Thought for the Day -21 April – Saturday of the Third Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap. (1818-1894)

Thought for the Day -21 April – Saturday of the Third Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap. (1818-1894)

Resolutions of St Conrad whilst a Novice

1. I resolve in the first place to remain continually
in the presence of God
and to ask myself frequently if I would do this or that,
if my confessor or superior were watching me
and especially if God and my guardian angel were present.

2. I resolve to ask myself, whenever I have to encounter crosses of suffering,
“Conrad, why have you come here?”

3. I resolve to avoid leaving the friary, as far as possible,
unless it be out of love for my neighbour, obedience, reasons of health,
a pious pilgrimage or some other good cause.

4. I resolve to foster fraternal charity in myself and in others.
Therefore, I resolve to take care never to say an unkind word.
I resolve to bear up patiently with the defects and weaknesses of others
and as far as possible, to hide them, with the mantle of charity,
unless I am in duty bound, to manifest them, to someone,
who is in a position to correct them.

5. I resolve to observe silence conscientiously.
I resolve to speak briefly and so avoid many pitfalls
and be better able to converse with God.

6. When at table I resolve to place myself in the presence of God,
as far as I can, to remain recollected and to pass up my favorite dishes
so as to practice a hidden form of mortification.
I resolve not to eat between meals, unless ordered to do so,
under obedience.

7. I resolve to answer the first call of the bell unless legitimately hindered.

8. I resolve to avoid, as far as possible, conversing with the opposite sex
unless obedience imposes duties on me which make it necessary to speak with women.
In that case I resolve to be very reserved and maintain custody of the eyes.

9. I resolve to carry out orders punctually and to the letter.
I resolve especially to make every effort to conquer my own will in all things.

10. I resolve to force myself to pay close attention to minor details
and as far as possible avoid every imperfection.
I resolve to observe the holy rule faithfully
and not to depart from it a hairsbreadth, come what may.

11. I resolve to cultivate a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
and strive to imitate her virtues.

St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)

Pray for us!st conrad of parzham - pray for us no 2, - 21 april 2018









Saint of the Day – 16 April – Saint Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)

Saint of the Day – 16 April – Saint Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879) Marian Visionary of Lourdes, Virgin, Consecrated Religious.  Born on 7 January 1844 at Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France and died on 16 April 1879, Nevers, Nièvre, France of natural causes, aged 35.   Patronages – Bodily illness,  Lourdes, France, shepherds and shepherdesses, against poverty, people ridiculed for their faith.   She was Canonised on 8 December 1933 by Pope Pius XI.   Her Body is incorrupt and is on display in Nevers, Bernadette -at Death & Todayst bernadette's incorrupt body

The eldest of nine children, only four of whom survived childhood, Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was born at Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.   After her father, a miller, lost his job in 1854, the family was exposed to the direst extremes of poverty.

By the time she was 14, Bernadette had been sick so often that she hadn’t grown properly.   She was the size of a much younger girl.   She, her parents and her younger brothers and sisters all lived in a tiny room at the back of someone else’s house, a building that had actually been a prison many years before.   They slept on three beds: one for the parents, one for the boys and one for the girls.   Every night they battled mice and rats.   Every morning, they woke up, put their feet on cold stone floors and dressed in clothes that had been mended more times than anyone could count.   Each day they hoped the work they could find would bring them enough bread to live on that day.

“Bernadette” grew up uneducated, undernourished and asthmatic, obliged to work as a waitress and a farmhand.   The little girl spoke in a Basque dialect and could scarcely read or write.   She did, however, imbibe from her parents a deep Catholic devotion.

By 1856 the Soubirous were living in an abandoned prison cell which stank of sewage. On 11 February 1858 Bernadette, with her sister Toinette and a friend, went to gather firewood.   In a grotto beside the River Gave, at a place used as a watering hole for pigs, she saw a vision of a “Lady” wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot.   Bernadette’s companions saw nothing and she herself wondered whether her experience had been an illusion.   Three days later, though, she returned to the grotto, and again saw the apparition.   On 18 February her third visit, the vision spoke for the first time, asking for her presence over the next fortnight.   Next day, the Lady instructed Bernadette to tell the priests to build a chapel at the grotto.


