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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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Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ANGELS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY FACE, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 November – The Memorial of St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)

Quote/s of the Day – 16 November – The Memorial of St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)

“My dear friends, do not be taken aback
at the testing by fire, which is taking place among you,
as though something strange, were happening to you
but insofar as you share in the sufferings of Christ,
be glad, so that you may enjoy
a much greater gladness, when his glory is revealed”

1 Peter 4:12-131-peter-4-12-13 - my dear friends, do not be overcome at the testing by fire - st peter 16 nov 2018

“Bodily and spiritual affliction
are the surest sign of Divine predilection.
Gratitude for suffering is a precious jewel
for our heavenly crown…
Man should always firmly believe that God
sends just that trial which is most beneficial for him.”bodily-and-spiritual-affliction-st-gertrude-16-nov-2017

“Every time, we look
at the Blessed Sacrament,
our place in heaven,
is raised forever.”every time we look - st gertrude the great - 16 nov 2018

“I understand that,
each time we contemplate,
with desire and devotion,
the Host in which is hidden
Christ’s Eucharistic Body,
we increase our merits in heaven
and secure special joys to be ours,
later in the beatific vision of God.”i understand that - st gertrude 18 nov 2018.jpg

“Angels constantly guard,
the clients of the Blessed Virgin,
from the assaults of Hell.”

St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)angels constantly guard the clients of the blessed virgin - st gertrude - 16 nov 2918

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:1-6

One Minute Reflection – 12 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:1-6 – Monday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Martyr

“Temptations to sin are sure to come but woe to the person through whom they occur!   It would be better for him, if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin…” Luke 17:1-2luke 17 1-2 - temptations are sure to come but it would be better - 12 nov 2018

REFLECTION – “The accompanying discussion that immediately follows these opening remarks and speaks of our pardoning our brothers and sisters in case they ever sin against us, leads us to the idea that these were the offences meant.   What are these offences?   They are, I suppose, mean and annoying actions, fits of anger whether on good grounds or without justification, insults, slander and other stumbling blocks similar to these.   He says that these temptations must come.   Is this then because God, who governs all, forces people to their commission of sin?   Away with the thought!   Nothing that is evil comes from Him.   He is the fountain of all virtue.   Why then must this happen?   They clearly happen because of our infirmity, for all of us stumble in many things, as it is written.   Nevertheless, He says, that there will be woe to the person who lays the stumbling blocks in the way.   He does not leave indifference in these things without rebuke but restrains it by fear of punishment.   He still commands us to bear with patience those who cause sins to happen.”…St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) – Father & Doctor – Commentary on Luke, “Homilies 113-116”he says that these temptations must come - st cyril of alex - 12 nov 2018

PRAYER – O Lord our God, grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love and to be only good influences to our neighbour.   That by our love, our brothers in faith may be one  . St Josaphat you fought and struggled to unite the Church and by your efforts achieved the crown of martyrdom, please pray for our world, for a one united faith. Amenst-josaphat-pray-for-us-12 NOV 2017 - 2

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FRANCISCAN, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, MYSTICS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ANGELS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“Do not fear!   Jesus is more powerful than all hell.”do-not-fear - 23 sept 2017

“Do not be daunted by the cross.
The surest test of love consists in suffering for the loved one
and if God suffered so much for love,
the pain we suffer for Him becomes as lovable as love itself.”

“The greater your sufferings, the greater God’s love for you.”the-greater-your-sufferings-st-pio-23-sept-2017

“God will never permit anything,
to happen to us, that is not for our greater good.”

“The storms that are raging around you,
will turn out to be for God’s glory,
your own merit
and the good of many souls.”the storms that are - god will never permit - st pio - 23 sept 2018

“In all the free time you have,
once you have finished your duties of state,
you should kneel down and pray the Rosary.
Pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament
or before a crucifix.”in-all-the-free-time-st-pio-no-2-23-sept-2017

“Do you not see the Madonna always beside the Tabernacle?”do-you-not-see-st-pio-23-sept-2017

“Listen to the Mass, the way the Virgin Mary, stood at .. Calvary..”listen to the mass - st pio - 23 sept 2018

“We have close to us, an angelic spirit,
who never leaves us for an instant,
from the cradle to the grave,
who guides and protects us,
like a friend or a brother.”we have close to us an angelic spirit - st padre pio - 23 sept 2018

“When you gossip about a person it means
that you have removed the person from your heart.
But be aware, when you remove a man from your heart,
Jesus also goes away from your heart with that man.”

