Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK, LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS

Sunday Reflection – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

Sunday Reflection – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

LET US SING TO THE LORD A SONG OF LOVE
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

Sing to the Lord a new song;  His praise is in the assembly of the saints.   We are urged to sing a new song to the Lord, as new men who have learned a new song.   A song is a thing of joy, more profoundly, it is a thing of love.   Anyone, therefore, who has learned to love the new life has learned to sing a new song and the new song reminds us of our new life.   The new man, the new song, the new covenant, all belong to the one kingdom of God and so the new man will sing a new song and will belong to the new covenant.

There is not one who does not love something but the question is, what to love.   The psalms do not tell us not to love but to choose the object of our love.   But how can we choose unless we are first chosen?   We cannot love unless someone has loved us first. Listen to the apostle John:  We love him, because he first loved us.   The source of man’s love for God can only be found in the fact that God loved him first.   He has given us Himself as the object of our love and He has also given us its source.   What this source is you may learn more clearly from the apostle Paul who tells us:  The love of God has been poured into our hearts.   This love is not something we generate ourselves;  it comes to us through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Since we have such an assurance, then, let us love God with the love He has given us.   As John tells us more fully:  God is love and whoever dwells in love dwells in God and God in him.   It is not enough to say:  Love is from God.   Which of us would dare to pronounce the words of Scripture:  God is love?   He alone could say it who knew what it was to have God dwelling within him.   God offers us a short route to the possession of Himself.   He cries out:  Love me and you will have me for you would be unable to love me if you did not possess me already.

My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me, or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:   Sing to the Lord a new song.   Look, you tell me, I am singing.   Yes indeed, you are singing, you are singing clearly, I can hear you. But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.   Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives:   Sing to the Lord a new song’.

Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love but you ask me how to sing His praises.   You have heard the words:  Sing to the Lord a new song and you wish to know what praises to sing.   The answer is:   His praise is in the assembly of the saints – it is in the singers themselves.   If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express.   Live good lives and you yourselves will be His praise.his praise is in the assembly of saints - st augustine - 25 march 2018 palm sunday

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOLY WEEK, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

Our Morning Offering – 25 March 2018 – Palm Sunday

To You, O Jesus
By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Church

To You, O Jesus,
do I turn as my true and last end.
You are the river of life
which alone can satisfy my thirst.
Without You all else is barren and void.
Without all else, You alone are enough for me.
You are the Redeemer of those that are lost;
the sweet consoler of the sorrowful;
the Crown of Glory for the victors;
the recompense of the Blessed.
One day I hope to receive of Your fullness
and to sing the song of praise in my true home.
Give me only on earth some few drops of consolation
and I will patiently wait Your coming,
that I may enter into the Joy of my Lord.
Hosanna!
Amen.to you, o Jesus - by st bonaventure - palm sunday - 25 march 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, LENT, MORNING Prayers

Palm or Passion Sunday – 25 March 2018

Palm or Passion Sunday – 25 March 2018

Today we commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem for the completion of the Paschal Mystery.   In the old calendar before Vatican II, the Church celebrated Passion Sunday two Sundays before Easter and then Palm Sunday was the beginning of Holy Week.   The Church has combined the two to reinforce the solemnity of Holy Week.Entry into Jerusalem Van Dyck

The Palm Sunday procession is formed of Christians who, in the “fullness of faith,” make their own the gesture of the Jews and endow it with its full significance.   Following the Jews’ example we proclaim Christ as a Victor… Hosanna to the Son of David!   Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.   But by our faith we know, as they did not, all that His triumph stands for.   He is the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God.   He is the sign of contradiction, acclaimed by some and reviled by others.   Sent into this world to wrest us from sin and the power of Satan, He underwent His Passion, the punishment for our sins but issues forth triumphant from the tomb, the victor over death, making our peace with God and taking us with Him into the kingdom of His Father in heaven.palm sunday.infopalm sunday

Homily of St Andrew of Crete (650-740)

Palm Sunday marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.   But he entered in humility, not in pomp and power.   To humble ourselves and make our souls the garments that we spread before him, this is the greeting he desires says St Andrew of Crete (650-740), one of the Early Church Fathers – his Memorial is 4 July.

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives.   Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation.   He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority and power and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem.   He comes without pomp or ostentation.   As the psalmist says:   He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.

Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish.   Then we shall be able to receive the Word at His coming and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.

In His humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and He is glad that He became so humble for our sake, glad that He came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to Himself.   And even though we are told that He has now ascended above the highest heavens – the proof, surely, of His power and godhead – His love for man will never rest until He has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory and made it one with his own in heaven.

So let us spread before His feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither but ourselves, clothed in His grace, or rather, clothed completely in Him.   We who have been baptised into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before Him.   Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of His victory.   Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.

This Lenten or Holy Week reading on the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in humility is an excerpt from a Palm Sunday sermon (Oratio 9 in ramos palmarum: PG 97, 990-994) by Andrew of Crete, a bishop and Early Church Father who died in 740 AD.   It is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Palm Sunday with the accompanying biblical reading of Hebrews 10:1-18.

