Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 July – ‘It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm which tests a pilot’s skill.’

One Minute Reflection – 2 July – Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8:23-37 and the Memorial of Blessed Eugénie Joubert (1876–1904)

“Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves but he was asleep.”… Matthew 8:24

REFLECTION – “The sea offered its heaving back for Christ to walk upon.   Now it levelled its crests to a plain, checked its swelling and bound up its billows.   It provided rocklike firmness, so He could walk across the waterway.   Why did the seas heave so, and toss and pitch, even as if threatening its Creator?   And why did Christ Himself, who knows all the future, seem so unaware of the present thatHhe gave no thought to the onrushing storm, the moment of its height and the time of its peril?   While all the rest were awake, He alone was fast asleep even with utter doom threatening both Himself and His dear ones.   Why?   It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm which tests a pilot’s skill.   When the breeze is mild, even the poorest sailor, can manage the ship. But in the crosswinds of a tempest, we want the best pilot with all His skill.”… Saint Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450) (Sermons, 20)matthew 8 24  suddenly a violent sorm..but he was asleep-it is not a calm sky but the storm which tests st peter chryologus 2 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant me an operative faith – a faith that will move mountains and is strong enough to know that absolutely nothing and no-one here on earth can compare to You. Let me show that faith by lively love and by loving deeds and by conforming myself to Your will in all things – teach me that only YOU are first in line. This is how you lived your life Bl Eugénie Joubert putting only the God who created us first and now you are a Saint. Please pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and for always, amen.bl eugenie joubert pray for us 2 july 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 April – “It is I, fear not.”

One Minute Reflection – 25 April – Thursday of Easter week, Gospel: Luke 24:35–48 and the Memorial of St Mark the Evangelist and St Giovanni Battista Piamarta (1841 – 1913)

As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”…Luke 24:36

REFLECTION – “Rebellious people had chased peace from the earth… and thrown the world into its primordial chaos… Among the disciples as well, war was waging, faith and doubt fought furious assaults on one another… Where a storm was raging, their hearts could find no peaceful harbour, no calm port.

At the sight of that Christ who plumbs the hearts, who commands the winds, who is master over tempests and who with a simple sign changes the storm into a serene sky, strengthened them with his peace, saying: “Peace be with you!
It is I, fear not.
It is I, who was crucified, who was dead, who was buried.
It is I, your God become man for you.
It is I. Not a spirit clothed with a body but truth itself become man.
It is I, the living one among the dead, who have come from heaven to the heart of hell.
It is I, before whom death fled, whom hell feared. In its terror, hell proclaimed me to be God. Do not be afraid, Peter, you who denied me, nor you, John, who fled, nor all of you who abandoned me, who thought of nothing but betraying me, who do not yet believe in me, even though you see me.
Do not be afraid, it really is I.
I have called you with grace,
I have chosen you with forgiveness,
I have upheld you with my compassion,
I have carried you in my love and I am taking you today solely because of my kindness.”...St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Churchluke 24 36 peace be with you - do not be afraid it is i - st peter chrysologus 25 april 2019 easter thurs.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, let there be one faith in our hearts, one love for You, one Way in You, for You are the One Truth and the only Way.   We linger in Your light and beg Your unending kindness.   Grant that by the prayers of Your saints we may obtain Your strength.   St Mark, pray for us.  St Giovanni Piamarta, pray for us.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – “The dead will hear his voice”

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalms 145:8-9, 13CD-14, 17-18; John 5:17-30

Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming, when all who are in the tombs, will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement.…John 5:28-29wed of the fourth week lent - john 528-29 3 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Grant us Your forgiveness.

We know that this whole journey is about our reconciliation.
We know that God wants to forgive us.
We know we are preparing to renew our Baptismal promises,
and “refuse to be mastered by sin.”
Today we hear the invitation and ask more earnestly.

In the marvellous discourse that follows His sign of healing,
Jesus says, “I am not seeking my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
I am filled with a sense of sorrow and gratitude,
as I see what He did for me.

