Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Saturday 18 March

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Saturday 18 March
St Cyril of Jerusalem,  (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The symbolic meaning of the sacrament of baptism as sharing in Christ’s passion according to Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop of Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century and one of the most important sources we have for how the church celebrated the sacraments during that era.  In his Jerusalem Catechesis from which this excerpt comes, St. Cyril instructs new Christians in the days immediately before and after their initiation into the life of the Church at the Easter Vigil.

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolized the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight.   In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

SAT 18 MARCH LENTEN REFLECTION-ST CYRIL ON BAPTISM

 

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse: a time to die and a time to be born, although in fact both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!    It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.   We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails; he suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet by the share that I have in his sufferings he freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.   This is why Paul exclaims: Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in his death?    By baptism we went with him into the tomb.

These words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem on the symbolic meaning of the sacrament of baptism, a symbol of Christ’s passion, are read in the Roman Catholic liturgy’s Office of Readings on the Thursday in the Octave of Easter (Cat. 21 Mystagogica 3, 1-3 PG 33. 1087-1091) with the accompanying biblical reading of I Peter 3:1-17.

 

 

 

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Eight – Friend in Suffering

Novena to St Joseph

Day Eight
FRIEND IN SUFFERING

Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Saviour.   All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you and the cross of labour followed you everywhere.   Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you.   Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary’s virginity; by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune.   Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast. To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you — you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence, and love.   You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Savior and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love.   But God never forsook you in your trials.   The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows, and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering.   Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence and of gratitude toward God.   In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life.   This was God’s Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God.   If suffering is the flowering of God’s grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul’s love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need.   Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering.   You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle.   Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass and share like you in Mary’s spirit of sacrifice.

DAY 8 NOVENA ST JOSEPH

*NOVENA PRAYER   *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 18 March

Thought for the Day – 18 March

In times of great turmoil and controversy, it is difficult sometimes to know what is true and what is right and sometimes we have to grope our way along.   We have to follow the truth and give it our full loyalty, at whatever cost.   Sometimes that will mean that we are a majority of one.   That is what truth demands of us!   Those who imagine that the lives of saints are simple and placid, untouched by the vulgar breath of controversy, are rudely shocked by history. Yet, it should be no surprise that saints, indeed all Christians, will experience the same difficulties as their Master. The definition of truth is an endless, complex pursuit, and good men and women have suffered the pain of both controversy and error. Intellectual, emotional and political roadblocks may slow up people like Cyril for a time. But their lives taken as a whole are monuments to honesty and courage.

During this Lenten season, we reflect upon our beliefs and as Easter approaches, we renew our baptismal vows, using the words that Saint Cyril used.
Is our faith strong enough to endure accusation and exile?
How can we commit ourselves more fully to our Lord, our Church and our Creed?

St Cyril of Jerusalem Pray for us!

ST CYRIL of JERUSALEM - MARCH 18

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 18 March

Quote/s of the Day – 18 March

“Approaching do not come with thy palms stretched flat nor with fingers separated.  But making thy left hand a seat for thy right and hollowing thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, responding Amen.    And having with care hallowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, take it, vigilant lest thou drop any of it.   For shouldst thou lose any of it, it is as though thou wast deprived of a member of thy own body.”   “Then after Communion of the Body of Christ, approach the Chalice of His Blood, not extending thy hands but bending low, and with adoration and reverence saying Amen, sanctify thyself by receiving also the Blood of Christ.   And while thy lips are yet wet, touch them with thy hands and sanctify thy eyes and thy forehead and thy other senses.”

“We are to make the sign of the cross when we eat and drink, sit, go to bed, get up, talk, walk, in short, in every action.”

“If thou should be in foreign cities, do not simply ask where is the church – but where is the Catholic Church, for this is the proper name of this holy Mother of all.”

