Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:26–37

One Minute Reflection – 16 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:26–37, Friday of the Thirty Second week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the memorial of St Margaret of Scotland (1045-1093) and St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302).

“Whoever seeks to gain his life, will lose it but whoever loses his life, will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.”…Luke 17:33-34

REFLECTION – “Today the Church, the Lord, with His goodness, tells each one of us, ‘Stop, stop, not every day will be so.   Do not get used to this as if it were eternity.   There will be one day that you will be taken, while the other one will remain, you will be taken, you will be removed.’    It means going with the Lord, thinking that our life will end.”…Pope Francis Santa Marta, 17 November 2017whoever seeks to gain his life - today the church, the lord - pope francis - 16 nov 2018

“So you see, my brothers, that we have been given every inducement, to amend our lives. We have been called by God and now it is up to us to return to Him, while we still have time to One, who is ready to receive us.   For if we renounce sinful pleasures and practice self-control, by refusing to yield to our evil desires, we shall share in the mercy of Jesus.
You must know, however, that the day of judgement, like a flaming furnace, is already approaching.   Sun, moon and stars will be consumed and the whole earth will become like lead melting in the fire.   All that each man has done, whether openly or in secret, will then be brought to light.   Therefore, a very good way of atoning for our sins is by being generous to the poor.   Fasting is better than prayer but almsgiving surpasses both, for love covers a multitude of sins.   Nevertheless, prayer delivers the soul from death, if it proceeds from a good conscience.   Happy the man who is found rich in these virtues; by relieving the poor, he himself will be relieved of his sins.
To make sure that none of us is lost, we must repent from the bottom of our hearts.”…Anonymous author, second century, An Ancient Christian Writer – An excerpt from A Homilyso you see my brothers, anonymous auther 2nd cent - 16 nov 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, grant to us that the power of Your protecting hand may keep us unshaken in the face of our ancient enemy and all his hidden snares.   Lighten our way so that, through the prayers of intercession of St Gertrude and St Margaret of Scotland, we may experience the joy of Your presence in our hearts and courage at times of suffering.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.st margaret of scotland pray for us 16 nov 2018

st-gertrude-the-great-pray-for-us-16-nov-2017

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Thought for the Day – 10 November – Christian, Remember Your Dignity by St Pope Leo the Great

Thought for the Day – 10 November – Christian, Remember Your Dignity by St Pope Leo the Great

Today we celebrate the feast day of Pope Saint Leo the Great (c 400-461).   St Leo is referred to by many names, including “Doctor of Doctrine” and “Doctor of Unity of the Church.”   He is the first pope to be referred to by the title “Great” and the first pope made Doctor of the Church.   His writings, unifying doctrine and peacemaking, continue to inspire and instruct us today in the ways of the faith.   Below, an excerpt from a homily, encouraging Christians to take heed of the joy of Christ and exhorts them to live in freedom and dignity of the Incarnation!

Christian, Remember Your Dignity!

Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born, let us rejoice.   Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life.   The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
No one is shut out from this joy, all share the same reason for rejoicing.   Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all.   Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand.   Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness.   Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.
In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for Himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator.   He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which He had overthrown mankind.
And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy – Glory to God in the highest and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world.   When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?
Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through His Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in His great love for us He took pity on us and when we were dead in our sins He brought us to life with Christ, so that in Him we might be a new creation.   Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.
Christian, remember your dignity and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition   Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member.   Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.
Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit.   Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

St Pope Leo the Great, Pray for Us!st pope leo the great pray for us 10 nov 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 9 November – Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran

Thought for the Day – 9 November – Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran

In a sense, St John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, because it is the pope’s cathedral.   This church, is the spiritual home, of the people who are the Church.

Excerpt of Pope Benedict’s

Angelus Address 9 November 2008

“The Word of God during this Solemnity recalls an essential truth – the stone temple is the symbol of the living Church, the Christian community, that the Apostles Peter and Paul had, in their Letters, already understood as a “spiritual building”, constructed by God with the “living stones” that are the Christians, upon the one foundation that is Jesus Christ, who is in turn compared to the “cornerstone” cf. 1 Cor 3: 9-11, 16-17; 1 Pt 2: 4-8; Eph 2: 20-22).   “Brethren,… you are God’s building”, St Paul writes and he adds, “God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor 3: 9c, 17).

The beauty and the harmony of churches, destined to render praise to God, invites us human beings too, though limited and sinful, to convert ourselves to form a “cosmos”, a well-ordered construction, in close communion with Jesus, who is the true Holy of Holies.   This reaches its culmination in the Eucharistic liturgy, in which the “ecclesia” that is, the community of baptised finds itself again united to listen to the Word of God and nourish itself on the Body and Blood of Christ.   Gathered around this twofold table, the Church of living stones builds herself up in truth and in love and is moulded interiorly by the Holy Spirit, transforming herself into what she receives, conforming herself ever more to her Lord Jesus Christ.   She herself, if she lives in sincere and fraternal unity, thus becomes a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God.

Dear friends, today’s feast celebrates an ever current mystery – that God desires to build himself a spiritual temple in the world, a community that adores Him in spirit and truth (cf. Jn 4: 23-24).

