Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, LENT, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Four of our Lenten Journey – ‘A man must fight long and bravely against himself …’

Day Four of our Lenten Journey – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

The holy Martyr, Lawrence, with his priest, conquered the world because he despised everything in it that seemed pleasing to him and for love of Christ patiently suffered the great high priest of God, Sixtus, whom he loved dearly, to be taken from him. Thus, by his love for the Creator, he overcame the love of man and chose instead of human consolation the good pleasure of God.
So you, too, must learn to part with an intimate and much-needed friend for the love of God.
Do not take it to heart when you are deserted by a friend, knowing that in the end we must all be parted from one another.

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human consolation.
The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor seek such pleasures of sense but prefers severe trials and hard labours for the sake of Christ. …

In what can I hope, then, or in Whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout brethren, faithful friends, holy books, beautiful treatises, sweet songs and hymns, all these help and please but little when I am abandoned by grace and left to my poverty.
At such times there is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God.

The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead, therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest. (Book 2, Ch9, 2-3,6,8)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – ‘. I, Levi …’ Luke 5:27-32

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings Isaiah 58: 9-14Psalms 86:1-23-45-6Luke 5:27-32 and the Memorial of St Elutherius of Tournai (c 456-532) Bishop and Martyr and Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920)

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

REFLECTION – “The Apostle Paul said: “Take off the old self with its practices and put on the new self” (Col 3,9-10)… This was the work Christ accomplished when He called Levi; He refashioned him into a new man. Similarly, it is as a new person, that the former publican prepares a banquet for Christ since Christ takes pleasure in him and he himself, merits to have a share in happiness with Christ… He followed him now, happy, light-hearted and overflowing with joy.

“I have the aspect of a publican no more,” he said, “I don’t carry around the old Levi any longer; I put off Levi when I put on Christ. I flee from my earlier life; my Lord Jesus, you alone, who heal my wounds, I desire to follow. Who shall separate me from the love of God … ? tribulation? anguish? hunger? (Cf Rom 8,35). I am bound to You by faith as by nails, I am held fast by the worthy bonds of love. All Your commandments will be like a cautery that I will apply firmly to my wound; the remedy stings but it takes away the ulcerous infection. Lord Jesus, with Your powerful sword, cut away the corruption of my sins: come quickly, lance my hidden and varied passions. Purge away all infection in the new bath.

“Listen to me, you people who are fixed to the earth, you whose thoughts are intoxicated by your sins. I, Levi, was also wounded by similar passions. But I found a doctor who dwells in heaven and pours out His remedies on earth. He alone can cure my wounds since He Himself has none. He alone can remove the heart’s pain and the soul’s lethargy, for He knows everything that lies hidden.”St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, 5, 23.27

PRAYER – Come my all-powerful, ever-living God, look with compassion on our frailty and for our protection, stretch out to us Your strong right hand. Grant that by the prayers of Mary, our Mother and all your angels and saints we may change our ways, leave everything behind, proclaim the glory of Your kingdom and come safely home to You. St Eleutherius and Sts Jacinta and Francisco, pray for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10,15, Mark 2:13-17 and the Feast Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners and Memorial of St Fursey (Died c 648)

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 16-17

REFLECTION – “He came in humility – He, the Creator, was created amongst us, He made us but He was made for us. God before time began, man in time, He delivered man from time. This great physician has come to heal our cancer… by His example, He has come to heal pride itself.

This is what we must give our attention to, in the Lord – let us consider His humility, drink the cup of His humility, clasp Him, contemplate Him. How easy it is to have elevated thoughts, easy to take pleasure in honours, easy to give one’s ear to flatterers and people who praise us. But to bear with insult, patiently undergo humiliation, pray for those who persecute us (Mt 5,39.44) – that is the Lord’s cup, that is the Lord’s feast.“… St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the ordination of a bishop, Guelferbytanus no.32

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind through Your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Lord God, grant Your people constant joy, in the renewed vigour of their souls. They rejoice because You have restored them to the glory of Your adopted children, through Him who saves them. Grant that by the assistance of Mary, His mother and theirs, they may look forward gladly to the certain hope of resurrection. Through Christ, the Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREEDOM, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 9 March – Where, then, is true freedom?

Lenten Reflection – 9 March – Saturday after Ash Wednesday “Come back to Me, with All your Heart” – Today’s Gospel : Luke 5:27-32 – The Calling of Matthewluke 5 28 leaving everything behind - calling of matthew - sat after ash wed lent 2019 9 march.jpg

“Leaving everything behind, the man got up and followed him” …Luke 5:28

Above the monastery some planes are cutting through the sky at tremendous speed.   The noise of the engines frightens the birds, who take shelter in the cypresses of our cemetery.   In front of the convent and crossing the land, is a tarred road along which lorries and carloads of tourists, for whom the sight of the monastery has no interest, run at all hours.   One of the principal Spanish railways also runs through the fields of the monastery…   People tell you that all this is freedom…   But the man who reflects a little will see how deluded the world is in the midst of what he calls freedom…

Where, then, is true freedom?   It is in the heart of one who loves nothing more than God. It is in the heart of one who is attached neither to spirit nor to matter but only to God.   It is in that soul which is not subject to the “I” of egoism, which soars above its own thoughts, feelings, suffering and enjoyment.   Freedom resides in the soul whose one reason for existence is God, whose life is God and nothing else but God.

