Posted in ENCYCLICALS, GOD is LOVE, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – Man is redeemed by love.

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 12:44–50

“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world”...John 12:47i did not come to condem the world john 12 47 15 may 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “It is not science that redeems man, man is redeemed by love.   This applies even in terms of this present world.   When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life.   But soon, he will also realise that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life.   It is a love that remains fragile.   It can be destroyed by death.   The human being needs unconditional love.   He needs the certainty which makes him say – “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39).   If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him, in his particular circumstances.

This is what it means to say, Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us.   Through Him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because His only-begotten Son has become man and of Him everyone can say:  “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20)….Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”#26it is not science that redeems man - pope benedict 15 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer.   We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience.   May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse. Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary-mother-pray-for-us-15-may-2018.jpg

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Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – “Love…more powerful than sin.”

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22; Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

The Paschal Mystery is Christ at the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of God.   It is precisely then that the words pronounced in the Upper Room are completely fulfilled:  “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).   In fact, Christ, whom the Father “did not spare” (Rm 8:32) for the sake of man and who in His passion and in the torment of the cross did not obtain human mercy, has revealed in His resurrection, the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people. “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mk 12:27).

In His resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them, and said to them:  ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).

Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.and it is also the same christ - st john paul - encyclical frifourtheweeklent 5 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

We keep acknowledging that God is the source of our life.
We realise that we have been seeking other sources of life.
We recognise our weakness and turn to God for help.
Though our hearts are being opened up to their depths,
though we cry out to God for help, we are not discouraged.

The Lord is near to broken hearts.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:18-19

Closing Prayer:
Loving God of forgiveness,
I come before You humbled and sad
in the face of my own repeated failings.
I hold out my hands as a petitioner would,
asking for mercy.
It is then that I feel You reach out and take my hand
in Your loving grasp.
Thank You for the love You pour out on me so lavishly.
Help me to follow more closely
in the path You have set for me,
the path of Your Son.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenjohn 7 28 you know me - fridayfourtheweeklent 5 april 2019

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Seeing with the Eyes of Christ

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Friday of the Third week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Mark 12:28–34

“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’   There is no other commandment greater than these.” …Mark 12:30-32MARK 12 - 30,31

REFLECTION – “The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will, increases in a communion of thought and sentiment and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide – God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments but it is now, my own will, based on the realisation that God is, in fact, more deeply present to me, than I am to myself.   Then self- abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy (cf. Ps 73 [72]:23-28).

Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible, in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus.   It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know.   This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings.   Then, I learn, to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.   His friend is my friend… Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more, than their outward necessities, I can give them the look of love which they crave.”Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Deus caritas est ”, § 17 – 18seeing with the eyes of christ - pope beneidct 29 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy and eternal Father, we give praise to You for the radiant light You sent into the world, Your divine Son, Your Word made flesh.   For He guides our steps in a path of light and teaches us how to live.   May we love and glorify You and love our neighbour as ourselves.   Grant, we pray, that by the help of Your angels and saints and Mary, our Immaculate Mother, we may proceed to live Your Word of Truth.   Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.immaculate mary poray for us.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St JOSEPH

Devotion for March – St Joseph

Devotion for March
St Josephmarch 2019 month of st joseph 1 march 2019.jpg

Due to the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on 19 March, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ.

“Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men.   Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents.   From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.   And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties.   …It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.

“Quamquam Pluries” – On the Devotion to St Joseph –Pope Leo XIII

St Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes, amongst them he is the patron of the Universal Church.   He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed.   He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, of workers and those seeking work and of social justice.

As the foster father of Christ, St Joseph is, in a very real sense, the foster father of all Christians.   The “Prayer for the Intercession of St Joseph” prayer is recited to ask St Joseph to pray on your behalf to the Son of God, whom he protected and reared.

O blessed Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus,
most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary,
pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God,
that we, being defended by the power of His grace
and striving dutifully in life,
may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.
Amenpray for the intercession of st joseph 1 march 2019

Posted in CANON LAW, CCC, MINI SERIES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH – First Precept

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH

These “precepts” are the most important laws of the Catholic Church.   They are meant for each of us.   Through her precepts the Church, our loving Mother and teacher, puts before our minds the minimum participation which is necessary to maintain our Catholic identity.

Recalling Our Lord’s words that the wise man “built his house upon the rock” (Matt 7:24), we can ask ourselves this Lent how far we are built on the rock of Christ, who is present in his Church and active in her life-giving sacraments, how firmly rooted we are in the community of faith which is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:1-13).

The Precepts of the Church are to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Nos. 2042-2043.

First Precept:

“You shall attend Mass on Sundays

and Holy Days of Obligation and Rest from Servile Labour.”the precept of the church - first precept - 18 feb 2019

From the earliest times the Christians celebrated the Eucharist on the Day of the Lord’s resurrection (see Acts 20:7).   It is no surprise that the vision of St John in the book of Revelation, a vision deeply linked to the Christian liturgy, occurred “on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10).

St Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the first Church Fathers, wrote in about 150 AD:   “on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place …”.

He goes on to explain the reading of the Scriptures and the consecration of the bread and wine and concludes:  “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God … made the world and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.”   Christians understood that, now, the Old Testament commandant to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exod. 20:8) applied to Sunday rather than the Jewish Saturday.

It was also clear to Christians that, developing the tradition of the Jews, the Christian sabbath calls for rest from our usual occupations, “to abstain from those labours and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.”  (Code of Canon Law 1247).

The Catechism challenges us also when it adds:  “Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week.” (CCC 2186)
Sunday is rightly a time for recreation, yet a Catholic must prioritise the Sunday Mass for the simple reason that God himself must be given first place.

The precept to be present at Mass on Sundays (or Saturday evening) is non-negotiable for Catholics – it is a “grave” obligation (CCC 2181).   If it happens that we fail to observe it through negligence or without a serious reason, we should confess it in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion again.
If, on the other hand, we did have a sufficient reason not to be present, for instance we were ill, had to stay at home to look after young children, or were a great distance from a church, or have no choice but to work on Sunday during Mass, then we’re not obliged BUT let us not ‘look for excuses’ and let us choose our work carefully and do all we can to make it known to our employers that we only need ONE HOUR per week – could we perhaps EXCHANGE our lunch- or off-times for this ONE HOLY HOUR ON SUNDAYS?!

We must further attend Mass on holy days of obligation that usually fall during the week, such as Christmas Day.

The precepts of Church are not regulations trying to catch us out but crucial reminders of what it means to be a Christian.   Saint John Paul II, in his encyclical letter on the Lord’s Day, wrote:

“Sunday is a day which is at the very heart of the Christian life.   From the beginning of my Pontificate, I have not ceased to repeat – ‘Do not be afraid!  Open, open wide the doors to Christ!’.   

In the same way, today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday –

Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ!   Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that He may cast light upon it and give it direction. …

Time given to Christ is never time lost but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.”

(Dies Domini 7)

 

time given to christ is never time lost but rather it is time gained - st john paul - 18 feb 2019 first precept.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56 – The Canticle of the Magnificat

Thought for the Day – 22 December – – Today’s Gospel Luke 1:46-56 – The Canticle of the Magnificat

Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” 541

Mary’s Magnificat—a portrait, so to speak, of her soul—is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the Word of God.   Here we see, how completely at home Mary is, with the Word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it.   She speaks and thinks with the Word of God;  the Word of God becomes her word and her word issues from the Word of God.   Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God.   Since Mary is completely imbued with the Word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate.since mary is completely imbued with the word - pope benedict the magnificat 22dec2018

Finally, Mary is a woman who loves.   How could it be otherwise?   As a believer who in faith thinks with God’s thoughts and wills with God’s will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves.   We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel.   We see it in the delicacy with which she recognises the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus.   We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus’ public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother’s hour will come only with the Cross…   At the hour of Pentecost, it will be the disciples who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!holy mary mother of god - pray for us - 7 may 2018

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Pope Pius XII and Mediator Dei

The question remains, then, of just how one participates actively “in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church”.   Pope Pius XII situates active participation in a personal and corporate adhesion to the sacrifice of Christ who, in every Holy Mass, exercises His priesthood and offers Himself as a spotless victim to the Father.

One comes to Holy Mass, then, not after the manner of a consumer looking seeking spiritual gratification but, rather, as an offerer bearing to the altar the oblation of his own life, as a royal priest set over all created things in order to raise them heavenward in the Great Thanksgiving (Eucharist) and as a victim, a sacrificial lamb ready to be made over to God in Christ.  In Christ and in the members of His Mystical Body are the prophetic words of Abraham to Isaac wondrously fulfilled:  “God Himself will provide the lamb” (Genesis 22:8). Pope Pius XII writes:

“All the elements of the liturgy, then, would have us reproduce in our hearts the likeness of the divine Redeemer through the mystery of the cross, according to the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, “With Christ I am nailed to the cross. I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.”   Thus we become a victim, as it were, along with Christ to increase the glory of the eternal Father.

Let the faithful, therefore, consider to what a high dignity they are raised by the sacrament of baptism.   They should not think it enough to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice with that general intention which befits members of Christ and children of the Church but let them further, in keeping with the spirit of the sacred liturgy, be most closely united with the High Priest and His earthly minister, at the time the consecration of the divine Victim is enacted and, at that time, especially when those solemn words are pronounced:

“By Him and with Him and in Him is to Thee, God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory forever and ever”;   to these words in fact the people answer, “Amen.”

Nor should Christians forget to offer themselves, their cares, their sorrows, their distress and their necessities in union with their divine Saviour upon the cross.”

ven pope pius XII mediator dei - sunreflection 9 dec 2018