But this occasion reminds us also of the importance of the concrete buildings in which the community gathers together to celebrate God’s praises.   Every communit,y therefore, has the duty to carefully guard their holy structures, which constitute a precious religious and historical patrimony.   For this we invoke the intercession of Mary Most Holy, so that she might help us to become, like her, a “house of God”, living temple of his love.”

gods-desire-to-build-pope-benedict-9-nov-2017

mary most holy pray for us - 9 nov 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, FRANCISCAN, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 8 November – Pope Benedict on Blessed John Duns Scotus

Thought for the Day – 8 November – The Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus OFM (c 1265-1308)

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s

Catechesis on Blessed John Duns Scotus
General Audience – 7 July 2010

“The Immaculate Conception”

This morning, after several Catecheses on various great theologians, I would like to present to you another important figure in the history of theology.   He is Blessed John Duns Scotus, who lived at the end of the 13th century.   An ancient epitaph on his tombstone sums up the geographical coordinates of his biography:  “Scotland bore me, England received me, France taught me, Cologne in Germany holds me”.   We cannot disregard this information, partly because we know very little about the life of Duns Scotus.   He was probably born in 1266 in a village called, precisely, “Duns”, near Edinburgh.
Attracted by the charism of St Francis of Assisi, he entered the Family of the Friars Minor and was ordained a priest in 1291.   He was endowed with a brilliant mind and a tendency for speculation, which earned him the traditional title of Doctor subtilis, “Subtle Doctor”.

Mary is the subject of the Doctor subtilis’ thought.   In the times of Duns Scotus the majority of theologians countered with an objection that seemed insurmountable, the doctrine which holds that Mary Most Holy was exempt from original sin from the very first moment of her conception – in fact, at first sight the universality of the Redemption brought about by Christ might seem to be jeopardised by such a statement, as though Mary had had no need of Christ or His redemption.   Therefore the theologians opposed this thesis.   Thus, to enable people to understand this preservation from original sin Duns Scotus developed an argument that was later, in 1854, also to be used by Bl Pope Pius IX when he solemnly defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.   And this argument is that of “preventive Redemption”, according to which the Immaculate Conception is the masterpiece of the Redemption brought about by Christ because the very power of His love and His mediation obtained, that the Mother be preserved from original sin.   Therefore Mary is totally redeemed by Christ but already before her conception.   Duns Scotus’ confreres, the Franciscans, accepted and spread this doctrine enthusiastically and other theologians, often with a solemn oath, strove to defend and perfect it.

In this regard I would like to highlight a fact that I consider relevant.   Concerning the teaching on the Immaculate Conception, important theologians like Duns Scotus enriched what the People of God already spontaneously believed about the Blessed Virgin and expressed in acts of devotion, in the arts and in Christian life in general with the specific contribution of their thought.   Thus faith both in the Immaculate Conception and in the bodily Assumption of the Virgin was already present in the People of God, while theology had not yet found the key to interpreting it in the totality of the doctrine of the faith.   The People of God therefore precede theologians and this is all thanks to that supernatural sensus fidei, namely, that capacity infused by the Holy Spirit that qualifies us to embrace the reality of the faith with humility of heart and mind. In this sense, the People of God is the “teacher that goes first” and must then be more deeply examined and intellectually accepted by theology.

May theologians always be ready to listen to this source of faith and retain the humility and simplicity of children!   I mentioned this a few months ago saying: “There have been great scholars, great experts, great theologians, teachers of faith who have taught us many things.   They have gone into the details of Sacred Scripture… but have been unable to see the mystery itself, its central nucleus…. The essential has remained hidden!… On the other hand, in our time there have also been “little ones” who have understood this mystery.   Let us think of St Bernadette Soubirous; of St Thérèse of Lisieux, with her new interpretation of the Bible that is “non-scientific’ but goes to the heart of Sacred Scripture”

Dear brothers and sisters, Bl Duns Scotus teaches us that in our life the essential is to believe that God is close to us and loves us in Jesus Christ and, therefor,e to cultivate a deep love for Him and for His Church.   We on earth are witnesses of this love.   May Mary Most Holy help us to receive this infinite love of God, which we will enjoy eternally to the full in Heaven, when our soul is at last united to God for ever in the Communion of Saints.

Blessed John Duns Scotus, Pray for Us!bl john duns scotus pray for us - 8 nov 2018 no 2

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on UNITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 5 November – Feast of All Saints and Blesseds of the Society of Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 5 November – Feast of All Saints and Blesseds of the Jesuits

“If our church is not marked by caring for the poor,
the oppressed, the hungry, we are guilty of heresy.”if-our-church-st-iggy-31-july-2018

“Be generous to the poor orphans and those in need.
The man to whom our Lord has been liberal
ought not to be stingy.
We shall one day find in Heaven as much rest and joy
as we ourselves have dispensed in this life.”

St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)be-generous-to-the-poor-orphans-31-july-2018

“Take care, take care, never to close your heart to anyone!”