The human spirit is small, impoverished, subject to a thousand changes of mood, ups and downs, depressions, disillusionments, etc and the body, to so much weakness.   Freedom, then, is in God and the soul which truly, in soaring above everything, makes her abode in Him, can say that she enjoys freedom, to the extent that is possible for one still in the world to do so.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
Spanish Trappist monk

(Spiritual writings, 15/12/1936 (trans. ‘To know how to wait’, Mairin Mitchell)where then is true freedom st raphael arnaiz baron - lent 2019 - 9 march sat after ash wed.jpg

Daily Meditation:
A Saturday of Lent
and more on “True Fasting.”
Each of the Saturdays of Lent are more upbeat and “lighter” in tone.
We are preparing for Sunday.

Our reading from Isaiah 58 continues,
as does our self-examination
regarding what true fasting is for us this Lent.

What patterns will I change?

Closing Prayer:

God, heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my prayer
during this holy Season of Lent.
Help me to discipline my body
and be renewed in spirit.

Without You, I can do nothing.
By Your Holy Spirit, help me to know what is right
and to be eager to do Your will.
Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin and help me to live by Your commandments.
God of love, bring me back to You.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand,
guide and lead me in Your gentle mercy.

Let me be aware of
the many ways you reach out to help me today
and let me stand in awe of the power
that You use in such loving ways.

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

“Christ is the artist, tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Churchchrist-is-the-artist-st-gregory-of-nyssa- 9 march 2017.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist –  Pope Francis and the Calling of St Matthew

Thought for the day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist –

Pope Francis and the Calling of St Matthew

In 1953, on the feast of Saint Matthew, the young Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis), at the age of 17, experienced, in a very special and intimate way, the loving presence of God in his life.   He went to confession and felt his heart touched by the mercy of God.  It changed his life.   At that moment, he also felt God’s call to the priesthood and religious life as a Jesuit.

In memory of that holy event in his life, Pope Francis chose as his episcopal (and later papal) motto the words “miserando atque eligendo” (“having mercy and choosing”). These words are found in a sentence in a homily by Saint Bede on the calling of Saint Matthew. They are read in the Office of Readings on the Feast of Saint Matthew.   Saint Bede wrote: “Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since He sees by having mercy and by choosing, He says to him, ‘Follow me.’”

To understand Pope Francis, it is helpful to know about this important event in his life on the Feast of Saint Matthew in 1953.   The young Jorge Bergoglio felt the tender gaze of God’s love, His mercy and his vocation.   In an interview, Pope Francis spoke of that event in these words:  “In that confession, something very rare happened to me. I don’t know what it was, but it changed my life.   I would say that I was caught with my guard down… It was a surprise, the astonishment of an encounter. I realized that God was waiting for me.   From that moment, for me, God has been the one who precedes (to guide me)… We want to meet Him but He meets us first.”

Just as Jesus had summoned Matthew to become His apostle, Jesus called the teenage Jorge Bergoglio to be His emissary.   Pope Francis once said:  “I believe in my history — which was pierced by God’s look of love, on September 21, the feast of Saint Matthew — He came to meet me and invited me to follow Him.”

That vocational encounter and piercing look of God’s merciful love has influenced Pope Francis’ life and ministry.   That’s why he chose the words of Saint Bede as his motto. Clearly, major themes of his papacy have been his teaching on divine mercy, the joyful encounter with Jesus and the infinite tenderness of God.

When he visited Rome prior to becoming Pope, Jorge Bergoglio always stayed in the neighbourhood of the Church of Saint Louis of France.  He would often go there to contemplate the famous painting of “The Calling of Saint Matthew” by Caravaggio.   In the painting, Jesus is pointing at Matthew.   Matthew is holding on to his money as if to say “No, not me! No, this money is mine.”   Pope Francis says he sees himself in Matthew – a sinner on whom the Lord turned His gaze.   He trusted in Christ’s infinite mercy and accepted His calling:  to become a Jesuit, a priest, a bishop, and pope.

The gaze of Jesus completely overtook the tax collector and sinner Matthew.   It changed his life.   It changed Jorge Bergoglio’s life.   It changes our life.

May we always heed His call to be a Church which goes out, offering to all, especially the poor and suffering, the love and mercy of Jesus Christ!    May Saint Matthew pray for us.st matthew pray for us 3