Sunday Reflection – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

Sunday Reflection – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“It is easier for the earth to be without the sun than without the Mass.”

it is easier for the earth - st padre pio - 23 sept 2018

From a letter to Annita Rodote on 25 July 1915 on how to attend Mass:

“The Divine Master calls the church the house of prayer.   In order to avoid irreverence and imperfections I exhort you in the Lord to:

Enter the church in silence and with great respect.   Take the holy water and make the sign of the cross carefully and slowly.

Before God in the Blessed Sacrament genuflect devoutly.   At your pace, kneel down and render to Jesus the tribute of you presence.

Confide to Him all your needs and those of others.   Speak to Him with filial abandonment.   Be very composed when standing up, kneeling down and sitting.

Carry out every religious act with the greatest devotion.   Be modest in your glance.   Don’t turn you head here and there to see who enters and leaves.

Don’t laugh.   Don’t speak to anybody, except when requested for charity or other strict necessity.

Say the words distinctly, observe the pauses and never hurry.   Behave in such a way that all those present are edified by you.

Don’t leave without asking Jesus for His blessing and forgiveness for your shortcomings. Leave the church recollected and calm.”

St Padre Pio, Pray for Us!ST PADRE PIO - PRAY FOR US 23 sept 2017


Sunday Reflection – 16 September – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 16 September – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Excerpt from a Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,
given on the Occasion of the 16th Centenary
of the Death of St John Chrysostom “Doctor of the Eucharist”

For Chrysostom, the ecclesial unity that is brought about in Christ is attested to in a quite special way in the Eucharist. “Called “Doctor of the Eucharist’ because of the vastness and depth of his teaching on the Most Holy Sacrament”, he taught that the sacramental unity of the Eucharist constitutes the basis of ecclesial unity in and for Christ.   “Of course, there are many things to keep us united. A table is prepared before all… all are offered the same drink, or, rather, not only the same drink but also the same cup. Our Father, desiring to lead us to tender affection, has also disposed this – that we drink from one cup, something that is befitting to an intense love”.   Reflecting on the words of St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, “The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”, John commented,for the Apostle, therefore, “just as that body is united to Christ, so we are united to Him through this bread”.   And even more clearly, in the light of the Apostle’s subsequent words:  “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body”, John argued:  “What is bread?   The Body of Christ  . And what does it become when we eat it?   The Body of Christ – not many bodies but one body.   Just as bread becomes one loaf although it is made of numerous grains of wheat…, so we too are united both with one another and with Christ…. Now, if we are nourished by the same loaf and all become the same thing, why do we not also show the same love, so as to become one in this dimension, too?”.

Chrysostom’s faith in the mystery of love that binds believers to Christ and to one another led him to experience profound veneration for the Eucharist, a veneration which he nourished in particular in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.   Indeed, one of the richest forms of the Eastern Liturgy bears his name:  “The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom”.   John understood that the Divine Liturgy places the believer spiritually between earthly life and the heavenly realities that have been promised by the Lord.   He told Basil the Great of the reverential awe he felt in celebrating the sacred mysteries with these words:   “When you see the immolated Lord lying on the altar and the priest who, standing, prays over the victim… can you still believe you are among men, that you are on earth? Are you not, on the contrary, suddenly transported to Heaven?”   The sacred rites, John said, “are not only marvellous to see but extraordinary because of the reverential awe they inspire. The priest who brings down the Holy Spirit stands there… he prays at length that the grace which descends on the sacrifice may illuminate the minds of all in that place and make them brighter than silver purified in the crucible. Who can spurn this venerable mystery?”.when you see the immolated lord - st john chrysostom - sunday reflection - 16 sept 2018 24th ord time year b

With great depth, Chrysostom developed his reflection on the effect of sacramental Communion in believers:  “The Blood of Christ renews in us the image of our King, it produces an indescribable beauty and does not allow the nobility of our souls to be destroyed but ceaselessly waters and nourishes them”.   For this reason, John often and insistently urged the faithful to approach the Lord’s altar in a dignified manner, “not with levity… not by habit or with formality”, but with “sincerity and purity of spirit”.   He tirelessly repeated that preparation for Holy Communion must include repentance for sins and gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice made for our salvation.   He therefore urged the faithful to participate fully and devoutly in the rites of the Divine Liturgy and to receive Holy Communion with these same dispositions:  “Do not permit us, we implore you, to be killed by your irreverence but approach Him with devotion and purity and, when you see Him placed before you, say to yourselves:  “By virtue of this Body I am no longer dust and ashes, I am no longer a prisoner but free, by virtue of this, I hope in Heaven and to receive its goods, the inheritance of the angels and to converse with Christ'”.by virtue of this body - st john chrysostom - 16 sept 2018

