Our Morning Offering – 20 March 2018 – Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent

Our Morning Offering – 20 March 2018 – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Prayer In Honour of the Holy Cross
Third Prayer from the Seven Penitential Psalms Devotion

Almighty God,
Lord Jesus Christ,
who, for our sake, stretched out
Your pure hands on the Cross
and redeemed us with
Your precious Blood,
grant me to feel and understand
that I may have true repentance
and great perseverance,
all the days of my life.
Your reign is a reign for all ages.
Amenprayer in honour of the holy cross - 3rd prayer from the 7 penitential psalms devotion - 20 march 2018


Our Morning Offering – 18 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Year B

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Year B

Act of Oblation before Holy Mass

Eternal Father,
we offer You the sacrifice
wherein your Son Jesus
offered Himself upon the Cross
and which He now renews upon this altar.
We adore You and render to You
that honour which is Your due,
acknowledging Your dominion over all things
and our absolute dependence on You.
You are our first beginning and our last end;
we give You thanks for countless benefits received;
we ask You to forgive our sins
and to offer You worthy satisfaction for the same.
Finally to implore Your grace and mercy
for all of us who will offer this sacrifice today,
for all those who are in tribulation and distress,
for all of us sinners,
for the whole world and for the souls in purgatory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.act of oblation before holy mass - prayer of the church - 18 feb 2018 2nd sun of lent year B

Posted in DEVOTIO, IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD

Friday after Ash Wednesday – 16 February 2018

Friday after Ash Wednesday – 16 February 2018
Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

Isaiah 58:3-4 – Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers.   Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high…
Matthew 9:14-15 – 14 – Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast?”   And Jesus said to them,  “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?   The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new spirit within me.friday after ash wed - 16 feb 2018 - create in me

Genuine faith does not make a believer pretentious.
Dialogue with God is not a business bargain.
External observance of religion wins little favour with God, if it is combined with unfairness to the weak and indifference to the poor.
Openness to the indigent is the door to true religion.
The world itself changes for the better with the widening of human concern for the poor. Good works multiply on the face of the earth and everyones sees the glory of God in action.
The Gospel presents Jesus, as refusing to absolutise ritual fasting.
What He expects from His disciples is that they remain faithful to the mission He is about to give them even at great sacrifice.
It will make evidently greater demands from them than mere ritual fasting.
They should be prepared.
Jesus is introducing a new set of values of immense worth, for which the old order of things must make way.
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – GodsWord)

Each of us has different talents, material resources and opportunities.   Lent is an invitation, not to introspection and penance for its own sake but always to help us to better partner with God in responding to the needs of our world.

Is there a need I feel called to do something about?
Could I ask God to show me where He is inviting me to act?
What one thing might I do today to reach out to someone in need?
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

St Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226)peace prayer - st francis - 16 feb 2018 - a prayer a day for lent


Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018

Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018

Joel 2:12-18, 2 Corinthians 5:20 — 6:2, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily.   The blessed ashes are then “imposed” on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.   The ashes are blessed at least during the first Mass of the day but they may also be imposed during all the Masses of the day, after the homily and even outside the time of Mass to meet the needs of the faithful.   Priests or deacons normally impart this sacramental but instituted acolytes, other extraordinary ministers or designated lay people may be delegated to impart ashes, if the bishop judges that this is necessary.   The ashes are made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies. …— Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J Elliott

The act of putting on ashes symbolises fragility and mortality and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God.   Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolise that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptised are called during Lent. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ’s passion and death was observed by a period of self-denial.   St Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days’ fast he saw practised in Rome and elsewhere, “to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days.” On Ash Wednesday in the early days, the Pope went barefoot to St Sabina’s in Rome “to begin with holy fasts the exercises of Christian warfare, that as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial.

“In the course of this trial of forty days, which our weakness only finds long, we shall not be deprived of our Saviour’s presence.   He has preceded and outpaced us on the royal road.   He has tried it and accomplished its course before us, in order to answer, by His example, the excuses and arguments our self-indulgence or pride may urge.   Let us accept the lesson fully and so arrive at an understanding of the law of expiation.   “Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is drawing near.”   Let us open our heart to this appeal, that the Saviour may not be compelled to awake us from our lethargy by the terrible threat He employed on another occasion:  “If you do not repent you shall all perish.”...Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger

“The enormity of the fact that Christ has, on our behalf, already taken the most extreme punishment upon Himself, should move us, not to leave Him isolated.   It should also inspire us to rejoice that another has taken our place in representing sin before God – for not to rejoice at that, would be a further enormity.   Instead of leaving Him alone, we should be moved to enter into His suffering for us, doing together with Him, what little we can do, to atone for the world’s sin!”…Hans Urs von Balthasar “Light of the World”instead of leaving him alone - hans urs - 14 feb 2018 ash wed