I tell you for certain that everyone who hears my message
and has faith in the one who sent me has eternal life
and will never be condemned.
They have already gone from death to life.
John 5:24

“The dead will hear his voice”  – “Lazarus, come forth” (Jn 11:43)

Saint Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church

Our Lord had raised Jairus’s daughter but while the body was still warm and death was only halfway through its work (Mt 9:18f.)… He also raised the widow’s only son but by halting the stretcher and forestalling the tomb… before the dead man had fallen completely under the law of death (Lk 7:11f.).   But the whole event that takes place with regard to Lazarus is unique.. Lazarus, in whom all death’s power had been completed and in whom, equally, a complete image of the resurrection shone out… Christ, indeed, returned as Lord on the third day; Lazarus, as servant, was called back to life on the fourth day…

The Lord said and repeated to His disciples:  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified” (Mt 20:18f.).   And when He said this, He saw them growing uncertain, sad, comfortless.   He knew they had to be crushed by the weight of His Passion until nothing of their own life, their own faith, their own light would remain within them but, to the contrary, their hearts would be darkened with the almost total darkness of their lack of faith.   That is the reason why He let Lazarus’s death continue for four days… From this follows what our Lord said to His disciples:  “Lazarus has died.   And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe” (vv.14-15).   Therefore Lazarus’s death was necessary so that the disciples’ faith might rise from the tomb along with Lazarus.

“That I was not there.”   Now was there anywhere where Christ was not?… My brethren, Christ as God was there but Christ the man was not.   Christ God was there when Lazarus was dying but now Christ man was going to the dead man because Christ our Lord was going enter into death:  “It is there, in death, in the tomb, in hell, that all the power of death is to be crushed through me and my death.”he knew they had to be crushed - st peter chrysologus 3 april 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving and merciful God,
I am so aware of my sins and weaknesses.
But as painfully aware of my faults as I am,
Let me also remember Your tender love,
Your gentle and limitless forgiveness.
I come before You filled with pain and guilt
but look into Your eyes and see the forgiving love of my Father,
I so long for in my life.
Help me to forgive the same way.
Teach me to love as You love.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – The Best of Fathers!

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Joshua 5:9A, 10-12; Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32lent - laetare sunday 4th sun of lent 31 march 2019.jpg

But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him...Luke 15:20

“I shall get up and go to my father”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church

If we do not care for this young man’s conduct, his departure horrifies us.   Don’t let us ever abandon such a father!   Simply the sight of the father causes sin to flee, banishes our faults, does away with all bad behaviour and temptation.   Yet, if we have gone away, if we have wasted all our father’s inheritance in a life of debauchery, if we should happen to have committed some fault or misdeed or fallen into the mire of irreligiousness and complete dissipation, let us rise up for good and all and return to this best of Fathers, summoned by such a beautiful example.let us rise up for good and all - st peter chrysologus - 4th sund laetare sun 31 march 2019.jpg

“When the father saw him he ran to embrace him and covered him with kisses.”   I ask you, where is there room for despair here?   What pretext for excuse?   What false reason for fear?   Only, perhaps, if we dread meeting the father, if we are afraid of his kisses and embrace, only if we think that the father, when he takes his child by the hand, draws him to his breast and folds his arms around him, wants to seize the opportunity to make good his loss instead of welcoming in order to forgive.   Such a thought, however, that destroys life and is contrary to our salvation, is fully overcome, wholly destroyed by what follows: “The father said to his servants:  ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.   Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.   Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and has come to life again, he was lost and has been found.’”

When we have heard that, can we delay any longer?   What more could we ask for to return to the Father?

Daily Meditation:
Laetare Sunday: Be joyful!
This Sunday has a joy-filled tone.
We enter into the second part of Lent with a spirit of eagerness.
Our celebration of the mercy and life given to us in Jesus is near.

All the readings are profound.
The letter to the Ephesians can be a meditation for the week.
We have been saved by our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.
That is consoling at this part of Lent. It is not the work we do that saves us.
It is God’s love – in the midst of our darkness.

We can ask to be “lifted up” with Jesus in His surrender with the Father,
lifted up on the cross and therefore, lifted up in Glory.
And, we can express our desire to be an instrument of His consoling love,
in the hearts of those to whom He sends us.

