loves.
By St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

Where are You pasturing Your flock,
O good Shepherd,
Who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders?
(For the whole of human nature is one sheep
and You have lifted it onto Your shoulders).
Show me the place of peace,
lead me to the good grass that will nourish me,
call me by name so that I,
Your sheep, hear Your voice
and by Your speech,
give me eternal life.
Answer me, You Whom my soul loves.
… Show me then (my soul says),
where You pasture Your flock,
so that I can find that saving pasture too
and fill myself with the food of heaven,
without which, no-one can come to eternal life
and run to the spring
and fill myself with the drink of God.
You give it, as from a spring,
to those who thirst –
water pouring from Your side, cut open by the lance,
water that, to whoever drinks it,
is a spring of water,
welling up to eternal life.
Amen

This is a tiny excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa’s commentary on the Song of Songs (Cap. 2: PG 44, 802), using the imagery of Psalm 23, appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promised green pastures, restful waters and noonday rest that is the final, eternal destination of those who love God and walk in His ways.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Christ the Light

Quote/s of the Day – 14 April – Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 5: 17-26, Psalm: Psalms 34: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, Gospel: John 3: 16-21 *Readings below

“Light came into the world”

John 3:19

“In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light”

Psalm 35(36)

“The Lord has turned
all our sunsets
into sunrises.”

St Clement of Alexandria (150-215)
Father of the Church

“In the face of my darkness,
You are light.
In the face of my mortality,
You are life.”

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“He is the origin of all wisdom.
The Word of God in the heights,
is the source of wisdom.
Christ is the source of all true knowledge,
for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). …
As way, Christ is the teacher
and origin of knowledge …
Without this Ligh,
which is Christ,
no-one can penetrate
the secrets of faith.”

St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seraphic Doctor

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – – 28 March – “Never before, has anyone spoken, like this one” Luke 7:46

Quote/s of the Day – – 28 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53

“Never before,
has anyone spoken,
like this one”

John 7:46

“Follow me.”

Luke 5:27

“Come along then, every human family,
full of sin as you are
and receive the forgiveness of your sins.
For I Myself, am your Forgiveness,
I am the Passover of salvation,
the Lamb slain for your sakes,
your redemption, life and resurrection;
I am your Light, your Salvation and your King.
It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven,
I, who will raise you up;
it is I, who will bring you to see the Father
who is from all eternity;
it is I, who will raise you up
by My all-powerful Hand.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Apologist

“Christ is the artist,
tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin
that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image
to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

“He is the origin of all wisdom.
The Word of God in the heights,
is the source of wisdom.
Christ is the source of all true knowledge,
for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). …
As way, Christ is the teacher
and origin of knowledge …
Without this Ligh,
which is Christ,
no-one can penetrate
the secrets of faith.”

St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seraphic Doctor

“… Make use of Our Lord
as an armour which covers [us] all about,
by means of which [we] shall resist
every device of [our] enemies.
You shall then be my Strength, O my God!
You shall be my Guide,
my Director,
my Counsellor,
my Patience,
my Knowledge,
my Peace,
my Justice
and my Prudence.”

St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682)
“Apostle of the Sacred Heart”

“Where, then, is true freedom?
It is in the heart of one who loves
nothing more than God.
It is in the heart of one who is attached
neither to spirit nor to matter
but only to God.
It is in that soul which is not subject
to the “I” of egoism,
which soars above its own thoughts,
feelings, suffering and enjoyment.
Freedom resides in the soul
whose one reason for existence is God,
whose life is God
and nothing else but God.”

St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
Spanish Trappist Monk

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HEART, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 February – “Follow me.” Luke 5:27 ‘This is the glory of man …’

Quote/s of the Day – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32

“Follow me.”

