Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 13 May – A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

Thought for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C – Gospel: John 10:1-10

A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

St John Damascene (675-749)

Monk, Theologian, Doctor of the Church

O Christ, my God, You stooped down to me, poor straying sheep, to take me on Your shoulders (Lk 15:5) and have set me down in green pastures (Ps 23[22]:2).   You have quenched my thirst at the springs of true doctrine, through the mediation of Your pastors, whose shepherd You were, before entrusting to them Your flock… And now, O Lord, You have called me… to serve Your disciples, by what design of Your Providence I know not, only You know.

But, Lord, lighten the heavy burden of those sins of mine that have so gravely offended You, purify my mind and heart.   Lead me by the right way (Ps 23[22]:3) as by a light enlightening me.   Enable me to proclaim Your word boldly, may Your Spirit’s tongue of flame (Acts 2:3) give perfect freedom to my tongue and make me constantly attentive to Your presence.

Be a shepherd to me, O Lord and together with me, be the shepherd of Your sheep, that my heart may not cause me to swerve either to right or to left.   Let Your good Spirit lead me in the right way, that my actions may be carried out, according to Your will – even to the end.”

Amen

a pastor's prayer to the good shepherd - st john damascene 13 may 2019.jpg

 

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Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 6 May – The Contest of Faith

Thought for the Day – 6 May – Monday of the Third week of Easter, Gospel: John 6:22–29 and the Memorial of St Francois Laval (1623-1708)

The Contest of Faith

Saint Cyprian of Carthage (200-258)
Bishop, Martyr, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from his Letter 58

Dear brothers, the commands of the Gospel are nothing else than God’s lessons, the foundations on which to build up hope, the supports for strengthening faith, the food that nourishes the heart.   They are the rudder for keeping us on the right course, the protection that keeps our salvation secure.   As they instruct the receptive minds of believers on earth, they lead safely to the kingdom of heaven.

As we do battle and fight, in the contest of faith, God, His angels and Christ Himself, watch us.   How exalted is the glory, how great the joy of engaging in a contest with God presiding, of receiving a crown, with Christ as judge.as we do battle and fight - st cyoprian of carthage - 6 may 2019 the contest of faith

Dear brethren, let us arm ourselves with all our might, let us prepare ourselves for the struggle with uncorrupted minds, with a whole faith and with devoted courage.

The blessed Apostle teaches us how to arm and prepare ourselves – Put round you the belt of truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, for shoes wear zeal for the Gospel of peace, take up the shield of faith to extinguish all the burning arrows of the evil one, take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

Let us take this armour and defend ourselves with these spiritual defences from heaven, so that when the evil day comes we may be able to resist the threats of the devil and fight back against him.

Let us put on the breastplate of righteousness so that our breasts may be protected and kept safe from the arrows of the enemy.   Let our feet be shod in the teaching of the Gospel and armoured so that when we begin to trample on the serpent and crush it, it will not be able to bite us or trip us up.

Let us with fortitude bear the shield of faith to protect us by extinguishing all the burning arrows that the enemy may launch against us.

Let us wear on our head the helmet of the Spirit, to defend our ears against the proclamations of death, to defend our eyes against the sight of accursed idols, to defend our foreheads so that God’s sign may be kept intact and to defend our mouths, so that our tongues may proclaim victoriously the name of Christ their Lord.

Let us arm our right hand with the sword of the Spirit so that it may courageously refuse the daily sacrifices and let the hand—mindful of the Eucharist—that took hold of the body of the Lord, embrace the Lord Himself and so gain from the Lord the future prize of a heavenly crown.

Dear brethren, have all this firmly fixed in your hearts.   If the day of persecution finds us thinking on these things and meditating upon them, the soldier of Christ, trained by Christ’s commands and instructions, will not tremble at the thought of battle but will be ready to receive the crown of victory.   Amen!

St Francois Laval, who have received the Crown, please pray for us!st francois laval pray for us no 2  6 may 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – Dangerous Affections

Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – Monday of the Third week of Easter, Gospel: John 6:22–29

Speaking of – Dangerous Affections – St Augustine

“Do not love the world
or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father, is not in him.”

1 John 2:151 john 2 15 - do not love the world - 6 may 2019.jpg

“The honours of this world,
what are they but puff
and emptiness
and peril of falling?”the honours of this world what are they but - st augustine - 6 may 2019.jpg

“What do you possess
if you possess not God?”what do you possess if you possess not god - st augustine 6 may 2019.jpg

“The love of worldly possessions
is a sort of bird line,
which entangles the soul
and prevents it flying to God.”the love of worldly possessions - st augustine 6 may 2019.jpg

“This is the business of our life –
by labour and prayer,
to advance in the grace of God,
till we come to that height of perfection
in which, with clean hearts,
we may behold God.”this is the business of our life - st augustine - 6 may 2019.jpg

“Daily advance,
then, in this love,
both by praying
and by well-doing,
that through the help of Him
who enjoined it on you
and whose gift it is,
it may be nourished
and increased,
until, being perfected,
it render you perfect.”daily advance then in this love - st augustine - 6 may 2019.jpg

“God does not
command impossibilities
but by commanding,
admonishes you do what you can
and to pray for what you cannot
and aids you,
that you may be able.”god does not command impossibilities - st augustine 6 may 2019.jpg

“This very moment,
I may,
if I desire,
become the friend
of God.”

