Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

Thought for the Day – 13 December – The Memorial of Blessed Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)

“For thirty seven of those years he was, without precedent, Provost of his Congregation. Like a lamp burning on a lampstand he shed the unfailing rays of his virtues on all sides, and “made himself all things to all men, so as to win them all for Christ”...Alfonso Cardinal Capecelatro, Cong.Orat., Rome 24 May 1900.

From the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman, Cong. Orat.,

on the Oratorian Vocation
Newman the Oratorian

Quoting Marciano’s “apposite description of Father Grassi of Fermo”:

“In respect of obedience, though, from being so long time a Superior, he appeared to have no opportunity for its exercise, yet he knew how to follow in its track.   First, he placed his private will in the hand of his Confessor, as if he were a child.   Next, though Superior, he used to render a most exact obedience to the officials of the Congregation. Called by the Porter or Sacristan, he never was heard to say, ‘I cannot’.   And whereas in the last years of his life a Brother was assigned him for his attendance, he called him his guardian-angel and recognised him as his Superior and obeyed him, in such sort, as not even to change his place without his leave.   In his journeys, he so depended upon his companion, to whom he then gave the name of governor, that his intimations were for him inviolable precepts.”

Total humility! Our lesson, our goal.

Blessed Antonio Grassi, Pray for Us!Bl antonio grassi pray for us 13dec 2018

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Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Thought for the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Andrew
Wednesday, 14 June 2006

“This is what the Apostle is claimed to have said on that occasion, according to an ancient story (which dates back to the beginning of the sixth century), entitled The Passion of Andrew:

“Hail, O Cross, inaugurated by the Body of Christ and adorned with His limbs as though they were precious pearls.   Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear.   Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift.

Believers know of the great joy that you possess and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared.   I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me exultant as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you…. O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord’s limbs!…

Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me.

Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!”.hail o cross - from the passion of st andrew - 30nov2018

Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality.   It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the incomparable means for perfect configuration to the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth.

We have a very important lesson to learn, our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the Cross of Christ, if a reflection of His light illuminates them.   It is by that Cross alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning.

The Apostle Andrew, therefore, teaches us to follow Jesus with promptness (cf. Mt 4: 20; Mk 1: 18), to speak enthusiastically about Him to those we meet and especially, to cultivate a relationship of true familiarity with Him, acutely aware that in Him alone, can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and death.”

St Andrew, Pray for your Church, Pray for Us all!st andrew apostle pray for us-30nov2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Quote of the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

“We have found the Messiah”…
Andrew’s words reveal a soul waiting with the utmost longing
for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to His appearing
from heaven, rejoicing when He does appear
and hastening to announce so great an event to others.
To support one another in the things of the spirit
is the true sign of good will between brothers,
of loving kinship and sincere affection.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctorwe have found the messiah - andrews words - st john chrysostom-30nov2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 30 November – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:18–22 – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

One Minute Reflection – 30 November – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:18–22 – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”...Matthew 4:19

REFLECTION – “And they left their nets and followed him.”   And yet John (the Evangelist) says that they were called in a different way.   From this it is evident that this was a second call.   One may conclude this from several evidences.   For there it is said that they came to Him when “John had not yet been thrown into prison” but here it says, after he was in confinement.   And there Andrew calls Peter but here Jesus calls both.   On the one hand, John says, “Jesus saw Simon coming and said, ‘You are Simon, the Son of Jonah.   You shall be called Cephas, which is translated Peter.’”   On the other hand, Matthew says that he was already called by that name, for he says, “Seeing Simon who was called Peter.”   In the other instance, Andrew is seen coming into His house and hearing many things.   But here, having heard one brief call, they both followed immediately.
When they earlier had seen that John was in prison and that Jesus was withdrawing, it would not have been unnatural for them to return again to their own craft, fishing, having followed Him at the beginning and then later having left Him to fish.
Accordingly, you now see, that Jesus finds them actively fishing.   But He neither resisted them at first, when they desired to withdraw from Him, nor having withdrawn themselves, did He let them go altogether.   He gave way when they moved aside from Him and came again to win them back.   This, after all, is exactly what fishing is all about.”… St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – (The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 14)matthew 4 19 - follow me and I will make you - accordingly, you now see, st john chrysostom - 30nov2018

PRAYER – Lord, in Your kindness hear our petitions.   You called Andrew the apostle, to preach the Gospel and guide Your Church in faith.   May he always be our friend in Your presence to help us with his prayers.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amenst andrew pray for us - 30nov2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Saint of the Day – 30 November – St Andrew, Apostle of Christ, Martyr

Saint of the Day – 30 November – St Andrew, Apostle of Christ, Martyr – Called the “First Called ” or “Protoclete” – born at Bethsaida, Galilee and was martyred by crucifixion on a saltire (x-shaped) cross in Patras Greece (around the year 62AD) – Patronages: fishermen, fishmongers and rope-makers, textile workers, singers, miners, pregnant women, butchers, farm workers, protection against sore throats, protection against convulsions, protection against fever, protection against whooping cough, Scotland, Barbados, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Patras, Burgundy, San Andrés (Tenerife), Diocese of Parañaque, Telhado, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Diocese of Victoria.ANDREW - GLASS maxresdefault

The first striking characteristic of Andrew is his name – it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored.   We are in Galilee, where the Greek language and culture are quite present.   Andrew comes second in the list of the Twelve, as in Matthew (10: 1-4) and in Luke (6: 13-16); or fourth, as in Mark (3: 13-18) and in the Acts (1: 13-14).   In any case, he certainly enjoyed great prestige within the early Christian communities.   The kinship between Peter and Andrew, as well as the joint call that Jesus addressed to them, are explicitly mentioned in the Gospels.   We read:  “As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.   And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men'” (Mt 4: 18-19; Mk 1: 16-17).

