Posted in MARTYRS, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – Martyrs for Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – The Memorial of St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) and St Sebastian (Died c 288) – Martyrs for Christ

What will separate us from the love of Christ?   Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? …No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.   For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35,37-39romans-8-3537-39-20 jan 2018 one min reflctn

“Long live Christ the King!”
“Viva Cristo Rey!”

Blessed Miguel Pro, Martyr (1891-1927)
(Last words addressed to his executioners)viva-cristo-rey-bl-miguel-pro-20-jan-2019

“From the very beginning of the life of the Church, Christians have always believed that the blood of martyrs is a seed for Christians, as Tertullian said.   Today too, in a dramatic way, the blood of a great number of Christian martyrs continues to be shed on the field of the world,with the certain hope that will bear fruit in a rich harvest of holiness, justice, reconciliation and love of God. But we must remember that one is not born a martyr. 

Archbishop Romero remarked, ‘We must be willing to die for our faith, even if the Lord does not grant us this honour. …   Giving life does not only mean being assassinated;  giving life, having the spirit of martyrdom, means offering it in silence, in prayer, in the honest fulfilment of one’s duty; in this silence of everyday life, giving life a little at a time.’”

Pope Francis 30 October 2015but-we-must-remember-that-one-pope-francis-20-jan-20181 (1)

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Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – The Memorial of Bl Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – The Memorial of Bl Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) Martyr

“If we do not risk our life today,
how do we then, want one day,
to justify ourselves
before God and our people?”if we do not risk - bl nikolaus gross 15 jan 2019

“…One must obey God more than men”.
If something is demanded of us
that goes against God or the Faith,
then, not only, may we but we must,
refuse obedience (towards men).”one must obey god - bl nikolays gross - 15 jan 2019

“Sometimes, my heart becomes heavy and the task appears insoluble if I measure my own human imperfection and inadequacy against the greatness of the obligation and the weight of the responsibility.

If a generation must pay the highest price, death, for its short life, we look for the answer in ourselves in vain.   We find it only in Him in whose hand we are safe in life and in death.   We never know what problems are waiting to test the power and strength of our souls…. Man’s ways lie in obscurity.

But even darkness is not without light.   Hope and faith, which always hasten ahead of us, already have a presentiment of the breaking of a new dawn.   If we know, that the best thing in us, the soul, is immortal, then we also know, that we shall meet each other again”.

Bl Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) Martyrbut even darkness is not without light - bl nikolaus gross 15 jan 2019.jpg

“With the clear insight that the Nazi ideology was incompatible with Christian faith, he courageously took up his pen to plead for the dignity of human beings.   Nikolaus loved his wife and children very much.   However, the inner bond with his own family never allowed him to pull back from confessing Christ and His Church.   It was clear to him, “If we do not risk our life today, how then do we want to justify ourselves one day before God and our people?”.   For this conviction he submitted to being hanged, so that heaven itself might be opened to him.   In the Blessed Martyr Nikolaus Gross was accomplished what the prophet foretold “The just man will live on account of his faith” (Hb 1,4).

St Pope John Paul at the Beatification of Blessed Nikolaus Gross, 7 October 2001howver the inner bond - st john paul on bl nikolaus gross 15 jan 2019.jpg

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Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

A tiny child is born, who is a great king.   Wise men are led to him from afar.   They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth.   When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed.   To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king?   He does not come to drive you out but to conquer the devil.   But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children.   You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart.   You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life Himself.

Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace—so small, yet so great—who is lying in the manger.   He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out His own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil.   He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it.   The parents mourn for the death of martyrs.   The child makes of those, as yet unable to speak, fit witnesses to Himself.   See the kind of kingdom that is His, coming as He did in order to be this kind of King.   See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious.   While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying Him homage and do not know it.

How great a gift of grace is here!   To what merits of their own, do the children owe this kind of victory?   They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ.   They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

St Quodvultdeus (died 450) Bishop, Father of the Church, Spiritual child of St Augustinehow great a gift of grace is here - st quodvultdeus -holy innocents 28dec 2018

“And while he thus persecutes Christ,
he furnished an army of martyrs,
clothed in white robes,
of the same age as the Lord.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

and while he thus persecutes christ - st augustine 28dec2018

Holy Innocents, Pray for us!holy-innocents-pray-for-us-no-2-28-dec-2017

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Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – Feast of the Holy Innocents – 4th Day of the Christmas Octave

“We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.”

