Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 14 December – The Knowledge of the Mystery Hidden in Christ Jesus

Thought for the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

The Knowledge of the Mystery Hidden in Christ Jesus

Saint John of the Cross

An excerpt from his Spiritual Canticle

Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders and devout souls have understood them, in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part, still remains, to be unfolded by them and even to be understood by them.

We must then dig deeply in Christ.   He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasure – however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.we must dig deeply in christ - st john of the cross 14 dec 2018

For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ – in him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.   The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labours and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses and has undergone long spiritual training.

All these are lesser things, disposing the soul for the lofty sanctuary of the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ – this is the highest wisdom attainable in this life.

Would that men might come at last to see that it is quite impossible to reach the thicket of the riches and wisdom of God except by first entering the thicket of much suffering, in such a way that the soul finds there its consolation and desire.   The soul that longs for divine wisdom chooses first and in truth, to enter the thicket of the Cross.the souls that longs for divine wisdom enters - st john of the cross 14 dec 2019.jpg

Saint Paul therefore urges the Ephesians not to grow weary in the midst of tribulations but to be steadfast and rooted and grounded in love, so that they may know with all the saints the breadth, the length, the height and the depth—to know what is beyond knowledge, the love of Christ, so as to be filled with all the fullness of God.

The gate that gives entry into these riches of His wisdom is the Cross, because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.

St John of the Cross, Pray for Us!ST J OF THE CROSS - PRAY FOR US - 14 DEC 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 14 December – St John of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

“Silence is God’s first language.”silence is god's first language st john of the cross 10 sept 2019.jpg

“Most holy Mary,
Virgin of virgins,
shrine of the most Holy Trinity,
joy of the angels,
sure refuge of sinners,
take pity on our sorrows,
mercifully accept our sighs
and appease the wrath
of your most holy Son.
Amen”

most holy virgin sure refuge of sinners - st john of the cross - 11 may 2019.jpg

“O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.”

o king of gentleness st john of the cross 14dec 2018 no 3.jpg

“The road is narrow.
He who wishes to travel it more easily
must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane.
In other words, he must be truly resolved
to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”the road is narrow - st john of the cross 9 july 2019 chinese martyrs.jpg

“Whenever anything disagreeable
or displeasing happens to you,
remember Christ crucified
and be silent!”whenever anything displeasing - st john of the cross - 1 july 2018

‘Song of the soul that is glad to know God by faith’

How well I know that fountain’s rushing flow
Although by night

Its deathless spring is hidden. Even so
Full well I guess from whence its source flow
Though it be night.

Its origin (since it has none) none knows:
But that all origin from it arose
Although by night.

I know there is no other thing so fair
And earth and heaven drink refreshment there
Although by night.

Full well I know the depth no man can sound
And that no ford to cross it can be found
Though it be night

Its clarity unclouded still shall be:
Out of it comes the light by which we see
Though it be night.

Flush with its banks the stream so proudly swells;
I know it waters nations, heavens, and hells
Though it be night.

The current that is nourished by this source
I know to be omnipotent in force
Although by night.

(Translated by Roy Campbell)

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchsong-of-the-soul-that-is-glad-to-know-god-by-faith-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017 and 14dec 2019.jpg

More here: 

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/14/quotes-of-the-day-14-december-st-john-of-the-cross-1542-1591-doctor-of-the-church/

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 14 December – Restore us, O God, let thy face shine, that we may be saved!   

Advent Reflection – 14 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11, Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19, Matthew 17:10-13 and the Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the ChurchSAT OF THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT - 14 DEC 2019.jpg

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“… but I tell you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognise him but did to him, whatever they pleased.   So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands…” … Matthew 17:12

REFLECTION – “God fixed a time for His promises and a time for fulfilling what he had promised.   The period of His promises was from the time of the prophets, up to John the Baptist and the period for fulfilling what He had promised is from John and henceforward, to the end.   God is faithful, He made Himself our debtor, not by accepting anything from us but by promising us such great blessings.   The promise was not enough, He even chose to be bound by writing, creating for us a kind of bond for His promises, so that, when He began to fulfil His promises, we might contemplate in scripture, the order of their accomplishment.   The period of prophecy, therefore, as we have before now frequently said, was the announcement of the promises.

He promised everlasting salvation and an unending life of blessedness with the angels, an unfading inheritance (1Pt 1:4), everlasting glory, His own dear face, His sanctuary in heaven and, by the resurrection of the dead, no further fear of death.   This is, as it were, His final promise, towards which all our endeavours tend and after we have received it, we shall seek nothing more, demand nothing more.