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842PALM title image final gpalm sunday by james tissot no 1james tissot - palm sunday

St Andrew of Crete
St Andrew of Crete (c. 660-740) was born around 660 AD in Damascus and eventually entered monastic life at Mar Saba.   He later served at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and was ordained a deacon at the great cathedral of Constantinople and mother Church of Eastern Christendom, Hagia Sophia, around 685.   Always exhibiting great pastoral solicitude for orphans, widows, and the aged, Saint Andrew spent his last days as Archbishop of Gortyna on Crete, a position to which he was elevated in 692. Attrbuted by many with the invention of the canon as a style of religious writing, his works display not only great rhetorical skill but an incomparable depth of theological understanding.   He is considered one of the great spiritual writers on the theme of repentance and his Great Canon, prayed during Lent in the Eastern Churches of Byzantine tradition, stands as a great testimony to man’s repentant cry to God, our merciful Father.  Saint Andrew of Crete is numbered among those great Christian writers known as the Early Church Fathers or “Fathers of the Church.”st andrew of crete

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis and MORE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

One Minute Reflection – 23 March – Friday of the 5th Week of Lent 2018 and the Memorial of St Turibius of Mogrovejo (1538-1606) – Today’s Gospel John 10:31-42

One Minute Reflection – 23 March – Friday of the 5th Week of Lent 2018 and the Memorial of St Turibius of Mogrovejo (1538-1606) – Today’s Gospel John 10:31-42

The Jews took up stones again to stone him...John 10:31

REFLECTION – “If all goes well with you on earth, how can you expect to be crowned in heaven for a patience you never practised? How can you be Christ’s friend if you will not be opposed? Therefore, you must suffer with Christ and for Christ, if you want to reign with Him.”…Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ, Book 2if all goes well with you on earth - thomas a kempis - 23 march 2018

PRAYER – Lord, through the pastoral care, suffering and zeal of St Turibius, You built up Your Church in Peru. Grant that the people of God may continually grow in faith and holiness. Accept his prayers on our behalf, that we may always be willing to stand at Your Cross. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever amen.st turibius pray for us - 23 march 2018

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 23 March – Friday of the 5th Week of Lent 2018

Our Morning Offering – 23 March – Friday of the 5th Week of Lent 2018

Go to dark Gethsemane
James Montgomery (1771-1854)

Go to dark Gethsemane,
you that feel the tempter’s power,
your Redeemer’s conflict see,
watch with Him one bitter hour.
Turn not from His griefs away,
learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgement hall,
view the Lord of life arraigned,
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame or loss,
learn from Christ to bear the Cross.

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb,
there adoring at His feet.
Mark the miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete,
“It is finished” hear Him cry,
learn from Jesus Christ to die..go to dark gethsamane - james montgomery - 23 march 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day 22 March 2018 – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Nicholas Owen S.J. (1562-1606) Martyr “Speaking of Humility”

Quote/s of the Day 22 March 2018 – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Nicholas Owen S.J. (1562-1606) Martyr

“Speaking of Humility”

“The uncreated Wisdom and of all wisdom the Principle, has borne the shame and mockery due to a fool.
The Holy of Holies and Sanctity in Essence, suffered Himself to be reputed a villain and a malefactor.
He, whom the countless hosts of the blessed in heaven adore, willed to die a disgraceful death upon a cross.
And lastly, He who by nature, is the Sovereign Good, endured every kind of human misery.

Then, after such an example of humility, what ought we not to do – we who are dust and ashes?
And what humiliation should ever appear hard to us, who are not only worms of earth but miserable sinners?”

Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)the uncreated wisdom - 22 march 2018 speaking of humility

“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues,
hence, in the soul in which this virtue does NOT exist,
there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.”

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending.
You plan a tower, that will pierce the clouds?
Lay first, the foundation of humility.”

” There never can have been
and never can be
and there never shall be,
any sin without pride.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of the Churchst augustine - 22 march 2018 - speaking of humility -humility is the foundation, do you wish to rise, there never can be

“Humility, makes our lives acceptable to God,
meekness, makes us acceptable to men.”

St Francis De Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchhumility makes our lives - st francis de sales - 22 march 2018 speaking of humility

“The most powerful weapon, to conquer the devil is humility.
For, as he does not know at all, how to employ it,
neither does he know, how to defend himself from it.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)the most powerful weapon - st vincent de paul - speaking of humility - 22 march 2018

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 March 2018 – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Nicholas Owen S.J. (1562-1606) Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 22 March 2018 – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Nicholas Owen S.J. (1562-1606) Martyr

Rejoice … in the measure that you share Christ’s sufferings. When his glory is revealed, you will rejoice exultantly...1 Peter 4:13

REFLECTION – “Let us strive to face suffering with Christian courage. Then all difficulties will vanish and pain itself will become transformed into joy.”…St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Churchlet us strive to face suffering - st teresa of avila - 22 march 2018

