Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, STATIONS of the CROSS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The STATIONS of the CROSS

The Stations of the Cross – 18 April – Maundy Thursday

The Stations of the Cross – 18 April – Maundy Thursday

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Begin with an Act of Contrition

Forgive my sins, O my God,
forgive my sins –
the sins of youth,
the sins of age,
the sins of my soul
and the sins of my body,
the sins which, through frailty,
I have committed,
my deliberate and grievous sins,
the sins I know
and the sins I do not know,
the sins I have laboured so long
to hide from others,
that now they are hidden
from my own memory;
let me be absolved
from all these iniquities
and delivered from
the bond of all these evils,
by the Life, Passion and Death
of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen

act-of-contrition-7-march-thurs-after-ash-wed-2019.jpg

The Ninth Station
Again, a third time, Jesus falls

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
V. We adore You, O Christ and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

JESUS had now reached almost to the top of Calvary but, before He had gained the very spot where He was to be crucified, again He fell and is again dragged up and goaded onwards by the brutal soldiery.

We are told in Holy Scripture of three falls of Satan, the Evil Spirit.   The first was in the beginning; the second, when the Gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven were preached to the world, the third will be at the end of all things.   The first is told us by St John the Evangelist.   He says: “There was a great battle in heaven.   Michael and his Angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels.   And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.   And that great dragon was cast out, the old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan.”   The second fall, at the time of the Gospel, is spoken of by our Lord when He says, “I saw Satan, like lightning, falling from heaven.” And the third by the same St John:  “There came down fire from God out of heaven, … and the devil … was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone.”

These three falls—the past, the present and the future—the Evil Spirit had in mind when he moved Judas to betray our Lord.   This was just his hour.   Our Lord, when He was seized, said to His enemies, “This is your hour and the power of darkness.”   Satan knew his time was short and thought he might use it to good effect.   But little dreaming that he would be acting in behalf of the world’s redemption, which our Lord’s passion and death were to work out, in revenge and, as he thought, in triumph, he smote Him once, he smote Him twice, he smote Him thrice, each successive time a heavier blow.   The weight of the Cross, the barbarity of the soldiers and the crowd, were but his instruments.   O Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, the Word Incarnate, we praise, adore and love You for Your ineffable condescension, even to allow TYourself, thus for a time, to fall into the hands and under the power of the Enemy of God and man, in order thereby, to save us, from being his servants and companions for eternity.

Or this

This is the worst fall of the three.   His strength has for a while utterly failed Him and it is some time before the barbarous soldiers can bring Him to.   Ah! it was His anticipation of what was to happen to me.   I get worse and worse.   He sees the end from the beginning.   He was thinking of me all the time He dragged Himself along, up the Hill of Calvary.   He saw, that I should fall again in spite of all former warnings and former assistance.   He saw, that I should become secure and self-confident and that my enemy would then assail me with some new temptation, to which I never thought I should be exposed.   I thought my weakness lay all on one particular side which I knew.   I had not a dream that I was not strong on the other.   And so, Satan came down on my unguarded side and got the better of me, from my self-trust and self-satisfaction.   I was wanting in humility.   I thought no harm would come on me, I thought I had outlived the danger of sinning, I thought it was an easy thing to get to heaven and I was not watchful  . It was my pride and so I fell a third time.

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.the ninth station jesus falls the third time - he sees the end from the beginning - bl john henry newman 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

I love You, Lord Jesus,
my love above all things,
I repent with my whole heart
for having offended You.
Never permit me to separate myself
from You again grant that I
may love always
and then do with me what You will.
(St Alphonsus Liguori)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Holy Week Thoughts – Maundy Thursday – 18 April – The perfection of love

Holy Week Thoughts – Maundy Thursday – 18 April

The perfection of love

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Treatise 84

Dear brethren, the Lord has marked out for us the fullness of love that we ought to have for each other.   He tells us – No-one has greater love than the man who lays down his life for his friends.   In these words, the Lord tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves.   John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in one of his letters – As Christ laid down His life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.   We should indeed love one another as He loved us, He who laid down His life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon:  If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you, then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself.   What is this ruler’s table, if not the one at which we receive the body and blood of Him who laid down His life for us?   What does it mean to sit at this table if not to approach it with humility? What does it mean to observe carefully what is set before you, if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift?   What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that one must provide the same kind of meal oneself, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down His life for us, so we in our turn, ought to lay down our lives, for our brothers?   This is what the Hpostle Paul said – Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in his footsteps.

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal.”   This is what the blessed martyrs did, with such burning love.   If we are to give true meaning, to our celebration of their memorials, to our approaching the Lord’s table, in the very banquet at which they were fed, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal.”

At this table of the Lord we do not commemorate the martyrs in the same way as we commemorate others who rest in peace.  We do not pray for the martyrs as we pray for those others, rather, they pray for us, that we may follow in His footsteps.   They practised the perfect love, of which the Lord said, there could be none greater.   They provided “the same kind of meal” as they had themselves received at the Lord’s table.