Look to him and be radiant,
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
Psalm 34:5

Closing Prayer:
Loving Father of mine,
I feel the pace quicken, the time draw near.
I am filled with joy as I move toward Easter
and the promised reconciliation with You.
Teach me to follow the example of Your Son,
to be worthy of being called one His people –  a Christ-ian.
Help me to live each day as He did
turning hatred to love and conflict to peace.
I await the new life with eagerness, faith
and a deep gratitude.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives – St Peter Chrysologus

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures.   They are prayer, fasting and mercy.   Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.   Prayer, mercy and fasting: – these three are one and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.   Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.   If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.   So if you pray, fast;  if you fast, show mercy;  if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.   If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.fasting is the soul of prayer - st peter chryasologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent

When you fast, see the fasting of others.   If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.   If you hope for mercy, show mercy.   If you look for kindness, show kindness.   If you want to receive, give.   If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.if you want to receive give - st peter chrysologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent.jpg

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy – show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer in our favour.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others.   Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting.   There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy – A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make Him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.   Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give Him yourself, you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added.   Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy.   Fasting dries up when mercy dries up.   Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth.   However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin, when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.   Therefore, do not lose by saving but gather in by scattering.   Give to the poor and you give to yourself.   You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen

Posted in CATECHESIS, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 21 March- The rich man and Lazarus

Lenten Reflection – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple
and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…”
Luke 16:19–20Luke 16 19–20 rich man and lazarus turs2ndweeklent-21march2019.jpg

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church

Sermon 122, On the rich man and Lazarus

“Abraham was very rich,” Scripture tells us (Gn 13:2)… My brethren, Abraham wasn’t rich for himself but for the poor, rather than keeping hold of his fortune, he intended to share it…This man, who was himself a stranger, did not hesitate to do all he could so that the stranger might not feel himself to be a stranger.   Living in a tent, he was unable to let a passer-by remain without shelter.   Perpetual traveller, he unfailingly welcomed the travellers who came his way…  Far from taking his ease in God’s bounty, he knew himself called to spread it abroad, he used it to protect the oppressed, set prisoners free, even to snatch those about to die from their fate (Gn 14:14)…  Abraham did not sit but remained standing before the stranger he had received.   He was not his guest’s host but made himself his servant.   Forgetting that he was master in his own home, he himself brought the food and, concerned that it should be carefully prepared, called on his wife.   Where he himself was concerned he relied entirely on his servants, but for the stranger he had received he thought it barely enough to entrust it to his wife’s skill.
What more could I say, my brothers?   It was so perfect a consideration… that drew God himself to Abraham’s home and compelled him to become his guest.   Thus the very one who would later claim to be welcomed in the person of the poor and the stranger, came to Abraham, rest for the poor, refuge of strangers.   “I was hungry,” he said, “and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).
And again, we read in the Gospel:  “When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.”   Isn’t it only right, brethren, that Abraham should welcome all the saints even into his own rest and should exercise, even in the blessedness of heaven, his service of hospitality?…  Doubtless, he could not have considered himself wholly happy unless, even in glory, he was able to continue to practice his ministry of sharing.”

Daily Meditation:
Bring us back to you.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is our lesson today.
We beg to be open to the workings of the Spirit,
that we might not settle for the consolations of this life alone.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers
but his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

LOVE OF OUR NEIGHBOUR

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“All of our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone, for the good and for the bad, for the poor people as well as for the rich, for all those who do us harm as much as for those who do us good.
No, my dear brethren, there is no virtue which will let us know better whether we are the children or God than charity.
The obligation we have to love our neighbour is so important, that Jesus Christ put it into a Commandment, which He placed immediately after that by which He commands us to love Him with all our hearts.   He tells us that all the law and the prophets are included in this commandment to love our neighbour.   Yes, my dear brethren, we must regard this obligation as the most universal, the most necessary and the most essential to religion and to our salvation.   In fulfilling this Commandment, we are fulfilling all others.   St Paul tells us that the other Commandments forbid us to commit adultery, robbery, injuries, false testimonies.   If we love our neighbour, we shall not do any of these things because the love we have for our neighbour would not allow us to do him any harm.”

all of our religion is but a false - st john vianney thurs2ndweeklent 21 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I hear your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to You.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in Your name
and send Your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel Your love in my life today and if You are with me, how can I not love my neighbour?

