Posted in NOTES to Followers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The WORD

Appeal Update – 9 March

My gratitude, love and prayers to YOU!

Appeal Update:

“But thanks be to God,who always leads us in triumph in Christ..”

2 Corinthians 2:14

Holy Mass will be offered on Thursday 14 March for:

Marna Fisher
Sherry Potenziano
Patrick Orlando
Anne Marie Henniganholy mass in gratitude - marna sherry patrick anne marie - 9 march 2019.jpg

“Get used to lifting your heart to God,
in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day.
Because He gives you this and that.
Because you have been despised.
Because you haven’t what you need
or because you have.
Because He made His Mother so beautiful,
His Mother who is also your Mother.
Because He created the sun and the moon
and this animal and that plant.
Because He made that man eloquent
and you He left tongue-tied …
Thank Him for everything,
because everything is good.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)get used to lifting your heart to god - st josemaria - 9 march 2019.jpg

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Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENT 2019, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei

Shrove Tuesday – 5 March – Ready?

Shrove Tuesday – 5 March – Ready?

The English term provides the best meaning for this period – “To shrive” meant to hear confessions.   In the Anglo-Saxon “Ecclesiastical Institutes,” recorded by Theodulphus and translated by Abbot Aelfric about 1000, Shrovetide was described as follows:
“In the week immediately before Lent, everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor, shall so “shrive him,” as he then may hear by his deeds, what he is to do in the way of penance.”
To highlight the point and motivate the people, special plays or masques were performed which portrayed the passion of our Lord or final judgement.   Clearly, this Shrovetide preparation for Lent, included the confessing of sin and the reception of absolution.   As such, Lent then would become a time for penance and renewal of faith.

Who needs pancakes, we have far more important things to do!shrove tuesday - time for confession - 5 march 2019.jpg

Beginning of Lent:  A Time of Penance, Purification and Conversion

We are at the beginning of Lent, a time of penance, purification and conversion.   It is not an easy program but then Christianity is not an easy way of life.   It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by.   In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant.   But the later conversions are even more important and they are increasingly demanding.   To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young, we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to Him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask His pardon.

“’If you call upon me, I will listen to you,’ we read in holy scripture.   Isn’t it wonderful how God cares for us and is always ready to listen to us — waiting for man to speak?   He hears us at all times but particularly now.   Our heart is ready and we have made up our minds to purify ourselves.   He hears us and will not disregard the petition of a ‘humble and contrite heart.’

The Lord listens to us.   He wants to intervene and enter our lives to free us from evil and fill us with good.   ‘I will rescue him and honour him,’ he says of man.   So we must hope for glory.   Here again we have the beginning of the interior movement that makes up our spiritual life.   Hope of glory increases our faith and fosters our charity, the three theological virtues, godly virtues which make us like our Father God, have been set in motion.

What better way to begin Lent?   Let’s renew our faith, hope and love.   The spirit of penance and the desire for purification come from these virtues.   Lent is not only an opportunity for increasing our external practices of self-denial.   If we thought it were only that, we would miss the deep meaning it has in Christian living, for these external practices are — as I have said — the result of faith, hope and charity.”

St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975)
Christ is Passing By No 57

Explaining “Shrove” – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/the-meaning-of-shrove-tuesday-13-february-2018/beginning lent - our heart is ready - st josemaria escriva - 5 march 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – “Is not this the carpenter?”…Mark 6:3

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 6:1–6 and the Memorial of St Dorothy of Caesarea (Died 311) and St Paul Miki SJ (c 1564-1597) & Companions/Martyrs of Nagasaki – Martyrs

“Is not this the carpenter?”…Mark 6:3

REFLECTION – “Joseph loved Jesus as a father loves his son and he cared for Him, giving Him the best he had.   Joseph took charge of this child as he had been commanded and turned Jesus into a workman, passing on his craft to Him.   That is why their neighbours in Nazareth, when they spoke of Jesus, called Him, roughly speaking, a “carpenter” or “the son of a carpenter” (Mt 13:55)…
Jesus must have resembled Joseph in His traits of character and ways of working and talking.   His realism, His powers of observation, His way of sitting at table and breaking bread, His attraction for explaining His teaching in a concrete way by taking His examples from everyday things, reflect what Jesus’ childhood and youth were like and therefore His relationship with Joseph.   What depths there are in this mystery!   This Jesus, who is a man, who speaks with the accent of a particular region of Israel, who resembles a workman named Joseph, is indeed the Son of God.   And who can teach God anything?   Nevertheless, He is truly man and His life is a normal one – first a child, then a young man who helps Joseph in the workshop and finally, a mature man in the fullness of age:  “Jesus advanced in wisdom and grace before God and men” (Lk 2:52).
At the human level Joseph was Jesus’ master.   Day by day he surrounded Him with tender affection and cared for Him with joyful self-denial.   Is this not a very good reason for thinking this man to be just (Mt 1:19) – this saintly patriarch in whom the Old Testament faith reaches its climax as a master of the interior life?”…St Josémaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975)

