Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – “Let us open ourselves, to the light of the Lord”

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Wednesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Mark 8:22-26 and The First Memorial of Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920) and Blessed Julia Rodzinska OP (1899-1945) Martyr

And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village….Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes;  and he looked intently and was restored and saw everything clearly.   And he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”...Mark 8:22,25-26then again he laid his hands upon his eyes - mark 8 25-26 20 feb 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “They came, then, to Bethsaida, into the village of Andrew and Peter, James and John.   Bethsaida means “house of fishers” and, in truth, from this house, hunters and fishermen are sent into the whole world.   Ponder the text.   The historical facts are clear, the literal sense is obvious.   But we must now search into its spiritual message.   That He came to Bethsaida, that there was a blind man there, that He departed, what is there remarkable about all that?   Nothing, but what He did there is great;  striking, however, only if it should take place today, for we have ceased to wonder about such things.

How, then, is his house not in Bethsaida?   Note the text exactly.   If we consider the literal interpretation only, it does not make any sense.   If this blind man is found in Bethsaida and is taken out and cured and he is commanded:  “Return to your own house,” certainly, he is bid:   “Return to Bethsaida.”   If, however, he returns there, what is the meaning of the command:  “Do not go into the village?”   You see, therefore, that the interpretation is symbolic.   He is led out from the house of the Jews, from the village, from the law, from the traditions of the Jews.   He, who could not be cured in the law, is cured in the grace of the gospel.   It is said to him, “Return to your own house” — not into the house that you think, the one from which he came out but into the house that was also the house of Abraham, since Abraham is the father of those who believe.”… St Jerome (343-420) Father & Doctor of the Church – Tractate on the Gospel of Mark, Homily 79.he is led out from the house of the jews - mark 8 25-26 20 feb 2019 st jerome.jpg

“Our lives are sometimes similar to that of the blind man who opened himself to the light, who opened himself to God, who opened himself to His grace.  Today, we are invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ in order to bear fruit in our lives, to eliminate unchristian behaviours;  we are all Christians but we all, everyone, sometimes has unchristian behaviours, behaviours that are sins.   We must repent of this, eliminate these behaviours in order to journey well along the way of holiness, which has its origin in baptism.   We, too, have been “enlightened” by Christ in baptism, so that, as St Paul reminds us, we may act as “children of light” (Eph 5:8), with humility, patience and mercy.
Let us ask ourselves about the state of our own heart?   Do I have an open heart or a closed heart?   It is opened or closed to God?   Open or closed to my neighbour?   We are always closed to some degree, which comes from original sin, from mistakes, from errors.   We need not be afraid!
Let us open ourselves, to the light of the Lord, He awaits us always in order to enable us to see better, to give us more light, to forgive us.   Let us not forget this!”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 30 March 2014

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, just as the little children, Francisco and Jacinta and Blessed Julia Rodzinska, were chosen to be bearers of Your message, grant we pray, that by their prayers on our behalf, we too may Your bearers of light.   Be with us, holy Mother, during our journey to the eternal glory of your Son, help us to become like little children and in that new purity, shine with His Light.   Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.sts-francisco-jacinta-20-feb-2018.jpg

bl julia rodzinska pray for us 20 feb 2019 no 2.jpg

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Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – the Memorial of Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

“Any friend of the poor
is a friend of God.”any-friend-of-the-poor-is-a-friend-of-god-bl-john-sullivan-19-feb-2018.jpg

“I hope every single one of you, will have broken, every resolution you made, in the retreat before the end of the week, and if not then, at least in a fortnight. It will do you good and humble you, provided you get up and begin again and do not flop down and lie there on the broad of your back, saying “It’s no use, it’s all over.” Not a bit of it, it’s not all over, it’s only beginning. So up with you and start again. Remember, each time you fall, that you are not back where you were before but are starting again, from where you fell.”remember each time you fall - bl john sullivan 19 feb 2019.jpg

“Be always beginning.
Let the past go.
The saints were always beginning.
That is how they became saints.”be always beginning - bl john sullivan 19 feb 2019.jpg

Death is
“Looking on
the lovely Face of God.”

Blessed John Sullivan (1861-1933)death is ...looking on the lovely face of god - bl john sullivan 19 feb 2019

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 18 February – “However, you killed at the beginning”

Thought for the Day – 18 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, First Reading – Genesis 4:1-15

“Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.”   And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.   Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”   He said, “I do not know;  am I my brother’s keeper?”   And the Lord said, “What have you done?   The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.   And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.   When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength;  you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” …Genesis 4:8-12

“Cain favoured instinct – he preferred to let this feeling stew inside him, festering and allowing it to grow. This sin, which he will later commit, which is couching behind the feeling, grows.

This, is how hostilities grow between you – they begin with something small – jealousy, envy and then this grows and I pull away from my brother, saying this person is not my brother, this one is an enemy, this one must be destroyed, driven away… and so people are destroyed -it is thus that animosity destroys families, populations, everything.   It is that eating away at you, that being constantly obsessed with that person.

