Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Marian Thought for the Day – 4 May – “Here we have the image and model of the Church!”

Marian Thought for the Day – 4 May – “Mary’s Month”

Pope Benedict XVI

Excerpt- Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord,
Saint Peter’s Square, Saturday, 25 March 2006

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”…Luke 1:38luke-1-38-let-what-you-have-said-be-done-to-me-18dec2018-ourladyofexpectation.jpg

“The icon of the Annunciation, more than any other, helps us to see clearly how everything in the Church goes back to that mystery of Mary’s acceptance of the divine Word, by which, through the action of the Holy Spirit, the Covenant between God and humanity was perfectly sealed.  Everything in the Church, every institution and ministry, including that of Peter and his Successors, is “included” under the Virgin’s mantle, within the grace-filled horizon of her “yes” to God’s will. T  his link with Mary naturally evokes a strong affective resonance in all of us but first of all it has an objective value….

Everything in this world will pass away.   In eternity only Love will remain.   For this reason, … taking the opportunity offered by this favourable time …, let us commit ourselves to ensure that everything in our personal lives and in the ecclesial activity in which we are engaged is inspired by charity and leads to charity.   In this respect too, we are enlightened by the mystery that we are celebrating today.

Indeed, the first thing that Mary did after receiving the Angel’s message was to go “in haste” to the house of her cousin Elizabeth in order to be of service to her (cf. Lk 1: 39). The Virgin’s initiative was one of genuine charity, it was humble and courageous, motivated by faith in God’s Word and the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.   Those who love, forget about themselves and place themselves at the service of their neighbour.

Here we have the image and model of the Church!”

everything-in-this-world-will-pass-away-pope-benedict-xvi-25-march-2019

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – St Bernard – “The liquid myrrh of mercy”

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – Monday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 12:1–11

Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard and with it, anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was filled with the scent of the ointment…John 12:3john-12-3 mary ointments jesus feet.jpg

REFLECTION – “Anointing the feet of Christ with perfumed oil of compassion
I have already discussed two ointments with you – one of contrition, that takes account of numerous sins — it is symbolised by the perfumed oil with which the sinful woman anointed the feet of Lord: “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”, the other of devotion, that embodies numerous blessings…  But there is another ointment, far excelling these two, to which I give the name, loving-kindness, because the elements that go into its making, are the needs of the poor, the anxieties of the oppressed, the worries of those who are sad, the sins of wrong-doers and finally, the manifold misfortunes of all people who endure affliction, even if they are our enemies.   These elements may seem rather depressing but the ointment made from them, is more fragrant, than all other spices.   It bears the power to heal, for “Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5:7)

A collection therefore of many miseries, on which the eye rests with loving-kindness, represents the ingredients from which the best ointments are made…  Happy the soul that has been wise enough to enrich itself with an assortment of spices such as these, pouring upon them the oil of mercy and warming them with the fire of charity!   Who, in your opinion, is “the good man who takes pity and lends” (Ps 112:5), who is compassionate, quick to render assistance, who believes that there is “more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35), who forgives easily but is not easily angered, who never seeks to be avenged and in all things takes thought for his neighbour’s needs as if they were his own?

Whoever you may be, if your soul is thus disposed, if you are saturated with the dew of mercy, overflowing with affectionate kindness, making yourself “all things to all people” (1 Co 9:22) yet considering your deeds, like a discarded flask, in order to be always ready to supply to others what they need, in a word, so dead to yourself, that you live only for others — if this be you, then you possess the third and best of all ointments.   Your hands have dripped with liquid myrrh that is utterly enchanting (cf Sg 5:5).   It will not run dry in times of stress nor evaporate in the heat of persecution but God will perpetually “remember all your oblations and find your holocaust acceptable.” (Ps 20:4)”...Saint Bernard (1091-1153) Doctor of the Churchbut there is another ointment - st bernard- mon holy week - the annointing of jesus feet - 15 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that we who are constantly betrayed by our own weakness, may draw the breath of new life from the passion and death of Your only-begotten Son.  May our hands to drip with the liquid myrrh of mercy to all our neighbours and may our hearts be ever open to forgiveness.   Listen, we pray, to the prayers of Your Holy angels and Saints and grant that the Blessed Virgin may guide our steps in this vale of tears. Through our Lord and Saviour, who suffered and died for us, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl virgin mother of sorrows pray for us 15 april 2019.jpg

Posted in PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 April – “A saint of the ordinary?”

Thought for the Day – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio OSA (1905-1983)

Blessed Mariano has been called “a saint of the ordinary”, this giving, loving and holy man who spent all he had for his people.   Is this ‘ordinary’, is this how ‘ordinary’ folk live, though we should be living thus.  Is St Mother Teresa, who likewise, gave all, what we would call an ordinary saint  . For the suffering sheep are the beloved of God, they are not ordinary, they are His most in need of the extraordinary love and charity of us, ‘the ordinary.’

