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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

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Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

Thought for the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

Pope Benedict XVI – 7 November 2007 –

Catechesis on St Jerome (1)

What can we learn from St Jerome?   It seems to me, this above all – to love the Word of God in Sacred Scripture.

St Jerome said:  “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”.   It is therefore important that every Christian live in contact and in personal dialogue with the Word of God given to us in Sacred Scripture.   This dialogue with Scripture must always have two dimensions:  on the one hand, it must be a truly personal dialogue because God speaks with each one of us through Sacred Scripture and it has a message for each one.   We must not read Sacred Scripture as a word of the past but as the Word of God that is also addressed to us and we must try to understand what it is that the Lord wants to tell us. However, to avoid falling into individualism, we must bear in mind that the Word of God has been given to us precisely in order to build communion and to join forces in the truth on our journey towards God.   Thus, although it is always a personal Word, it is also a Word that builds community, that builds the Church.   We must, therefore, read it in communion with the living Church.   The privileged place for reading and listening to the Word of God is the liturgy, in which, celebrating the Word and making Christ’s Body present in the Sacrament, we actualise the Word in our lives and make it present among us.   We must never forget that the Word of God transcends time  . Human opinions come and go.   What is very modern today will be very antiquated tomorrow.   On the other hand, the Word of God is the Word of eternal life, it bears within it eternity and is valid for ever.   By carrying the Word of God within us, we therefore carry within us eternity, eternal life.ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of christ - st jerome - 30 sep 2018

I thus conclude with a word St Jerome once addressed to St Paulinus of Nola (354-431).  In it the great exegete expressed this very reality, that is, in the Word of God we receive eternity, eternal life.   St Jerome said: “Seek to learn on earth those truths which will remain ever valid in Heaven” (Ep. 53, 10)…. Pope Benedict XVI – 7 November 2007 – Catechesis on St Jerome (1)

St Jerome, Pray for us!st-jerome-pray-for-us-30-sept-2017

Posted in CATECHESIS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

Thought for the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“My little children, reflect on these words:
the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven.

Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where out treasure is.
This is the glorious duty of man – to pray and to love.
If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.
Prayer is nothing else but union with God.   In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits of wax that no one can every pull apart.   This union of god with a tiny creature is a lovely thing. It is a happiness beyond understanding.

My little children, your hearts, are small but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God.
Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us.
Prayer never leaves us without sweetness.   It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet.

When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.   Some men immerse themselves as deeply in prayer as fish in water, because they give themselves totally to God.   O, how I love these noble souls!   How unlike them we are!  How often we come to church with no idea of what to do or what to ask for.   And yet, whenever we go to any human being, we know well enough why we go.
And still worse, there are some who seem to speak to the good God like this:  “I will only say a couple of things to You and then I will be rid of You.”
I often think that when we come to adore the Lord, we would receive everything we ask for, if we would ask with living faith and with a pure heart.

Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself.”

– from the catechetical instructions by Saint John Vianney

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney, the poor boy from Dardilly, ordained a priest “through compassion” and in charge of an isolated parish, the one who prepared himself to die every day:  because of the strange logic of God who chooses the little to depose the mighty, it was this man who became a teacher and model even for the Popes who sit on the Chair of Peter, who are inspired by him and hold him up for emulation to the entire Church.   We must make ourselves ‘little’ in prayer, in total self-giving to God!

St John Marie Baptiste Vianney, Pray for us!st john vianney pray for us no 2 - 4 aug 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, CCC, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Thought for the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church
III.  Only One Faith (#172-175)

172   Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism and grounded in the conviction, that all people have only one God and Father.   St Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:

173   “Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. . . guards [this preaching and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house and similarly believes as if having but one soul and a single heart and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth.”

174   “For though languages differ throughout the world, the content of the Tradition is one and the same.   The Churches established in Germany have no other faith or Tradition, nor do those of the Iberians, nor those of the Celts, nor those of the East, of Egypt, of Libya, nor those established at the centre of the world. . .” The Church’s message “is true and solid, in which one and the same way of salvation appears throughout the whole world.”

175   We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God’s Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed.”JESUS taught a new sacrifice - st irenaeus

From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus

“The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to His Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to His own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.   If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God.   Since we have our accuser, we need an Advocate as well.

And so the Lord in His pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having Himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins, bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit.   Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.”