“According to the people of Nazareth, God is too great to humble Himself to speak through such a simple man!   It is the scandal of the Incarnation – the unsettling event of a God made flesh, who thinks with the mind of a man, works and acts with the hands of a man, loves with a human heart, a God who struggles, eats and sleeps like one of us.
The Son of God overturns every human framework – it is not the disciples who washed the feet of the Lord but, it is the Lord who washed the feet of the disciples (cf. Jn 13:1-20). This is a reason for scandal and incredulity, not only in that period but in all ages, even today.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 8 July 2018mark 6 3 is not this the carpenter - the son of God overturns - pope francis 6feb2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, source of strength and grace, grant us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to love the Word of Your Son.   Make us recognise Your Son in our daily lives and be generous in sharing our faith to all we meet.   Grant, we pray, that the prayers of St Dorothy of Caesarea and St Paul Miki and companions, may help us to manifest zeal and courage.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

st dorothy of caesarea pray for us 6 feb 2019.jpg

MARTYRS OF NAGASAKI PRAY FOR US.jpg

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY NINE – 8 December

Our Lady Queen of Apostles

If we have this filial contact with Mary, we won’t be able to think just about ourselves and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind. Mary brings us to Jesus and Jesus is “the firstborn among many brothers.” And so, if we know Jesus, we realise that we can live only by giving ourselves to the service of others. Christians can’t be caught up in personal problems;they must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.  (Christ is Passing By, 145)

If we are imbued with this spirit, our conversations with God eventually aid other people, even though they may begin on an apparently personal level. And if we take our Lady’s hand, she will make us realise more fully that all men and women are our brothers and sisters – because we are all children of that God whose daughter, spouse and mother she is.  (Christ is Passing By, 145)

Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, our Lady is able to get each of her children to face their own responsibilities.
Mary always does the immense favour of bringing to the Cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behaviour may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother – you and me – with the firstborn Son of the Father.
Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so her counsel “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life.  (Christ is Passing By, 149)

Let us Pray

Mary, who brought Jesus up and accompanied Him
through His life and is now beside Him in heaven,
will help us recognise Jesus as He crosses our path
and makes Himself present to us in the needs of our
fellow men.

Our mother, you
brought to earth Jesus,
who reveals the love of
our Father God.
Help us to recognise Him
in the midst of the cares of each day.
Stir up our mind and will,
so that we may listen to the voice of
God, to the calls of grace.”

Sancta Maria, spes nostra, ancilla Domini, sedes
sapientiæ, ora por nobis! Holy Mary, our hope,
handmaid of the Lord, seat of wisdom, pray for us!
Amen
(Christ is Passing By, 149)imm conception - unknown

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY EIGHT – 7 December

Mary, our teacher in everyday life

We must imitate her natural and supernatural refinement. She is a privileged creature in the history of salvation, for in Mary “the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.”
But she is a reserved, quiet witness. She never wished to be praised, for she never sought her own glory. Mary is present at the mysteries surrounding the infancy of her Son but these are “normal” mysteries, so to speak. When the great miracles take place and the crowds acclaim them in amazement, she is nowhere to be found. In Jerusalem when Christ, riding a little donkey, is proclaimed king, we don’t catch a glimpse of Mary. But after all have fled, she reappears next to the Cross. This way of acting bespeaks personal greatness and depth, the sanctity of her soul….(Christ is Passing By, 173)

To become God-like, to be divinised, we must begin by being very human, accepting from God our condition as ordinary men and women, and sanctifying its apparent worthlessness. That is how Mary lived. She who is full of grace, the object of God’s pleasure, exalted above all the angels and the saints, lived an ordinary life.
Mary is as much a creature as we are, with a heart like ours, made for joy and mirth as well as suffering and tears. Before Gabriel communicates God’s plan to her, our Lady does not know she has been chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Messiah. She sees herself as a humble creature. That is why she can acknowledge, with full humility, that “he who is mighty has done great things” in her. (Christ is Passing By, 172)

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!
For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live. (Christ is Passing By, 148)

Let us Pray

We turn to Our Lady for protection, because we
can be quite sure that each of us, in our own
state in life – priest or lay-person, single, married
or widowed – if we are faithful in the daily
fulfilment of our duties, will achieve victory on
this earth, the victory of being always loyal to
Our Lord. And afterwards we will reach Heaven
and rejoice for ever in the friendship and love of
God, with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
(Prayer before Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24 May 1970)

Hail Mary full of grace!
It’s fair, gentle Lady,
for me to ask you for a present,
a proof of your affection –
contrition, compunction for my sins,
sorrow of love.
Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope.
Take me by the hand
and if there is anything in me now
that is displeasing to my Father God,
make me see it,
and between the two of us,
we’ll tear it out.
Amenhail mary full of grace, pray for us - 3 may 2018

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Again, all I can do is pray and beg of you all, your prayers too.   My country is in chaos, power is being ‘loadshedded’ on and off all day across the land.   Damage control is all we can do.   Much trauma to many systems and appliances.   The software I use to make my pics has also corrupted along with some other software.   I know others who have lost their telephone connections due to corrupted and burnt out telephone cables, etc etc.   Sorry!   Mary, our refuge and our strength!

