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Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

Excerpt of Pope Benedict’s Catechesis
on the Doctors of the Church
Wednesday, 2 February 2011

“It is far from easy to sum up in a few words Teresa’s profound and articulate spirituality.   I would like to mention a few essential points.   In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life and in particular, detachment from possessions, that is, evangelical poverty and this concerns all of us;  love for one another as an essential element of community and social life; humility as love for the truth;  determination as a fruit of Christian daring;  theological hope, which she describes as the thirst for living water.   Then we should not forget the human virtues: affability, truthfulness, modesty, courtesy, cheerfulness, culture.

Secondly, St Teresa proposes a profound harmony with the great biblical figures and eager listening to the word of God.   She feels above all closely in tune with the Bride in the Song of Songs and with the Apostle Paul, as well as with Christ in the Passion and with Jesus in the Eucharist.   The Saint then stresses how essential prayer is.   Praying, she says, “means being on terms of friendship with God frequently conversing in secret with Him who, we know, loves us” (Vida 8, 5).  St Teresa’s idea coincides with Thomas Aquinas’ definition of theological charity as “amicitia quaedam hominis ad Deum”, a type of human friendship with God, who offered humanity His friendship first – it is from God that the initiative comes (cf. Summa Theologiae II-II, 23, 1).

Prayer is life and develops gradually, in pace with the growth of Christian life – it begins with vocal prayer, passes through interiorisation by means of meditation and recollection, until it attains the union of love with Christ and with the Holy Trinity. Obviously, in the development of prayer climbing to the highest steps does not mean abandoning the previous type of prayer.  Rather, it is a gradual deepening of the relationship with God that envelops the whole of life.

Dear brothers and sisters, St Teresa of Jesus is a true teacher of Christian life for the faithful of every time.   In our society, which all too often lacks spiritual values, St Teresa teaches us to be unflagging witnesses of God, of His presence and of His action.   She teaches us truly to feel this thirst for God that exists in the depths of our hearts, this desire to see God, to seek God, to be in conversation with Him and to be His friends.

This is the friendship we all need that we must seek anew, day after day.   May the example of this Saint, profoundly contemplative and effectively active, spur us too every day to dedicate the right time to prayer, to this openness to God, to this journey, in order to seek God, to see Him, to discover His friendship and so to find true life – indeed, many of us should truly say:  “I am not alive, I am not truly alive because I do not live the essence of my life”.

Therefore time devoted to prayer is not time wasted, it is time in which the path of life unfolds, the path unfolds to learning from God an ardent love for Him, for His Church and practical charity for our brothers and sisters.    Many thanks.”

St Teresa, Pray for Us!st-teresa-of-jesus-pray-for-us-215 oct 2017

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Quote/s of the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

“You cannot be half a saint;
you must be a whole saint
or no saint at all.”you-cannot-be-half-a-saint-st-therese-lisieux-11-june-2018-seeking-sainthood

“When one loves,
one does not calculate.”when one loves one does not calculate - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

“My vocation is love.
In the heart of the Church, my mother,
I will be love
and then I will be all things.”my vocation is love - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

I am convinced,
that one should tell one’s spiritual director,
if one has a great desire for Communion,
for Our Lord does not
come from Heaven everyday,
to stay in a golden ciborium;
He comes to find another heaven,
the heaven of our soul,
in which He loves to dwell.”our lord does not come from heaven - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

“It is consoling,
that He who must judge us,
dwells in us
to save us always
from all of our miseries
and to pardon us.”it is consoling that he who must judge us - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church

Posted in CARMELITES, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Thérèse – 6 April 2011

“Today I would like to talk to you about St Thérèse of Lisieux, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, who lived in this world for only 24 years, at the end of the 19th century, leading a very simple and hidden life but who, after her death and the publication of her writings, became one of the best-known and best-loved saints. “Little Thérèse” has never stopped helping the simplest souls, the little, the poor and the suffering who pray to her.

I would like to invite you to rediscover this small-great treasure, this luminous comment on the Gospel lived to the full!   The Story of a Soul, in fact, is a marvellous story of Love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader cannot but be fascinated by it!   But what was this Love that filled Thérèse’s whole life, from childhood to death?   Dear friends, this Love has a Face, it has a Name, it is Jesus!   The Saint speaks continuously of Jesus.

Dear friends, we too, with St Thérèse of the Child Jesus must be able to repeat to the Lord every day that we want to live of love for Him and for others, to learn at the school of the saints to love authentically and totally.  Thérèse is one of the “little” ones of the Gospel who let themselves be led by God to the depths of his Mystery.   A guide for all, especially those who, in the People of God, carry out their ministry as theologians.   With humility and charity, faith and hope, Thérèse continually entered the heart of Sacred Scripture which contains the Mystery of Christ.   And this interpretation of the Bible, nourished by the science of love, is not in opposition to academic knowledge.   The science of the saints, in fact, of which she herself speaks on the last page of her The Story of a Soul, is the loftiest science.