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthis very moment - st augustine - friend of god - 6 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, Papal Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY

Marian Thoughts – “To Honour Mary” St Paul VI – 2 May 2019

Marian Thoughts – May, the Month of Mary – 2 May 2019

Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) 
Marialis Cultus – 2 February 1974

To Honour Mary

Finally, insofar as it may be necessary, we would like to repeat that the ultimate purpose of devotion to the Blessed Virgin is to glorify God and to lead Christians, to commit themselves, to a life which is in absolute conformity with His will.   When the children of the Church unite their voices, with the voice of the unknown woman, in the Gospel and glorify the Mother of Jesus, by saying to Him:  “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that you sucked” (Lk. 11:27), they will be led to ponder the Divine Master’s serious reply:  “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk. 11:28)   While it is true, that this reply is, in itself, lively praise of Mary, as various Fathers of the Church interpreted it and the Second Vatican Council has confirmed, it is also an admonition to us, to live our lives in accordance with God’s commandments.   It is also an echo of other words of the Saviour:   “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21); and again: “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (Jn. 15:14).

Christ is the only way to the Father (cf. Jn. 14:4-11) and the ultimate example to whom the disciple must conform his own conduct (cf. Jn. 13:15), to the extent of sharing Christ’s sentiments (cf. Phil. 2:5), living His life and possessing His Spirit (cf. Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:10-11).   The Church has always taught this and nothing in pastoral activity should obscure this doctrine.    But the Church, taught by the Holy Spirit and benefiting from centuries of experience, recognises, that devotion to the Blessed Virgin, subordinated to worship of the divine Saviour and in connection with it, also has a great pastoral effectiveness and constitutes, a force, for renewing Christian living.

It is easy to see the reason for this effectiveness.   Mary’s many-sided mission to the People of God is a supernatural reality which operates and bears fruit within the body of the Church.   One finds cause for joy, in considering, the different aspects of this mission and seeing how each of these aspects, with its individual effectiveness, is directed towards the same end, namely, producing in the children the spiritual characteristics of the first-born Son.   The Virgin’s maternal intercession, her exemplary holiness and the divine grace which is in her, become, for the human race, a reason for divine hope.

Second Reading
The Little Office of Mary
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
=================the virgin's maternal intercession - st paul VI - marialis cultus 1974-2 may 2019.jpg

Posted in BAPTISM, CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – “A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window”

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C, Gospel: John 3:1–8 and the Memorial of St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252)

“…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”...John 3:6

REFLECTION – “We read in Saint John – No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.   To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection.   Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation.   A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light.   It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished… The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but on the window.   If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray.   Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window.   A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God.   When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”…St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchjohn 3 6 that which is born of the spirit - a ray of sunlight - st john of the cross - 29 april 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Your Son in baptism, may by His Resurrection and intercession at Your right hand, obtain for us eternal life.   Send Your Spirit upon Your adopted children and lead us in Your way.   Grant that by the intercession of St Peter of Verona, our path may be straightened and glow with Your light.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st peter of verona pray for us 29 april 2019

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 26 April – “… only the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 April – Friday of Easter week and the Memorial of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón OCSO (1911-1938)

“…only the Cross of Christ
sheds light on the path of this life….
God is in the detached heart,
in the silence of prayer,
in the voluntary sacrifice to pain,
in the emptiness of the world and its creatures.
God is in the Cross and,
as long as we do not love the Cross,
we will not see Him, or feel Him….
If the world and men knew….
But they will not know,
they are very busy in their interests,
their hearts are very full of things
that are not God.”only in the cross of christ - st rafael arnaiz baron 26 april 2019 easter friday.jpg

“How good God is, I thought!
There is peace everywhere
except in the human heart.
…God is so good to me that,
in the silence,
He speaks to my heart
and teaches me,
little by little,
sometimes in tears,
always with the cross,
to detach myself from creatures,
not to look for perfection
except in Him …”

St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)how good god is - st rafael arnaiz baron redone 26 april 2019.jpg

The message of the cross
is foolishness to those
who are perishing
but to us,
who are being saved,
it is the power
of God…

1 Corinthians 1:18

More Quotes of St Rafael – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/quote-s-of-the-day-26-april-thursday-of-the-fourth-week-of-eastertide-and-the-memorial-of-st-rafael-arnaiz-baron-1911-1938/1-corinthians-1-18-the message of the cross is foolishness - 26 april 2018.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Holy Week Thoughts – 17 April – Give Me everything

Holy Week Thoughts – 17 April – Wednesday of Holy Week

All belong to you and you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

…1 Corinthians 3:22-23

The thousands of people, events, ideas and plans that occupy my inner life must become all one in the One and Only Name, Jesus.

I know that I have to move from speaking about Jesus to letting Him speak within me, from thinking about Jesus to letting Him think within me, from acting for and with Jesus, to letting Him act through me.

I know that the only way for me to see the world, is to see it through His eyes.

Everything has to become very simple, very unified, very focused.   It is no longer a question of being up-to-date and well-informed.

At this moment in history, my own, as well as that of the world, I have to go to the very centre of being – the centre where time touches eternty, where earth and heaven meet, where God’s Word becomes human flesh, where death and immortality embrace.

There is really no longer a question of options.

With an unmistakable clarity, I have heard a voice saying:

“Give Me everything and I will give you everything.”

Fr Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)give me everything and i will give you everything fr henri nouswen 17april2019 wedholyweek.jpg

My Lord, I Offer You Myself
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

My Lord,
I offer You myself in turn,
as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
You have died for me,
And I in turn make myself over to You.
I am not my own.
You have bought me:
I will, by my own act and deed,
complete the purchase.
My wish is to be separated
from everything of this world;
To cleanse myself simply from sin;
To put away from me even what is innocent,
If used for its own sake
and not for Yours.
I put away reputation and honour
and influence and power,
For my praise and strength,
shall be in You.
Enable me to carry out what I profess
Amenmy-lord-i-offer-you-myself-bl-john-henry-newman-lenten-prayer-17 april 2019 no 2-wed holy week.jpg