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

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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

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Quote/s of the Day – 4 April – Easter Wednesday and the Memorial of St Isidore of Seville (560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 4 April – Easter Wednesday and the Memorial of St Isidore of Seville (560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

“War with vices
but peace with individuals.”

“The more you devote yourself
to study of the sacred utterances,
the richer will be your understanding of them,
just as the more the soil is tilled,
the richer the harvest.”

“We, as Catholics, are not permitted
to believe anything of our own will,
nor to choose what someone has believed of his.
We have God’s apostles as authorities,
who did not themselves of their own wills,
choose anything of what they wanted to believe
but faithfully transmitted to the nations,
the teachings of Christ.”war with vices...the more you devote yourself...we, as catholics - st isidore - 4 april 2018

“Confession heals,
Confession justifies,
Confession grants pardon of sin,
all hope consists in Confession;
in Confession there is
a chance for mercy.”

St Isidore of Seville (560-636) Father & Doctor of the Churchconfession heals - st isidore - 4 april 2018

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Thought for the Day – 29 March – Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper 2018

Thought for the Day – 29 March – Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper 2018vatican - statue at the gethsemane steps in rome

When the Lord tells Peter that without the washing of his feet he would never be able to have any part in Him, Peter immediately and impetuously asks to have his head and hands washed as well.   This is followed by the mysterious words of Jesus:  “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed” (John 13:10).   Jesus alludes to a bath that the disciples, according to ritual prescriptions, had already taken; in order to participate in the meal, they now needed only to have their feet washed.   But naturally, a deeper meaning is hidden in this.   To what does it allude?   We do not know for sure.  In any case, we should keep in mind that the washing of the feet, according to the meaning of the entire chapter, does not indicate a single specific Sacrament but the “sacramentum Christi” in its entirety – His service of salvation, His descent even to the cross, His love to the end, which purifies us and makes us capable of God.

Here, with the distinction between the bath and the washing of feet, nevertheless, there also appears an allusion to life in the community of the disciples, to life in the community of the Church – an allusion that John may have intentionally transmitted to the community of his time.   It then seems clear that the bath that purifies us definitively and does not need to be repeated is Baptism – immersion in the death and resurrection of Christ, a fact that changes our lives profoundly, giving us something like a new a identity that endures, if we do not throw it away as Judas did.   But even in the endurance of this new identity, for convivial communion with Jesus we need the “washing of the feet.”   What does this mean?   It seems to me that the first letter of Saint John gives us the key for understanding this.   There we read: “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.   If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing” (1:8ff.).

We need the “washing of the feet,” the washing of our everyday sins and for this we need the confession of sins.   We do not know exactly how this was carried out in the Johannine community.   But the direction indicated by the words of Jesus to Peter is obvious:  in order to be capable of participating in the convivial community with Jesus Christ, we must be sincere.   One must recognise that even in our own identity as baptised persons, we sin.   We need confession as this has taken form in the Sacrament of reconciliation.   In it, the Lord continually rewashes our dirty feet and we are able to sit at table with Him.

But in this way, the word takes on yet another meaning, in which the Lord extends the “sacramentum” by making it the “exemplum,” a gift, a service for our brother:   “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).   We must wash each other’s feet in the daily mutual service of love.   But we must also wash our feet, in the sense, of constantly forgiving one another.   The debt that the Lord has forgiven us is always infinitely greater than all of the debts that others could owe to us (cf. Mt. 18:21-35).   It is to this that Holy Thursday exhorts us:  not to allow rancour toward others to become, in its depths, a poisoning of the soul.   It exhorts us to constantly purify our memory, forgiving one another from the heart, washing each other’s feet, thus being able to join together in the banquet of God.

Holy Thursday is a day of gratitude and of joy for the great gift of love to the end that the Lord has given to us.   We want to pray to the Lord at this time, so that gratitude and joy may become in us the power of loving together with His love. Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supperwe must wash each other's feet in the daily mutual service of love- pope benedict - 29 march 2018 holy thurs

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Thought for the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018 Judas

Thought for the Day – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018
Judas

Commentaries on Holy Week | Wednesday

Wednesday of Holy Week recalls the sad story of one who was an apostle of Christ, Judas. As St Matthew tells us in his gospel:  Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?”   And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him.spy wed

So that we realise that we all might behave as Judas did.   So that we ask our Lord that, on our part, there be no treachery, nor distancing, nor abandonment.   Not only because of the great harm this could bring to our personal lives but because we could drag along others who need the help of our good example, of our support, of our friendship.