In the Gospel Thérèse discovered above all the Mercy of Jesus, to the point that she said: “To me, He has given His Infinite Mercy and it is in this ineffable mirror, that I contemplate His other divine attributes.   Therein all appear to me radiant with Love.   His Justice, even more perhaps than the rest, seems to me to be clothed with Love” (Ms A, 84r).

In these words she expresses herself in the last lines of The Story of a Soul:   “I have only to open the Holy Gospels and at once I breathe the perfume of Jesus’ life and then I know which way to run;  and it is not to the first place but to the last, that I hasten…. I feel that even had I on my conscience every crime one could commit… my heart broken with sorrow, I would throw myself into the arms of my Saviour Jesus, because I know that He loves the Prodigal Son” who returns to Him. (Ms C, 36v-37r).

“Trust and Love” are therefore the final point of the account of her life, two words, like beacons, that illumined the whole of her journey to holiness, to be able to guide others on the same “little way of trust and love”, of spiritual childhood (cf. Ms C, 2v-3r; LT 226).

Trust, like that of the child who abandons himself in God’s hands, inseparable from the strong, radical commitment of true love, which is the total gift of self for ever, as the Saint says, contemplating Mary:   “Loving is giving all, and giving oneself” (Why I love thee, Mary, P 54/22).

Thus Thérèse points out to us all that Christian life consists in living to the full the grace of Baptism in the total gift of self to the Love of the Father, in order to live like Christ, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, His same love for all the others.”…Pope Benedict XVI

“Trust and trust alone,
should lead us to love”trust and trust alone - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

St Thérèse of Lisieux, Pray for Us!st t of l pray for us - 1 oct 2018

Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 September – St Albert of Jerusalem (1149-1214)

Saint of the Day – 14 September – St Albert of Jerusalem (1149-1214) also known as St Albert of Vercelli – Bishop, Canon Lawyer, Diplomat and Peacemaker and is regarded as a Co-Founder of the Carmelite Order.   He was Bishop of Bobbio and Bishop of Vercelli and served as mediator and diplomat under Pope Clement III.   Pope Innocent III appointed him Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1204 or 1205.   In Jerusalem, he contributed the Carmelite Rule of St Albert to the newly-founded Carmelite Order.Albert_01

Saint Albert was born towards the middle of the 12th century in Castel Gualtieri in Emilia, Italy.   He entered the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara, Pavia and became Prior there in 1180.   In 1184, he was named bishop of Bobbio and the following year he was transferred to Vercelli which he governed for twenty years.    During this period, he undertook diplomatic missions of national and international importance with rare prudence and firmness – in 1194, he effected a peace between Pavia and Milan and, five years later, also between Parma and Piacenza.

Albert+of+Jerusalem+1

In 1191, he celebrated a diocesan synod which proved of great value for its disciplinary provisions which continued to serve as a model until modern times.   He was also involved in a large amount of legislative work for various religious orders – he wrote the statutes for the canons of Biella and was among the advisers who drew up the Rule of the Humiliates.

In 1205, Albert was appointed Patriarch of Jerusalem and a little later nominated Papal Legate for the ecclesiastical province of Jerusalem.   He arrived in Palestine early in 1206 and lived in Acre because, at that time, Jerusalem was occupied by the Saracens.   In Palestine, Albert was involved in various peace initiatives, not only among Christians but also between the Christians and non-Christians and he carried out his duties with great energy.albert of jerusalem

During his stay in Acre he gathered together the hermits on Mount Carmel and gave them a Rule.  On 14 September 1214, during a procession, he was stabbed to death by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom Albert had reprimanded and deposed for his evil life, while taking part in a procession on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

He is honoured by the Carmelites on 17 September.albert

Posted in CARMELITES, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr

“A Lesson in Love”

Her name reflects her beloved spiritual sister and fellow Carmelite, Teresa of Ávila and her fate of sharing in the Cross of Christ in a very tangible, visible way. Edith, now Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, viewed her own life as a sacrificial offering to God for her people. In 1939, she offered her life to God for all those she loved:  for the Church, for the Carmelite Order, for the Jewish people, for her family, and for “the deliverance of Germany and peace throughout the world.”   Rather than give in to despair, darkness and hopelessness, Edith offered her own life and sufferings to God for others—even for those who murdered her.   She saw herself as her brothers’ keeper and asked Our Lord to accept her life for theirs.

