Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 27 December – “The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made”

Thought for the Day – 27 December – the Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved” and the 3rd Octave Day – “The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made”

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him.”   Peter then came out, with the other disciple and they went toward the tomb.   They both ran but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there but he did not go in.   Then Simon Peter came, following him and went into the tomb, he saw the linen cloths lying and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.   Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in and he saw and believed...John 20:2–8

Tucked away in a central Parisian museum that was once a railway station, there hangs an Easter painting quite unlike any Gospel masterpiece created before or after it.   It is not painted by a Rembrandt or a Rubens or the patron saint of artists, Fra Angelico.   The painting is the work of a little-known Swiss painter.   For those who make a trip to see it, viewing the canvas is a special spiritual experience in their lives.

The work does not even show the risen Jesus.   It merely portrays two witnesses, Jesus’ oldest and youngest apostle.   The youngest who was the only man brave enough to stay by Jesus’ cross and the only one who did not die a martyr’s death as a result of it.   The oldest apostle, who first denied Jesus in fear, yet ultimately chose to be crucified upside down by the Roman authorities, rather than deny Christ’s resurrection.

Mary, John & Mary of Magdala at the cross-antoon-van-dyck-follow-jesus
Anton van Dyck

In “The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection” by Eugène Burnand, John clasps his hand in prayer while Peter holds his hand over his heart.   The viewer feels the rush as their hair and cloaks fly back with the wind.   They are sprinting towards discovery of the moment that forever altered heaven and earth.   As you look at it, engage for a moment in what the Catholic blogger Bill Donaghy calls “the visual equivalent of Lectio Divina.”   As Donaghy notes, “This Resurrection scene does not put us before still figures near a stagnant stone, or figures standing with stony faces in a contrived, plastic posture, pointing to an empty tomb.   This scene is dynamic; we are in motion.”

During his time, Burnand was fascinated by the possibilities of the emerging art of photography.   Ironically, he would later be dismissed in the twentieth century as too “bourgeois” and anti-modernist when in fact he was merging his love of tradition with his interest in new technological ways of capturing the human person.   His painting feels cinematic long before cinema existed as a major art form.

Through the movement and immediacy of the scene, the preceding minutes with Mary Magdalene are palpable.   In a sense, she is in the painting too.   “You can almost hear her voice in the background, can you not, a few minutes earlier, as she burst into their house…” writes the Episcopal Bishop Dorsey McConnell in an Easter sermon meditating on the painting.

Apart from Jesus’ mother, no other three participants capture the closeness of Jesus’ encounter with humankind quite like John, Peter and Mary of Magdala.   Their interactions with Christ embody a relationship to God previously unimaginable to mankind.   Jesus turning to Peter as they sit by the fire and asking three times, “Do you love me?”, thereby washing away the sin of the three denials past;  Christ turning to John in the midst of his suffering and saying, “Behold, your mother,” giving her to the Church entire.   And, of course, the beautiful moment about to transpire in which Jesus’ merely says Mary’s name and she recognises Him with a cry of “Rabbouni!”   They are the moments which cause one to wonder, how those who truly hate Christianity (not merely disbelief it) can remain so hostile to its narrative beauty.

st john and the sorrowful mother - van-weyden-at-the-cross
By Rogier van Weyden (1400-1464)
st john and mary - beloved-by-dyce
By William Dyce (1806-1864)

Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze.   Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth.   A new life is about to emerge but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control.   Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.

Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told.   Meditate upon their faces, as Burnand intended you to do and through them, discover the empty tomb.the-greatest-easter-painting-elise-ehrhard-crises-mag1- used again today 27dec2018

St John, Beloved of the Lord, Pray for us!beloved st john pray for us 27 dec 2018

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Posted in CATECHESIS, EASTER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 12 May – Saturday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel John 16:23-28.

Thought for the Day – 12 May – Saturday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel John 16:23-28.