JUDAS’ KISS

In some places in Latin America, the images of Christ crucified show a deep bruise on our Lord’s left cheek.  People say this represents Judas’ kiss.   So great is the pain that our sins cause Jesus.   Let us tell Him that we want to be faithful, that we don’t want to sell Him, as Judas did, for thirty coins, for a trifle, for that’s what our sins are:  pride, envy, impurity, hatred, resentment… When a temptation threatens to overwhelm us, let’s remember that it is not worthwhile to exchange the happiness of God’s children, which is what we are, for a pleasure that ends right away, leaving the bitter aftertaste of defeat and infidelity.

We have to feel on our shoulders the weight of the Church and of all humanity.   Isn’t it marvellous to know that each of us can influence the whole world.   In that place where we are, doing our work well, caring for our family, serving our friends, we can help make so many people happy.   As St Josemaria wrote, through the fulfilment of our duties, we Christians have to be like the stone fallen into the lake.   With your word and your example you produce a first circle… and it another… and another, and another…Until you reach the furthest sites.

Let us ask our Lord that there be no more betrayals;  that we learn, with His grace, how to reject the temptations that the devil presents us with, trying to trick us.   We have to say no, firmly, to all that would separate us from God.   Thus the sad story of Judas will not be repeated in our own lives.

SACRAMENT OF DIVINE MERCY

And if we feel ourselves weak, let us hurry to the holy Sacrament of Penance!   There our Lord is waiting, like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, to give us an embrace and offer us His friendship.  He is continually going forth to meet us, even if we have fallen low, very low.   It’s always time to return to God!  We should never react with discouragement or pessimism.   Don’t think:  What can I do, if I’m just a pile of wretchedness?   God’s mercy is even greater.   What can I do, if I fall again and again through my weakness?   God’s power to lift us from our falls is even greater.

The sins of Judas and of Peter were great.   Both of them betrayed the Master:  one by handing Him over to His persecutors, the other by denying Him three times.   And nevertheless, how differently each reacted.   Our Lord longed to show mercy towards both.   Peter repented;  he wept over his sin, he asked for forgiveness and Christ strengthened him in his faith and love.   In time, he came to give his life for our Lord.   But Judas failed to trust in Christ’s mercy.   Up till the last moment, God held the doors of forgiveness open for him, but he didn’t want to enter them through penance.

MOMENT OF CONVERSION AND FORGIVENESS

In his first encyclical, John Paul II spoke of Christ’s “right to meet each one of us in that key moment in the soul’s life constituted by the moment of conversion and forgiveness” (Redemptor Hominis, 20).   Let’s not deprive Jesus of that right!   Let’s not take away from God the Father the joy of giving us a welcoming embrace!   Let’s not sadden the Holy Spirit, who wants to give supernatural life back to souls!

Let’s ask Blessed Mary, the Hope of Christians, to prevent us from becoming discouraged on seeing our mistakes and sins, perhaps repeated ones.   May she win for us from her Son the grace of conversion, an efficacious desire to go humbly and contritely to Confession, the sacrament of divine mercy, beginning and beginning again as often as necessary.and if we feel ourselves weak - Bishop Javier Echevarria (1932-2016) opus dei - wed of holy week

Bishop Javier Echevarria (1932-2016)

Fr Javier Echevarria (born 1932) was the second successor of St Josemaria Escriva as head of Opus Dei from 1994-2016.
He worked closely with St. Josemaria Escriva as his personal secretary from 1953 until St Josemaria’s death in 1975. Bishop Echevarria was ordained as a priest on 7 August 1955.
He was elected and appointed by John Paul II as prelate of Opus Dei on 20 April 1994.
The Pope ordained him as a bishop on 6 January 1995.
Bishop Echevarria died in Rome on 12 December 2016.BISHOP JAVIER

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Quote of the Day – 15 March – The Memorial of St Clement Mary Hofbauer C.Ss.R.(1751-1820)

Quote of the Day – 15 March – The Memorial of St Clement Mary Hofbauer C.Ss.R.(1751-1820)

St Clement was unrelenting in pursuing souls cut off from the life of grace, especially those facing imminent death. A nun entered the church one day and found Father Hofbauer kneeling before the altar. Unobserved by the saint, she saw his cheeks wet with tears as he pleaded for the conversion of some sinner outside the fold.

“Lord, give me this soul, for if Thou refuse, I shall go to Thy Mother!”

