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

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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

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 ENCYCLICALS, FRANCISCAN, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 30 October – The Memorial of St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Preacher

Quote of the Day =30 October – The Memorial of St Angelo of Acri OFM Cap (1669-1739) Preacher

Pope Francis writes:

“The preacher has the wonderful but difficult task of joining loving hearts, the hearts of the Lord and His people.
The dialogue between God and His people further strengthens the covenant between them and consolidates the bond of charity.
In the course of the homily, the hearts of believers keep silence and allow God to speak. The Lord and His people speak to one another in a thousand ways directly, without intermediaries.   But in the homily, they want someone to serve as an instrument and to express their feelings in such a way, that afterwards, each one may chose how he or she
will continue the conversation.”

Pope Francis – Evangelii gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel, 143

the preacher has the wonderful but difficult task - evanelii guadium the joy of the gospel 143 - pope francis - 30 oct 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great DAY TWO – 14 OCTOBER

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great DAY TWO – 14 OCTOBER

Little Known Fact #2:   While working in a factory during the Nazi Occupation of Poland, Karol Wojtyla heard that one of his co-workers was expecting a child.   The man worked the night shift and found out that his wife gave birth to their child.   After a full day of work during the day, Karol told his co-worker to go home to be with his family. Karol then worked the entire night shift in place of the new father.   He continued to work the night shift after his own shift until his co-worker’s wife regained her strength and he could return to work.

REFLECTION:  ”Follow me! In July 1958 the young priest Karol Wojtyla began a new stage in his journey with the Lord and in the footsteps of the Lord.   Follow me – Karol Wojtyla accepted the appointment, for he heard in the Church’s call the voice of Christ. And then he realised how true are the Lord’s words:  “Those who try to make their life secure will lose it but those who lose their life will keep it” (Lk 17:33).   Our Pope – and we all know this – never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself;   he wanted to give of himself unreservedly, to the very last moment, for Christ and thus also for us.   And thus he came to experience how everything which he had given over into the Lord’s hands came back to him in a new way.   His love of words, of poetry, of literature, became an essential part of his pastoral mission and gave new vitality, new urgency, new attractiveness to the preaching of the Gospel, even when it is a sign of contradiction.”Pope Benedictday-two-novena-st-john-paul-14-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 Christ and 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 Two:   

“Mary is ‘the Mother of the Son of God.
As a result she is also the favourite daughter of the Father
and the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Because of this gift of sublime grace,
she far surpasses all other creatures,
both in heaven and on earth.”
(REDEMPTORIS MATER – 1987)mary-is-the-mother-of-the-son-of-god-st-john-paul-14-oct-2017

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 October – Today’s Gospel – Mark 10:2–16 – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

One Minute Reflection – 7 October – Today’s Gospel – Mark 10:2–16 – Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

“…The two shall become one flesh.”...Mark 10:8

REFLECTION – “In the world of the Bible, God’s relationship with Israel is described using the metaphors of betrothal and marriage – idolatry is thus adultery and prostitution… But God’s eros for man is also totally agape.   This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit but also because it is love which forgives… In this biblical vision, on the one hand we find ourselves before a strictly metaphysical image of God:  God is the absolute and ultimate source of all being but this universal principle of creation—the Logos, primordial reason—is at the same time a lover with all the passion of a true love.   Eros is thus supremely ennobled, yet at the same time it is so purified as to become one with agape…  The first novelty of biblical faith consists… in its image of God.   The second, essentially connected to this, is found in the image of man.
The biblical account of creation speaks of the solitude of Adam, the first man and God’s decision to give him a helper… The idea is certainly present that man is somehow incomplete, driven by nature to seek in another the part that can make him whole, the idea that only in communion with the opposite sex can he become “complete”.   The biblical account thus concludes with a prophecy about Adam:  “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
Two aspects of this are important.   First, eros is somehow rooted in man’s very nature; Adam is a seeker, who “abandons his mother and father” in order to find woman, only together do the two represent complete humanity and become “one flesh”.   The second aspect is equally important.   From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitiv, thus and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose.   Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage.   Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love, becomes the icon of the relationship between God and His people and vice versa.   God’s way of loving becomes the measure of human love…Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical letter “Deus caritas est”, # 9-11mark 10 8 the two shall become one flesh-marriage based on exclusive and definitive love - pope benedict XVI

PRAYER – Almighty, everliving God, whose love surpasses all that we ask or deserve, open up for us, the treasures of Your mercy.   Teach us the truth of love and forgive us all that weighs on our conscience.   Grant us even more than we dare to ask and grant us the merciful and guiding assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Through Him who redeemed us in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.our-lady-of-the-rosary-pray-for-us-7 oct 2017oly Spirit, one God forever and ever.   Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us, amen.