From the Fourth Gospel we know another important detail:  Andrew had previously been a disciple of John the Baptist and this shows us that he was a man who was searching, who shared in Israel’s hope, who wanted to know better the word of the Lord, the presence of the Lord.   He was truly a man of faith and hope and one day he heard John the Baptist proclaiming Jesus as, “the Lamb of God” (Jn 1: 36), so he was stirred and with another unnamed disciple followed Jesus, the one whom John had called “the Lamb of God”.   The Evangelist says that “they saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day…” (Jn 1: 37-39).   Thus, Andrew enjoyed precious moments of intimacy with Jesus.   The account continues with one important annotation:  “One of the two who heard John speak and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.   He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (Jn 1: 40-43), straightaway showing an unusual apostolic spirit.

Andrew, then, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus.   Exactly for this reason the liturgy of the Byzantine Church honours him with the nickname: “Protokletos”, [protoclete] which means, precisely, “the first called”.Sant_Andrea_S

The Gospel traditions mention Andrew’s name in particular on another three occasions that tell us something more about this man.   The first is that of the multiplication of the loaves in Galilee. On that occasion, it was Andrew who pointed out to Jesus the presence of a young boy who had with him five barley loaves and two fish, not much, he remarked, for the multitudes who had gathered in that place (cf. Jn 6: 8-9). In this case, it is worth highlighting Andrew’s realism.   He noticed the boy, that is, he had already asked the question: “but what good is that for so many?” (ibid) and recognised the insufficiency of his minimal resources.   Jesus, however, knew how to make them sufficient for the multitude of people who had come to hear Him.

The second occasion was at Jerusalem.   As He left the city, a disciple drew Jesus’ attention to the sight of the massive walls that supported the Temple.   The Teacher’s response was surprising:  He said that of those walls not one stone would be left upon another.   Then Andrew, together with Peter, James and John, questionedHhim: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?” (Mk 13: 1-4). In answer to this question Jesus gave an important discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and on the end of the world, in which He asked His disciples to be wise in interpreting the signs of the times and to be constantly on their guard.   From this event we can deduce that we should not be afraid to ask Jesus questions but at the same time that we must be ready to accept even the surprising and difficult teachings that He offers us.andrew snip

Lastly, a third initiative of Andrew is recorded in the Gospels:  the scene is still Jerusalem, shortly before the Passion.   For the Feast of the Passover, John recounts, some Greeks had come to the city, probably proselytes or God-fearing men who had come up to worship the God of Israel at the Passover Feast.   Andrew and Philip, the two Apostles with Greek names, served as interpreters and mediators of this small group of Greeks with Jesus.   The Lord’s answer to their question – as so often in John’s Gospel – appears enigmatic but precisely in this way proves full of meaning.   Jesus said to the two disciples and, through them, to the Greek world:  “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.   I solemnly assure you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (12: 23-24). Jesus wants to say:  Yes, my meeting with the Greeks will take place but not as a simple, brief conversation between myself and a few others, motivated above all by curiosity.   The hour of my glorification will come with my death, which can be compared with the falling into the earth of a grain of wheat.   My death on the Cross will bring forth great fruitfulness, in the Resurrection the “dead grain of wheat” – a symbol of myself crucified – will become the bread of life for the world, it will be a light for the peoples and cultures. Yes, the encounter with the Greek soul, with the Greek world, will be achieved in that profundity to which the grain of wheat refers, which attracts to itself the forces of heaven and earth and becomes bread. In other words, Jesus was prophesying about the Church of the Greeks, the Church of the pagans, the Church of the world, as a fruit of His Pasch.

Some very ancient traditions not only see Andrew, who communicated these words to the Greeks, as the interpreter of some Greeks at the meeting with Jesus recalled here but consider him the Apostle to the Greeks in the years subsequent to Pentecost.   They enable us to know that for the rest of his life he was the preacher and interpreter of Jesus for the Greek world.ANDREW ICON

Peter, his brother, travelled from Jerusalem through Antioch and reached Rome to exercise his universal mission, Andrew, instead, was the Apostle of the Greek world.   So it is that in life and in death they appear as true brothers – a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special reciprocal relations of the See of Rome and of Constantinople, which are truly Sister Churches.