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

Remember you are Dust and Unto Dust you shall return

Remember you are Dust and Unto Dust you shall return remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return - 6 march 2019.jpg

Ash Wednesday 6 March 2019

Saint Peter Chrysologus (400-450)

Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

Sermon 8 ; CCL 24, 59 ; PL 52, 208

Exercises for Lent:  Almsgiving, Prayer, Fasting

My dear brethren, today we set out on the great Lenten journey.   So let us take our food and drink along in our boat, putting onto the chest the abundant mercy we shall need. For our fasting is a hungry one, our fasting is a thirsty one if it isn’t sustained by goodness and refreshed by mercy.   Our fasting will be cold, our fasting will flag, if the fleece of almsgiving doesn’t clothe it, if the garment of compassion does not wrap it around.

Brethren, what spring is for the land, mercy is for fasting – the soft, spring winds cause all the buds on the plains to flower;  the mercy of our fast causes all our seeds to grow until they blossom and bear fruit for the heavenly harvest.   What oil is to the lamp, goodness is to our fast.   As the oily fat sets the lamp alight and, in spite of so little to feed it, keeps it burning to our comfort all night long, so goodness makes our fasting shine – it casts its beams until it reaches the full brightness of self-restraint.   What the sun is to the day, almsgiving is to our fast:  the sun’s splendour increases the light of day, breaking through the dullness of the clouds;  almsgiving together with fasting sanctifies its holiness and, thanks to the light of goodness, dispels from our desires anything that could petrify.   In short, what the body is for the soul, generosity acts similarly for the fast:  when the soul leaves the body it brings about death;  if generosity abandons the fast, it is, its death.ash wed and good friday - days of fasting and abstinence

A very special day.

The ashes we use are the burnt palms from last year’s celebration of Passion Sunday.
We begin our Lenten journey aware of where we are going.
We want to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus for us more fully.
That is the purpose of our journey.   It is why we mark our heads with His cross.
It is why we fast today and abstain from meat.from pam fronds to ashes

Our Lenten program is not an effort to save ourselves.
We have been saved by His sacrifice.
Our self-denial helps us, in the darkness that surrounds us,
to prepare ourselves to receive His light.
For this is a journey to the Easter font,
where we will renew the promises of our Baptism,
remembering that in dying with Him in the waters of Baptism,
we are re-born with Him to everlasting life.

This year’s journey begins today.

Yet even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning;

Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Joel 2:12-13joel 2 12-13 ash wed yet even now - 6 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Lord,
it feels like we are embarking
on a Lenten journey together, You and I.
Today, we are invited to let the Holy Spirit
purify our hearts and strengthen us in love.
That feels like what I am looking for –
or what You are looking for in me.
I want to remember how much I need You in my life
and how much my life needs redemption.
I want to remember it clearly and
in the background of my day, today and all through Lent.

On this special day, Ash Wednesday,
may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away
the clutter in my life to see You more clearly.
May my longing for meat and other food,
help me to focus my life today more outside myself.
Let me be aware of those,
who are in so much more suffering, than I am
and may I be aware of them,
as the brothers and sisters, You have placed in my life.

Lord, I know there is darkness within me and around me.
Bless these days with Your Word.
Let Your Light shine in the darkness.
Help me long for that shining Light
until we celebrate it at the Vigil, six weeks from now.

And most of all Lord,
help me to honour this day with the ashes on my forehead.
They help me remember where I have come from
and where I am going.
May I acknowledge to You my sins
and my deep need for Your loving forgiveness and grace.
I pray that this Lenten season will make me so much more aware
of how much I need Your love and care in my life.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

“The Lord, who always goes before us, said this and did this (Jn 12:24).   Whenever we experience the cross, He has already experienced it before us.   We do not mount the cross to find Jesus.   Instead it was He who, in His self-abasement, descended even to the cross, in order to find us, to dispel the darkness of evil within us and to bring us back to the light.”

Pope Francis

(at the Canonisation of Saints Francisco and Jacinta on 14 May 2017)

the-lord-who-always-goes-before-us-pope-francis-20-feb-2017-sts-francisco-and-jacinta.jpg