Crowds began to gather to witness the regular phenomenon of the small girl in ecstasy. The police, concerned, interrogated Bernadette, who related her experiences with clarity and conviction.   Local interest quickened after the Lady told Bernadette to drink from a muddy trickle in the grotto.   By the morrow the trickle had turned into an active spring.

On 4 March at the end of the prescribed fortnight, a crowd of 10,000 gathered to watch Bernadette.   In fact, she would experience three more apparitions, bringing the total to 18.   Chivied by the parish priest, she insisted that the Lady should give her name.   “I am the Immaculate Conception,” came the reply, in perfect Basque dialect.   Bernadette had no idea what this meant.   She repeated it to herself over and over on her way back to the village so she wouldn’t forget the strange, long words.   When she told her parish priest what the lady had said, he was quite surprised.   The priest knew that what the mysterious lady had said meant that she was Mary, Jesus’ mother.   The mysterious lady of the grotto had told Bernadette who she was.   But it was not very common for people—especially poor little girls who couldn’t read—to think of Mary as the “immaculate conception,” a phrase that reminds us of how God saved Mary from sin even before she was born.   The Blessed Virgin also told her:   “I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the next,” the apparition had told her.

Disliking the attention she was attracting, Bernadette went to the hospice school run by the Sisters of Charity of Nevers where she had learned to read and write.   Although she considered joining the Carmelites, her health precluded her entering any of the strict contemplative orders.   On 29 July 1866, with 42 other candidates, she took the religious habit of a postulant and joined the Sisters of Charity at their motherhouse at Nevers.   Her Mistress of Novices was Sister Marie Therese Vauzou.   The Mother Superior at the time gave her the name Marie-Bernarde in honour of her godmother who was named “Bernarde”.

st bernadette - nun

Bernadette spent the rest of her brief life there, working as an assistant in the infirmary and later as a sacristan, creating beautiful embroidery for altar cloths and vestments. Her contemporaries admired her humility and spirit of sacrifice.   One day, asked about the apparitions, she replied:

“The Virgin used me as a broom to remove the dust.   When the work is done, the broom is put behind the door again.” and  “They think I’m a saint,” she observed. “When I’m dead they’ll come and touch holy pictures and rosaries to me, and all the while I’ll be getting boiled on a grill in purgatory.”

She later contracted tuberculosis of the bone in her right knee.   She had followed the development of Lourdes as a pilgrimage shrine while she still lived at Lourdes but was not present for the consecration of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception there in 1876.


For several months prior to her death, she was unable to take an active part in convent life.   She eventually died of her long-term illness at the age of 35 on 16 April 1879 (Easter Wednesday) while praying the holy rosary.   On her deathbed, as she suffered from severe pain and in keeping with the Virgin Mary’s admonition of “Penance, Penance, Penance,” Bernadette proclaimed that “all this is good for Heaven!”   Her final words were, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me! A poor sinner, a poor sinner”. 

In the 1858 Lourdes apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary declared herself as the Immaculate Conception to the innocent little shepherd girl named Bernadette: … The Immaculate Conception (CCC, 490-3)st bernadette in art


Christós anésti. Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Easter Sunday – 1 April 2018

Christós anésti.
Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!Christós anésti. -1 april 2018

In the words of Pope Francis in the Urbi et Orbi Message of Easter 2013, “let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection!  Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish”.

The tomb is empty.   It is a silent witness to the central event of human history:  the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.   For almost 2,000 years the empty tomb has borne witness to the victory of Life over death.   With the Apostles and Evangelists, with the Church of every time and place, we too bear witness and proclaim:  “Christ is risen! Raised from the dead he will never die again; death no longer has power over him” (cf. Rom 6:9).gospel-easter-sunday-be-not-affrighted-ye-seek-jesus-of-nazareth-who-was-crucified-he-is-risen-he-is-not-here

“Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando; dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus” (Latin Easter Sequence Victimae paschali).   The Lord of Life was dead;  now He reigns, victorious over death, the source of everlasting life for all who believe.

Resurrection of Christ – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Resurrection of Christ – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

These have been days of intense emotion, a time when our soul has been stirred not only by the memory of what God has done but by His very presence, walking with us once again in the land of Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection.   And at every step of this Jubilee Pilgrimage Mary has been with us, lighting our pilgrim path and sharing the joys and sorrows of her sons and daughters.

