Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 June – “Beware of practising your piety before men …”

Quote/s of the Day – 17 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14, Psalm 31:20, 21, 24, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:  “Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them;  for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:1

matthew 6 1 bewae of practising your piety 17 june 2020

“Christianity is not a matter
of persuading people of particular ideas
but of inviting them to share
in the greatness of Christ.
So pray, that I may never fall into the trap,
of impressing people,
with clever speech but instead,
I may learn, to speak with humility,
desiring only to impress people
with Christ Himself.”

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107)
Father of the Church, Martyr

christianity-is-not-a-matter-of-persuading-people-st-ignatius-of-antioch-16-oct-2019 and 17 june 2020

“Do not boast of yourself
if you have served well,
as you should have done.
The sun obeys,
the moon complies
and the angels serve.
Let us not require praise for ourselves…”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

do not boast - st ambrose 17 june 2020

”Vainglory can find a place,
not only, in the splendour and pomp of worldly wealth
but even in the sordid garment of sackcloth as well.
It is then all the more dangerous
because it is a deception,
under the pretence of service to God.”

vainglory can find a place - st augustne 17 june 2020

“Do you wish to RISE?
Begin by DESCENDING.
You plan a tower
that will pierce the CLOUDS?
Lay first the foundation
of HUMILITY.”

do you wish to rise, begin by descending - st augustine - 28 aug 2018

“God looks at what is within,
it is there He assesses,
there He examines.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Doctor of Grace

god resists the proud - god looks at what is within - st augustine - 29 sept 2019

“True humility
scarcely ever
utters words
of humility.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

true humility scarcely ever utters words of humility st francis de sales-17 june 2020

“The truly humble
reject all praise for themselves
and refer it all to God.”

St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

the truly humble - 2018 and 17 june 2020

“God who is infinite, all powerful,
has become man,
the least of men.
My way is always to seek the lowest place,
to be as little as my Master,
to walk with Him,
step-by-step as a faithful disciple.
My way, is to live with my God
who lived this way all His life
and, who has given me,
such an example,
from His very birth.

Blessed Charles of Jesus de Foucauld

(1858-1916)

god-who-is-infinite-all-powerful-has-become-man-bl-charles-de-foucauld-1-dec-2019-17 june 2020

“I sought to hear the voice of God
And climbed the topmost steeple.
But God declared
“Go down again –
I dwell among the people.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

i-sought-to-hear-the-voice-of-god-bl-john-henry-newman-29-march-2019 and 30 oct 2019

“The humble man receives praise,
the way a clean window
takes the light of the sun.
The truer and more intense the light is,
the less you see of the glass.”

Thomas Merton OCSO (1915-1968)

the-humble-man-receives-praise-thomas-merton-13-march-2019 and 30 oct 2019

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN POETRY, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION

Second Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation by Thomas Merton

Second Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation

the annunciation poem by thomas merton 25 march 2020

The Annunciation
By Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.
Air, earth and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.
These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom’s house, and Ark and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.)

Fifteen years old –
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden’s wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prays in her possession
Until her Jesus, makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand.

Fr Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist monk and priest is recognized as one of the major spiritual fathers of our times.   His longing for silence and solitude, his contemplative vision, his engagement with need for world peace through inner life of the spirit, his journey across religious traditions, cultures and disciplines, make him a man for all times but especially for our own.   Thomas Merton expressed this vision in his poetry, novels, essays, devotionals and autobiographical writings.

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – He comes into our world

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent, Year A

“If we would please this Divine Infant,
we too must become children,
simple and humble.
We must carry to Him, flowers of virtue,
of meekness, of mortification, of charity.
We must clasp Him in the arms of our love.”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Churchif we would please this divine infant - st alphonsus liguori 5 dec 2019.jpg

“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”

Thomas Merton (1915-1968into this world this demented inn - thomas merton - 15 dec 2018.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, SPEAKING of ....., St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – Speaking of: Pride vs Humility

Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year , Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

Speaking of:  Pride vs Humility

“The proud person is like a grain of wheat
thrown into water – it swells, it gets big.
Expose that grain to the fire – it dries up, it burns.
The humble soul, is like a grain of wheat,
thrown into the earth –
it descends, it hides itself,
it disappears, it dies
but to revive
in heaven.”

St Mary of Jesus Crucified (1846-1878)the-proud-person-st-mary-of-jesus-crucified-26-aug-2019 and 30 oct 2019.jpg

“I sought to hear the voice of God
And climbed the topmost steeple.
But God declared
“Go down again –
I dwell among the people.”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)i-sought-to-hear-the-voice-of-god-bl-john-henry-newman-29-march-2019 and 30 oct 2019.jpg

“The humble man receives praise,
the way a clean window
takes the light of the sun.
The truer and more intense the light is,
the less you see of the glass.”

Thomas Merton OCSO (1915-1968)the-humble-man-receives-praise-thomas-merton-13-march-2019 and 30 oct 2019.jpg

“Strive to enter through the narrow door,
for many, I tell you, will attempt
to enter but will not be able…”…Luke 13:24.

“All, can enter eternal life but for everyone,
the door is narrow.   They are not privileged.
The path to the eternal life is open to all
but it is narrow because it’s demanding,
asks for commitment, abnegation
and the mortification of selfishness.”all-can-enter-eternal-life-but-for-everyone-the-doo-is-narrow-pope-benedict-25-aug-2019 and 30 october 2019

“To pass through the narrow gate, means
we must commit ourselves to being small,
that is humble of heart like Jesus,
like Mary, His and our mother.”

Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus, 26 August 2007to-pass-through-the-narrow-gate-means-we-must-commit-ourselves-to-being-small-humble-pope-benedict-25-aug-2019 and 30 oct 2019

“Truly, I say to you,
unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3truly-i-say-to-you-unless-you-turn-and-become-like-little-children-matthew-18-3-1-oct-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day -– 13 March – St Leander

Quote/s of the Day -– 13 March – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Year C and The Memorial of St Leander (c 534-c 600)

“This man of suave eloquence and eminent talent shone as brightly by his virtues as by his doctrine.   By his faith and zeal the Gothic people have been converted from Arianism to the Catholic faith”

St Isidore of Seville (560-636) Doctor of the Church,

speaking of his brother St Leander, whom we celebrate today.this-man-st-isidore-of-seville 13 march 2018.jpg

“The humble man receives praise,
the way a clean window
takes the light of the sun.
The truer and more intense the light is,
the less you see of the glass.”

Thomas Merton OCSO (1915-1968)the humble man receives praise - thomas merton - 13 march 2019.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 15 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent

Quote/s of the Day – 15 December – Saturday of the Second week of Advent

“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”

Thomas Merton OCSO (1915-1968)into this world this demented inn - thomas merton - 15 dec 2018

“At this Christmas, when Christ comes,
will He find a warm heart?
Mark the season of Advent,
by loving and serving the others,
with God’s own love and concern.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

(Love:  A Fruit Always in Season)at this christmas when christ comes - st mother teresa 15 dec 2018

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

“Advent is here!
What a marvellous time in which to renew your desire,
your nostalgia, your real longing for Christ to come —
for Him to come every day to your soul in the Eucharist.
The Church encourages us: Ecce veniet! — He is about to arrive!”

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) – The Forge, 548advent is here! - st josemaria - 5 dec 2017

“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”

Thomas Merton  (1915-1968)into this world - thomas merton - advent - 5 dec 2017

“We need to find God and He cannot be found
in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…
We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

St Mother Teresa  (1910-1997)we need to find god - 5 dec 2017

Posted in CCC, CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, MORNING Prayers

Contemplative Prayer – Making a Start

“Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No 2715).

Contemplation is the prayer of the heart and not of the mind.   Contemplative prayer may focus on a word or a saying or one may simply be in the presence of God.   It is the prayer of the listening heart.   The goal of contemplative prayer is to enter into the presence of God where there are no words, concepts or images.  It is the prayer of being in love.

HOW:  Before the Blessed Sacrament – sit or kneel.   Gaze into the Tabernacle or look into the Monstrance.   Be still.   Focus on your breathing.   Ask Mary to help you to pray. Pray to the Holy Spirit.   Then peacefully repeat a word or a phrase:   ‘Jesus; Jesus I love you; Jesus I trust in you; Father; Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’, etc.   Don’t continue to repeat the word or the words over and over again.   Only use the word or the phrase when your mind begins to wander.   Focus your gaze on the Eucharist.   Be open to whatever Jesus is asking of you.

At home – sit or kneel.   Close your eyes.   Again, be still and focus on your breathing.   Ask Mary to help you to pray.   Pray to the Holy Spirit.   As before, repeat a word or a phrase, rooted in the scripture, the creed, a prayer or an aspect of our Christian faith.   Do not repeat the word or words over and over again.   Remember to use the word only when your mind begins to wander.   Focus your gaze on the loving presence of God within you.  If you begin to feel embraced by God, be still and be silent.   Just allow the Holy Spirit to pray within you.

Jesuit Father William Johnston who has written much about contemplative prayer said: “Properly understood, contemplation shakes the universe, topples the powers of evil, builds a great society and opens the doors that lead to eternal life”.

What are the practical steps that we can take in order to incorporate into our busy lives daily contemplative prayer?

  • First of all, we need balance in our lives.   When was the last time that we enjoyed dinner with family and friends, or turned off our cell phone and refrained from checking our email at every moment?   Excessive work and travel, excessive involvement in sports and entertainment are tearing us apart.
  • Secondly, contemplation requires the capacity to be alone.   It is difficult to be alone in our contemporary society.   Even when we are alone, the noise of our own worries and fears drown out the silence of God’s voice.   Many people are incapable of being alone and they immediately feel an obsession to talk with someone on a cell phone or check their email.
  • We all need moments of solitude.   Spending a quiet time before the Eucharist, reading the Scriptures during a peaceful moment at home, taking tranquil walks through the woods or along the beach all are necessary for our soul.   In order to be with God, we must develop the ability to be alone with ourselves.

Excerpt from Fr James Farfaglia’s Homily on Contemplative Prayer

“The only trouble is that in the spiritual life there are no tricks and no shortcuts.   Those who imagine that they can discover spiritual gimmicks and put them to work for themselves usually ignore God’s will and his grace.”

“We do not want to be beginners.   But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!”

“Hence monastic prayer, especially meditation and contemplative prayer, is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in Him whom we have found, who loves us, who is near to us, who comes to us to draw us to Himself.”

― Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer

THOMAS MERTON ON CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER NO 1