Lenten Reflection – 13 March – Lord, have mercy on us.

Lenten Reflection – 13 March – Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28, Psalm 105:16-21, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

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

Daily Meditation:
“God planted the vineyard of the human race when at the first he formed Adam (Gn 2:7) and chose the fathers.   Then he let it out to husbandmen through the gift of the Law passed on to Moses.   He hedged it round about, that is, he marked out the land they were to cultivate; he built a tower, that is, he chose Jerusalem;  he dug a winepress, that is, he prepared those who were to receive the prophetic Spirit.   And he sent them prophets prior to the Babylonian exile and then, after the exile, others again in even greater number to seek the fruits, saying to the :  “Cleanse your ways and
your doings” (Jer 7:3);   “Execute just judgment and “Each one act with pity and compassion towards his brother.   Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the stranger or the poor, and let none of you treasure up evil against his brother in your hearts” (Zac 7:9-10)   “Wash, make yourselves clean, put away evil from your hearts; learn to do good, seek judgment, protect the oppressed” (Is 1:16-17).

See by what preachings the prophets sought the fruits of righteousness.   But last of all He sent to those unbelievers His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, whom those wicked husbandmen slew and cast out of the vineyard.   That is why God entrusted it – no longer hedged around but thrown open throughout all the world – to other husbandmen, who would render the fruits in due season.   The elect tower is raised everywhere in all its beauty, for everywhere the Church now shines and everywhere the winepress is dug because everywhere are they, who receive the Spirit of God.

That is why the Lord said to His disciples, to make us become good workmen:  “Take heed to yourselves and watch at all times lest your hearts be overcharged with debauchery, drunkenness and the cares of this life”  (Lk 21:34.36);  “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like those who wait for their master to come” (Lk 12:35-36).” … Saint Irenaeus (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Martyr, Theologian – Against the heresies, IV 36, 2-3

“Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and be given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
— Matthew 21lent-friday-of-the-second-week-matthew-21-43-22-march-2019 and 13 march 2020

Let us pray to Christ our Saviour, who redeemed us by His death and resurrection::
Lord, have mercy on us.
You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into Your glory,
– bring Your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
Lord, have mercy on us.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– heal our wounds.
Lord, have mercy on us.
You made the cross the tree of life,
– give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
Lord, have mercy on us.
On the cross You forgave the repentant thief,
– through which we are cleansed of our sins.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!

the jesus prayer 24 sept 2019

Closing Prayer:
Loving God, Caring parent,
I am a child who so often turns my back
on Your love.
Please accept my small acts of sorrow today
and help to release me from the self-absorption
that closes my heart to You.
As I journey through Lent,
let me remember the feast You have prepared for me
in the resurrection
and let me be filled with thanks to You.

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

“Let us serve God but let us do so according to His will.
He will then take the place of everything in our lives.
He will be our strength and the reward of our labours.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)let us serve god but let us do so according to his will st vincent de paul 13 march 2020


Advent Reflection – 23 December – Come and set us free

Advent Reflection – 23 December – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Malachi 3:1-4; 4: 5-6 (3: 1-4, 23-24), Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14, Luke 1:57-66

The Lord is at hand, come, let us adore Him.O emmanuel-king-and-lawgiver-23-dec-2017,2018,2019

And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God. … Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “Speaking of John, we read in Luke:  “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord and many of the children of Israel shall he turn, to the Lord their God.   And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk 1:15-17).   For whom, then, did he prepare a people and in the sight of what Lord was he made great?   Truly of Him who said that John was something “even more than a prophet” and that “among those born of women none is greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:9.11).   For he made ready a people for the Lord’s advent, warning his fellow-servants and preaching repentance to them, so that they might receive forgiveness from the Lord, when He should arrive, after being converted to Him, from whom they had been alienated, because of their sins and transgressions ( … )

