Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 8 April – “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts.”

Quote of the Day – 8 April – Monday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Augustus Czartoryski SDB (1858-1893)

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts. My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the Lord…. One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” …Psalm 84[83]: 2, 11

“Blessed Augusto Czartoryski wrote these words of the Psalm, his motto of life, on the holy card of his first Mass.   In them is contained the rapture of a man who, following the voice of the call, discovers the beauty of the ministerial priesthood.   In them resounds the echo of the different choices that the person who is discerning God’s will and wishes to fulfil it must make. Augustus Czartoryski, a young prince, carefully prepared an effective method to discern the divine plan.   In prayer, he presented to God all questions and deep perplexities and then in the spirit of obedience he followed the counsel given by his spiritual guides.   In this way he came to understand his vocation and to take up the life of poverty to serve the “least”.   The same method enabled him throughout the course of his life to make decisions, so that today we can say that he accomplished the designs of Divine Providence in a heroic way.   I would like to leave this example of holiness especially to young people, who today search out the way to decipher God’s will relating to their own lives and desire to faithfully forge ahead each day according to the divine word.   My dear young friends, learn from Blessed Augustus to ask ardently in prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit and wise guides, so that you may understand the divine plan in your lives and are able to walk constantly on the path of holiness.”…St Pope John Paul on the Beatification of Blessed Augustus on Sunday, 25 April 2004bl-augustus-czartoryski-wrote-these-words-st-john-paul-8-april-2018.jpg

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896) Priest, Apostle of the Poor and Founder of the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici and the Ursuline Sisters of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate of which orders he is the Patron.bl zefirino.jpg

Blessed Zefirino Agostini was born in Verona, Italy on 24 September 1813.   He was the oldest son of his parents, his father was a physician, who died when Zefirino was very young.

Blessed Zefirino commenced his studies for the priesthood at the age of eighteen and was Ordained on 11 March 1837.    He was then and was assigned to a very poor parish in Verona.   There he established an after-school programs for girls, religious education for mothers and education for women.

He began a devotion to Saint Angela Merici for the female parishioners and founded the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici whose rule was approved by Bishop Ricabona in 1856.

On All Souls Day of that same year, he opened his first charitable school of poor girls.  In 1860, local women who worked in the school chose community life and Father Agostini prepared the first rule for the community and on 24 September 1869, the first 12 Ursulines made their profession.   On 18 November 1869, they founded the Congregation of Ursulines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate.zefirino agostini

Father Agostini died on 6 April 1869 in Verona, Italy of natural causes.   His order received diocesan approval on 24 June 1923 while the papal decree of praise of Pope Pius XI was issued on 14 March 1932 and full papal approval for the institute came on 3 April 1940 from Pope Pius XII during World War II.   The order now operates in places such as Switzerland and Benin and as of 2005 has 628 religious in 78 houses.

He was Beatified on 25 October 1998 by St Pope John Paul II, after approval of the required miracle.   At the Beatification St John Paul said:

“The Lord stood by me and gave me strength” (2 Tm 4:17).

“These words of the Apostle to Timothy certainly apply to Fr Zefirino Agostino, who never lost heart despite countless difficulties.   He stands before us today as a humble, steadfast witness to the Gospel in the latter half of the 19th century, a fruitful period for the Church in Verona.   His faith was steadfast, his charitable work effective and ardent was the priestly spirit that distinguished him.

The love of the Lord spurred him in his apostolate to the poor, especially in the Christian education of girls, particularly the most needy.   He understood well the important role women play in the rehabilitation of society by teaching the values of freedom, honesty and charity.

He advised the Ursulines, his spiritual daughters:  “Poor girls, let them be the favourite object of your care and attention.   Awaken their minds, teach their hearts virtue and save their souls from malignant contact with the wicked world” (Scritti alle Orsoline, 289).   May his example strongly encourage those who honour him today as blessed and invoke him as their protector.”

Zefirino_Agostini

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2019, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – “Love…more powerful than sin.”