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY SEVEN – 6 December

Mary, our refuge and our strength

When it comes to the scandal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary is there, hearing with sadness how “the passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads, ‘Come now, they said, you would destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue yourself; come down from that cross, if you are the Son of God’.”   Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to Him in His suffering, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure Heart like a sharp-edged sword.
Jesus is comforted anew by the quiet, loving presence of His Mother. Mary does not shout; she does not run about frantically. Stabat: she is there, standing next to her Son. It is then that Jesus looks at her and then turning His gaze to John He exclaims, “Woman, this is thy son.” Then He said to the disciple, “This is thy Mother.” In the person of John, Christ is entrusting all men to His Mother and especially His disciples: those who were to believe in Him.
Felix culpa the Church sings.   Happy fault, that has brought us so great and wonderful a Redeemer. Happy fault, we could add, which has merited that we should receive Mary as our Mother. Now we are safe. Nothing should worry us now, because Our Lady, the crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is omnipotent in her supplication before our Father God. Jesus cannot deny anything to Mary, nor to us, who are children of his own Mother. (Friends of God, 288)

Marvel at Mary’s courage: at the foot of the Cross, with the greatest of human sorrows – there is no sorrow like her sorrow – filled with fortitude. And ask her for that same strength, so that you too can remain beside the Cross. (The Way, 508)

Don’t let discouragement enter into your apostolate. You haven’t failed, just as Christ didn’t fail on the Cross. Take courage!… Keep going, against the tide, protected by Mary’s Immaculate and Motherly Heart: Sancta Maria, refugium nostrum et virtus!, you are my refuge and my strength. Hold your peace. Be calm… God has very few friends on earth. Don’t yearn to leave this world. Don’t shy away from the burden of the days, even though at times we find them very long. (The Way of the Cross, 13th Station, 3)

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!
For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live
(Christ is Passing By, 148)

Let us Pray

Say to her:

Mother, my Mother – yours,
because you are hers on many counts –
may your love bind me to your Son’s Cross,
may I not lack the Faith,
nor the courage,
nor the daring,
to carry out the will of our Jesus.
Amen
The Way, 497pieta carracci 1560-1609

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception – Apologies for the late arrival!

Sincere apologies for the late arrival of today’s Novena – I have been unable to post anything due to a national electricity crises!

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY SIX – 5 December

Holy Mary, our hope

Mary teaches us to hope.   She proclaimed: “All generations will call me blessed.”  Humanly speaking, how could she hope for such a thing?   Who was she, in the eyes of  the men and women of her time? The great heroines of the Old Testament – Judith, Esther, Deborah – won a measure of human glory even here on earth, for they were acclaimed and exalted by the people. Mary’s throne, by contrast, like that of her Son, is  the Cross. During the rest of her life, until she was taken body and soul into Heaven, what most impresses us about her is her quiet presence. St Luke, who knew her well, describes her as being close to the first disciples, in prayer. This was the way she lived to the end of her days on earth, she who was to be praised by all creatures for all eternity.
What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! So often we call upon God to reward us at once for any little good we have done. No sooner does the first difficulty appear than we start to complain. Often we are incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive. Why? Because we lack faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.” (Friends of God, 286)

Let us be full of hope! This is the great thing about being a contemplative soul. We live by Faith, Hope and Love and Hope makes us powerful. Do you remember what St John says? “I am writing to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have conquered the evil one.”  God is urging us on, for the sake of the eternal youthfulness of the Church and of all mankind.   You have the power to  transform everything human into something divine, just as King Midas turned everything he touched into gold!
Do not ever forget that after death you will be welcomed by Love itself. And in the love of God you will find as well all the noble loves which you had on earth. Our Lord has arranged for us to spend this brief day of our earthly existence working and, like His only-begotten Son, “doing good.”   Meanwhile we have to be on our guard, alert to the call St Ignatius of Antioch felt within his soul as the hour of his martyrdom approached.
“Come to the Father,” come to your Father, who anxiously awaits you.   (Friends of God, 221)

Let us Pray

Let us ask Holy Mary, Spes Nostra, our hope,
to kindle in us a holy desire that we may all
come together to dwell in the house of the
Father. Nothing need disturb us if we make up
our minds to anchor our hearts in a real longing
for our true fatherland. Our Lord will lead us
there with His grace and He will send a good
wind to carry our ship to the bright shores of
our destination.   (Friends of God, 221)

Teach us Holy Mother Mary,
teach us your holy hope!
This virtue that comes from the grace of God.
Intercede on our behalf that we may
be always guided by hope
that the great love of our Father,
will be our strength and our stay.
Pray for us Holy Mother of Hope.
Grant us your guiding hand.
AmenDAY SIX - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - HOLY MARY SPES NOSTRA OUR HOPE