Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, The WORD

18 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Year B

18 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Year B

Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15

Mark 1:15 – “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Psalm 25:4 – Make me to know thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy pathsthe first sunday of lent - 18 feb 2018

Lent is a kind of desert.   A time set apart to pray with greater focus and intensity.
A time to fast from what distracts us from what is most important – that good news!
When the outside noise is quietened, we are more in touch with the inner pulls that are going on inside of us.
It is not always a comfortable space to be!
We are used to be anaesthetised to the tugs of the Holy Spirit calling us to something new, something more and often we struggle to be free from the attachment to things, we would prefer them staying just as they are, thank you.

But now we seek to emerge, like Jesus, from our desert time of Lent, strengthened and renewed.
We have a new energy and courage to respond to whatever God is asking of us in this moment of our lives.
Part of that time is to spend true moments, as Jesus did, listening to the Father.   We must create some desert space.
Is there a time we can safeguard each day for prayer?
Can we reduce the clutter of too much external stimulation from TV, social media, so that we can tune into what God is saying, what the Holy Spirit is wanting us to notice?

Be sure to find that “desert time and space” each day.
What are those inner concerns, questions, worries with which the Spirit is driving you into that desert this Lent?
Imagine yourself with Jesus in the desert.   Enter into conversation with Him.
Fr Nicholas King SJ – Long Journey to the Resurrection

Christus.   Behold a matter that is deeply displeasing to Me, namely, how few there are who recognise the value of time, the time that I lend to men for doing penance, for increasing the grace given them, for acquiring heavenly glory.   Lo, the acceptable yet irrevocable time, passes and no one is considering it in his heart;   the days of salvation are slipping by and no one makes the occasion of their flight a reason for using well what can never return.

But you, as far as you are able, flee the things of time, such as acquaintanceship, speech-making and occupations of small profit and because the days are evil, redeem the time that should be given rather to Me and to your soul than to others.   Is My proposition hard and difficult?   Observe how much time is given up to the body for food and sleep, to conversation, banquets and the rest, so that you cannot give ever so small a portion to God, to your soul, to eternity!   Alas, how prodigal men are of time when it is a question of serving vanity, how sparing of it when it is a case of occupying themselves with His business to whom all time is owed.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths…Psalm 25:4

Keep me, O God, from pettiness.
Let us be large in thought, word and deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding
and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
and meet each other face to face
without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgement
and always generous.
Let us take time for all things.
Make us grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses
and make us straight-forward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realise
that it is the little things in life that create differences;
that in the big things we are all as one.
And, O Lord God,
Let us not forget to be kind.
Amen

Mary Stuart’s Prayer (Mary Queen of Scots) 

keep me o god, from pettiness - mary stuart's prayer - first sun of lent - 18 feb 2018

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOMILIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis and MORE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, The WORD

Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018

Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 17 February 2018
Isaiah 58:9-14, Psalms 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32

Show me Lord, your way, so that I may walk in your truth.

Isaiah 58:9-10: “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke,
the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your darkest hour will be like noon.
Luke 5:32: “I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.”saturday after ash wed - 17 feb 2018

Isaiah makes it abundantly clear that it is our service to the poor and the weak that wins God’s favour, not lifeless religious practices.   The message becomes most meaningful in modern society, marked by unfair distribution of resources, hatred, violence, abuse and mutual accusations.   It is only when we strive against such evils that we win God’s approval.   “You shall be like the watered garden” the prophet says.   The image stands for the possession of every good thing that we desire.

The Gospel speaks of the call of Levi.   His joy was so great that he could hardly contain it.
He organised a party for his fellow tax-collectors, which unfailingly earned the criticism of the Pharisees.   Jesus’ answer was that His mission was precisely to wrongdoers, to the least and the lost.   These words indeed offer us hope when we stray and urge us to reach out to others as Jesus did.
That is the Christian calling, that is the Christian ‘job’!
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – Gods Word)

Don’t you wonder what it was about Levi that moved Jesus to call him?   And what was it that caused Levi to respond?
He must have been a pretty successful man in economic terms but as a tax collector, he was undoubtedly not popular in his own community and was seen as a collaborator with Rome.   Perhaps he had a nagging sense of “there must be something more to life”. perhaps a sense of emptiness and sadness.   Something touched him so deeply at Jesus call, that he let go of a previous way of life and opened himself instantly to the gift being offered.   He was overjoyed, he was filled with joy, he was joyous, he bubbled over and threw a big party in order to share his joy!   And Jesus attended the party!   He was at the party!   He is at our party too when we allow Him entrance to our hearts.

