Our Morning Offering – 6 February – Blessed are You, O Mary! By St Jacob of Sarug

Our Morning Offering – 6 February – “Month of the Holy Family” and a Marian Saturday

Blessed are You, O Mary!
By St Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521)
Syrian Bishop and Monk

Blessed are you, O Mary
and blessed is your holy soul,
for your beatitude surpasses
that of all the Blessed.
Blessed are you who have borne,
embraced and caressed as a Baby,
the One who upholds the ages with His secret word.
Blessed are you,
from whom the Saviour appeared on this exile earth,
subjugating the seducer and bringing peace to the world.
Blessed are you,
whose pure mouth touched the lips
of the One, whom the Seraphim
look upon in His splendour.
Blessed are you,
who have nourished, with your pure milk
the source, from whom the living obtain life and light.
Blessed are you,
because the whole universe
resounds with your memory
and the Angels and human beings,
celebrate your feast.
Daughter of the poor,
you became the Mother of the King of kings.
You gave to the poor world
the riches that can make it live.
You are the bark, laden with the goodness
and the treasures of the Father,
Who sent His riches once again,
into our empty home.
Blessed are you, O Mary!


Lenten Reflection – 26 March – ‘The new covenant has come to interpret the old …’

Lenten Reflection – 26 March – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Exodus 32:7-14, Psalms 106:19-23, John 5:31-47

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

“…you do not have his word abiding in you,
for you do not believe him whom he has sent.” … John 5:38thursdayfourtherweeklent-4-april-2018-john-5-38 and 26 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
The new covenant has come to interpret the old, now, at last, the world is able to grasp those words that nothing covers any longer.   The Lord, our Sun, has arisen over the world and illumined every living being, mysteries and enigmas are at last made clear. The veil that used to cover those books has been removed and the world beholds the Son of God with uncovered face.”…St Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521) Syrian Bishop and Monkthe-new-covenant-has-come-to-interpret-the-old-john-5-46-thurs4thweeklent-4-april-2019 and 26 march 2020

Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
Psalm 106:23

God has revealed Himself in Christ.
Let us praise His goodness
and ask Him from our hearts:
Remember us, Lord, for we are Your children.

Teach us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Church,
– that it may be more effective for ourselves
and for the world as the sacrament of salvation.
Lover of mankind, inspire us to work for human progress,
– seeking to spread Your kingdom in all we do.
May our hearts thirst for Christ,
– the fountain of living water.
Forgive us our sins,
– and direct our steps into the ways of justice and sincerity.

Closing Prayer:

The Promise
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

And lastly, O my dear Lord,
though I am so very weak
that I am not fit to ask You
for suffering as a gift
and have not strength to do so,
at least I will beg of You,
grace to meet suffering well,
when You, in Your love and wisdom,
brings it upon me,
knowing that in this way,
I shall gain the promise,
both of this life and of the next.

the-promise-bl-john-henry-newman-4-april-2019 AND LENTEN REFL 26 MARCH 2020


Lenten Reflection – 15 March – ‘He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.’

Lenten Reflection – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42

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

“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” … John 4:13-14

Daily Meditation:
Jesus spoke of a “living water” able to quench her thirst and become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” in addition, He demonstrated that He knew her personal life, He revealed that the hour has come to adore the one true God in spirit and truth and lastly, He entrusted her with something extremely rare – that He is the Messiah.

All this began from the real and notable experience of thirst.   The theme of thirst runs throughout John’s Gospel, from the meeting with the Samaritan woman to the great prophecy during the feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7: 37-38), even to the Cross, when Jesus, before He dies, said to fulfil the Scriptures:  “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28).   Christ’s thirst is an entranceway to the mystery of God, who became thirsty to satisfy our thirst, just as He became poor to make us rich (cf. II Cor 8: 9).   Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love.   As a good and merciful father, He wants our total, possible good and this good is He
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, represents the existential dissatisfaction of one who does not find what he seeks.   She had “five husbands” and now she lives with another man, her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life.   However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus, who upsets her to the point that she leaves her pitcher of water and runs to tell the villagers:  “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.   Can this be the Christ?” (Jn 4: 29).
Dear brothers and sisters, like the Samaritan woman, let us also open our hearts to listen trustingly to God’s Word in order to encounter Jesus who reveals His love to us and tells us: “I who speak to you am he” (Jn 4: 26), the Messiah, your Saviour.   May Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of the Word made flesh, obtain this gift for us.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Third Sunday of Lent, 24 February
2008the third sunday of lent 15 march 2020

Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace,
and pray to Him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with You and rose to life with You,
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, You have brought blessings to all mankind,
– bring us to share Your concern for the good of all.
May we work together to build up the earthly city,
– with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts forever.
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through Your constant care.

Closing Prayer:
Loving Father,
So many times I turn away from You
and always You welcome me back.
Your mercy and love gives me confidence
Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray
so that You can form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the Easter joy You share with us.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

“Come, then, behold our Lord, He has come into the world from His Father’s side, He has emptied Himself so as to complete His course in humility (Phil 2:7) (…).   He saw the Gentiles like a parched flock whose spring of life was closed by sin as by a stone.   He saw the Church like Rachel and so He ran towards her and removed the heavy sin as though it were a rock.   He has opened up the baptistery for His bride to bathe in, He has drawn water and refreshed the nations of earth as if they were His sheep.  With His almighty power, He has removed the heavy burden of sin, He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.”

Saint Jacob of Sarug (c 449-521)
Bishop and Monk

with his almight power he has removed the heavy burden of sin - st jacob of sarug 15 march 2020


Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – From the Fathers

Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

From the Fathers

“He was the Ark formed of incorruptible wood.
For by this, is signified, that His Tabernacle
was exempt from putridity and corruption.”

