Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, Papal Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Marian Thoughts – 5 May – “A Calm Vision”

Marian Thoughts – 5 May – the Month of Mary

Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope Paul VI
Marialis Cultus – 2 February 1974

To Honour Mary

Devotion to the Mother of the Lord becomes for the faithful an opportunity for growing in divine grace and this is the ultimate aim of all pastoral activity.   For it is impossible to honour her who is “full of grace” (Lk. 1:28) without thereby honouring, in oneself, the state of grace, which is friendship with God, communion with Him and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.   It is this divine grace which takes possession of the whole man and conforms him to the image of the Son of God (cf. Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18).

The Catholic Church, endowed with centuries of experience, recognises in devotion to the Blessed Virgin a powerful aid for man as he strives for fulfilment.   Mary, the New Woman, stands at the side of Christ, the New Man, within whose mystery the mystery of man(124) alone finds true ligh,; she is given to it as a pledge and guarantee that God’s plan in Christ for the salvation of the whole man has already achieved realisation in a creature – in her.   Contemplated in the episodes of the Gospels and in the reality which she already possesses in the City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to modern man, torn as he often is between anguish and hope, defeated by the sense of his own limitations and assailed by limitless aspirations, troubled in his mind and divided in his heart, uncertain before the riddle of death, oppressed by loneliness while yearning for fellowship, a prey to boredom and disgust. She shows forth the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal visions over earthly ones, of life over death.contemplated in the episodes - st paul VI- marilis cultus 5 may 2019.jpg

Let the very words that she spoke to the servants at the marriage feast of Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn. 2:5), be a seal on our Exhortation and a further reason in favour of the pastoral value of devotion to the Blessed Virgin as a means of leading men to Christ.   Those words, which at first sight were limited to the desire to remedy an embarrassment at the feast, are seen in the context of Saint John’s Gospel to re-echo the words used by the people of Israel to give approval to the Covenant at Sinai (cf. Ex. 19:8, 24:3, 7; Dt. 5:27) and to renew their commitments (cf. Jos. 24:24; Ezr. 10:12; Neh. 5:12). And they are words which harmonise wonderfully with those spoken by the Father at the theophany on Mount Tabor – “Listen to him” (Mt. 17:5

Second Reading
The Little Office of Mary
Saturdays
===============

Mater Admirabilis, Pray for us!mater-admirabilis-pray-for-us-5-may-2019.jpg

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The LAST THINGS, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Do as Abraham did

Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Deuteronomy 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; John 8:31-42

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God, this is not what Abraham did....John 8:39-40john 8 39-40 if you were abrahams children - wedfifthweeklent 10 april 2019.jpg

Do as Abraham did

St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Doctor of the Church

Looking wholly to God’s promise and setting aside all human ways of looking at things, knowing God to be capable of accomplishments beyond nature to achieve, Abraham put his trust in the words addressed to him, he let no shadow of doubt cross his mind and did not waver as to the meaning he should give God’s words.   For, it is in the nature of faith to put its trust in the power of the one who promises…  God had promised Abraham that a posterity without number would be born of him.   This promise exceeded the possibilities of nature and all purely human forms of perception and that is why his faith towards God “was credited him as righteousness” (Gn 15:6; Gal 3:6).

Well then, if we are on the watch, yet more wonderful promises have been made to us and we will be satisfied to an even greater extent, than human thought can dream.   And for this we have only to put our trust in the power of Him who has made these promises to us, so as to merit the righteousness, that comes from faith and obtain the promised reward.   For all those good things we are hoping for, far exceed all human conception and thought, so exceedingly wonderful is what we have been promised!

Indeed, these promises do not concern only the present, the flourishing of our lives and the enjoyment of visible goods but they are even more, about the time, when we have left this earth, when our bodies have become subject to corruption, when our remains have been reduced to dust.   God promises us, that He will then raise them up and establish them in glorious splendour, “for that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility,” Saint Paul assures us (1Cor 15:53).   More than this, after the resurrection of our bodies, we have received the promise, of enjoying the Kingdom and of obtaining, throughout endless ages, in the company of the saints, those ineffable goods that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard nor has it not entered the human heart” (1Cor 2:9).   Do you grasp the superabundance of the promises?   Do you grasp the greatness of these gifts?do you grasp the superabundance of the promise - st john chrysostom - wedfifthweeklent 10 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
which represents the full rejection of all our sins,
and the crushing defeat of death itself.
Praying the Stations again,
might help us grow in a sense that this is all “for me,” for my freedom.

