Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Holy Week Thoughts – Maundy Thursday – 18 April – The perfection of love

Holy Week Thoughts – Maundy Thursday – 18 April

The perfection of love

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Treatise 84

Dear brethren, the Lord has marked out for us the fullness of love that we ought to have for each other.   He tells us – No-one has greater love than the man who lays down his life for his friends.   In these words, the Lord tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves.   John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in one of his letters – As Christ laid down His life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.   We should indeed love one another as He loved us, He who laid down His life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon:  If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you, then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself.   What is this ruler’s table, if not the one at which we receive the body and blood of Him who laid down His life for us?   What does it mean to sit at this table if not to approach it with humility? What does it mean to observe carefully what is set before you, if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift?   What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that one must provide the same kind of meal oneself, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down His life for us, so we in our turn, ought to lay down our lives, for our brothers?   This is what the Hpostle Paul said – Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in his footsteps.

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal.”   This is what the blessed martyrs did, with such burning love.   If we are to give true meaning, to our celebration of their memorials, to our approaching the Lord’s table, in the very banquet at which they were fed, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal.”

At this table of the Lord we do not commemorate the martyrs in the same way as we commemorate others who rest in peace.  We do not pray for the martyrs as we pray for those others, rather, they pray for us, that we may follow in His footsteps.   They practised the perfect love, of which the Lord said, there could be none greater.   They provided “the same kind of meal” as they had themselves received at the Lord’s table.

This must not be understood as saying, that we can be the Lord’s equals by bearing witness to Him, to the extent of shedding our blood.   He had the power of laying down His life, we by contrast, cannot choose the length of our lives and we die, even if it is against our will.   He, by dying, destroyed death in Himself;  we are freed from death only in His death.   His body did not see corruption, our body will see corruption and only then be clothed through Him, in incorruption, at the end of the world.   He needed no help from us in saving us, without Him, we can do nothing.   He gave Himself to us, as the vine to the branches, apart from Him, we cannot have life.

Finally, even if brothers die for brothers, yet no martyr by shedding his blood brings forgiveness for the sins of his brothers, as Christ brought forgiveness to us.   In this, He gave us, not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing.   Inasmuch, then, as they shed their blood for their brothers, the martyrs provided “the same kind of meal” as they had received at the Lord’s table.   Let us then love one another as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.he need no help from us - st augustine - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

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Posted in HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 April -He loved them to the end…”

One Minute Reflection – 18 April – Holy Thursday, Gospel: John 13:1–15

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end...John 13:1john 13 1 -now before the feast of the passover - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

REFLECTION“The footwashing” – This shows “His love for them to the end” – this is an act of love that Peter, understandably, perceives as completely unacceptable, as turning the world upside-down. Yet, precisely this inversion, is the most upright thing possible. One must first let it happen to himself, precisely as the Lord did it – in His incomparable love’s humbling – before he can take it as “an example” (13:14) for himself and practice this self-abasement with the brethren.  This is the Gospel’s tangible demonstration of the subsequent passage’s description of the mystery of the Eucharist – Christians should, like Christ Himself, become edible food and potable drink, for each other.”…Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)the footwashing - this shows his love for them to the end - hans urs von blathasar 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

“Christianity is above all a gift: God gives himself to us – He does not give some thing but Himself. And this takes place not only at the beginning, at the moment of our conversion. He continually remains the One who gives. He always offers us His gifts anew. He always precedes us. For this reason, the central action of being Christians is the Eucharist: gratitude for having been gratified, the joy for the new life that He gives us.”...Pope Benedict XVI 20 March 2008 Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supperchristianity-is-above-all-a-gift-pope-benedict-18 april 2019 also used 29 march 2018-holy-thursday.jpg

PRAYER – Love of You, with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness.   Increase then Your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in Your Son’s Death, You made us hope for what we believe, You may likewise, in His Resurrection, make us come to You, our final end.  Listen we beg, to the prayers of Your holy ones and may the Blessed Mother walk along with us and keep our hand, ever in hers.   Through Jesus Himself, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.our lady mother of sorrows pray for us 26 march 2019.jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MARIAN QUOTES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, Uncategorized

Sunday Reflection – 14 April – God with Us! St John XXIII

Sunday Reflection – 14 April – Palm Sunday, Year C

God with Us!
St John XXIII (1881-1963)

This is the great reality of Christian history – Jesus, the Sacred Host, the Bread of Life, in the midst of His Church.
This is that brightest Star which enables us to look forward with great confidence to the future Kingdom of Christ.   And, as we bless and adore Jesus in the most Holy Eucharist, we wish to raise our hearts in trustful prayer to Mary, His sweet Mother and our Mother too.

So let us turn to her, as our own dear Mother.   It is she, who bore and presented to the world, Jesus, our Redeemer and Saviour.   It is she, who leads innocent souls and penitent souls, to Jesus.   It was at her request at the wedding at Cana that our Saviour worked His first great miracle, to the joy and delight of all believers.

In her sanctuary of Lourdes and in so many other sanctuaries all over the world, she continues her motherly and pious task of leading to her Divine Son’s arms, all who pray to her, for the safety, peace and joy of the Holy Universal Church.   Is this not the literal accomplishment of our fervent resole – “to Jesus through Mary?”