The nun was so deeply affected by this scene that she immediately knelt before an image of the Blessed Virgin and united her own prayers to those of Hofbauer’s.lord give me this soul - st clement mary hofbauer - 15 march 2018

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One Minute Reflection – 15 March – The Memorial of St Clement Mary Hofbauer C.Ss.R.(1751-1820)

One Minute Reflection – 15 March – The Memorial of St Clement Mary Hofbauer C.Ss.R.(1751-1820)

What father among you will give his son a snake if he asks for a fish?...Luke 11:11

REFLECTION – There are “cases on record of boys who on their knees begged their parents to go to confession, accompanied them to the church and waited near the confessional until father or mother came out radiating the happiness of a new-found peace” … St Clement Mary Hofbauer

there are cases on record - st clement mary hofbauer - 15 march 2018

PRAYER – All-merciful Father, help me to be ever open to Your love and mercy, running to You in all my needs and in all my fears.   Allow me too, to run to the confessional when I have sinned, to ask for and receive forgiveness and love.   Grant that the prayers of St Clement Mary Hofbauer, may assist us all in living holy lives according to Your Commandments and the laws of the Church. Amenst clement mary hofbauer - pray for us - 15 march 2018-no 3

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Lenten Reflection – 13 March 2018 – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Lenten Reflection – 13 March – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9, John 5:1-16

Ezekiel 47:9And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the seak may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

John 5:6-9When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.tuesday of the fourth week - 13 march 2018

The theme of life-giving water again dominates the readings of today’s Mass. “Come to the waters, all who thirst, though you have no money, come and drink with joy” (Entrance Antiphon).   The time for the prospective converts’ baptism is drawing near.
We need to be reminded that we don’t have to imagine ourselves as catechumens to share their desire and thirst.   We can and do, always long for greater and greater union in love “All who thirst, come to the waters.”   The Opening Prayer is not just for catechumens but for us all – “Father, may our lenten observance prepare us to embrace the paschal mystery and proclaim Your salvation with joyful praise.”
To embrace the paschal mystery is to die and rise with Jesus.   It is the ultimate glory of every human, baptised or not.   If we do not yet experience the fullness of the thirst for God signified by the living waters of baptism, it may well be that our thirst has been dulled by our personal alienation from Christ.   Conversion to Christ is ongoing, it never ends!   This conversion we claim to be working at, is it for real and for how long?   We don’t have to tell our Lord that we have no-one to put us into the water, we KNOW where the pool is – it is the Sacrament of Confession, it is in Confession where He heals us just as He healed the man at the pool!   The healing pool is also the Eucharist and certainly, it will be the grace-filled moment of our baptismal renewal on Holy Saturday night and Easter.

What the catechumens longed for, we possess now – Baptism, the Eucharist, Confession and these are always available. We don’t even have to wait for Easter!

In our Easter encounter with Him who is our Good Shepherd and who says, “I lay down my life for my sheep”, satisfies all our wants and desires and needs.   “In green pastures He will give us rest, He will lead us along the waters of peace” (Communion Antiphon).   In the Eucharist, in Confession, God is and always will be in our midst!   Run to Him, praise Him!…(Fr E Lawrence OSB- Daily Meditations for Lent)

When has God been most present to you?
How often to I attend Daily Mass and Confession?
Could I change this practise – today and for the rest of my life?

“Ah, who would not be touched? …. A God who weeps with so many tears at the loss of one soul and Who cries unceasingly:  My friend, my friend, why proceedest thou thus to lose thy soul and thy God?   Stop! Stop!   Ah! Look at my tears, my Blood which flows yet. Must I die a second time to save thee?   Look at me.   Ah! Angels from Heaven descend upon earth, come and weep with me for the loss of this soul!   Oh, that a Christian should be so unfortunate as to persevere still in running towards the abyss despite the voice which his God causes him to hear continually!   But, you may say to me, no one says these things to us.   Oh my friends, unless you want to stop up your ears, you will hear the voice of God, which follows you unceasingly.

Tell me, my friends, then, what is this remorse of conscience which overwhelms you in the midst of sin?   Why do these anxieties and storms agitate you?   Why this fear, this dread that you are in, when you seem to be forever expecting to be crushed by the thunders of Heaven?   How many times, even when you were sinning, have you not experienced the touch of an invisible hand which seemed to push you away, as if someone were saying:   Unhappy man, what are you doing?   Unhappy man, where are you going?   Ah my son, why do you wish to damn yourself? ….

