Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” …….John 20: 13-15
REFLECTION – “When Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: “The disciples went back home,” and it adds: “but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.” We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for Him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see Him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: “Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved….Jesus says to her: Mary. Jesus is not recognised when He calls her “woman”; so He calls her by name, as though He were saying: ‘Recognise me as I recognise you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself.’ And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking. She immediately calls Him ‘Rabboni’, that is to say, teacher, because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.” – from a homily by St Pope Gregory the Great
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ made Mary of Magdala the first herald of Easter joy. Grant that, following her example and helped by her prayers, we may, in this life, proclaimn he living Christ and come to se Him reigning with You in glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 21 July – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor
“It is surprising that St Lawrence of Brindisi was able to continue without interruption his work as an appreciated and unflagging preacher in many cities of Italy and in different countries, in spite of holding other burdensome offices of great responsibility. Indeed, within the Order of Capuchins he was professor of theology, novice master, for several mandates minister provincial and definitor general, and finally, from 1602 to 1605, minister general. In the midst of this mountain of work, Lawrence cultivated an exceptionally fervent spiritual life. He devoted much time to prayer and, especially, to the celebration of Holy Mass — often protracted for hours — caught up in and moved by the memorial of the Passion, death and Resurrection of the Lord.
Moreover, with the unmistakable ardour of his style, Lawrence urged everyone and not only priests, to cultivate a life of prayer, for it is through prayer that we speak to God and that God speaks to us: “Oh, if we were to consider this reality!”, he exclaimed. “In other words that God is truly present to us when we speak to Him in prayer; that He truly listens to our prayers, even if we pray only with our hearts and minds. And that not only is He present and hears us, indeed He willingly and with the greatest of pleasure wishes to grant our requests”.
St Lawrence of Brindisi teaches us to love Sacred Scripture, to increase in familiarity with it, to cultivate daily relations of friendship with the Lord in prayer, so that our every action, our every activity, may have its beginning and its fulfilment in Him. This is the source from which to draw so that our Christian witness may be luminous and able to lead the people of our time to God.”…….Pope BENEDICT XVI (General Audience) – St. Peter’s Square, Wednesday, 23 March 2011
“The word of God is replete with manifold blessings, since it is, so to speak, a treasure of all goods. It is the source of faith, hope, charity, all virtue, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the beatitudes of the Gospel, all good works, all the rewards of life, all the glory of paradise…For the word of God is a light to the mind and a fire to the will. It enables man to know God and to love Him. And for the interior man who lives by the Spirit of God through grace, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, a water better than wine and milk. For the soul it is a spiritual treasure of merits yielding an abundance of gold and precious stones. Against the hardness of a heart that persists in wrongdoing, it acts like a hammer. Against the world, the flesh and the devil it serves as a sword that destroys all sin.”
“The Holy Spirit sweetens the yoke of the divine law and lightens its weight, so that we may observe God’s commandments with the greatest of ease and even with pleasure”
St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor
“I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.”………..Matthew 12:6
REFLECTION – “My dear souls, let us recognize, I pray you, Christ’s infinite charity towards us in the institution of this Sacrament of the Eucharist. In order that our love be a spiritual love, He wills a new heart, a new love, a new spirit for us. It is not with a carnal heart but with a spiritual one, that Christ has loved us with a gratuitous love, a supreme and most ardent love, by way of pure grace and charity. Ah! One needs to love Him back with one’s whole, whole, whole, living, living, living and true, true, true heart!!” …… St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor
PRAYER – Lord God, You bestowed on St Lawrence of Brindisi the spirit of counsel and fortitude, so that Your name might be glorified and souls be saved. At the intercession of St Lawrence, grant that we may see what we have to do and, in Your mercy give us the strength to do it and the courage, love and charity to persevere. Grant above all, that by his prayers we may love You above all and with all we are. St Lawrence pray for us, amen.
“Let sleep find you holding your Bible and when you head nods let it be resting on the sacred page.”
St Jerome (343-420) One of the Original 4 Doctors
“The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind’s eye. In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And there too we discover the progress we are making and how far we are from perfection.”
St Gregory the Great (540-604) One of the Original 4 Doctors
“The Old Testament is like a radio with its hidden voice announcing the One to come. The New Testament is like a television because the Word became both audible and visible.”
