Posted in EASTER, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)

“This humble worship that surely is more pleasing to God than many deeds that the world calls charity. . . How much greater in God’s eyes is a heartfelt ‘Hail Mary’ than even the greatest thing done without wholehearted love for God.”

Rafael had only four more years to live.   A few months after entering the monastery, he was diagnosed with a virulent form of diabetes.   The illness brought with it melancholy and perplexity.   Three times the novice’s superiors sent him home to rest and recover his strength.   Drafted into the Nationalist Army at the very height of the Spanish Civil War, Rafael was declared unfit for active duty.   Returning to the monastery for the last time, he was received as a regular oblate, that is, a man living within the cloister without vows and following a personal rule of life approved by the abbot.   Regular oblates were, at that time, somewhat marginalised in monastic communities.   Their peculiar status — monks living without vows and without the security that comes from having made profession — was not without its own challenges.   Rafael entered fully into the vocation of the oblate, understanding that the oblate is destined for the altar, that is, for sacrifice.

St Rafael, in spite of the brevity and discontinuity of his monastic experience, lived it fully.   He remained faithful in the face of bewildering contradictions, uncertainties and apparent failure.   He found the Will of God in weakness, in illness, in war, in the inability to make monastic profession and in the sufferings inherent in community life.

Brother Rafael Maria was humble because he accepted one humiliation after another without ever despairing of the mercy of God.   He died stripped of everything, without having fulfilled even the legitimate human aspirations that so appealed to him. Configured to the poor and crucified Jesus, he died in the splendour of the Resurrection on 26 April 1938 at the age of 27.

St Pope John Paul II proclaimed Rafael a model for today’s youth but for me, he is a model for us all on how to learn to love suffering, how to learn to love the Cross of Christ and thus suffering in our own crosses in total abandonment to Divine Providence.

“The whole community is gathered in adoration
to ask the Lord for peace,
to pray for those who are dying and to make reparation for so many sins . . .
But one mustn’t spread discouragement. . . .
When we ask for mercy and pardon, we are doing as David did . . .
that is, the Lord will blot out all our sins and those of the whole world,
not by any poor merits of ours
but by the multitude and the greatness of His mercy.”

Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón, Pray for us!st rafael arnaiz baron - pray for us no 2- 26 april 2018

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Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The RESURRECTION

One Minute Reflection – 26 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)

One Minute Reflection – 26 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us, who are being saved, it is the power of God…1 Cor 1:181 corinthians 1 18

REFLECTION – …(I am) “a humble lay brother who has chosen the road of truth in the dark night of the world…only the Cross of Christ sheds light on the path of this life….God is in the detached heart, in the silence of prayer, in the voluntary sacrifice to pain, in the emptiness of the world and its creatures.   God is in the Cross and, as long as we do not love the Cross, we will not see Him, or feel Him…. If the world and men knew…. But they will not know;  they are very busy in their interests;  their hearts are very full of things that are not God.”…St Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938)

only the cross of christ sheds light - st rafael baron - 26 april 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, we were sinners and Your grace made us holy.   We were without hope and You filled us with joy.   Stand by us in Your saving work and stay with us in Your gifts of grace.   May we never fail to persevere in the path of holiness that comes from following You, carrying our crosses behind the Cross of Your Son and looking forward in hope to the promise His Resurrection.   Grant Lord, that our faith may increase and our courage grow, by the prayers of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón.   Through Jesus our Lord, one God with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever, amen.

st rafael arnaiz baron - pray for us - 26 april 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PAPAL MESSAGES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Today we celebrate St Mark, the Evangelist, the first Gospel writer and the friend of Sts Peter and Paul, the cousin of St Barnabas and our Father in faith – our friend too, a chosen member of the Catholic Church who has gone before to show us the way.   Mark knew there would be difficulties for believers in every age, for the persecution of the early Church was the beginning “of the labour pains” (13:8), since “the Gospel must first be preached to all nations” (13:10).   He has given us a moving story of how God works in mysterious ways and shown us in the actions of Jesus how to be patient in our faith even in the most troubling circumstances, for “he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him as he told you” (16:7).   This narrative could only have been created by someone who himself knew suffering, the pain of unfulfilled hopes and the sorrow of untimely death.   His faith made him write about it.   His hope makes it so convincing!   Let us listen to Pope Benedict on being a Catholic today, now, in the world we live in!

