Posted in MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS

What is a Priest?

WHAT IS A PRIEST?

By Servant of God, Catherine Doherty – foundress of Madonna House, Combermere, Ontario, Canada

A PRIEST is a lover of God,
a priest is a lover of men,
a priest is a holy man
because he walks before the face of the All-Holy.

A priest understands all things,
a priest forgives all things,
a priest encompasses all things.

The heart of a priest is pierced, like Christ’s
with the lance of love.

The heart of a priest is open, like Christ’s
for the whole world to walk through.

The heart of a priest is a vessel of compassion,
the heart of a priest is a chalice of love,
the heart of a priest is the trysting place
of human and divine love.

A priest is a man whose goal is to be another Christ;
a priest is a man who lives to serve.

A priest is a man who has crucified himself
so that he too may be lifted up
and draw all things to Christ.

A priest is a man in love with God.
A priest is the gift of God to man
and of man to God.

A priest is the symbol of the word made flesh,
a priest is the naked sword of God’s justice,
a priest is the hand of God’s mercy,
a priest is the reflection of God’s love.

Nothing can be greater in this world than
a priest
Nothing but God Himself.

WHAT IS A PRIEST

LET US PRAY:

Prayer for Priests by Pope Benedict XVI

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest,
You offered Yourself to the Father
on the altar of the Cross
and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
gave Your priestly people
a share in Your redeeming sacrifice.
Hear our prayer for the sanctification
of our priests.
Grant that all who are ordained
to the ministerial priesthood
may be ever more conformed to You,
the divine Master.
May they preach the Gospel
with pure heart and clear conscience.
Let them be shepherds according to Your own Heart,
single-minded in service to You and to the Church
and shining examples of a holy, simple and joyful life.
Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
your Mother and ours,
draw all priests and the flocks entrusted to their care
to the fullness of eternal life where You live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

PRAYER FOR PRIESTS-BENEDICT

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Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

LENTEN REFLECTION – Wednesday of the Fifth Week – 5 April 2017

LENTEN REFLECTION – Wednesday of the Fifth Week – 5 April 2017

The Cross of Christ and Simon of Cyrene

And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.Mark 15:21

Our blessed Lord falls again and again beneath the weight of the cross, until it becomes evident to the soldiers that He will never be able to drag it to the place of execution.   They accordingly lay hold of a heathen passing by, Simon the Cyrenian and him they compel to carry the cross.    How little Simon knew the happiness in store for him when those rough soldiers seize him and force him to the ignominious task of carrying for a public criminal the instrument of his punishment!    How often we too fail to recognise in the sudden disagreeables and contradictions we encounter God’s wonderful designs of mercy to us!

Simon at first bore the cross surlily and reluctantly, chafing under the hardship inflicted on him.    But as he carries it, somehow an unaccountable change comes over him.    It has the virtue to change his heart and to make of him a devoted follower of the Crucified, one of the pillars of the Apostolic Church.    Thus many a cross that we carry reluctantly turns out to be really the means of our sanctification and salvation.

Before Simon arrives at the summit of Calvary, the cross has endeared itself to him.    He has recognised that to carry it for Jesus was no hardship but a privilege and a happiness. So too the saints learn to love the cross, to embrace it, to seek it, to carry it with all joy, to be almost discontented if they are without it.    This is the very height of peace and felicity;  for those who find their joy in the cross find everywhere around them cause for rejoicing.

– from The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations for Lent, by Father Richard Frederick Clark, S.J.

THE CROSS OF CHRIST AND SIMON OF CYRENE

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 April

Thought for the Day – 5 April

The polarisation in the Church today (but only in certain countries-never forget that the world is a big place and in most places the Church stands united) is a mild breeze compared with the tornado that ripped the Church apart during the lifetime of this saint. If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is.    The split in the Church at the time of Vincent Ferrer should have been fatal—36 long years of having two “heads.”   We cannot imagine what condition the Church today would be in if that happened today.   It is an ongoing miracle that the Church has not long since been shipwrecked on the rocks of human pride and ignorance, greed and ambition but we must always take into account the fact that the Church is Divine, it is Holy and is the Mystical Body of Christ and not our man-made institution – for that it is NOT – it is true love!   “We believe that “truth is mighty and it shall prevail”—but it sometimes takes a long time.   And so, even if we are wrong, as in St Vincent’s case, we can still become saints.   How great is our God for the “gates of hell shall not prevail.”! (portion of this comment from Fr. Don Miller, OFM)

St Vincent Ferrer, pray for us!

