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Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018

Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018
Isaiah 58:9-14, Psalms 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32

Show me Lord, your way, so that I may walk in your truth.

Isaiah 58:9-10: “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke,
the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your darkest hour will be like noon.
Luke 5:32: “I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.”saturday after ash wed - 17 feb 2018

Isaiah makes it abundantly clear that it is our service to the poor and the weak that wins God’s favour, not lifeless religious practices.   The message becomes most meaningful in modern society, marked by unfair distribution of resources, hatred, violence, abuse and mutual accusations.   It is only when we strive against such evils that we win God’s approval.   “You shall be like the watered garden” the prophet says.   The image stands for the possession of every good thing that we desire.

The Gospel speaks of the call of Levi.   His joy was so great that he could hardly contain it.
He organised a party for his fellow tax-collectors, which unfailingly earned the criticism of the Pharisees.   Jesus’ answer was that His mission was precisely to wrongdoers, to the least and the lost.   These words indeed offer us hope when we stray and urge us to reach out to others as Jesus did.
That is the Christian calling, that is the Christian ‘job’!
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – Gods Word)

Don’t you wonder what it was about Levi that moved Jesus to call him?   And what was it that caused Levi to respond?
He must have been a pretty successful man in economic terms but as a tax collector, he was undoubtedly not popular in his own community and was seen as a collaborator with Rome.   Perhaps he had a nagging sense of “there must be something more to life”. perhaps a sense of emptiness and sadness.   Something touched him so deeply at Jesus call, that he let go of a previous way of life and opened himself instantly to the gift being offered.   He was overjoyed, he was filled with joy, he was joyous, he bubbled over and threw a big party in order to share his joy!   And Jesus attended the party!   He was at the party!   He is at our party too when we allow Him entrance to our hearts.

When asked who he is, Pope Francis responded “I am a sinner, whom the Lord has looked upon.”   When we are able to see ourselves as Pope Francis does, as loved sinners, we are open to receive the forgiveness and help God longs to give us.   When we are aware of ourselves as sinners, loved and called by God, we respond with a deep sense of repentance, gratitude and joy, we throw that party and invite other sinners to join us.   We simply have to share the joy!

Where do I experience my own sinfulness?
How is this awareness a gift?
Spend some time with Jesus today sharing with Him your struggles and Your need of His help.
Have a party with Him!
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

My soul, what have you done for God?
Look o’er your misspent years and see;
See first what you have done for God,
And then what God has done for thee!

Daily Lenten Prayer

Today Lord, I choose life,
I choose Your love
and the challenge to live it and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens,
day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength
and power ever more deeply in my life.
May this truly be for me a time of new life,
of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day.
Amen

my soul what have you done for god - daily lenten prayer 17 feb 2018

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Thought for the Day – – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Thought for the Day – – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Alas, for our dearest Lord! up to this day what have we done for Him?
You see what He has done for us and the end of His doing it was to gain our love!

We look upon a crucifix and it hardly moves us.
We hear of His bittter passion but our eyes are dry and our hearts indifferent.
We kneel down to pray but we can hardly keep our thoughts fixed upon Him for a quarter of an hour together.
We go into His own most holy presence and we hardly bend the knee before the Tabernacle lest it should spoil our clothes.
We see others sin and what is it to us that Jesus is offended, so long as it is not we, who are risking our souls, by offending Him?
These are strange signs of love!
Surely Jesus cannot be much to us if this is the way we feel about Him.
Yet so it is.
We go our own way and do our own will.
The great thing is to please ourselves and to make things easy to ourselves.
Life must be taught to run smooth.

As to penance, it must be kept at arm’s length.
We must have our bodily comforts and worldly conveniences and our spiritual life must be nothing but a sufficiency of those inward consolations without which our souls give us pain, because they are not at rest.

If we worship God it is for self, if we do good to others, it is self we are seeking, even in our charity.