Yes, “in his mercy,” God, “the Dayspring from on high, has looked upon us and appeared to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death and has guided our feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:78-79) just as Zacharias, recovering from the state of dumbness he had suffered, because of his unbelief, blessed God in a new way, when he had been filled with a new spirit.   For all things have entered upon a new phase by the fact that the Word, after a new manner, has accomplished the purpose of His coming in the flesh, that He might return to friendship with God, the human flesh that had departed from God. And this is why men were taught to worship God after a new fashion.” … St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian, Martyr

MEDITATION – “For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you?   And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.   The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.” … St Augustine (354-430)

ADVENT ACTION“The light of the world has come into the world and humanity loves darkness rather than the light.”   They have not known Him and they do not know Him because they do not wish to know Him, loving rather the darkness of sin than the light of grace.   Let each one determine this day not to be numbered among those unhappy souls who prefer the darkness.” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)the light has come into the world - they have not known him - st alphonsus liguori 23 dec 2019.jpg


O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver
Desire of the nations,
Saviour of all people,
Come and set us free,
Lord, our God!


Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 5 December – God is man’s glory. 

Thought for the Day – 5 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent, Year A

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-202) on the Incarnation, the Word of God born for us as Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, Son of Man, the sign of our salvation.   He comes to restore God’s likeness in us and lead us to glory.

God is man’s glory.   Man is the vessel which receives God’s action and all His wisdom and power.

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in His conduct with men.   That is Paul’s reason for saying:  God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that He may have mercy on all.   He was speaking of man, who was disobedient to God and cast off from immortality and then found mercy, receiving through the Son of God the adoption he brings.

If man, without being puffed up or boastful, has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in His power and if man perseveres in God’s love and in obedience and gratitude to Him, he will receive greater glory from Him.   It will be a glory which will grow ever brighter until he takes on the likeness of the One who died for him.

He it was who took on the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and rid the flesh of sin, as now condemned.   He wanted to invite man to take on His likeness, appointing man an imitator of God, establishing man in a way of life in obedience to the Father, that would lead to the vision of God and endowing man with power to receive the Father.   He is the Word of God who dwelt with man and became the Son of Man, to open the way for man, to receive God, for God to dwell with man, according to the will of the Father.he-is-the-word-of-god-st-irenaeus-19-dec-2017 and 5 dec 2019.jpg

For this reason the Lord Himself gave as the sign of our salvation, the one who was born of the Virgin, Emmanuel.   It was the Lord Himself who saved them, for of themselves they had no power to be saved.   For this reason Paul speaks of the weakness of man and says:  I know that no good dwells in my flesh, meaning that the blessing of our salvation comes not from us but from God.   Again, he says: I am a wretched man, who will free me from this body doomed to die?  Then he speaks of a liberator, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah says the same – Hands that are feeble, grow strong!   Knees that are weak, take courage!   Hearts that are faint, grow strong!   Fear not, see, our God is judgement and He will repay.   He himself will come and save us.   He means that we could not be saved of ourselves but only with God’s help.

This excerpt from St Irenaeus’ monumental work, Against Heresies (Lib 3,20, 2-3; SC 34, 342-344) speaks of the incarnation, the birth of the Word of God as Son of Man, as the sign of our salvation.   It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for Advent.   It was originally written around 185 AD.

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus, come!maranatha come lord jesus come - 5 dec 2019.jpg



One Minute Reflection – 21 August – “..we are illuminated and made shining by the light…”

One Minute Reflection – 21 August – Tuesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 19:23–30 and the Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life...Matthew 19:29and-everyone-who-has-left-matthew-19-29-21-aug-2018

REFLECTION – “Abraham became “the friend of God” (Jam 2,23) because he freely and generously followed the Word of God, his call.   It was not due to any lack on His part that God’s Word gained Abraham’s friendship.   He is perfect from the beginning; “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 5,58).   But it was that He, who is good, might give Abraham eternal life… Likewise, in the beginning, it was not because He had any need of man that God formed Adam but that He might have someone on whom to bestow His blessings.