No!… there is no brother.
It is just me;  there is no brotherhood – it is just me.
What happened at the beginning, can happen to all of us – it is a possibility. For this reason, it is a process which must be stopped immediately, at the beginning, at the first sign of bitterness.   It must be stopped, because bitterness is not Christian – pain, yes, bitterness no.
Indeed, resentment is not Christian – pain yes, resentment no.
Instead, how much hostility and how many cracks exist and it ends in a war that kills.

However, you killed at the beginning.   This is the process of blood and today the blood of many people in the world is crying to God from the ground.

And it is all connected – that blood has some connection, perhaps a small droplet of blood that I caused to ooze out with my envy and jealousy when I destroyed a brotherhood.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 13 February 2017genesis 4 10 and the lord said what have you done - and it is all connected - pope francis 18 feb 2019.jpg

It is not enough to simply “follow the rules” and stay out of trouble.   If that is all we do then we are trying to achieve heaven by our own merits. God wants more from us than that.   God invites us into a relationship of friends and family, a relationship of love.   This type of relationship is a living, dynamic one.   To love Christ and to want to be near Him is to be crucified with Him.

It means standing up for the Truth even when it is unpopular.   It means finding time to pray.   It means that we stay faithful to the teachings of Jesus.   And it means that when we fail, we humbly confess our sins as we would apologise to a friend we have hurt, so that that relationship can be restored.   It means that we must reflect Christ to the whole world, so that when people look at us they do not see us, they see Christ.

But in the end that is what it means to live for Christ and not for ourselves, to love for Christ and not for ourselves, to give of ourselves for Christ!

Blessed Fra Angelico, you gave your all for Christ, please Pray for Us!bl fra angelico pray for us 18 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Blessed are you!

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Luke 6:17-26

“Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!   Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven;  for so their fathers did to the prophets.” …Luke 6:22-23blessed are you when - luke 6 22 - 23 - 17 feb 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “O that we could take that simple view of things, as to feel that the one thing which lies before us is to please God!   What gain is it to please the world, to please the great, nay even to please those whom we love, compared with this?   What gain is it to be applauded, admired, courted, followed—compared with this one aim, of not being disobedient to a heavenly vision?   What can this world offer comparable with that insight into spiritual things, that keen faith, that heavenly peace, that high sanctity, that everlasting righteousness, that hope of glory, which they have, who in sincerity love and follow our Lord Jesus Christ?

Let us beg and pray Him, day by day, to reveal Himself to our souls more fully, to quicken our senses, to give us sight and hearing, taste and touch of the world to come – so to work within us, that we may sincerely say, ‘You shall guide me with Your counsel and after that receive me with glory.   Whom have I in heaven but You? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of You. My flesh and my heart fails but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.'”Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Sermon on Divine Calls (Plain Sermons)blessed are you luke 6 22 - what can this world offer - bl john henry newman 17 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy Father, You have given Yourself to us in the Face of Your Divine Son.   You have given Him to us to be our food and our portion.   You have consoled us with His presence on the Altar of Offering and washed us with His blood, day by day, You have sacrificed Him to save us.   Grant us Your grace, we pray, that day by day, we may be strengthened and made holy by this Holy Food you grant us.   May our Holy Mother, be our protection on this journey and may her prayers and the prayers of your saints, grant us courage.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, for all eternity, amen.hail mary pray for us - 17 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SIN, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 February – Nothing else, than the body that proved itself superior to death and became the source of our life.

One Minute Reflection – 15 February – Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s First Reading: Genesis 3:1-8 and the Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) Apostle of the Sacred Heart and Blessed Michal Sopoćko (1888-1975) Apostle of Divine Mercy

“The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom.   So she took some of its fruit and ate it and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it.”...Genesis 3:6

REFLECTION – “Those who have been tricked into taking poison, offset its harmful effect, by another drug.   The remedy, moreover, just like the poison, has to enter the system, so that its remedial effect, may thereby spread through the whole body.   Similarly, having tasted the poison, that is the fruit, that dissolved our nature, we were necessarily in need of something to reunite it.   Such a remedy had to enter into us, so that it might by its counteraction, undo the harm the body had already encountered from the poison.   And what is this remedy?   Nothing else, than the body that proved itself superior to death and became the source of our life.”…St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c395) Father of the Church (Catechetical Oration, 27)genesis 3 6 the woman saw that the fruit was good - those who have been tricked - st gregory of nyssa 15 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, Your great mercy, gave us Your Son!   Surely nothing can be a greater proof to us of Your unending love and mercy to Your lowly creatures, we who are dust.   Through Him, who died and rose for us, You have shown us the way of true mercy. Grant us this day that by the intercession of St Claude and Blessed Michal, we may take up our crosses with Him, never leaving the love of His Sacred Heart, so that we may join Your holy saints in eternal life.   Through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-claude-pray-for-us-15-feb-2018.jpg

bl michal sopocka pray for us - apostle of divine mercy 15 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 February – “Satisfying our Restless Hearts”

Thought for the Day – 14 February – The Memorial of St Valentine (176-273) Martyr

SATISFYING OUR RESTLESS HEARTS
by Fr Steve Grunow

“And what is this God?   I asked the earth and it answered: ‘I am not God and all the things in the earth made the same confession.’   I asked the sea and the deeps and creeping things and they answered:   ‘We are not your God, seek higher.’   I asked the winds that blow and the whole air with all that is in it and the wind answered: ‘  I am not God.’   I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars and they answered:   ‘Neither are we God whom you seek.’   So I asked all those things that entice the senses:   ‘Tell me then of this Mysterious One that I search for.’   And all cried out to me in one great voice: ‘God made us and God made you…’”

“So I set about to find God and found that I could not find Him until I embraced the mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus, who is all over all these things, who was calling me and saying: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…’”

These marvellous words belong to St Augustine….