Poor Jesus Christ! as Saint Alphonsus used to say, “Poor Jesus Christ! Who thinks of Him? Who weds His interest?”

Father Faber – Remember Me: Daily Readings for Lentpoor jesus christ - st alphonsus - 16 feb 2018 - first friday of lent

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FASTING

Quote of the Day – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

Quote of the Day – 16 February – The First Friday of Lent 2018

“Prayer, mercy and fasting:
these three are one and they give life to each other.
Fasting is the soul of prayer,
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no one try to separate them, they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.
So if you pray, fast,
if fast, show mercy,
if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others.
When you fast, see the fasting of others.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450) Father & Doctor of the Churchprayer,mercyandfasting-16 feb 2018 - first friday of lent - st peter chrysologus

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote of the Day – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

Quote of the Day – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the sign of the cross
on his brow.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe need not fear anything nor be ashamed - st augustine - 14 feb 2018 ash wed

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

One Minute Reflection – 14 February 2018 – Ash Wednesday

When you fast …groom your hair and wash your face ….Your father, who sees what is hidden will repay you.…Matthew 6:17-18

Fasting 2

REFLECTION – “Fasting, when rightly practised, lifts the mind to God and mortifies the flesh. It makes virtue easy to attain and increases our merits.”…St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchfasting when rightly practised - st francis de sales - ash wed 14 feb 2018

PRAYER – Support us Lord, as with this Lenten fast we begin our Christian warfare, so that in doing battle against the spirit of evil, we may be armed with the weapon of self-denial.  Heavenly Father, help us to fast for the right reasons.   Teach us to fast to curb illicit desires and to obtain closer union with You.   Help us Lord, during this Lenten season to cleave to You alone and grow in sanctity and charity.   Create in me a clean heart O Lord!   Through our Lord Jesus Christ in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.o that today - ash wednesday 14 feb 2018

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Our Morning Offering – 13 February – The Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony O.P.

Our Morning Offering – 13 February – The Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony O.P.

O Lord, King of all!
By St Albert the Great O.P. (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church

We pray to You, O Lord,
who are the supreme Truth,
and all truth is from You.
We beseech You, O Lord,
who are the highest Wisdom,
and all the wise depend on You for their wisdom.
You are the supreme Joy,
and all who are happy owe it to You.
You are the Light of minds,
and all receive their understanding from You.
We love, we love You above all.
We seek You, we follow You,
and we are ready to serve You.
We desire to dwell under Your power
for You are the King of all.
Amen.o lord,king of all by st albert the great - 13 feb 2018 - we pray to you o lord

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 12 February

Our Morning Offering – 12 February

Only for You, in You, by You.
By St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

Lord Jesus,
let me know myself and know You
and desire nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything, for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing, except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens, as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You
and ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve, to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear You
and let me be among those, who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey, for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing, save only to You,
And let me be poor, because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me, that I may see You
and for ever enjoy You.
Amenlord jesus let me know myself and know you - st augustine - 12 feb 2018

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Our Morning Offering – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – 6th Sunday of Year B

Your Sacred Table – A Prayer Before Holy Communion –
By Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

Divine Saviour,
we come to Your sacred table
to nourish ourselves,
not with bread but with Yourself,
true Bread of eternal life.
Help us daily to make a good and perfect meal
of this divine food.
Let us be continually refreshed
by the perfume of Your kindness and goodness.
May the Holy Spirit fill us with His Love.
Meanwhile, let us prepare a place
for this holy food by emptying our hearts.
Amen.your sacred table - prayer before holy comm by st francis de sales - 11 feb 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)

