Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection -20 May – “We will come and make our home with him.”

One Minute Reflection -20 May – Monday of the fifth Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 14:21–26 and the Memorial of St Bernadine of Siena OFM. (1380-1444)

“We will come to him and make our dwelling with him”…John 14:24

REFLECTION – “My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.”   Consider, dearly beloved, how great this solemnity is, that commemorates the coming of God as a guest in our hearts.   If some rich and powerful friend were to enter your home, you would quickly clean the entire house, for fear something there, might offend your friend’s eyes, when he entered.   Let anyone then who is preparing his inner house for God, cleanse away the dirt of his evil deeds.

You see what Truth tells us – “We will come and make our home with him.”   He does indeed enter the hearts of some but does not make His home there, because through repentance, they acquire respect for God but during a time of temptation, they forget that they have repented and so return to committing sins, as if they had never wept over them at all.   The Lord comes into the heart and makes His home in one, who truly loves God and observes His commandments, since the love of His divine nature, so penetrates him that he does not turn away from it during times of temptation.   That person loves truly, whose heart does not consent to be overcome by wicked pleasures…   Hence the following clarification – “Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.”   Dearly beloved, enter into yourselves and inquire if you truly love God.    But let no-one believe the answer his heart gives in his own case, apart from the testimony of his works….St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Doctor of the Church Homilies on the Gospels no 30.john 14 24 we will come to him - if some rich and powerful friend - st gregory the great 20 may 2019

PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart.   Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy.   May the angels and saints intercede for us and may our Mother, the Mother of God, be a constant assistant and guiding hand.   We make our prayer, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.mary immaculate holy mother of god - pray for us - 28 may 2018

st-bernardine-of-siena-pray-for-us-2

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 May – The New Commandment

Thought for the Day – 19 May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter, C

The New Commandment

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another…. John 13:34a new commandment I give to you - john 13 34 - 19 may 2019.jpg

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

An excerpt from his Tractates on the Gospel of John, 65.

A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.   This commandment that He is giving them is a new one, the Lord Jesus tells His disciples.   Yet was it not contained in the Old Law, where it is written – you shall love your neighbour as yourself?   Why does the Lord call it new when it is clearly so old?   Or is the commandment new because it divests us of our former selves and clothes us with the new man?   Love does indeed renew the man who hears, or rather obeys its command but, only that love which Jesus distinguished from a natural love, by the qualification – As I have loved you.

This is the kind of love that renews us.   When we love as He loved us, we become new men, heirs of the new covenant and singers of the new song.   My brothers, this was the love that even in bygone days renewed the holy men, the patriarchs and prophets of old. In later times it renewed the blessed apostles and now it is the turn of the Gentiles.  From the entire human race throughout the world this love gathers together into one body a new people, to be the bride of God’s only Son.   She is the bride of whom it is asked in the Song of Songs:   Who is this who comes clothed in white?   White indeed are her garments, for she has been made new and the source of her renewal, is none other, than this new commandment.

And so all her members make each other’s welfare their common care.   When one member suffers, all the members suffer with him and if one member is glorified, all the rest rejoice.   They hear and obey the Lord’s words – a new commandment I give you, that you love one another, not as men love one another for their own selfish ends, nor merely on account of their common humanity but because they are all gods and sons of the Most High.   They love one another as God loves them, so that they may be brothers of His only Son.   He will lead them to the goal that alone will satisfy them, where all their desires will be fulfilled.   For when God is all in all, there will be nothing left to desire.

This love is the gift of the Lord who said – as I have loved you, you also must love one another.   His object in loving us, then, was to enable us to love each other.   By loving us Himself, our mighty head has linked us all together, as members of His own body, bound to one another by the tender bond of love.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 May – ‘What has He loved in us if not God? ‘

One Minute Reflection – 19 May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter, C, Gospel: John 13:31-35

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another….“…John 13:34

REFLECTION – “For what do they love, those who love their neighbour with a pure, spiritual love, if not God?   This is the love the Lord wants to distinguish from a purely natural affection when He adds:  “As I have loved you”.   What has He loved in us if not God?   Not God as we possess Him now but as He wants us to possess Him where “God will be all in all.”   Doctors love their patients because of the health they want to give them, not because of their sickness.   “Love one another as I have loved you”.   This is why He has loved us – so that we, in our turn, might love one another.”…St Augustine (354-430) Doctor and Great Western Father of the Church – Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, 65john 13 34 a new commandment - for wbat do they love if not god - st augustine 19 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, Your ways are not our ways, teach us to willingly agree to them, for You know which way we should go. Help us to say “yes” always to Your plan and to render ourselves, as a sacrament of Your divine love to all we meet. Fill us with the grace to be Your tools, to bring glory to Your kingdom.   Our Father, who art in heaven, may Your Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.   Mary Mother of God, Mother of Faith, pray for us!   Through our Our Lord Jesus Christ with You, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary-mother-of-faith-pray-for-us-19-may-2018.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on UNITY

Thought for the Day – 27 April – The Preservation of Unity

Thought for the Day – 27 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter C, – Gospel: John 14:1-6

The Preservation of Unity

“And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”...John 14:3

Saint Pope Clement I (Died 99)
Apostolic Father, Bishop of Rome and Martyr

An excerpt from his Letter to the Corinthiansthrough him our gaze penetrates the heights of heaven - st pope clement 1 17 may 2019.jpg

Beloved, Jesus Christ is our salvation, He is the high priest through whom we present our offerings and the Helper, who supports us in our weakness.   Through Him, our gaze penetrates the heights of heaven and we see as in a mirror, the most holy face of God. Through Christ, the eyes of our hearts are opened and our weak and clouded understanding, reaches up toward the light.   Through Him, the Lord God willed, that we should taste eternal knowledge, for Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and as much greater than the angels, as the name God has given Him is superior to theirs.

