Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on ZEAL, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 13 January – The Grace of God

Thought for the Day – 13 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Grace of God

“It is astonishing to consider how much St Paul accomplished when he had been transformed by the grace of God.
Formerly, a persecutor of Christians, he became the Apostle of the Gentiles.
Enlightened by faith and inspired by charity, he travelled the globe, spreading everywhere, the religion of Jesus Christ.

He feared neither the anger of the hostile Jews, nor the tribunals of the Roman judges, neither long and difficult journeys, nor scourging, shipwreck and imprisonment.
“The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14) he said.
It was the love of God which drove him on and on, until he met his martyrdom.
But what about ourselves?
We also have received grace from God.
Often we hear His voice appealing to us to abandon our sinful ways, to practise virtue, to love Him more ardently and to prove our love, by deeds.
If we co-operate, we shall be able to say with St Paul: “by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless,” (1 Cor 15:10) and “I have laboured … yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (ibid).

It is wise to recall, however, that Judas also received special graces from God.
He did not correspond with them and was probably damned for eternity.
If we fail to correspond with God’s graces, the result will be tragic for ourselves.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of The Grace of God here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/12/thought-for-the-day-12-july-the-grace-of-god/

Posted in NOVENAS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day Seven – 6 June

Novena to the Holy Spirit – Day Seven – 6 June

“But it is God,

who establishes us, with you in Christ

and has anointed us,

by putting his seal on us

and giving us his Spirit in our heart,

as a first instalment.”

St Paul

2 Corinthians 1:21

2 cor 1 21 - but it is god who establishes us - 6 june 2019.jpg

For the Traditional Novena, here with the Act of Consecration: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/pentecost-novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts-day-one-11-may-2018/

Begin by reciting the following prayer…

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!
I adore You as my True God.
I offer You my whole heart,
and I render You heartfelt thanks
for all the benefits You have bestowed upon the world.
You are the author of all supernatural gifts
and enriched the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Mother of God,
with all favours,
I ask You to visit me by Your grace and Your love,
and grant me the favour
I so earnestly seek…
…………………………………. State your request here…
O Holy Spirit,
spirit of truth, come into our hearts.

Let us Pray:

Come, Holy Spirit,
creator of all things:
come visit our hearts with Your power.
Fill with grace, friendly guest,
the hearts which You have created.
You are called the Consoler,
gift from the hand of God,
source of life,
light, love and flame, highest good.
You are the pledge of sevenfold grace,
finger of the Father’s hand,
promised us by Him,
and You make our tongues speak the truth.
Cast light on our senses,
pour love into our hearts.
Grant our weak bodies strength
that they may never grow weary of doing good
and grant me the favour I so earnestly seek in this novena…
Keep the enemy far from us,
give us peace always,
let us willingly follow in Your footsteps
that we may be far removed from sin.
Grant that through You
we may grow in knowledge
of the Father and of the Son
and that we may ever strongly believe in You,
the Spirit of both.
Praise and honour be forever
to the Father on the highest throne,
in the risen Son of God,
in the Consoler.

Come, O Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
Amenday-seven-pentecost-novena-17-may-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness of what you have seen and what you will be shown.   I shall deliver you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I send you,to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me…Acts 26:16-18acts 26-16

REFLECTION – “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable.   Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him.   He summed up his attitude in the words:  “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”…The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.   Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else”…….St John Chrysostomchrysostum-on-paul-2018

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world.   Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day.   Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st paul apostle, pray for us - 25 jan 2018

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

St John Chrysostom and St Paul – 13 September the Memorial of St John Chrysostum (347-407) of the “Golden Mouth”

St John Chrysostom and St Paul – 13 September the Memorial of St John Chrysostum (347-407) of the “Golden Mouth”

St John Chrysostom and St Paul
John Chrysostom here gives eloquent praise to the passionate love of Christ that drove St. Paul to face persecution and hardship with joy and leave behind the honours and benefits of the world.   It is read each year on January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, persecutor turned apostle.st PAUL!!!

Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable.   Each day he aimed ever higher;  each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him.  He summed up his attitude in the words:  “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead.”   When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy:  “Rejoice and be glad with me!”  And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said:  “I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution.”   These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them.

Thus, amid the traps set for him by his enemies, with exultant heart he turned their every attack into a victory for himself;  constantly beaten, abused and cursed, he boasted of it as though he were celebrating a triumphal procession and taking trophies home, and offered thanks to God for it all:  “Thanks be to God who is always victorious in us!”   This is why he was far more eager for the shameful abuse that his zeal in preaching brought upon him than we are for the most pleasing honours, more eager for death than we are for life, for poverty than we are for wealth;   he yearned for toil far more than others yearn for rest after toil.   The one thing he feared, indeed dreaded, was to offend God;   nothing else could sway him.   Therefore, the only thing he really wanted was always to please God.

The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.   Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else;   were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers.   He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honoured.

To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments  the pain of that loss would alone have been hell and endless, unbearable torture.   So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings. Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him;  for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.

Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field.   As for tyrannical rulers or the people enraged against him, he paid them no more heed than gnats.   Death itself and pain and whatever torments might come were but child’s play to him, provided that thereby he might bear some burden for the sake of Christ.

This excerpt from a homily preached by St. John Chrysostom around c 400 in praise of St. Paul (Hom. 2 de laudibus sancti Pauli: PG 50, 477-480) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on January 25 with the biblical reading taken from Galatians 1, the story of Paul’s Conversion on the road to Damascus.st john chrysostom pray for us.3ST PAUL PRAY FOR US

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 25 January

Thought for the Day – 25 January

We marvel at the total conversion of the man whom we celebrate today.   We marvel at his zeal, his influence, and his transparent honesty in speaking about himself:  “I am the foremost of sinners but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” ( 1 Tim 1:15-16).    That sums up the importance of this feast for us, who are among those who follow in Paul’s footsteps and believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, and are still making good on our own conversion.

