Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church

Thought for the Day 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr – “Doctor of Unity”

Note:  St John Chrysostom (347-407) , who grew up in Antioch, taught that St Ignatius had been ordained at the hands of St Peter.   According to ancient tradition, St Ignatius was the child whom Christ had held, as described in Matthew 18:4, as depicted in the fresco below from the Gračanica.

StIgnatiusChild-682x1024
Detail from a fresco depicting Christ picking up the child St Ignatius, from the account in the Gospel of St Matthew 18:4.

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Ignatius
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

For Ignatius unity was first and foremost a prerogative of God, who, since he exists as Three Persons, is One in absolute unity.   Ignatius often used to repeat that God is unity and that in God alone is unity found in its pure and original state.   Unity to be brought about on this earth by Christians is no more than an imitation as close as possible to the divine archetype.

Overall, it is possible to grasp in the Letters of Ignatius a sort of constant and fruitful dialectic between two characteristic aspects of Christian life: on the one hand, the hierarchical structure of the Ecclesial Community and on the other, the fundamental unity that binds all the faithful in Christ.
Consequently, their roles cannot be opposed to one another. On the contrary, the insistence on communion among believers and of believers with their Pastors was constantly reformulated in eloquent images and analogies – the harp, strings, intonation, the concert, the symphony. The special responsibility of Bishops, priests and deacons in building the community is clear.

This applies first of all to their invitation to love and unity.   “Be one”, Ignatius wrote to the Magnesians, echoing the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper:  “one supplication, one mind, one hope in love…. Therefore, all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ who came forth from one Father and is with and has gone to one” (7: 1-2).

Imploring from the Lord this “grace of unity” and in the conviction that the whole Church presides in charity (cf. Romans, Prologue), I address to you yourselves the same hope with which Ignatius ended his Letter to the Trallians:  “Love one another with an undivided heart.   Let my spirit be sanctified by yours, not only now but also when I shall attain to God…. In [Jesus Christ] may you be found unblemished” (13).

And let us pray that the Lord will help us to attain this unity and to be found at last unstained, because it is love that purifies souls.

St Ignatius, Pray for us!st-ignatius-of-antioch-pray-for-us-17-oct-2017-no-2

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Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

“Wherever Jesus Christ is,
there is the Catholic Church.”
(Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8)wherever jesus christ is there is the catholic church - st ignatius of antioch 17 oct 2018

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips
and the world in your heart.”do not have jesus christ - st ignatius of antioch 17 oct 2018

“Therefore run together
as into one temple of God,
as to one altar,
as to one Jesus Christ,
who came forth from one Father
and is with
and has gone to One.”therefore run together as into one temple - st ignatius of antioch 17 oct 2018

“I am the wheat of God,
and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts,
that I may be found the pure bread of God.
I long after the Lord,
the Son of the true God and Father, Jesus Christ.
Him I seek, who died for us and rose again.
I am eager to die for the sake of Christ.
My love has been crucified,
and there is no fire in me that loves anything.
But there is living water springing up in me,
and it says to me inwardly:
“Come to the Father.”

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyrthe-final-prayer-of-st-ignatius-of-antioch-17-oct-2017

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection- 17 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:42-46 and the Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

One Minute Reflection- 17 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:42-46 – Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

“Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.”…Luke 11:43woe to you pharisees - luke 11 43 - 17 oct 2018

REFLECTION – “Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ.   So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ Himself.”…St Ignatius of Antiochchristianity-is-not-a-matter-st-ignatius-of-antioch-17-oct-2017

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant that I may believe what I have learned, never presuming to know better than the teachings of Holy Mother Church and that I may put into practice what I believe.   Let my commitment be like unto the Martyr, St Ignatius of Antioch, who went with joy to his horrific death, for the faith in Christ, Your Son, God with You and the Holy Spirit. St Ignatius, pray for us, amen.st-ignatius-of-antioch-pray-for-us-17-oct-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 17 October

Our Morning Offering – 17 October

O Lord, show Your mercy to me
By St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

O Lord, show Your mercy to me
and gladden my heart.
I am like the man on the way to Jericho
who was overtaken by robbers,
wounded and left for dead.
O Good Samaritan,
come to my aid.
I am like the sheep that went astray.
O Good Shepherd,
seek me out and bring me home
in accord with Your will.
Let me dwell in Your house
all the days of my life
and praise You for ever and ever
with those who are there.
Ameno-lord-show-your-mercy-to-me-st-jerome-30-sept-2017

Posted in CATECHESIS, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church

Saint of the Day – 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Ignatius
Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Today, we will be speaking of St Ignatius, who was the third Bishop of Antioch from 70 to 107, the date of his martyrdom. At that time, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch were the three great metropolises of the Roman Empire.   The Council of Nicea mentioned three “primacies”: Rome but also Alexandria and Antioch participated in a certain sense in a “primacy”.

St Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch, which today is located in Turkey.   Here in Antioch, as we know from the Acts of the Apostles, a flourishing Christian community developed.   Its first Bishop was the Apostle Peter – or so tradition claims – and it was there that the disciples were “for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11: 26). Eusebius of Caesarea, a fourth-century historian, dedicated an entire chapter of his Church History to the life and literary works of Ignatius (cf. 3: 36).

Eusebius writes:  “The Report says that he [Ignatius] was sent from Syria to Rome and became food for wild beasts on account of his testimony to Christ.   And as he made the journey through Asia under the strictest military surveillance” (he called the guards “ten leopards” in his Letter to the Romans, 5: 1), “he fortified the parishes in the various cities where he stopped by homilies and exhortations and warned them above all to be especially on their guard against the heresies that were then beginning to prevail, and exhorted them to hold fast to the tradition of the Apostles”.header - st ignatius

The first place Ignatius stopped on the way to his martyrdom was the city of Smyrna, where St Polycarp, a disciple of St John, was Bishop.   Here, Ignatius wrote four letters, respectively to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralli and Rome.   “Having left Smyrna”, Eusebius continues, Ignatius reached Troas and “wrote again”:  two letters to the Churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna and one to Bishop Polycarp.   Thus, Eusebius completes the list of his letters, which have come down to us from the Church of the first century as a precious treasure.   In reading these texts one feels the freshness of the faith of the generation which had still known the Apostles.   In these letters, the ardent love of a saint can also be felt.

Lastly, the martyr travelled from Troas to Rome, where he was thrown to fierce wild animals in the Flavian Amphitheatre.st ignatius of antioch 2

No Church Father has expressed the longing for union with Christ and for life in Him with the intensity of Ignatius.   We therefore read the Gospel passage on the vine, which according to John’s Gospel is Jesus.   In fact, two spiritual “currents” converge in Ignatius, that of Paul, straining with all his might for union with Christ and that of John, concentrated on life in Him.   In turn, these two currents translate into the imitation of Christ, whom Ignatius several times proclaimed as “my” or “our God”.

Thus, Ignatius implores the Christians of Rome not to prevent his martyrdom since he is impatient “to attain to Jesus Christ”.   And he explains, “It is better for me to die on behalf of Jesus Christ than to reign over all the ends of the earth…. Him I seek, who died for us:  Him I desire, who rose again for our sake…. Permit me to be an imitator of the Passion of my God!” (Romans, 5-6).Sant_Ignazio_di_Antiochia_E

One can perceive in these words on fire with love, the pronounced Christological “realism” typical of the Church of Antioch, more focused than ever on the Incarnation of the Son of God and on His true and concrete humanity:  “Jesus Christ”, St Ignatius wrote to the Smyrnaeans, “was truly of the seed of David”, “he was truly born of a virgin” “and was truly nailed [to the Cross] for us” (1: 1).   Ignatius’ irresistible longing for union with Christ was the foundation of a real “mysticism of unity”.   He describes himself:  “I therefore did what befitted me as a man devoted to unity” (Philadelphians, 8: 1).

For Ignatius unity was first and foremost a prerogative of God, who, since He exists as Three Persons, is One in absolute unity.   Ignatius often used to repeat that God is unity and that in God alone is unity found in its pure and original state.   Unity to be brought about on this earth by Christians is no more than an imitation as close as possible to the divine archetype.ST IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH MYPIC

Ignatius was the first person in Christian literature to attribute to the Church the adjective “catholic” or “universal” –  “Wherever Jesus Christ is”, he said, “there is the Catholic Church” (Smyrnaeans, 8: 2).   And precisely in the service of unity to the Catholic Church, the Christian community of Rome exercised a sort of primacy of love: “The Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness… and which presides over love, is named from Christ and from the Father…” (Romans, Prologue).

