Thought for the Day – 20 February 2018 – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Thought for the Day – 20 February 2018 – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Excerpt from “Behold the Man”, a Lenten Reflection

By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

“I see the figure of a man, whether young or old I cannot tell.   He may be fifty, or he may be thirty.   Sometimes He looks one, sometimes the other.   There is something inexpressible about His face that I cannot solve.   Perhaps, as He bears all burdens, He bears that of old age too.   But so it is;  His face is at once most venerable, yet most childlike, most calm, most sweet, most modest, beaming with sanctity and with loving kindness.   His eyes rivet me and move my heart.   His breath is all fragrant and transports me out of myself.   Oh, I will look upon that face forever and will not cease.

And I see suddenly someone come to Him and raise His hand and sharply strike Him on that heavenly face.   It is a hard hand, the hand of a rude man and perhaps has iron upon it.   It could not be so sudden as to take by surprise, Him who knows all things past and future and He shows no sign of resentment, remaining calm and grave as before;  but the expression of His face is marred;  a great welt arises and in a short time that all-gracious face is hidden from me by the effects of this indignity, as if a cloud came over it.

A hand was lifted up against the face of Christ.

Whose hand was that?   My conscience tells me:  ‘You are the man.’

I trust it is not so with me now.   But, O my soul, contemplate the awful fact.   Fancy Christ before you and fancy yourself lifting up your hand and striking Him!   You will say, ‘It is impossible: I could not do so.’   Yes, you have done so.   When you sinned wilfully, then you have done so.   He is beyond pain now:  still you have struck Him and had it been in the days of His flesh, He would have felt pain.   Turn back in memory and recollect the time, the day, the hour, when by wilful mortal sin, by scoffing at sacred things, or by profaneness, or by hard hatred of your brother, or by acts of impurity, or by deliberate rejection of God’s voice, or in any other devilish way known to you, you have struck the All-Holy One.” (to be continued…………….)

NOTE of Interest:  A second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Henry (2016) is still in progress of investigation by the Congregation for the Causes of Sainthood and if Vatican theologians and doctors conclude the healing is a divine sign of Newman’s sanctity the Pope will be invited to canonise him as the first English saint since 1970 and the first British saint since 1976.a hand was lifted up against the face of christ - john henry newman - 20 feb 2018

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

God our Father,
You granted to Your servant,
Blessed John Henry Newman,
wonderful gifts of nature and of grace,
that he should be a spiritual light
in the darkness of this world,
an eloquent herald of the Gospel
and a devoted servant
of the one Church of Christ.
With confidence in
his heavenly intercession,
we make the following petition:
[here make your petition]
For his insight into
the mysteries of the kingdom,
his zealous defense
of the teachings of the Church
and his priestly love
for each of Your children,
we pray that he may soon
be numbered among the Saints.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever.
Amenprayer for the canonisation of bl john henry newman - 20 feb 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 July

One Minute Reflection – 12 July

You have said, “Seek my face”. My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek”.   Hide not your face from me.  Turn not your servant away in anger, you who have been my help.   Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation………Psalm 27:8-9

REFLECTION – “Veronica- ‘Bernice’ in the Greek tradition, embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament, the yearning of all believers to see the Face of God.   On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, though, she at first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a facecloth to Jesus.   She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples.   She is the image of that good woman, who, amid turmoil and dismay, shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. “Blessed are the pure in heart”, the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).   At first, Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled Face.   Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on His human Face, bloodied and bruised, she saw the Face of God and His goodness, which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows.  Only with the heart can we see Jesus. Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see.   Only love enables us to recognize the God who is love itself.”…………..Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (24 March 2005)

at first, veronica saw only a ...- joseph card ratzinger 24 march 2005

PRAYER – Lord God, grant us restless hearts, hearts which seek Your Face. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things.   Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognise Your presence in the world.   When we are not able to accomplish great things, grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. Impress Your Face on our hearts.   May we encounter You along the way and show Your image to the world. St Veronica, Pray for us! Amen.

st veronica pray for us


Our Morning Offering – 12 July

Our Morning Offering – 12 July

The Eucharistic Face of Jesus
By Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

O Eucharistic Face of Jesus,
brightness of the glory of my God
and figure of His substance,
I want to spend my life gazing upon You,
to become totally impressionable
so that I might bear Your likeness
and become an effigy of Your countenance.
Through all darkness,
all emptiness,
all powerlessness,
I want to keep my eyes fixed on You
and to remain under Your great light.
O my beloved Sun,
so fascinate me
that I may never be able to leave Your radiance.

prayer to the eucharistic face of jesus by blessed elizabeth of the Trinity

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, STATIONS of the CROSS

Saint of the Day – 12 July – St Veronica

Saint of the Day – 12 July – St Veronica (1st Century) – Patronages:  against bleeding or haemorrhages, domestic workers, dying people, laundry workers, linen weavers, maids, parsonage or rectory housekeepers, photographers, seamstresses, washerwomen.

Saint Veronica is known as the woman who offered a cloth to Jesus so He could wipe His face on the way to His crucifixion.   The cloth is believed to exist today in the Vatican and is considered one of the most treasured relics of the Church.

Sainte Véronique (Costa Lorenzo)
Costa Lorenzo

Saint Veronica is not mentioned in the Bible but is known to us by Catholic tradition and in the Sixth Station of the Cross, “Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.”

Christ was carrying the cross to Calvary, His face dripping with sweat and blood, Saint Veronica, a bystander, was moved with compassion.   She approached Jesus and offered Him a cloth, likely her veil, which He accepted and used to wipe His face.

The image of his face was miraculously imprinted on the cloth.

martin-schongauer-christ-and-saint-veronica-on-the-way-to-calvaryst veronica 5 - El Greco3st veronica 6 - El Greco3st veronica 7 - Flemalle Detail Veil

There are no legends from the period which speak of Veronica either before or after her act of compassion.   We do not know when she was born or when she died.   She is literally lost to history.   However, the cloth may still exist today, kept safe at St. Peter’s in Rome.   This particular cloth bearing the likeness of Christ’s face, although ancient and difficult to distinguish, is considered one of the most treasured relics in the Vatican. According to legend, it is the original relic, although throughout the ages many copies were created and some were passed along as genuine.

Most of what we know about the veil was recorded in the medieval period, although it was first mentioned as being in the hands of Pope John VII in the early eighth century. The veil and the legend surrounding it became very popular in the thirteenth though fifteenth centuries when the veil was on public display.   Indulgences were granted for people who performed devotions before it.

The fate of the veil was obscured by violence in 1527 by the Sack of Rome in which it may have been destroyed.   Many reproductions were created at this time and it is unfortunately unclear if the veil still kept by the Vatican is the original or a reproduction. In 1616, Pope Paul V banned the production of all copies of the veil, which has become popular.   In 1629, Pope Urban VIII went a step further and ordered the destruction of all copies, or that existing copies should be delivered to the Vatican.   Anyone who disobeyed this order was to be excommunicated.

st veronica 2st veronicaSt. Veronica by Jacques BlanchardSaint Veronica. Hans Memling

The Veil of Veronica has since been kept at St Peter’s Basilica and is shown to the public, on the fifth Sunday of Lent each year.