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.
Amenact of contrition - ash wed - 14 feb 2018


One Minute Reflection – 13 February – “Shrove Tuesday”

One Minute Reflection – 13 February – “Shrove Tuesday”

“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”…John 17:14-15shrove tuesday 1

REFLECTION – “In this sense, then, the world is everything that is opposed to our Lord Jesus Christ, that refuses to recognise Him and that resists His divine guidance.   Those false maxims which tend to weaken the love of God in our souls;  which recommended the vanities that fasten our hearts to this present life;  which cry down everything that can raise us above our weaknesses or vices;  which decoy and gratify our corrupt nature by dangerous pleasures, which, far from helping us to the attainment of our last end, only mislead us-all these are ‘the world.'”…Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger (The Liturgical Year)

the world is everything - abbott gueranger - 13 feb 2018 shrove tuesday

PRAYER – All-provident Lord, my God, You are my Father and in You is all my hope and trust. Teach me to live according to Your precepts, knowing that through them I will attain virtue and thus be filled with true joy.   Help me to love Your Creation but never to succumb to the enticements of the material world which constantly beckon and attempt to seduce my love.   Grant us all strength during our Lenten journey to minimise the snares of the ‘world’ around us and to open our hearts only to You.   Through our Saviour, who came to teach us and lead us, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, amen.the jesus prayer 3 - 13 feb 2018 - shrove tuesday

Posted in DEVOTIO, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, LENT, MORNING Prayers, NOTES to Followers, SPEAKING of .....

Thought for the Day – 12 February – Preparing for Lent – 2 days to go!

Thought for the Day – 12 February – Preparing for Lent – 2 days to go!

Lent is a season of grace.   The joy of the Risen Lord Jesus depends on how we live out the holy season of Lent.   God’s generosity has no limits but we often fall short in giving God our whole hearts so that He can fill them with His love.

Why not strive to live out this Lent as if it were to be the Last Lent in your lives!

Decide on your Lenten sacrifice.   Lent is a season of solemnity and sacrifice commemorating Jesus’ exodus into the desert;  our sacrifice is a reminder of the sacrifice of self Jesus made to save us from our sins.   Because of this, it is a Lenten tradition to sacrifice something for these 40 days.
Think about all the trivial things in your life that shift your focus away from God.   Do you find that you dedicate more time to sending text messages and posting status updates than to prayer and time with God?   Do you have a habit of eating junk food excessively?   What is something your life could do without?

In addition to sacrificing something, include something special in your Lenten routine.   Giving up chocolate or Facebook for 40 days is great but why not do something positive, too, instead of just removing the negative?   Resolve to be more mindful of others’ needs, spend more time with your family, pray more and forgive old grudges.

Attend Holy Mass as often as possible.   In addition to weekly Sunday service, it’s good to go to Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist frequently, especially during Lent.   Lent begins on Ash Wednesday when we remember that we come from dust and to dust we shall return.

Go to Confession, is a wonderful way to turn away from sin and reunite yourself with Christ.   If you don’t already, try getting into the habit of going to Confession on a regular basis.   The Catholic Church has made it obligatory that all the faithful receive the sacrament of Penance at least once a year and once during the season of Lent, though it’s recommended that you attend Confession at least once a month if possible.

Spend time on prayer and devotions.   Though not required, devotions are a great way to put yourself in the right mindset for Lent.   The Church highly encourages Adoration of God or the veneration of the Blessed Virgin and the saints.   Your local parish probably has regular Eucharistic Adoration, where you can go to sit and engage in deep prayer, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.   To practice veneration, you could say a decade of the Rosary daily, or pray to your patron saint.
Any prayer, so long as it means something to you, is a step in the direction God intended. If you have a prayer you’ve grown up with that speaks to you, resolve to spend more time focusing on what it truly means and how you can embody that prayer in your everyday life.   Perhaps start the Liturgy of the Hours, there are many sites online offering this devotion.

Take time for self-examination and reflection.   Christmas and Easter are times of happiness and joy;  while the preceding and succeeding seasons are cheery and bright, the same cannot be said about Lent.   It is a time of simplicity and solemnity.   It is a time to reflect on your dependence on God’s mercy and your understanding of faith.   Take moments during this time to think about how you embody Christ’s love.