SR V FERRER PRAY FOR US 2

ST V FERRER PRAY FOR US 3

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

Quote/s of the Day – 5 April

Quote/s of the Day – 5 April

“Once humility is acquired, charity will come to life –
a burning flame devouring the corruption of vice and filling
the heart so full that there is no place for vanity.”

“Let devotion accompany your studies:
consult God, the giver of all science and ask Him with humility to make
you understand what you read and learn.
Interrupt your application by short prayers:  never begin or end your studies but by prayer. Learning is a gift of the Father of Lights;   do not, therefore, consider it a fruit of
your own intellect or industry.”

St Vincent Ferrer (Saint of the Day)

ST VINCENT - ONCE HUMILITY IS ACQUIREDLET DEVOTION -ST VINCENT FERRER

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 5 April

One Minute Reflection – 5 April

Love the Lord your God with all your heart………
Love your neighbour as yourself……..Mark 12:30-31

REFLECTION – “If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbour, you should pproach God first with all your heart.   Ask Him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues;  with it you can accomplishwhat you desire.” …………….St Vincent Ferrer

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to love You above all things and to do all my actions out of love for You. Help me to love others and to work for their salvation. St Vincent Ferrer, pray for us, amen.

MARK 12 - 30,31IF YOU TRULY - ST V FERRERST V FERRER PRAY FOR US

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 5 April

Our Morning Offering – 5 April

Prayer for Proper Affections Toward God
By St Vincent Ferrer

Good Jesus, let me be penetrated with love
to the very marrow of my bones,
with fear and respect toward Thee;
let me burn with zeal for Thy honour,
so that I may resent terribly all the outrages
committed against Thee, especially those
of which I myself have been guilty.
Grant further, O my God, that I may adore
and acknowledge Thee humbly as my Creator
and that, penetrated with gratitude
for all Thy benefits,
I may never cease to render Thee thanks.
Grant that I may bless Thee in all things,
praise and glorify Thee with a heart full of joy
and gladness, and that,
obeying Thee with docility
in every respect, I may one day,
despite my ingratitude and unworthiness,
be seated at Thy table together with Thy holy angels
and apostles to enjoy ineffable delights. Amen

GOOD JESUS LET ME BE PENETRATED...ST VINCENT FERRER

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 April – St Vincent Ferrer

Saint of the Day – 5 April – St Vincent Ferrer O.P. (1530-1419 aged 69) Religious Priest, Miracle-worker, Logician, Preacher, Missionary, Confessor, Teacher, Philosopher, Theologian known as the “Angel of the Apocalypse” and the “Mouthpiece of God” – Patron of  brick makers, builders, Calamonaci, Italy, Casteltermini, Agrigento, Italy, construction workers, Leganes, Philippines, Orihuela-Alicante, Spain, diocese of, pavement workers, plumbers, .  tile makers.   Representation: Bible, cardinal’s hat, Dominican preacher with a flame on his hand, Dominican preacher with a flame on his head, Dominican holding an open book while preaching, Dominican with a cardinal’s hat, Dominican with a crucifix, Dominican with a trumpet nearby, often coming down from heaven, referring to his vision, Dominican with wings, referring to his vision as being an ‘angel of the apocalypse’, pulpit, representing his life as a preacher, flame, referring to his gifts from the Holy Spirit.

saint-vincent-ferrer-01

 

Vincent was the fourth child of the nobleman Guillem Ferrer, a notary who came from Palamós and wife, Constança Miquel, apparently from Valencia itself or Girona.   Legends surround his birth.    It was said that his father was told in a dream by a Dominican friar that his son would be famous throughout the world.    His mother is said never to have experienced pain when she gave birth to him.    He was named after St. Vincent Martyr, the patron saint of Valencia.   He would fast on Wednesdays and Fridays and he loved the Passion of Christ very much.    He would help the poor and distribute alms to them.    He began his classical studies at the age of eight, his study of theology and philosophy at fourteen.