This must not be understood as saying, that we can be the Lord’s equals by bearing witness to Him, to the extent of shedding our blood.   He had the power of laying down His life, we by contrast, cannot choose the length of our lives and we die, even if it is against our will.   He, by dying, destroyed death in Himself;  we are freed from death only in His death.   His body did not see corruption, our body will see corruption and only then be clothed through Him, in incorruption, at the end of the world.   He needed no help from us in saving us, without Him, we can do nothing.   He gave Himself to us, as the vine to the branches, apart from Him, we cannot have life.

Finally, even if brothers die for brothers, yet no martyr by shedding his blood brings forgiveness for the sins of his brothers, as Christ brought forgiveness to us.   In this, He gave us, not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing.   Inasmuch, then, as they shed their blood for their brothers, the martyrs provided “the same kind of meal” as they had received at the Lord’s table.   Let us then love one another as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.he need no help from us - st augustine - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 18 April – Love, or the name of God

Quote/s of the Day – 18 April – Maundy Thursday

Love, or the name of God

St John Climacus (579-649)

The Ladder of Divine Ascent; 30,6-9.21.16

God is love. (1Jn 4:8)   So he who wishes to define this, tries with bleary eyes to measure the sand in the ocean.

Love, by reason of its nature, is a resemblance to God, as far as that is possible for mortals.   In its activity it is inebriation of the soul and by its distinctive property, it is a fountain of faith, an abyss of patience, a sea of humility.

Love is essentially the banishment, of every kind of contrary, for love thinks no evil.  Love, dispassion and adoption, are distinguished, as sons from one another, by name and name only.   Just as light, fire and flame combine to form one power, it is the same with love, dispassion and adoption.love by reason of its nature - st john climacus - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

He who has perfectly united his feeling to God is mystically led by Him to an understanding of His words.   But without this union, it is difficult to speak about God.

If the face of a loved one, clearly and completely changes us and makes us cheerful, joyous and carefree, what will the face of the Lord not do, when He makes His presence felt, invisibly in a soul?if the face of a loved one - st john climacus 15 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

“Love wakes much and sleeps little 
and, in sleeping, does not sleep. 
It faints but is not weary; 
it is restricted in its liberty
and is great freedom. 
It sees reasons to fear 
and does not fear 
but, like an ember or a spark of fire, 
flames always upward, 
by the fervour of its love, toward God
and through the special help of grace,
is delivered from all perils and dangers.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)love-wakes-much-and-sleeps-little-thomas-a-kempis-14-june-2018.jpg

 

Posted in HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 April -He loved them to the end…”

One Minute Reflection – 18 April – Holy Thursday, Gospel: John 13:1–15

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end...John 13:1john 13 1 -now before the feast of the passover - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

REFLECTION“The footwashing” – This shows “His love for them to the end” – this is an act of love that Peter, understandably, perceives as completely unacceptable, as turning the world upside-down. Yet, precisely this inversion, is the most upright thing possible. One must first let it happen to himself, precisely as the Lord did it – in His incomparable love’s humbling – before he can take it as “an example” (13:14) for himself and practice this self-abasement with the brethren.  This is the Gospel’s tangible demonstration of the subsequent passage’s description of the mystery of the Eucharist – Christians should, like Christ Himself, become edible food and potable drink, for each other.”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)the footwashing - this shows his love for them to the end - hans urs von blathasar 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

“Christianity is above all a gift: God gives himself to us – He does not give some thing but Himself. And this takes place not only at the beginning, at the moment of our conversion. He continually remains the One who gives. He always offers us His gifts anew. He always precedes us. For this reason, the central action of being Christians is the Eucharist: gratitude for having been gratified, the joy for the new life that He gives us.”...Pope Benedict XVI 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supperchristianity-is-above-all-a-gift-pope-benedict-18 april 2019 also used 29 march 2018-holy-thursday.jpg

PRAYER – Love of You, with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness.   Increase then Your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in Your Son’s Death, You made us hope for what we believe, You may likewise, in His Resurrection, make us come to You, our final end.  Listen we beg, to the prayers of Your holy ones and may the Blessed Mother walk along with us and keep our hand, ever in hers.   Through Jesus Himself, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.our lady mother of sorrows pray for us 26 march 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 18 April – Jesus Christ Crucified, our Salvation

Our Morning Offering – 18 April – Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Jesus Christ Crucified, our Salvation
By St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108)
Father of the Church

Lord Jesus Christ
on the human side
You are sprung from David’s line,
Son of God, according
to God’s will and power,
born of the Virgin Mary,
baptised by John
and actually Crucified for us in the flesh,
under Pontius Pilate and Herod the Tetrach.
On the third day You raised a standard,
to rally Your saints and faithful forever,
in the one Body of Your Church.
By the grace and power of these mysteries,
fit us out with unshakeable faith,
nail us body and soul to Your Cross
and root us in love
by Your blood shed for us.
O Saviour of the world,
living and reigning,
now and forever,
amen.lord jesus christ, by st ignatius of antioch maundy thursday 18 april 2019.jpg