St Cyril of Jersualem (315-386)
Father and Doctor of the Church

HOW TO RECEIVE HOLY COMM - ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEMWE ARE TO MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS- ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 18 March

One Minute Reflection – 18 March

You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency and loathe to punish……….Jon 4:2

REFLECTION – “How great is God’s love for men!   Some good men have been found pleasing to God because of years of work.   What they achieved by working for many hours at a task pleasing to God is freely given to you by Jesus in one short hour.   For if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved and taken up to paradise by Him, just as He brought the thief there.   Do not doubt that this is possible.   After all, He saved the thief on the holy hill of Golgotha because of one hour’s faith; will He not save you too since you have believed? “………… St Cyril of Jersualem (315-386) Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Merciful Lord, come to my aid quickly in time of despair!   Let me rely on the infinite merits of Your suffering Son, Who died for me.  St Cyril pray for us all that we may always remain true to the Cross of Christ and our Holy Mother Church, amen.

ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM-AFTER ALL, HE SAVED THE THIEFST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM PRAY FOR US

 

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 18 March

Our Morning Offering – 18 March

The Elder Brother’s Prayer

Teach me, my Lord,
to be sweet and gentle in all the events of life,
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.
Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others,
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.
Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may make me
patient, not irritable.
That it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty and overbearing.
May no one be less good
for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind,
less noble for having been a fellow traveler
in our journey toward Eternal Life.
As I go my rounds from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time,
a word of love to Thee.
May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.
Amen

PRODIGAL ELDER BROTHER'S PRAYER

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Saint of the Day – 18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem (c 313-386 aged 75) Bishop, Confessor and Father & Doctor of the Church, Theologian, Writer, Preacher, Catechist.

CYRIL

Little is known of his life before he became a bishop.  According to Butler, Cyril was born at or near the city of Jerusalem, and was apparently well-read in both the Church fathers and the pagan philosophers. Cyril was ordained a deacon by Bishop St. Macarius of Jerusalem in about 335 and a priest some eight years later by Bishop St. Maximus. About the end of 350 he succeeded St. Maximus in the See of Jerusalem.    It is not until his exile, historically recorded, that the event of his life are made clear.   During a great depression, Cyril was accused of selling church property to feed the poor and thus exiled.   Theologians and historians agree that his exile had less to do with service to the poor,and more to do with differences in doctrine, failure to conform to the Arian teachings,and continued preaching of the Nicene doctrine.   The Nicene Creed, which we still recite today, is believed to have had its origins in the teachings of Saint Cyril – as per his writings:

“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten by the Father true God before all ages, God of God, Life of Life, Light of Light, by Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. He was crucified and buried. He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and sat at the right hand of the Father. And He cometh in glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And in one Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, Who spake by the prophets; and in one baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and in one holy Catholic Church, and in the resurrection of the body, and in life everlasting.”

Saint Cyril is known for his catechetical writings, including twenty-three homilies he delivered to those preparing for baptism during Lent and then mystagogical reflections for the week after Easter.   In these writings, Cyril clearly outlines the liturgy of the Mass used at that time, including elements we continue celebrating today.   Saint Cyril states a fairly strong doctrine of the Eucharist both in symbolic and realistic terms, addressing transubstantiation of elements and proclaiming the bread and wine received to be the actual body and blood of Christ.   He affirms the true authority of the one Catholic Church, and provides instructions to the newly welcomed regarding how to receive the Holy Eucharist.

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem lived in a time of great strife and conflict within the Church, a time of heresy, faction and political influence which questioned the Divinity of Jesus Christ (known as Arianism).  Saint Cyril, a man of peaceful and conciliatory temperament, opposed this movement, aligning himself with those true to Christ and teaching Nicene doctrine.   For this, he suffered exile multiple times, due to the power and political connections of the Arians at that time.  He finally returned to find Jerusalem torn with heresy, schism and strife, and wracked with crime. Even Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who was sent to help, left in despair.

They both went to the Council of Constantinople, where the amended form of the Nicene Creed was promulgated in 381.   Cyril accepted the word consubstantial–that is, Christ is of the same substance or nature as the Father.   Some said it was an act of repentance but the bishops of the Council praised him as a champion of orthodoxy against the Arians.

Following the eventual acceptance of the Nicene Doctrine, Cyril served the Church with jurisdiction over all of Jerusalem for the last five years of his life.   Ten years after Cyril’s death, the abbess, Lady Etheria, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and wrote that she found a peaceful Christian community.   This was the result of the efforts of Bishop Cyril, who suffered to heal the wounds that Arianism had inflicted on the Church.

Johann Lossaust cyril jerusalem 2

st augustine and st cyril
St Cyril and St Augustine