Chosen:   I think it is worth reflecting on this word.   We are chosen.   God has always known us, even before our birth, before our conception, God wanted me as a Christian, as a Catholic, He wanted me as a priest.   God thought of me, He sought me among millions, among a great many, He saw me and He chose me.   It was not for my merits, which were non-existent but out of His goodness;  He wanted me to be a messenger of His choice, which is also always a mission, above all a mission and a responsibility for others.   Chosen: we must be grateful and joyful for this event.   God thought of me, he chose me as a Catholic, me, as a messenger of His Gospel, as a priest.   In my opinion it is worth reflecting several times on this and coming back to this fact of His choice;  He chose me, He wanted me, now I am responding.

Perhaps today we are tempted to say:  we do not want to rejoice at having been chosen, for this would be triumphalism.   It would be triumphalism to think that God had chosen me because I was so important.   This would really be erroneous triumphalism. However, being glad because God wanted me is not triumphalism.   Rather, it is gratitude and I think we should relearn this joy:  God wanted me to be born in this way, into a Catholic family, he wanted me to know Jesus from the first.   What a gift to be wanted by God so that I could know His face, so that I could know Jesus Christ, the human face of God, the human history of God in this world!   Being joyful because He has chosen me to be a Catholic, to be in this Church of His, where subsistit Ecclesia unica;  we should rejoice because God has given me this grace, this beauty of knowing the fullness of God’s truth, the joy of his love.

Chosen:  a word of privilege and at the same time of humility.   However “chosen” — as I said — is accompanied by the word “parepidemois”, exiles, foreigners.   As Christians we are dispersed and we are foreigners:  we see that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world today, because it does not conform, because it is a stimulus, because it opposes the tendencies to selfishness, to materialism and to all these things.

Christians are certainly not only foreigners; we are also Christian nations, we are proud of having contributed to the formation of culture, there is a healthy patriotism, a healthy joy of belonging to a nation that has a great history of culture and of faith.   Yet, as Christians, we are always also foreigners — the destiny of Abraham, described in the Letter to the Hebrews.   As Christians we are, even today, also always foreigners. In the work place Christians are a minority, they find themselves in an extraneous situation;  it is surprising that a person today can still believe and live like this.   This is also part of our life:  it is a form of being with the Crucified Christ, this being foreigners, not living in the way that everyone else lives, but living — or at least seeking to live — in accordance with His Word, very differently from what everyone says.   And it is precisely this that is characteristic of Christians.   They all say:  “But everyone does this, why don’t I?”   No, I don’t, because I want to live in accordance with God.   St Augustine once said:  “Christians are those who do not have their roots below, like tree, but have their roots above and they do not live this gravity in the natural downwards gravitation”.   Let us pray the Lord that he help us to accept this mission of living as exiles, as a minority, in a certain sense, of living as foreigners and yet being responsible for others and, in this way, reinforcing the goodness in our world.

This is faith:  touching Christ with the hand of faith, with our heart and thus entering into the power of His life, into the healing power of the Lord.   And let us pray the Lord, that we may touch Him more and more, so as to be healed.   Let us pray that He will not let us fall, that He too may take us by the hand and thus preserve us for true life….

LECTIO DIVINA” OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI

Chapel of the Seminary
Friday
, 8 February 2013

St Mark, Pray for us!st-mark-pray-for-us-25 april 2017

 

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Speaking of:  Being Catholic

“I would not believe in the Gospel,
had not the authority
of the Catholic Church
already moved me.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctori would not believe - st augustine - speaking of being catholic - 25 april 2018

“In her voyage,
across the ocean of this world,
the Church is like a great ship
being pounded by the waves
of life’s different stresses.
Our duty is not to abandon ship
but to keep her on her course.”

St Boniface (672-754) Father & Martyrin her voyage across the ocean - st boniface - speaking of being catholic - 25 april 2018

“Jesus is with me.
I have nothing to fear.”

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)jesus is with me - bl pier - 25 april 2018

“The Jesus of the Gospels
is surely not convenient for us.”the jesus of the gospels - pope benedict - 25 april 2018

“The Jesus who makes everything okay
for everyone is a phantom,
a dream,
not a real figure…”

Pope Benedict XVIthe jesus who makes - pope benedict - 25 april 2018

“Catholicism is a matter
of the body
and the senses,
as much as it is a matter
of the mind,
precisely because,
the Word became flesh.”catholicism is a matter - bishop barron - 25 april 2018

“Easter is an earthquake,
an explosion.
If you see it as less than that,
you’re not getting it.”

Bishop Robert Barroneaster is an earthquake - bishop barron - 25 april 2018

“At some point,
Jesus is going to call you out.
That’s what He does.”

