Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 26 November – Put on the armour of light

Thought for the Day – 26 November – Tuesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:5–11

“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified” … Luke 21:9

Saint John Chrysostom (c 345-407)
Father & Doctor

The nearer the king approaches, the more we should pray.   The nearer the moment arrives for bestowing the trophy on the combatant, the harder we should struggle.   This is what they do at the race – as the end of the course nears and they are reaching the goal, they stir up the horses’ enthusiasm even more.   In the same way Saint Paul says: “Now is salvation nearer to us than when first we believed.   The night is far gone, the day is at hand” (Rm 13:11-12).

Since night is disappearing and day is coming to view, let us carry out the works of day and leave behind the works of darkness.   This is what we do in the course of life – when we see night giving way to dawn and hear the swallows singing, then we rouse one another even though it is still dark…  We hurry to our daily tasks; we get dressed after being snatched from sleep so that the sun will find us ready.   What we do then, let us do now.   Let us shake off our dreams, rouse ourselves from thoughts of this present life, leave our heavy slumber and put on the garment of virtue.   This is what the apostle clearly says to us:  “Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light” (v.12). For day is calling us to the battle, to the fight.

But don’t be afraid when you hear these words about fighting and combat!   For if it is uncomfortable to put on heavy material armour, it is pleasant, on the other hand, to put on spiritual armour, for this is an armour of light.   In this way you will shine more brightly than the sun and, even as you sparkle brightly, you will be safe because these are weapons… weapons of light.   So then?   Are we excused from fighting?   Not at all! We are to fight but without being overcome by fatigue and without pain.   For it is not so much a war to which we are being summoned, as a feast and celebration.

O Yes, Lord Jesus,
come and reign!
Let my body
be Your temple,
my heart,
Your throne,
my will,
Your devoted servant,
let me be Yours forever,
living only in You
and for You!
Amen

lord jesus come and reign - 2 aug 2019 by st peter julian eymard.jpg

Posted in CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 November – He shook all creation, split the rocks

One Minute Reflection – 24 November – The Solemnity of Christ the King, Year C – Gospel:  Luke 23:35–43

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” … Luke 23:42

REFLECTION – “Today paradise, closed for thousands of years, is opened to us.   On this day, at this very hour, God brings the brigand into it.   Thus He fulfils two wonders – He opens up paradise to us and causes a thief to enter in.   Today God has given us back our former homeland, today He has brought us into the city of our ancestors, today He has opened up a home to be shared by all humanity.   “This day,” He says, “you will be with me in paradise.”  What are You saying, Lord?   You are crucified, nailed down and do You promise paradise?   Yes, He says, so that through the Cross You may learn my power…

Because it isn’t by raising a dead man, commanding the sea and wind, or casting out demons that He is able to change the thief’s sinful soul but by being crucified, pinned down by nails, covered with insults, spitting, mockery and torture, so that you might see the two sides of His sovereign power.   He shook all creation, split the rocks (Mt 27:51) and drew to Himself the brigand’s soul, hard as stone, to cover it with honour…

Obviously, no king would ever allow a brigand or other of his subjects to be seated at his side when making his entry into his city.   Yet Christ did so, when entering His holy homeland.   He brings a brigand into it along with Him.   In so doing…  He does no dishonour to it by a brigand’s presence, for it is a glory for paradise, that it has a master, able to make a brigand worthy of the joys to be tasted there.

In the same way, when He brings publicans and prostitutes into the Kingdom of heaven (Mt 21:31)…, it is for the sake of the glory of that holy place.   Because He shows it, that the Lord of the heavenly Kingdom is so great, that He can restore all their dignity, to prostitutes and publicans, even to their being worthy of this honour and this gift.   We admire a doctor all the more when we see him heal people suffering from illnesses said to be incurable.   So it is only right to admire Christ…  when He restores publicans and prostitutes to such a state of spiritual health, that they become worthy of heaven.” … St John Chrysostom (345 407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Church – Homily 1 on the cross and the brigand, for Good Friday, 2luke 23 42 - lord remember me - because it isn't by raising a dead man - christ the king 24 nov 2019 st john chrysostom.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You gave the peoples of the world as the inheritance of Your only Son, You crowned Him as King of Zion, Your holy city and gave Him Your Church to be His Bride.   As He proclaims the law of Your eternal kingdom, may we serve Him faithfully and so share His royal power forever.   We make our prayer, through Him and with Him and in Him, our King and our Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.our lord jesus christ king of the universe through him and with him and in him 24 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PURGATORY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on PRAYER

Quote/s of the Day – 2 November – Death

Quote/s of the Day – 2 November – Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

“When once you have departed this life,
there is no longer any place for repentance,
no way of making satisfaction.
Here life is either lost or kept.
Here, by the worship of God and by the fruit of faith,
provision is made for eternal salvation.
Let no-one be kept back, either by his sins,
or by his years, from coming to obtain salvation.
To him who still remains in this world
there is no repentance that is too late.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Churchwhen once you have departed this life - st cyprian of carthage - 2 nov 2019.jpg