When asked who he is, Pope Francis responded “I am a sinner, whom the Lord has looked upon.”   When we are able to see ourselves as Pope Francis does, as loved sinners, we are open to receive the forgiveness and help God longs to give us.   When we are aware of ourselves as sinners, loved and called by God, we respond with a deep sense of repentance, gratitude and joy, we throw that party and invite other sinners to join us.   We simply have to share the joy!

Where do I experience my own sinfulness?
How is this awareness a gift?
Spend some time with Jesus today sharing with Him your struggles and Your need of His help.
Have a party with Him!
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

My soul, what have you done for God?
Look o’er your misspent years and see;
See first what you have done for God,
And then what God has done for thee!

Daily Lenten Prayer

Today Lord, I choose life,
I choose Your love
and the challenge to live it and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens,
day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength
and power ever more deeply in my life.
May this truly be for me a time of new life,
of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day.
Amen

my soul what have you done for god - daily lenten prayer 17 feb 2018

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

Thursday after Ash Wednesday – 15 February 2018

Thursday after Ash Wednesday – 15 February 2018
Deuteronomy 30: 15-30 – See, I set before you life or death, blessing or curse.
Luke 9: 22-25 – ‘if anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me’.lent - thursday after ash wed - 15 feb 2018

The readings today put the choice for God or against God in stark and dramatic terms. Choose God and follow His ways and you will be happy and live.   Choose against God and you will destroy yourself.   The Gospel echoes this in the warning that one can win the world but in the process, lose oneself.

We often hear of good and gifted people who were led to compromise their following of Christ.   Something hooked them – whether wealth, prestige, sex or power and gradually led them to start making choices which increasingly led them away from their truest selves.   When there are things in our lives which we don’t want others we respect to know about, that is often a clue that something is off-key!

Today we are invited to reflect on our choices.   The decision to follow Christ and take up our cross each day is a challenging one and one which is gradually consolidated or undermined every day in each of our choices.

When I think over the last week of my life, does it reflect what I would hope someone would be able to say about me at my funeral?

Is there some area of my life which I feel compelled to keep a secret?

What one good daily action could I choose which could deepen my relationship with God and could manifest that “taking up my cross” each day?  (excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)

O Holy Spirit of God,
take me as Your disciple; 
guide me,
illuminate me,
sanctify me.
Bind my hands,
that they may do no evil;
cover my eyes,
that they may see it no more;
sanctify my heart,
that evil may not dwell within me. 
Be You my God;   
be You my guide.
Wherever You lead me I will go;   
whatever You forbid me I will renounce;   
whatever You command me, in Your strength, I will do.   
Lead me, then,
unto the fullness of Your truth.
Amen
Cardinal Henry Edward Manning (1806-1892)
”Prayer a Day for Lent”o holy spirit of god - cardinal h e manning - 1808-1892 - prayer a day for lent - 15 feb 2018

 

 

 

 

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Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018

Ash Wednesday – 14 February 2018

Joel 2:12-18, 2 Corinthians 5:20 — 6:2, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

At the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, ashes are blessed during Mass, after the homily.   The blessed ashes are then “imposed” on the faithful as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality.   The ashes are blessed at least during the first Mass of the day but they may also be imposed during all the Masses of the day, after the homily and even outside the time of Mass to meet the needs of the faithful.   Priests or deacons normally impart this sacramental but instituted acolytes, other extraordinary ministers or designated lay people may be delegated to impart ashes, if the bishop judges that this is necessary.   The ashes are made from the palms used at the previous Passion Sunday ceremonies. …— Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J Elliott

The act of putting on ashes symbolises fragility and mortality and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God.   Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolise that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptised are called during Lent. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

From the very early times the commemoration of the approach of Christ’s passion and death was observed by a period of self-denial.   St Athanasius in the year 339 enjoined upon the people of Alexandria the 40 days’ fast he saw practised in Rome and elsewhere, “to the end that while all the world is fasting, we who are in Egypt should not become a laughing stock as the only people who do not fast but take our pleasure in those days.” On Ash Wednesday in the early days, the Pope went barefoot to St Sabina’s in Rome “to begin with holy fasts the exercises of Christian warfare, that as we do battle with the spirits of evil, we may be protected by the help of self-denial.