With Mary, Mater dolorosa, we stand in the shadow of the Cross and weep with her over the affliction of Jerusalem and over the sins of the world.   We stand with her in the silence of Calvary and see the blood and water flowing from the wounded side of her Son.   Realising the terrible consequences of sin, we are moved to repentance for our own sins and for the sins of the Church’s children in every age.   O Mary, conceived without sin, help us on the path to conversion!

With Mary, Stella matutina, we have been touched by the light of the Resurrection.   We rejoice with her that the empty tomb has become the womb of eternal life, where He who rose from the dead now sits at the Father’s right hand.   With her we give endless thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit whom the risen Lord sent upon the Church at Pentecost and whom He continually pours into our hearts, for our salvation and for the good of the human family.

Mary, Regina in caelum assumpta  . From the tomb of her Son, we look to the tomb where Mary lay sleeping in peace, awaiting her glorious Assumption.   The Divine Liturgy celebrated at her tomb in Jerusalem has Mary say:  “Even beyond death, I am not far from you”.   And in the Liturgy her children reply:  “Seeing your tomb, O holy Mother of God, we seem to contemplate you.   O Mary, you are the joy of the angels, the comfort of the afflicted.   We proclaim you as the stronghold of all Christians and, most of all, as our Mother”.

In contemplating the Theotókos, almost at this journey’s end, we look upon the true face of the Church, radiant in all her beauty, shining with “the glory of God which is on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).  O Advocate, help the Church to be ever more like you, her exalted model.   Help her to grow in faith, hope and love, as she searches out and does the will of God in all things (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 65).   O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”



Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday: “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday:  “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His suffering and death.   The altar is left bare and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated.   Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.The Entombment by the Maitre du Chaorce. “HOLY SAT 2

Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation.   The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.   Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns.   After the great battle He is resting in peace but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible…Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.


Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart.   When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary:  she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73).   Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of His resurrection.

The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church:  while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and His soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to His ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

“This same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord . . . throughout every generation” (cf. Ex 12:42)lumen christi - 31 march 2018

On this holy night we celebrate the Easter Vigil, the first — indeed the “mother” — of all vigils of the liturgical year.   On this night, as is sung over and over again in the Preconio, we walk once more the path of humanity from creation to the culminating event of salvation, the death and resurrection of Christ.

The light of Him who “has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20) makes this memorable night, which is rightly considered the “heart” of the liturgical year, “bright as the day” (Ps 139:12).   On this night the entire Church keeps watch and recalls, in meditation, the significant stages of God’s saving intervention in the universe.

“A night of watching kept to the Lord”.   There is a twofold significance to this solemn Easter Vigil, so rich with symbols accompanied by an extraordinary abundance of biblical texts.   On the one hand, it is the prayerful memory of the mirabilia Dei, in the re-presentation of key texts from the Sacred Scriptures, from creation to the sacrifice of Isaac, to the passage through the Red Sea, to the promise of the New Covenant.

On the other hand, this evocative vigil is the trusting expectation of the complete fulfilment of the ancient promises.   The memory of God’s work reaches its climax in the resurrection of Christ and is projected onto the eschatological event of the parusia.   We thus catch a glimpse, on this night of Passover, of the dawning of that day that never ends, the day of the Risen Christ, which inaugurates the new life, the “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Is 65:17; 66:22; Rev 21:1).

From its very beginnings, the Christian community placed the celebration of Baptism within the context of the Easter Vigil.   Here too, on this night, some catechumens will be immersed with Jesus into his death to rise with Him to immortal life.   Thus the wonder of the mysterious spiritual rebirth, wrought by the Holy Spirit, is renewed; the rebirth that incorporates the newly baptised into the people of the new and final Covenant, sealed by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Together with those who will shortly receive Baptism, the liturgy invites all of us here present to renew the promises of our own Baptism.   The Lord asks us to renew the expression of our full obedience to Him and of our total dedication to the service of his Gospel.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters! If this mission may sometimes seem difficult, call to mind the words of the Risen Lord:  “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Certain of His presence, you shall fear no difficulty and no obstacle.   His word will enlighten you;   His Body and His Blood will nourish you and sustain you on your daily journey to eternity.

At the side of each of you there will always be Mary, as she was present among the Apostles, frightened and confused at the time of trial.   And with her faith she will show you, beyond the night of the world, the glorious dawn of the resurrection. Amen

Lumen Christi!

