Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Sunday Reflection – 20 January – “…Let him first strive to cleanse his conscience”

Sunday Reflection – 20 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

“…Let him first strive to cleanse his conscience”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, Father of the Church

And so, dearly beloved brethren, let us each examine his conscience and when he sees that he has been wounded by some sin, let him first strive to cleanse his conscience by prayer, fasting, almsgiving and so dare to approach the Eucharist.   If he recognises his guilt and is reluctant to approach the holy altar, he will be quickly pardoned by the Divine Mercy, “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt 23:12).   If then, as I have said, a man conscious of his sins, humbly decides to stay away from the altar until he reforms his life, he will not be afraid of being completely excluded from the eternal banquet of heaven.

I ask you then, brethren, to pay careful attention.   If no-one dares approach an influential man’s table in tattered, soiled garments, how much more should one refrain in reverance and humility from the banquet of the Eternal King, that is, from the altar of the Lord, if one is smitten with poisonous envy, or anger, or is full of rage and fury?   For it is written, “Go first and be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:24).   And again, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And when he kept silent, that man said to the attendants, ‘bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” (Mt 22:12,13).   The same sentence awaits the man who dares present himself at the wedding feast, that is at the Lord’s table, if he is guilty of drunkenness, or adultery, or retains hatred in his heart.

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, was the foremost ecclesiastic of his generation in Merovingian Gaul. Caesarius is considered to be of the last generation of church leaders of Gaul that worked to promote large-scale ascetic elements into the Western Christian tradition.   Caesarius was a “popular preacher of great fervour and enduring influence”.   Among those who exercised the greatest influence on Caesarius were Augustine of Hippo, Julianus Pomerius and John Cassian.i ask you then brethren to pay careful attention - st caesarius bishop and father 20 jan 2019

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Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – “If you will, you can make me clean.”…Mark 1:40

One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time – Gospel Mark 1:40–45 and the Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)

And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”…Mark 1:40

REFLECTION – “It is possible to see leprosy as a symbol of sin, which is the true impurity of heart that can distance us from God.   It is not in fact the physical disease of leprosy that separates us from God, as the ancient norms supposed but sin, spiritual and moral evil.   The sins that we commit distance us from God and, if we do not humbly confess them, trusting in divine mercy, they will finally bring about the death of the soul.   This miracle thus has a strong symbolic value.   Jesus, as Isaiah had prophesied, is the Servant of the Lord who “has borne our griefs / and carried our sorrows” (Is 53: 4).   In His Passion He will become as a leper, made impure by our sins, separated from God, He will do all this out of love, to obtain for us reconciliation, forgiveness and salvation.   In the Sacrament of Penance, the Crucified and Risen Christ purifies us through His ministers with His infinite mercy, restores us to communion with the heavenly Father and with our brothers and makes us a gift of His love, His joy and His peace.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us invoke the Virgin Mary whom God preserved from every stain of sin so that she may help us to avoid sin and to have frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Confession, the sacrament of forgiveness, whose value and importance for our Christian life must be rediscovered today.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus 15 February 2009 mark 1 40 - if you will you can make me clean - in the sacrament of confession - pope benedict 17 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, we make our prayer to You at morning, noon and evening.   Dispel from our hearts, the darkness of sin and bring us to the true light, Christ Your Son.  Grant that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Anthony Abbot, we may deny ourselves and love You above all things.   Through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.blessed virgin mary pray for us 17 jan 2019.jpgagostinocarracci_thetemptationofstanthonyabbot-detail-pray-for-us-17-jan-2017-picjpg.jpg

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES "CARPE DIEM" - Seize the Day, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on TIME, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD

Thought for the Day – 11 January – Living the Present Moment and the Joy of Confession

Thought for the Day – 11 January – 5th day after Epiphany

Living the Present Moment and the Joy of Confession:

The Wisdom of Venerable Fulton J Sheen (1895-1979)

“All our anxieties relate to time.   A human being is the only time-conscious creature. Humans alone can bring the past to mind, so that it weighs on the present moment, with its accumulated heritage and they can also bring the future into the present, so as to imagine its occurrences as happening now.   No animal ever says: “I have suffered this pain for six years and it will last until I die.”   But, because a human being can unite the past to the present by memory and the future to the present by imagination, it is often necessary to distract him in his sufferings — to break up the continuity of misery.   All unhappiness (when there is no immediate cause for sorrow) comes from excessive concentration on the past or from extreme preoccupation with the future.   The major problems of psychiatry revolve around an analysis of the despair, pessimism, melancholy and complexes that are the inheritances of what has been or with the fears, anxieties, worries, that are the imaginings of what will be.

…A conscience burdened with the guilt of past sins is fearful of divine judgement.   But God in His mercy, has given us two remedies for such an unhappiness.   One is the Sacrament of Penance, which blots out the past by remission of our sins and lightens the future by our hope for divine mercy, through continued repentance and amendment of our lives.     Nothing in human experience, is as efficacious in curing the memory and imagination, as confession – it cleanses us of guilt and if we follow the admonitions of Our Lord, we shall put completely out of mind our confessed sins:  “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk 9:62).   Confession also heals the imagination, eliminating its anxiety for the future – for now, with Paul, the soul cries out:  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).nothing in human experience - ven fulton sheen 11 jan 2019.jpg

The second remedy, for the ills, that come to us from thinking about time, is what might be called the sanctification of the moment — or the Now.   Our Lord laid down the rule for us in these words:  “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). so do not worry about tomorrow - matthew 6 34 11 jan 2019 - fulton sheen.jpg