Father Mike Schmitzat some point - fr mike schmitz - 25 april 2018

 

 

 

Posted in CCC, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

One Minute Reflection – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Jesus said to the Eleven, “go out to the whole world and the proclaim the gospel to all creation.”…Mark 16:15

REFLECTION – So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”    Strengthened by this mission, the apostles “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”
Those, who with God’s help, have welcomed Christ’s call and freely responded to it, are urged on, by love of Christ, to proclaim the Good News, everywhere in the world.   This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors.   All Christ’s faithful are called to hand it on, from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing and by celebrating it, in liturgy and prayer…CCC 2-3those who with god's help...ccc 2-3 - 25 april 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God, You chose the Evangelist St Mark and ennobled him with grace, to preach the Gospel.   Let his teaching so improve our lives and his prayers so support us, that we may walk faithfully in his footsteps, which are the footsteps of Christ our Lord.   Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st mark - pray for us - 25 april 2018

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

Our Morning Offering – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Our Morning Offering – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Easter Prayer
By St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Church

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-Begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father,
by Your wondrous condescension
of Loving-Kindness toward us,
Your servants,
You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus, You paid the debt of Adam for us
to the Eternal Father
by Your Blood poured forth in Loving-Kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled Heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of Eternal Happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love!
We pray You, Lord,
to preserve Your servants
in the peaceful enjoyment
of this Easter happiness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.
Amen

it is only right with all the powers - easter prayer of st pope gregory the great - wed 4th week of easter - 25 april 2018

 

Posted in EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Saint of the Day – 25 April – St Mark the Evangelist

Saint of the Day – 25 April – St Mark the Evangelist – also known as John Mark (Born 1st century – Martyred 25 April 68 at Alexandria, Egypt) – The Winged Lion – Evangelist, Martyr, Missionary, Preacher, Teacher, friend and assistant to St Peter, St Paul, cousin of St Barnabas.1977.2_evangelista-san-marcosst mark and the winged lion

John Mark, later known simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth.   He was the son of that Mary who was proprietress of the Cenacle or “upper room” which served as the meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12).   He was still a youth at the time of the Saviour’s death.    We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally.    Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself (so he then did know Jesus) when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane:  “Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body.    They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked” (Mark 14:51-52). 

During the years that followed, the rapidly maturing youth witnessed the growth of the infant Church in his mother’s Upper Room and became acquainted with its traditions. This knowledge he put to excellent use when compiling his Gospel.   Later, we find Mark acting as a companion to his cousin Barnabas and Saul on their return journey to Antioch and on their first missionary journey.   But Mark was too immature for the hardships of this type of work and therefore left them at Perge in Pamphylia to return home.

As the two apostles were preparing for their second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin with him.   Paul, however, objected.   Thereupon the two cousins undertook a missionary journey to Cyprus.   Time healed the strained relations between Paul and Mark and during the former’s first Roman captivity (61-63), Mark rendered Paul valuable service (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24) and the Apostle learned to appreciate him.   When in chains the second time Paul requested Mark’s presence (2 Tim. 4:11).

An intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter;  he played the role of Peter’s companion, disciple and interpreter.   According to the common patristic opinion, Mark was present at Peter’s preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel under the influence of the prince of the apostles.   This explains why incidents which involve Peter are described with telling detail (e.g., the great day at Capharnaum, 1:14f)).   Little is known of Mark’s later life.   It is certain that he died a Martyr’s death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt.   His relics were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St Mark’s Cathedral.

tomb-st-mark-venice
St Mark’s Tomb inside the Altar at St Mark’s, Venice
st mark's venice
St Mark’s Venice

The Gospel of St Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above all, a Roman Gospel.   It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological presentation of the life of Christ.   For we should be deeply interested in the historical sequence of the events in our blessed Saviour’s life.

Mark2. Benozzo Gozzoli
Ceilings in the Vatican depicting St Mark

Saint Mark Mosaic Angels Saint Peter's Basilica Vatican Rome Ita

Furthermore, Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures.   With one stroke he frequently enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light.   His Gospel is the “Gospel of Peter,” for he wrote it under the direction and with the aid of the prince of the apostles.   “The Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness,   ‘The voice of one crying in the desert:   Make ready the way of the Lord,’ or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King.”…Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

st mark - the winged lionthe winged lion of st mark

 

Posted in EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

25 April – Feast of St Mark the Evangelist and Memorials of the Saints

St Mark the Evangelist (Feast) Also known as John Mark (Born 1st century – martyred 25 April 68 at Alexandria, Egypt) – The Winged Lion


