Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ABORTION, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great: DAY FOUR – 16 OCTOBER

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great: DAY FOUR – 16 OCTOBER

Little Known Fact #4:  In his second assignment as a newly ordained priest, Father Karol Wojtyla took a new approach to training altar boys.   He would hold frequent evenings of instruction, whereby one priest would give catechesis to the boys while another priest taught the parents educational psychology as well as catechesis in the liturgy.   In addition to these meetings, Father Wojtyla and the other parish priests would take the boys on outings.   This model proved to be a great success as the number of altar boys went from 10 in 1946 to 100 in 1952.

REFLECTION:   ” In the first years of his pontificate, still young and full of energy, the Holy Father went to the very ends of the earth, guided by Christ.   But afterwards, he increasingly entered into the communion of Christ’s sufferings;  increasingly he understood the truth of the words:  “Someone else will fasten a belt around you.”   And in this very communion with the suffering Lord, tirelessly and with renewed intensity, he proclaimed the Gospel, the mystery of that love which goes to the end (cf Jn 13:1).” – Pope Benedictday-four-novena-to-st-john-paul-16-oct-2017

Let us Pray:

O Holy Trinity, we thank You for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II and for having made him shine with Your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christand the splendour of the Spirit of love.

He, trusting completely in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us the way of holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You Grant us, through his intercession, according to Your will, the grace that we implore,

………………….. [state your intention here].

Continue, beloved St John Paul, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. We praise and thank You Father that St John Paul has been numbered among Your saints and make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

Totus Tuus, Amen

Quote Day Four:  “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members;  and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.”a-society-will-be-judged-st-john-paul-16-oct-2017

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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, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY

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

Saint of the Day – 15 October – St Teresa of Avila/of Jesus (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church – Full Biography here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/saint-of-the-day-15-october-st-teresa-of-jesusof-avila-1515-1582-doctor-of-the-church/

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

St Teresa, whose name was Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, was born in Avila, Spain, in 1515.   In her autobiography she mentions some details of her childhood – she was born into a large family, her “father and mother, who were devout and feared God”.   She had three sisters and nine brothers.SantaTeresa

While she was still a child and not yet nine years old she had the opportunity to read the lives of several Martyrs which inspired in her such a longing for martyrdom that she briefly ran away from home in order to die a Martyr’s death and to go to Heaven (cf. Vida, [Life], 1, 4) – “I want to see God”, the little girl told her parents.

A few years later Teresa was to speak of her childhood reading and to state that she had discovered in it the way of truth which she sums up in two fundamental principles.   On the one hand was the fact that “all things of this world will pass away” while on the other God alone is “forever, ever, ever”, a topic that recurs in her best known poem: “Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away: God never changes.   Patience obtains all things.   Whoever has God lacks nothing, God alone suffices”.   She was about 12 years old when her mother died and she implored the Virgin Most Holy to be her mother (cf. Vida, I, 7).

When she was 20 she entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation, also in Avila. In her religious life she took the name “Teresa of Jesus”.   Three years later she fell seriously ill, so ill that she remained in a coma for four days, looking as if she were dead (cf. Vida, 5, 9).   In the fight against her own illnesses too, the Saint saw the combat against weaknesses and the resistance to God’s call:  “I wished to live”, she wrote, “but I saw clearly that I was not living but rather wrestling with the shadow of death, there was no one to give me life and I was not able to take it.   He who could have given it to me had good reasons for not coming to my aid, seeing that He had brought me back to Himself so many times and I as often had left Him” (Vida, 7, 8).teresa-avila-711x1024

In 1543 she lost the closeness of her relatives, her father died and all her siblings, one after another, emigrated to America.   In Lent 1554, when she was 39 years old, Teresa reached the climax of her struggle against her own weaknesses.   The fortuitous discovery of the statue of “a Christ most grievously wounded”, left a deep mark on her life (cf. Vida, 9).   The Saint, who in that period felt deeply in tune with the St Augustine of the Confessions, thus describes the decisive day of her mystical experience:  “and… a feeling of the presence of God would come over me unexpectedly, so that I could in no wise doubt either that He was within me, or that I was wholly absorbed in Him” (Vida, 10, 1).

st terea of avila de corrado yaquinto
Artist – Yaquinto de Corrado

Parallel to her inner development, the Saint began in practice to realise her ideal of the reform of the Carmelite Order – in 1562 she founded the first reformed Carmel in Avila, with the support of the city’s Bishop, Don Alvaro de Mendoza and shortly afterwards also received the approval of John Baptist Rossi, the Order’s Superior General.   In the years that followed, she continued her foundations of new Carmelite convents, 17 in all.   Her meeting with St John of the Cross was fundamental.   With him, in 1568, she set up the first convent of Discalced Carmelites in Duruelo, not far from Avila.   In 1580 she obtained from Rome the authorisation for her reformed Carmels as a separate, autonomous Province.   This was the starting point for the Discalced Carmelite Order.Teresa_de_Jesús

Indeed, Teresa’s earthly life ended while she was in the middle of her founding activities. She died on the night of 15 October 1582 in Alba de Tormes, after setting up the Carmelite Convent in Burgos, while on her way back to Avila.   Her last humble words were: “After all I die as a child of the Church” and “O my Lord and my Spouse, the hour that I have longed for has come. It is time to meet one another”.

