One Minute Reflection – 3 August – ‘..the archives of truth written in letters of blood…’

One Minute Reflection – 3 August – Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12

And his disciples came and took the body and buried it and they went and told Jesus. ... Matthew 14:12and his disciples came and took the body - 3 august 2019 st john the baptist.jpg

REFLECTION – “Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he “has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth,” (Jn 18:37).   The Christian is not to “be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord,” (2 Tim 1:8).   In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St Paul before his judges.   We must keep “a clear conscience toward God and toward men,” (Acts 24:16).

The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it.   This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds.   Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known: “All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation” (Vatican II).

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith – it means bearing witness even unto death. the martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity.   He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine.   He endures death through an act of fortitude…  The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who persevered to the end in witnessing to their faith. These are the acts of the Martyrs.   They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood…:the church has painstakingly collected - ccc 2472-2474 3 aug 2019 st john the baptist matthew 12 1-12

“I bless You for having judged me worthy from this day and this hour to be counted among Your martyrs….  You have kept Your promise, God of faithfulness and truth. For this reason and for everything, I praise You, I bless You, I glorify You through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son” (St. Polycarp) … CCC #2471-2474lord god you have considered me worth - st polycarp - prayer before martyrdom 9 july 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God, teach us to bear witness to Christ, Your only-begotten Son, who died for our sins. May each moment of our lives radiate the truth of the Word, Christ our Lord.   Through the intercession of our holy Mother, the Channel of all Graces, may our strength be such, that we would bear witness even unto death.   We make our prayer, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary channel of grace - pray for us - 30 may 2018.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 9 July – Lord God, You have Considered me Worthy

Our Morning Offering – 9 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Saints St Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Lord God, You have Considered me Worthy
St Polycarp (69-155)
Before Martyrdom

Lord God almighty,
Father of Jesus Christ,
Your dear Son through
whom we have come to know You,
God of the angels and powers,
God of all creation,
God of those who live in Your presence,
the race of the just – I bless You.
You have considered me
worthy of this day and hour,
worthy to be numbered with the martyrs
and to drink the cup of Your Anointed One,
and thus to rise and live forever,
body and soul,
in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit.
Amenlord god you have considered me worth - st polycarp - prayer before martyrdom 9 july 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – “At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.”

Lenten Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.   This is the greatest and first commandment” (vv. 37-38).   And he could have stopped there.   Yet, Jesus adds something that was not asked by the doctor of the law.   He says, in fact:  “And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (v. 39). And in this case too, Jesus does not invent the second commandment but takes it from the Book of Leviticus.   The novelty is in His placing these two commandments together — love for God and love for neighbour — revealing that they are in fact inseparable and complementary, two sides of the same coin.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 October 2014fridayofthe3rdweeklent 29 march 2019.jpg

“Stand fast, therefore,
in this conduct
and follow the example of the Lord,
firm and unchangeable in faith,
lovers of the brotherhood,
loving each other,
united in truth,
helping each other
with the mildness of the Lord,
despising no man.”

St Polycarp, Letter to the Philippiansstand-fast-therefore-in-this-conduct-st-polycarp-23-feb-2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Fill our hearts with your love.

Our lesson today reminds us again
of God’s love and Jesus’ desire
that we love one another as we are loved.
On this journey, we are learning why this is a challenge for us.
We are experiencing our human weaknesses
and practising ways to be freer,
to open our hearts more fully to God’s love
and to give ourselves in fidelity, every day.

You ask us to express our thanks by self-denial.
We are to master our sinfulness
and conquer our pride.
We are to show to those in need
Your goodness to ourselves.
Preface for Lent III

Closing Prayer:
God of Mercy,
I feel my heart overflowing with Your tenderness.
I sense Your loving touch deep within my soul.
I ask for Your help in my weakness
that I might be faithful to Your word
and I am so grateful
that Your mercy for my failings
is as strong as Your unbounded love for me.

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

“At the end of your life,
you will be judged by your love.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchat-the-end-of-your-life-st-j-of-the-cross-14-dec-2017.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 23 February – A rich and pleasing sacrifice –

Thought for the Day – 23 February – A rich and pleasing sacrifice – Memorial of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, Apostolic Father, Bishop and Martyr

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (c 69 – c 155)
Bishop, Apostolic Church Father and Martyr

An excerpt from a Letter on the Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp by the Church of Smyrna

When the pyre was ready, Polycarp took off all his clothes and loosened his under-garment.   He made an effort also to remove his shoes, though he had been unaccustomed to this, for the faithful always vied with each other in their haste to touch his body.   Even before his martyrdom he had received every mark of honour in tribute to his holiness of life.

There and then, he was surrounded by the material for the pyre.   When they tried to fasten him also with nails, he said:  “Leave me as I am.   The one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre, even without the precaution of your nails.”   So they did not fix him to the pyre with nails but only fastened him instead.   Bound as he was, with hands behind his back, he stood like a mighty ram, chosen out for sacrifice from a great flock, a worthy victim made ready to be offered to God.

Looking up to heaven, he said:  “Lord, almighty God, Father of Your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of Yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in Your sight, I bless You for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, Your anointed one and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit.   May I be received among the martyrs in Your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice.   God of truth, stranger to falsehood, You have prepared this and revealed it to me and now You have fulfilled Your promise.   I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son.   Through Him be glory to You, together with Him and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.”prayer-before-his-martyrdom-st-polycarp-23-feb-2019.jpg

When he had said “Amen” and finished the prayer, the officials at the pyre lit it.   But, when a great flame burst out, those of us privileged to see it witnessed a strange and wonderful thing.   Indeed, we have been spared in order to tell the story to others.   Like a ship’s sail swelling in the wind, the flame became as it were a dome encircling the martyr’s body.   Surrounded by the fire, his body was like bread that is baked, or gold and silver white-hot in a furnace, not like flesh that has been burnt.   So sweet a fragrance came to us that it was like that of burning incense or some other costly and sweet-smelling gum.