Saint of the Day Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) Bishop of Rome, Writer.  The longest regining Pope.   Bl Pius was born as Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti on 13 May 1792 in Senigallia, Italy and he died on 7 February 1878 in Vatican City of natural causes.  He reigned from 16 June 1846 to the day of his death.   He was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving for over 31 years.    During his pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed papal infallibility and promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, thus articulating a long-held belief that Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived without original sin.   He conferred the title Our Mother of Perpetual Help on a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorists.   Pius IX named three new Doctors of the Church:  Hilary of Poitiers (1851), Alphonsus Liguori (1871), and Francis de Sales (19 July 1877).   Patronages – Pius Seminary of Rome, Senigallia, Diocese of Senigallia, First Vatican Council.   His body is incorrupt.

our lady of perpetual help

Bl Pope Pius IX was born in Senigallia, Italy, on 13 May 1792, the son of Gerolamo of the Counts Mastai Ferretti and Caterina Solazzi, of the local nobility.   He was baptised on the day of his birth with the name Giovanni Maria.   Of delicate physical constitution but of very lively intelligence, his childhood was marked by little voluntary mortifications and an intense religious life.

In 1809 he moved to Rome for higher studies.   A disease not well diagnosed, which some called epilepsy, forced him to interrupt his studies in 1812.   He was accepted into the Pontifical Noble Guard in 1815 but because of his illness he was immediately discharged. It was at this time that St Vincent Pallotti predicted that he would become Pope and that the Virgin of Loreto would free him eventually from the disease.

After serving briefly in the Tata Giovanni Educational Institute, he participated as a catechist in 1816 in a memorable mission in Senigallia and, immediately thereafter, decided to enter the ecclesiastical state.   He was ordained a priest in 1819.   Conscious of his noble rank, he committed himself to avoiding a prelatial career in order to remain only at the service of the Church.

He celebrated his first Mass in the Church of St Anne of the Carpenters at the Tata Giovanni Institute, of which he was named rector, remaining there until 1823.   He was immediately recognised as assiduous in prayer, in the ministry of the Word, in the celebration of the liturgy, in the confessional and above all in his daily ministry at the service of the humblest and neediest.   He admirably united the active and the contemplative life:  ready for pastoral needs but always interiorly recollected, with strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion and fidelity to daily meditation and the examination of conscience.

In 1823 he left the institute to serve the Apostolic Nuncio in Chile, Mons. Giovanni Muzi. There he remained until 1825, when he was elected President of St Michael’s Hospice, a grand but complex institution in need of effective reform.   To it Mastai applied himself with more than gratifying results but without ever neglecting his priestly duties.   Two years later, at the age of 35, he was consecrated Archbishop of Spoleto.   In 1831 the revolution which had begun in Parma and Modena spread to Spoleto.   The Archbishop did not want the shedding of blood and repaired, as much as possible, the deleterious effects of the violence.   When calm was restored, he obtained a pardon for all, even for those who did not merit it.

Another turbulent see awaited Mastai in Imola, where he was transferred in 1832.   He remained an eloquent preacher, prompt in charity toward everyone, zealous for the supernatural as well as the material well-being of his Diocese, devoted to his clergy and seminarians, a promoter of education for the young, sensitive to the needs of the contemplative life, devoted to the Sacred Heart and to Our Lady, benevolent towards all but firm in his principles.   In 1840 he received the Cardinal’s hat at the age of 48.

Despite having shunned honours, on the evening of 16 June 1846 Mastai found himself burdened with the greatest of them:  he was elected Pope and took the name Pius IX.

He had a difficult pontificate, but precisely because of that he was a great Pope, certainly one of the greatest.   Thoroughly aware of being the “Vicar of Christ” and responsible for the rights of God and of the Church, he was clear, simple consistent.   He combined firmness and understanding, fidelity and openness.

He began with an act of generosity and Christian sensitivity:  amnesty for political crimes.   His first Encyclical was a programmatic vision but anticipated the “Syllabus”:  in it he condemned secret societies, freemasonry and communism.   In 1847 he promulgated a decree granting extensive freedom of the press and instituted a civil guard, the municipal and communal council, the Council of State and the Council of Ministers.   From then on his interventions as Father of all nations and temporal Prince continued unabated.