I am reminded of the words of Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996):

“Visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, consoling the dying or sheltering the homeless, may not catch the public eye and are often perceived as irrelevant when put in the perspective of a possible nuclear holocaust. There are many voices that say: ‘These little acts of mercy are a waste of time when we consider the urgency of stopping the arms race, etc etc.” But the peacemaker knows that true peace is a divine gift that has nothing to do with statistics or measures of success and popularity. Peace is like life itself. It manifests itslef quietly and gently.
Who can say that a lost afternoon with a sick friend is in truth not much more than an interruption of ‘true’ peace work?
Who knows?
Jesus’ way is the humble way. He calls out to use – “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.'”

Blessed Mariano de la Mata Aparicio , Pray for Us!bl mariano de la mata aparecio pray for us 5 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOMINICAN, LENT 2019, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 5 April – “Humility”

Quote of the Day – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419)

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

St Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419)once humility is acquired - st vincent ferrer - 5 april 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 April

One Minute Reflection – 2 April – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Francis of Paola O.M. (1416-1507) and St Pedro Calungsod (1654–1672) Martyr

So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.”  But he answered them, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk.’ ”...John 5:10-11

REFLECTION – “Christian hypocrites, like these, only interested in their formalities.   It was a Sabbath?   No, you cannot do miracles on the Sabbath, the grace of God cannot work on Sabbath days.   They close the door to the grace of God.   We have so many in the Church, we have many!   It is another sin.   The first, those who have the sin of sloth, are not able to go forward with their apostolic zeal, because they have decided to stand firm in themselves, in their sorrows, their resentments, in all of that.   Such as these are not capable of bringing salvation because they close the door to salvation.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta 1 April 2014john 5 10-11 - it is not lawful to carry your pallet - christian hyprocrites - pope francis - 2 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – God, our Father almighty, You gave us Christ Your Son to be our Bread of life and the message of truth, justice and love.   May we live His lessons in every fibre of our being and thus pass from death to life.   May the prayers of your Holy angel, saints and martyrs, St Francis of Paola and St Pedro Calungsod, be an inspiration and a balm in our trials.   Through Jesus our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st francis of paola pray for us 2 april 2019

st pedro calungsod pray for us 2 april 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives – St Peter Chrysologus

Lenten Thoughts – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 43

Prayer knocks, fasting obtains, mercy receives

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant and virtue endures.   They are prayer, fasting and mercy.   Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives.   Prayer, mercy and fasting: – these three are one and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.   Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.   If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.   So if you pray, fast;  if you fast, show mercy;  if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.   If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.fasting is the soul of prayer - st peter chryasologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent

When you fast, see the fasting of others.   If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.   If you hope for mercy, show mercy.   If you look for kindness, show kindness.   If you want to receive, give.   If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.if you want to receive give - st peter chrysologus 26 march 2019 tues3rdweeklent.jpg

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy – show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defence, a threefold united prayer in our favour.

Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others.   Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting.   There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy – A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.

Offer your soul to God, make Him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God.   Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give Him yourself, you are never without the means of giving.

To make these acceptable, mercy must be added.   Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy.   Fasting dries up when mercy dries up.   Mercy is to fasting as rain is to the earth.   However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.

When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin, when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn.   Therefore, do not lose by saving but gather in by scattering.   Give to the poor and you give to yourself.   You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C – Gospel: Matthew 18:21–35

“Speaking of Charity”

“The bread which you use
is the bread of the hungry;
the garment hanging in your wardrobe
is the garment of him who is naked;
the shoes you do NOT wear,
are the shoes of the one who is barefoot;
the acts of charity that you do NOT perform,
are so many INJUSTICES that you commit.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-bread-you-store-up-st-basil-the-great-1-jan-2019.jpg

“Give something, however small,
to the one in need.
For it is not small to one who has nothing.
Neither is it small to God,
if we have given what we could.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Churchgive-something-however-small-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2016.jpg

“Charity may be
a very short word
but with its tremendous
meaning of pure love,
it sums up man’s
entire relation to God
and to his neighbour.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)charity-may-be-a-very-short-word-st-aelred-12-jan-2019.jpg

“If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy,
we can never fail to do good,
so long as we have the strength.
For if we share with the poor,
out of love for God,
whatever He has given to us,
we shall receive according to His promise,
a hundredfold in eternal happiness.
What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!
With outstretched arms He begs us
to turn toward Him, to weep for our sins
and to become the servants of love,
first for ourselves, then for our neighbours.
Just as water extinguishes a fire,
so love wipes away sin.”

St John of God (1495-1550)with-outstretched-arms-he-begs-us-st-john-of-god-8-march-2019.jpg

“Nothing makes us
so prosperous
in this world,
as to give alms.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchnothing-makes-us-so-prosperous-st-francis-de-sales-24jan2019.jpg

“Help me, O Lord, …
that my eyes may be merciful,
so that I will never be suspicious
or judge by appearances
but always look for what is beautiful
in my neighbours’ souls
and be of help to them…
That my ears may be merciful,
so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs
and not indifferent to their pains and complaints.…
That my tongue may be merciful,
so that I will never speak badly of others
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.…
That my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds.…
That my feet may be merciful,
so that I will hasten to help my neighbour,
despite my own fatigue and weariness.…
That my heart may be merciful,
so that I myself will share
in all the sufferings of my neighbour.”

St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

(Extract from Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, 163)
This prayer was used by Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy 2015 to be universally prayed by the Church.help-me-o-lord-that-i-may-be-merciful-st-faustina-15-feb-2019.jpg