Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MYSTICS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 December -Traces of the Divine Beauty in Creation

Thought for the Day – 14 December – The Memorial of St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church

Traces of the Divine Beauty in Creation
From The Spiritual Canticle by Saint John of the Cross

“Created things in themselves, as Saint Augustine declares, give testimony to God’s grandeur and excellence.   For God created all things with remarkable ease and brevity and in them He left some trace of who He is, not only in giving all things being from nothing but even by endowing them, with innumerable graces and qualities, making them beautiful in a wonderful order and unfailing dependence on one another.  All of this He did through His own wisdom, the Word, His only begotten Son by whom He created them.

Saint Paul says:  The Son of God is the splendour of His glory and the image of His substance.   It should be known that only with this figure, His Son, did God look at all things, that is, He communicated to them their natural being and many natural graces and gifts and made them complete and perfect, as is said in Genesis:  God looked at all things that He made, and they were very good.   To look and behold that they were very good, was to make them very good in the Word, his Son.

Not only by looking at them did He communicate natural being and graces, as we said but also with this image of His Son alone, He clothed them in beauty by imparting to them supernatural being.   This He did when He became man and elevated human nature in the beauty of God and consequently all creatures, since in human nature He was united with them all.

Accordingly, the Son of God proclaimed:  If I be lifted up from the earth, I will elevate all things to me.   And in this elevation of all things through the incarnation of His Son and through the glory of His resurrection according to the flesh, the Father did not merely beautify creatures partially but rather, we can say, clothed them wholly in beauty and dignity.”

“Lord I am not worthy but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

St John of the Cross, Pray for Us!st-john-of-the-cross-pray-for-us-14-dec-2017

Advertisements
Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Blessed John van Ruysbroeck

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Blessed John van Ruysbroeck – Priest, Hermit, Mystic, Spiritual Director and Spirtual Writer – born in c 1293 near Brussels, Belgium and died on 2 December 1381 at Groenendael, Belgium, of natural causes.   Known as John  “the Admirable” , “the Ecstatic Doctor, “the Divine Doctor.”Blessed John Ruysbroeck

John van Ruysbroeck was a Flemish mystical writer who greatly influenced mystical teaching in the late Middle Ages and whose name is associated with the religious renewal in the Lowlands that also produced, The Imitation of Christ.   He was born near Brussels in 1293 and was raised by a devout mother who trained him in a life of holiness.
At the age of eleven, he went to Brussels to live with an uncle, John Hinckaert, a priest and canon of St Gudule’s.   John studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1317. Under his uncle’s roof he continued to live a life of retirement and study and began the writings that were to be the basis of his spiritual teaching: The Spiritual Espousals, The Kingdom of Lovers, and The Tabernacle.

Together with his uncle and another canon, Francis van Coudenberg, Blessed John Ruysbroeck withdrew to a hermitage near Soignes for a life of greater solitude and a number of disciples joined them.   They decided to inaugurate a formal religious institute and adopted the rule of the canons of St Victor.   John was made the prior of the new institute.x-ruysbr2

This period, from his religious profession (1349) to his death (1381), was the most active and fruitful of Ruysbroeck’s career.   During this time, his fame as a man of God, as a sublime contemplative and a skilled director of souls, spread beyond the bounds of Flanders and Brabant to Holland, Germany and France.   He had relations with the nearby Carthusian house at Herne and also with several communities of Poor Clare Franciscans.

Excellent writings continued to come forth from his pen: The Book of the Sparkling Stone, The Little Book of Enlightenment, and The Book of the Twelve Beguines.   Literally, Ruysbroeck wrote as the spirit moved him.   He loved to wander and meditate in the solitude of the forest adjoining the cloister;  he was accustomed to carry a tablet with him and on this to jot down his thoughts as he felt inspired so to do.   Late in life he was able to declare that he had never committed anything to writing save by the motion of the Holy Spirit.

John Ruysbroeck’s writings are considered classics of spirituality, anticipating the writings of St John of the Cross in their clarity and doctrine.   He strongly opposed the quietist tendencies of many of his contemporaries.   His solid theological background and his ability to make clear the sure path of spiritual progress gave him a wide reading and his books are lucid commentaries on the Augustinian doctrine of the life of grace.