StIgnatius-SouthColonnade-a
St Ignatius on the South Colonnade St Peter’s Basilica c 1669-1670

As can be seen, Ignatius is truly the “Doctor of Unity” – unity of God and unity of Christ (despite the various heresies gaining ground which separated the human and the divine in Christ), unity of the Church, unity of the faithful in “faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred” (Smyrnaeans, 6: 1).

Ultimately, Ignatius’ realism invites the faithful of yesterday and today, invites us all, to make a gradual synthesis between configuration to Christ (union with Him, life in Him) and dedication to His Church (unity with the Bishop, generous service to the community and to the world).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:5–13 and the Memorial of St Pope John XXIII

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:5–13 – Thursday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Pope John XXIII

“For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks, finds and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”…Luke 11:10

REFLECTION – ” Now by asking, He means prayer but by seeking, zeal and anxiety, as He adds, seek and you shall find.   For those things which are sought require great care.   And this is particularly the case with God.   For there are many things which block up our senses.   As then we search for lost gold, so let us anxiously seek after God.   He shows also, that though He does not forthwith open the gates, we must yet wait.   Hence he adds, knock and it shall be opened to you, for if you continue seeking, you shall surely receive.   For this reason and as the door shut makes you knock, therefore He did not at once consent that you might entreat.
Or by the word knock perhaps he means seeking effectually, for one knocks with the hand but the hand is the sign of a good work.   Or these three may be distinguished in another way.   For it is the beginning of virtue to ask to know the way of truth.   But the second step is to seek how we must go by that way.   The third step is when a man has reached the virtue to knock at the door, that he may enter upon the wide field of knowledge.   All these things a man acquires by prayer  . Or to ask indeed, is to pray but to seek, is by good works to do things becoming our prayers.   And to knock is to continue in prayer without ceasing.”…St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchluke 11 10 - for everyone who asks receives - as then se search for lost gold - st john chrysostom - 11 oct 2018

PRAYER – Help us my Lord, to discern through prayer and meditation, what You truly want of us.   Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed to offer myself and all I have to You.   Teach us to listen that we might hear Your answers, teach us to wait in patience for that which we ask and to trust in Your answer and teach us to constantly knock at Your door in prayer.   May St John XXIII, pray for Holy Mother Church, pray for all the members of the Mystical Body, pray for our sons and daughters and for us all, pray for me! Amenst-john-23-pray-for-us-11-oct-2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Lady POVERTY, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:25–37 – Seeking : The Good Samaritan

Quote/s of the Day – 8 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:25–37 – Monday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Speaking of – Seeking : The Good Samaritan

As long as anyone has the means
of doing good to his neighbours
and does not do so,
he shall be reckoned a stranger
to the love of the Lord.

St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Churchas long as anyone has the means - st irenaeus - 8 oct 2018 - speaking of seeking the good samaritan

No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments
but for those who neglect their neighbour,
a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire
and torment in the company of the demons.
Do not, therefore, adorn the church
and ignore your afflicted brother,
for he is the most precious temple of all.

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchno one has ever - st john chrysostom - 16 jan 2018

We must speak to them with our hands
before we speak to them with our lips.

St Peter Claver (1580-1654)we must speak to them with our hands - st peter claver - 23 may 2018

We should strive to keep our hearts open
to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people
and pray continually, that God may grant us,
that spirit of compassion,
which is truly the Spirit of God.

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)we should strive to keep our hearts open - st vincent de paul - 8 oct 2018 - speaking of seeking the good samaritan

Since God is perfect in loving man,
man must be perfect in loving his neighbour.

St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)since god is perfect - st vincent pallotti - 8 oct 2018 - speaking of seeking the good samaritan

All our religion is but a false religion
and all our virtues are mere illusions
and we ourselves are only hypocrites
in the sight of God,
if we have not that universal charity for everyone –
for the good and for the bad,
for the poor and for the rich
and for all those who do us harm,
as much as those who do us good.

St John Vianney (1786-1859)all our religion is but a false religion - st john vianney - 4 aug 2018

“This parable is a splendid gift for us all and also a task!
To each of us Jesus repeats what He said to the doctor of the Law:
“Go and do likewise” (v. 37).
We are all called to follow the same path of the Good Samaritan,
who is the figure of Christ:
Jesus bent down to us, He became our servant
and thus He has saved us,
so that we too might love
as He loved us, in the same way.”

Pope Francis – General audience, 27 April 2016this parable is a splendid gift - pope francis - speaking of seeking the good samaritan - 8 oct 2018