Luke 5:27

“This is the glory of man –
to persevere and remain
in the service of God.
For this reason,
the Lord told His disciples:
‘You did not choose Me but I chose you.’
He meant that His disciples
did not glorify Him by following Him
but, in following the Son of God,
they were glorified by Him.
As He said:
‘I wish that where I am
they also may be,
that they may see My glory.’”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Father of the Church and Martyr

From his Against Heresies (Book 4)

“Christ is the artist,
tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin
that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image
to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

“To welcome the Word of God
into the interior depths of one’s heart
is to be revived by food in plenty
and the eternal spring.
It is to hunger and thirst no more (Jn 6,35).”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Bishop of Milan
Father & Doctor of the Church

Commentary on Saint Luke’s gospel, 5, 16 ; SC 45

“Where, then, is true freedom?
It is in the heart of one who loves
nothing more than God.
It is in the heart of one who is attached
neither to spirit nor to matter
but only to God.
It is in that soul which is not subject
to the “I” of egoism,
which soars above its own thoughts,
feelings, suffering and enjoyment.
Freedom resides in the soul
whose one reason for existence is God,
whose life is God
and nothing else but God.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
Spanish Trappist Monk

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – – 12 February – The Divine Remedy

Quote/s of the Day – – 12 February – Readings: Genesis 3:1-8, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6,7, Mark 7:31-37

The Divine Remedy

But the serpent said to the woman,
“You will not surely die.
For God knows, that when you eat of it,
your eyes will be opened
and you will be like God …”

Genesis 3:4-5

“Those who have been tricked into taking poison,
offset its harmful effect, by another drug.
The remedy, moreover,
just like the poison,
has to enter the system,
so that its remedial effect
may thereby spread through the whole body.
Similarly, having tasted the poison,
that is the fruit,
that dissolved our nature,
we were necessarily, in need of something, to reunite it.
Such a remedy had to enter into us,
so that it might, by its counteraction,
undo the harm the body had already encountered from the poison.
And what is this remedy?
Nothing else than the body
that proved itself superior to death
and became the source of our life.”

St Greogory of Nyssa (c 335– c 395)
Father of the Church

“An inborn imperfection in our human dough
was removed, thanks to the leaven
that comes from His perfect body…
To complete what was missing,
in these human bodies of ours,
He gave something of Himself,
just as He gives Himself to be eaten …”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“This Body He gave to us to keep and eat,
as a mark of His intense love’.”

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

“Dust, so to speak,
had forcibly entered humanity’s eye;
earth had entered it,
had injured the eye
and it could not see the light.
… That physician made a salve for you.
And because He came, in such a way,
that by His flesh,
He might extinguish the faults of the flesh
and by His death He might kill death … ”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 October – “I shall repay you on my way back.” – Luke 10:35

One Minute Reflection – 5 October – Monday of the Twenty Seventh week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Galatians 1:6-12Psalms 111:1-27-89 and 10Luke 10: 25-37 and the Memorial of Blessed Raymond of Capua OP (c 1330-1399) “The Second Founder,” Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos CSsR (1819-1867), Blessed Bartholomew Longo (1841-1926) “Apostle of the Holy Rosary”

“The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’” – Luke 10:35

REFLECTION“Who is my neighbour?” In answer the Word explained, in the form of a story, God’s entire economy of salvation. He told of man’s descent from heaven, the robbers’ ambush, the stripping of the garment of immortality, the wounds of sin, the progress of death over half of man’s nature while his soul remained immortal. Then came the passage of the Law that brought no help—neither the priest nor the Levite tended the wounds of the man who fell among robbers—for “it was impossible for the blood of goats and oxen to remove man’s sin (Heb 10:4). And then He came, clothed in our human nature as the first-fruits of the mass in which there was a portion of every race, Jewish, Samaritan, Greek — all mankind. With His body (that is, the beast of the story) He proceeded to the place of man’s disaster, healed his wounds and set him upon His own beast. He created for him the inn of His loving providence, in which all those who labour and are burdened can find rest (Mt 11,28) (…)

“Whoever abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:56) (…) Whoever finds shelter in Christ’s mercy accepts two denarii from Him, one of which signifies the love of God with one’s whole heart and the other the love of one’s neighbour as oneself, according to the lawyer’s reply (Mk 12:30f). But “not the hearers of the law are just before God but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rm 2:13). Hence we must not merely accept these two coins (…) but we must, by our own good deeds, co-operate in the fulfilment of these two commandments. And so, the Lord says to the innkeeper, that whatever he does in caring for the wounded man will be made up to him at the Lord’s second coming according to the measure of his devotion.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church, Monk, Bishop – Sermons on the Song of Songs, no14 – [Brother of St Basil the Great (Father & Doctor)]

