The HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTION FOR APRIL 2017
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
The HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER INTENTION FOR APRIL 2017
Devotion for the Month of April – The Blessed Sacrament
Every Catholic Church contains a tabernacle in which the Body of Christ is reserved between Masses, and the faithful are encouraged to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Frequent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a path to spiritual growth.
The practice of Eucharistic adoration on earth not only brings us grace but prepares us for our life in Heaven. As Pope Pius XII wrote in Mediator Dei (1947):
“These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb “who was slain.”
This month, why not make a special effort to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate: You can start simply by making the Sign of the Cross and uttering a short profession of faith, such as “My Lord and my God!” as you pass a Catholic church. If you have the time to stop for five minutes, all the better.
“My Lord, I offer Thee myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thou hast died for me and I in turn make myself over to Thee. I am not my own. Thou hast bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for Thine. I put away reputation and honour and influence and power, for my praise and strength shall be in Thee. Enable me to carry on what I profess. Amen.”
AN EXPLANATION OF AN OFFERING OF ONESELF TO CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST
We should leave each visit to the Blessed Sacrament renewed in our commitment to live a Christian life. This Offering of Oneself to Christ in the Eucharist, written by John Henry Cardinal Newman, reminds us of the sacrifice that Christ made for us, in dying on the Cross and asks Christ in the Blessed Sacrament to help us to dedicate our lives to Him. It is the perfect prayer to end a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
LENTEN REFLECTION – The Fifth Week – Monday 3 April 2017
Excerpt from a Homily of St John Chrysostum Doctor and Father of the Church (347-407
Nay, if you desire to honour the sacrifice, offer your soul, for which also it was slain; cause that to become golden; but if that remain worse than lead or potter’s clay, while the vessel is of gold, what is the profit?
Let not this therefore be our aim, to offer golden vessels only but to do so from honest earnings likewise. For these are of the sort that is more precious even than gold, these that are without injuriousness. For the church is not a gold foundry nor a workshop for silver but an assembly of angels. Wherefore it is souls which we require, since in fact God accepts these for the souls’ sake.
That table at that time was not of silver nor that cup of gold, out of which Christ gave His disciples His own blood; but precious was everything there….
Would you do honour to Christ’s body? Neglect Him not when naked; do not while here you honour Him with silken garments, neglect Him perishing without of cold and nakedness. For He that said, This is my body, and by His word confirmed the fact, This same said, You saw me an hungered, and fed me not; and, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. Matthew 25:42, 45 For this indeed needs not coverings, but a pure soul; but that requires much attention.
Let us learn therefore to be strict in life and to honour Christ as He Himself desires. For to Him who is honoured that honour is most pleasing, which it is His own will to have, not that which we account best. Since Peter too thought to honour Him by forbidding Him to wash his feet but his doing so was not an honour, but the contrary.
Even so do thou honour Him with this honour, which He ordained, spending your wealth on poor people. Since God has no need at all of golden vessels but of golden souls.
And these things I say, not forbidding such offerings to be provided; but requiring you, together with them and before them, to give alms………..
For what is the profit, when His table indeed is full of golden cups but He perishes with hunger? First fill Him, being an hungered and then abundantly deck out His table also. Do you make Him a cup of gold, while you give Him not a cup of cold water? And what is the profit? Do you furnish His table with cloths bespangled with gold, while to Himself you afford not even the necessary covering? And what good comes of it? For tell me, should you see one at a loss for necessary food and omit appeasing his hunger, while you first overlaid his table with silver; would He indeed thank you and not rather be indignant? What, again, if seeing one wrapped in rags and stiff with cold, you should neglect giving him a garment and build golden columns, saying, thou were doing it to His honour, would He not say that thou were mocking and account it an insult and that the most extreme?
Let this then be your thought with regard to Christ also, when He is going about a wanderer and a stranger, needing a roof to cover Him; and thou, neglecting to receive Him, deckest out a pavement, and walls, and capitals of columns and hangest up silver chains by means of lamps but Himself bound in prison you will not even look upon.
Thought for the Day – 3 April
Gradually Father Luigi took on the fundamental traits of a spiritual life centred on Jesus Christ, loved and imitated in the humility and poverty of His incarnation in Bethlehem, in the simplicity of His working life at Nazareth, in His total immolation on the cross on Calvary and in the silence of the Eucharist. And since Jesus had said: “Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me”, it is to them that every day Father Luigi devoted his life with the practical commitment to “seek first the kingdom of God and his justice” convinced that all the rest will be given according to the gospel promise. All the works he set in motion during his life reflect this preferential option for the poorest, the lowliest, the abandoned.
The more we read of the Saints, the more we know the answer without any doubt. For it has been given to us by God Himself, “whatever you do unto the least of these my brethren you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:45) So why on earth do we keep asking the same questions?
St Luigi Scrosoppi Pray for us!
Quote of the Day – 3 April
St Luigi Scrosoppi
One Minute Reflection – 3 April 2017
I am not seekng my own will but the will of him who sent me…………….John 5:30
REFLECTION – “The weariness, persevering effort, constant work
and the tiresome attention needed to assist
and teach them should not cause you discouragement
because you know you are doing all this for Jesus”.