Teresa spent her entire life for the whole Church although she spent it in Spain.   She was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1614 and Canonised by Pope Gregory XV in 1622  . The Servant of God (now Canonised yesterday, 14 October 2018) Paul VI proclaimed her a “Doctor of the Church” in 1970.

christ-resurrected-between-st-teresa-of-avila-michel-des-gobelins-corneille
Christ Resurrected Between St Teresa Of Avila & St John of the Cross by Michel des Gobelins Corneille
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Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

Dear friends, Francis was a great Saint and a joyful man.   His simplicity, his humility, his faith, his love for Christ, his goodness towards every man and every woman, brought him gladness in every circumstance.   Indeed, there subsists an intimate and indissoluble relationship between holiness and joy.   A French writer once wrote that there is only one sorrow in the world – not to be saints, that is, not to be near to God.   Looking at the testimony of St Francis, we understand that this is the secret of true happiness: -to become saints, close to God!

May the Virgin, so tenderly loved by Francis, obtain this gift for us.   Let us entrust ourselves to her with the words of the Poverello of Assisi himself:

“Blessed Virgin Mary, no one like you among women has ever been born in the world, daughter and handmaid of the Most High King and heavenly Father, Mother of our Most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Pray for us… to your most blessed and beloved Son, Lord and Master”

(Francesco di Assisi, Scritti, 163)….Excerpt from Pope Benedict XV’s Catechesis on St Francis – General Audience, 27 January 2010

Blessed Virgin, Holy Mother, Pray for us!blessed virgin holy mother pray for us
St Francis of Assisi, Pray for us!st francis pray for us - 4 oct 2018

St Francis leaves us with his blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
and give you peace.

st-francis-prayer-may-the-lord-bless-you-and-keep-you- no 2

 

Posted in FRANCISCAN, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:1-12- The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

One Minute Reflection – 4 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 – Thursday of the Twenty-sixth week in Ordinary Time – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

“Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’”...Luke 10:4-5

REFLECTION – “Three times Christ on the Cross came to life and told him:  “Go, Francis, and repair my Church in ruins”.   This simple occurrence of the word of God heard in the Church of St Damian, contains a profound symbolism.   At that moment, St Francis was called to repair the small church but the ruinous state of the building, was a symbol of the dramatic and disquieting situation of the Church herself…. it is important to note that St Francis does not renew the Church without, or in opposition, to the Pope but only in communion with him.   Authentic renewal grew from these together….
Francis, standing before the Bishop of Assisi, in a symbolic gesture, stripped off his clothes, thus showing he renounced his paternal inheritance.   Just as at the moment of creation, Francis had nothing, only the life that God gave him, into whose hands he delivered himself….
The truth is that St Francis really did have an extremely intimate relationship with Jesus and with the word of God, that he wanted to pursue sine glossa just as it is, in all its radicality and truth.   It is also true, that initially he did not intend to create an Order with the necessary canonical forms.   Rather he simply wanted, through the word of God and the presence of the Lord, to renew the People of God, to call them back to listening to the word and to literal obedience to Christ.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Catechesis on St Francis – General Audience, 27 January 2010luke 10 4-5 - st francis really did have - pope benedict - 4 oct 2018

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received—only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”….St Francis of Assisiremember-that-when-you-leave-st-francis-4-oct-2017

PRAYER – Lord God, You made St Francis of Assisi, Christ-like in his poverty and humility, his gentleness and charity, his love and courage.   Help us to walk in his ways that, with joy and love, we may follow Christ Your Son and be united with You.   May the intercession of St Francis, be an assistance on our journey.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-francis-pray for us - 4-oct-2018

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Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 1 October – The Memorial of St Thérèse of Lisieux O.C.D. (1873 – 1897) Doctor of the Church

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Thérèse – 6 April 2011

“Today I would like to talk to you about St Thérèse of Lisieux, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, who lived in this world for only 24 years, at the end of the 19th century, leading a very simple and hidden life but who, after her death and the publication of her writings, became one of the best-known and best-loved saints. “Little Thérèse” has never stopped helping the simplest souls, the little, the poor and the suffering who pray to her.

I would like to invite you to rediscover this small-great treasure, this luminous comment on the Gospel lived to the full!   The Story of a Soul, in fact, is a marvellous story of Love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader cannot but be fascinated by it!   But what was this Love that filled Thérèse’s whole life, from childhood to death?   Dear friends, this Love has a Face, it has a Name, it is Jesus!   The Saint speaks continuously of Jesus.

