Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Sunday Reflection – 20 January – “…Let him first strive to cleanse his conscience”

Sunday Reflection – 20 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

“…Let him first strive to cleanse his conscience”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, Father of the Church

And so, dearly beloved brethren, let us each examine his conscience and when he sees that he has been wounded by some sin, let him first strive to cleanse his conscience by prayer, fasting, almsgiving and so dare to approach the Eucharist.   If he recognises his guilt and is reluctant to approach the holy altar, he will be quickly pardoned by the Divine Mercy, “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt 23:12).   If then, as I have said, a man conscious of his sins, humbly decides to stay away from the altar until he reforms his life, he will not be afraid of being completely excluded from the eternal banquet of heaven.

I ask you then, brethren, to pay careful attention.   If no-one dares approach an influential man’s table in tattered, soiled garments, how much more should one refrain in reverance and humility from the banquet of the Eternal King, that is, from the altar of the Lord, if one is smitten with poisonous envy, or anger, or is full of rage and fury?   For it is written, “Go first and be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:24).   And again, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And when he kept silent, that man said to the attendants, ‘bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” (Mt 22:12,13).   The same sentence awaits the man who dares present himself at the wedding feast, that is at the Lord’s table, if he is guilty of drunkenness, or adultery, or retains hatred in his heart.

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, was the foremost ecclesiastic of his generation in Merovingian Gaul. Caesarius is considered to be of the last generation of church leaders of Gaul that worked to promote large-scale ascetic elements into the Western Christian tradition.   Caesarius was a “popular preacher of great fervour and enduring influence”.   Among those who exercised the greatest influence on Caesarius were Augustine of Hippo, Julianus Pomerius and John Cassian.i ask you then brethren to pay careful attention - st caesarius bishop and father 20 jan 2019

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Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 13 January – Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.

Sunday Reflection – 13 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
(Parochial & Plain Sermons, Vol. VI, no. 11)

“Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith.   When we feel that His mysteries are too severe for us and occasion us to doubt, let us earnestly wait on Him for the gift of humility and love.   Those who love and who are humble will apprehend them, carnal minds do not seek the and proud minds are offended at them but while love desires them, humility sustains them.

Let us pray Him to give us an earnest longing after Him – a thirst for His presence – an anxiety to find Him – a joy on hearing that He is to be found, even now, under the veil of sensible things – and a good hope that we shall find Him there.

Blessed indeed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.   They have their reward in believing, they enjoy the contemplation of a mysterious blessing, which does not even enter into the thoughts of other men and while they are more blessed than others, in the gift vouchsafed to them, they have the additional privilege of knowing that they are vouchsafed it.”let us pray him to give us - bl john henry newman 13 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Sunday Reflection – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Sunday Reflection – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

“What other people are so fortunate as the Christian people?   What creature under heaven is so beloved as a devout soul into whom God comes, in order to feed him with His own glorious Body and Blood?   O grace unspeakable, O marvellous condescension, O love without measure, bestowed only on human beings!

There is nothing I can give to the Lord for this grace – this supreme love;  nothing acceptable I can offer Him but my heart entirely given to God and closely united to Him. Then, all that is within me will be filled with joy, when my soul is perfectly one with God.

Then He will say to me:  “If you will be with Me, I will be with you.”  And I will answer Him and say: “Stay with me, Lord, I implore You, for my desire is to be with You.”

This is my whole desire – that my heart be united to You.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Book 4-Chapter 13 #3
Blessed Sacramentwhat other people are so fortunate - thomas a kempis - sun reflec 6 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – The family is called to become a daily offertory

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“Actually, the experience of the family is called to become a daily offertory, as a holy offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.
The Gospel of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, suggests us this same idea.
Jesus, the light of the world but also “a sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:32.34), desires to receive this offering of each family as He receives the bread and wine in the Eucharist.
He wants to join to the bread and wine destined to transubstantiation,
these human hopes and joys but also the inevitable sufferings and preoccupations of each family,
by incorporating them to the mystery of His Body and his Blood.
He then in turn gives them back – the same Body and Blood – in the communion,
as a source of spiritual energy,
not only for each single person but also for each family.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the experience of the family - st pope john paul 30 dec 2018

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION

Sunday Reflection – 23 December – The Eucharistic Humility of God (Excerpt)

Sunday Reflection – 23 December – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – The Eucharistic Humility of God (Excerpt)

Because humility belongs to God alone
who made it His own in the mystery of the Incarnation,
and who continues to make it His own
so often as the mystic words are uttered by a priest
over a little bread and a little wine mixed with water:
“This is My Body. This is the chalice of My Blood.”
Here is the Mysterium Fidei:
the Eucharistic Humility of God.
Eat the Body of Christ and digest the Divine Humility.
Drink the Blood of Christ;
it is the elixir of those who would hide themselves with Christ in God.
Since the event of the Incarnation
–the descent of God into the Virgin’s womb,
in view of His descent into death’s dark tomb–
and so often as Holy Mass is celebrated
–the descent of God into the frail appearance of Bread
and into the taste and fragrance and wetness
of a few drops of wine–
humility can be found nowhere else.
The very least and last of the guests
has become The Host,
and The Host
has made Himself the very least and last of the guests.
Tremble, then, to adore Him,
and having adored Him, receive Him,
that your soul may become the throne of the Humble Hidden God
and His humility your most cherished treasure.
“Learn from Me,” He says,
“for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29),
and again,
“Everyone that exalts himself shall be humbled,
and he that humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