For several years before his death, John lived in a small cell, just outside the cloister of his monastery.   In his eighty-eighth year, he asked to be taken to the community infirmary, where he prepared himself for death.   He died on 2 December1381.

After John’s death in 1381, his relics were carefully preserved and his memory honoured as that of a saint. Many of his spiritual children called him the  “the Admirable”, Ecstatic Doctor or Divine Doctor.

When Groenendaal Priory was suppressed by Joseph II in 1783, his relics were transferred to St Gudule’s, Brussels, where, however, they were lost during the French Revolution.   John was Beatified on 1 December 1908, by St Pope Pius X.10-francs-1981-jan-van-ruusbroec_74_0510440474168ef05L

No authentic portrait of John is known to exist but the traditional picture represents him in the canonical habit, seated in the forest with his writing tablet on his knee, as he was in fact found one day by the brethren—rapt in ecstasy and enveloped in flames, which encircle without consuming the tree under which he is resting.

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

Thought for the Day – 31 October – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

The story of this humble Jesuit brother illustrates that status and achievements count for nothing for those who accept the responsibility assigned them with the conviction that it is God’s will.   Rodriguez set himself free of ego, he found meaning and fulfilment in the lowliest tasks accorded him and was zealous enough to give more than was demanded, in the spirit of the Ignatian Magis.
Early biographies describe Rodriguez as a superhero who spiritually survived a rather humdrum, tedious job for 46 years.   They tended to overlook the tenacity and uncompromising dedication of the unassuming brother who would inspire generations of Jesuits in the art of religious hospitality.   He was a multi-tasker, blending ‘spiritual conversation’ with business while always attending courteously to visitors.   He quietly counselled students and reached out to the poor who hang around outside the door. Rodriguez made sure his job was never humdrum and tedious!

He displayed unconditional discipleship to Jesus Christ.   He was a brother and companion, serving all as he would Christ personified.   “I’m coming Lord,” he would cry when someone knocked.   He had personalised his spirituality and this is what gave depth, appeal and credibility to his convictions.   The rosary entwining his fingers may not always have been used to pray the mysteries but to murmur aspirations that connected him with the divinity present everywhere.   He was a contemplative in action and spent most of his spare-time in prayer.   He was a mystic, as his autobiography penned under obedience would reveal, favoured by God with remarkable mystical graces, ecstasies and visions of our Lord, our Lady and the saints.

At the age of 72, Rodriguez would counsel and motivate St Peter Claver (1580-1654), a young student of theology in Palma, to volunteer for “the missions” in the New World.   In true Ignatian spirit Rodriguez looked beyond the boundaries of his world with the universal good of the Society of Jesus at heart – a typical Jesuit charism.   Claver achieved sainthood through his indefatigable service to African slaves in Colombia.

Rodriguez is the patron of Jesuit brothers.   The lay-brother of the olden days, who performed routine duties such as cooking, construction and farming, has vanished. Today the Jesuit brother can hardly be distinguished from the priest, because of his professional competence in many fields.   In the spirit of Alphonsus Rodriguez, brothers sacramentalise their work and bear witness to God’s compassionate love.

(Excerpt on the 400th anniversary of St Alphonsus death, 2017 – Hedwig Lewis SJ is the author of “Profiles in Holiness, Brief Biographies of Jesuit Saints” and “Jesuit Saints without Paint”)

St Alphonsus Rodriguez, Pray for Us!st alphonsus rodriguez pray for us - 31 oct 2018

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, MYSTICS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, Redemptorists, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) and St Gerard Majella (1726-1755)

Quote/s of the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) and St Gerard Majella (1726-1755)

“Let us begin in earnest
to work out our salvation,
for no-one will do it for us,
since even He Himself,
Who made us without ourselves,
will not save us without ourselves!”let us begin in earnest - st m m alacoque - 16 oct 2018

“Let every knee bend before You,
O greatness of my God,
so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host.
May every heart love You,
every spirit adore You
and every will be subject to You!

St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)let every knee bend before you - st m m alacoque - 16 oct 2018

“The Most Blessed Sacrament
is Christ made visible.
The poor sick person
is Christ again made visible.”