PRAYER – God our Father, we are Your children and You have set us aside to come home to You by the light of the way of Your divine Son. Grant we pray, that we may grow in faith and love for You and our neighbour daily, by the intercession of Saints Bl Raymond of Capua, Francis Xavier Seelos, Bartholomew Longo, may we learn the gentleness and tenderness of love, to all around us. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – ‘…The keeping of the commandments is the fruit…’

One Minute Reflection – 11 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 14:5-18, Psalm 115:1-2.3-4.15-16, John 14:21-26.

“Whoever has my commandments and observes them, is the one who loves me.   Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” … John 14:21-22

REFLECTION – “The reign of life has begun, the tyranny of death is ended.   A new birth has taken place, a new life has come, a new order of existence has appeared, our very nature has been transformed!   This birth is not brought about by human generation, by the will of man, or by the desire of the flesh but by God.

If you wonder how, I will explain in clear language.   Faith is the womb that conceives this new life, baptism the rebirth by which it is brought forth into the light of day.   The Church is its nurse, her teachings are its milk, the bread from heaven is its food.   It is brought to maturity by the practice of virtue, it is wedded to wisdom, it gives birth to hope.  Its home is the kingdom, its rich inheritance the joys of paradise, its end, not death but the blessed and everlasting life prepared for those who are worthy.

… In this new creation, purity of life is the sun, the virtues are the stars, transparent goodness is the air and the depths of the riches of wisdom and knowledge, the sea.  Sound doctrine, the divine teachings are the grass and plants that feed God’s flock, the people whom He shepherds, the keeping of the commandments is the fruit, borne by the trees.

On this day is created the true man, the man made in the image and likeness of God. … He who for our sake became like us in order to make us His brothers, now presents to His true Father His own humanity, in order to draw all His kindred up after Him.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Father of the Church- An excerpt from On Christ’s Resurrection, Homily 1john 14-21-22 whoever has my commandments and keeps them - sound doctrine the divine teachings - st gregory of nyssa - 11 may 2020

PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart.   Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amidst this world’s changes, we may cling to our Father, live by Your word and carry it out against all the foes around us.   May our hearts be set on the world of lasting joy, our true home with You.   May the angels and saints intercede for us and may our Mother, the Mother of God, be a constant assistant and guiding hand.   We make our prayer, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.holy immm mothr of god pray for us 11 may 2020

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Easter Sunday – The first day of the new life

One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Easter Sunday – The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord, Readings: Acts 10:34, 37-43, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23, Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, John 20:1-9 or Matthew 28:1-10

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. … John 20:1mary magdalene came to the tomb - john 20 1 -12 april 2020

REFLECTION – “Here is a wise saying: “The day of prosperity makes one forget adversity” (Sir 11:25).   Today the first sentence passed against us has been forgotten – more! not just forgotten but cancelled!   This day has wiped away completely all remembrance of our condemnation.   In former times childbearing took place in pain, now we are born without suffering.   Formerly we were no more than flesh, born of the flesh, today, what is born is spirit, born of the Spirit.   Yesterday we were born mere children of men, today we are born children of God.   Yesterday we were cast out of heaven to the earth, today, He who reigns in the heavens makes us citizens of heaven.   Yesterday, death reigned because of sin, today, thanks to Him who is the Life, righteousness regains its might.