“Let us help and commemorate them.
If Job’s sons were purified
by their father’s sacrifice [Job 1:5],
why would we doubt,
that our offerings for the dead
bring them some consolation?
Let us not hesitate to help those
who have died and to offer
our prayers for them.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Churchlet us help and commerate them - st john chrysostom 2 nov 2019.jpg

“It is not Death that will come to fetch me,
it is the good God.
Death is no phantom, no horrible specter,
as presented in pictures.
In the catechism it is stated,
that death is the separation of soul and body, that is all!
Well, I am not afraid of a separation
which will unite me to the good God forever.”

St Therese of the Child Jesus/Lisieux (1873-1897)
Doctor of the Church

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/11/02/quote-s-of-the-day-2-november-the-commemoration-of-all-the-faithful-departed-all-souls/it is not death that will come to fetch me - st therese of the child jesus 2 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November

Solemnity of All Saints – 1 November

All Saints Day is connected to the doctrine of The Communion of Saints.   This is the Catholic teaching that all of God’s people, on heaven, earth and in Purgatory are spiritually connected and united.   In other words, Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that the saints of God, are just as alive, as those on earth and are constantly interceding on our behalf.   Our connection with the saints in heaven is grounded in an eucharistic communion.   Because of our common communion with and through Jesus Christ, our prayers are joined with the heavenly community of Christians.   St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387), testifies to this belief:

“We mention those who have fallen asleep, first the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition..”.(Catechetical Lecture 23:9).communionsaints_bon-678x380.jpg

The Catholic Catechism concisely describes this communion among believers, by which we are connected to Christ and thus to one another:

“Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness…  They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us…  So, by their fraternal concern, our weakness is greatly helped.”

“…as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace and the life of the People of God itself.   We worship Christ as God’s Son, we love the martyrs as the Lord’s disciples and imitators and rightly so, because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master.   May we also be their companions and fellow disciples.” (CCC 956, 957)

all saints solemnity

There are thousands of Canonised saints, that is, those individuals officially recognised by the Church as holy men and women worthy of our imitation.   Because miracles have been associated with them and their lives have been fully examined and found holy by the Church, we have assurance they are prime examples of holiness and powerful intercessors before God on our behalf.

There are also many patron saints, guardians or protectors of different areas and states of life.   For instance, St Vitus is the patron saint against oversleeping and St Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of air travellers.   It may sound odd to have a patron saint “against oversleeping” but the Church has something meaningful for every area of our human lives.400px-All saints - Estella-_Iglesia_de_San_Juan_Bautista_01

Christians have been officially honouring saints and martyrs since at least the second century.   The Martyrdom of St Polycarp, probably written near the middle of the second century, attests to this reality:

Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, more precious than the most exquisite jewels and more pure than gold and deposited them in a fitting place, so that when being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps (18).Allsaints.jpg

Initially the calendars of saints and martyrs varied by location, with churches honouring local saints.   However, gradually feast days became more universal.   The first reference to a general feast celebrating all saints occurs in St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373).   St John Chrysostom (347-407) assigned a day to the feast, the first Sunday after Pentecost, where in the Eastern Churches the feast is celebrated to this day.

The earliest certain observance of a feast in honour of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of “all the martyrs.”   In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagon-loads of bones and re-interred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods.   The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended “that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honoured in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons” (On the Calculation of Time).

In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls’ Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven.   Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the ‘church penitent’ and the ‘church triumphant’, respectively) and the ‘church militant’ who are the living.

All-Saints-Montage.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on MISSION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 October – ‘It is Christ who grants such great strength to this yeast…’

One Minute Reflection – 29 October – Tuesday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:18-21

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” … Luke 13:20luke 13 20 to what shall i compare the kingdom - it is like - leaven 29 oct 2019

REFLECTION – “Our Lord next puts forward the parable of the yeast.   “Just as yeast communicates its invisible force to the whole lump of dough, so will the force of the Gospel transform the whole world, by means of the apostles’ ministry…   Don’t ask me: ‘What can we twelve, miserable sinners do in face of the whole world?’   This is precisely the vast difference between cause and effect, between a handful of men before a crowd, which will demonstrate the stunning effect of your strength.   Isn’t it by mixing the yeast into the dough, by ‘hiding’ it as the Gospel says, that it transforms the whole lump?   In the same way, apostles of mine, it is by being mixed into the great mass of peoples that you will impregnate them with your spirit and win victory over your adversaries.   Even as it disappears into the mass, yeast does not lose its strength.   To the contrary, it changes the whole dough’s nature.   In the same way, your preaching will change all peoples.   Therefore, be full of confidence”…