Four years later, at the age of nineteen, Ferrer entered the Order of Preachers, commonly called the Dominican Order, in England also known as Blackfriars.    As soon as he had entered the novitiate of the Order, though, he experienced temptations urging him to leave.    Even his parents pleaded with him to do so and become a secular priest. He prayed and practiced penance to overcome these trials.    Thus he succeeded in completing the year of probation and advancing to his profession.

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For a period of three years, he read solely Sacred Scripture and eventually committed it to memory.    He published a treatise on Dialectic Suppositions after his solemn profession, and in 1379 was ordained a Catholic priest at Barcelona.    He eventually became a Master of Sacred Theology and was commissioned by the Order to deliver lectures on philosophy.    He was then sent to Barcelona and eventually to the University of Lleida, where he earned his doctorate in theology.

Vincent Ferrer is described as a man of medium height, with a lofty forehead and very distinct features.    His hair was fair in colour and tonsured.    His eyes were very dark and expressive;   his manner gentle.    Pale was his ordinary colour.    His voice was strong and powerful, at times gentle, resonant and vibrant.

Three men claimed to be pope in the 1300s and 1400s. Kings, princes, priests, and laypeople fought one another to support the different claimants for the Chair of Peter. This chaos led to the Western Schism, and God raised up Vincent Ferrer.

When Vincent joined the Dominicans, he zealously practiced penance, study and prayer. He was a teacher of philosophy and a naturally gifted preacher called the “mouthpiece of God.”  His saintly life was what made his preaching so effective.  Vincent’s subjects were judgment, heaven, hell and the need for repentance.

Even the holiest people can be misled. Pope Urban VI was the real pope and lived in Rome but Vincent and many others thought that Clement VII and his successor Benedict XIII, who lived in Avignon, France, were the true popes. Vincent convinced kings, princes, clergy and almost all of Spain to give loyalty to them.   After Clement VII died, Vincent tried to get both Benedict and the pope in Rome to abdicate so that a new election could be held. It hurt Vincent when Benedict refused.

Vincent came to see the error in Benedict’s claim to the papacy.   Discouraged and ill, Vincent begged Christ to show him the truth.    In a vision, he saw Jesus with Saint Dominic and Saint Francis, commanding him to “go through the world preaching Christ.” For the next 20 years, Vincent spread the Good News throughout Europe.    He fasted, preached, worked miracles and drew many people to become faithful Christians.   Vincent returned to Benedict in Avignon and asked him to resign.    Benedict refused. One day while Benedict was presiding over an enormous assembly, Vincent, though close to death, mounted the pulpit and denounced him as the false pope.    He encouraged everyone to be faithful to the one, true Catholic Church in Rome.    Benedict fled, knowing his supporters had deserted him.   Later, the Council of Constance met to end the Western Schism.

St Vincent always slept on the floor, he had the gift of tongues (he spoke only Spanish but all listeners understood him, he lived in an endless fast, celebrated Mass daily and known as a miracle worker;  he is reported to have brought a murdered man back to life to prove the power of Christianity to the onlookers and he would heal people throughout a hospital just by praying in front of it.   He worked so hard to build up the Church that he became the patron of people in building trades.

Because of the Spanish’s harsh methods of converting Jews at the time, the means which Vincent had at his disposal were either baptism or spoliation.   He won them over by his preaching, estimated at 25,000.   Vincent also attended the Disputation of Tortosa (1413–14), called by Avignon Pope Benedict XIII in an effort to convert Jews to Catholicism after a debate among scholars of both faiths.

Vincent died on 5 April 1419 at Vannes in Brittany, at the age of sixty-nine and was buried in Vannes Cathedral.    He was canonised by Pope Calixtus III on 3 June 1455.  His feast day is celebrated on 5 April.   The Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer, a pontifical religious institute founded in 1979, is named for him.