Let us then understand one another, beloved children, as we worship Jesus in the Holy Eucharist – God with us!   God with us!

The Sacrament of Jesus, remains with us as our divine inheritance, for our salvation and for the joy of the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

When we pray before the Blessed Sacrament, may the Mother of Jesus, who is our Mother, continually be remembered, as our intercessor and protectress, the joy and gladness of our hearts.   Amen.god with us - this is the great reality - st john XXIII 14 april 2019.jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote of the Day – 12 April – He leaves His angels

Quote of the Day – 12 April – Friday of the Fifth Week, Year C and the Memorial of Saint Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes” OCD (1900-1920)

“How I would have loved, mother dear, to be by your side to console and weep with you. But our souls met by the tabernacle.   He leaves His angels and millions of people, to come into your soul, to consummate in you the most intimate union, to transform you into God, to nourish in you the life of grace with which you will attain heaven.”  … from the letters of Saint Terese de los Andes

St Teresa de Jesús “de los Andes” (1900-1920)he leaves his angels and - st teresa de los andes 12 april 2019.jpg

Posted in SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 7 April – Come to the altar with your wounds and scars.

Sunday Reflection – 7 April – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C

Every moment of your life is a preparation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, just as every moment of My life was a preparation for and a slow ascent to the Sacrifice of the Cross.   Understand this and you will see that nothing in your life is foreign to My plan for you, that everything you have done and that every place you have ever been and that every person with whom you have been or are connected, is part of My design for your life.

When you bring to your Mass all that you have experienced — your whole life story — you allow Me to redeem those things that are most dark, bitter and painful by taking them into the mystery of My Sacrifice.

Come to the altar with your wounds and scars.   Give them to Me and I shall unite them to My own sufferings and so make them shine in My sight.   Come to the altar with your sins, even with those of which you are most ashamed and I shall show you that I have already taken them upon Myself and expiated them in my Blood.   Come to the altar with every troubled and broken relationship of your past, with every betrayal, every failure, and every falling away from holiness and I shall cast all these things into the ocean of My mercy, never again to be recovered, or named, or used by the Accuser against you.

(From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of a Priest)when you bring to mass - in sinu jesus - 7 april 2019 sun reflection .jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 7 April – Prayer in Honour of the Eucharistic King

Our Morning Offering – 7 April – The Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C

Prayer in Honour of the Eucharistic King
By St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

O Jesus, King of all peoples and all ages,
accept the Acts of Adoration and praise,
which we, Your brothers by adoption,
humbly offer You.
You are the “Living Bread which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world,”
Supreme Priest and Victim.
On the Cross, You offered Yourself to the Eternal Father
as a bloody sacrifice of expiation,
for the redemption of the human race
and now, You offer Yourself daily upon our altars,
by the hands of Your ministers,
in order to establish, in every heart,
Your “reign of truth and life, of holiness and grace,
of justice, love and peace.”
O King of glory, may Your kingdom come!
Reign from Your “throne of grace”,
in the hearts of children,
so that they may guard untainted
the while lily of baptismal innocence.
Reign in the hearts of the young,
that they may grow up healthy and pure,
obedient to the commands of those who represent You
in their families and schools and in the Church.
Reign in our homes,
so that parents and children may live in peace,
in obedience to Your holy law.
Reign in our lands,
so that all citizens,
in the harmonious order of the various social groups,
may feel themselves children of the same heavenly Father,
called to co-operate for the common good of this world,
happy to belong to the one Mystical Body,
of which Your Sacrament is at once the symbol
and the everlasting source.
Finally, reign, O King of kings
and “Lord of lords,”
over all the nations of the earth
and enlighten all their rules in order that,
inspired by Your example, they may make
“plans for welfare and not for evil.”
O Jesus, present in the Sacrament of the Altar,
teach all the nations to serve You with willing hearts,
knowing that “to serve God is to reign.”
May Your Sacrament, O Jesus,
be light to the mind,
strength to the will,
joy to the heart.
May it be the support of the weak,
the comfort of the suffering,
the wayfaring bread of salvation for the dying
and for all,
the “pledge of future glory”
Amenprayer in honour of the eucharisdtic king.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

April Devotion – The Blessed Sacrament

April Devotion – The Blessed Sacrament

Other Christians, most notably the Eastern Orthodox, some Anglicans and some Lutherans, believe in the Real Presence, that is, they believe, as we Catholics do, that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ in the sacrament of the altar (though only Catholics define this change as transubstantiation).

However, only the Catholic Church has developed the practice of Eucharistic adoration. Every Catholic Church contains a Tabernacle in which the Body of Christ is reserved between Masses and the faithful are encouraged to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.   Frequent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a path to spiritual growth.april-devotion

Eucharistic Adoration
The practice of Eucharistic adoration on earth not only brings us grace but prepares us for our life in Heaven.   As Ven Pope Pius XII wrote in Mediator Dei (1947):

“These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are reechoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb “who was slain.”

This month, why not make a special effort to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament?   It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate – You can start simply by making the Sign of the Cross and uttering a short profession of faith, such as “My Lord and my God!” as you pass a Catholic church.   If you have the time to stop for five minutes, all the better.

“A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent
in sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“When you want to find me, come near the tabernacle.”

St Pio of Pietrelcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)a thousand years and when you want to find me - st padre pio 3 april 2019.jpg