Of course, he also drew from contemplation of the Mystery the moral consequences in which he involved his listeners: he reminded them that communion with the Body and Blood of Christ obliged them to offer material help to the poor and the hungry who lived among them.   The Lord’s table is the place where believers recognise and welcome the poor and needy whom they may have previously ignored.   He urged the faithful of all times to look beyond the altar where the Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered and see Christ in the person of the poor, recalling that thanks to their assistance to the needy, they will be able to offer on Christ’s altar a sacrifice pleasing to God.”...Pope Benedict

He said:
“Lift up and stretch out your hands,
not to heaven but to the poor…
if you lift up your hands in prayer
without sharing with the poor,
it is worth nothing.”lift up and stretch out your hands, not to heaven but to the poor - st john chrysostom - 16 sept 2018

St John Chrysostom (347-407), Father and Doctor of the Eucharist, Pray for us!st john chrysostom pray for us.2


Sunday Reflection – 2 September

Sunday Reflection – 2 September – Today’s Gospel:  Mark 7:1–23 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

John Paul and Jean-Marie

When the Curé of Ars spoke of the Sacrament of the Altar, he glowed!   He communicated to his hearers the Eucharistic fire that burned in his own heart.   Thirty-two years ago, St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) devoted his Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, to Saint Jean-Marie Vianney.   I think that today we can read that letter as one saint talking about another.   This is what Pope John Paul II said:

“The Eucharist was at the very centre of Saint Jean Vianney’s spiritual life and pastoral work.
He said:  “All good works put together are not equivalent to the Sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of men and the Holy Mass is the work of God.”
It is in the Mass that the sacrifice of Calvary is made present for the Redemption of the world.   Clearly, the priest must unite the daily gift of himself to the offering of the Mass:
“How well a priest does, therefore, to offer himself to God in sacrifice every morning!” “Holy Communion and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are the two most efficacious actions for obtaining the conversion of hearts.”

Recollection and Adoration
Thus the Mass was for John Mary Vianney the great joy and comfort of his priestly life. He took great care, despite the crowds of penitents, to spend more than a quarter of an hour in silent preparation.   He celebrated with recollection, clearly expressing his adoration at the consecration and communion.   He accurately remarked:

“The cause of priestly laxity is not paying attention to the Mass!”

Let us always, daily, pray for all our Priests!

St John Vianney (1786-1859) Patron of Priests
Prayer for Priests
By St John Vianney

God, please give to Your Church today
many more priests after Your own heart.
May they be worthy representatives
of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves
to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining models of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers
of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of Your grace
in the sacraments.
May their loving devotion to Your Son,
Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary His Mother,
be the twin fountains of fruitfulness
for their ministry.
Amenprayer-for-priests-by-st-john-vianney-no-3-18-july-2018-no 2. recoloured 2 sept 2018


Sunday Reflection – 13 August

Sunday Reflection – 13 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: John 6:60–69

Eucharistic Meditation by Pope Benedict XVI (Excerpt)
Lourdes, 14 September 2008

Do Not Refuse His Love
This evening, we do not see them but we hear them saying to us, to every man and to every woman among us:  “Come, let the Master call you! He is here!   He is calling you” (cf. Jn 11:28)!   He wants to take your life and join it to His.   Let yourself be embraced by Him!   Gaze no longer upon your own wounds, gaze upon His.   Do not look upon what still separates you from Him and from others;  look upon the infinite distance that He has abolished by taking your flesh, by mounting the Cross which men had prepared for Him and by letting Himself be put to death so as to show you His love.   In His wounds, He takes hold of you;   in His wounds, He hides you.   Do not refuse His Love!”

Contemplate the Wounds of Christ
The immense crowd of witnesses who have allowed themselves to be embraced by His Love, is the crowd of saints in heaven who never cease to intercede for us.   They were sinners and they knew it but they willingly ceased to gaze upon their own wounds and to gaze only upon the wounds of their Lord, so as to discover there the glory of the Cross, to discover there the victory of Life over death.   Saint Pierre-Julien Eymard (1811-1868) tells us everything when he cries out:  “The holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ, past, present and future” (Sermons and Parochial Instructions After 1856, 4-2.1, “On Meditation”).

Jesus Christ Past
Jesus Christ, past, in the historical truth of the evening in the Upper Room, to which every celebration of holy Mass leads us back.