Get ready to Fast and Abstain – think about how you will incorporate these practises into your life.   All Catholics aged fourteen and older are asked to abstain from meat on Lenten Fridays, though fish is allowed to be eaten.   Additionally, Catholics aged 18-59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Lenten Fridays, meaning that only one full meal may be eaten in the day.   Of course, do this however you feel is safe and effective.
Some people should definitely not fast (the pregnant or the elderly, for example).   If fasting isn’t a reasonable option for you, fast from something other than food.   Make sure it’s something that’s a challenge — like your phone or email — so you can feel the sacrifice you’re making.

Promote your Parish almsgiving project – perhaps think about volunteering your help. Ensure that you find a way to fulfil this vital Lenten requirement – it could be as simple as saving your spare change for your Parish charity or to have Masses said for the holy souls!

Make a Lenten calendar.   Such a calendar will help you to focus on the progression of the Lenten season and is a great reminder to see the days ticking away, leaving Sundays out.   It ends the Friday before Easter (the last day being Holy Thursday);   count backwards from there.
Hang the calendar in a common area in your home.   Every day, tick off a box.   As you get closer and closer to Easter, how do you find yourself feeling?   Are your sacrifices becoming more or less difficult to maintain?

A Blessed and Holy Lent to you all!Preparing to clean up - lent - 12 feb 2018lent - preparing our hearts - 30 jan 2018-no 2



Sunday Reflection – 11 February 2018 – 6th Sunday of Year B

Sunday Reflection – 11 February 2018 – 6th Sunday of Year B – Pope Benedict and St John Paul

In liturgical prayer, especially the Eucharist and – formats of the liturgy – in every prayer, we do not speak as single individuals, rather we enter into the “we” of the Church that prays.   And we need to transform our “I” entering into this “we”.   Pope Benedict XVI is one of the great liturgists of our age.   His seminal book, “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, written when he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, is required reading in most seminaries and should be read by every Catholic.

“It is not the individual – priest or layman – or the group that celebrates the liturgy but it is primarily God’s action through the Church, which has its own history, its rich tradition and creativity.   This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the entire liturgy is one of the reasons why it can not be created or amended by the individual community or by experts but must be faithful to the forms of the universal Church.

The entire Church is always present, even in the liturgy of the smallest community.   For this reason there are no “foreigners” in the liturgical community.   The entire Church participates in every liturgical celebration, heaven and earth, God and man.   The Christian liturgy, even if it is celebrated in a concrete place and space and expresses the “yes” of a particular community, it is inherently Catholic, it comes from everything and leads to everything, in union with the Pope, the Bishops , with believers of all times and all places.   The more a celebration is animated by this consciousness, the more fruitful the true sense of the liturgy is realised in it.

Dear friends, the Church is made visible in many ways:  in its charitable work, in mission projects, in the personal apostolate that every Christian must realise in his or her own environment.   But the place where it is fully experienced as a Church is in the liturgy : it is the act in which we believe that God enters into our reality and we can meet Him, we can touch Him.   It is the act in which we come into contact with God, He comes to us and we are enlightened by Him.

So when in the reflections on the liturgy we concentrate all our attention on how to make it attractive, interesting and beautiful, we risk forgetting the essential:  the liturgy is celebrated for God and not for ourselves, it is His work, He is the subject and we must open ourselves to Him and be guided by Him and His Body, which is the Church.

Let us ask the Lord to learn every day to live the sacred liturgy, especially the Eucharistic celebration, praying in the “we” of the Church, that directs its gaze not in on itself but to God and feeling part of the living Church, of all places and of all time.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Wednesday Audience 3 Oct 2012

“I have been able to celebrate Holy Mass in chapels built along mountain paths, on lakeshores and seacoasts.   I have celebrated it on altars built in stadiums and in city squares….This varied scenario of celebrations of the Eucharist, has given me, a powerful experience of its universal and, so to speak, cosmic character – YES, cosmic!   Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always, in some way, celebrated on the altar of the world.  It unites heaven and earth.   It embraces and permeates all creation!” St Pope John Paul “Ecclesia de Eucharista no 8”the liturgy is celebrated - pope benedict = 11 feb 2018 sunday reflection


Quote of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Quote of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 26th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858i am the immaculate conception - 11 feb 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Get to the Tabernacle and let Heaven fall on you…….

In adoring the Blessed Sacrament, our hearts are enlarged and our minds receive the truth

In Lourdes, most miracles take place during the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Medjugorje is no different.   Although so much power and grace radiate from the Blessed Sacrament during heartfelt and worthy Adoration, in the end this is not about getting “something”.

The Curé d’Ars referred to a parishioner who said that during Adoration, “I look at Him. And He looks at me.”   It is about two people in love with each other – a creature and its God.   The deeper our hunger, the more He gives us; indeed, He gives us this hunger for Him.