From the Te Deumwe-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017

“These then, whom Herod’s cruelty
tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom,
are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”;
they were the Church’s first blossoms,
matured by the frost of persecution
during the cold winter of unbelief.”these-then whom herod's cruelty - st augustine-28-dec-2017

”The precious death of any martyr
deserves high praise
because of his heroic confession;
the death of these children
is precious in the sight of God
because of the beatitude
they gained so quickly.
For already, at the beginning
of their lives, they pass on.
The end of the present life
is for them the beginning of glory.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-precious-death-st-augustine-28-dec-2017

“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)the star of bethlehem shines forth in the dark night - st teresa benedicta 28dec2018

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Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

“Holy Bishop Ambrose – about whom I shall speak to you today – died in Milan in the night between 3 and 4 April 397.   It was dawn on Holy Saturday.   The day before, at about five o’clock in the afternoon, he had settled down to pray, lying on his bed with his arms wide open in the form of a cross.   Thus, he took part in the solemn Easter Triduum, in the death and Resurrection of the Lord.   “We saw his lips moving”, said Paulinus, the faithful deacon who wrote his Life at St Augustine’s suggestion, “but we could not hear his voice”.   The situation suddenly became dramatic.   Honoratus, Bishop of Vercelli, who was assisting Ambrose and was sleeping on the upper floor, was awoken by a voice saying again and again, “Get up quickly! Ambrose is dying…”.   “Honoratus hurried downstairs”, Paulinus continues, “and offered the Saint the Body of the Lord.   As soon as he had received and swallowed it, Ambrose gave up his spirit, taking the good Viaticum with him.   His soul, thus refreshed by the virtue of that food, now enjoys the company of Angels” (Life, 47).

On that Holy Friday 397, the wide open arms of the dying Ambrose expressed his mystical participation in the death and Resurrection of the Lord.   This was his last catechesis – in the silence of the words, he continued to speak with the witness of his life.

Like the Apostle John, Bishop Ambrose – who never tired of saying: “Omnia Christus est nobis! To us Christ is all!” – continues to be a genuine witness of the Lord.   Let us thus conclude our Catechesis with his same words, full of love for Jesus:  “Omnia Christus est nobis!   If you have a wound to heal, He is the doctor;  if you are parched by fever, He is the spring;  if you are oppressed by injustice, He is justice;  if you are in need of help, He is strength;  if you fear death, He is life;  if you desire Heaven, He is the way;  if you are in the darkness, He is light….   Taste and see how good is the Lord, blessed is the man who hopes in Him!” (De Virginitate, 16, 99).   Let us also hope in Christ.   We shall thus be blessed and shall live in peace.”

Pope Benedict – Excerpt, General Audience, Catechesis on St Ambrose, 24 October 2007

St Ambrose, Pray for us!st-ambrose-pray-for-us-2- 7dec2017

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Thought for the Day – 2 December – “Watching”

Thought for the Day – 2 December – Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36, The First Sunday of Advent, Year C

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”...Luke 21:36

“Watching”
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Excerpt from Sermon 22advent-watching waiting preparing - 2 dec 2018-bl john henry newman watching sermon 22

“I conceive it may be explained as follows:—Do you know the feeling in matters of this life, of expecting a friend, expecting him to come and he delays? Do you know what it is to be in unpleasant company and to wish for the time to pass away and the hour strike, when you may be at liberty? Do you know what it is to be in anxiety lest something should happen which may happen or may not, or to be in suspense about some important event, which makes your heart beat, when you are reminded of it and of which you think the first thing in the morning? Do you know what it is to have a friend in a distant country, to expect news of him and to wonder, from day to day, what he is now doing and whether he is well? Do you know what it is so to live upon a person who is present with you, that your eyes follow his, that you read his soul, that you see all its changes in his countenance, that you anticipate his wishes, that you smile in his smile and are sad in his sadness, and are downcast when he is vexed and rejoice in his successes? To watch for Christ is a feeling such as all these; as far as feelings of this world, are fit to shadow out, those of another.

He watches for Christ who has a sensitive, eager, apprehensive mind, who is awake, alive, quick-sighted, zealous in seeking and honouring Him; who looks out for Him in all that happens and who would not be surprised, who would not be over-agitated or overwhelmed, if he found that He was coming at once.

And he watches with Christ, who, while he looks on to the future, looks back on the past and does not so contemplate what his Saviour has purchased for him, as to forget what He has suffered for him. He watches with Christ, who ever commemorates and renews, in his own person, Christ’s Cross and Agony and gladly takes up that mantle of affliction which Christ wore here and left behind Him, when he ascended. And hence in the Epistles, often as the inspired writers show their desire for His second coming, as often, do they show, their memory of His first and never lose sight of His Crucifixion in His Resurrection. Thus if St Paul reminds the Romans that they “wait for the redemption of the body” at the Last Day, he also says, “If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” If he speaks to the Corinthians of “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he also speaks of “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” If to the Philippians of “the power of His resurrection,” he adds at once “and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” If he consoles the Colossians with the hope “when Christ shall appear,” of their “appearing with Him in glory,” he has already declared that he “fills up that which remains of the afflictions of Christ in his flesh for His body’s sake, which is the Church.” [Rom. viii. 17-28. 1 Cor. i. 7. 2 Cor. iv. 10. Phil. iii. 10. Col. iii. 4; i. 24.]