PRAYER – Jesus, Man of Sorrows, in every suffering keep my eyes fixed on You. Let me keep ever before my mind the glory to come and so face the suffering with true Christian courage.   Lord our God please grant that by the intercession of St Nicholas Owen, who suffered beyond all our understanding, for love of You, we may learn to suffer in silence and with true courage, amen.st nicholas owen - opray for us - 22 march 2018

Posted in LENT, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 22 March 2018 – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent

Our Morning Offering – 22 March 2018 – Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Nicholas Owen S.J. (1562-1606) Martyr

Transform me into Yourself
By St John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840) Martyr

O my Divine Saviour,
Transform me into Yourself.
May my hands be the hands of Jesus.
Grant that every faculty of my body
May serve only to glorify You.

Above all,
Transform my soul and all its powers
So that my memory, will and affection
May be the memory, will and affections
Of Jesus.

I pray You
To destroy in me all that is not of You.
Grant that I may live
but in You, by You and for You,
So that I may truly say, with Saint Paul,
“I live – now not I – But Christ lives in me.”transform me into yourself - st john gabriel perboyre - 22 march for the memorial of st nicholas owen sj

Posted in LENT, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)

Thought for the Day – 21 March – The Memorial of St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) and Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent 2018  (this reflection includes our Lenten Reflection for today.)

Although our minds are limited in their ability to attain God in this life, we are capable of “greater desire and love, and pleasure in knowing divine matters” than we are able to find in “the perfect knowledge of the lowest things.”   Thus far Aquinas, who taught as one who knew.   Saint Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) was in perfect agreement.   “God,” he once said, “gives us such a taste for prayer that we yearn for it as if we were waiting to go to a dance.”

The likeness was more than a bit incongruous, for the speaker was a true hermit, a man who had given up not only dances but nearly everything else that bound him to this world, even food.   Born to a pious, upstanding peasant family, young Nicholas stood out for his goodness, simplicity and mortification.   While still a young man, labouring in the fields and meadows of the valleys south of Lucerne, he fasted four times per week, explaining himself, when pressed, by saying, “Such is the will of God.”   Until his fiftieth year, his life was that of an exemplary Swiss free man.   Like many of his fellow countrymen, he served his canton both under arms and by holding civic office.   And this pillar of the community raised up five sons and five daughters with the help of his exemplary wife Dorothy.   Yet God persisted in calling him to a life beyond that of the domestic holiness he had already embraced and sent visions to him in his late-night prayer vigils and his moments of afternoon solitude in the fields, visions that beckoned him to leave all.

As the eminent Swiss theologian Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) explained in his biography of the hermit-saint, “it no longer sufficed for him to walk along the roads of the world with God in his heart;  he had to take the path set aside for him, that he might be taken by the hand and led to where he knew not.”   What praise of Dorothy of Flue could be lovelier, Journet asked, than to admire her magnanimity in being able to    They parted friends, just thirteen weeks after the birth of their youngest child and remained so.   Several years later, a pilgrim visitor to Nicholas’ hermitage saw the saint, with joyous mien, lean out of the window of his tiny cell after the morning Mass to greet his family with a blessing:  “May God give you a blessed day, dear friends and good people!”  One is glad to know that his wife and children attended his deathbed.   After all, she had never lost her husband completely.   Honoured by Swiss Protestants, venerated by Swiss Catholics, Nicholas’s cult, uninterrupted since his death, was officially sanctioned by Clement IX (1667-9).  In 1947 he was canonised by Pope Pius XII.

What lesson might Nicholas of Flue hold out for our generation?   Were he alive today this simple Swiss peasant would doubtless be startled by our wealth.   The recession of recent years seems to have done little to dull the edge of our consumption.   The adjective “worldly” is now being used as a term of approbation, to signify the savoir-faire of the person who knows the latest fashions and ways of thinking.   It is a telling linguistic development.   Nicholas of Flue spent the last twenty years of his life in a tiny room with two windows.   Through one of them, he could see something of the beauty of his native land, a beauty that nourished his reflection and piety:  “O man, think of the sun so high in the sky and consider its splendour:  but your soul has received the splendour of the eternal God.”   Through the other, he saw the altar, whence came the very food of his soul.   “We should carry the Passion of God in our hearts, for this is the greatest consolation to a man at the hour of his death.”   The one thing needful indeed.st nicholas of flue pray for us - 21 march 2018-no 2

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 20 March 2018 – Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent

Our Morning Offering – 20 March 2018 – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Prayer In Honour of the Holy Cross
Third Prayer from the Seven Penitential Psalms Devotion

Almighty God,
Lord Jesus Christ,
who, for our sake, stretched out
Your pure hands on the Cross
and redeemed us with
Your precious Blood,
grant me to feel and understand
that I may have true repentance
and great perseverance,
all the days of my life.
Your reign is a reign for all ages.
Amenprayer in honour of the holy cross - 3rd prayer from the 7 penitential psalms devotion - 20 march 2018