In former times one man opened for us the gates of death, today, the one Man brings us back to life.   Yesterday, life was lost to us because of death but today, Life has destroyed death.   Yesterday, shame caused us to hide ourselves beneath the fig tree, today, glory draws us towards the tree of life.   Yesterday, disobedience expelled us from Paradise, today, our faith causes us to enter it.   Once again the fruit of life is held out to us to be enjoyed as much as we wish.   Once again the stream of Paradise, whose water irrigates us through the four rivers of the gospels (cf. Gn 2:10), comes to refresh the whole face of the Church. (…)

From now on what are we to do but imitate the mountains and hills of the prophecies in their leaping for joy:  “Mountains, skip like rams; hills, like lambs of the flock!” (Ps 114[113]:4). “Come, then, let us sing joyfully to the Lord!” (Ps 95[94]:1).   He has broken the power of the enemy and raised up the great trophy of the cross…   So let us say: “The Lord is a great God and a great king above all gods!” (Ps 95[94],3).   He blesses the year by crowning it with His bounty (cf. Ps 65[64]:12) and He gathers us together in spiritual chorus in Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for endless ages. Amen.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335-395) – Father of the Church – Homily for the holy and life-giving Paschjesus christ is risen - in former times - st gregory of nyssa easter sun 12 april 2020

PRAYER – Breviary Hymn
Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ our heav’nly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

But the pains which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now He rules eternal King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

Praise to God the Father sing, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Son, our King, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Spirit be, Alleluia!
Now and through eternity, Alleluia!jesus christ is risen today alleluia 12 april 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – ‘… He is brought into life by a single call’

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 37:12-14, Psalm 130:1-8, Romans 8:8-11, John 11:1-45

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Lazarus, come out!” … John 11:43

the fifth sunday of lent 29 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
The Way, the Truth and the Life

“Here we have a man past the prime of life, a corpse, decaying, swollen, in fact, already in a state of dissolution, so that even his own relatives did not want the Lord to draw near the tomb because the decayed body enclosed there, was so offensive.   And yet, he is brought into life by a single call, confirming the proclamation of the resurrection, that is to say, that expectation of it, as universal, that we learn by a particular experience to entertain.   For as in the regeneration of the universe, the apostle tells us that “the Lord himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel” and by a trumpet sound, raise up the dead to incorruption — so now too, he who is in the tomb, at the voice of command, shakes off death as if it were only sleep.   He rids himself of the corruption that had come on his condition of a corpse, leaps forth from the tomb whole and sound, not even hindered as he leaves by the bonds of the grave cloths round his feet and hands.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church – On the Making of Man, 25

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6john 11 43 lazarus come out - st gregory of nyssa he is brought into life by a single call 29 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour
and ask Him with confidence:
– Lord, create a new spirit within us.

Christ, our life, we were buried with You in Baptism, to rise from the dead
– lead us this day along the new path of life.
Help us to work with others to build the earthly city
– but never let us lose sight of Your heavenly kingdom.
Healer of souls, mend our broken lives
– let us receive all the blessings of Your holiness.
Call us, bid us come to You
– let our ears be deaf to the calls of the world.

Closing Prayer:
Preface
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give You thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

For as true man He wept for
Lazarus His friend
and as eternal God, raised him from the tomb,
just as, taking pity on the human race,
He leads us, by sacred mysteries, to new life.

Through Him, the host of angels adores Your majesty
and rejoices in Your presence forever.
May our voices, we pray,
join with theirs in one chorus of exultant praise, as we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts …

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 9 March – Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Lenten Reflection – 9 March – Monday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 9:4-10, Psalm 79:8 -9, 11, 13, Luke 6:36-38

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:36

Today’s lesson is about mercy –
God’s mercy for us first and our mercy toward others.
We renew our penance –
all the ways we are trying to change
the patterns of our life that need conversion.

Lord, do not deal with us as our sins deserve.
Remember not, against us, the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
Lord, do not deal with us as our sins deserve.
Help us, O God our Saviour,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
Lord, do not deal with us as our sins deserve.
— Psalm 79monday of the second week - 26 feb 2018

Intercessions:
Blessed be God the Father for His gift of this sacrifice of praise.
In the spirit of this Lenten season, let us pray:
Instruct us, Lord, in the ways of your kingdom.

God of power and mercy, give us the spirit of prayer and repentance,
-with burning love for You and all mankind.
Help us to work with You in making all things new in Christ,
-and in spreading justice and peace throughout the world.
Teach us the meaning and value of creation,
-so that we may join its voice to ours as we sing Your praise.
Forgive us for failing to see Christ in the poor,
the distressed and the troublesome,
-and for our failure to reverence Your Son in their persons.

