Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 April – “I will not mistrust Him…”

One Minute Reflection – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter C, – Gospel: John 14:1-6 and the Memorial of St Paschal Baylon and St Giulia Salzano

“Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.“…John 14:1john-14-1 let not your hearts be troubled - 17 may 2018.jpg

REFLECTION – “I will not mistrust Him, Meg, although I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear.   I shall remember how St Peter at a blast of wind, began to sink, because of his lack of faith and I shall do as he did – call upon Christ and pray to Him for help.   And then I trust, He shall place His holy hand on me and in the stormy seas, hold me up from drowning.”…St Thomas More (1478-1535)i-will-not-distrust-him-meg-st-thomas-more-11-jan-2018 27 april 2018

PRAYER – “[Lord God] I believe in You, increase my faith.   All my hopes are in You, secure my trust.   I love You, teach me to love You more each day… I adore You as my first beginning, I long for You as my final end.   I praise You as my constant helper and call on You as my loving protector.   Guide me by Your Wisdom, correct me with Your Justice, comfort me with Your Mercy, protect me by Your Power… Lord, enlighten my understanding, enflame my will, purify my heart, sanctify my soul.   Help me to repent of my past sins and to rise above my human weaknesses and to grow stronger as a Christian…”(from the Universal Prayer by Pope Clement XI (1649-1721)lord god I believe help my unbelief excerpt universal prayer pope clement - 17 may 2019.jpg

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Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 14 May – ‘Always be brave and trust’

Quote of the Day – 14 May – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Saint Michel Garicoïts SCJ (1797-1863)

“…Therefore, never allow yourself to start brooding again
but always be brave and trust.
Serve your good Master with an open heart full of joy.
The right way is to see all events and all obstacles
in the spirit of faith as being in the hands of Our Lord
and to hear Him say to you, on every occasion,
as He did to the disciples
‘It is I. Do not fear. Have faith.'”

St Michael Garicoïts (1797-1863)therefore never allow yourself to start brooding - st michel garicoits 14 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – And all will be well, all manner of things shall be well!

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)all will be well - bl julian of norwich ccc 13 may 2019.jpg

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on Julian of Norwich

Wednesday, 1st December 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September.   England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching.   One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.

It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France.   God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave.   After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

“‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing?   Learn it well – Love was His meaning.   Who showed it to you?   Love…. Why did He show it to you?   For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision.   Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.   She may have taken the name of Julian, precisely from that Saint, to whom was dedicated the church, in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us.   But she was not the only one to make such a choice.   In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167).

The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study.   In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people.   Men and women of every age and condition, in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them.   It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice, precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.

We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life.   This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains.   She had become a mother to many.

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others.   As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.

It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love.   Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older and one that is longer.   This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.

In this book we read the following wonderful words:  “And I saw full surely that ere God made us He loved us, which love was never lacking nor ever shall be.   And in this love He has made all His works and in this love He has made all things profitable to us and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning.   And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love.   This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.   The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children.   In fact, the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says:  “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life – God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

I would like to emphasise another point.   The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist?   And the Saints themselves asked this very question.   Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote:   “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations.   If we are present to God, to His immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed.   “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well” – this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today.   Many thanks…Vatican.va

Blessed Julian, Pray for us!bl julian of norwich pray for us 13 may 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

Quote of the Day – 4 May – Do and want God’s will

Quote of the Day – 4 May – Saturday of the Second Week of Easter,Gospel: John 6:16–21 and the Memorial of St José Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929)

“Do what God wants and want what God does.”

St José Maria Rubio (1864-1929)do what god wants and want what he does - st jose maria rubio 4 may 2019.jpg

 

Posted in CARMELITES, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – “It is I, be not afraid.”

One Minute Reflection – 4 May – Mary’s Month and a Marian Saturday of the Second Week of Easter,Gospel: John 6:16–21 and the Memorial of St José Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929)

“It is I, be not afraid.”…John 6:20john 6 20 - it is I be not afraid 4 may 2019

REFLECTIONSaint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
Carmelite, martyr, co-patron of Europe – “At the Helm”

Fierce are the waves, Lord, rough the seas,
And dark, so dark, the night.
I beg of You to grant me, please,
On lonely vigil, light.

Then steer your ship with steady arm,
Trust me and rest your soul.
Your little boat I’ll keep from harm,
I’ll guide it toward its goal.