St Peter Faber (1506-1546)take-care-take-care-never-to-close-your-heart-to-anyone-st-peetr-faber - 2 aug 2018

“To do the will of God,
man must despise his own –
the more he dies to himself,
the more he will live to God.”

St Peter Claver SJ (1581-1654)to do the will of god - st peter claver - 5 nov 2018 all jesuit saints

“God gave Himself to you:
give yourself to God.”

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)god gave himself - st robert southwell - 21 feb 2018

“Any friend of the poor, is a friend of God.”any-friend-of-the-poor-is-a-friend-of-god-bl-john-sullivan-19-feb-2018

“Take life in instalments.
This one day now.
At least let this be a good day.
Be always beginning.”

Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)take-life-in-instalments-bl-john-sullivan-19-feb-2018

“I hold that every poor man,
every vagrant, every beggar,
is Christ carrying His cross.
And as Christ, we must love and help him.”i hold that every poor man - st alberto hurtado - 5 nov 2018 - all jesuit saints and blesseds

“Christ roams through our streets
in the person of so many
of the suffering poor, sick and dispossessed
and people thrown out of their miserable slums.
Christ huddled under bridges,
in the person of so many children
who lack someone to call father,
who have been deprived for many years,
without a mother’s kiss on their foreheads…
Christ is without a home!
Shouldn’t we want to give Him one,
those of us who have the joy of a comfortable home,
plenty of good food,
the means to educate
and assure the future of our children?”

St Alberto Hurtado SJ (1901-1952)christ roams through our streets - st alberto hurtado - 5 nov 2018 all jesuit saints.jpg

” To serve Christ is to love this concrete Church
and to serve her with generosity
and with the spirit of obedience.”to-serve-christ-is-to-love-this-concrete-church-pope-francis-31-july-2018

“Ask for the grace of shame;
the shame that comes from the constant dialogue of mercy with Him;
the shame that makes us blush before Jesus Christ;
the shame that puts us in tune with the heart of Christ who is made sin for me;
the shame that harmonises our heart in tears and accompanies us in the daily following of “my Lord”.

Pope Francis SJ – 31 July 2013 on the Feast of St Ignatiusask-for-the-grace-of-shame-pope-francis-31-july-2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 November – Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28b-34

One Minute Reflection – 4 November – Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:28b-34 -Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) and St Felix of Valois (1127-1212)

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 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 12:30-31

REFLECTION – “You cannot love God without loving your neighbour and you cannot love your neighbour without loving God.   In effect, the visible sign a Christian can show, in order to witness to his love for God to the world and to others, to his family, is the love he bears for his brothers, is the love of his people.   The Commandment to love God and neighbour is the first, not because it is at the top of the list of Commandments.   Jesus does not place it at the pinnacle but at the centre, because it is from the heart that everything must go out and to which everything must return and refer.
In the Old Testament, the requirement to be holy, in the image of God who is holy, included the duty to care for the most vulnerable people, such as the stranger, the orphan and the widow (cf. Ex 22:20-26).   Jesus brings this Covenant law to fulfilment, He who unites in Himself, in His flesh, divinity and humanity, a single mystery of love.
Now, in the light of this Word of Jesus, love is the measure of faith and faith is the soul of love.   We can no longer separate a religious life, a pious life, from service to brothers and sisters, to the real brothers and sisters that we encounter.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 26 October 2014)you shall love the lord your god - mark 12 30-31 - in the light of this word of jesus - pope francis - 4 nov 2018

PRAYER – God power and mercy, by whose grace, Your people give You praise and worthy service, help us to see Your face in our neighbour.   To love them all as we love You.   Save us from faltering on our way and grant us the joys You have promised  . St Felix of Valois and St Charles Borromeo kindly assist our journey by your prayers. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st felix of valois pray for us - 4 nov 2018

st-charles-pray-for-us-3-4 nov 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PURGATORY, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SOULS

One Minute Reflection – 2 November – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46- The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

One Minute Reflection – 2 November – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46- The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…’…Matthew 25:34matthew 25 34 come o blessed of my father - 2 nov all souls day

REFLECTION – “Yesterday and today, many have been visiting cemeteries, which, as the word itself implies, is the “place of rest”, as we wait for the final awakening.   It is lovely to think, that it will be Jesus Himself to awaken us.   Jesus Himself revealed, that the death of the body is like a sleep from which He awakens us.   But today we are called to remember everyone, even those who no one remembers.   We remember the victims of war and violence, the many “little ones” of the world, crushed by hunger and poverty, we remember the anonymous who rest in the communal ossuary.   We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they were Christian and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others.it is lovely to think that jesus himself - pope francis - 2 nov 2018

PRAYER – Let us raise this prayer to God:   “God of infinite mercy, we entrust to Your immense goodness all those who have left this world for eternity, where You wait for all humanity, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ Your Son, who died as a ransom for our sins.   Look not, O Lord, on our poverty, our suffering, our human weakness, when we appear before You to be judged for joy or for condemnation.   Look upon us with mercy, born of the tenderness of Your heart and help us to walk in the ways of complete purification.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 2 November 2014god of infinite mercy - prayer for the holy souls pope francis - 2 nov 2018