St Pope John Paul II easter vigil in the holy night - 31 march 2018


Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Third Word – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

Devotion of The Seven Last Words of Christ – The Third Word – 28 March – Wednesday of Holy Week 2018

The Seven Last Words of Christ

The Seven Last Words of Christ refer, not to individual words but to the final seven phrases that Our Lord uttered as He hung on the Cross.   These phrases were not recorded in a single Gospel but are taken from the combined accounts of the four Gospels.   Greatly revered, these last words of Jesus have been the subject of many books, sermons and musical settings.   For centuries The Seven Last Words have been built into various forms of devotion for the consideration and consolation of the Christian people.

“…As we are under great obligations to Jesus,
for His Passion endured for our love,
so also are we under great obligations to Mary,
for the martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered,
for our salvation, in the death of her Son”.

St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Churchas we are under great - st bonaventure on the sorrowful mother - the third word - 28 march 2018

The Third Word

“Woman, behold, your son.”… “Behold, your mother.” John 19:26-27

Gospel:  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”   Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”   And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home…Jn 19:26-27

Reflection:  Sinful man, behold the sorrowful face of Our Blessed Mother.   She, who through her acceptance of God’s will brought the Son of God into the world, now sees Him stretched between heaven and earth suffering unbearable torments for your sake. This Mother, who accepted God’s Gift to the world with great joy, is now overcome with great sorrow to see Him who is Innocent put to death for our sakes.   Weep. o sinful man, for you and your sinful habits are the cause of her sorrow.

Looking down on His Most Holy Mother, the Saviour of the world gives her a parting gift: sinful mankind.   With four words He gives us who have crucified Him into her care, so that she may care for us with the same kindness and dedication as she had for Him.   The sorrow at losing her only Son is replaced with the sorrow of a mother who is forced to watch as her children blindly go down the path to destruction.

But Our Saviour is not finished.   Turning to St John and speaking through him to us, He reminds and warns us to honour His mother.   How can we return to sin when we remember that our sin hurts Our Blessed Mother twice?   First, we hurt her when our sin adds to Our Lord’s suffering.   Second, just like any other mother, Our Blessed Mother is saddened to the point of tears when we turn from the narrow path that leads to Salvation and instead take the wide path that leads to Eternal Damnation.

O, Most Blessed Mother,
I beg that you forgive me
for all that I have done to offend you
and your Most Holy Son.
I beg you further to intercede with your Son on my behalf.
I deserve Eternal Punishment for my continual offenses
against both you and your Son.
Take me by the hand so that I may never again offend you
and help me to grow in virtue,
that I may make reparation for my offences.

Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence

My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.THE THIRD WORD - JOHN 19 26-27 - THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST - THE DEVOTION - 28 MARCH 2018


Pope Francis institutes new celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church

Pope Francis institutes new celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church

Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

on the celebration
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mother of the Church
in the General Roman Calendar

The joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.

In some ways this was already present in the mind of the Church from the premonitory words of Saint Augustine and Saint Leo the Great.   In fact the former says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she co-operated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church.   These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.

Indeed, the Mother standing beneath the cross (cf. Jn 19:25), accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal.   She thus became the tender Mother of the Church which Christ begot on the cross handing on the Spirit.   Christ, in turn, in the beloved disciple, chose all disciples as ministers of his love towards his Mother, entrusting her to them so that they might welcome her with filial affection.

As a caring guide to the emerging Church, Mary had already begun her mission in the Upper Room, praying with the Apostles while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).   In this sense, in the course of the centuries, Christian piety has honoured Mary with various titles, in many ways equivalent, such as Mother of Disciples, of the Faithful, of Believers, of all those who are reborn in Christ and also as “Mother of the Church” as is used in the texts of spiritual authors as well as in the Magisterium of Popes Benedict XIV and Leo XIII.

Thus the foundation is clearly established by which Blessed Paul VI, on 21 November 1964, at the conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church, that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother” and established that “the Mother of God should be further honoured and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles”.

Therefore the Apostolic See on the occasion of the Holy Year of Reconciliation (1975), proposed a votive Mass in honour of Beata Maria Ecclesiæ Matre, which was subsequently inserted into the Roman Missal.   The Holy See also granted the faculty to add the invocation of this title in the Litany of Loreto (1980) and published other formularies in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1986).   Some countries, dioceses and religious families who petitioned the Holy See were allowed to add this celebration to their particular calendars.

Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year.

This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God.

The Memorial therefore is to appear in all Calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of Mass and of the Liturgy of the Hours.   The relative liturgical texts are attached to this decree and their translations, prepared and approved by the Episcopal Conferences, will be published after confirmation by this Dicastery.

Where the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is already celebrated on a day with a higher liturgical rank, approved according to the norm of particular law, in the future it may continue to be celebrated in the same way.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 11 February 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.

Robert Card. Sarah

+ Arthur Roche
Archbishop Secretarydecree - mater ecclesiae - new memorial monday after pentecost - 4 march 2018


22 February 2018 Thursday of the First Week of Lent and the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

22 February 2018 Thursday of the First Week of Lent and the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalms 23, Matthew 16:13-19

1 Peter 5:1-3 –  “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed.   Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock.”

Matthew 16:14-19 –  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”   And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona!  For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father, who is in heaven.   And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the powers of hell shall not prevail against it.   I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.”lent - thursday of the first week - 22 feb 2018

Organisations develop and thrive under enlightened leadership and through the hard work of dedicated members. The Church is not different. She has rendered amazing service to human society, starting with just twelve members, because at every period of history, she has had committed and perceptive leaders to guide her, always, under the main leader, God, the Holy Spirit.

Today, Peter asks his fellow Church-workers, to fulfil their duty with joy, not out of compulsion or for any material advantage.   He himself was entrusted with the mission of guiding and caring for the destinies of the early Christian community, in spite of his limitations.   One of his great distinctions was that he was the first to confess, before his brethren, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, this is the source and ground of the whole operation.   Many others had seen in Jesus a gifted prophet.   But God reveals His Son to those whom He chooses.

Those who are open to God’s ways, not only recognise Him for what He really is but become eager to take His message to the ends of the earth.   They listen for His voice! And this is the end result of our Lenten penances, to become those lights in our world, to become those Catholics who truly resemble their Founder, those Catholics who pray, who love, who live charity and thus, by their lives, they preach the Good News to all who meet them!   ArchBishop Thomas Menamparampil SCB

Hearing the Voice of God:  A man practised in woodcraft, out of a babel of sounds in a tropical forest, will recognise any one.   He may hear the calls of a hundred, a thousand, different species of birds, squawking, hooting, whistling, singing but he says, “There! Listen to the note of such and such a bird.”   The novice strains his ears but cannot catch the particular sound.   “I listen,” says he, “but I cannot recognise it.   How can you know it?”   And the master says, “I could tell that note if every leaf on every tree had a different voice and all were speaking.   I could tell that note in the midst of any tumult.”

So, the man who knows the voice of God, hears it anywhere – in the midst of crowded streets, at an entertainment, on a battle field, in his soul, even when temptation is making pandemonium within.   He can recognise the voice of God anywhere…– Father James M Gillis – A Thought a Day for Lent, by Father James M Gillis, C.S.P

O Jesus, living in Mary
By Fr Jean-Jacques Olier, S.S. (1608-1657)

O Jesus, living in Mary,
Come and live in Your servants,
In the spirit of Your sanctity,
In the fullness of Your strength.
In the reality of Your virtues.
In the perfection of Your ways.
In the communion of Your mysteries.
Be lord over every opposing power.
In Your own Spirit, to the glory of the Father.

Fr Jean-Jacques Olier (20 September 1608 – 2 April 1657) was a French priest and the founder of the Sulpicians.   (Prayer a Day for Lent, compiled from approved sources by Father Albert A Murray, C.S.P.)o jesus, living in mary - 22 feb 2018


Thought for the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

Thought for the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

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.   As the opening prayer suggests, let us pray intensely that amid the upheavals of the world, she may not be shaken but advance with courage and trust.

By virtue of the transforming experience of the Good Shepherd, Peter described himself, in his Letter to the Churches of Asia Minor, as “a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed” (1 Pt 5: 1).   He urges “the elders” to tend the flock of God and become examples to it (cf. 1 Pt 5: 2-3).   Today, dear friends, this exhortation is addressed particularly to you, whom the Good Shepherd has wished to associate in the most eminent way with the ministry of Peter’s Successor.   Be faithful to your mission and ready to lay down your lives for the Gospel.   The Lord is asking this of you, and the Christian people who have gathered around you today with joy and affection expect it of you.