Saint John-Mary Vianney (1786-1859) Curé of Ars

“Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” (Jn 16:23)

Children, your heart is small but prayer expands it and make is capable of loving God. Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, an outflow from paradise.  Never does it leave us without sweetness.   It is a honey that comes into the soul and sweetens everything.   All our troubles melt away before a well-made prayer like snow before the sun.   Prayer makes the time pass speedily and with such enjoyment that we don’t notice its length…

You can tell well enough who they are who lose themselves in prayer like a fish in water because they belong entirely to God.   There is no division in their hearts.   How I love generous souls like those!   Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Collette saw our Lord and talked to him as we talk to each other.   But as for us, how often do we come to church not knowing what we’ve come for and what we want to ask!   And yet, when we visit someone’s house we know perfectly well why we’re going there.   There are some people who appear to be saying to the good God:  “I’ve just come to say a word or two so that I can be done with you.”   How often I have thought that we would obtain everything we want if, when we come to worship our Lord, we were to ask him for it with a truly living faith and pure heart.john 16 23 - whatever you ask the father in my name - 12 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CONSECRATION Prayers, EASTER, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 10 May “Mary’s Month” and Thursday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 10 May “Mary’s Month” and Thursday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration
Prayers of the Church

Mary,
We sing our Alleluias today, for Jesus is risen.
Our souls proclaim the greatness of God,
Our spirits rejoice in our Risen Saviour.
May your song be sung in our lives
At every moment of this day, so that God’s power,
Which can do far more than we can ask or imagine,
May continue to call life from death
and light from darkness,
Transforming our meager efforts
Into your Son’s victory over death.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration - 10 may 2018 - thursday of the sixth week

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CONSECRATION Prayers, EASTER, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 9 May “Mary’s Month!” – Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 9 May “Mary’s Month!” – Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration
Marian Prayers of the Church

Mary,
In the brilliant light of Easter,
Teach us, too, that nothing is impossible with God.
All our struggles with self and others,
All our disappointments and shames,
All our failures and sinfulness
Are as nothing in this healing, life-giving light.
Accept, then, our all.
May God look upon it,
As once did the Mighty One upon your lowliness,
So that we might be gifted with that blessedness
Promised to all sons and daughters of the Resurrection.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary, ever Virgin,
intercede for us, with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration to mary - 9 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, EASTER, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Marian Reflection – 8 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

One Minute Marian Reflection – 8 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.   Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God…Luke 1:35and the angel said to her in reply - luke 1 35 - 8 may 2018

REFLECTIONMARY:  MOTHER OF CHRIST – “Jesus Christus, Deus homo:  Jesus Christ, God man.   This is one of the ‘mighty works of God,’ which we should reflect upon and thank Him for.   He has come to bring ‘peace on earth to men of good will,’ to all who want to unite their wills to the holy will of God – not just the rich, not just the poor but everyone, all the brethren.   We are all brothers in Jesus, children of God, brothers of Christ.   His mother is our mother .”…St Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975) – “Christ Triumphs through Humility” – “Christ is Passing By – 13”
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Jesus Himself, when we receive Him in Holy Communion.mary mother of christ - st josemaria - 8 may 2018

PRAYER – Shape us in the likeness of the divine nature of our Redeemer, whom we believe to be true God and true man, since it was Your will, Lord God, that He, Your Word, should take to Himself our human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant, we pray, that by intercession of the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, we may reach eternal life.   We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.mary mother of christ - pray for us - 8 may 2018

 

 

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CONSECRATION Prayers, EASTER, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 8 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 8 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration
(Prayers of the Church)

Mary,
We, your sons and daughters
Look to you as we treasure and ponder
The Rising of Jesus,
your Son and our brother.
Teach us how, that marvelous moment,
can topple the proud,
Elevate the lowly,
feed the hungry,
And mission the rich,
even today.
Confident in God’s power and love,
Trusting in the Risen Lord,
Relying on the Promised Advocate,
The Spirit of Life and of Truth,
We dedicate our lives,
in your name and for your honour
To the transforming power of Easter.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration - no 2 - tuesday of the 6th week of easter - 8 may 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, EASTER, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 7 May “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration

Mary,
God has worked a great wonder:
Jesus is risen!
No longer are we caught in the cords of death,
For He has loosened our bonds.
No longer need we walk in fear,
For He has become our strong hope.
No longer are we alone and estranged,
For He has called us friends.
May your faith in the face of death,
even death on the cross,
May your hope,
almost buried with Him in the tomb,
May your love,
nearly staunched by the fear of his disciples,
May your joy in the Resurrected Saviour
be ours this day,
As we, in your name, for your honour,
live out our Easter mission.
To go forth and teach all peoples.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us, with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration - 7 may 2018