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One Minute Reflection – 7 May – “We have been set free…”

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:30–35 and the Memorial of St Agostino Roscelli

“…My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”...John 6:32bjohn 6 35 - the eucharist is the father's gift to the world.jpg

REFLECTION – ““Sing a new song to the Lord!” (Ps 96[95]:1).   It is a new song to match a new situation.   As Paul wrote: “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:  the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2Cor 5:17).   Those who were Israelites according to the flesh were set free from the tyranny of the Egyptians thanks to their mediator at that time, all-wise Moses, they were set free from their levy of brickmaking, the useless sweat of their earthly toil…, the cruelty of their overseers, the inhuman harshness of Pharaoh.   They passed through the sea, ate manna in the wilderness, drank water that gushed forth from the rock, crossed dry-footed over the Jordan and entered into the Land of promise.

Now all of this has been renewed for our sakes and this new world is incomparably better than the old.   We have been set free, not from an earthly slavery but from a spiritual one, we have no longer been delivered from this world’s tasks but from the stains of carnal pleasure.   We have escaped, not from Egyptian foremen or an impious and pitiless tyrant, a man like ourselves but from cunning, immoral demons inciting us to sin and from Satan, the leader of their mob.

We have passed over the waves of this present life like a sea, with its commotion and insane bustle.   We have eaten spiritual manna, the bread that came down from heaven giving life to the world.   When we put our delight in the living waters of Christ, we drank from water that gushed from the rock.   We have passed over Jordan thanks to the grace of the holy baptism we were deemed worthy to receive.   We entered the Land promised to the saints and made ready for them, that land, which the Lord called to mind when he said:  “Blessed the gentle for they shall inherit the earth” (Mt 5:4)….St Cyril of Alexandria (380-444) Father & Doctor of the Churchmy father gives you the true bread john 6 32 -we have passed over - sdt cyril of alex 7 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully to begin this day in Your name and to fill it with the active love for You and our neighbour.   By the food You give us, to sustain us on this journey, we are brought to holiness in Your Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, whom You gave to us as our food.   May the Mother of Your Son and our mother, lead us to You and may the prayers of St Agostino Roscelli, be a succour on our way.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.mary most holy pray for us - 9 nov 2018

st agostino roscelli pray for us 7 may 2019

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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

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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

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Thought for the Day – 24 March – An Incarnational Faith must be expressed publicly

Thought for the Day – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio:

“I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people.   You kill your own brother peasants and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.

No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God.   No-one has to comply with an immoral law.   It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . . Therefore, in the name of God and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you!   In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”

Simultaneously, Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant.

When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticised the US government for backing the junta.  His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, were regarded by many as the most trustworthy source of news available.

Romero’s funeral was celebrated in the plaza outside the cathedral and drew an estimated 250,000 mourners.

His tomb in the cathedral crypt soon drew thousands of visitors each year.   On 3 February 2015, Pope Francis authorised a decree recognising Oscar Romero as a martyr for the faith.   His beatification took place in San Salvador on 23 May 2015.   He was canonized on 14 October 2018.archbishop-romero-invites-us-to-good-sense-pope-francis-24-march-2019.jpg

Oscar Romero and many other Latin American martyrs for the faith were falsely accused of advocating a Marxist-inspired “theology of liberation.”   Following Jesus always requires choices.   Romero’s fiercest critics conveniently dismissed his choices as politically inspired.   An incarnational faith must be expressed publicly.

St Oscar Romero, Pray for Us!ast oscar romero pray for us 24 march 2019.jpg

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

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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

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Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Two – 26 February 2019 “Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Two – 26 February 2019
“Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lent 2019 will begin on
Wednesday, 6 March
The Holy Triduum is
Thursday, 18 April, Good Friday, 19 April, Holy Saturday, 20 April
Easter Sunday – 21 April 2019

And he sat down and called the twelve and he said to them,
“If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:35

Reflection:

“Answer those whom the marks of the Passion in Christ’s body plunge into uncertainty and who put the question:   “Who is this king of glory?” (Ps 24[23]:8).   Answer them that He is the Christ,“the mighty, the valiant” (ibid.) in everything He has done and continues to do…

Is He insignificant because He made Himself humble for your sake?   Is He to be despised because, as a Good Shepherd laying down His life for His flock, He came in search of the lost sheep and, having found it, brought it back on the shoulders that bore the cross for its sake and, when He had carried it back to the life on high, set it down amongst the faithful flock who remained in the fold? (cf. Jn 10:11; Lk 15:4).

Do you despise Him because he lighted a lamp, His own flesh and swept His house in search of the lost coin, cleansing the world from sin, while losing the beauty of His royal likeness through His Passion? (Lk 15,8f.; Mk 12,16)…

Do you consider Him less great, because He girds Himself with a linen towel to wash His disciples’ feet, showing them, that the certain way to be exalted, is to humble oneself? (Jn 13:4f.).   Do you hold a grievance against God because Christ humbles Himself, turning His mind to earth so as to raise up with Himself those who are bowed beneath the weight of sin? (Mt 11:28).

Do you accuse Him of having eaten with publicans and sinners… for their salvation? (Mt 9:10).   How can you take to task a doctor who bends over the sufferings and wounds of the sick to bring them healing?”

St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)

Father & Doctor of the Churchhow can you take to task a doctor - st gregory of nazianzen - 26 feb day two lenten novena 2019.jpg

A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’

Do I despise the great gift of God’s Love?

“Is it not, I say, quite a common case for men and for women to neglect religion in their best days?   They have been baptised, they have been taught their duty, they have been taught to pray, they know their Creed, their conscience has been enlightened, they have opportunity to come to Church.   This is their birthright, the privileges of their birth of water and of the Spirit but they sell it, as Esau did.   They are tempted by Satan, with some bribe of this world and they give up their birthright, in exchange for what is sure to perish and to make them perish with it.   Esau was tempted by the mess of pottage which he saw in Jacob’s hands.   Satan arrested the eyes of his lust and he gazed on the pottage, as Eve gazed on the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.   Adam and Eve sold their birthright for the fruit of a tree—that was their bargain.   Esau sold his for a mess of lentils—that was his.

And men now-a-days often sell theirs, not indeed for any thing so simple as fruit or herb but for some evil gain or other, which at the time they think worth purchasing at any price, perhaps for the enjoyment of some particular sin, or more commonly for the indulgence of general carelessness and spiritual sloth, because they do not like a strict life and have no heart for God’s service.   And thus, they are profane persons, for they despise the great gift of God.”

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)is-it-not-i-say-quite-a-common-case-bl-john-henry-newman- no 2 used 26 feb 2019

“The world tells us to seek success, power and money.
God tells us to seek humility, service and love.”

Pope Francisthe world tells us to seek success - pope francis - which is your choice lent 2019 26feb2019.jpg

Lenten Preparation Novena
DAY TWO

Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.

Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself, I cannot do Your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.

Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with Your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
…………………………………………..
(Mention your special intention)

Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.
Amenlenten prep novena day two - come back to me - 26 feb 2019.jpg