Posted in HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, The PASSION

Maundy or Holy Thursday – 18 April

Maundy or Holy Thursday – 18 April

The last three days of Holy Week are referred to as the Easter or Sacred Triduum (Triduum Sacrum), the three-part drama of Christ’s redemption – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.illustrated-guide-to-the-triduum-full-size.png

Holy Thursday is also known as “Maundy Thursday.”   The word maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (commandment) which is the first word of the Gospel acclamation:

Mandátum novum do vobis dicit Dóminus, ut diligátis ínvicem, sicut diléxi vos.   “I give you a new commandment, Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)
These are the words spoken by our Lord to His apostles at the Last Supper, after He completed the washing of the feet.   We should imitate Christ’s humility in the washing of the feet.infographic-holy-thursday.jpg

Except for the resurrection on Easter, Holy Thursday is possibly one of the most important, complex and profound days of celebration in the Catholic Church.   Holy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood.last supper - maxresdefault.jpg

During the Last Supper, Jesus offers Himself as the Passover sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb and teaches that every ordained priest is to follow the same sacrifice in the exact same way.   Christ also bids farewell to His followers and prophesies that one of them will betray Him and hand Him over to the Roman soldiers.

Around the world, Bishops and priests come together at their local Cathedrals on Holy Thursday morning to celebrate the institution of the priesthood.   During the Mass, the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism that will be used for Baptism, Confirmation and Anointing of the sick or dying.   At this Mass, the bishop washes the feet of twelve priests to symbolise Christ’s washing of His twelve Apostles, our first bishops and priests.

Later that night, after sundown – because Passover began at sundown- the Holy Thursday Liturgy takes place, marking the end of Lent and the beginning of the sacred “Triduum,” or three, of Holy Week.   This Mass stresses the importance Jesus puts on the humility of service and the need for cleansing with water, a symbol of baptism.   Also emphasised are the critical importance of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of Christ’s Body, which we now find present in the consecrated Host.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the faithful are invited to continue Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night, just as the disciples were invited to stay up with the Lord during His agony in the garden before His betrayal by Judas.

After Holy Thursday, no Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil celebrates and proclaims the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“In spite of all this, we do not remain passive recipients of the divine goodness.   God gratifies us as personal and living partners.   The love that is given is the dynamic of “loving together,” it is intended to be a new life within us, beginning from God.   We thus understand the words that, at the end of the account of the washing of the feet, Jesus speaks to His disciples and to all of us:  “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34).   The “new commandment” does not consist in a new and difficult norm, one that did not exist before.   The new commandment consists in a loving together with Him who loved us first.”

Pope Benedict XVI – 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper

i-give-you-a-new-commandment-pope-benedict-holy-thursday-29-march-2008.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 April – Blessed James Oldo OFS (1364-1404)

Saint of the Day – 18 April – Blessed James Oldo OFS (1364-1404) – Priest, widower, Apostle of Charity, Preacher, painter, musician – born in 1364 in Lodi, near Milan, Italy and died on 18 April 1404 of an unknown natural cause, though it is believed it was the plague.  He is also known as James of Oldo, James D’Oldo, James of Lodi, Jakob, Jacopo, Giacomo. His body is incorrupt.blessed-james-oldo.jpg

Blessed James came from a wealthy family.   He was a painter, a singer, a musician and – it was said at the time – the best dancer in town.   James fell in love with Catherine in their home town and they found each other equally in love with the amusements that made up so much of their lives.   All was directed towards the finer goods of this world.

The plague broke out in Lodi, however and the, by now, parents of three young daughters, found themselves in danger.   So they left their city dwelling for Catherine’s father’s place in the country.   Despite those precautions, two of his daughters died from the plague.   James determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in heaven and to build God’s realm on earth.   From then on he avoided the luscious pleasures of this life.   At that point he realised what a fool he had been in chasing down all these passing things.   He still painted but now it was only religious art designed to point the soul to Christ Jesus  . He spent the rest of this time in prayer, study, penance and in serving the poor and the sick, in doing all he could to make up for lost time.

His wife too turned to God in her sorrow.   She and her husband James, took vows of continence and became Secular Franciscans.   They converted their home into a chapel where small groups of people, many of them fellow Secular Franciscans, came for prayer and support.   They tore up all their fine clothing making vestments. They dismantled their jewellery in order to decorate the sacred vessels.

There home became a place of succour for all who needed care, one was a sick priest, who taught him Latin.   Upon the death of his wife, James himself became a priest.   He worked diligently until his dying day for the ill, the lonely, the imprisoned.   Indeed, he contracted the illness that killed him because he was so careless in embracing those who were suffering from unknown deseases.

Blessed James was beatified on 26 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI (cultus confirmed).   When his relics were moved seven years after his death, his body was found incorrupt and was then re-interred in the nearby Church of Sant’Egidio in 1580 and again it was re-interred in the Cathedral of Lodi in 1789, where his shrine now resides.

1024px-Duomo_di_Lodi_interno.jpg
Cathedral of Lodi