A Jewish businessman from Cologne, Julius Markan, who had been put in charge of the prisoners at Westerbork Camp, remembers how she cared for those around her as they faced death. He wrote:

“Amongst the prisoners who were brought in on the 5th of August, Sister Benedicta stood out on account of her calmness and composure.   The distress in the barracks and the stir caused by the new arrivals were indescribable. Sister Benedicta was just like an angel, going around amongst the women, comforting them, helping them and calming them.   Many of the mothers were near to distraction, they had not bothered about their children the whole day long but just sat brooding in dumb despair.   Sister Benedicta took care of the little children, washed them and combed them, attending to their feeding and other needs.   During the whole of her stay there, she washed and cleaned for people, following one act of charity with another, until everyone wondered at her goodness.”

Another person who met her on the way to her death, Dr. Wielek, recalled a conversation he had with her in Westerbork just before she was transferred to Auschwitz:

“In one conversation she said to me: ‘The world is made up of opposites but in the end nothing remains of these contrasts.   What only remains is great love. How is it possible for it to be otherwise?’”

Indeed in this world, we do experience such opposites,good and evil, joy and suffering, life and death. “What only remains is great love.”   Edith’s final conviction teaches us how to suffer, how to offer ourselves and how to embrace a world so seemingly full of violations against the human person.   Edith shows how to live as a balm for these wounds in the world—and how such a life lived for Christ will ultimately heal it.
(Angela Micali Stout)

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Pray for us!st-teresa-benedicta-pray-for-us-2-9 aug 2017

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr

“Today I stood with you beneath the cross
And felt more clearly than I ever did
That you became our Mother only there.

But those whom you have chosen for companions
To stand with you around the eternal throne,

They must stand with you beneath the Cross,
And with the lifeblood of their bitter pains,
Must purchase heavenly glory for those souls
Whom God’s own Son entrusted to their care.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross – Good Friday 1938today-i-stood-with-you-beneath-the-cross-st-teresa-benedicta-9 aug 2017

“Our love of neighbour is the measure of our love of God.
For Christians — and not only for them —
no one is a ‘stranger’.
The love of Christ knows no borders”our-love-of-neighbour-is-the-measure-of-our-love-of-god-st-teresa-benedicta-9 aug 2017

“God is there in these moments of rest
and can give us, in a single instant, exactly what we need.
Then the rest of the day can take its course,
under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace.
And when night comes and you look back over the day
and see how fragmentary everything has been
and how much you planned that has gone undone
and all the reasons you have, to be embarrassed and ashamed:
just take everything, exactly as it is,
put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him.
Then you will be able to rest in Him – really rest –
and start the next day, as a new life.”just take everything - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 9 aug 2018

“Whatever did not fit in with my plan, did lie within the plan of God.
I have an ever deeper and firmer belief,
that nothing is merely an accident.
when seen in the light of God, that my whole life,
down to the smallest details,
has been marked out for me,
in the plan of Divine Providence
and has a completely coherent meaning in God’s all-seeing eyes.
And so I am beginning to rejoice,
in the light of glory, wherein this meaning, will be unveiled to me.”i have an ever deeper and firmer belief - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 9 aug 2018

“Every true prayer, is a prayer of the Church,
by means of that prayer, the Church prays,
since it is the Holy Spirit, living in the Church,
Who in every single soul, ‘prays in us with unspeakable groanings’.”every true prayer - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 9 aug 2018

“Since Mary is the prototype of pure womanhood,
the imitation of Mary, must be the goal of girls’ education.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) since mary is the prototype - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 9 aug 2018

Posted in CARMELITES, CCC, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 16:13–23

One Minute Reflection – 9 August – Thursday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel:  Matthew 16:13–23 and the Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.“…Matthew 16:19whatever you bind on earth - matthew 16 -19

REFLECTION – “Sin is before all else, an offence against God, a rupture of communion with Him.   At the same time it damages communion with the Church.   For this reason, conversion entails, both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically, by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

Only God forgives sin (Mk 2,7).   Since He is the Son of God, Jesus says of Himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mk 2,10) and exercises this divine power:  “Your sins are forgiven” (v.5; Lk 7,48).   Further, by virtue of His divine authority He gives this power to men to exercise in His name (Jn 20,21).   Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action, His whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that He acquired for us at the price of His blood.   But He entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution, to the apostolic ministry, which He charged with the “ministry of reconciliation” (2Cor 5,18).   The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: ”  Be reconciled to God” (v.20).

During His public life, Jesus not only forgave sins but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness, He reintegrated forgiven sinners, into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them.   A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at His table (Mk 2,16), a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way, both God’s forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God (cf. Lk 15; 19,9).”…Catechism of the Catholic Church – § 1440-1443ccc 1440 - sin is before all else, an offence against god - 9 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord our God, the Light and Creator of Light, grant that faithfully pondering on all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence.   By the help and intercession of St Teresa Benedicta, You may never permit us to separate ourselves from You and thus we may come, to completion in You, Through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-teresa-benedicta-pray-for-us-9 aug 2017