Lenten Reflection – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:
Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22; Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

The Paschal Mystery is Christ at the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of God.   It is precisely then that the words pronounced in the Upper Room are completely fulfilled:  “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).   In fact, Christ, whom the Father “did not spare” (Rm 8:32) for the sake of man and who in His passion and in the torment of the cross did not obtain human mercy, has revealed in His resurrection, the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people. “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mk 12:27).

In His resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them, and said to them:  ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).

Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.and it is also the same christ - st john paul - encyclical frifourtheweeklent 5 april 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

We keep acknowledging that God is the source of our life.
We realise that we have been seeking other sources of life.
We recognise our weakness and turn to God for help.
Though our hearts are being opened up to their depths,
though we cry out to God for help, we are not discouraged.

The Lord is near to broken hearts.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:18-19

Closing Prayer:
Loving God of forgiveness,
I come before You humbled and sad
in the face of my own repeated failings.
I hold out my hands as a petitioner would,
asking for mercy.
It is then that I feel You reach out and take my hand
in Your loving grasp.
Thank You for the love You pour out on me so lavishly.
Help me to follow more closely
in the path You have set for me,
the path of Your Son.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amenjohn 7 28 you know me - fridayfourtheweeklent 5 april 2019

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 21 March – “Do everything for the love of God”

Thought for the Day – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello (1791 – 1858)

“O most blessed Light, fill the interior of the hearts of your faithful.”   The words of the Sequence are a beautiful summary of the life of Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello and explain its extraordinary spiritual richness.

Guided by divine grace, the new saint was concerned to accomplish God’s will with fidelity and coherence.   With boundless confidence in the Lord’s goodness, she abandoned herself to his “loving Providence”, deeply convinced, as she liked to repeat, that one must “do everything for love of God and to please Him”.   This is the precious inheritance that St Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello left to her spiritual daughters that today is offered to the entire Christian community.

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of your faithful!   Help us to spread the fire of your love in the world.   Amen!

St Pope John Paul on the Canonisation of St Benedetta, Sunday, 19 May 2002

St Benedetta Frassinello, Pray for Us!st benedetta frassinello pray for us 21 march 2019 do everythingforthelove of god.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 12 March – “God alone! disconsolate soul, God alone!”

Thought for the Day – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, C – Gospel Matthew 6:7–15 and the Memorial of St Luigi Orione FDP (1872-1940)

“Men who have risked their lives for the sake of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15: 26). These words taken from the Acts of the Apostles can be well-applied to St Luigi Orione, a man who gave himself entirely for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom.   Physical and moral sufferings, fatigue, difficulty, misunderstandings and all kinds of obstacles characterised his apostolic ministry.   “Christ, the Church, souls”, he would say, “are loved and served on the cross and through crucifixion or they are not loved and served at all” (Writings, 68, 81).

The heart of this strategy of charity was “without limits because it was opened wide by the charity of Christ” (ibid., 102, 32).   Passion for Christ was the soul of his bold life, the interior thrust of an altruism without reservations, the always fresh source of an indestructible hope.

This humble son of a man who repaired roads proclaimed that “only charity will save the world” and to everyone he would often say, that “perfect joy can only be found in perfect dedication of oneself to God and man and to all mankind.”

St Pope John Paul on the Canonisation of St Luigi
Sixth Sunday of Easter, 16 May 2004

Work, Seeking God Alone
From writings by Saint Don Orione (1872-1940)

“Yesterday, when I was in the room of a good priest my eyes fell on these words:

God alone!

My look at that moment was full of weariness and pain and my mind was thinking about so many other days like yesterday, full of anxiety and above the whirl of so much anguish and above the confused sound of so many sighs, I seemed to hear the amiable and good voice of my Angel –
God alone! disconsolate soul, God alone!”

The ideal of Don Orione’s life was to live and to die for the spiritual welfare of people, serving Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother Church and its head, the Pope.

His motto was, “Do good always, to all, evil to none”.

St Luigi Orione, Pray for us!god alone - st luigi orione pray for us no 2 12 march 2019.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FASTING, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Friday after Ash Wednesday – 8 March “Then they will Fast”

Friday after Ash Wednesday – 8 March

“Come back to Me with all your Heart.”