St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)when-you-gossip-st-pio-23-sept-2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 1 August – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Liquori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 1 August – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Liquori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

“Your God is ever beside you –
indeed, He is even within you.”your god is ever beside you - 1 aug 2017 st-alphonsus-quote

“Know also that you will probably gain more
by praying fifteen minutes
before the Blessed Sacrament
than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day.
True, Our Lord hears our prayers anywhere,
for He has made the promise, ‘Ask, and you shall receive,’
but He has revealed to His servants,
that those who visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament
will obtain a more abundant measure of grace.”know-also-that-you-will-probably-gain-more-st-alphonsus-1 aug 2017- no 2

“St Augustine and St Thomas
define mortal sin
to be a turning away from God:
that is, the turning of one’s back upon God,
leaving the Creator for the sake of the creature.
What punishment would that subject deserve who,
while his king was giving him a command,
contemptuously turned his back upon him to go
and transgress his orders?
This is what the sinner does;
and this is punished in hell with the pain of loss,
that is, the loss of God,
a punishment richly deserved by him
who in this life turns his back upon his sovereign good.”st-augustine-and-st-thomas-define-mortal-sin-st-alphonsus - 1 aug 2017

“Let us thank God
for having called us to His holy faith.
It is a great gift
and the number of those,
who thank God for it is small.”

let-us-thank-god-for-having-called-us-st-alphonsus- 1 aug 2017- no 2

“All others had a Redeemer Who delivered them
from sin with which they were already defiled
but that the most Blessed Virgin had a Redeemer Who,
because He was her Son,
preserved her from ever being defiled by it. “all others had a redeemer - st alphonsus - 15 jan 2018

“Just as there is not one among all the Blessed
who loves God as Mary does, so there is no one,
after God, who loves us as much as this most loving Mother does.
Furthermore, if we heaped together
all the love that mothers have for their children,
all the love of husbands and wives,
all the love of all the angels and Saints for their clients,
it could never equal Mary’s love for even a single soul.”just as there is not one - 15 jan 2018 - st alphonsus liguori

“Were you to ask, ‘what are the mans of overcoming temptations’, I would answer:

the first means is prayer;  the second is prayer;  the third is prayer and should you ask me a thousand times, I would repeat the same.”

were you to ask - st alphonsus - 18 june 2018

“Without prayer, we have neither light nor strength, to advance in the way which leads to God.”

He who prays most receives most.”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

without prayer - st alphonsus - 30 jan 2018

 

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 July – Today’s Gospel: 13:24-30.

One Minute Reflection – 28 July – Saturday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: 13:24-30 and The First Memorial of Blessed Stanley Francis Rother (1935-1981) Martyr

‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’…Matthew 13:27

REFLECTION – “In today’s gospel, my friends, we see that when the owner of the field had sowed his seed in good soil, the enemy came while he was sleeping and sowed weeds in it.   What this means is that God created Man good and perfect but the enemy came and sowed sin.   This was Adam’s downfall, a terrible fall that opened the door to sin in the human heart.
Are you saying that we must pull out the weeds?   “But no,” the Lord replies, “for fear that in pulling up the weeds you pull up the good seed as well. Wait until harvest.”   This is how the human heart must remain until the end, a mixture of good and bad, vice and virtue, light and darkness, good seed and weeds.   God did not wish to destroy this mix and refashion a nature in us where there would be nothing but good seed.   He wants us to fight, to strive to prevent the weeds from taking over.   The devil comes to sow temptation across our path but we are able to overcome it by grace, we can smother the weeds.   Three things are absolutely necessary against temptation:  prayer to enlighten us, the sacraments to strengthen us and vigilance to preserve us.   Happy are souls that are tempted!   It is when the devil discerns that a soul is tending towards union with God that he redoubles his rage.”…St John Marie Vianney (1786-1859)good seed and weeds - matthew 13 27 - what this means is that god - st john vianney - 28 july 2018

PRAYER – All-powerful and ever-living God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, chase away the night of sin and fill our minds with the glory of Your coming.   Take away our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, help us in our battle with sin and the devil.   By our prayers, Your holy sacraments and the strength of the Holy Spirit, may we be ever vigilant of the evil one.   Blessed Stanley Rother, although evil surrounded you, you kept your eyes on the Lord, knowing He was always with you.   Hear the prayers of Blessed Stanley on our behalf dear Lord.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl stanley rother - pray for us - 28 july 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Saint of the Day – 23 July – St John Cassian (c 360 – c 435)

Saint of the Day – 23 July – St John Cassian (c 360 – c 435) Priest, Monk, Theologian, Writer, Founder.   Also known as John the Ascetic, or John Cassian the Roman (Latin: Ioannes Eremita Cassianus, Ioannus Cassianus, or Ioannes Massiliensis), was a Christian monk and theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Churches for his mystical writings.   St John Cassian is noted for his role in bringing the ideas and practices of Christian monasticism to the early medieval West.   He was born in c 360 in Scythia Minor (modern-day Dobrogea, Romania) and died in c 435 in Massilia, Gaul (modern-day Marseilles, France), of natural causes.