Still less was it because He needed our service that He commanded us to follow Him but to win salvation for us.   For to follow our Saviour is to have a share in His salvation, just as following the light is to participate in the light.   When we stand in the light it is not we who illumine the light and cause it to shine but we are illuminated and made shining by the light…  God grants His blessings on those who serve Him because they are serving Him and on those who follow Him because they are following Him but He receives no blessing from them because He is perfect and without need.

If God asks for our service it is that He who is good and merciful might bestow His blessings on those who persevere in His service.   Because, if God has no need of anything, yet we have need of communion with God.   The glory of man is to persevere in the service of God.   That is why our Lord said to His disciples:  “You did not choose me, it was I who chose you” (Jn 15,16), thus indicating that… for having followed the Son of God they had been glorified by Him:  “Father, I will that where I am they also may be, that they may see my glory” (Jn 17,24). … St Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.208) Bishop, theologian and Martyr – Against the heresies, IV, 14,1 ; SC 100when we stand in the light - st irenaeus 20 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – All-knowing God, let me be able to stand in Your presence with a good conscience.   Help me to avoid anything that would sully my conscience and do all I can to remain united with You  . You made St Bernard burn with zeal for Your house and gave him the grace to enkindle and enlighten others in Your Church.   Grant that by his prayer, we may be filled with the same spirit and always live as children of the Light. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen. st bernard pray for us 2


Solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus/World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests and Memorials of the Saints – 28 June 2019

Solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus *2019
World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests *2019
Excerpt from ENCYCLICAL of Pope Pius XII
15 May 1956

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130 – c 202) (Memorial)

Bl Almus of Balmerino
St Argymirus of Córdoba
St Attilio of Trino
St Austell of Cornwall
St Benignus of Utrecht
St Crummine
Bl Damian of Campania
St Egilo
St Heimrad
St Lupercio
St Papias the Martyr
St Pope Paul I
St Theodichildis
St Vincenza Gerosa (1784–1847) 

Martyrs of Africa – 27 saints: 27 Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are the names – Afesius, Alexander, Amfamon, Apollonius, Arion, Capitolinus, Capitulinus, Crescens, Dionusius, Dioscorus, Elafa, Eunuchus, Fabian, Felix, Fisocius, Gurdinus, Hinus, Meleus, Nica, Nisia, Pannus, Panubrius, Plebrius, Pleosus, Theoma, Tubonus and Venustus. Unknown location in Africa, date unknown.

Martyrs of Alexandria – 8 saints: A group of spiritual students of Origen who were martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Septimius Severus – Heraclides, Heron, Marcella, Plutarch, Potamiaena the Elder, Rhais, Serenus and Serenus. They were burned to death c.206 in Alexandria, Egypt.


Thought for the Day – 9 May – The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Thought for the Day – 9 May – Thursday Third Week of Easter, C

The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Saint Irenaeus (130-202)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from a Against Heresies

If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with His blood, the Eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in His blood and the bread we break, does not make us sharers in His body.   There can be no blood without veins, flesh and the rest of the human substance and this the Word of God actually became – it was with His own blood that He redeemed us.   As the Apostle says – In Him, through His blood, we have been redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.

We are His members and we are nourished by creatures, which is His gift to us, for it is He who causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall.   He declared that the chalice, which comes from His creation, was His blood and He makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from His creation, was His body and He makes it, the nourishment of our body.   When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake, receive the Word of God, the Eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies, live and grow.   How then can it be said, that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by His body and blood, is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?   Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of His body, of His flesh and bones.   He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones.   He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is His body.

The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time.   The grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things.   The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word, they become the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ.   In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the Eucharist, will be buried in the earth and will decay but they will rise again at the appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up, to the glory of God the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s power is shown most perfectly in weakness.we are his members and we are nourished - st ireneus on the eucharist and resurrection 9 may 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – O Lamb of God

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

O Lamb of God
By St Irenaeus (c 135- c 202)
Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.