What does one do during Adoration?   What do lovers do when they gaze with love at each other?   We need silence first of all.   When Pope Benedict XVI led Adoration in Hyde Park, about 80,000 young people kept silence with the Pope – to the consternation of media broadcasters.   Silence apparently does not make for good television. Television requires continuous chatter.   Adoration requires silence.get to the tabernacle - 5 feb 2018

Secondly, Adoration requires attentiveness.   It is heart-breaking to see couples sitting opposite each other in restaurants, both gazing avidly at their smartphone screens instead of each other.   It doesn’t take much to see who or what dominates that relationship.   We attend to that which we prize foremost.   In Adoration we attend to the Lord.

And thirdly, Adoration needs receptivity.   In our silence and attentiveness, we receive from God.   We are stripped of the illusion that we can do God any favours.   He longs to lavish Himself on us. Sitit sitiri, He thirsts to be thirsted for;   He longs to be longed for. He will guide us and teach us but only if we let Him.   In Adoration we receive from God the truth about God and about ourselves.

In my own experience it is powerful.   Jesus waits for us with eager longing.   And He longs to lavish Himself on us.   It’s like a tower made of champagne glasses and when the top glass is filled it overflows and fills the glasses below.   In Adoration, when we are open to receive, God enlarges our hearts to love and that love overflows to others, just like the champagne tower.

Sometimes people experience little change, often because of unconfessed sin or hiding ourselves from the Lord.   If we are closed, if we keep our hurts and everything about us hidden from the Lord, then very little can change.   Then Adoration will be experienced as a burden to be endured or avoided.   But when we are open to the Lord, it is very powerful.   God has so many graces He wants to give us and He leads and guides us in prayer through Adoration.   Sometimes we keep vigil with the Lord during Adoration, and make acts of reparation and love – because the world needs this so much.

JRR Tolkien once said he did not return to fidelity to the Lord by being chased by Francis Thompson’s Hound of Heaven but through hunger for the Blessed Sacrament, as one starving for love.   In a letter to his middle son during World War II (the context of the letter is marriage and sex), he wrote:

“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth:  the Blessed Sacrament. . . . There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity and the true way of all your loves on earth… by the taste of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships… take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.”

Get to the Tabernacle and let Heaven fall on you…for this is what is called “the totally Catholic devotion” (those who are Catholic to their roots, in their blood, whose way of life, whose food is being Catholic – in the words of St Edmund Campion – ‘To be a Catholic is my only glory.”) – we become what we love!to be a catholic is my only glory no 3- st edmund campion

out of the darkness of my life - tolkien - 5 feb 2018

Partially taken from Fr Leon Pereira OP’s post.   He is chaplain to the English-speaking pilgrims in Medjugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina


Our Morning Offering – 28 January – The Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor communis (Common Doctor)

Our Morning Offering – 28 January – The Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor communis (Common Doctor)

By St Thomas Aquinas
Angelic Doctor and Common Doctor

Almighty and ever-living God,
we approach the sacrament
of Your only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We come to the Doctor of Life
unclean, to the Fountain of Mercy,
blind, to the Radiance of Eternal Light
and poor and needy
to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord, in Your great generosity,
heal our sicknesses,
wash away our defilements,
enlighten our blindness,
enrich our poverty
and clothe our nakedness.
May we receive the bread of angels,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
with humble reverence,
with the purity and faith,
the repentance and love
and the determined purpose
that will help to bring us to salvation.
May we receive the sacrament
of the Lord’s Body and Blood
and its reality and power.
Loving Father, as on our earthly pilgrimage
we now receive Your beloved Son
in the holy sacrifice of this Mass,
may we one day see Him face to face in glory,
who lives and reigns with You for ever,
AMEN.prayer before holy mass - st thomas aquinas - 28 jan 2018

By St Thomas Aquinas
Angelic Doctor and Common Doctor

Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
I thank You, for even though I am a sinner,
Your unprofitable servant,
not because of my worth
but in the kindness of Your mercy,
You have fed me
with the Precious Body and Blood
of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion,
may not bring me condemnation
and punishment
but forgiveness and salvation.
May it be a helmet of faith
and a shield of good will.
May it purify me from evil ways
and put an end to my evil passions.
May it bring me charity and patience,
humility and obedience
and growth in the power to do good.
May it be my strong defense
against all my enemies,
visible and invisible
and the perfect calming
of all my evil impulses,
bodily and spiritual.
May it unite me more closely to You,
the One true God
and lead me safely through death
to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner,
to the banquet where You,
with Your Son and holy Spirit,
are true and perfect light,
total fulfillment, everlasting joy,
gladness without end
and perfect happiness to Your saints.
Grant this through Christ our Lord,
AMEN.prayer after holy communion by st thomas aquinas - 28 jan 2018