ST JOHN CASSIAN

Cassian was born around 360, most likely in the region of Scythia Minor (now Dobruja, a historical region shared today by Romania and Bulgaria), although some scholars assume a Gallic origin.   The son of wealthy parents, he received a good education: his writings show the influence of Cicero and Persius.   He was bilingual in Latin and Greek.

Cassian mentions having a sister in his first work, the Institutes, with whom he corresponded in his monastic life;  she may have ended up with him in Marseilles.

Around 380, John Cassian migrated from Romania to Bethlehem, where he embraced the monastic life.   After 385 he wandered the Egyptian desert, the heart of eastern monasticism.   He visited abbots at monasteries and hermits in their caves, absorbing their teachings about the Christian life.

The year 400 found him on the staff of St John Chrysostom in Constantinople.   When Chrysostom was unfairly deposed and exiled, Cassian was among his defenders who travelled to Rome to plead his case before the pope, who was Innocent I.   At that time he was ordained a priest.

While he was in Rome, Cassian accepted the invitation to found an Egyptian-style monastery in southern Gaul, near Marseilles.   He may also have spent time as a priest in Antioch between 404 and 415.   In any case, he arrived in Marseilles around 415.   His foundation, the Abbey of St Victor, was a complex of monasteries for both men and women, one of the first such institutes in the West and served as a model for later monastic development.JOHN CASSIAN

To instruct his monks and nuns, Cassian wrote two significant books. The Institutes described the eastern pattern of monastic life and the virtues required of monks. The Conferences presented the wisdom of the Egyptian desert in the form of discourses by famous abbots. In the following sample we hear “Abbot Isaac” on the practice of the presence of God:

“To keep the thought of God always in your mind you must cling totally to this formula for piety:  ‘Come to my help, O God. Lord, hurry to my rescue’ (see Psalm 70:2).   

“With good reason this verse has been chosen from the whole of Scripture as a device.   It bears all the feelings that human nature can experience.   

It can be adapted to every condition and deployed against every temptation.   It carries a cry to God in the face of every danger.   It piously confesses humility.   It conveys our sense of frailty, our assurance of being heard, our confidence in help that is always and everywhere present.   Someone forever calling out to his protector is very sure of his nearness.   This short verse is an indomitable wall for all those struggling against the onslaught of demons.   

Whatever the disgust, the anguish, or the gloom in our thoughts, it keeps us from despairing of our salvation since it reveals to us the One to whom we call, the One who sees our struggles and who is never far from those who pray to him.   

If things go well for us in spirit, this verse is a warning.   We must not get puffed up at being in a good condition that we cannot retain without the protection of God for whose continuous and speedy help it prays.   

This little verse, I am saying, proves to be necessary and useful to each one of us in all circumstances.”

Cassian’s achievements and writings influenced Saint Benedict, who incorporated many of the principles into his monastic rule and recommended to his own monks that they read the works of Cassian.   Since Benedict’s rule is still followed by Benedictine, Cistercian and Trappist monks, John Cassian’s thought still exercises influence over the spiritual lives of thousands of men and women in the Latin Church.

The Church also ranks him as a saint, with a feast day on 23 July.   Like his contemporaries Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint John Chrysostom, he was never formally canonised, a process that came into use several centuries after his death.   Pope Urban V referred to him as sanctus (a saint) and he was included in the Gallican Martyrology.  He is included also in the Roman Martyrology with a feast-day on 23 July.  Like the great majority of recognised saints of the Church, he is not one of the saints in the General Roman Calendar, but the Archdiocese of Marseilles and some monastic orders celebrate his memorial on his feast day.

Cassian’s relics are kept in an underground chapel in the Monastery of St Victor in Marseilles.   His head and right hand are in the main church there.

Today laypeople cannot practice the presence of God with the constancy that Cassian demanded.   But we can frequently remind ourselves of God’s nearness and draw on his grace by praying “Come to my help, O God. Lord, hurry to my rescue.”st john cassian - largerJOHN CASSIAN 2