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 Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, STATIONS of the CROSS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The STATIONS of the CROSS

The Stations of the Cross – 18 April – Maundy Thursday

The Stations of the Cross – 18 April – Maundy Thursday

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Begin with an Act of Contrition

Forgive my sins, O my God,
forgive my sins –
the sins of youth,
the sins of age,
the sins of my soul
and the sins of my body,
the sins which, through frailty,
I have committed,
my deliberate and grievous sins,
the sins I know
and the sins I do not know,
the sins I have laboured so long
to hide from others,
that now they are hidden
from my own memory;
let me be absolved
from all these iniquities
and delivered from
the bond of all these evils,
by the Life, Passion and Death
of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen

act-of-contrition-7-march-thurs-after-ash-wed-2019.jpg

The Ninth Station
Again, a third time, Jesus falls

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
V. We adore You, O Christ and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

JESUS had now reached almost to the top of Calvary but, before He had gained the very spot where He was to be crucified, again He fell and is again dragged up and goaded onwards by the brutal soldiery.

We are told in Holy Scripture of three falls of Satan, the Evil Spirit.   The first was in the beginning; the second, when the Gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven were preached to the world, the third will be at the end of all things.   The first is told us by St John the Evangelist.   He says: “There was a great battle in heaven.   Michael and his Angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels.   And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.   And that great dragon was cast out, the old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan.”   The second fall, at the time of the Gospel, is spoken of by our Lord when He says, “I saw Satan, like lightning, falling from heaven.” And the third by the same St John:  “There came down fire from God out of heaven, … and the devil … was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone.”

These three falls—the past, the present and the future—the Evil Spirit had in mind when he moved Judas to betray our Lord.   This was just his hour.   Our Lord, when He was seized, said to His enemies, “This is your hour and the power of darkness.”   Satan knew his time was short and thought he might use it to good effect.   But little dreaming that he would be acting in behalf of the world’s redemption, which our Lord’s passion and death were to work out, in revenge and, as he thought, in triumph, he smote Him once, he smote Him twice, he smote Him thrice, each successive time a heavier blow.   The weight of the Cross, the barbarity of the soldiers and the crowd, were but his instruments.   O Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, the Word Incarnate, we praise, adore and love You for Your ineffable condescension, even to allow TYourself, thus for a time, to fall into the hands and under the power of the Enemy of God and man, in order thereby, to save us, from being his servants and companions for eternity.

Or this

This is the worst fall of the three.   His strength has for a while utterly failed Him and it is some time before the barbarous soldiers can bring Him to.   Ah! it was His anticipation of what was to happen to me.   I get worse and worse.   He sees the end from the beginning.   He was thinking of me all the time He dragged Himself along, up the Hill of Calvary.   He saw, that I should fall again in spite of all former warnings and former assistance.   He saw, that I should become secure and self-confident and that my enemy would then assail me with some new temptation, to which I never thought I should be exposed.   I thought my weakness lay all on one particular side which I knew.   I had not a dream that I was not strong on the other.   And so, Satan came down on my unguarded side and got the better of me, from my self-trust and self-satisfaction.   I was wanting in humility.   I thought no harm would come on me, I thought I had outlived the danger of sinning, I thought it was an easy thing to get to heaven and I was not watchful  . It was my pride and so I fell a third time.

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.the ninth station jesus falls the third time - he sees the end from the beginning - bl john henry newman 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

I love You, Lord Jesus,
my love above all things,
I repent with my whole heart
for having offended You.
Never permit me to separate myself
from You again grant that I
may love always
and then do with me what You will.
(St Alphonsus Liguori)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Quote of the Day – 16 March – “it is necessary to pass by the dragon”

Quote of the Day – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:43–48

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthe dragon sits by the side of the road - st cyril of jerusalem 16 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Lenten Thoughts – 10 March – We progress by means of trial.

Lenten Thoughts – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent

In Christ we suffered temptation and in Him we overcame the devil

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms, Psalm 60.

Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer.   Who is speaking?   An individual, it seems.   See if it is an individual – I cried to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish.   Now it is no longer one person, rather, it is one in the sense, that Christ is one and we are all His members.   What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth?   The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance.   It was said to him:  Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession.   This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth.   What does it cry?   What I said before – Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer, I cried out to you from the ends of the earth.   That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth, that is, on all sides.

Why did I make this cry?   While my heart was in anguish.   The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.

Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial.   We progress by means of trial.   No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.our pilgrimage on earth - st augustine - 1st sun lent 10 march 2019.jpg

The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are His body, by means of His body, in which He has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of His body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.