The question of Italian independence, which he sympathised with, did not set the Prince against the Pope, a fact that alienated the most intransigent liberals.   The situation came to a head on 15 November when Pellegrino Rossi, the head of government, was killed and Pius IX had to take refuge in Gaeta.   After the proclamation of the Roman Republic (9 February 1849), he moved to Portici and later returned to Rome (12 April 1850).   He reorganised the Council of State, established the Council for Finances, granted a new amnesty, re-established the Catholic hierarchy in England and in Holland.

In 1853 he condemned Gallican doctrines and founded the well-known “Seminario Pio”. He established the Commission on Christian Archaeology, defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1854 and blessed the rebuilt St Paul’s Basilica which had been destroyed by fire in 1823.

In 1856 he approved the plan for railways in the Papal States and on 24 April 1859 inaugurated the first section between Rome and Civitavecchia.   In 1857 he visited the Papal States and was welcomed everywhere with rejoicing.   He sent missionaries to the North Pole, India, Burma, China and Japan.

Meanwhile dark clouds gathered over him with the Italian “Risorgimento”, the Piedmontese annexations that were dismantling the Papal States and the expropriation of the Legations.   Suffering but undaunted, he continued to show his charity and concern for all.   In 1862 he established a dicastery to deal with the concerns of Eastern-rite Catholics;  in 1864 he published his Syllabus condemning modern errors;  in 1867 he celebrated the 18th centenary of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul;  in 1869 he received the homage of the entire world for the golden jubilee of his priestly ordination.   Later that year he opened the First Vatican Ecumenical Council, the pearl of his pontificate, and closed it on 18 July 1870.

With the fall of Rome (20 September 1870) and of the temporal power, the saddened Pontiff considered himself a prisoner of the Vatican, resisting the “Laws of Guarantees”, but approving the “Work of Congresses”.   He consecrated the Church to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, disciplined the participation of Catholics in political life with the Non expedit and restored the Catholic hierarchy of Scotland.   Suffering from poor health, he gave his last address to the parish priests of Rome on 2 February 1878.   On 7 February the longest pontificate in history ended with his holy death.   His body is incorrupt.   He was Beatified on  3 September 2000 by St Pope John Paul II. (vatican.va)Blessed-Pius-IX-Red-Shoe-Document-of-Authenticity-600x400OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPius IX ii.-incorrupt