Daily Meditation:
A Friday of Lent
and an introduction to “True Fasting.”
We are still in the first four days of Lent.
Today and tomorrow we read the 58th Chapter
of the book of the prophet Isaiah.
These powerful words have such a contemporary message.
True fasting will lead us to act justly and caring
for those who are most in need.

On every Friday of Lent we abstain from meat
as a sign of our common penance.
It represents our efforts to abstain from
– do without – so many other patterns
that get in the way of our happiness and wholeness.

“Then they will fast”

“Among the penitential practices that the Church suggests to us above all during this Lenten time is fasting.   It consists in a special sobriety in the food we eat, while ensuring care for the needs of our body.   This is a traditional form of penance, which has lost none of its significance and which we perhaps need to rediscover, above all in that part of the world and in the milieus where food not only abounds, but where we at times encounter illnesses due to overeating.

Obviously, penitential fasting is very different from therapeutic diets.   But as it is, we can see in it a therapy for the soul.   For when it is practised as a sign of conversion, it facilitates the interior effort to make oneself available to listening to God.   To fast is to reaffirm for oneself what Jesus replied to Satan, when the latter tempted him at the end of forty days of fasting in the desert:  “Not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4)   Today, especially in our well-to-do societies, it is difficult for us to understand the meaning of this word of the gospel. Instead of pacifying our needs, the consumer society creates ever new ones, even engendering disproportionate activism… Among other meanings, penitential fasting has precisely the aim of helping us to recover interiority.

The effort towards moderation in food also extends to other things that are not necessary and it greatly aids the life of the spirit.   Sobriety, recollection and prayer go together. This principle can be appropriately applied to our use of the mass media.   They are unquestionably useful but they must not become the “masters” over our life.   In so many families, the television seems to replace rather than facilitate dialogue among the persons!   A certain “fasting” in this area can be salutary, either so as to give more time to reflection and prayer or to cultivate human relations.”

St John Paul (1920-2005)matthew 9 15 then they will fast - fri after ash wed 8 march 2019.jpg

Closing Prayer:
Lord,
I know how much You love me.
It’s hard for me to feel it sometimes,
but I know Your love is always with me.

Help me to use Your love as a way
to persevere in my Lenten intentions.
I am weak but I know with Your help,
I can use these small sacrifices in my life to draw closer to You.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – “On this rock I will build my Church”

Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:16matthew 16 16 you are the christ the son of the living god 22feb2019.jpg

“On this rock I will build my Church”

Matthew 16:18on-this-rock-matthew-16-18-22-feb-2017.jpg

“How blessed is the Church of Rome,
on which the Apostles poured forth
all their doctrine along with their blood!”
(De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36)

Tertullian (c 155- c 240)
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianushow-blessed-is-the-church-of-rome-tertullian-22-feb-2018.jpg

“I decided to consult the Chair of Peter, where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle;
I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there, where once I received the garment of Christ.
I follow no leader save Christ, so I enter into communion with Your beatitude,
that is, with the Chair of Peter, for this I know, is the rock upon which the Church is built.”
(cf. Le lettere I, 15, 1-2)

St Jerome (343-420) Father & Doctori-decided-to-consult-the-chair-of-peter-st-jerome-22feb-2017

“The Cross is God’s chair in the world.”the cross is god's chair in the world - st john paul 22feb2019.jpg

“Today’s celebration highlights
the role of Peter and his Successors
in steering the barque of the Church across this “ocean”….
Let us thank God together
for founding His Church on the rock of Peter.feast-of-the-chair-of-st-peter-22-feb-2019-todays-celebration-highlights-st-john-paul.jpg

“Today, …Christ is repeating to each of you:
“I have prayed for you”
that your faith will not fail in the situations
in which your fidelity to Christ,
to the Church,
to the Pope,
may be put to the greatest test.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)today christ is repeating to each one of you - st john paul 22feb2019 chair of peter.jpg