“In the course of this trial of forty days, which our weakness only finds long, we shall not be deprived of our Saviour’s presence.   He has preceded and outpaced us on the royal road.   He has tried it and accomplished its course before us, in order to answer, by His example, the excuses and arguments our self-indulgence or pride may urge.   Let us accept the lesson fully and so arrive at an understanding of the law of expiation.   “Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is drawing near.”   Let us open our heart to this appeal, that the Saviour may not be compelled to awake us from our lethargy by the terrible threat He employed on another occasion:  “If you do not repent you shall all perish.”...Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger

“The enormity of the fact that Christ has, on our behalf, already taken the most extreme punishment upon Himself, should move us, not to leave Him isolated.   It should also inspire us to rejoice that another has taken our place in representing sin before God – for not to rejoice at that, would be a further enormity.   Instead of leaving Him alone, we should be moved to enter into His suffering for us, doing together with Him, what little we can do, to atone for the world’s sin!”…Hans Urs von Balthasar “Light of the World”instead of leaving him alone - hans urs - 14 feb 2018 ash wed

ACT OF CONTRITION

Forgive my sins, O my God, forgive my sins:
the sins of youth,
the sins of age;
the sins of my soul
and the sins of my body;
the sins which, through frailty, I have committed;
my deliberate and grievous sins,
the sins I know and the sins I do not know,
the sins I have laboured so long to hide from others,
that now they are hidden from my own memory;
let me be absolved from all these iniquities
and delivered from the bond of all these evils,
by the Life, Passion, and Death
of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amenact of contrition - ash wed - 14 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Our Morning Offering on The FOURTH International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons – 8 February 2018

PRAYER to END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

O God, when we hear of children and adults
deceived and taken to unknown places
for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labour
and organ ‘harvesting’,
our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry
that their dignity and rights are ignored
through threats, lies and force.
We cry out against the evil practice
of this modern slavery,
and pray with Saint Bakhita for it to end.
Give us wisdom and courage to reach out
and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits
have been so wounded, so that together we may
make real Your promises to fill these sisters and brothers
with a love that is tender and good.
Send the exploiters away empty-handed
to be converted from this wickedness,
and help us all to claim the freedom
that is Your gift to Your children, amen.thrid-int-day-of-prayer-humantrafficking-st-bakhita-8-feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

The FOURTH International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons under the Patronage of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947) – 8 February 2018

The FOURTH International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons under the Patronage of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947) – 8 February 2018

2018 theme of the Day of Prayer and Awareness:

“Migration without trafficking. Say yes to Freedom and No to slavery”world day against trafficking theme - 8 feb 2018

Speaking on the eve of the Day of Prayer and Awareness Raising against Human Trafficking, 7 February 2018, Pope Francis urged civil society and institutions to take concrete action to protect the victims and eliminate this terrible scourge that affects so many forced migrants and refugees.

Pope Francis noted that many migrants are forced to choose illegal channels of migration where they are submitted to  “abuse of every kind, exploitation and slavery.”

He noted that criminal organizations that engage in the trafficking of persons make use of migratory routes to hide their victims among the migrants and refugees.

Pope Francis also asked for prayers so that “the Lord may convert the hearts of traffickers and give hope to those who suffer because of this shameful scourge so they may regain their freedom”. 

 “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” said William Wilberforce, an English politician, philanthropist, theologian and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade who lived in the XVIII/XIX century.  

Daily Prayer to End Human Trafficking

God of goodness and mercy,
Rewarder of the humble,
You blessed St Josephine Bakhita of Sudan
with charity and patience.
May her prayers help us and her example
inspire us to carry our cross
and to love You always.
Pour upon us the spirit of wisdom
and love with which you filled St Josephine Bakhita,
by serving You as she did.
May her prayers on behalf of those enslaved
bring awareness and an end to this evil practice.
May we too please You by our faith and actions,
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union
with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.second-prayer-to-end-human-trafficking-2018

 

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

BLESSING of ST BLAISE

3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316)

THROAT BLESSING of ST BLAISE

Although separated by customs, language, politics and more, Catholics around the world celebrate many of the same God-inspired devotional acts, practices and rituals handed down through the centuries by Holy Mother Church.   Such a devotion is the optional memorial celebrating St Blaise and the blessing of throats today, every 3 February.

Throat blessings
The candles used in the blessing of throats may be those blessed yesterday, on Candlemas, or when blessed during the St. Blaise memorial.