Be firm of purpose as you keep
The compass e’er in view.
Through stormy night you’ll cross the deep,
’twill help you to steer true.

The needle trembles faintly, then
Holds steady and prevails;
It points your way and guides you when
I, God, direct your sails.

Be therefore steadfast, calm and true,
Your God is at your side.
Through storm and night He’ll see you through
With conscience as your guide.then steer your ship - st teresa benedicta of the cross - 4 may 2019 john 6 20.jpg

PRAYER – Let us praise You Lord, with voice and mind and deed and since life itself is Your gift, may all we have and are, be Yours!   May our Mother be with us and pray for us and listen, we pray, to the prayers of St José Maria Rubio as we ask his intercession. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, in union with You, one God for all eternity, amen.st jose maria rubio pray for us 4 may 2019

holy-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-sinners-4-may-2018

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 April – “Peace be with you.”

One Minute Reflection – 28 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Gospel: John 20:19–31

“Peace be with you.   As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”   And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”…John 20:21–23john 20 21 - peace be with you - div mercy sun 28 april 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “This Sunday, … concludes the week or, more properly, the “Octave” of Easter, which the liturgy considers as a single day: “the day which the Lord has made” (Ps 117[116]: 24).  It is not a chronological but a spiritual time, which God opened in the sequence of days when He raised Christ from the dead.  The Creator Spirit, infusing new and eternal life in the buried body of Jesus of Nazareth, carried to completion the work of creation, giving origin to a “firstfruits” – the firstfruits of a new humanity, which at the same time is a firstfruits of a new world and a new era.

This world renewal can be summed up in a single phrase, the same one that the Risen Jesus spoke to his disciples as a greeting and even more, as an announcement of his victory: “Peace be with you!” (Lk 24: 36; Jn 20: 19, 21, 26).

Peace is the gift that Christ left his friends (see Jn 14: 27) as a blessing destined for all men and women and all peoples.   It is not a peace according to a “worldly” mentality, as an equilibrium of forces but a new reality, fruit of God’s Love, of His Mercy.   It is the peace that Jesus Christ earned, by the price of His Blood and communicates to those who trust in Him.

“Jesus, I trust in you” these words summarise the faith of the Christian, which is faith in the omnipotence of God’s merciful Love.”…Pope Benedict XVI – REGINA CÆLI – Second Sunday of Easter, 15 April 2007jesus i trust in you - pope benedict 28 april 3019 div mercy sun.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, grant we pray that with Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy, that we become renewed in the Spirit, in order to cooperate in the work of peace which You are accomplishing in the world and which is not just talk, but which is actualised in the countless gestures of charity by all his sons and daughters.   Grant we pray, that we taste the beauty of the encounter with the Risen Lord and draw from the source of His merciful love, to be apostles of His peace.   Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.mater misericordiae mother of merct pray for us 8 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – He comforts such as are troubled

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”…John 13:21

REFLECTION – “He was troubled, then, who had power to lay down His life and had power to take it again.   That mighty power is troubled, the firmness of the rock is disturbed, or is it rather, our infirmity that is troubled in Him?   Assuredly so, let servants believe nothing unworthy of their Lord but recognise their own membership in their Head.   He who died for us, was also Himself troubled in our place.   He, therefore, who died in power, was troubled in the midst of His power.   He who shall yet transform the body of our humility, into similarity of form, with the body of His glory, has also transferred into Himself, the feeling of our infirmity and sympathises with us in the feelings of His own soul.   Accordingly, when it is the great, the brave, the sure, the invincible One that is troubled, let us have no fear for Him, as if He were capable of failing, He is not perishing but in search of us [who are].   Us, I say, it is us exclusively, whom He is thus seeking, that in His trouble we may behold ourselves and so, when trouble reaches us, may not fall into despair and perish.   By His trouble, who could not be troubled, save with His own consent, He comforts such as are troubled unwillingly.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchwhen jeus had thus spoken - us I say it is - sta augustine john 13 21 16 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, we are slow to understand.   In that love that You have for us and the grace, mercy and forgiveness You grant us. You gave Your only Son to save us from ourselves, help our lowly hearts, that we may understand Your love and in our smallness, offer all of our hearts, minds and souls, back to You in total submission and love.   May Your saints and angels, help us on our way by their prayers and may Mary, the Sorrowful Mother of our Saviour, grant us, her heart, to love You in return.   We make our prayer through our Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.mater dolorosa mother of sorrows pray for us 16 april 2019.jpg