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

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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.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PAPAL MESSAGES, PAPAL PRAYERS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1 September

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1 September

Pope Francis has designated 1 September as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.   He hopes this day will be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which He has entrusted to our care and to implore His help for the protection of creation as well as His pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

For this the 4th Annual World Day of Prayer, Pope Francis said:
“In this year’s message,I wish to draw attention to the issue of water, the primary good to be protected and made available to all.”
His full message will be published later today.

The Ecology Encyclical:   Care for Our Common Home:

A prayer for our earth
(from Laudato si’)

All-powerful God, You are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of Your creatures.
You embrace with Your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of Your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in Your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
That we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognise that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards Your infinite light.
We thank You for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
Amenworld-day-of-prayer-for-the-care-of-creation-1-sept-20171

Posted in DOCTRINE, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

One Minute Reflection – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38

One Minute Reflection – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me, according to your word.”   And the angel departed from her...Luke 1:38luke 1 38 - mary said, behold i am the heandmaid of the lord - 4 may 2018

REFLECTION – “With the certainty of faith we know that Jesus Christ is king in the full, literal and absolute sense of the word;  for He is true God and man.   This does not, however, prevent Mary from sharing His royal prerogatives, though in a limited and analogous manner;  for she was the Mother of Christ and Christ is God and she shared in the work of the divine Redeemer, in His struggles against enemies and in the triumph He won over them all.   From this union with Christ the King she assuredly obtains so eminent a status that she stands high above all created things and upon this same union with Christ is based that royal privilege, enabling her to distribute the treasures of the kingdom of the divine Redeemer.   And lastly, this same union with Christ is the fountain of the inexhaustible efficacy of her motherly intercession, in the presence of the Son and of the Father.
Without doubt, then, does our holy Virgin possess a dignity that far transcends all other creatures.   In the eyes of her Son, she takes precedence over everyone else.   In order to help us understand the pre-eminence that the Mother of God enjoy,s over all creation, it would help to remember that from the first moment of her conception, the holy Virgin was filled with such a plenitude of grace as to surpass the graces, enhancing all the saints.   Recall what our predecessor Pius IX, of blessed memory, wrote in his Bull Ineflabilis Deus:  “More than all the angels and all the saints has God ineffable freely endowed Mary with the fullness of the heavenly gifts that abound in the divine treasury and she, preserving herself ever immaculately clean, from the slightest taint of sin, attained a fullness of innocence and holiness, so great, as to be unthinkable apart from God Himself, a fullness that no one other than God will ever possess.”…Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) – Excerpted from Ad Caeli Reginamfrom this union with christ the king - ven pius XII - 22 aug 2018 - mem of mary queen

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You have given us Mary, the Mother of Your Son, to be our Mother and our Queen.   Grant that, supported by her prayers, we may come to the kingdom of heaven and to the glory destined for Your children.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary-queen-pray-for-us.22 aUG 2017jpg