Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers

Holy Week – Monday 10 April 2017

Let me receive Your forgiveness and mercy.
The second Servant song shapes our reflection today

as we watch that amazing dinner scene on Tuesday of this passion week.

We experience the pain of His knowing
that He will be betrayed and denied.

Yet, the hour He is about to face is the hour of His Glory.

And He promises that where He is going, we will surely follow.

Our desire is to celebrate the gift being offered us.

It is too little, he says,
  for you to be my servant,
  to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
  and restore the survivors of Israel.
I will make you a light to the nations,
  that my salvation may reach
  to the ends of the earth.

Isaiah 49

APRIL 10 STATIONS 7&8

The Seventh Station:
Jesus Falls A Second Time

st7

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities the people admired in You was Your strength in time of ridicule – Your ability to rise above the occasion.    But now, You fall a second time – apparently conquered by the pain of the Cross.    People who judged You by appearances made a terrible mistake.    What looked like weakness was unparalleled strength!

I often judge by appearances and how wrong I am most of the time.    The world judges entirely by this fraudulent method of discerning.    It looks down upon those who apparently have given their best and are now in need.    It judges the poor as failures, the sick as useless and the aged as a burden.    How wrong that kind of judgment is in the light of your second fall!    Your greatest moment was Your weakest one.    Your greatest triumph was in failure.    Your greatest act of love was in desolation.    Your greatest show of power was in that utter lack of strength that threw You to the ground.

Weak and powerful Jesus, give me the grace to see beyond what is visible and be more aware of Your Wisdom in the midst of weakness.    Give the aged, sick, handicapped, retarded, deaf and blind the fruit of joy so they may ever be aware of the Father’s gift and the vast difference between what the world sees and what the Father sees that they may glory in their weakness so the power of God may be manifest.
Amen

The Eighth Station:
Jesus Speaks to the Holy Women

st 8

My Jesus, I am amazed at Your compassion for others in Your time of need.    When I suffer, I have a tendency to think only of myself but You forgot Yourself completely. When You saw the holy women weeping over Your torments, You consoled them and taught them to look deeper into Your Passion.    You wanted them to understand that the real evil to cry over was the rejection You suffered from the Chosen people – a people set apart from every other nation, who refused to accept God’s Son.
The Act of Redemption would go on and no one would ever be able to take away Your dignity as Son of God but the evil, greed, jealousy and ambition in the hearts of those who should have recognised You was the issue to grieve over.    To be so close to God made man and miss Him completely was the real crime.

My Jesus, I fear I do the same when I strain gnats and then swallow camels – when I take out the splinter in my brother’s eye and forget the beam in my own.    It is such a gift – this gift of faith.    It is such a sublime grace to possess Your own Spirit.    Why haven’t I advanced in holiness of life?    I miss the many disguises you take upon Yourself and see only people, circumstances and human events, not the loving hand of the Father guiding all things.    Help all those who are discouraged, sick, lonely and old to recognise Your Presence in their midst.
Amen

Stations by Mother Angelica

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Posted in ART DEI, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 10 April

Thought for the Day – 10 April

Chartres Cathedral has been called a “sermon in stone and stained glass” and it demonstrates what can happen when faith bursts into culture.   St Fulbert of Chartres recognised that unless faith influences culture, it’s voice remains weak.   It is not enough to believe – we have to make the Christian faith part of our lives and part of the world we live in.   So, as Chartres teaches and impacts our hearts and minds with awe and faith, so our lives too should be a “school of faith” and teach our world with awe and belief!

St Fulbert pray for us!

ST FULBERT PRAY FOR US 2

 

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

Quote of the Day – 10 April

Quote of the Day – 10 April

“As they were looking on, so we too,
gaze on His wounds as He hangs.
We see His blood as He dies.
We see the price offered by the redeemer,
touch the scars of His resurrection.
He bows His head, as if to kiss you.
His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you.
His arms are extended that He may embrace you.
His whole body is displayed for Your redemption.
Ponder how great these things are.
Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind:
as He was once fixed to the Cross
in every part of His body for you,
so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul!”