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Today is the Feast of St John Plessington, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, he was imprisoned for two months and then hung, drawn and quartered on 19 July 1679. Here are the words of the speech the saint gave before his martyrdom:
The scaffold speech of Fr John Plessington
The Scaffold Speech Page 1
The Scaffold Speech Page 2
I am here to be executed, neither for Theft, Murder, nor anything against the Law of God, nor any fact or Doctrine inconsistent with Monarchy or Civil Government. I suppose several now present heard my trial the last Assizes and can testify that nothing was laid to my charge but Priesthood and I am sure that you will find that Priesthood is neither against the Law of God nor Monarchy, or Civil Government. If you will consider either the Old or New Testament (for it is the Basis of Religion […], St Paul tells us in Hebrews 7:12 that the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the Law, and consequently the Priesthood being abolished, the Law and Religion is quite gone.
But I know it will be said that a Priest ordained by authority derived from the See of Rome is by the Law of Nation to die as a Traitor, but if that be so what must become of all the Clergymen or England, for the first Protestant Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or none at all, as appears by their own writers, so that Ordination comes derivatively to those now living.
As in the Primitive times, Christians were esteemed Traitors and suffered as such by National Law, so are the Priests of the Roman Church here esteemed, and suffer such. But as Christianity then was not against the law of God, Monarchy or Civil Policy, so now there is not any one Point of the Roman Catholic Faith (of which Faith I am) that is inconsistent therewith, as is evident by induction in each several point.
That the Pope hath power to depose or give licence to Murder Princes is no point of our Belief. And I protest in the sight of God and the Court of Heaven that I am absolutely innocent of the Plot so much discoursed of, and abhor such bloody and damnable designs. And although it be Nine Weeks since I was sentenced to die, there is not anything of that laid to my charge, so that I may take comfort in St. Peter’s words, 1 Peter 14-16, “Let none of you suffer as a Murderer, or as a Thief, or as an Evil doer, or as a Busy Body in other men’s matters, yet if any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed or Sorry”. I have deserved a worse death, for though I have been a faithful and true Subject to my King, I have been a grievous sinner against God; [others would have lived] in a greater perfection [than] I have done had they received so many favours and graces from him as I have.
But as there was never sinner who truly repented and heartily called to Jesus for mercy, to whom he did not show mercy, so I hope by the merits of His Passion, He will have mercy on me, who am heartily sorry that ever I offended him.
Bear witness, good hearers, that I profess that I undoubtedly and firmly believe all the Articles of the Roman Catholic Faith, and for the truth of any of them (by the assistance of God) I am willing to die, and I had rather die than doubt of any Point of Faith, taught by our Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church.
In what condition Margaret Plat one of the chiefest witnesses against me was before and after she was with me, let her nearest relations declare. George Massey, another witness, swore falsely when he swore I gave him the Sacrament, and said Mass at the time and place he mentioned, and [I] verily think that he never spoke to me, or I to him, or saw each other but at the Assizes week. The third witness, Robert Wood, was suddenly killed but of the Dead why should I speak? These were all the witnesses against me, unless those that only declared what they heard from others. I heartily and freely forgive all that have been or are any way instrumental to my Death, and heartily desire that those that are living may heartily repent.
God bless the King and the Royal Family and grant his Majesty a prosperous Reign here and a crown of glory hereafter, God grant peace to the Subjects and that they live and die in true Faith, Hope, and Charity.
That which remains is that I recommend my self to the mercy of Jesus, by whose merits, I hope for mercy. O Jesus, be to me a Jesus.
And we too, recommend ourselves to the mercy of Jesus, now and at the hour of our death, amen. St John Plessington, pray for us!
“But I know it will be said that a Priest ordained by authority derived from the See of Rome is by the Law of Nation to die as a Traitor but if that be so, what must become of all the Clergymen or England, for the first Protestant Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome….?”
“Bear witness, good hearers, that I profess that I undoubtedly and firmly believe all the Articles of the Roman Catholic Faith and for the truth of any of them (by the assistance of God) I am willing to die and I had rather die than doubt of any Point of Faith, taught by our Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church.”
St John Plessington Martyred because he was a Priest by Elizabeth I of England