Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 13 May – A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

Thought for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C – Gospel: John 10:1-10

A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

St John Damascene (675-749)

Monk, Theologian, Doctor of the Church

O Christ, my God, You stooped down to me, poor straying sheep, to take me on Your shoulders (Lk 15:5) and have set me down in green pastures (Ps 23[22]:2).   You have quenched my thirst at the springs of true doctrine, through the mediation of Your pastors, whose shepherd You were, before entrusting to them Your flock… And now, O Lord, You have called me… to serve Your disciples, by what design of Your Providence I know not, only You know.

But, Lord, lighten the heavy burden of those sins of mine that have so gravely offended You, purify my mind and heart.   Lead me by the right way (Ps 23[22]:3) as by a light enlightening me.   Enable me to proclaim Your word boldly, may Your Spirit’s tongue of flame (Acts 2:3) give perfect freedom to my tongue and make me constantly attentive to Your presence.

Be a shepherd to me, O Lord and together with me, be the shepherd of Your sheep, that my heart may not cause me to swerve either to right or to left.   Let Your good Spirit lead me in the right way, that my actions may be carried out, according to Your will – even to the end.”

Amen

a pastor's prayer to the good shepherd - st john damascene 13 may 2019.jpg

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 December – St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 4 December – St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Church – Priest, Monk, Theologian, Writer, Defender of Iconography, Poet, a Polymath whose fields of interest and contribution included law, theology, philosophy, music, Marian devotee.  Also known as Doctor of Christian Art, Jean Damascene, Johannes Damascenus, John Chrysorrhoas (“golden-stream”), John of Damascus.   Born in c 675 at Damascus, Syria and died in 749 of natural causes.   Patronages: pharmacists, icon artists, theology students.st john damascene lg

Eastern Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics, whose tradition has been particularly shaped by his insights, celebrate the saint’s feast on the same day as the Roman Catholic Church.   Among Eastern Christians, St John (676-749) is best known for his defence of Christian sacred art, particularly in the form of icons.   While the churches of Rome and Constantinople were still united during St John’s life, the Byzantine Emperor Leo III broke radically from the ancient tradition of the church, charging that the veneration of Christian icons was a form of idolatry.

Saint John was born in the late 7th century and is the most remarkable of the Greek writers of the 8th century.   His father was a civil authority who was Christian amid the Saracens of Damascus, whose caliph made him his minister.   This enlightened man found in the public square one day, amid a group of sad Christian captives, a priest of Italian origin who had been condemned to slavery, he ransomed him and assigned him to his young son to be his tutor.   Young John made extraordinary progress in grammar, dialectic, mathematics, music, poetry, astronomy but above all in theology, the discipline imparting knowledge of God.   John became famous for his encyclopedic knowledge and theological method, later a source of inspiration to Saint Thomas Aquinas.

During the 720s, the upstart theologian began publicly opposing the emperor’s command against sacred images in a series of writings.   The heart of his argument was twofold – first, that Christians did not actually worship images but rather, through them they worshipped God, and honoured the memory of the saints.   Second, he asserted that by taking an incarnate physical form, Christ had given warrant to the Church’s depiction of Him in images.StJohnDamascene

By 730, the young public official’s persistent defence of Christian artwork had made him a permanent enemy of the emperor, who had a letter forged in John’s name offering to betray the Muslim government of Damascus.   The ruling caliph of the city, taken in by the forgery, is said to have cut off John’s hand.   The saint’s sole surviving biography states that the Virgin Mary acted to restore it miraculously.   John eventually managed to convince the Muslim ruler of his innocence, before making the decision to become a monk and later a priest.

Although a number of imperially-convened synods condemned John’s advocacy of Christian iconography, the Roman church always regarded his position as a defence of apostolic tradition.   Years after the priest and monk died, the Seventh Ecumenical Council vindicated his orthodoxy and ensured the permanent place of holy images in both Eastern and Western Christian piety.st-john-damascene

St John Damascene’s other notable achievements include the “Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith,” a work in which he systematised the earlier Greek Fathers’ thinking about theological truths in light of philosophy.   The work exerted a profound influence on St Thomas Aquinas and subsequent scholastic theologians.   Centuries later, St John’s sermons on the Virgin Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven were cited in Pope Pius XII’s dogmatic definition on the subject.

The saint also contributed as an author and editor, to some of the liturgical hymns and poetry that Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics still use in their celebrations of the liturgy.

“Show me the icons that you venerate, that I may be able to understand your faith.” – Saint John of Damascus.st john damascene

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Quote/s of the Day – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

“You should be aware, that the word “angel”,
denotes a function, rather than a nature.
Those holy spirits of heaven,
have indeed always been spirits.
They can only be called angels,
when they deliver some message.
Moreover, those who deliver messages
of lesser importance are called angels
and those who proclaim messages
of supreme importance are called archangels.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Churchyou should be aware - pope st gregory the great - 29 sept 2018

“Angels take different earthly forms
at the bidding of their master, God.
They thus reveal themselves to human beings
and unveil the Divine Mysteries to them”

St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Churchangels take different forms - st john damascene - no 3- 29 sept 2018

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgina nd Grandparents of Jesus

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgina nd Grandparents of Jesus

How wonderful is God among his saints;  come, let us adore him…..Psalm 94how wonderful is godamong his saints - psalm 94 - 26 july 2018

REFLECTION – “Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple!   All creation is indebted to you.   For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts:  a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of Him.   Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple!   You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says:  “By their fruits you will know them.”   The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter.   For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity:  she who remained a virgin before, during and after giving birth  . She alone for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.   Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple!   While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.” – from a sermon by Saint John Damascene (675-749) – Doctor of the Churchjoachim-and-anne-st-john-damascene- 26 july 2017

PRAYER – O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.   Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us!  Amensts-anne-and-joachim-pray-for-us- 26 july 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

Quote of the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Quote of the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

By nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
has death been brought low, the sin of our first parent destroyed,
hell plundered, resurrection bestowed,
the power given us to despise the things of this world,
even death itself, the road back to the former blessedness made smooth,
the gates of paradise opened, our nature seated at the right hand of God
and we made children and heirs of God.
By the cross all these things have been set aright…
It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,
a raising up of those who lie fallen,
a support for those who stand,
a staff for the infirm,
a crook for the shepherded,
a guide for the wandering,
a perfecting of the advanced,
salvation for soul and body,
a deflector of all evils,
a cause of all goods,
a destruction of sin,
a plant of resurrection
and a tree of eternal life.

St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Churchby nothing else except the cross - st john damascene - 28 march 2018 - wed of holy week 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 December – The Memorial of St John Damascene (676-749) Doctor of the Church

One Minute Reflection – 4 December – (676-749) Doctor of the Church

I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now…John 16:12john 16 12

REFLECTION – God knows all things and provides what is profitable for each one.
He revealed what it is to our benefit to know.   But He kept secret what we are
unable to bear now……….St John Damascenegod knows all things - st john damascene - 2016 image

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help me to meditate on Your Revelations every day.   Grant that by learning fully what You have revealed, I may one day in heaven attain the knowledge of all that You did not reveal.   St John Damascene Pray for us!st john damascene pray for us 2016

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 4 December – The Memorial of St John Damascene – Father and Doctor of the Church

Our Morning Offering – 4 December – The Memorial of St John Damascene – Father and Doctor of the Church

O Mary, my Hope!
St John Damascene 

I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians:
receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins:
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen (modernised)

o Mary my Hope - st john damascene - 4 dec 2017 - I salute you, O Mary