Thought for the Day – Tuesday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel: John 6:30–35 & the Memorial of Bl Andrés Hibernón Real O.F.M. (1534-1602) ‘Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration’

Thought for the Day – – Tuesday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Today’s Gospel:  John 6:30–35 & the Memorial of Bl Andrés Hibernón Real O.F.M. (1534-1602) ) ‘Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration’

Meditation on the Blessed Sacrament by St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)  – Most Zealous Doctor

Meditation, wherever it is made,
pleases God.
But it seems that Jesus,
especially delights in prayer,
made before the Blessed Sacrament.
Did he not leave Himself for us
in this sacrament to be food for our spirit
and to be present for all who seek Him?

We cannot all make pilgrimages
to the places where Jesus lived
but the Lord who died for us
on the cross of Calvary
now dwells in person,
in the tabernacle – waiting.

We need not await a command
as we would of an earthly king,
to enter His presence –
He is waiting for us
to lay before Him our wants
and to seek His help.
So that we may taste
the sweetness of His presence,
it is good to empty ourselves
of earthly desires.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46: 10

What pleasure is found in spending
a long time before the altar
where the Lord dwells!

What heavenly sweetness the Lord
allows us to taste and enjoy!

What should we do in the presence
of the Lord in the Eucharist?

We should stay there, not to enjoy
sweetness and consolation
but to give pleasure to God
by making acts of love, saying

O my God, I love

and desire nothing but You.

Grant that I may always love You;

then do with me and all I possess,

as You please.

These acts of love,
even when made without sensible delight,
please god greatly.
For good people often have to bear
with distractions and dryness in prayer.

As for distractions,
of these we must not make much account.
It is enough to drive them away
when they come.
Do not on this account leave off prayer.

Saint Francis de Sales said:

“If, in meditation, we do nothing
but drive away distractions,
our meditation would be of great profit.”

And as for dryness:
this is the greatest pain
for those given to prayer,
for we find ourselves without
any sensible desire of loving God.
Added to this, at times, is the fear
of being separated from God
because of our sins.
There is the feeling
of being in utter darkness
without any way of escape.
At such times let us unite our desolation
with that which Jesus suffered on the cross.

If we can say nothing else,
it is enough to say,
at least by an act of the will:

My God, I desire to love You.
Have pity on me;
Leave me not.

PRAYER of one in deep affliction.

My God, I love You tenderly
though I feel You far away.
I will seek You ceaselessly
lest from You I stray.
AMENmeditation on the blessed sacrament - st alphonsus liguori - 17 april 2018



Our Morning Offering – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

Our Morning Offering – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Before Holy Mass

O most blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of tenderness and mercy,
I, a miserable and unworthy sinner,
fly to you with all the affection of my heart
and I beseech your motherly love,
that, as you stood by your most dear Son,
while he hung on the Cross,
so, in your kindness,
you may be pleased to stand by me, a poor sinner,
and all Priests who today are offering the Sacrifice
here and throughout the entire holy Church,
so that with your gracious help
we may offer a worthy and acceptable oblation
in the sight of the most high and undivided Trinity.

(This prayer is adapted from the Priests’ Prayers Before each Mass)prayer to the blessed virgin before mass - 15 april 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 4 April – Easter Wednesday

Our Morning Offering – 4 April – Easter Wednesday

O God of Our Life
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

God of our life,
there are days when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders and weigh us down;
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies gray and threatening;
when our lives have no music in them
and our hearts are lonely
and our souls have lost their courage.
Flood the path with light,
run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship
with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage the souls of all
who journey with us on the road of life,
to your honour and glory.
Amengod of our life there are days when the burdens - st augustine - 4 april 2018


Our Morning Offering – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Our Morning Offering – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Act of Love
of Father Jean-Baptiste Muard O.S.B. (1809-1854)