We grow in a sense of repentance and deep sorrow.
We grow in a desire to celebrate
the glorious Light in the midst of all darkness.

Rid yourself of all your sins
and make a new heart and a new spirit.
Gospel antiphon, based upon Ezekiel 18:31

Closing Prayer:
Loving Creator,
I know in Your great love for me,
You see the deep sorrow in my heart.
Hear my prayers which are offered with such trust in You.

Be with me in both mind and heart
as I renew my life in Your spirit.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 6 April – Do not be dismayed

Quote of the Day – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

“Do not be dismayed by toil or suffering,
nor by the meagre fruit of your labours.
Remember that God rewards,
not according to results but effort.”

Blessed Zefirino, 1874do not be dismayed by the meagre fruits - bl sefirino agostino 6 april 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FREEDOM, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 1 April – “Go, your son will live.”

Lenten Reflection – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalms 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12A and 13B; John 4:43-54john 4 50 go your son will live mon fourthweek lent 1 april 2019.jpg

“Go, your son will live.”…John 4:50

Saint Anastasius II of Antioch (550-609)
Monk, then Patriarch of Antioch from 549-570 and from 593-599

Sermon 5, on the Resurrection of Christ, (trans. cf breviary, Office of the Dead)

“To this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Rm 14:9).   But “God is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Lk 20:38). Consequently, the dead over whom He who lives has power are no longer dead but alive. Life has power over them so that they may live without any further fear of death just as “Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Rm 6:9).   Raised up and freed from corruption they shall see death no more.   They will share in the Resurrection of Christ just as He shared in their death.   For no other reason did He descend to earth, whose bars are barriers to eternity, except to “shatter the doors of bronze and cut in two the bars of iron” (Ps 107[106]:16).   He came to lead our lives away from corruption to Himself and gave us freedom in place of slavery.

If the work of this arrangement of providence does not seem to be finished yet, for men still die and their bodies rot in the grave, this should in no way undermine our faith.   In advance of all the good things already mentioned we have even now received a pledge through Christ our first fruits.   Through Him, we attain the highest heaven and take our places with Him who carried us up to the heights with Himself.   That is what Saint Paul says somewhere:  “he raised us up with him and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6).he came to lead our lives away from corruption st anastasius of antioch 1 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
You give us new life.
We now begin the second part of Lent.
The Gospel according to John will be our guide.
Before we enter into the controversy and the sense of being in a court room,
we have a wonderful story of a healing.
In this gospel, the acts of power that Jesus works
are the “signs” that help us see who He is.

We are reminded that He is the one, who will give us new life.

Lo, I am about to create
new heavens and a new earth.
Isaiah 65:17 The First Reading

Closing Prayer:
God who created me,
You offer me new life through Your Son
and through the gift of Your sacraments.
While I see new life all around me,
I don’t always recognise the new life You offer me.
Help me to grow this Lent in an awareness
of the gifts You place in my life
and in a greater appreciation for Your care.
Give me the courage to ask for help.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – The Best of Fathers!

Lenten Reflection – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Joshua 5:9A, 10-12; Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32lent - laetare sunday 4th sun of lent 31 march 2019.jpg

But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him...Luke 15:20

“I shall get up and go to my father”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church

If we do not care for this young man’s conduct, his departure horrifies us.   Don’t let us ever abandon such a father!   Simply the sight of the father causes sin to flee, banishes our faults, does away with all bad behaviour and temptation.   Yet, if we have gone away, if we have wasted all our father’s inheritance in a life of debauchery, if we should happen to have committed some fault or misdeed or fallen into the mire of irreligiousness and complete dissipation, let us rise up for good and all and return to this best of Fathers, summoned by such a beautiful example.let us rise up for good and all - st peter chrysologus - 4th sund laetare sun 31 march 2019.jpg

“When the father saw him he ran to embrace him and covered him with kisses.”   I ask you, where is there room for despair here?   What pretext for excuse?   What false reason for fear?   Only, perhaps, if we dread meeting the father, if we are afraid of his kisses and embrace, only if we think that the father, when he takes his child by the hand, draws him to his breast and folds his arms around him, wants to seize the opportunity to make good his loss instead of welcoming in order to forgive.   Such a thought, however, that destroys life and is contrary to our salvation, is fully overcome, wholly destroyed by what follows: “The father said to his servants:  ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.   Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.   Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and has come to life again, he was lost and has been found.’”