St. Augustine

AS THEY WERE LOOKING ON SO WE TOO GAZE ON HIS WOUNDS-ST AUGUSTINE

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 April

One Minute Reflection – 10 April

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit……Luke 23:45-46

REFLECTION – “He died, but He vanquished death; in Himself He put an end to what we feared;  He took it upon Himself and He vanquished it, as a mighty hunter He captured and slew the lion.
Where is death? Seek it in Christ, for it exists no longer; but it did exist and now it is dead.
O life, O death of death!  Be of good heart; it will die in us, also.   What has taken place in our head will take place in His members; death will die in us also.   But when?   At the end of the world, at the resurrection of the dead in which we believe and concerning which we do not doubt.”…………….St Augustine (Sermon 233:3-4)

PRAYER – God of love, my prayer is simple:  Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.
I know only that I cannot have real strength unless I rely on You.   I cannot feel protected from my many weaknesses until I turn to You for forgiveness and your unalterable love. Help me to share this strength, protection and love with others.   St Fulbert of Chartres you worked your whole life to bring the truth and love of God to all, please pray for us, amen.

LUKE 23-45-46he died but he vanquished death-st augustineST FULBERTPRAY FOR US

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 10 April

Our Morning Offering – 10 April

Excerpt from the Prayer “You are Christ”
by St Augustine

You are Christ,
my Holy Father,
my Tender God,
my Great King,
my Good Shepherd,
my Only Master,
my Best Helper,
my Most Beautiful and my Beloved,
my Living Bread,
my Priest Forever,
my Leader to my Country,
my True Light,
my Holy Sweetness,
my Straight Way,
my Excellent Wisdom,
my Pure Simplicity,
my Peaceful Harmony,
my Entire Protection,
my Good Portion,
my Everlasting Salvation.
May the live coal of Your Love
grow hot within my spirit
and break forth into a perfect fire;
may it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart;
may it glow in my innermost being;
may it blaze in hidden recesses of my soul;
and in the days of my consummation
may I be found consummated with You!
Amen.

YOU ARE CHRIST-ST AUGUSTINE

Posted in ART DEI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Saint of the Day – 10 April – St Fulbert of Chartres

Saint of the Day – 10 April – St Fulbert of Chartres (c960 in Italy-1029 in Chartres, France) Bishop, Writer, Poet, Reformer, Marian devotee, Preacher, Educator, Advisor – Attributes – preaching monk, in his sick bed with the Virgin Mary nearby.

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Fulbert was born in Italy around the year 960.    He was taught by the famous Gerbert, who became Pope Sylvester II in the year 999.    Fulbert followed Pope Sylvester to Rome. When Pope Sylvester II died in 1003, Fulbert went to France where he started a school at Chartres.    This school was the most famous seat of education in France.    Scholars from all over France, Italy, Germany and England attended school there.    Fulbert became chancellor of the church of Chartres and was the treasurer of St. Hilary’s at Poitiers. Later he was elected bishop of Chartres and he rebuilt the cathedral when it burned down.    He had the assistance of King Canute of England, Duke William of Aquitaine and other European leaders in rebuilding the cathedral in great splendour.

The veneration of the Virgin Mary was already established in the Church and Fulbert use this to teach her importance.    The results were twofold, it helped to ease people’s fears and greatly expanded the Marian Cult and Chartres’s position in it.   Chartres was already involved due to its being the holder of a sacred relic of Mary’s, the “Sancta Camisia”, (Holy Tunic), which has been variously described as being worn by Mary during the Annunciation or during the birth of Christ.   This tunic was already the subject of a miracle because of its use by an earlier bishop of Chartres, Gauscelinus, in 911 to ward off the invading Normans.    Fulbert expanded on the theme of miracles involving Mary, especially those cases where she had interceded between sinners and God.    In this way people could pray for Mary’s intercession with God on their behalf in the perceived coming apocalypse.   Fulbert himself was involved in one of these miracles;   when he was gravely ill Mary had healed him with a drop of milk because of his devotion to her.    This also served to give Mary the image of not only the mother of Christ but for all who believed in her, their mother too.    All of this led to Fulbert’s ultimate goal of promoting a special feast day to celebrate Mary’s Nativity.