Desiring to love Thee, my God,
as much as is possible to a feeble creature,
I desire that all my thoughts,
all my wishes, all my sentiments,
all my aspirations, all the pulsations of my heart,
all my movements, be so many acts of love.
I desire that every character I trace in writing,
every word, every letter I read,
be to me so many acts of love.
Would that I could offer Thee each day
as many acts of most fervent love
as there are grains of sand on the sea-shore,
leaves on the trees of the forest,
atoms in the air and created things
and multiply them to infinity.
I offer Thee, my God,
in compensation for my weakness,
all the acts of love of all the angels
and all the saints in heaven and earth;
all the acts of love of the most holy Virgin
and, above all, the acts of love
for Thee of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alas ! my God, that I cannot love Thee
as Thou deservest to be loved;
give me, then, the heart of a Seraph or, rather,
fill my heart with the love of all the Seraphim,
the love of all the Saints, the love of all hearts,
and increase it ever more and more
that I may love Thee as much as I desire to love Thee.
Amenact of love by fr jean-baptiste Muard OSB - desiring to love thee o my God - 28 march 2018 wed ofholy week

Father Jean-Baptiste Muard (1809-1854) was the founder of the Society of Saint Edmund and of the Benedictine Abbey of La-Pierre-Qui-Vire.



5 March 2018 – The Fifth Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis

5 March 2018 – The Fifth Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis

Congratulations on your Fifth Anniversary
Pope Francis! – 13 March 2018

Pope Francis: five years, five important gestures

The writings and homilies of a pope indicate much about his papacy.   Also his international presence and work within the Vatican demonstrate a large part of his mission.

Thus, Pope Francis’ actions transmit a more direct message than any encyclical ever could.   It is in this “encyclical of gestures” that the richness of his papacy lies.


From the first minute of his pontificate, he made it clear that the sick or poor have priority in every public meeting.   As an example, he has eaten lunch with them several times and some of his hugs with the sick have gone viral.


Pope Francis was the first pope to visit a female prison.   He also washed the feet of several inmates on Holy Thursday and visited ex-prostitute victims of the mafia.   He has firmly denounced labour abuse and sexual exploitation, especially facing women.

“Today I apologize to all of you.   For all the Christians, Catholics, who have abused you.”

“None of us is a ‘thing.’   We are all people.”

To him, the sensibility of women and motherhood are two key elements that he asks both the Church and the world to rediscover.   He says we must give women a greater role in the Church but this does not mean ordaining female priests or deacons.


This is one of his most political gestures but it sends a very Christian message.

During his visit to Bethlehem, the pope surprised the crowds by getting off the popemobile and praying before the wall built by Israel.

Something similar happened in Mexico when he prayed at the border that lines with the United States.   These are two places with different problems but both symbolise the great lack of dialogue that the pontiff is constantly calling out.


Pope Francis impacted the world by his simplicity.   He presented himself to the world without boasting, nor did he try to hide his weaknesses that have come with age.   He wears orthopaedic shoes and had to buy new ones in 2016.   To do so, he went to a normal business outside the Vatican.   It was the same when buying his glasses, which he bought like any citizen from an optician in the centre of Rome.


This is a gesture composed of hundreds of small actions, which are performed every week when he lets youngsters take a selfie with him, when he drinks mate or when he jokes with those he meets.

They are the small, but continuous daily gestures that crown him as one of the most-valued people in the world.

The latest poll conducted by Gallup International reveals that Pope Francis is the most-esteemed world leader, with 56 percent acceptance, seven points more than the second in the ranking:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel… RomeReportshappy 5th anniversary - 13 march 2018

Let us pray:

Prayer for Pope Francis

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful,
look favourably on Your servant Francis,
whom You have set 
at the head of Your Church as her shepherd;

Grant, we pray, that by word and example
he may be of service to those over whom he presides
so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care,
he may come to everlasting life.

Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father, Pope Francis
under the protection of Your Sacred Heart.
Be his light, his strength and his consolation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Amen.prayer for pope francis - 5th anniversary - 13 march 2018


Catholic Devotion for the Month: March is the Month of St Joseph!