Closing Prayer:
Lord,
Your commandment of love is so simple
and so challenging.
Help me to let go of my pride,
to be humble in my penance.
I want only to live the way You ask me to love,
to love the way You ask me to live.
I ask this through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who stands at my side
today and always.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

“Christ is the artist, tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Churchchrist-is-the-artist-st-gregory-of-nyssa-9-march-2020

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – ‘Let us go to Bethlehem to behold the mystery of the crib.’

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7 (1-6), Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14

For to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.… Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle let us turn aside to see this unusual sight as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light without defilement (…) Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News!   If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the angels is addressed, announcing a great joy (…)   “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!”   There where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12).   Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14).   God is joined to man to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold (…) the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger.   A Virgin after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her son.   Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds:  “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem?   Why is He sleeping in a manger?   Why does He participate in Israel’s census?   My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death.   He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death.   He rests in a manger because He is the One who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14).   He is the Bread of Life who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit…   What more joyful feast is there than that of today?   Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night.   What had fallen is raised up again, what was overcome is now set free…  what was dead is restored to life…   Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth:  “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through one man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop-Sermon on the Nativityhe rests in a manger because he is the one who makes the grass grow - st gregory of nyssa 24 dec 2019

PRAYER –
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenrejoice rejoice emmanuel shall come to thee o israel 24 dec 2019

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us.

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us

This year, as before, I will post daily Advent Reflections drawn from diverse Saints and Holy people – please join me in prayer and in awakening our souls to hope.

advent reflections - o come o come emmnuel - begins 1 dec - posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Memory Awakens Hope

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Pope Benedict XVI)

In one of his Christmas stories Charles Dickens tells of a man who lost his emotional memory, that is, he lost the whole chain of feelings and thoughts he had acquired in the encounter with human suffering.   This extinction of the memory of love is presented to him as liberation from the burden of the past but it becomes clear, immediately, that the whole person has been changed, now, when he meets with suffering, no memories of kindness are stirred within him…   Since his memory has dried up, the source of kindness within him has also disappeared.   He has become cold and spreads coldness around him.

Goethe deals with the same ideas as Dickens, in his account of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Roch in Bingen, after the long interruption caused by the Napoleonic wars. He observes the people as they press, tightly packed, through the church past the image of the saint and he watches their faces – the faces of the children and the adults are shining, mirroring the joy of the festal day.   But with the young people, Goethe reports, it was otherwise.   They went past unmoved, indifferent, bored.   And he gives an illuminating explanation – they were born in evil times, had nothing good to remember and consequently had nothing to hope for. In other words, it is only the person who has memories who can hope.   The person who has never experienced goodness and kindness simply does not know what such things are.

Recently a counsellor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair, was speaking in similar terms about his own work, if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope, then there is a way out of despair.   Memory and hope are inseparable.   To poison the past does not give hope, it destroys its emotional foundations.

Sometimes Charles Dickens’ story strikes me as a vision of contemporary experience. This man who let himself be robbed of the heart’s memory by the delusion of a false liberation — do we not find him with us today, in a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope?   When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why?   Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope?   By outlawing the emotions, by satirising joy, have we not trampled on the root of hope?

These reflections bring us straight to the significance of the Christian season of Advent. For Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man.   Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God Who became a Child.   This is a healing memory, it brings hope.   The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.   All the feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.   These events, of such great significance for mankind, which are preserved and opened up by faith’s calendar, are intended to become personal memories of our own life history, through the celebration of holy seasons by means of liturgy and custom.   Our personal memories are nourished by mankind’s great memories, in turn, it is only by translating them into personal term,s that these great memories are kept alive.   Man’s ability to believe always depends in part on faith having become dear on the path of life, on the humanity of God having manifested itself through the humanity of men.   No doubt each of us could tell his own story here as to what the various memories of Christmas, Easter or other festivals mean in his life.