Writings

• Amantissimi Redemptoris – On Priests and the Care of Souls, by Pope Pius IX, 3 May 1858
• Apostolicae Nostrae Caritatis – Urging Prayers For Peace, by Pope Pius IX, 1 August 1854
• Beneficia Dei – On The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of His Pontificate, by Pope Pius IX, 4 June 1871
• Cum Nuper – On Care for Clerics, by Pope Pius IX, 20 January 1858
• Cum Sancta Mater Ecclesia – Pleading for Public Prayer, by Pope Pius IX, 27 April 1859
• Etsi Multa – On the Church in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, by Pope Pius IX, 21 November 1873
• Exultavit Cor Nostrum – On the Effects of the Jubilee, by Pope Pius IX, 21 November 1851
• Graves ac Diuturnae – On the Church in Switzerland, by Pope Pius IX, 23 March 1875
• Gravibus Ecclesiae – Proclaiming a Jubilee for 1875, by Pope Pius IX, 24 December 1874
• Incredibili – On Persecution in New Granada, by Pope Pius IX, 17 September 1863
• Ineffabilis Deus – The Immaculate Conception, by Pope Pius IX, 8 December 1854
• Levate – On the Afflictions of the Church, by Pope Pius IX, 21 October 1867
• Maximae Quidem – On the Church in Bavaria, by Pope Pius IX, 18 August 1864
• Meridionali Americae – On the Seminary for Native Clergy, by Pope Pius IX, 30 September 1865
• Neminem Vestrum – On The Persecution Of Armenians, by Pope Pius IX, 2 February 1854
• Nemo Certe Ignorat – On Discipline for Clergy, by Pope Pius IX, 25 March 1852
• Nostis et Nobiscum – On The Church In The Pontifical States, by Pope Pius IX, 8 December 1849
• Nullis Certe Verbis – On the Need for Civil Sovereignty, by Pope Pius IX, 19 January 1860
• Omnem Sollicitudinem – On The Greek-Ruthenian Rite, Pope Pius IX, 13 May 1874
• Optime Noscitis – On Episcopal Meetings, by Pope Pius IX, 5 November 1855
• Optime Noscitis – On The Proposed Catholic University Of Ireland, by Pope Pius IX, 20 March 1854
• Praedecessores Nostros – On Aid for Ireland, by Pope Pius IX, 25 March 1847
• Quae in Patriarchatu – On the Church in Chaldae, by Pope Pius IX, 16 November 1872
• Quanta Cura – Condemning Current Errors, by Pope Pius IX, 8 December 1864
• Quanto Conficiamur Moerore – On Promotion of False Doctrines, by Pope Pius IX, 10 August 1863
• Quartus Supra – On the Church in Armenia, by Pope Pius IX, 6 January 1873
• Qui Nuper – On Pontifical States, by Pope Pius IX, 18 June 1859
• Qui Pluribus – On Faith And Religion, by Pope Pius IX, 9 November 1846
• Quod Nunquam – On the Church in Prussia, by Pope Pius IX, 5 February 1875
• Respicientes – Protesting the Taking of the Pontifical States, by Pope Pius IX, 1 November 1870
• Saepe Venerabiles Fratres – On Thanksgiving For Twenty-Five Years Of Pontificate, by Pope Pius IX, 5 August 1871
• Singulari Quidem – On the Church in Austria, by Pope Pius IX, 17 March 1856
• Syllabus of Errors, by Pope Blessed Pius IX, 8 December 1864
• Ubi Nos – On Pontifical States, by Pope Pius IX, 15 May 1871
• Ubi Primum – On Discipline for Religious, by Pope Pius IX, 17 June 1847
• Ubi Primum – On The Immaculate Conception, by Pope Pius IX, 2 February 1849
• Vix Dum a Nobis – On the Church in Austria, by Pope Pius IX, 7 March 1874

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Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – 5th Sunday of Year B

Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – 5th Sunday of Year B

“Speaking of the Eucharist/the Holy Mass”

“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled, with countless angels, who adore the divine victim, immolated on the altar.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchwhen mass is being celebrated - st john chrysostom - 4 feb 2018

“The Holy Mass would be of greater profit, if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls, after death.”

Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922)the holy mass - pope benedict XV

“One merits more, by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass, than by distributing, all of his goods to the poor and travelling, all over the world, on pilgrimage.”

St Bernard if Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Churchone merits more - st bernard of clairvaux - 4 feb 2018

“The celebration of Holy Mass has the same value as the Death of Jesus on the Cross.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchthe celebration of holy mass - st thomas aquinas - 28 jan 2018

“When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage, speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul, where He is present, for your happiness, welcome Him as warmly as possible and behave outwardly, in such a way, that your actions, may give proof to all, of His Presence.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchwhen you have received him - st francis de sales - 4 feb 2018

“If someone said to us, “At such an hour a dead person is to be raised to life, ” we should run very quickly to see it.   But is not the Consecration, which changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of God, a much greater miracle than to raise a dead person to life?   We ought always to devote at least a quarter of an hour to preparing ourselves to hear Mass well.   We ought to annihilate ourselves before God, after the example of His profound annihilation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and we should make our examination of conscience, for we must be in a state of grace. to be able to assist properly at Mass.   If we knew the value of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or rather, if we had faith, we should be much more zealous to assist at it.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)we ought always - st john vianney - 4 feb 2018