Jesus Christ Present
Jesus Christ, present, because He said to us:  “Take and eat of this, all of you, this is my Body, this is my Blood.”   “This is”, in the present, here and now, as in every here and now throughout human history.   The Real Presence, the Presence which surpasses our poor lips, our poor hearts, our poor thoughts.   The Presence offered for us to contemplate as we do here, this evening, close to the grotto where Mary revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception.

Jesus Christ Coming
The Eucharist is also Jesus Christ, future, Jesus Christ to come.   When we contemplate the Sacred Host, His glorious transfigured and risen Body, we contemplate what we shall contemplate in eternity, where we shall discover that the whole world has been carried by its Creator during every second of its history.   Each time we consume Him but also each time we contemplate Him, we proclaim Him until he comes again, “donec veniat”. That is why we receive Him with infinite respect.

Remain Silent, Then Speak
Beloved brothers and sisters, day pilgrims and inhabitants of these valleys, brother Bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, all of you who see before you the infinite abasement of the Son of God and the infinite glory of the Resurrection, remain in silent adoration of your Lord, our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.   Remain silent, then speak and tell the world:  we cannot be silent about what we know.   Go and tell the whole world the marvels of God, present at every moment of our lives, in every place on earth.   May God bless us and keep us, may He lead us on the path of eternal life, He who is Life, forever and ever. Amen.come, let the master call you - remain silent - pope benedict - 26 aug 2018 sunday reflection


Sunday Reflection- 19 August – John 6:51-58

Sunday Reflection – 19 August – John 6:51-58

“My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink”

The sacramental representation of Christ’s sacrifice, crowned by the resurrection, in the Mass involves a most special presence which – in the words of Paul VI – “is called ‘real’ not as a way of excluding all other types of presence as if they were ‘not real’, but because it is a presence in the fullest sense: a substantial presence whereby Christ, the God-Man, is wholly and entirely present”.   This sets forth once more, the perennially valid teaching, of the Council of Trent, “the consecration of the bread and wine effects the change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood.   And the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called this change transubstantiation”.

Truly the Eucharist is a mysterium fidei, a mystery which surpasses our understanding and can only be received in faith, as is often brought out in the catechesis of the Church Fathers regarding this divine sacrament:  “Do not see – Saint Cyril of Jerusalem exhorts – in the bread and wine merely natural elements, because the Lord has expressly said that they are his body and his blood: faith assures you of this, though your senses suggest otherwise”.

Before this mystery of love, human reason fully experiences its limitations. One understands how, down the centuries, this truth has stimulated theology to strive to understand it ever more deeply.   These are praiseworthy efforts, which are all the more helpful and insightful to the extent that they are able to join critical thinking to the “living faith” of the Church…   There remains the boundary indicated by Paul VI: “Every theological explanation… must firmly maintain that in objective reality, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus from that moment on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine”.

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)every theological explanation must firmly maintain - bl pope paul VI - 19 aug 2018.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 12 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 12 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Jesus, our Daily Sacrifice

“Our Lord not only offered Himself as a Sacrifice on the Cross but He makes Himself a perpetual, a daily Sacrifice, to the end of time.

In the Holy Mass, that One Sacrifice on the Cross once offered is renewed, continued, applied to our benefit.
He seems to say, ‘My Cross was raised up 1800 years ago – and only for a few hours and very few of my servants were present there – but I intend to bring millions into my Church.   For their sakes then, I will perpetuate My Sacrifice, that each of them may be as though they had severally been present on Calvary.   I will offer Myself up, day by day to the Father, that everyone of my followers, may have the opportunity to offer his petitions to Him, sanctified and recommended by the all-meritorious virtue of My Passion.   Thus, I will be a Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedech – My priests shall stand at the Altar – but not they but I rather, will offer.   I will not let them offer mere bread and wine but I Myself, will be present upon the Altar instead and I will offer up Myself invisibly, while they perform the outward rite.’

And thus, the Lamb that was slain once for all, though He is ascended on high, ever remains a victim from His miraculous presence in Holy Mass under the figure and appearance of mere earthly and visible symbols.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Jesus, our Daily Sacrifice, Prayers, Verses and Devotionsand thus, the lambe that was slain - bl j h newman - 12 aug 2018 - sunday reflection

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, Uncategorized

Sunday Reflection – 5 August – Today’s Gospel: John 6:24-35

Sunday Reflection – 5 August – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: John 6:24-35

“Bread is not made from one grain but from many. It’s as though you, who were many were ground.   When you were baptised it’s as though you were mixed into dough.   When you received the fire of the Holy Spirit, it’s as though you were baked.
Be what you can see and receive what you are.