Dear friends, we too, with St Thérèse of the Child Jesus must be able to repeat to the Lord every day that we want to live of love for Him and for others, to learn at the school of the saints to love authentically and totally.  Thérèse is one of the “little” ones of the Gospel who let themselves be led by God to the depths of his Mystery.   A guide for all, especially those who, in the People of God, carry out their ministry as theologians.   With humility and charity, faith and hope, Thérèse continually entered the heart of Sacred Scripture which contains the Mystery of Christ.   And this interpretation of the Bible, nourished by the science of love, is not in opposition to academic knowledge.   The science of the saints, in fact, of which she herself speaks on the last page of her The Story of a Soul, is the loftiest science.

In the Gospel Thérèse discovered above all the Mercy of Jesus, to the point that she said: “To me, He has given His Infinite Mercy and it is in this ineffable mirror, that I contemplate His other divine attributes.   Therein all appear to me radiant with Love.   His Justice, even more perhaps than the rest, seems to me to be clothed with Love” (Ms A, 84r).

In these words she expresses herself in the last lines of The Story of a Soul:   “I have only to open the Holy Gospels and at once I breathe the perfume of Jesus’ life and then I know which way to run;  and it is not to the first place but to the last, that I hasten…. I feel that even had I on my conscience every crime one could commit… my heart broken with sorrow, I would throw myself into the arms of my Saviour Jesus, because I know that He loves the Prodigal Son” who returns to Him. (Ms C, 36v-37r).

“Trust and Love” are therefore the final point of the account of her life, two words, like beacons, that illumined the whole of her journey to holiness, to be able to guide others on the same “little way of trust and love”, of spiritual childhood (cf. Ms C, 2v-3r; LT 226).

Trust, like that of the child who abandons himself in God’s hands, inseparable from the strong, radical commitment of true love, which is the total gift of self for ever, as the Saint says, contemplating Mary:   “Loving is giving all, and giving oneself” (Why I love thee, Mary, P 54/22).

Thus Thérèse points out to us all that Christian life consists in living to the full the grace of Baptism in the total gift of self to the Love of the Father, in order to live like Christ, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, His same love for all the others.”…Pope Benedict XVI

“Trust and trust alone,
should lead us to love”trust and trust alone - st t of l - 1 oct 2018

St Thérèse of Lisieux, Pray for Us!st t of l pray for us - 1 oct 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 26 September – The Memorial of Blessed Louis Tezza M.I. (1841-1923)

Thought for the Day – 26 September – The Memorial of Blessed Louis Tezza M.I. (18  41-1923

Blessed Louis Tezza’s message can be readily understood in the light of the gospel. Jesus had a special concern for the sick, and furthermore he identified personally with his suffering brothers:   “I was sick and you visited me. In so far as you this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me” (Mt.25.40)

Blessed Louis was chosen by God not only to live this charism of mercy for the sick but to spread it through the founding of the Institute of the Daughters of S. Camillus, an institute dedicated to care for human life from the moment of conception to natural death.   He showed every Christian how to act in the face of suffering – to care and alleviate and especially to value it for one’s own sanctification and the redemption of others.

Fr Louis encourages us to believe in and operate in accordance with God’s plan for each one of us.   The cornerstone of his existence was obedience to God  . He was constantly seeking the will of God and striving to carry it out in his life.   He could see God’s plan in the signs of the times, the ordinary events of life, in the decisions of his superiors and he was convinced that these had to be followed no matter what the cost in personal sacrifice.

He leaves each one of us today with this personal challenge, in the hope that we will make it our own:

“God’s invitation to become saints is for all, not just a few.
Sanctity therefore must be accessible to all.
In what does it consist? In a lot of activity? No.
In doing extraordinary things? No, this could not be for everybody and at all times.
Therefore, sanctity consists in doing good, and in doing this “good” in whatever condition and place God has placed us.
Nothing more, nothing outside of this”.

“Blessed Luigi Tezza, glorious example of a life totally dedicated to the exercise of charity and mercy towards those who suffer in body and spirit.   For them he founded the Institute of the Daughters of St Camillus, whom he taught to practice an absolute confidence in the Lord.   “The will of God! Behold my only guide”, he exclaimed, “the only goal of my desires, for which I wish to sacrifice everything”.   In his confident abandonment to the will of God, he took as his model the Blessed Virgin Mary, tenderly loved and contemplated particularly in the moment of the “fiat” and in her silent presence at the foot of the Cross.”… (St Pope John Paul at the Beatification of Blessed Louis) Vatican.va

Blessed Louis Tezza, Pray for us!bl louis tezza pray for us - no 2 - 26 sept 2018