Saint Hippolytus (c 170-c 235)

Hippolytus was one of the most important
second-third century Christian theologians.he was th ark formed of incorruptible wood - st hippolytus - imm conception 9 dec 2019.jpg

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

Origen (c 185-253)this-virgin-mother-origen-8dec2018 and 9 dec 2019.jpg

Priest and Theologian
Origen of Alexandria, also known as Origen Adamantius, was an early Christian scholar, ascetic and theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria.

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

Saint Ephrem of Syria (306-373)

Both Father and Doctor
Deacon, Theologian, Hymnistthou-alone-and-thou-mother-st-ephrem-8dec2018 and 9 dec 2019.jpg

“Mary, a virgin not only undefiled
but a virgin, whom grace has made inviolate,
free of every stain of sin.”

Sermon 22, in the year 338

Saint Ambrose (340-397)

Both Father and Doctor – One of the original four Fathers of the Latin Church, Bishop of Milanmary-a-virgin-st-ambrose-8dec2018 and 9 dec 2019.jpg

“A Virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect,
untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body,
like a lily, sprouting among thorns.”

Saint Theodotus of Ancrya (Died c 446)

Bishop, Theologiana virgin innocent and spotless - 9 dec 2019 imm conception st theodotus .jpg

“The very fact that God has elected her,
proves that none was ever holier than Mary,
if any stain had disfigured her soul,
if any other virgin had been purer and holier,
God would have selected her and rejected Mary.”

Saint Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521)

Jacob of Sarug, also called Mar Jacob, was one of the foremost Syriac poet-theologians, perhaps only second in stature to Ephrem the Syrian and equal to Narsai. Where his predecessor Ephrem is known as the ‘Harp of the Spirit’, Jacob is the ‘Flute of the Spirit’.the very fact that god has elected her st jacob of sarug imm conception 9 dec 2019.jpg

“Today, humanity,
in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility,
receives its ancient beauty.
The shame of sin had darkened
the splendour and attraction of human nature
but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born,
this nature again regains in her person.
its ancient privileges and is fashioned
according to a perfect model,
truly worthy of God….
The reform of our nature
begins today and the aged world,
subjected to a wholly divine transformation,
receives the first fruits of the second creation.”

Saint Andrew of Crete (650-740)

Bishop, Theologian

Saint Andrew of Crete, also known as Andrew of Jerusalem, was an 8th-century Bishop, theologian, homilist and humanity - st andrew of crete imm conception 9 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 April – “A veil hid Him from their eyes”

One Minute Reflection – 4 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C, Gospel:  John 5:31–47 and the Memorial of St Isidore (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me.”…John 5:46

REFLECTION – “Moses face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord. Aaron and the other Israelites saw (it)… and were afraid to come near him… When Moses had finished speaking with them, he would again put the veil over his face” (cf. Ex 34:29f.).   The radiance lighting up Moses’ face was Christ shining within him but He was hidden from the eyes of the Hebrews who did not see him… The Old Testament as a whole is shown to us, veiled like Moses, the symbol of all prophecy.   Underneath this veil, displayed by the lips of the prophets, Christ appears, a judge in majesty, seated on his throne of glory…

If Moses was veiled, what other prophet could have uncovered his face?   All veiled their speech in imitation of him.   They simultaneously heralded and veiled, they put forth their message and, at the same time, covered it with a veil… Because Jesus shone out in their books, a veil hid Him from their eyes, a veil that makes known to all the world how the words of Holy Scripture contain a hidden meaning…

Our Lord lifted this veil when He expounded His mysteries to the whole of creation.   By His coming, the Son of God uncovered Moses’ face, the incomprehensible words, that up to then had been veiled.   The new covenant has come to interpret the old, now, at last, the world is able to grasp those words that nothing covers any longer.   The Lord, our Sun, has arisen over the world and illumined every living being, mysteries and enigmas are at last made clear.   The veil that used to cover those books has been removed and the world beholds the Son of God with uncovered face.”…St Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521) Syrian Bishop and Monkthe new covenant has come to interpret the old john 5 46 thurs4thweeklent 4 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Father almighty, grant us Your good grace to trust completely in the Word made Flesh whom You sent to lead us to our heavenly home and save us from our evil ways.   As we proceed by penance and prayer, grant us now perseverance in listening to Him and learning from Him.   May the prayers of St Isidore, assist us on our journey.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and forever,


Thought for the Day – 17 July – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24

Thought for the Day – 17 July – Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24

To be converted and return to the Lord
Verse Homily of
Saint Jacob of Sarug (c 449-521)
Syrian monk and Bishop

I will go back to my Father’s house like the prodigal son (Lk 15:18) and He will welcome me.
For I was dead through sin as though by sickness;
raise me up from my distress that I may praise Your name!
O Lord of heaven and earth, come to my help and show me Your way,
that I may come to You.
Draw me to You, Son of the Most Good
and bring Your compassion to completion.
I will set out towards You and there be filled with joy.
Knead for me now the grain of life at this time when I am crushed.

I set out in search of You and the Evil One spied on me like a thief (cf. Lk 10:30).
He bound and chained me in the pleasures of this wicked world:
he imprisoned me in its pleasures and slammed the door in my face.
There was no one to free me, so that I might set out in search of You, O Lord, my good!…
O Lord, I long to be Yours and walk Your way.
See how I meditate Your commandments by day and by night (Ps 1:2).
Grant my request and accept my prayer, O merciful one!
Do not cast off the hope of Your servant, for he is waiting for you.

Saint Jacob of Sarug (c 449-521)

the prodigal son - large