Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

LENTEN REFLECTION – The First Week of Lent – 2 MARCH

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LENTEN REFLECTION – 2 MARCH

Purification of Spirit through fasting and almsgiving

by St Pope Leo the Great (died 461 AD) Doctor of the Church

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God.    The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the omnipotence of their Creator and the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude.

But with the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit.

The special note of the paschal feast is this:  the whole Church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins.    It rejoices in the forgiveness not only of those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered among God’s adopted children.

Initially, men are made new by the rebirth of baptism.    Yet there is still required a daily renewal to repair the shortcomings of our mortal nature and whatever degree of progress has been made there is no one who should not be more advanced.    All must therefore strive to ensure that on the day of redemption no one may be found in the sins of his former life.

Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.

There is no more profitable practice as a companion to holy and spiritual fasting than that of almsgiving.    This embraces under the single name of mercy many excellent works of devotion, so that the good intentions of the faithful may be of equal value, even where their means are not.    The love that we owe both God and man is always free from any obstacle that would prevent us from having a good intention.   The angels sang: Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.   The person who shows love and compassion to those in any kind of affliction is blessed, not only with the virtue of good will but also with the gift of peace.

The works of mercy are innumerable.   Their very variety brings this advantage to those who are true Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving not only the rich and affluent but also those of average means and the poor are able to play their part.    Those who are unequal in their capacity to give can be equal in the love within their hearts.

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 2 March

Thought for the Day – 2 March

Sometimes we have to break out of the mold into which others have placed us and hew our own unique pathway to God.   A princess is expected to be a princess but St Agnes saw something more valuable and more important and refused the throne of an empress.   She knew what she wanted and would let nothing stand in her way.   When God calls, we leave all else behind!

St Agnes of Prague, pray for us!

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Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 2 March

Quote of the Day – 2 March

“Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to Him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose graciousness is our delight, whose gentleness fills us to overflowing, whose remembrance makes us glow with happiness, whose fragrance revives the dead, the glorious vision of whom will be the happiness of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem.   For He is the brightness of eternal glory, the splendour of eternal light, the mirror without spot.”

St Clare of Assisi to St Agnes of Prague

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(Read the entire letter here: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/bread_on_the_trail/2011/08/a-letter-of-st-clare-to-blessed-agnes-of-prague-on-christian-contemplation.html)

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 March

May the Lord……make you overflow with love for one another and for all…………1 Thes 3:12

REFLECTION – “Therefore, most beloved sister, or should I say, Lady worthy of great respect because You are the spouse and the mother and the sister of my Lord Jesus Christ and have been adorned resplendently with the sign of inviolable virginity and most holy poverty. Be strengthened in the holy service which You have undertaken out of an ardent desire for the Poor Crucified, Who for the sake of all of us took upon Himself the Passion of the Cross and delivered us from the power of the Prince of Darkness to whom we were enslaved because of the disobedience of our first parents and so reconciled us to God the Father.”………….St Clare of Assisi to St Agnes of Prague

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me the grace to strive after perfect love. Help me to bring forth frequent acts of love so that I may grow in this greatest of virtues. Help me to be a loving support to all you need me in any way, stranger or friend. Fill my heart with the love You have for me and the unceasing love of Your Divine Son who died for me. St Agnes of Prague, pray for us! Amen

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Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 2 March

Our Morning Offering – 2 March

Make my heart, Jesus, one with Yours,
that I may love others as You have loved me,
not for selfish gain but for Your sake alone.
By the power of Your Sacred Heart,
like the power of fire to transform
everything to itself,
make us one in loving You
by drawing all humantity to Yourself.
For You are the Paschal Lamb,
offered for sins,
who, in the Blessed Sacrament,
shines out like a spiritual rainbow.
You radiate in this new
and everlasting covenant,
the very beauty of paradise,
always before the eyes of the Father,
perpetuating here Your perfect sacrifice
on the Cross,
a sacrifice so pleasing that the Father grants
everything good, asked for
in Your Holy Name.
Amen
By Fr Vincent Martin Lucia

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 March – St Agnes of Prague/Bohemia

Saint of the Day – 2 March – St Agnes of Prague/Bohemia (1211-1282) Princess, Nun, Foundress, Abbess, Missionary of Charity and Mercy – Patron of the Czech Republic and Prague

Agnes was born in Prague sometime around the year 1211.   She was the daughter of the Czech King Premysl Ottokar I of Bohemia and Queen Constancia.   Her father promised that she would marry the son of German Emperor Friedrich II, later King Henry VII, Duke of Swabia and sent her to the Austrian Babenberg court to study court manners.   However, Duke Leopold VI of Babenberg persuaded the Emperor to allow his son to marry with his daughter Margaret – so Agnes returned to Bohemia.   She was later engaged to marry the English king Henry and even his father, emperor Friedrich II, who in the meantime had become a widower.   However, when inspired by the holy life of Francis and Clare of Assisi, who left their rich families and lived in smaller monasteries and shared the destiny with the poor, Agnes decided to become a bride of Christ.

In around 1232, supported by her brother and mother, Agnes founded the Hospital of St. Francis for poor and ill people and established the Hospital Brotherhood that later developed into the Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star.   A year later, two monasteries were founded near the Hospital: the male monastery for the Smaller Brothers of St. Francis and the female convent for the Clares.   The three building complex created the first dominating Gothic landmark in Prague which could compete with the residential palace at Hradčany.

Agnes joined the Clares, the female branch of the Franciscans, in 1234, along with another seven girls from wealthy Czech noble families. She became the abbess of the later St. Agnes Convent for a lengthy 47 years maintaining a great friendship through letters with St Clare of Assisi, some which still survive.

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St Clare of Assisi and St Agnes of Prague

Agnes always aimed for peace within the Czech lands.   It was she who negotiated the reconciliation between King Wenceslas I and his son Premysl Ottokar II averting a possible civil war which would otherwise become unavoidable.   In addition, her intervention miraculously prevented a Tatar invasion.

Agnes died in March 1282 in the St. Agnes Convent.   She was spoken of highly due to her education, charity and mercy and she was a very important personality of political, cultural and social life.   Legends about her extraordinary life appeared instantly after her death.

Although Elisabeth of Bohemia and Emperor Charles VI made great effort in terms of Agnes’ beautification, it did not happen until 1874 upon proposal by Prague Archbishop and Cardinal Friedrich Joseph Schwarzenberg.   She was canonised on 12 November 1989 by Pope John Paul II.    The canonisation ceremony in Rome was witnessed by an unbelievable ten-thousand Czech pilgrims.

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 2 March

St Absolon of Caesarea
St Agnes of Prague/Bohemia
St Angela of the Cross Guerrero
St Basileus the Martyr
Chad of Mercia
Bl Charles the Good
St Cynibild of Laestingaeu
Bl Engelmar Unzeitig
St Felix of Treves
St Fergna the White
Bl Girolamo Carmelo di Savoia
St Gistilian
St Joavan of Brittany
St John Maron
St Jovinus the Martyr
St Lorgius of Caesarea
St Lucius of Caesarea
St Luke Casali
St Quintus the Thaumaturge
St Slebhene
St Troas
St Willeic

Martyrs of Campania – Approximately 400 northern Italian Christians martyred for their faith by pagan Lombards. Their story was recorded by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who reports that they people spent their final days supporting each other with prayer. c579 in Camnpania, Italy.

Martyrs of Porto Romano – 4 saints – Group of Christians martyred in the persecution of Diocletian. The only other information that survives are the names of four of them – Heraclius, Januaria, Paul and Secondilla. c305 at Porto Romano at the mouth of the River Tiber, Rome.