A later tradition, as has been mentioned, tells of Andrew’s death at Patras, where he too suffered the torture of crucifixion.   At that supreme moment, however, like his brother Peter, he asked to be nailed to a cross different from the Cross of Jesus.   In his case it was a diagonal or X-shaped cross, which has thus come to be known as “St Andrew’s cross”….Pope Benedict XVI – 14 June 2006

Mattia_Preti_-_The_crucifixion_of_St_Andrew_-_Google_Art_Project-Public-Domain-Image

Andrew is the patron saint of several countries and cities and is the patron saint of Prussia and of the Order of the Golden Fleece.  He is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and is consequently the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.   The flag of Scotland (and consequently the Union Flag and those of some of the former colonies of the British Empire) feature Saint Andrew’s saltire cross. The saltire is also the flag of Tenerife, the former flag of Galicia and the Russian Navy Ensign.

 

The feast of Andrew is observed on 30 November in both the Eastern and Western churches and is the national day of Scotland.   In the traditional liturgical books of the Catholic Church, the feast of Saint Andrew is the first feast day in the Proper of Saints.VATICAN - ANDREW STATUE -640px-Saint_Andreas

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 12 November – “He gave his life for the unity of the Church” – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr

“He gave his life for the unity of the Church”

Pope Piux XI
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Ecclesiam Dei

Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr “the thief of souls.”PopePiusXI

“In designing his Church God worked with such skill that in the fullness of time it would resemble a single great family embracing all men.   It can be identified, as we know, by certain distinctive characteristics, notably its universality and unity.

Christ the Lord passed on to His apostles the task He had received from the Father: ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.   Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.’   He wanted the apostles as a body to be intimately bound together, first by the inner tie of the same faith and love which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit and, second, by the external tie of authority exercised by one apostle over the others.   For this he assigned the primacy to Peter, the source and visible basis of their unity for all time.  So that the unity and agreement among them would endure, God wisely stamped them, one might say, with the mark of holiness and martyrdom.

Both these distinctions fell to Josaphat, Archbishop of Polock of the Slavonic rite of the Eastern Church.   He is rightly looked upon as the great glory and strength of the Eastern Rite Slavs.   Few have brought them greater honour or contributed more to their spiritual welfare than Josaphat, their pastor and apostle, especially when he gave his life as a martyr for the unity of the Church.   He felt, in fact, that God had inspired him to restore world-wide unity to the Church and he realised that his greatest chance of success lay in preserving the Slavonic rite and Saint Basil’s rule of monastic life within the one universal Church.

Concerned mainly with seeing his own people reunited to the See of Peter, he sought out every available argument which would foster and maintain Church unity.   His best arguments were drawn from liturgical books, sanctioned by the Fathers of the Church, which were in common use among Eastern Christians, including the dissidents.   Thus thoroughly prepared, he set out to restore the unity of the Church.   A forceful man of fine sensibilities, he met with such success that his opponents dubbed him “the thief of souls.”

The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West.   The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting and celibacy.   No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor and doctrinal disagreement was present.   But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern—mostly Orthodox—Churches and 23 percent Protestant and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian, should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians! (These figures from Franciscan Media)

St Josaphat, Ora pro Nobis!st jospahat - pray for us - ora pro nobis - 12 nov 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 7 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 14:25–33

One Minute Reflection – 7 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 14:25–33 – Wednesday of the Thirty First week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Willibrord (c 658 – 739) “Apostle to the Frisians” and Bl Anthony Baldinucci SJ (1665-1717)

So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple...Luke 14:33

REFLECTION  – “Francis’ father led this child of his before the bishop.   He wanted to have Francis renounce into his hands his family possessions and return everything he   had. A true lover of poverty, Francis showed himself eager to comply;  he went before the bishop without delaying or hesitating.   He did not wait for any words nor did he speak any but immediately took his clothes and gave them back to his father… Drunk with remarkable fervour, he even took off his underwear, stripping himself completely naked before all.   He said to his father : “Until now I have called you father here on earth, but now I can say without reservation,  ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ (Matt. 6:9), since I have placed all my treasure and all my hope in him.”
When the bishop saw this, he was amazed at such intense fervour in the man of God.   He immediately stood up and in tears drew Francis into his arms, covering him with the mantle he was wearing, like the pious and good man that he was.   He bade servants give Francis something to cover his body.   They brought him a poor, cheap cloak of a farmer who worked for the bishop.   Francis accepted it gratefully and with his hand marked a cross on it with a piece of chalk, thus signifying it as the covering of a crucified man and a half-naked beggar.   Thus the servant of the Most High King was left naked so that he might follow his naked crucified Lord, whom he loved.”… St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Churchwith his hand, he marked a cross on it - st bonaventure - and luke 14 33 whoever does not renounce - 7 nov 2018

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, You sent your Son to show us the way to our eternal home.   Teach us always to understand that by relinquishing the things of this world and focusing our efforts only on following the Light He shines on our path, we may attain the eternal victory.   May the prayers of St Willibrord and St Anthony, assist us in carrying our cross after Him.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st willibrord pray for us 7 nov 2018bl-anthony-baldinucci-pray-for-us-7-nov-2017-no2