Thus the thought of what Christ is, must not obliterate from the mind, the thought of what He was and faith is always sorrowing with Him, while it rejoices. And the same union of opposite thoughts is impressed on us in Holy Communion, in which we see Christ’s death and resurrection together, at one and the same time, we commemorate the one, we rejoice in the other; we make an offering and we gain a blessing. {325}

This then is to watch – to be detached from what is present and to live in what is unseen, to live in the thought of Christ as He came once and as He will come again, to desire His second coming, from our affectionate and grateful remembrance of His first. And this it is, in which we shall find that men in general are wanting. They are indeed without faith and love also but at least they profess to have these graces, nor is it easy to convince them that they have not. For they consider they have faith, if they do but own that the Bible came from God, or that they trust wholly in Christ for salvation and they consider they have love, if they obey some of the most obvious of God’s commandments. Love and faith they think they have but surely they do not even fancy that they watch.

What is meant by watching and how it is a duty, they have no definite idea and thus it accidentally happens that watching, is a suitable test of a Christian, in that it is that particular property of faith and love, which, essential as it is, men of this world do not even profess that particular property, which is the life or energy of faith and love, the way in which faith and love, if genuine, show themselves.

…Year passes after year silently Christ’s coming is ever nearer than it was. O that, as He comes nearer earth, we may approach nearer heaven! O, my brethren, pray Him to give you the heart to seek Him in sincerity. Pray Him to make you in earnest. You have one work only, to bear your cross after Him. Resolve in His strength to do so. Resolve to be no longer beguiled by “shadows of religion,” by words, or by disputings, or by notions, or by high professions, or by excuses, or by the world’s promises or threats. Pray Him to give you what Scripture calls “an honest and good heart,” or “a perfect heart” and, without waiting, begin at once to obey Him with the best heart you have. Any obedience is better than none—any profession which is disjoined from obedience, is a mere pretence and deceit. Any religion which does not bring you nearer to God is of the world.
You have to seek His face – obedience is the only way of seeking Him. All your duties are obediences. If you are to believe the truths He has revealed, to regulate yourselves by His precepts, to be frequent in His ordinances, to adhere to His Church and people, why is it, except because He has bid you? and to do what He bids is to obey Him and to obey Him is to approach Him. Every act of obedience is an approach,—an approach to Him who is not far off, though He seems so but close behind this visible screen of things, which hides Him from us. He is behind this material framework, earth and sky are but a veil, going between Him and us, the day will come when He will rend that veil and show Himself to us. And then, according as we have waited for Him, will He recompense us. If we have forgotten Him, He will not know us but “blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He comes, shall find watching … He shall gird Himself and make them sit down to meat and will come forth and serve them. And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants,” [Luke 12:37, 38.]

May this be the portion of every one of us!

It is hard to attain it but it is woeful to fail.

Life is short, death is certain and the world to come, is everlasting.”luke 21 36 - be vigilant - life is short, death is certain and the world to come everlasting - 2 dec 2018 1st sun advent

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Thought for the Day – 27 November – The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

Thought for the Day – 27 November – The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved by St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)

“Conclusion”
Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today.   So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is:  Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be.   And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well.   As for the rest, compare these two opinions – the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned, the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved.   Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved.   If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.

Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion.   He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved.   If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.

What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved?   Saint Peter says to us, “Strive by good works to make your election sure.”   When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, “You will be saved if you want to be.”   I say the same thing to you and here is proof of my declaration.   No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin – that is of faith.   And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to – that is an undeniable theological proposition.   Therefore, no one goes to hell, unless he wants to – the consequence is obvious.   Does that not suffice to comfort you?

Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future and you will all be saved.   Why torment yourself so?   For it is certain, that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell and that to commit mortal sin, you must want to and that consequently, no one goes to hell, unless he wants to.   That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth – may God give you to understand it and may He bless you.   Amen.”

The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved
by St Leonard of Port Maurice
Full Sermon here: https://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/fewness.shtml

St Leonard of Port Maurice, Pray for Us!st leonard of port maurice pray for us no 2 - 27nov2018