St Irenaeus, Pray for us!st irenaeus - pray for us no 2 - 28 june 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

“Our way of thinking,
is attuned to the Eucharist
and the Eucharist in turn,
confirms our way of thinking.”our-way-of-thinking-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018

“Jesus Christ, in His infinite love,
has become what we are,
in order that He may make us
entirely what He is.”jesus christ in his infinite love - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“It is not you that shapes God.
It is God that shapes you.
If then you are the work of God
await the Hand of the artist who does
all things in due season.
Offer Him your heart,
soft and tractable
and keep the form in which the artist
has fashioned you.
Let the clay be moist
lest you go hard
and lose the imprint of His Fingers.”it-is-not-you-that-shapes-god-strenaeus-28 june 2018

“As long as anyone has the means
of doing good to his neighbours
and does not do so,
he shall be reckoned a stranger
to the love of the Lord.”as-long-as-any-one-has-the-means-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018.no.2

The business of the Christian
is nothing else but to be
ever preparing for death.the business of the christian - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority.”

the universal church - st irenaeus

“Being obedient she (Mary)
became the cause of salvation for herself
and for the whole human race.
The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied
by Mary’s obedience:
what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief,
Mary loosened by her faith.”

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202)being-obedient-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018 - no 2

Posted in CATECHESIS, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 17 June – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday Reflection – 17 June – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

….What happens in Spring?   Plants blossom, trees flower.   I will ask you some questions. Can a sick tree or plant fully blossom if it is sick?   No!   Can a tree, a plant which is not watered by rain or artificially, blossom nicely?   No.   And can a tree and a plant whose roots have been removed or which have no roots flower?   No.   Without roots, can they flower?   No!   And this is a message:  Christian life has to be a life that must blossom in works of charity, in doing what is good.   But if you have no roots, you cannot blossom, and who is the root?   Jesus  ! If you are not with Jesus, there in the roots, you will not blossom.   If you do not water your life with prayer and the sacraments, will you bear Christian flowers?   No!   Because prayer and the sacraments water the roots and our life blossoms.   I hope that your Spring may be bloom beautifully, as blooming as Easter will be;  blossoming with good works, virtue and doing good to others.   Remember this, this is a very beautiful verse from my country:   “What blossoms a tree bears come from what lies underneath it”.   Never cut off Jesus’ roots.

During Mass, after breaking the consecrated Bread, that is the Body of Christ, the priest shows it to the faithful, inviting them to participate in the Eucharistic banquet.   We know the words that ring out from the sacred altar:  “Happy are those who are called to his Supper.   This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”.   Inspired by a passage in the Book of Revelation — “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9): it says “marriage” because Jesus is the Spouse of the Church — this invitation calls us to experience intimate union with Christ, the source of joy and holiness.   It is an invitation which brings happiness and at the same time spurs us to an examination of conscience enlightened by faith.

Although we are the ones who stand in procession to receive Communion;  we approach the altar in a procession to receive communion, in reality it is Christ who comes towards us to assimilate us in Him.   There is an encounter with Jesus!   To nourish oneself of the Eucharist means to allow oneself to be changed by what we receive.   Saint Augustine helps us understand this when he talks about the light he received when he heard Christ say to him:   “I am the food of strong men;  grow and you shall feed upon me;  nor shall you convert me, like the food of your flesh, into you but you shall be converted into me” (Confessions VII, 10, 16: pl 32, 742).

Each time we receive Communion, we resemble Jesus more;  we transform ourselves more fully into Jesus.   As the Bread and the Wine are converted into the Body and Blood of the Lord, so too those who receive it with faith, are transformed into a living Eucharist.

You reply “Amen” to the priest who distributes the Eucharist saying “the Body of Christ”; that is, you recognise the grace and the commitment involved in becoming the Body of Christ.   Because when you receive the Eucharist, you become the Body of Christ.  This is beautiful;  it is very beautiful.   As it unites us to Christ, tearing us away from our selfishness, Communion opens us and unites us to all those who are a single thing in Him.   This is the wonder of Communion:  we become what we receive!

Let us approach the Eucharist:  receiving Jesus who transforms us into Him makes us stronger.   The Lord is so good and so great!

Pope Francis, General Audience, 21 March 2018each time we receive communion - pope francis - 17 june 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, CCC, MORNING Prayers, Papal Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, PAPAL DECREE, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 June – The Memorial of St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

Thought for the Day – 14 June – The Memorial of St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

Iconoclasm is still with us today, within and without the Catholic Church. Let us consider this statement from the Second Council of Nicaea that St Methodius fought all his life to defend:

“Following the divinely inspired teaching our of holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her), we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.”

And, from our present-day Catechism of the Catholic Church, we have these words:

“The contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration, so that the mystery celebrated, is imprinted in the heart’s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful”…CCC 1162.

St Methodius, “Defender of Icons”, Pray for usst methodius - pray for us - 14 june 2018