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, let me strive – through constant prayer and careful reflection to know Your will for me. Then help me Lord to offer You what You desire rather than what I want. Let me love You first and above all and then my neighbour as myself. St Luigi Scrosoppi, pray for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 3 April
Lord Jesus, think on me,
and purge away my sin.
From earth-born passions set me free,
and make me pure within.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
amid the battle’s strife.
In all my pain and misery
be Thou my health and life.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
nor let me go astray.
Through darkness and perplexity
point Thou the heavenly way.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
that, when this life is past,
I may the eternal brightness see,
and share Thy joy at last.
By Bishop Synesius of Cyrene (370-430)
From the Breviary – Lent
Saint of the Day – 3 April – St Luigi Scrosoppi C.O. (1804-1884 died aged 79) – Priest, Founder, Apostle of Charity – Patron of Sisters of Providence of Saint Cajetan of Thiene, footballers and Aids sufferers.
Luigi Scrosoppi (1804-84) spent much of his life fighting anti-clericalism in Italy and brought comfort to the poor. The son of a jeweller, Aloysius Scrosoppi – always known as Luigi – was born in Udine, in northeast Italy. His family was extremely devout, and his two elder brothers, Carlo and Giovanni, were ordained before him.
Luigi grew up during with famine, typhus and smallpox endemic. Even as a boy he felt the obligation to provide relief, inspired by Matthew 25:40: “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” At 25, the year before he was ordained, Luigi joined a group of priests and young teachers dedicated to educating poor and abandoned girls, both in the town of Udine and in the surrounding countryside.
He gave himself tirelessly to fundraising and was soon running an organisation which accommodated over 300 students in a building which became known as the House of the Destitute. Scrosoppi, however, was not inclined to take any credit. “The Providence of God,” he wrote, “who prepares minds and hearts to undertake his works, was alone the founder of this Institute.”
He gathered together a team of young women to teach sewing and embroidery. Nine of them decided to mark their dedication more formally and in 1837, under Luigi Scrosoppi’s direction, constituted themselves the Sisters of Providence. The congregation received official recognition from Pope Pius IX in 1871.
In 1846, aged 42, Luigi Scrosoppi, joined the Congregation of the Oratory in Udine and redoubled his work for the Sisters of Providence, promising to found 12 houses for them before he died. This target he achieved and also opened a school for deaf-mute girls. In the 1860s the anti-clerical policies of the government in the Udine region forced the Oratory to close. But Luigi Scrosoppi’s determination and practical support enabled the Sisters of Providence to carry on their work.
Now an old man, but with his habitual openness of spirit, he understood that the time had come to hand over the reins to the Sisters, and this he did with tranquility and hope. At the same time he maintained contact with them all through his letters in which he strengthened the ties of affection and love, and in his paternal concern never tired of recommending community spirit and trust.
Through his deep union with God and his experience over many years Father Luigi had acquired a special spiritual wisdom and intuition which enabled him to read hearts: sometimes he even revealed the gift of knowledge about secret inner thoughts and situations which were known only to the person concerned.
At the end of 1883, as his strength began to decline, he was forced to give up all work, and he constantly suffered from a high fever. The illness took its inexorable course. He refold the Sisters not to be afraid “because it was God who raised up their religious family and made it grow and He it is who will see to its future”.
When he knew the end was near, he wished to greet everyone. So he wrote his last words to the Sisters: “After my death, your Congregation will have many troubles but afterwards it will have a new life. Charity! Charity! This is the spirit of your religious family: to save souls and to save them with Charity”.
During the night of Thursday, the 3rd of April 1884, he finally went to meet Jesus. The whole of Udine and the people of the surrounding countryside hastened to see him one last time and to beg his protection from heaven.
Through his efforts on behalf of the little ones, of the poor, of young people in difficulty, of those who are suffering, of all those living in trying circumstances, Father Luigi still continues today to show everyone the path of union with God, of compassion and of love, and is still ready to accompany the steps of those who entrust themselves to the Providence of God.
St. Luigi Scrosoppi was canonised on June 10, 2001 – It was at the intercession of St Luigi that a Zambian man, now Fr Peter Changu Shitima, was miraculously cured of AIDS in 1996. He was at that time a member of the Oratory at Oudtshoorn, near Cape Town in South Africa and it was to a member of St Philip’s family that his friends turned for help. Read the full story here https://zenit.org/articles/the-aids-miracle-that-led-to-a-canonization/
and here is Fr Shitima at St Luigi’s Canonisation.
Nine years later, he was named as patron saint of footballers (soccer players) by Bishop Alois Schwarz. Today his name is invoked by sufferers from Aids.
Bl Alexandrina di Letto
St Attala of Taormina
St Benignus of Tomi
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas
Bl Gandulphus of Binasco
Bl Iacobus Won Si-bo
Bl John of Penna
St Joseph the Hymnographer
Bl Juan Otazua Madariaga
Bl Lawrence Pak Chwi-deuk
St Luigi Scrosoppi of Udine
Bl Maria Teresa Casini
St Nicetas of Medicion
Bl Piotr Edward Dankowski
St Richard of Chichester
Bl Robert Middleton
Bl Stephen Rowsham
Bl Thurstan Hunt
St Vulpian of Tyre