It is the beautiful task of Advent, to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

“Those who run
toward the Lord,
will never lack space…
One who is climbing
never stops,
he moves from
beginning to beginning,
according to beginnings,
that never end.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395)
Brother of St Basil the Greatadvent - those who run toward the Lord - st gregory of Nyssa 28 nov 2019

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 July – ‘You whom my soul loves’

Thought for the Day – 19 July – Friday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the memorial of St Macrina the Younger – sister of St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–395) Father of the Church

The Full Prayer as paraphrased in our Morning Offering today – This excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa’s commentary on the Song of Songs (Cap. 2: PG 44, 802), using the imagery of Psalm 23, appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promised green pastures, restful waters and noonday rest that is the final, eternal destination of those who love God and walk in His ways.   It is used in the Roman Catholic Office of readings for Thursday in the 33rd week in ordinary time with the corresponding biblical reading taken from Zechariah 11:4-12:8.

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–395)

Father of the Church

A Prayer to the Good Shepherd

Where are You pasturing Your flock, O good Shepherd, who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders?   (For the whole of human nature is one sheep and You have lifted it onto Your shoulders).   Show me the place of peace, lead me to the good grass that will nourish me, call me by name so that I, Your sheep, hear Your voice and by Your speech give me eternal life.   Answer me, You whom my soul loves.

I give You the name ‘You whom my soul loves’ because Your name is above every name and above all understanding and there is no rational nature that can utter it or comprehend it.   Therefore, Your name, by which Your goodness is known, is simply the love my soul has for You.   How could I not love You, when You loved me so much, even though I was black, that You laid down Your life for the sheep of Your flock?   A greater love cannot be imagined, than exchanging Your life for my salvation.

Show me then (my soul says) where You pasture your flock, so that I can find that saving pasture too and fill myself, with the food of heaven, without which no-one can come to eternal life and run to the spring and fill myself with the drink of God.   You give it, as from a spring, to those who thirst – water pouring from Your side cut open by the lance, water that, to whoever drinks it, is a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

If You lead me to pasture here, You will make me lie down at noon, sleeping at peace and taking my rest in light unstained by any shade.   For the noon has no shade and the sun stands far above the mountain peaks.   You bring Your flock to lie in this light, when You bring Your children to rest with You in Your bed.   But no-one can be judged worthy of this noonday rest who is not a child of light and a child of the day.   Whoever has separated himself equally from the shadows of evening and morning, from where evil begins and evil ends, at noon he will lie down and the sun of righteousness will shine on him.

Show me, then (my soul says), how I should sleep and how I should graze and where the path is to my noonday rest.   Do not let me fall away from Your flock because of ignorance and find myself one of a flock of sheep that are not Yours.

Thus my soul spoke, when she was anxious about the beauty that God’s care had given her and wanted to know how she could keep this good fortune forever.

Amen

“I give them eternal life”

John 10:27john 10 27 - i give them eternal life - 12 may 2019 good shepherd sunday.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The GOOD SHEPHERD

Our Morning Offering – 19 July – O Good Shepherd

Our Morning Offering – 19 July – Friday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time and the memorial of St Macina the Younger – sister of St Gregory of Nyssa

Below is an edited and simplified version 
of St Gregory’s famous
“To the Good Shepherd” prayer.

O Good Shepherd
By St Gregory Of Nyssa (c 335–395)
Father of the Church

O Good Shepherd,
Who carries the whole flock on Your shoulders,
Where are You pasturing Your flock?
Show me the place of peace,
lead me to the good grass that will nourish me,
call me by name so that I hear Your voice,
Answer me,
For You are the One my soul loves.
I call You ‘the One my soul loves’
because Your name is above every name
and above all understanding
and no one can utter or comprehend it.
How could I not love You,
when You loved me so much?
Even though I was stained dark with sin,
You laid down Your life for the sheep of Your flock.
A greater love cannot be imagined,
than exchanging Your life for my freedom!
Show me where You pasture Your flock,
so that I can find that saving pasture too,
and fill myself with the food of heaven
without which no-one can come to eternal life,
and run to the spring
and be filled with the drink of God.
You give it, as from a spring, to those who thirst –
water pouring from Your side,
water that is a spring welling up to eternal life.
If You lead me to pasture here,
You will make me lie down at noon,
sleeping at peace and taking my rest in light
unconquered by any shade.
For the noon has no darkness
and the sun stands far above the mountain peaks.
You bring Your flock to lie in this light,
You bring Your children to rest in You.
Show me how I should sleep
and how I should graze,
and where the path is to my noonday rest.
Do not let me fall away from Your flock
and become lost.
O Good shepherd,
Who carries the whole flock on Your shoulders.
Ameno good shepherd no 1 st gregory of nyssa 19 july 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 June -Manifesting Christ by St Gregory of Nyssa