St Agathopodes of Antioch
Bl Andrés Solá Molist
St Anianus of Alexandria
Bl Antonio Pérez Lários
St Callista of Syracuse
St Clarentius of Vienne
St Ermin of Lobbes
St Evodius of Syracuse
St Franca Visalta
St Giovanni Piamarta
St Heribaldus of Auxerre
St Hermogenes of Syracuse
Bl José Trinidad Rangel y Montaño
St Kebius
St Macaille
St Macedonius
St Mario Borzaga
St Pasicrate of Mesia
St Paul Thoj Xyooj
Pedro de San Jose Betancur
Phaebadius of Agen
Philo of Antioch
Robert of Syracuse
Bl Robert Anderton
Stefano of Antioch
St Valenzio of Mesia
Bl William Marsden

Martyrs of Yeoju – 3 saints: Three Christian laymen martyred together in the apostolic vicariate of Korea. 25 April 1801 in Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
They were Beatified15 August 2014 by Pope Francis
• Ioannes Won Gyeong-do
• Marcellinus Choe Chang-ju
• Martinus Yi Jung-bae

Posted in EASTER, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday

Thought for the Day – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday” – Todays Readings: Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29, 1 John 3:1-2, John 10:11-18

“The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep”

Despite Jesus’ realistic word-picture, the parable of the Good Shepherd only fully comes alive in Jesus Himself, God’s appointed “Shepherd” of men.   He names two characteristics of such a shepherd:  first the shepherd’s commitment to the flock even to the point of death;  and second, the reciprocal recognition between sheep and shepherd, which is anchored in the innermost mystery of God.

The theme of self-giving to the point of death, is found at both the beginning and the end of the Gospel.   This devotion, contrasts sharply with the flight of the “hired hand”, who, when facing danger, has the excuse that the life of a man is more valuable than the life of a dumb animal.   This argument loses its force, however, when the shepherd cares so much for his sheep, that he prefers them to his own life.   That is scarcely conceivable in purely natural terms but it becomes a central truth in the realm of grace.   It only makes sense with the aid of the second theme of the parable – the shepherd knows his sheep and the animals likewise instinctively recognise him.   For Jesus, this is merely the point of comparison for a completely different recognition:  “as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”   This has nothing to do with instinct but with the most profound mutual recognition, as it is found in absolute trinitarian love.   When Jesus applies this utterly sublime trinitarian love recognition to the inward mutuality between Himself and His own, He elevates this knowledge far above that which is hinted at by the parable.

And thus, it becomes clear, that the first motif of the parable (giving one’s life for the sheep) and the second motif (mutual recognition) coincide rather than merely parallel each other.   The Father’s and the Son’s knowledge of each other is identical with their mutual and perfect selfgiving and therefore, the knowledge exchanged between Jesus and His own, is one with the perfect selfgiving of Jesus for and to His own and it implicitly includes the unity of the Christian’s knowledge and loving dedication to his Lord.

At the end, both themes are expressly joined together:  the Father (also) loves the Son for His perfect selfgiving for the sake of men, a selfgiving which is both freely chosen by the Son and commissioned by the Father.   This unmitigated surrender to mankind because it is Divine Love, is at the same time the power that achieves victory over death (“the power to take up life again”).

“No other name under heaven”  in the First Reading, Peter gives the Lord all glory for the miracle he has effected.   The point is not that, Jesus excepted, all who care for sheep are “hired hands” for the Lord Himself installed Peter to pasture His flock – precisely Jesus’ Flock, not Peter’s.   Thus everything effective and appropriate ultimately is accomplished by the “chief Shepherd alone” (1 Pet 5:4), even if through the activity of His assistants.

Hans Urs von Balthasar “Light of the Word”

john 10 11 - good shepherd no 2

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering -22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B

Our Morning Offering -22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B

Give me Yourself, O My God
By St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace

Give me Yourself, O my God,
give Yourself to me.
Behold I love You
and if my love is too weak a thing,
grant me to love You more strongly.
I cannot measure my love
to know how much it falls short of being sufficient
but let my soul hasten to Your embrace
and never be turned away,
until it is hidden in the secret shelter
of Your presence.
This only do I know,
that it is not good for me
when You are not with me,
when You are only outside me.
I want You in my very self.
All the plenty in the world
which is not my God is utter want.
Amengive me yourself o my god - prayer of st augustine - act of petition - 22 april 2018 - 4th sun of easter year B