After all, just as many grains are mixed into one loaf in order to produce the visible appearance of bread, as though what holy scripture says about the faithful were happening:  They had one soul and one heart in God (Acts 4:32);   so too with the wine. Brothers and sisters, just remind yourselves what wine is made from;  many grapes hang in the bunch but the juice of the grapes is poured together in one vessel.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchbe what you can see and receive what you are - st augustine - 5 aug 2018


Sunday Reflection – 29 July – Become the bread of Christ – St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

Sunday Reflection – 29 July

Become the bread of Christ

St Bernard (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

Saint Bernard teaches that it is not enough for us to take and eat the Bread from Heaven.
We must also offer ourselves to be eaten.
Holy Communion is a wondrous exchange in which we become the bread of Christ.
Listen to Saint Bernard:

“My penitence, my salvation are His food.
I myself am His food.
I am chewed. as I am reproved by Him;
I am swallowed by Him. as I am taught;
I am digested by Him. as I am changed;
I am assimilated. as I am transformed;
I am made one with Him, as I am conformed to Him.
He feeds upon us and is fed by us
that we may be the more loosely bound to Him.”

Saint Bernard, ever the poet, uses images of eating and assimilation to describe how Christ unites us to Himself.
Our Lord becomes our food that we might become His.
We need the language of poets and preachers in our approach to the Eucharist.

Saint Bernard says, “Christ eats me that He may have me in Himself and Christ in turn is eaten by me that He may be in me and the bond between us, will be strong and the union complete.”   

What awaits you in Holy Communion exceeds all that you can desire.   Eat, then and offer yourself to be eaten.   Receive the Bread of God and become the bread of God.christ eats me - st bernard - 29 july 2018

“I am in you and you are in me!”

i am in you and you are in me - 29 july 2018


Sunday Reflection – 22 July – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 22 July – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sit laus plena, sit sonora

Remember, Mother Church, the holy and venerable hands,
the hands that, taking bread, broke and gave it,
the hands that have strengthened the bolts of your gates,
the hands that blessed your children within you (cf. Ps 147:12).
Remember the voice of Him whose word runs swiftly,
blessing and saying, “Take and eat, this is my Body”;
“This chalice is the new testament in my Blood” (cf. 1 Cor 11:24-25).
Remember the Crucified, the Risen One, the Lord of glory
whose Face alone plants peace in your borders,
whose Heart would save your souls from death,
and feed you in time of famine (cf. Ps 32:19).
Remember His hands, His Face and His Heart,
remember His words on the night before He suffered,
and out of your remembering, let praise come to flower on your lips.
Praise to fill that Upper Room,
praise to fill the Church,
praise to fall like a balm on every heart that has forgotten
the language of the Great Thanksgiving.

Remember the chalice of blessing
and adore the Blood of Christ.
Remember the bread that we break
and adore the Body of Christ.
Remember the one Bread by which we,
though many, are made one (cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17).
Remember the chalice of the Blood
in which every tear of yours dissolves into joy.
Remember the broken Bread
by which every brokenness of yours is made whole.
Remember the chalice offered to those who have nothing to offer.
Remember the Bread given to those who have nothing to give.
Remember and into your remembering,
welcome the immensity of a silence that seeks only to adore.remember the chalic of blessing - sunday reflection - 22 july 2018 - from vultus christi

(Excerpt By Dom Mark, Vultus Christi)


Sunday Reflection – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year

Sunday Reflection – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year

“….in the Blessed Sacrament Our Lord Himself is the light which manifests Him as our model and reveals His beauties to us.   He is Himself His light, His means of being known, just as the sun is itself its own proof.   To make Himself known, He has only to show Himself.   Recognition of Him need not come from its being reasoned out.

A child does not have to discourse with himself to recognise his parents.   Our Lord reveals Himself through His presence, just as parents do.   But as we grow to know His voice better and as our hearts become more sympathetic to Him in emptying themselves of what is not Him, our Lord manifests Himself in a clearer and more intimate manner, which only those know, who love Him.   He gives the soul a divine conviction which overshadows the light of human reason.

Look at Magdalene:  one word from Jesus and she recognises Him.   He acts in the same way in the Blessed Sacrament:   He says one word only but it rings in our very hearts:  “It is I!….”   We sense His Presence, we believe in it more firmly than if we were to see Him with bodily eyes.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)it is I - st peter julian eymard - 15 july 2018