Thought for the Day – 25 June – Tuesday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 7:6,12=14

Christ should be Manifest in our Whole Life

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Bishop and Father of the Church –
Brother of St Basil the Great (Father & Doctor)

An excerpt from his treatise On Christian Perfection

The life of the Christian has three distinguishing aspects –  deeds, words and thought. Thought comes first, then words, since our words express openly the interior conclusions of the mind.   Finally, after thoughts and words, comes action, for our deeds carry out what the mind has conceived.  So when one of these results in our acting or speaking or thinking, we must make sure that all our thoughts, words and deeds are controlled by the divine ideal, the revelation of Christ.   For then our thoughts, words and deeds will not fall short of the nobility of their implications.

What then must we do, we who have been found worthy of the name of Christ?   Each of us must examine his thoughts, words and deeds, to see whether they are directed toward Christ or are turned away from Him.   This examination is carried out in various ways. Our deeds or our thoughts or our words are not in harmony with Christ if they issue from passion.   They then bear the mark of the enemy who smears the pearl of the heart with the slime of passion, dimming and even destroying the lustre of the precious stone.

On the other hand, if they are free from and untainted by every passionate inclination, they are directed toward Christ, the author and source of peace.   He is like a pure, untainted stream.   If you draw from Him the thoughts in your mind and the inclinations of your heart, you will show a likeness to Christ, your source and origin, as the gleaming water in a jar resembles the flowing water from which it was obtained.if you draw from him - st gregory of nyssa - 25 jun 2019.jpg

For the purity of Christ and the purity that is manifest in our hearts are identical.  Christ’s purity, however, is the fountainhead, ours has its source in Him and flows out of Him.   Our life is stamped with the beauty of His thought.   The inner and the outer man are harmonised in a kind of music.   The mind of Christ is the controlling influence that inspires us to moderation and goodness in our behaviour.   As I see it, Christian perfection consists in thiS – sharing the titles which express the meaning of Christ’s name, we bring out this meaning in our minds, our prayers and our way of life.

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life…John 14:8

i am the way the truth and the life jon 14 8 31 march 2019 laetare sunday.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREEDOM, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 9 March – Where, then, is true freedom?

Lenten Reflection – 9 March – Saturday after Ash Wednesday “Come back to Me, with All your Heart” – Today’s Gospel : Luke 5:27-32 – The Calling of Matthewluke 5 28 leaving everything behind - calling of matthew - sat after ash wed lent 2019 9 march.jpg

“Leaving everything behind, the man got up and followed him” …Luke 5:28

Above the monastery some planes are cutting through the sky at tremendous speed.   The noise of the engines frightens the birds, who take shelter in the cypresses of our cemetery.   In front of the convent and crossing the land, is a tarred road along which lorries and carloads of tourists, for whom the sight of the monastery has no interest, run at all hours.   One of the principal Spanish railways also runs through the fields of the monastery…   People tell you that all this is freedom…   But the man who reflects a little will see how deluded the world is in the midst of what he calls freedom…

Where, then, is true freedom?   It is in the heart of one who loves nothing more than God. It is in the heart of one who is attached neither to spirit nor to matter but only to God.   It is in that soul which is not subject to the “I” of egoism, which soars above its own thoughts, feelings, suffering and enjoyment.   Freedom resides in the soul whose one reason for existence is God, whose life is God and nothing else but God.

The human spirit is small, impoverished, subject to a thousand changes of mood, ups and downs, depressions, disillusionments, etc and the body, to so much weakness.   Freedom, then, is in God and the soul which truly, in soaring above everything, makes her abode in Him, can say that she enjoys freedom, to the extent that is possible for one still in the world to do so.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
Spanish Trappist monk

(Spiritual writings, 15/12/1936 (trans. ‘To know how to wait’, Mairin Mitchell)where then is true freedom st raphael arnaiz baron - lent 2019 - 9 march sat after ash wed.jpg

Daily Meditation:
A Saturday of Lent
and more on “True Fasting.”
Each of the Saturdays of Lent are more upbeat and “lighter” in tone.
We are preparing for Sunday.

