Posted in ENCYCLICALS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Pope Pius XII and Mediator Dei

The question remains, then, of just how one participates actively “in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church”.   Pope Pius XII situates active participation in a personal and corporate adhesion to the sacrifice of Christ who, in every Holy Mass, exercises His priesthood and offers Himself as a spotless victim to the Father.

One comes to Holy Mass, then, not after the manner of a consumer looking seeking spiritual gratification but, rather, as an offerer bearing to the altar the oblation of his own life, as a royal priest set over all created things in order to raise them heavenward in the Great Thanksgiving (Eucharist) and as a victim, a sacrificial lamb ready to be made over to God in Christ.  In Christ and in the members of His Mystical Body are the prophetic words of Abraham to Isaac wondrously fulfilled:  “God Himself will provide the lamb” (Genesis 22:8). Pope Pius XII writes:

“All the elements of the liturgy, then, would have us reproduce in our hearts the likeness of the divine Redeemer through the mystery of the cross, according to the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, “With Christ I am nailed to the cross. I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.”   Thus we become a victim, as it were, along with Christ to increase the glory of the eternal Father.

Let the faithful, therefore, consider to what a high dignity they are raised by the sacrament of baptism.   They should not think it enough to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice with that general intention which befits members of Christ and children of the Church but let them further, in keeping with the spirit of the sacred liturgy, be most closely united with the High Priest and His earthly minister, at the time the consecration of the divine Victim is enacted and, at that time, especially when those solemn words are pronounced:

“By Him and with Him and in Him is to Thee, God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory forever and ever”;   to these words in fact the people answer, “Amen.”

Nor should Christians forget to offer themselves, their cares, their sorrows, their distress and their necessities in union with their divine Saviour upon the cross.”

ven pope pius XII mediator dei - sunreflection 9 dec 2018

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Posted in ENCYCLICALS, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 12 November – “He gave his life for the unity of the Church” – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr

“He gave his life for the unity of the Church”

Pope Piux XI
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Ecclesiam Dei

Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr “the thief of souls.”PopePiusXI

“In designing his Church God worked with such skill that in the fullness of time it would resemble a single great family embracing all men.   It can be identified, as we know, by certain distinctive characteristics, notably its universality and unity.

Christ the Lord passed on to His apostles the task He had received from the Father: ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.   Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.’   He wanted the apostles as a body to be intimately bound together, first by the inner tie of the same faith and love which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit and, second, by the external tie of authority exercised by one apostle over the others.   For this he assigned the primacy to Peter, the source and visible basis of their unity for all time.  So that the unity and agreement among them would endure, God wisely stamped them, one might say, with the mark of holiness and martyrdom.

Both these distinctions fell to Josaphat, Archbishop of Polock of the Slavonic rite of the Eastern Church.   He is rightly looked upon as the great glory and strength of the Eastern Rite Slavs.   Few have brought them greater honour or contributed more to their spiritual welfare than Josaphat, their pastor and apostle, especially when he gave his life as a martyr for the unity of the Church.   He felt, in fact, that God had inspired him to restore world-wide unity to the Church and he realised that his greatest chance of success lay in preserving the Slavonic rite and Saint Basil’s rule of monastic life within the one universal Church.

Concerned mainly with seeing his own people reunited to the See of Peter, he sought out every available argument which would foster and maintain Church unity.   His best arguments were drawn from liturgical books, sanctioned by the Fathers of the Church, which were in common use among Eastern Christians, including the dissidents.   Thus thoroughly prepared, he set out to restore the unity of the Church.   A forceful man of fine sensibilities, he met with such success that his opponents dubbed him “the thief of souls.”

The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West.   The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting and celibacy.   No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor and doctrinal disagreement was present.   But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern—mostly Orthodox—Churches and 23 percent Protestant and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian, should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians! (These figures from Franciscan Media)

St Josaphat, Ora pro Nobis!st jospahat - pray for us - ora pro nobis - 12 nov 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, FRANCISCAN, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 30 October – The Memorial of St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Preacher

Quote of the Day =30 October – The Memorial of St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Preacher

Pope Francis writes:

“The preacher has the wonderful but difficult task of joining loving hearts, the hearts of the Lord and His people.
The dialogue between God and His people further strengthens the covenant between them and consolidates the bond of charity.
In the course of the homily, the hearts of believers keep silence and allow God to speak. The Lord and His people speak to one another in a thousand ways directly, without intermediaries.   But in the homily, they want someone to serve as an instrument and to express their feelings in such a way, that afterwards, each one may chose how he or she
will continue the conversation.”