So then, my brothers, let us do battle with all our might, under His unerring command. Think of the men serving under our military commanders.   How well disciplined they are!   How readily and submissively they carry out orders!   Not everyone can be a prefect, a tribune, a centurion, or a captain of fifty but each man, in his own rank, executes the orders of the emperor and the officers in command.   The great, cannot exist, without those of humble condition, nor can those of humble condition, exist without the great.   Always, it is the harmonious working together, of its various parts, that insures the well-being of the whole.   Take our own body as an example –  the head is helpless without the feet and the feet can do nothing without the heart.   Even our least important members, are useful and necessary, to the whole body and all work together for its well-being in harmonious subordination.

Let us, then, preserve the unity of the body that we form in Christ Jesus and let everyone give his neighbour the deference, to which his particular gifts, entitle him.   Let the strong care for the weak and the weak respect the strong.   Let the wealthy assist the poor and the poor man thank God for giving him someone to supply his needs.   The wise man should show his wisdom, not by his eloquence but by good works, the humble man should not proclaim his own humility but leave others to do so, nor must the man who preserves his chastity, ever boast of it but recognise that the ability to control his desires has been given him by another.

Think, my brothers, of how we first came into being, of what we were at the first moment of our existence.   Think of the dark tomb, out of which our Creator brought us into His world, where He had His gifts prepared for us, even before we were born.   All this we owe to Him and for everything, we must give Him thanks.   To Him be glory forever and ever. Amenso then my brothers let us do battle under His - st pope clement I - 17 may 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – Saint Matthias, the witness to the resurrection chosen by God

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C, First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17.20-26. and the Feast of St Matthias, Apostle of Christ

“During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and spoke.”…Acts 1:15

REFLECTION – “Because he is fervent and is the senior member of the group, he is always the first to speak:   “My brothers, it is necessary we choose one of the men who accompanied us.”   Note how he wants these new apostles to be eyewitnesses.   No doubt, the Holy Spirit would come and yet Peter placed a great deal of importance on this point – “One of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us” (v.21).   He indicates that they must have lived with Him and not just been disciples.   For in fact, in the beginning, many people followed Him… “Until the day when he was taken up from us.   He must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (v.22)

Peter did not say: “a witness to everything else” but only – “a witness to his resurrection.” For a disciple who could say, “Someone who ate and drank and was crucified was the same who was raised” would be more worthy of credence.   Therefore,it was not necessary that he should be a witness to the times beforehand, nor to those that followed, nor to the miracles.   What was required of him was that he should be a witness to the resurrection. Everything else had been manifest and proclaimed, whereas the resurrection took place in secret.   It was manifested only to a few.”…St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church3rd sermon on the Acts of the apostles ; PG 60, 33 (trans. breviary 14/05)acts 1 15 peter stood up and spoke - what was required - st john chrysostom on matthias 14 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Matthias to complete the number of the twelve. By his prayer, include us among Your chosen ones, since we rejoice to see that the lot marked out for us, is in Your Love. Through Jesus the Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.st-matthias-pray-for-us-14-may-2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 13 May – A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

Thought for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C – Gospel: John 10:1-10

A Pastor’s Prayer to the Good Shepherd

St John Damascene (675-749)

Monk, Theologian, Doctor of the Church

O Christ, my God, You stooped down to me, poor straying sheep, to take me on Your shoulders (Lk 15:5) and have set me down in green pastures (Ps 23[22]:2).   You have quenched my thirst at the springs of true doctrine, through the mediation of Your pastors, whose shepherd You were, before entrusting to them Your flock… And now, O Lord, You have called me… to serve Your disciples, by what design of Your Providence I know not, only You know.

But, Lord, lighten the heavy burden of those sins of mine that have so gravely offended You, purify my mind and heart.   Lead me by the right way (Ps 23[22]:3) as by a light enlightening me.   Enable me to proclaim Your word boldly, may Your Spirit’s tongue of flame (Acts 2:3) give perfect freedom to my tongue and make me constantly attentive to Your presence.

Be a shepherd to me, O Lord and together with me, be the shepherd of Your sheep, that my heart may not cause me to swerve either to right or to left.   Let Your good Spirit lead me in the right way, that my actions may be carried out, according to Your will – even to the end.”

Amen

a pastor's prayer to the good shepherd - st john damascene 13 may 2019.jpg

 

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The GOOD SHEPHERD

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – “…The sheep hear his voice”

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C – Gospel: John 10:1-10 and the 102nd Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima

“… the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”…John 10:3

REFLECTION – “The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His.

We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.   People who hear God are known by Him.   No-one is entirely unknown by God but to be known in this way, is to become part of His family.

Therefore, when Christ says, “I know mine,” He means I will receive them and give them a permanent mystical relationship with Myself.

It might be said that inasmuch as He has become man, He has made all human beings His relatives, since all are members of the same race.  We are all united to Christ in a mystical relationship because of His incarnation.    Yet those who do not preserve the likeness of His holiness are alienated from Him.   “My sheep follow me,” says Christ.  By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ.   No longer subject to the shadows of the law, they obey the commands of Christ and guided by His words, rise through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called “children of God.

When Christ ascends into heaven, they also follow Him.”… St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church (Commentary on the Gospel of John)john 10 3 he calls his own sheep - the mark of christ's sheep is their willingness to hear - st cyril of alex 13 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You have rescued Your faithful from enslavement to sin, by Your Son’s self-abasement.   You have raised up the world through His suffering. Fill us now with holy joy at His rising and triumph.   Let us hear His voice and follow Him to everlasting life.   Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.pray-for-us-mother-of-god-13-may-2017