St Gerard Majella (1726-1755)the most blessed sacrament is christ made visible - st gerard majella - no 2 - 16 oct 2018

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MORNING Prayers, MYSTICS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

Excerpt of Pope Benedict’s Catechesis
on the Doctors of the Church
Wednesday, 2 February 2011

“It is far from easy to sum up in a few words Teresa’s profound and articulate spirituality.   I would like to mention a few essential points.   In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life and in particular, detachment from possessions, that is, evangelical poverty and this concerns all of us;  love for one another as an essential element of community and social life; humility as love for the truth;  determination as a fruit of Christian daring;  theological hope, which she describes as the thirst for living water.   Then we should not forget the human virtues: affability, truthfulness, modesty, courtesy, cheerfulness, culture.

Secondly, St Teresa proposes a profound harmony with the great biblical figures and eager listening to the word of God.   She feels above all closely in tune with the Bride in the Song of Songs and with the Apostle Paul, as well as with Christ in the Passion and with Jesus in the Eucharist.   The Saint then stresses how essential prayer is.   Praying, she says, “means being on terms of friendship with God frequently conversing in secret with Him who, we know, loves us” (Vida 8, 5).  St Teresa’s idea coincides with Thomas Aquinas’ definition of theological charity as “amicitia quaedam hominis ad Deum”, a type of human friendship with God, who offered humanity His friendship first – it is from God that the initiative comes (cf. Summa Theologiae II-II, 23, 1).

Prayer is life and develops gradually, in pace with the growth of Christian life – it begins with vocal prayer, passes through interiorisation by means of meditation and recollection, until it attains the union of love with Christ and with the Holy Trinity. Obviously, in the development of prayer climbing to the highest steps does not mean abandoning the previous type of prayer.  Rather, it is a gradual deepening of the relationship with God that envelops the whole of life.

Dear brothers and sisters, St Teresa of Jesus is a true teacher of Christian life for the faithful of every time.   In our society, which all too often lacks spiritual values, St Teresa teaches us to be unflagging witnesses of God, of His presence and of His action.   She teaches us truly to feel this thirst for God that exists in the depths of our hearts, this desire to see God, to seek God, to be in conversation with Him and to be His friends.

This is the friendship we all need that we must seek anew, day after day.   May the example of this Saint, profoundly contemplative and effectively active, spur us too every day to dedicate the right time to prayer, to this openness to God, to this journey, in order to seek God, to see Him, to discover His friendship and so to find true life – indeed, many of us should truly say:  “I am not alive, I am not truly alive because I do not live the essence of my life”.

Therefore time devoted to prayer is not time wasted, it is time in which the path of life unfolds, the path unfolds to learning from God an ardent love for Him, for His Church and practical charity for our brothers and sisters.    Many thanks.”

St Teresa, Pray for Us!st-teresa-of-jesus-pray-for-us-215 oct 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, MYSTICS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quotes of the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

Quotes of the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

“Oh my Lord!
How true it is that,
whoever works for You,
is paid in troubles!
And what a precious price
to those who love You,
if we understand its value.”oh-my-lord-st-teresa-of-jesus-15-oct-2017

“We need no wings
to go in search of Him
but have only to look upon Him,
present within us.”we need no wings - st teresa of jesus - avila - 15 oct 2018

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.”it is love alone - st teresa of avila-jesus 15 oct 2018

“Always think of yourself
as everyone’s servant;
look for Christ Our Lord
in everyone
and you will then have
respect and reverence
for them all.”always think of yourself as everyone's servant - st teresa of avila - 15 oct 2018

“Know that,
even when you are
in the kitchen,
our Lord moves
amidst the pots
and pans.”know that even when you are in the kitchen st teresa of avila of jesus - 15 oct 2018

“Hope, O my soul, hope.
You know neither the day nor the hour.
Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly,
even though your impatience makes doubtful,
what is certain and turns
a very short time into a long one.”

St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582)hope-o-my-soul-hope-st-teresa-15-october-2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MYSTICS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

Our Morning Offering – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus/Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”

Morning Offering
Of St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) 

Lord,
grant that I may always
allow myself
to be guided by You,
always follow Your plans,
and perfectly accomplish
Your Holy Will.
Grant that in all things,
great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do
whatever You require of me.
Help me respond
to the slightest prompting
of Your Grace,
so that I may be
Your trustworthy instrument
for Your honour.
May Your Will be done
in time
and in eternity
by me,
in me
and through me.
Amenmorning offering by st teresa of avila 15 oct 2018 - no 2 - lord grant tht I may always