Pope Francis – Evangelii gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel, 143

the preacher has the wonderful but difficult task - evanelii guadium the joy of the gospel 143 - pope francis - 30 oct 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, PAPAL PRAYERS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 1 September – The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Thought for the Day – 1 September – The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Excerpt – Message of His Holiness, Pope Francis, 1 SEPTEMBER 2016

Show Mercy to our Common Home

Examining our consciences, repentance and confession to our Father who is rich in mercy lead to a firm purpose of amendment.   This in turn must translate into concrete ways of thinking and acting that are more respectful of creation.   For example: “avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices” (Laudato Si’, 211).   We must not think that these efforts are too small to improve our world.   They “call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread” and encourage “a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption” (ibid., 212, 222).

In the same way, the resolve to live differently should affect our various contributions to shaping the culture and society in which we live.   Indeed, “care for nature is part of a lifestyle which includes the capacity for living together and communion” (Laudato Si’, 228).   Economics and politics, society and culture cannot be dominated by thinking only of the short-term and immediate financial or electoral gains.   Instead, they urgently need to be redirected to the common good, which includes sustainability and care for creation.

Despite our sins and the daunting challenges before us, we never lose heart.   “The Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes His loving plan or repents of having created us… for He has united himself definitively to our earth and His love constantly impels us to find new ways forward” (Laudato Si’, 13; 245).   In a particular way, let us pray on 1 September and indeed throughout the year:

“O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
who are so precious in your eyes…

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of Your love
for all the creatures of this earth
God of mercy, may we receive Your forgiveness
and convey Your mercy throughout our common home.

Praise be to you!
Amen.”

(Pope Francis 2016)1 sept join pope francis - daily prayer for the care of creation - 1 sept 2018

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, ENCYCLICALS, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, The WORD, VATICAN Documents, VATICAN Resources

One Minute Reflection – 15 June – Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:27-32

One Minute Reflection – 15 June – Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:27-32

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’   But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress and whoever marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”…Matthew 5:31-32matthew 5 31-32-but i say to you that everyone who divorces

REFLECTION – “Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realise that it takes its origin from God, who is love… Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces.   It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design.   As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves alone… develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.   The marriage of those who have been baptised is, in addition, invested with the dignity of a sacramental sign of grace, for it represents the union of Christ and His Church (Eph 5:32).

In the light of these facts the characteristic features and exigencies of married love are clearly indicated.   This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit.   It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive.   It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life but also to grow, so that husband and wife become, in a way, one heart and one soul and together attain their human fulfilment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience.   Whoever really loves his partner, loves not only for what he receives but loves that partner, for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other and this until death.   This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage… Finally, this love is fecund.   It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife;  it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being.”…Blessed Paul VI – Humanae vitae, 8-9whoever really loves - bl pope paul VI - humanae vitae 9 - 15 june 2018

PRAYER – Yours is the day and Yours, the night, Lord God and we are Your children. Grant we pray, that the weakness of our humanity, the drive of our emotions and flesh may not overpower us.   Lead us Lord, through the dangers of our day, give us strength and true love, wishing only our final home for those who share our lives, especially our spouse.   Mary, pray for us, that we may imitate your faithfulness in all things, St Joseph be a guide and a support to us all.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.holy mary holy joseph - pray for us - 15 june 2018

Posted in Blessed Pope PAUL VI, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, ENCYCLICALS, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 24 May “Mary’s Month” – Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians

Quote of the Day – 24 May “Mary’s Month” – Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians

“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace,
continues uninterruptedly, from the consent,
which she loyally gave, at the Annunciation
and which she sustained, without wavering beneath the Cross,
until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.

Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office
but by her manifold intercession, continues to bring us
the gifts of eternal salvation.   By her maternal charity,
she cares for the brethren of her Son,
who still journey on earth, surrounded by dangers and difficulties,
until they are led into their blessed home.

Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church
under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress and Mediatrix.
This, however, is so understood,
that it neither takes away anything from,
nor adds anything to,
the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator.”

Lumen Gentium, 62
Blessed Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)lumen gentium 62 - bl pope paul VI - 24 may 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, FRANCISCAN, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Quote/s of the Day – Pope Francis – Laudato Si – – 1 September – World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Quote/s of the Day – Pope Francis – Laudato Si – – 1 September – World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

“Creatures are not just resources but have value in and of themselves and give glory to God

It is not enough, however, to think of different species merely as potential “resources” to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves.  Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see because they have been lost for ever.   The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity.   Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us.   We have no such right. (33)”

“Overpopulation is not the problem

Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate.   At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. […]   To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.   It is an attempt to legitimise the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalised, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. (50)”

Pope Francis – Laudato Si

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfolds rich blessing on our way,
O praise God! Alleluia!
The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,
Let them His praise abundant show.
O praise God, O praise God,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

St. Francis of Assisi
(Translated by William H Draper) (Image by St Francis by Albert Chevallier Tayler)

dear mother earth - st francis prayer