It is Christ who grants such great strength to this yeast…   So don’t blame Him for the small number of His disciples – it is the strength of the message that is great…   A spark is enough to change a few sticks of dry wood into a blaze that will afterwards set even all the green wood at the edge on fire.” … St John Chrysostom (c 345-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchluke 13 20 - leaven - it is christ who is the leaven - st john chrysostom 29 oct 2019

PRAYER – True light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace.   Help us Lord, that we may sprout and bear fruit, fitting to grow and be a home of comfort to our neighbour. By the prayers of St Narcissus of Jerusalem, who bore the seed of Your Word to many, may we too be heralds of Your Kingdom.   Through Jesus our Lord, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – “The weakness of God is stronger than all men”

One Minute Reflection – 28 October – Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs, Gospel: Luke 6:12-19

And when it was day, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostle … Luke 6:13luke 6 13 he called his disciples and chose twleve - 28 oct 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Saint Paul said:  “The weakness of God is stronger than all men” (1Cor 1:25).   It is clear from this too that the gospel is divine.   For whence did it strike twelve unlettered men to attempt such great enterprises, men who were living in marshes, or rivers, in desert places, who had never perhaps gone into a city or the public square? Whence did it strike them to array themselves against the whole world?   That they were cowardly and unmanly, he who has written about them shows, inasmuch as he does not even deprecate nor try to gloss over their failings.   This, in itself, is a powerful proof of the truth.   What then does this man say about them?   That after the innumerable miracles they had seen Christ work, when He was taken prisoner some fled, while the one who remained, although he was head over the rest, denied Him.

Here were men who failed to stand up to the Jews when Christ was alive.   Yet when He died and was buried, they arrayed themselves against the whole world…  Would they not have said to themselves:  “What is this?   He had not strength to save Himself, will He protect us?   He did not defend Himself when He was alive, will He reach out His hand to us, now He is dead?   When He was alive He did not conquer a single nation—shall we convince the whole world by speaking His name?”…   Hence it is clear that, if they had not seen Him risen and received this mighty proof of His power, they would never have risked such a gamble.” … St John Chrysostom (c.345-407) Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Father & Doctor of the Church – Homily on the 1st letter to the Corinthians 4, 3here were men who failed to stand up to the jews - st john chrysostom feast of simon and jude 28 oct 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You taught us to call upon Your name, through the preaching of the Apostles.   Open our eyes each day, grant that we may see Jesus Your Son at our side, open our ears that we may hear His voice, open our mouths, that we may beg forgiveness and proclaim the good news, as we follow the way Your Son carved out for us.   At the intercession of Sts Simon and Jude, may Your Church continue to grow and to hope in Your love.   We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sts simon and jude pray for us 28 oct 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 October – ‘Let us beware of losing all hope…’

One Minute Reflection – 15 October – Monday of the Twenty Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 11:29–32 and the Memorial of Blessed Roman Lysko (1914–1949) Priest and Martyr

“For they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” … Luke 11:32

REFLECTION – “Let us beware of losing all hope but let us also avoid giving in too easily to carelessness…   Despair hinders those who have fallen, from getting up again and carelessness causes those who are standing, to fall…   If presumption casts us down from the heights of heaven, despair casts us into the infinite depths of evil, whereas a little hope is enough to hold us back…
This is how Nineveh was saved.   However, the divine judgement pronounced against the Ninevites was of a nature to throw them into confusion since it did not say:  “If you repent you will be saved” but simply:  “Three more days and Nineveh will be destroyed” (Jon 3:4).   Nevertheless, neither the Lord’s threat, nor the prophet’s preaching, nor even the severity of the judgement… caused their confidence to fail.   God wants us to draw a lesson, from this unconditional judgement that taught by this example, that we may resist despair as much as passivity…  Besides, divine good will does not only reveal itself in the forgiveness granted to the repentant Ninevites.. the respite granted them, attests likewise, to His unutterable goodness.   Do you imagine that three days would have been enough to wipe out so much wickedness?   God’s good will is breaking out from behind these words and, besides, isn’t it the principal worker of the whole city’s salvation?
Let this example keep us from despairing.   For the devil thinks of this form of weakness as his most successful weapon and, even when we sin, we could not give him greater pleasure than when we lose hope.” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) Father & Doctorluke 11 32 for they repented at the preaching of jonah - despair hope - st john chrysostom 14 oct 2019

PRAYER – Eternal, almighty God and Father, teach us true sorrow and repentance.  Grant us the grace of trust and hope in Your unfailing love, that we may resist despair as we face the sin of the world and the wiles of the evil one.   As we walk always in the Light of Christ, Your Son, following His way, we may never fall into temptation.   May the intercession of Your saints and martyrs, be always an assistance to us all.   Mary, our Mother of merciful love and Blessed Roman Lysko, pray for us.   Through Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.merciful mother mary pray for us 14 oct 2019