With the crossed candles touched to the throat of each person, the celebrant says immediately:

Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness.    In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

Each person responds:  Amen.blessing of st blaise - 3 feb 2018

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Uncategorized, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

NOVENA to OUR LADY of LOURDES – DAY ONE – 2 FEBRUARY

NOVENA to OUR LADY of LOURDES – DAY ONE – 2 FEBRUARY (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)

O Mary Immaculate,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
virgin and mother, queen of heaven,
chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word
and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin,
we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes
and pray with childlike trust in you
that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes,
you will look with mercy on our present petition
and secure for us a favorable answer to the request
for which we are making this novena.
……………………………………(make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity,
Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes,
glorious in your assumption,
triumphant in your coronation,
show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God,
Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.day one - our lady of lourdes - 2 feb 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CONSECRATION Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, VOCATIONS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Thought for the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

On this holy feast-day we each have an opportunity to consecrate our lives anew to the Lord.    How do we do this?    We can simply make a prayer of re-dedication to God which can take many forms.    It can be a simple heartfelt prayer reaffirming our baptismal promises or a re-visiting of our religious or marriage vows.    Or it can be a prayer which asks the Holy Spirit to renew our sense of vocation as a priest or religious or as a lay person in our chosen job, trade or profession.
We gave our life to the Lord when we were baptised but the call to conversion continues to resound throughout our lives and ‘this second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole church’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1428).    A re-dedication or renewal of vows or promises is a movement of conversion within our heart and is always a work of the Holy Spirit.
Today, step out in faith, whatever your vocation, whatever your calling and give your life to the Lord, in the assurance of God’s grace, blessing and renewal in the power of the Holy Spirit.

LET US PRAY FOR ALL CONSECRATED MEN & WOMEN AND FOR VOCATIONS:

Loving God, You call all who believe in You
to grow perfect in love
by following in the footsteps
of Christ Your Son.
Call from among us more men and women
who will serve You as religious.
Open the hearts of many, raise up
faithful servants of the Gospel, dedicated,
holy priests, sisters, brothers and deacons,
who will spend themselves for Your people
and their needs.
Bless those who are serving now
with courage and perseverance.
Grant that many will be inspired by their
example and faith.
By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign
of Your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.prayer for the consecrated and vocations - 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 28 January – The Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor communis (Common Doctor)

Our Morning Offering – 28 January – The Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor angelicus (Angelic Doctor) and Doctor communis (Common Doctor)

PRAYER before HOLY MASS
By St Thomas Aquinas
(1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor and Common Doctor

Almighty and ever-living God,
we approach the sacrament
of Your only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We come to the Doctor of Life
unclean, to the Fountain of Mercy,
blind, to the Radiance of Eternal Light
and poor and needy
to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord, in Your great generosity,
heal our sicknesses,
wash away our defilements,
enlighten our blindness,
enrich our poverty
and clothe our nakedness.
May we receive the bread of angels,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
with humble reverence,
with the purity and faith,
the repentance and love
and the determined purpose
that will help to bring us to salvation.
May we receive the sacrament
of the Lord’s Body and Blood
and its reality and power.
Loving Father, as on our earthly pilgrimage
we now receive Your beloved Son
in the holy sacrifice of this Mass,
may we one day see Him face to face in glory,
who lives and reigns with You for ever,
AMEN.prayer before holy mass - st thomas aquinas - 28 jan 2018

PRAYER after HOLY COMMUNION
By St Thomas Aquinas
(1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor and Common Doctor

Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
I thank You, for even though I am a sinner,
Your unprofitable servant,
not because of my worth
but in the kindness of Your mercy,
You have fed me
with the Precious Body and Blood
of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion,
may not bring me condemnation
and punishment
but forgiveness and salvation.
May it be a helmet of faith
and a shield of good will.
May it purify me from evil ways
and put an end to my evil passions.
May it bring me charity and patience,
humility and obedience
and growth in the power to do good.
May it be my strong defense
against all my enemies,
visible and invisible
and the perfect calming
of all my evil impulses,
bodily and spiritual.
May it unite me more closely to You,
the One true God
and lead me safely through death
to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner,
to the banquet where You,
with Your Son and holy Spirit,
are true and perfect light,
total fulfillment, everlasting joy,
gladness without end
and perfect happiness to Your saints.
Grant this through Christ our Lord,
AMEN.prayer after holy communion by st thomas aquinas - 28 jan 2018