The fire was lighted but it did him no hurt, so he was stabbed to the heart and his dead body was burnt.   “Then,” say the writers of his acts, “we took up the bones, more precious than the richest jewels or gold and deposited them in a fitting place, at which may God grant us to assemble with joy to celebrate the birthday of the martyr to his life in heaven!”

St Polycarp was a Christian leader in a pagan world. He spoke clearly and simply, fearless in love and defense of Christ, even though persecutions raged around him. He sought only to hand on the message he had been given by John. Even as Polycarp prepared for martyrdom, his joy and confident trust were evident to all.

The community of believers celebrated the anniversary of Polycarp’s death with great joy, for in him they had seen an outstanding example of love and patience.   He had held strong and had won the treasure of eternal life.   Polycarp is remembered as an Apostolic Father, one who was a disciple of the apostles.

St Polycarp, Pray for the Church, Pray for Us!st-polycarp-pray-for-us-23-feb-2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 23 February – “Stand Fast!” – St Polycarp

Quote/s of the Day – 23 February – The Memorial of St Polycarp (c 69–c 155) Martyr and Apostolic Father of the Church

“Stand fast, therefore,
in this conduct
and follow the example of the Lord,
firm and unchangeable in faith,
lovers of the brotherhood,
loving each other,
united in truth,
helping each other
with the mildness of the Lord,
despising no man.”

St Polycarp, Letter to the Philippiansstand fast therefore in this conduct - st polycarp - 23 feb 2019

“Let us, therefore,
forsake the vanity
of the crowd and their
false teachings
and turn back
to the Word delivered to us
from the beginning.”let us therefore forsake the vanity of the crowd st polycarp 23feb2019

“Hear me declare
with boldness,
I am a Christian!”

St Polycarp (c 69–c 155) Martyr

and Apostolic Father of the Churchhear me declare with boldness i am a christian st polycarp - 23 feb 2019


One Minute Reflection – 23 February – The witness of the Prophets leads to the witness of the Apostles

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – Saturday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – The Memorial of St Polycarp (c 69–c 155) Martyr and Father of the Church

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain, apart by themselves and he was transfigured before them and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses and they were talking to Jesus…Mark 9:2-4

The witness of the Prophets leads to the witness of the Apostles

REFLECTION – “It was the will of the Lord Jesus that Moses alone (though he was accompanied, it is true, by Joshua (Ex 24:13)) should climb the mountain to receive the law.   In the gospel too, out of His many disciples He limited the revelation of His risen glory to three – Peter, James and John.   Wishing to put no stumbling block in the way of His weaker followers, whose vacillating minds might prevent them from taking in the full meaning of the paschal mystery, He chose to keep His redemptive plan a secret and repeatedly warned Peter, James and John not to talk freely about what they had seen. Peter, in fact, did not know what to say.   He thought of setting up three shelters for the Lord and His attendants.   Then he found himself unable to bear the brilliance of the glory radiating from His transfigured Lord.   Together with those “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17), James and John, he fell to the ground (Mt 17:6)…

They entered the cloud in order to receive knowledge of hidden, secret matters and there they heard the voice of God saying:  “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”   What does “This is my beloved Son” mean?   The implication is as follows: Make no mistake, Simon.   Do not imagine God’s Son can be put into the same category as the servants who attend him.   This man is my Son – neither Moses nor Elijah can be given that title, even though the one opened the sea and the other closed the heavens. Both of them exercised dominion over the elements but it was by the power of the Lord’s word that they did so (Ex 14; 1 Kgs 17:1).   They were only servants, it was the Lord who made the waters into a solid wall, the Lord who caused the drought that closed the heavens and the Lord who, in his own time, opened them to release the rain.

For evidence of the resurrection to be accepted, the combined witness of those servants is required.   But when the glory of their risen Lord is revealed, the servant’ aureole is lost in shadow.   Sunrise obscures the stars, the light of the heavenly bodies grows pale before the brilliance of the sun shining on this material world.   How then could human stars attract notice in the presence of the eternal Sun of Justice?   (Mal 3:20).”…St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctormark 9 2 and he wwas transfigured - sunrise obscures the stars st ambrose 23 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord of all creation, let us praise You with voice and mind and deed. Let us too give glory to Your Holy Son and bask in the Sun of Justice! Grant us a place in the reflection of His Light to shine on those around us.   As You gave St Polycarp, a place in the company of the Martyrs, grant us our eternal joy with him and all Your angels and saints.   May his intercession, give us the strength to drink from that cup which Christ drank and so rise to eternal life.   Through Christ our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever,

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 23 February

St Polycarp of Smyrna (c 69 – c 155) (Memorial)
St Polycarp’s life and death:

St Alexander Akimetes
St Boswell
St Dositheus of Egypt
St Felix of Brescia
St Florentius of Seville
St Giovanni Theristi
Bl Giovannina Franchi
Bl John of Hungary
Bl Josephine Vannini
Bl Juan Lucas Manzanares
Bl Ludwik Mzyk
St Martha of Astorga
St Medrald
St Milburga
Bl Nicolas Tabouillot
St Ordonius
St Polycarp of Rome
Bl Rafaela Ybarra de Villalongo
St Romana
St Serenus the Gardener (Died 307) Martyr
Bl Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski
St Willigis of Mainz
St Zebinus of Syria

Martyrs of Syrmium – 73 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know no details about them, and only six of their names – Antigonus, Libius, Rogatianus, Rutilus, Senerotas and Syncrotas.