Fr ‘Dom’ Marktremble then to adore him - fr dom mark vultus christi 23 dec 2018 sun reflection

Posted in ADVENT, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The WORD

Sunday Reflections – Gaudete Sunday

Sunday Reflections – Gaudete Sunday – The Third Sunday of Advent – 16 December 2018gaudete-sunday

What is special about the Third Sunday of Advent?   For much of the Church’s history, this Sunday had a special name:  “Gaudete” Sunday.   The traditions surrounding this Sunday go back as far as the fourth or fifth century, as does the season of Advent itself. Advent, our preparation for Christmas, was originally a forty-day penitential season like Lent.   In fact, since it used to begin on 12 November (just after the Memorial of St. Martin of Tours), it was called “St Martin’s Lent.”   “Gaudete Sunday” was the Advent counterpart to “Laetare Sunday,” which marks the mid-point in Lent.

On Gaudete Sunday, the season of Advent shifts its focus.   For the first two weeks of Advent, the focus can be summed up in the phrase, “The Lord is coming.”   But beginning with Gaudete Sunday, the summary might be, “The Lord is near.”   This shift is marked by a lighter mood and a heightened sense of joyous anticipation.

Liturgically, the colours lighten as well.   The priest usually wears rose-coloured vestments, a hue seen only on Gaudete Sunday and Laetare Sunday.   On this day, we light the third candle of the Advent wreath, which is also rose-coloured, or if you prefer, pink.
The word “Gaudete” is Latin for “Rejoice.”   This celebration is a reminder that God who loves us is still in charge and that we await His coming not with fear but with  tremendous joy.   Today’s Second Reading, from the Letter of St Paul to the Ephesians, reflects this joy:  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand.  Have no anxiety about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

THE “O ANTIPHONS” OF ADVENT

The one exception to the audio barrage of so-called ‘Christmas Hymns’ we hear during Advent, is the simple chant “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”   This song, with its longing for the coming of the Saviour, genuinely belongs to Advent and not to Christmas.
Its melody is based on Gregorian chant and its verses are all taken from the Church’s “O antiphons.” These antiphons introduce the Magnificat, or Canticle of Mary, in the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours from 17 December through 23 December.
Each antiphon begins with a traditional title for Christ.

They are: “O Wisdom,” “O Leader of the House of Israel
[Adonai],” “O Root of Jesse’s Stem,” “O Key of David,” “O Radiant Dawn,” “O King of all the nations,” and finally, “O Emmanuel” which means “God with us.”    Each of these traditional titles for the Messiah connects the coming of Christ with the prophetic writings of the Old Testament.stained_glass_o_antiphons.jpg

On the last days of Advent, you may wish to add these “O Antiphons” to your
evening prayer, your prayer at table, or your bedtime prayer.

17 DECEMBER
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
18 DECEMBER
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
19 DECEMBER
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
20 DECEMBER
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
21 DECEMBER
O Radiant Dawn,
splendour of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
22 DECEMBER
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
23 DECEMBER
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

the o antiphons

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Sunday Reflection – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

Pope Pius XII and Mediator Dei

The question remains, then, of just how one participates actively “in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church”.   Pope Pius XII situates active participation in a personal and corporate adhesion to the sacrifice of Christ who, in every Holy Mass, exercises His priesthood and offers Himself as a spotless victim to the Father.

One comes to Holy Mass, then, not after the manner of a consumer looking seeking spiritual gratification but, rather, as an offerer bearing to the altar the oblation of his own life, as a royal priest set over all created things in order to raise them heavenward in the Great Thanksgiving (Eucharist) and as a victim, a sacrificial lamb ready to be made over to God in Christ.  In Christ and in the members of His Mystical Body are the prophetic words of Abraham to Isaac wondrously fulfilled:  “God Himself will provide the lamb” (Genesis 22:8). Pope Pius XII writes:

“All the elements of the liturgy, then, would have us reproduce in our hearts the likeness of the divine Redeemer through the mystery of the cross, according to the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, “With Christ I am nailed to the cross. I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.”   Thus we become a victim, as it were, along with Christ to increase the glory of the eternal Father.

Let the faithful, therefore, consider to what a high dignity they are raised by the sacrament of baptism.   They should not think it enough to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice with that general intention which befits members of Christ and children of the Church but let them further, in keeping with the spirit of the sacred liturgy, be most closely united with the High Priest and His earthly minister, at the time the consecration of the divine Victim is enacted and, at that time, especially when those solemn words are pronounced:

“By Him and with Him and in Him is to Thee, God the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory forever and ever”;   to these words in fact the people answer, “Amen.”

Nor should Christians forget to offer themselves, their cares, their sorrows, their distress and their necessities in union with their divine Saviour upon the cross.”

ven pope pius XII mediator dei - sunreflection 9 dec 2018