Our reading from Isaiah 58 continues,
as does our self-examination
regarding what true fasting is for us this Lent.

What patterns will I change?

Closing Prayer:

God, heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my prayer
during this holy Season of Lent.
Help me to discipline my body
and be renewed in spirit.

Without You, I can do nothing.
By Your Holy Spirit, help me to know what is right
and to be eager to do Your will.
Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin and help me to live by Your commandments.
God of love, bring me back to You.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand,
guide and lead me in Your gentle mercy.

Let me be aware of
the many ways you reach out to help me today
and let me stand in awe of the power
that You use in such loving ways.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

“Christ is the artist, tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Churchchrist-is-the-artist-st-gregory-of-nyssa- 9 march 2017.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SIN, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 February – Nothing else, than the body that proved itself superior to death and became the source of our life.

One Minute Reflection – 15 February – Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s First Reading: Genesis 3:1-8 and the Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) Apostle of the Sacred Heart and Blessed Michal Sopoćko (1888-1975) Apostle of Divine Mercy

“The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom.   So she took some of its fruit and ate it and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it.”...Genesis 3:6

REFLECTION – “Those who have been tricked into taking poison, offset its harmful effect, by another drug.   The remedy, moreover, just like the poison, has to enter the system, so that its remedial effect, may thereby spread through the whole body.   Similarly, having tasted the poison, that is the fruit, that dissolved our nature, we were necessarily in need of something to reunite it.   Such a remedy had to enter into us, so that it might by its counteraction, undo the harm the body had already encountered from the poison.   And what is this remedy?   Nothing else, than the body that proved itself superior to death and became the source of our life.”…St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c395) Father of the Church (Catechetical Oration, 27)genesis 3 6 the woman saw that the fruit was good - those who have been tricked - st gregory of nyssa 15 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, Your great mercy, gave us Your Son!   Surely nothing can be a greater proof to us of Your unending love and mercy to Your lowly creatures, we who are dust.   Through Him, who died and rose for us, You have shown us the way of true mercy. Grant us this day that by the intercession of St Claude and Blessed Michal, we may take up our crosses with Him, never leaving the love of His Sacred Heart, so that we may join Your holy saints in eternal life.   Through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-claude-pray-for-us-15-feb-2018.jpg

bl michal sopocka pray for us - apostle of divine mercy 15 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 9 March

Quote/s of the Day – 9 March

“Christ is the artist, tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image to its full beauty.”

“True perfection consists in having but one fear –
the fear of losing God’s friendship.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (Memorial 9 March)

CHRIST IS THE ARTIST-ST GREGORY OF NYSSATRUE PERFECTION-STGREGORYOFNYSSA

“Do you want many graces?
Go and visit the Blessed Sacrament often.”

“If I do not become a saint, I am doing nothing.”

St Dominic Savio (Memorial 9 March)

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“A married woman must, when called upon,
quit her devotions to God at the altar
to find Him in her household affairs.”

St Frances of Rome (Memorial 9 March)

A MARRIED WOMAN

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

One Minute Reflection – 11 January

One Minute Reflection – 11 January

If you lavish your food on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom shall become like midday; then the LORD will guide you always and satisfy your thirst in parched places, HE will give strength to your bones and you shall be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never fail…….Isaiah 58:10-11

REFLECTION – “Love is the bond of life, the mother of the poor and the teacher of the rich.
It is the nurse of orphans, the attendant of the elderly, the treasure of the indigent and the common port of all the afflicted.”……..St Gregory of Nyssa.

PRAYER – O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through His poverty might be rich, deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired, by the devotion of Your servant St Theodosius the Cenobiarch, may serve You with singleness of heart and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. St Theodosius the Cenobiarch. Pray for us! Amen

isiah-58-10-11quote-gregory-nyssapray-for-us-st-theodosius