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

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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 DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April ‘ But You God”

Lenten Thoughts – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

And now, my heavy laden soul,
what will you do?
You call with your lips and voice to
God most high,
God, who cares only for deeds and
is not taken in by words.
You, my soul, with a heart always turned toward Egypt,
how can I describe you?

Am I
a Sodom, to be punished likewise with destruction,
or the prosecutor of Ninevah, who was struck dumb?

Am I
more cowardly and barbarous than the
queen of the south,
lower than Canaan,
more stubborn than Amalek,
incurable as the city of idols,
a relic left behind from the rebellion of Israel,
a reminder of the broken covenant of Judah,
more reproachable than Tyre,
more shunned than Zidon,
more immoral than Galilee,
more unpardonable than faithless Capernaum,
maligned like Korazin,
slandered like Bethsaida?

Or am I
immodest as Ephraim as he prayed,
or a dove, whose gentleness seems due to
feeblemindedness and not to inner calm,
or an evil serpent born of lion’s cubs,
or the serpent’s egg filled with decay,
or like the last blow against Jerusalem?

Or am I
in the words of our Lord
and the sayings of the prophets,
an abandoned tabernacle about to collapse,
the unlatched doors of the stronghold,
my speaking edifice stained again,
having given up my rightful inheritance,
my home built by God,
as Moses, David and Jeremiah prophesied?
My thinking body now consumed by disease,
afflicted with carping counsel, rehabilitated by the law,
anointed with the clay of mildness,
incapable of finding my own salvation,
torn away from the maker’s hand,
expelled as just punishment
by order of the Almighty, to an unholy place,
rejected, exiled, greatly shunned, nothing spared,
having buried my gift in the ground,
like the one chastised in the Gospel by
losing his inheritance.

But You, God,
Lord of souls and all flesh,
in the words of one divinely graced,
You are long-suffering and abounding in mercy.
In the voice of blessed Jonah,
grant that I finish to Your delight
this book of prayers, now begun.
And having sown these words with tears
and set forth on this journey toward the dwellings You have prepared,
may I return joyfully in the time of harvest
with the bounty of atonement,
with sheaves of goodness and the fruits of delight.

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) – Fathe & Doctor of the Churchbut-you-god-st-gregory-of-narek-27-feb-2018.jpg

“If you elevate yourself,
God distances Himself from you.
If you humble yourself,
He leans towards you.”

St Augustine (354-430)if you elevate yourself - st augustine - 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 DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Thoughts – 27 March – Progress towards Perfection

Lenten Thoughts – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

Progress towards Perfection

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

“We too often forget that maxim of the Saints which warns us to consider ourselves as each day recommencing our progress towards perfection.   If we consider it frequently, we shall not be surprised at the poverty of our spirit, nor how much we have to refuse ourselves.

The work is never finished, we have continually to begin again and that courageously. What we have done so far is good but what we are going to commence, will be better and when we have finished that, we shall begin something else that will be better still and then another – until we leave this world to begin a new life that will have no end because it is the best that can happen to us.

It is not then a case for tears, that we have so much work to do for our souls, for we need great courage to go ever onwards (since we must never stop) and much resolution to restrain our desires.   Observe carefully this precept that all the Saints have given to those who would emulate them – to speak little, or not at all, of yourself and your own interests.”the work is never finished - st francis de sales - 27 march 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 20 March – Keep death before your eyes

Quote of the Day – 20 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Martin of Braga (c 520–580)

“An old man said,
the man
that every hour
has death before his eyes,
will conquer
meanness of soul.”

St Martin of Braga (c 520–580)

About St Martin of Braga – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/saint-of-the-day-20-march-st-martin-of-braga-c-520-580/an old man said, the man that every hour st martin of braga 20 march 2019.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 20 March – You hear Him talking about the cross and you ask for a throne?

Lenten Reflection – 20 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom”...Matthew 20:21basil of seleucia 20 march 2019

Basil of Seleucia (Died c 468) Bishop
Sermon 24

Would you like to know the faith of this woman?   Well, just think at the time she does such a request…The cross was ready, the Passion immanent, the crowd of enemies already in place.   The Teacher talks about His death and the disciples are worried, even before the Passion they tremble at the simple mention of it, what they hear startles them, they are overcome by agitation and fear.   At that very moment this mother leaves the group of the apostles and comes to request the kingdom and a throne for her sons.

What did you say, woman?   You hear Him talking about the cross and you ask for a throne?   It is a matter of the Passion and you wish for the Kingdom?   In that case, leave the disciples with all their fears and worries of danger.   But how could you think of asking such dignity?   Out of all that has been said or done, what makes you think about the kingdom?

I see – she says – the Passion but I foresee the Resurrection.  I see the cross set up and I contemplate the open skies.   I see the nails but I also see the throne… I heard the Lord himself say:  “you shall likewise take your places on twelve thrones” (Mt 19:28).   I see the future with the eyes of faith.

This woman anticipates – it seems to me – the words of the good criminal.   He, on the cross, made this prayer:  “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42).   Even before the cross she made the kingdom an object of her supplication… What a desire plunged in the vision of the future!   What time hid, faith revealed.

Daily Meditation:
Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.

Jesus is telling us about His Passion, Death and Resurrection – for us.
Too often we are fighting over which of us is the greatest.
To take this journey with Him, is to take a journey
that draws us to be with Him in it and like Him:
a servant of love for others.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28wed of the second week matthew 20 28 the sone of man came not to serve 20 march 2019.jpg

“The importance of Humility”
(Extract from a Sermon on St Philip Neri)

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

“But I would beg for you this privilege, that the public world might never know you for praise or for blame, that you should do a good deal of hard work in your generation and prosecute many useful labours and effect a number of religious purposes and send many souls to heaven and take men by surprise, how much you were really doing, when they happened to come near enough to see it but that by the world you should be overlooked, that you should not be known out of your place, that you should work for God alone, with a pure heart and single eye, without the distractions of human applause and should make Him your sole hope and His eternal heaven your sole aim and have your reward, not partly here but fully and entirely, hereafter.”

(The Mission of St Philip Neri, Sermons Preached on Various Occaions.)

Closing Prayer:
God of Love,
through this Lenten journey,
purify my desires to serve You.
Free me from any temptations to judge others,
to place myself above others.
Please let me surrender even my impatience with others,
that with Your love and Your grace,
I might be less and less absorbed with myself,
and more and more full of the desire
to follow You, in laying down my life
according to Your example.

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