Nor has He passed over in silence in His promises and prophecies, how that final state will be reached.   He promised us the divine nature, to mortals, immortality, to sinners, justification, to castaways, a state of glory.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church

MEDIATION – “In giving us His Son, His only Word,
He spoke everything to us at once
in this sole Word – and He has no more to say…
because what He spoke before to the prophets in parts,
He has now spoken all at once by giving us
the ALL Who is His Son.” … St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchin giving us his son his only word - st john of the cross 14 dec 2019.JPG

ADVENT ACTION – He gave us His ALL, perhaps today, we can give Him ourselves.   May we be free of earthly things, just for today.    Restore us, O God, let thy face shine, that we may be saved!   Psalm 80:3

PRAYER – “O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me. Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.” … St John of the Cross (1542-1591)o-king-of-gentleness-st-john-of-the-cross-14dec2018 and 14dec2019

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HYMNS, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS

Saint of the Day – 14 December – Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)

Saint of the Day – 14 December – Saint Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609) Bishop, Poet, Hymnist, Writer – born c 530 at Rreviso, Italy and died c 609 at Poitiers, modern France of natural causes.

Today’s saint was unique, first a travelling lay poet, he later became a Priest and then a Bishop.   But he always remained a professional author of poetry, a “troubadour” of Christ.st venantius fortunatus 1.jpg

His impressive full name was Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus.   Born near Treviso in northern Italy, he received a good education in literature and law.

While studying at Ravenna, he was cured of an eye ailment by the intercession of St Martin of Tours.   To express his gratitude to the Gallic saint, he set out for France, intent on a thanksgiving visit to St Martin’s tomb.   He did not take the shortest route, however. He went to Mainz, Cologne, Trier and Metz in Germany, then crossed into Gaul (France) and visited Verdun, Rheims, Soissons and Paris before he reached his destination.   We know all this, because, we have the poetry he wrote for benefactors in each of these places.   Thus he earned his fare.

After Venantius had thanked the Saint of Tours, he went over to Poitiers, also in France and became attached to the Monastery of the Holy Cross at that place.   He had been attracted by the work that St Radegund was doing at Poitiers.

Radegund was the daughter of the King of Thuringia.   King Clotaire of the Franks had captured her and forced her to marry him.   Escaping from her husband, the unwilling queen had taken the veil at Poitiers and founded Holy Cross Abbey.   She chose her adopted daughter Agnes as abbess.   Venantius, who had a great sensitivity to women in need, volunteered to serve this monastery as its unofficial steward.   Later, he entered the priesthood and became the monastery’s chaplain.   His “mother” (as he called St Radegund) and his “sister” (as he called Abbess Agnes) were a good and gracious influence on him.ST venantius fortunatus AlmaTadema-VenantiusFortunatus.jpg

It was in 569, while Venantius was serving Holy Cross Abbey, that the Emperor Justin II sent to Queen Radegund a generous relic of the true Cross of Jesus.   King Sigebert of Gaul arranged for a splendid ceremony to welcome this relic.   Venantius composed the hymn Vexilla Regis, (“The royal banners forward go.”)   One of the greatest of the medieval hymns, it continued to be chanted at the rites of Good Friday until the 1960s.

When St Radegund died in 587, Fortunatus was freer to travel about.   Wherever he went, he was still prevailed on to write new poems.   From 599 to 609 he was also bishop of Poitiers.   As such, he was a close associate of three other notable bishops – Saints Felix of Nantes, Leontius of Bordeaux and Gregory of Tours.  St Gregory urged him to collect and publish his poetical works.   He did so and it amounted to ten fat volumes.   More volumes were added after his death.

He had written cheerfully for every sort of celebration.   Some of his poems were complimentary, some were lives of the saints but the most durable were his devotional works.   Another of these was sung, like the Vexilla Regis, in the Good Friday liturgy: “Pange lingua gloriosi lauream certaminis” (“Sing, my tongue, the Saviour’s glory”).   A third is still used (in translation) for Easter – Salve festa dies (“Hail thee, festival day”).   St Venantius also wrote hymns to Mary – “Quem terra, fontes, aethera” (“To God whom earth and sea and sky”) and perhaps even the popular “Ave Maris Stella” (“Hail, bright star of ocean”).

Fortunatus wrote panegyrics and other types of poems, including praise, eulogies, personal poems to bishops and friends alike, consolations and poems in support of political issues, particularly those presented by his friends Gregory of Tours and Radegunde.   His eleven books of poetry contain his surviving poems, all ordered chronologically and by importance of subject.   For instance, a poem about God will come before the panegyric to a king, which will come before a eulogy to aBishop.  This collection of poems is the main primary source for writing about his life.

Venantius died with a reputation for genial holiness.   Although he has never been listed as a saint in the official Roman Martyrology, he was honoured as such even during his lifetime and now, in several French and Italian dioceses, great feasts are still held in his honour.   As a poet, his devotional verge can show a depth of poetic piety.   Thus, in addressing the Cross in his Vexilla Regis, he sings touchingly – (I took the liberty of making an image of this beautiful verse on the Salvidor Dali rendition of “Christ of St John of the Cross” based on St John’s drawing and on his Feast day today).