To gain popular support for this feast, Fulbert wrote his famous sermon “Approbate Consuetudinis” in which he relates Mary’s miracles.    He also brings in the evidence of Mary’s family lineage, which the Bible traces back to King David.    In his sermon Fulbert used the symbolism of the “Stirps Jesse” (Tree of Jesse) to help explain Mary’s familial relationship to the great men of the past and how it was determined, as described in Scripture, that she would be the one to whom Christ would be born.   This again served to enhance her importance to the world and convince people of the need to celebrate her birth.   This sermon led to a number of liturgical changes throughout the next few centuries in Europe.   The sermon itself, or variations of it and the chants associated with it, became part of the service for the feast day of Mary’s Nativity on 8 September    By promoting the Feast day of Mary’s Nativity, Fulbert was able to advance the importance of Mary and therefore the cult of her veneration grew.    This in turn enhanced the importance of the Cathedral of Chartres as a centre for Marian devotion and also gave people a spiritual symbol to turn to in times of need at the turn of the millennium.

During his time in Chartres Fulbert played an important role in the development and spread of the ideas that led to the Gregorian church reforms of the eleventh century under Pope Gregory VII.    These reforms concerned the division between the powers of church and state, especially in the appointment of new abbots and bishops.    In the eleventh century the secular rulers had a habit of appointing whomever they wanted to fill vacant church positions.    Fulbert and some of his students, such as Abbot Albert of Marmoutier, routinely wrote that it was up to the clergy and the citizens of the diocese involved to elect a replacement, the authority being found in the rulings of the First Council of Nicaea (325) and the Council of Antioch (264-272).    These reforms also stated that the Church, not the state, was responsible for disciplining the clergy.    The issues of simony (the buying of church offices) and immoral clerics were also addressed by Fulbert.    Although the reforms were issued by Gregory VII, some of its ideas came from Fulbert, whose writings were disseminated through his students.

After Chartres Cathedral burned in 1020, Fulbert devoted his energies to raising funds for its rebuilding, which was completed in 1037, nine years after his death.   In 1194 the cathedral was again almost completely destroyed by fire; only the crypt, some of the west facade and two towers remained.    The crypt has been incorporated into all subsequent reconstructions.    The construction of the Gothic-style cathedral that stands to-day began afterward.   It is in this cathedral that we see Fulbert’s influences that resulted from his promotion of the Feast day of Mary’s Nativity and the cult of the Virgin Mary.   The sculptures around the three portals depict the life of Mary, who is the central figure in the Royal Portal.   One of the cathedral’s stained glass windows depicts the Tree of Jesse, which traces Mary’s family and the Holy Family, again a reference to Fulbert’s teachings in regards to the Feast of Mary’s Nativity.

St Fulbert died of natural causes on April 10, 1029.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we pray that St. Fulbert will intercede for our clergy when they need strengthening to make the right decisions.    May they always stay true to Church teachings and to You, we pray.  Amen.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 10 April

Bl Antoine Neyrot
Bl Antonio Vallesio
St Apollonius of Alexandria
Bl Archangelus Piacentini
St Bademus
St Bede the Younger
St Beocca of Chertsey
Bl Boniface Zukowski
Bl Eberwin of Helfenstein
St Ethor of Chertsey
St Ezekiel the Prophet
St Fulbert of Chartres
St Gajan
St Hedda of Peterborough
St Macarius of Antioch
St Maddalena of Canossa
St Malchus of Waterford
Bl Marco Mattia
Bl Mark Fantucci
St Michael de Sanctis
St Palladius of Auxerre
St Paternus the Scot

Martyrs of Carthage – 50 saints: A group of 50 Christians who were imprisoned in a pen of snakes and scorpions, and then martyred, all during the persecutions of Decius. Only six of their names have come down to us – Africanus, Alessandro, Massimo, Pompeius, Terence and Teodoro. Beheaded in 250 at Carthage.
Martyrs of Georgia: Approximately 6,000 Christian monks and lay people martyred in Georgia in 1616 for their faith by a Muslim army led by Shah Abbas I of Persia.
Martyrs of Ostia: A group of criminals who were brought to the faith by Pope Saint Alexander I while he was in prison with them. Martyrs. Drowned by being taken off shore from Ostia, Italy, in a boat which was then scuttled, c.115