He made us one with Him when He chose to be tempted by Satan.   We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.   Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil.   In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received His flesh from your nature but by His own power gained life for you, He suffered insults in your nature but by His own power gained glory for you, therefore, He suffered temptation in your nature but by His own power gained victory for you.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in Him we overcame the devil.   Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of His victory?   See yourself as tempted in Him and see yourself as victorious in Him.   He could have kept the devil from Himself but if He were not tempted, He could not teach you how to triumph over temptation. he could have kept the devil from himself - st augustine - 10 march 1st sun lent 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 March – “When I am weak, then am I strong.”

One Minute Reflection – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil….Luke 4:1-2

REFLECTION – “The devil does not have only one weapon.    He uses many different means to defeat human beings – now with bribery, now with boredom, now with greed he attacks, inflicting mental and physical wounds equally.
The kind of temptation varies with the different kinds of victim.   Avarice is the test of the rich, loss of children that of parents and everyone is exposed to pain of mind or body. What a wealth of weapons is at the devil’s disposal!

It was for this reason that the Lord chose to have nothing to lose.   He came to us in poverty so that the devil could find nothing to take away from Him.   You see the truth of this when you hear the Lord himself saying:

“The prince of this world is come and has found nothing in me” [John 14:30].   The devil could only test Him with bodily pain but this too was useless because Christ despised bodily suffering.

Job was tested by his own goods, whereas Christ was tempted, during the experience of the wilderness, by the goods of all.   In fact, the devil robbed Job of his riches and offered Christ the kingdom of the whole world.   Job was tested by vexations, Christ by prizes.   Job the faithful servant replied:  “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away” [Job 1:21]   Christ, being conscious of His own divine nature, scorned the devil’s offering of what already belonged to Him.
So let us not be afraid of temptations.   Rather, let us glory in them saying:  “When I am weak, then am I strong.” [2 Cor. 12:10]….St Ambrose (339-397 AD) – Doctor of the ChurchLuke 4 1-2 jesus in the wilderness tempted - so let us not be afrai - st ambrose - 10 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Through our annual Lenten observance, Lord, deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives.   May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lord’s Mother and ours, be ever our prayerful help.   We make our prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed-virgin-holy-mother-mary-pray-for-us-14-oct-2018.jpg

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 18 February – “However, you killed at the beginning”

Thought for the Day – 18 February – Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, First Reading – Genesis 4:1-15

“Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.”   And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.   Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”   He said, “I do not know;  am I my brother’s keeper?”   And the Lord said, “What have you done?   The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.   And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.   When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength;  you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” …Genesis 4:8-12

“Cain favoured instinct – he preferred to let this feeling stew inside him, festering and allowing it to grow. This sin, which he will later commit, which is couching behind the feeling, grows.

This, is how hostilities grow between you – they begin with something small – jealousy, envy and then this grows and I pull away from my brother, saying this person is not my brother, this one is an enemy, this one must be destroyed, driven away… and so people are destroyed -it is thus that animosity destroys families, populations, everything.   It is that eating away at you, that being constantly obsessed with that person.

No!… there is no brother.
It is just me;  there is no brotherhood – it is just me.
What happened at the beginning, can happen to all of us – it is a possibility. For this reason, it is a process which must be stopped immediately, at the beginning, at the first sign of bitterness.   It must be stopped, because bitterness is not Christian – pain, yes, bitterness no.
Indeed, resentment is not Christian – pain yes, resentment no.
Instead, how much hostility and how many cracks exist and it ends in a war that kills.

However, you killed at the beginning.   This is the process of blood and today the blood of many people in the world is crying to God from the ground.

And it is all connected – that blood has some connection, perhaps a small droplet of blood that I caused to ooze out with my envy and jealousy when I destroyed a brotherhood.”

Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 13 February 2017genesis 4 10 and the lord said what have you done - and it is all connected - pope francis 18 feb 2019.jpg

It is not enough to simply “follow the rules” and stay out of trouble.   If that is all we do then we are trying to achieve heaven by our own merits. God wants more from us than that.   God invites us into a relationship of friends and family, a relationship of love.   This type of relationship is a living, dynamic one.   To love Christ and to want to be near Him is to be crucified with Him.

It means standing up for the Truth even when it is unpopular.   It means finding time to pray.   It means that we stay faithful to the teachings of Jesus.   And it means that when we fail, we humbly confess our sins as we would apologise to a friend we have hurt, so that that relationship can be restored.   It means that we must reflect Christ to the whole world, so that when people look at us they do not see us, they see Christ.

But in the end that is what it means to live for Christ and not for ourselves, to love for Christ and not for ourselves, to give of ourselves for Christ!

Blessed Fra Angelico, you gave your all for Christ, please Pray for Us!bl fra angelico pray for us 18 feb 2019.jpg