St Augustine is one of the most renowned and influential saints of the Church, though his early life did not foreshadow such an identity and mission.   He lived much of his young life in resistance to God’s will and purposes.   Preoccupied with his body, he sought satisfaction in sex.   Preoccupied with power, he sought to ingratiate himself with the mighty.   Preoccupied with status, he sought self-promotion.   Preoccupied with wealth, he tried to sell himself to a career.

And none of these things, for all their allure and all their promises, brought him satisfaction.

As a result, Augustine embraced the prevailing esoteric and arcane “spiritualities” of his day.   He followed strange gods in an attempt to shake his alarming sense of dissatisfaction.   This left him emptier and even more diminished.

But a reckoning came that changed Augustine forever.

“I found myself weeping in the bitter sorrow of my heart.   And suddenly I heard a voice from a nearby house, a child’s voice, boy or girl I do not know – but it was sort of a sing song that repeated over and over again.   ‘Take and read, take and read.’   Wiping away my tears I took this as a divine command and opened the scriptures and in silence read the passage on which my eyes first fell – ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in debauchery and impurity, not in contention and envy but put on the Lord Jesus…’”i found myself weeping in the bitter sorrow - sdt augustine - conversion - 14 feb 2019

So this is what Augustine did- he discarded the skin of his old self and put on the Lord Jesus.   And what God did with Augustine was remarkable.   He became a leader in the Faith, as a teacher, priest and bishop.   His writings have directed the mind and soul of the Church for centuries.   His influence is with us still- in how we pray, how we worship, and in what we believe.

At the heart of the Gospel is the call to conversion in Christ.   There is no moment in our life when this call does not beckon toward us.   There is no time in our life we are exempt from the summons.   Conversion is the substance of the work of the spiritual life. Conversion in Christ is our privileged spiritual way.

Like Augustine, so many of us fall into the illusion that something other than God can satisfy us or give our lives purpose and meaning.   Like the young Augustine, we are captivated by self-deception that directs us away from the one who is absolutely necessary – Christ.   In response to all the futility of our refusals, the wisdom of St Augustine rings true:

“You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

St Augustine, Pray for Us!st augustine pray for us 14 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 February – “The faith of the Canaanite woman”

One Minute Reflection – 14 February – Thursday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Mark 7:24–30 and the Memorial of Sts Cyril and Methodius “Apostles to the Slavs”- Patrons of Europe and St Valentine (176-273) Martyr

But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him and came and fell down at his feet....Mark 7:25

REFLECTION – “O woman, your faith is great.   Let it be done to you as you wish” (Mt 15:28).   Indeed, she had great enough faith, since she knew neither the ancient miracles, commands and promises of the prophets, nor the more recent ones of the Lord himself. In addition, as often as she was disregarded by the Lord, she persevered in her entreaties and she did not cease knocking by asking him, though she knew only by popular opinion that he was the Saviour.   On account of this, she secured the great object for which she implored…
If one of us has a conscience polluted by the stain of avarice, conceit, vain-glory, indignation, irascibility, or envy and the other vices, he has “a daughter badly troubled by a demon” like the Canaanite woman.   He should hasten to the Lord, making supplication for her healing…   Being submissive with due humility, [such a person] must not judge himself to be worthy of the company of the sheep of Israel (that is, souls that are pure) but instead, he must be of the opinion that he is unworthy of heavenly favours. Nevertheless, let him not, in despair, rest from the earnestness of his entreaty but with his mind free of doubt, let him trust in the goodness of the supreme Benefactor, for the one who could make a confessor from a robber (Lk 23:39f.), an apostle from a persecutor (Acts 9:1-30, an evangelist from a publican (Mt 9:9-13) and who could make sons for Abraham out of stones, could turn even the most insignificant dog into an Israelite sheep.”...St Bede the Venerable (673-735) – Father & Doctor of the Churchmark 7 25 the caananite woman - if one of us - st bede 14 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Help us Lord, to cleave to You alone and grow in sanctity and charity. Create in us a clean heart O Lord!   As we walk in the ways of Your divine Son, our Saviour, may we grow in faith and by our lives and words, be a light in the world.   Grant that by the prayers of Sts Valentine and Sts Cyril and Methodius, we may be strengthen and grow in worthiness to receive Your grace.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st valentine pray for us 14 feb 2019sts-cyril-and-methodius-pray-for-us-14-feb-2018-no-2