This means, that each day, has its own trials, we are not to borrow troubles from tomorrow, because that day too will have its cross.   We are to leave the past to divine mercy and to trust the future, whatever its trials, to God’s loving providence.   Each minute of life has its peculiar duty — regardless of the appearance that minute may take.   The Now-moment is the moment of salvation.   Each complaint against it is a defeat, each act of resignation to it is a victory.”the now-moment is the moment of salvation - ven fulton j sheen 11 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 October – The Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860)

Thought for the Day – 29 October – The Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860), Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Day by day, city to city, village to village, among both the poorest and those of high esteem, he saw the hunger each possessed to know that sin was forgiven, that God’s mercy was infinite and that they were loved.   Countless souls found a merciful listener, the embodiment of God’s promise of peace and renewal, in Fr Gaetano, in the Confessional.

“The priest, Gaetano Errico, dedicated himself to this sacrament with diligence, assiduity and patience, never refusing it nor counting the cost. He thus entered among the group of other extraordinary priests who tirelessly made the confessional a place to dispense God’s mercy, helping men to rediscover themselves, to fight against sin and make progress in the spiritual life.

The street and the confessional were the two particular places of Gaetano Errico’s pastoral work.   The street was the place that permitted him to offer his customary invitation:  “God loves you, when shall we meet?” and in the confession he made their encounter with the mercy of the heavenly Father possible.   How many wounded souls did he heal in this way! How many people did he help to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of forgiveness!

In this way St. Gaetano Errico became an expert in the “science” of forgiveness, and concerned himself with teaching it to his missionaries:   “God, who does not wish the death of the sinner, is always more merciful than his ministers;  so be as merciful as you can and you will find mercy with God!”

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Canonisation Mass, October 2008

He found his own encouragement on his knees in prayer . . . indeed it was prayer and the hours he spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that strengthened and renewed him and kept the fire of his love for God ever burning.

Let us rediscover the great grace of the Confessional and the immense joy of Eucharistic Adoration for ourselves!

St Gaetano Errico, Pray for Us!god who does not wish the death of a sinner - st gaetano errico pray for us no 2 - 29 oct 2018

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Celebrating and Learning from Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos C.Ss.R. (1819-1867) on his Memorial today, 5 October

Celebrating and Learning from Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos C.Ss.R. (1819-1867) on his Memorial today, 5 October

TOP 10 Practical Guide to Holiness

1. Go to Mass with deepest devotion.
2. Spend a half hour to reflect upon your main failing
and make resolutions to avoid it.
3. Do daily spiritual reading for at least 15 minutes, i
if a half hour is not possible.
4. Say the rosary every day.
5. Also daily, if at all possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament
and toward evening, meditate on the Passion of Christ for a half hour.
6. Conclude the day with evening prayer
and an examination of conscience over all the faults & sins of the day.
7. Every month make a review of the month in confession.
8. Choose a special patron every month
and imitate that patron in some special virtue.
9. Precede every great feast with a novena, that is, nine days of devotion.
10. Try to begin and end every activity with a “Hail Mary.”

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Pray for Us!bl francis xavier seelos - top ten tips a pactical guide to holiness - 5 oct 2018

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:23–26 and The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Grace

One Minute Reflection – 28 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:23–26 and The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Grace

“You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”…Matthew 23:26

REFLECTION – “You are before God.   Question your heart:  see what you have done and what you have been yearning for there—your salvation or the windy praise of men.   Look within, for a person cannot judge one whom he cannot see.   If we are assuring our heart, let us assure it in his presence.
“Because if our heart thinks badly”—that is, if it accuses us within, because we aren’t acting with the spirit with which we should be acting —“God is greater than our heart, and he knows all things” (v.20).   You hide your heart from man – hide it from God if you can.   How will you hide it from Him to whom it was said by a certain sinner in fear and confession:  “Where shall 1 go from your spirit, and where shed!   I flee from your face?”… For where does God not exist?   “If,” he said, “I go up to heaven, you are there;  if I go down to hell, you are present” (Ps 139[138]:7-8).   Where will you go?   Where will you flee?   Do you want to hear some advice?   If you want to flee from Him, flee to Him.   Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him by hiding, for you cannot hide, but you can Confess.   Tell Him.   “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7) and let there be nursed in you the love that alone leads to life.”…St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Graceyou blind pharisee - matthew 23 25 - you hide your heart from man - augustine - 28 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, renew Your Church with the Spirit of wisdom and love which You gave to St Augustine.   Lead us by that same Spirit, to seek You, the only fountain of true wisdom and the source of everlasting love.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Spirit, one God, forever and ever.    St Augustine, pray for the Church and for us all, amen.st augustine - pray for us - 28 aug 2018

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PRAYER, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 27 July – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

Thought for the Day – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it;
he indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty and in another thirty.”…Matthew 13:23

“Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus invites us today to look inside ourselves:  to give thanks for our good soil and to tend the soil that is not yet good.

Let us ask ourselves if our heart is open to welcome the seed of the Word of God with faith.

Let us ask ourselves if our rocks of laziness are still numerous and large;  let us identify our thorns of vice and call them by name.

Let us find the courage to reclaim the soil, to effect a conversion of our heart, bringing to the Lord in Confession and in prayer, our rocks and our thorns.” …Pope Francis (Angelus, 16 July 2017)let us ask ourselves if our rocks of laziness - pope francis - 27 july 2018

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!mary mother of god pray for us - 27 july 2018