“On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey
All hail, O Cross, our only hope!”on whose dear arms so widely flung - st venantius fortunatus - 14 dec 2019 - exaltation of the holy cross.jpg

In his time, Fortunatus filled a great social desire for Latin poetry  . He was one of the most prominent poets at this point and had many contracts, commissions and correspondences with kings, bishops and noblemen and women from the time he arrived in Gaul until his death.   He used his poetry to advance in society, to promote political ideas he supported, usually conceived of by Radegunde or by Gregory and, to pass on personal thoughts and communications.   He was a master wordsmith and because of his promotion of the church, as well as the Roman tendencies of the Frankish royalty, he remained in favour with most of his acquaintances throughout his lifetime.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 14 December

St John of the Cross OCD (Memorial) (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
Full Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/saint-of-the-day-14-december-1542-1591-doctor-of-the-church/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/14/saint-of-the-day-14-december-st-john-of-the-cross-ocd-1542-1591/

St Abundius of Spain
St Agnellus of Naples
Bl Buenaventura Bonaccorsi
St Folcuino of Therouanne
Bl Joan Lambertini
St John Pan y Agua (Bread-and-Water)
Bl John Discalceat
St Justus of Spain
St Matronianus of Milan
St Pompeius of Pavia
Bl Protasi Cubells Minguell
St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
St Viator of Bergamo
St Yusuf Jurj Kassab al-Hardini
Bl William de Rovira

Martyrs of Alexandria – 4 saints: A group of Egyptian Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius – Arsenius, Dioscurus, Heron and Isidore. They were burned to death in 250 at Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Apollonia – 7 saints: Martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only surviving details are three names – Callinicus, Leucio and Tirso. Apollonia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Ashkelon – 3 saints: Several pilgrims from Egypt to Cilicia (in modern Turkey) who planned to minister to fellow Christians suffering in the persecutions of emperor Maximinus. They were arrested, torture, mutilated and then imprisoned in Ashkelon. Some were ordered to forced labour in the mines, but we have the names of three who were martyred by order of governor Firmilian – Ares, Elijah and Promo. They were burned at the stake or beheaded at the gates of Ashkelon c 308.

Martyrs of Hayle – 2+ saints: Several Christians, including a brother and sister, who were martyred together by pagans. The only other information to survive are the names of the two siblings – Fingar and Phiala. 5th century at Hayle, Cornwall, England.

Martyrs of Syria – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together. Known to Saint John Chrysostom who preached on their feast day, and left us the only details we have – their names – Drusus, Theodore and Zosimus. The date and precise location of their martyrdom is unknown, but it was in Syria, possibly in Antioch.

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 October – Not as a son but as a hired servant

Quote/s of the Day – 27 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:9–14

“For everyone who exalts himself
will be humbled
and he who humbles himself
will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11for-everyone-who-exalts-himself-luke-14-11-1-sept-2019 27 oct 2019.jpg

‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Luke 18:13god be merciful to me a sinner luke 18 13 27 oct 2019.jpg

“If you wish to reach high, then begin at the lowest level.
If you are trying to construct some mighty edifice in height,
you will begin with the lowest foundation.
This is humility.
However great the mass of the building you may wish to design or erect,
the taller the building is to be, the deeper you will dig the foundation.
The building in the course of its erection, rises up high
but he who digs its foundation, must first go down very low.
So then, you see even a building is low before it is high
and the tower is raised, only after humiliation.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor (Sermon 69)if-you-wish-to-reach-high-then-begin-at-the-lowest-level-st-augustine-18-july-2019 27 oct 2019.jpg

“The three most important virtues are:
humility,
humility
and humility.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Churchthe-three-most-important-virtues-st-bernard-20-aug-2018-and-2019 and 27 oct 2019.jpg

“For it is well known, that,
on the spiritual road, not to go on,
overcoming self,
is to go backwards
and not to increase our gain,
is to lose.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Doctor of the Churchon-the-spiritual-road-not-to-go-on-overcoming-self-st-john-of-the-cross-23-july-2019-27 oct 2019.jpg

“We are ever but beginning,
the most perfect Christian,
is to himself but a beginner,
a penitent prodigal
who has squandered God’s gifts
and comes to Him,
to be tried over again,
not as a son
but as a hired servant.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)we-are-ever-but-beginning-bl-john-henry-newman-16-aug-2019 and 27 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SILENCE, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 10 September – Speaking of “Silence”

Quote/s of the Day – 10 September – Tuesday of the Twenty third week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Speaking of “Silence”

“Silence is God’s first language.”

Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Doctor of the Churchsilence is god's first language st john of the cross 10 sept 2019.jpg

“Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel.
Go and find Him.”

St Jeanne Jugan (1792 – 1879)jesus-is-waiting-for-you-in-the-chapel-st-jeanne-jugan-19-june-2018

“God speaks in the silence of the heart and we listen.
And then we speak to God from the fullness of our heart and God listens.

And this listening and this speaking, is what prayer is meant to be.”

St Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)god speaks in the silence - st mother teresa - 5 sept 2018.jpg

“Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness.
Listen to God.
Adore Him in the Eucharist.”

Pope Benedict XVIfriends, do not be afraid - pope benedict - 18 june 2018.jpg

“Silence is a great magnifier.”

Father Mike Schmitzsilence is a great magnifier fr mike schmitz 10 sept 2019.jpg