When we have heard that, can we delay any longer?   What more could we ask for to return to the Father?

Daily Meditation:
Laetare Sunday: Be joyful!
This Sunday has a joy-filled tone.
We enter into the second part of Lent with a spirit of eagerness.
Our celebration of the mercy and life given to us in Jesus is near.

All the readings are profound.
The letter to the Ephesians can be a meditation for the week.
We have been saved by our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.
That is consoling at this part of Lent. It is not the work we do that saves us.
It is God’s love – in the midst of our darkness.

We can ask to be “lifted up” with Jesus in His surrender with the Father,
lifted up on the cross and therefore, lifted up in Glory.
And, we can express our desire to be an instrument of His consoling love,
in the hearts of those to whom He sends us.

Look to him and be radiant,
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
Psalm 34:5

Closing Prayer:
Loving Father of mine,
I feel the pace quicken, the time draw near.
I am filled with joy as I move toward Easter
and the promised reconciliation with You.
Teach me to follow the example of Your Son,
to be worthy of being called one His people –  a Christ-ian.
Help me to live each day as He did
turning hatred to love and conflict to peace.
I await the new life with eagerness, faith
and a deep gratitude.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Lenten Thoughts – 24 March – Take a step back

Lenten Thoughts – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:1-9 (The fruitless vine) and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back and to see things from a distance.

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back
and to see things from a distance.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is also beyond our visions.
In our lives, we manage to achieve only a small part
of the marvellous plan that is God’s work.
Nothing that we do is complete,
which is to say that the Kingdom is greater than ourselves.
No statement says everything that can be said.
No prayer completely expresses the faith.
No Creed brings perfection.
No pastoral visit solves every problem.
No programme fully accomplishes the mission of the Church.
No goal or purpose ever reaches completion.
This is what it is about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that others will watch over them.
We lay the foundations of something that will develop.
We add the yeast which will multiply our possibilities.
We cannot do everything,
yet it is liberating to begin.
This gives us the strength to do something and to do it well.
It may remain incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way.
It is an opportunity for the grace of God to enter and to do the rest.
It may be that we will never see its completion
but that is the difference between the master and the labourer.
We are labourers, not master builders,
servants, not the Messiah.
We are prophets of a future that does not belong to us.

Saint Óscar Romero (1917–1980) Martyr, Pray for us!

st-oscar-romero-pray-for-us-no-2-24-march-2019.jpg

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD

Lenten Thoughts – 17 March – The law was given through Moses grace and truth came through Jesus Christ – St Leo the Great

Lenten Thoughts – 17 March – The Second Sunday of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:28-36

The law was given through Moses grace

and truth came through Jesus Christ

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) 
Bishop of Rome and Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Sermo 51

The Lord reveals His glory in the presence of chosen witnesses.   His body is like that of the rest of mankind but He makes it shine with such splendour that His Face becomes like the sun in glory and His garments as white as snow.

The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of His disciples and to prevent the humiliation of His voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.

With no less forethought He was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church.   The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as His gift.   The members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.

The Lord had himself spoken of this when He foretold the splendour of His coming – Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.   Saint Paul the apostle bore witness to this same truth when He said – I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared with the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place He says:  You are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God.   When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge.   Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with Him.   This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says – Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified.   What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?

The writings of the two testaments support each other.   The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling Him under the veils of mystery.   As Saint John says:  The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.   In Him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law.   He is the one who teaches the truth of prophecy through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.

In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith.   No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.

No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised.   The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death.   Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature.   If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.the way to rest is through toil the way to life is through death 17 march 2019.jpg

When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears –  This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.transfiguration - listen to him 17 march 2019.jpg