In the end, the same thing that converted Saul is the only thing that will convert us:  the deep conviction that “Christ loves us with all the inexhaustible charity of God’s own heart.” (Christ is Passing By, no. 59)   For St Paul the time came and then everything changed—he changed, the world changed.   He discovered that he possessed the age-old love which the Lord had pledged to his fathers:   I have loved you with a timeless love(Jer 31:3)   And “in being loved by Christ,” concludes Saint John Chrysostom, “he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise, countless blessings.”…………Rev. John Henry Hanson, O. Praem.

Paul is undoubtedly hard to understand. His style often reflects the rabbinical style of argument of his day and often his thought skips on mountaintops while we plod below.   But the bottom-line is this:  the question is “what is it about” and the answer is “love”.

St Paul Pray for us!

st-paul-conversion-jan-25confersion-of-st-paul

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 25 January

One Minute Reflection – 25 January
Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me………..Galatians 2:20

REFLECTION – “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead……………The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else”…….St John Chrysostum

PRAYER – O God, who instructed the whole world through the preaching of the Apostle St. Paul, grant that we who celebrate the Feast of his conversion today, may through his patronage and prayers, begin too to understand our greatest gift, that we are LOVED by You! This we ask of You through Christ our Lord. St Paul Pray for Us! Amen.

galatians-2-20chrysostum-on-paulst-paul-pray-for-us

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Our Morning Offering – 25 January

Our Morning Offering – 25 January

Saint Paul’s Prayer (Ephesians 3: 14-21)

This, then, is what I pray,
kneeling before the Father,
from whom every fatherhood,
in heaven or on earth takes its name.
In the abundance of his glory may he,
through his Spirit,
enable you to grow firm
in power with regard to your inner self
so that Christ may live
in your hearts through faith
and then, planted in love
and built on love,
with all God’s holy people
you will have the strength
to grasp the breadth and the length,
the height and the depth,
so that, knowing the love of Christ
which is beyond knowledge,
you may be filled
with the utter fullness of God.
Glory be to him whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine;
glory be to him
from generation to generation
in the Church and in Christ Jesus
for ever and ever. Amen

st-pauls-prayer

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES

Saint of the Day – 25 January – St Paul on his Conversion

Saint of the Day – 25 January – St Paul on his Conversion

The conversion of Paul the Apostle, was, according to the New Testament, an event in the life of Paul the Apostle that led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus. It is normally dated to AD 33–36. The phrases Pauline conversion, Damascene conversion and Damascus Christophany and road to Damascus allude to this event.

The great Apostle Paul, named Saul at his circumcision, was born at Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia and was by privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the empire.   He was early instructed in the strict observance of the Mosaic law and lived up to it in the most scrupulous manner.   In his zeal for the Jewish law, which he thought the cause of God, he became a violent persecutor of the Christians.   He was one of those who combined to murder Saint Stephen and in the violent persecution of the faithful, which followed the martyrdom of the holy deacon, Saul exemplified himself above others.   By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains and thrust them into prison.

In the fury of his zeal he applied for a commission to take up all Jews at Damascus who confessed Jesus Christ and bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might serve as examples for the others.   But God was pleased to show forth in him His patience and mercy.   While on his way to Damascus, he and his party were surrounded by a light from heaven, brighter than the sun and suddenly struck to the ground.   And then a voice was heard saying, “Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?”   And Saul answered,   “Who art thou, Lord?” and the voice replied,  “I am Jesus whom thou dost persecute.”   This mild expostulation of our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, cured Saul’s pride, assuaged his rage and wrought at once a total change in him.

640px-caravaggio_-conversion-of-stpaul

Wherefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Our Lord ordered him to arise and to proceed on his way to the city, where he should be informed of what was expected from him.   Saul, arising from the ground, found that though his eyes were open, he saw nothing.   He was led by hand into Damascus, where he was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas.   To this house came by divine appointment a holy man named Ananias, who, laying his hands on Saul, said,  “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to thee on thy journey, hath sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”   Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he recovered his eyesight.

 

Then he arose and was baptised;  he stayed some few days with the disciples at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.   Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an apostle and chosen as one of God’s principal instruments in the conversion of the world.

From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ.   For this I labour and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29). “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and [with] much conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a).

Paul’s life became a tireless proclaiming and living out of the message of the cross: Christians die baptismally to sin and are buried with Christ;  they are dead to all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world.   They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ’s victory and someday to rise from the dead like him.   Through this risen Christ the Father pours out the Spirit on them, making them completely new.

So Paul’s great message to the world was:   You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do.   Saving faith is the gift of total, free, personal and loving commitment to Christ, a commitment that then bears fruit in more “works” than the Law could ever contemplate.

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Saints & Feasts – 25 January

Conversion of Paul the Apostle (Feast)

St Agape the Martyr
St Agileus of Carthage
St Amarinus of Clermont
St Ananias of Damascus
Bl Antoni Swiadek
Bl Antonio Migliorati
St Apollo of Heliopolis
Bl Archangela Girlani
St Artemas of Pozzuoli
St Auxentius of Epirus
St Bretannion of Tomi
St Donatus the Martyr
St Dwynwen
St Emilia Fernández Rodríguez de Cortés
St Eochod of Galloway
Bl Francesco Zirano
Bl Henry Suso
St Joel of Pulsano
St Juventinus of Antioch
Bl Manuel Domingo y Sol
St Maximinus of Antioch
St Palaemon
St Poppo
St Praejectus of Clermont
St Publius of Zeugma
St Racho of Autun
St Sabinus the Martyr
Bl Teresa Grillo Michel