“I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Lk 22: 32).   This is what the Lord said to Simon Peter at the Last Supper.   Jesus’ words, fundamental for Peter and his Successors, also spread light and comfort to those who cooperate more closely in their ministry.   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.

May this prayer, which never ceases to flow from the Good Shepherd’s heart, always be your strength!   Have no doubt that just as it was for Christ and for Peter, so it will be for you:  your most effective witness will always be one that is marked by the Cross.   The Cross is God’s chair in the world.   On it Christ has offered humanity the most important lesson, that of loving one another as He has loved us (cf. Jn 13: 34): even to the ultimate gift of oneself.feast of the chair of st peter - 22 feb 2018 - today's celebration highlights - st john paul

The Mother of Christ and of the disciples, Mary Most Holy, always stands beneath the Cross.   The Lord entrusted us to her when He said:  “Woman, behold, your son!” (Jn 19: 26).   Since the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Church, protected Peter and the Apostles in a special way, she will not fail to protect the Successor of Peter and his collaborators.  May this consoling certainty encourage you not to be afraid of trials and difficulties.  But, reassured by God’s constant protection, let us obey together the command of Christ, who vigorously asked Peter, and with him the Church, to put out into the deep: “Duc in altum” (Lk 5: 4).   Yes, dear Brothers, let us put out into the deep, let us cast our nets for the catch and let us “go forward in hope!”  (Novo millennio ineunte, n. 58).

Christ, the Son of the living God, is the same yesterday and today and forever. Amen!…Excerpt from the Homily of St John Paul on Thursday, 22 February 2001, Feast of Saint Peter’s Chair

St Peter Pray for Holy Mother Church, Pray for us all!st peter - pray for us - 22 feb 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – The Memorial of St Peter Damian O.S.B. (1007-1072) and St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595)

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – The Memorial of St Peter Damian O.S.B. (1007-1072) and St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595)

“He pours light into our minds,
arouses our desire and gives us strength…
As the soul is the life of the body,
so the Holy Spirit is the life of our souls.”he pours light into our minds - st peter damian - 21 feb 2018

“Through a woman [Eve]
a curse fell upon the earth;
through a woman [Mary] as well,
there returned to the earth a blessing.”through a woman (eve) - st peter damina - 21 feb 2018

“When you are scorned by others
and lashed by God, do not despair.
God lashes us in this life,
to shield us from the eternal lash in the next.”

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churchwhen-you-are-scorned-by-others-st-peter-damian-21 feb 2018

“God gave Himself to you:
give yourself to God.”god gave himself - st robert southwell - 21 feb 2018

“Where sin was hatched, let tears now wash the nest.”where-sin-was-hatched-st-robert-southwell-29-jan-2018

“Christianity is warfare
and Christians are spiritual soldiers.”

“Not where I breathe
but where I love,
I live.”

“When Fortune smiles,
I smile to think, how quickly she will frown.”

St Robert Southwell (1561-1595)christianity is warfare - st robert southwell - 21 feb 2018



Quote/s of the Day – 20 February 2018 -The First Memorial of Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920) – “The Shepherds of Fatima”

Quote/s of the Day – 20 February 2018 -The First Memorial of Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920) – “The Shepherds of Fatima”

“We were burning in that light
which is God and we were not consumed.
What is God like?
It is impossible to say.
In fact, we will never be able to tell people”

St Francisco Marto of Fatima (1908-1919)we were burning in that light - st francisco marto - 20 feb 2018

“Speak ill of no-one and avoid the company
of those who talk (ill) about their neighbours.

St Jacinta Marto of Fatima (1910-1920)speak ill of no-one - st jacinta - 20 feb 2018

“Father, to You I offer praise, for you have revealed these things to the merest children”. Today Jesus’ praise takes the solemn form of the beatification of the little shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta.   With this rite the Church wishes to put on the candlelabrum these two candles which God lit to illumine humanity in its dark and anxious hours. …Father, to You I offer praise for all Your children, from the Virgin Mary, Your humble Servant, to the little shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta. May the message of their lives live on forever to light humanity’s way!”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005) on the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, 13 May 2000the church wishes to put on the candlelabrum - st john paul - 20 feb 2018