Devotion for March
St Joseph

The month of March is dedicated to St Joseph.   Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus.   Holy Scripture proclaims him as a “just man” and the Church has turned to Joseph for his patronage and protection.   Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries (On the Devotion to St Joseph) in 1889 explains why we place so much trust in this saint:

“Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life’s companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And 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.”march devotion - st joseph - 1 march 2018

Daily Morning Prayer to St Joseph

Blessed Joseph, husband of Mary
Be with us this day.
You defended the Virgin
loving the Child Jesus as your son,
you rescued Him from danger of death.
Defend the Church, the household of God,
purchased by the blood of Christ.
Guardian of the Holy Family,
be with us in our trials,
may your prayers obtain for us
the grace to flee from error
and wrestle with the powers of corruption,
so that in life we may grow in holiness
and in death rejoice in the Crown of Victory.
Amendaily morning prayer to st joseph - 1 march 2018


The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions for March 2018

The Holy Father’s
Prayer Intentions for March 2018

Formation in Spiritual Discernment

That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in

spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.the holy father's prayer intentions for march 2018

A Living Message of God

1. The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.   Those who accept His offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness.   With Christ joy is constantly born anew.   In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangeliSation marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.

115. The People of God is incarnate in the peoples of the earth, each of which has its own culture.   The concept of culture is valuable for grasping the various expressions of the Christian life present in God’s people.   It has to do with the lifestyle of a given society, the specific way in which its members relate to one another, to other creatures and to God. Understood in this way, culture embraces the totality of a people’s life.   Each people in the course of its history develops its culture with legitimate autonomy.   This is due to the fact that the human person, “by nature stands completely in need of life in society” and always exists in reference to society, finding there a concrete way of relating to reality. The human person is always situated in a culture: “nature and culture are intimately linked”.   Grace supposes culture and God’s gift becomes flesh in the culture of those who receive it.

117. When properly understood, cultural diversity is not a threat to Church unity.   The Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son, transforms our hearts and enables us to enter into the perfect communion of the blessed Trinity, where all things find their unity.   He builds up the communion and harmony of the people of God.   The same Spirit is that harmony, just as He is the bond of love between the Father and the Son.   It is He who brings forth a rich variety of gifts, while at the same time creating a unity which is never uniformity but a multifaceted and inviting harmony.   Evangelisation joyfully acknowledges these varied treasures which the Holy Spirit pours out upon the Church. We would not do justice to the logic of the incarnation if we thought of Christianity as monocultural and monotonous.   While it is true that some cultures have been closely associated with the preaching of the Gospel and the development of Christian thought, the revealed message is not identified with any of them;  its content is transcultural. Hence in the evangelisation of new cultures, or cultures which have not received the Christian message, it is not essential to impose a specific cultural form, no matter how beautiful or ancient it may be, together with the Gospel.   The message that we proclaim always has a certain cultural dress but we in the Church can sometimes fall into a needless hallowing of our own culture and thus show more fanaticism than true evangelising zeal…EVANGELII GAUDIUM OF THE HOLY FATHER, FRANCIS

Reflection:  The Holy Father says that the expression of truth can take different forms.   In the same way that each individual member of the community needs to re-examine themselves and critically establish if we are not too set in our ways, in practising and promoting customs, which are no longer relevant and also labelling any changes within the Church, as wrong and undesirable.   The message of God remains the same – that really is all that matters.   However, the manner in which we express and live it, has to adapt to the society and culture that is being addressed.   Let us keep an open heart and mind always and know, that where we are in the world, is not where my brother or sister, in the Mystical Body, is!


Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace: 23 February 2018 Especially for People of Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan

Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace:  23 February 2018

Especially for People of Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudanday if prayer and fasting DRC & SOUTH SUDAN - 23 feb 2018

Pope Francis has called on all local Churches to join him in a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, on 23 February (Friday of the first week of Lent).   On 4 February he said:

“In the face of the tragic protraction of situations of conflict in different parts of the world, I invite all the faithful to a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace next 23 February, Friday of the First Week of Lent. We will offer it in particular for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan. As on other similar occasions, I also invite non-Catholic and non-Christian brothers and sisters to associate themselves to this initiative in the way they consider most opportune, but all together.

Our heavenly Father always listens to His children who cry to Him in sorrow and anguish, who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). I make a heartfelt appeal so that we also listen to this cry and, each one of us in his/her own conscience before God, ask ourselves: “What can I do for peace?” We certainly can pray but not only: each one can say concretely “no” to violence in as much as it depends on him or her. Because the victories obtained with violence are false victories while working for peace does everyone good!”

Daily Prayer for Healing from Racism

Loving God, You hold us in Your hands
for we are all made in Your image.
Help us to celebrate our differences.
Help us to use our diversity
to share with each other
the richness of our many cultures,
languages and backgrounds.
Help us to dissolve racism
still found in our hearts
and in the Church
and help us work for a loving society
in which none are despised
and discriminated against
by virtue of their colour.
We ask this through Jesus, our Lord,
who taught His disciples
to see beyond all human division
and reach out to the good within each person.
In the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever.
Amen.daily prayer for healing from racism - 23 feb 2018


21 February 2018 – Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

21 February 2018 – Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Jonah 3:1-10, Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19, Luke 11:29-32

Jonah 3:6-10 – Then tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it.
Luke 11:29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”wed of the first week - 21 feb 2018

It’s quite a mystery – that Jonah, a mere man and a reluctant prophet was able to bring an entire city back to God.   But Jesus, who is God in person, fails.   What can we make of this?   Maybe we can just settle for the perverseness of fallen human nature – our unwillingness to respond to divine goodness, even when, at times, we recognise it.

Sin itself is a mystery.   We know what harm it does to ourselves and to others and yet we deliberately choose to commit it.   Would we have been converted by the preaching of Jesus?   Does His presence now, in the Gospel, bring us back to Him?   Why is it that year after year, we need the preaching, of Jesus, of John the Baptist, of the prophets?

I suspect that part of Jonah’s effectiveness resulted from the kind of motivation he inspired – he SCARED the Ninevites into conversion.   Inspired by fear or not, the conversion was genuine and the Lord God “saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way”.

All this throws light on our own Lenten journey, it makes us examine our motives for these Lenten practices.   We don’t have to observe a strict fast as in the old days but the Church will never give up telling her people of the serious need for self-discipline in their lives.   She knows that if we do not control our appetites, they will control us and deprive us of our humanity and any chance of eternal life.

“With all your heart turn to me” says the Lord, ” for I am tender and compassionate” (Gospel Verse)

And it is noteworthy that the Church has us respond to the story of the Ninevites’ conversion by putting into our hearts and mouths the familiar penitential Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new and righty spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence and take not thy holy Spirit from me.   Restore to me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

What are my motives for these Lenten practices?
Have I appetites that tend to overpower me?
What can I do to ‘turn around’ and amend my life?

Fr E Lawrence OSB – Daily Meditations for Lent

I Wish to Clasp Your Hand – Do Not Refuse Me!
Prayer of Eugene de Ferronays

“Dear Lord! It is just when I am in the world
that I have most need of You
because You know it is full of snares
that the devil has set for me.
You must hold my hand, dear Lord,
if You will not abandon me.
A little of the world is not bad for me;
it is even good, for it teaches me how small it is
and I feel the greater happiness
when I come back to You.
But that I may surely do so,
You must only loose Your hold a little,
that it may not try me too far,
You must not entirely leave hold.
Do You see dear Lord?
I wish to clasp Your hand – do not refuse me!”i wish to clasp your hand - do not refuse me - eugene de ferronays - 21 feb 2018 - lenten prayer

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.

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