Would you not agree with me that a Christian who despises so many graces deserves to be abandoned and rejected because he has not listened to the voice of God or profited by His graces?   On the contrary, my dear brethren, it is God Himself Who is scorned by this ungrateful soul who would seem to wish to put Him to death again.   All creation demands vengeance and it is, in fact, God alone Who wishes to save this soul and Who is opposed to all that could be prejudicial to it.

He watches over its salvation as if it were the only soul in the world.”...St John Vianney (1786-1859)

For a small teardrop from the eye
can cause an entire evil platoon of the Tempter’s
army to shrink away,
like the squirming of centipedes or earthworms,
drowning in a puddle of oil or a drop of
some lethal potion.
And the faint groan of a sighing heart,
rising from the soul,
is like a warm southerly breeze, mixed with sun,
that melts the fiercest blizzard,
for like storms, they are easily born and when
opposed, quickly die.

St Gregory of Narek (c951-c1010) Doctor of the Churchfor a small teardrop from the eye - st gregory of narek - 13 march 2018

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Thought for the Day – 13 March – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent – “Speaking of Confession”

Thought for the Day – 13 March – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent – “Speaking of Confession”

ANNUAL EASTER DUTY CONFESSIONS – St John Vianney (1786-1859)

If Easter were prolonged to Pentecost, you would not go to Confession until Pentecost, or if the latter did not come around for ten years, you would go to Confession only every ten years.   Indeed, if the Church did not give you a commandment about it, you would not go to Confession until death.   What do you think of that, my dear brethren?   Does it not mean that you have neither regret for having offended God, Who requires you to go to Confession, nor love for God, Who requires you to make your Easter Communion?

Ah you will say to me, that’s all very well.   We do not make our Easter duty without knowing why.

Ah! You know nothing at all about it!   You do it from habit, to be able to say you have made your Easter duty, or, if you would prefer to speak the truth, you would say that you have added a new sin to your old ones.   It is not, therefore, either love of God or regret for having offended Him which makes you go to Confession or make your Easter duty, or even the desire to lead a more Christian life.   And here is the proof of it:  if you loved God, would you consent to commit sin with such ease and even with so much enjoyment?   If you had a horror of sin, as you should have, would you be able to keep it,for a whole year, on your conscience?   If you had a real desire to live a more Christian life, would we not see at least some little change in your way of living?

No, my dear brethren, I do not wish to talk to you today about those unfortunate people who tell only half their sins through fear of not making their Easter duty or of being refused Absolution — perhaps even for the sake of covering up their shameful lives with the veil of virtue and who, in this state, approach the altar and are going to complete their dreadful work by handing over their God to the Devil and precipitating their sacrilegious souls into Hell.

No, I dare to hope that this does not concern you but I will continue, nevertheless, to tell you that going to Confession only once a year is not something about which you should feel any peace or satisfaction.annual easter duty - st john vianney - 13 march 2018

“You cannot have two heavens – it is impossible to enjoy yourself here and afterward to reign with Christ.”…Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) – Book I The Imitation of Christyou cannot have two heavens - thomas a kempis - 13 march 2018

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Quote/s of the Day – 13 March “Speaking of Confession”

Quote/s of the Day – 13 March – “Speaking of Confession”

“In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of the Churchin failing to confess lord - st augustine - 13 march 2018

“Confession is like a bridle that keeps the soul which reflects on it from committing sin but anything left unconfessed we continue to do without fear as if in the dark.”

St John Climacus (579-649)confession is like a bridle - st john climacus - 13 march 2018

“Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)confession is an act of courage - st john paul - 13 march 2018

“Each one must confess his sin so that God’s forgiveness, already granted on the Cross, may have an effect in his heart and in his life.

St Augustine writes further: “God accuses your sins and if you also accuse them, you are united to God…. When your own deeds will begin to displease you, from that time your good works begin, as you find fault with your evil works.   The confession of evil works is the beginning of good works” (ibid., 13: PL 35, 1191).

Sometimes men and women prefer the darkness to the light because they are attached to their sins.   Nevertheless it is only by opening oneself to the light and only by sincerely confessing one’s sins to God that one finds true peace and true joy.   It is therefore important to receive the Sacrament of Penance regularly, especially during Lent, in order to receive the Lord’s forgiveness and to intensify our process of conversion.”

Pope Benedict – Angelus Address, 18 March 2012each one must confess his sin = pope benedict - 13 march 2018