I Place myself in Your Presence (Prayer before Holy Mass or at Eucharistic Adoration) Bl John Henry Newman
I place myself
in the presence of Him
in whose Incarnate Presence
I am before
I place myself there.
I adore You, O my Saviour,
present here as God and Man,
in soul and body,
in true flesh and blood.
I acknowledge and confess,
that I kneel before
that Sacred Humanity,
which was conceived
in Mary’s womb
and lay on Mary’s bosom,
which grew up to man’s estate
and by the Sea of Galilee
called the Twelve,
and spoke words of wisdom
Which, in due season
hung on the Cross,
lay in the tomb,
rose from the dead
and now reigns in heaven.
I praise and bless and give myself
wholly to Him,
who is the true Bread of my soul
and my everlasting joy.
Quote/s of the Day – 13 September – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Doctor – “John of the Golden Mouth”
“When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear and veneration.”
“It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ but He who was crucified for us, Christ Himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their Power and Grace are God’s. This is my body, He says. This word transforms the things offered.”
“Let us, then, come back from that table like lions breathing out fire, thus becoming terrifying to the Devil and remaining mindful of our Head and of the love He has shown for us. . . This Blood, when worthily received, drives away demons and puts them at a distance from us, and even summons to us angels and the Lord of angels. . . This Blood, poured out in abundance, has washed the whole world clean. . . This is the price of the world; by it Christ purchased the Church. . . This thought will check in us unruly passions. How long, in truth, shall we be attached to present things? How long shall we remain asleep? How long shall we not take thought for our own salvation? Let us remember what privileges God has bestowed on us, let us give thanks, let us glorify Him, not only by faith but also by our very works.”
“Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbour!”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – “John of the Golden Mouth”
Give me, good Lord,
a full faith and a fervent charity,
a love of You, good Lord,
incomparable above the love of myself;
and that I love nothing to Your displeasure
but everything in an order to You.
Take from me, good Lord,
this lukewarm fashion,
or rather key-cold manner of meditation
and this dullness in praying to You.
And give me warmth, delight and life
in thinking about You.
And give me Your grace
to long for Your holy sacraments
and specially to rejoice
in the presence of Your blessed Body,
sweet Saviour Christ,
in the holy Sacrament of the altar,
and duly to thank You
for Your gracious coming.
Saint of the Day – 3 September – St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) – Father & Doctor of the Church. Also known as “Father of the Fathers” (c 540 at Rome, Italy – Papal Ascension: 3 September 590 – 12 March 604 at Rome, Italy of natural causes). Pope, Prefect of Rome, Monk, Abbot, Writer, Theologian, Teacher, Liturgist. Patronages – • against gout • against plague,• choir boys,• teachers, teachers,• stone masons, stonecutters,
• students, school children,• popes, the papacy,• musicians,• singers,• England,
• West Indies,• Legazpi, Philippines, diocese of,• Order of Knights of Saint Gregory,
• Kercem, Malta,• Montone, Italy,• San Gregorio nelle Alpi, Italy. Attributes – • crozier
• dove,• pope working on sheet music,• pope writing,• tiara.
Pope St. Gregory was born in Rome, the son of a wealthy Roman Senator. His mother was St. Sylvia. He followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, becoming Prefect of the City of Rome but resigned within a year to pursue monastic life.
He founded with the help of his vast financial holdings seven monasteries, of which six were on family estates in Sicily. A seventh, which he placed under the patronage of St. Andrew and which he himself joined, was erected on the Clivus Scauri in Rome. For several years, he lived as a good and holy Benedictine monk.
Then Pope Pelagius made him one of the seven deacons of Rome. For six years, he served as permanent ambassador to the Court of Byzantium. In the year 586, he was recalled to Rome and with great joy returned to St Andrew’s Monastery. He became abbot soon afterwards and the monastery grew famous under his energetic rule. When the Pope died, Gregory was unanimously elected to take his place because of his great piety and wisdom. However, Gregory did not want that honour, so he disguised himself and hid in a cave but was found and made Pope anyway.
He was elected Pope on 3 September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. For fourteen years he ruled the Church. Even though he was always sick, Gregory was one of the greatest popes the Church has ever had. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down.
His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of St Augustine of Canterbury and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care, spirituality and morals and designated himself “servant of the servants of God”, a title which all Popes have used since that time.
He never rested and wore himself down to almost a skeleton. Even as he lay dying, he directed the affairs of the Church and continued his spiritual writing.
He codified the rules for selecting deacons to make these offices more spiritual. Prior to this, deacons were selected on their ability to sing the liturgy and chosen if they had good voices.
Because he loved the solemn celebration of the Eucharist, St. Grergory devoted himself to compiling the Antiphonary, which contains the chants of the Church used during the liturgy (the Gregorian Chant). He also set up the Schola Cantorum, Roman’s famous training school for chorusters.
St Gregory died on March 12, 604 and was buried in St Peter’s Church. He is designated as the fourth Doctor of the Latin Church. His feast is celebrated on the date of his election as Pope.
The Eucharistic Miracle of St Pope Gregory
St Gregory the Great is perhaps especially remembered by many for the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in 595 during the Holy Sacrifice. This famous incident was related by Paul the Deacon in his 8th century biography of the holy pope, Vita Beati Gregorii Papae.
Pope Gregory was distributing Holy Communion during a Sunday Mass and noticed amongst those in line a woman who had helped make the hosts was laughing. This disturbed him greatly and so he inquired what was the cause of her unusual behaviour. The woman replied that she could not believe how the hosts she had prepared could become the Body and Blood of Christ just by the words of consecration.
Hearing this disbelief, St. Gregory refused to give her Communion and prayed that God would enlighten her with the truth. Just after making this plea to God, the pope witnessed some consecrated Hosts (which appeared as bread) change Their appearance into actual flesh and blood. Showing this miracle to the woman, she was moved to repentance for her disbelief and knelt weeping. Today, two of these miraculous Hosts can still be venerated at Andechs Abbey in Germany (with a third miraculous Host from Pope Leo IX [11th century], thus the Feast of the Three Hosts of Andechs [Dreihostienfest]).
During the Middle Ages, the event of the Miraculous Mass of St. Gregory was gradually stylised in several ways. First the doubting woman was often replaced by a deacon, while the crowd was often comprised of the papal court of cardinals and other retinue. Another important feature was the pious representation of the Man of Sorrows rising from a sarcophagus and surrounded by the Arma Christi, or the victorious display of the various instruments of the Passion.
The artistic representation of this Eucharistic Miracle became especially prominent in Europe during the Protestant Reformation in reaction to the heretical denial of the doctrine of the Real Presence.
Quote/s of the Day – 21 August – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X
“The daily adoration or visit to the Blessed Sacrament is the practice which is the fountainhead of all devotional works.”
“HOLY COMMUNION is the shortest and the safest way to heaven.”
“The greatest obstacle in the apostolate of the Church is the timidity or rather the cowardice of the faithful.”
“Let the storm rage and the sky darken — not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognise in her, the Virgin Most Powerful, who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent.”
Thought for the Day – 17 August – The Memorial of St Hyacinth of Poland – “Apostle of Poland” “Apostle of the North”
“Our readers, we can but fancy, have marvelled at the prodigious labours and travelling of Saint Hyacinth, although we have given only a meager account of them. They extended over a period of nearly forty years and carried him through a large part of Europe and Asia. Doubtless, if they were recorded in detail and in proper sequence, they would be found infinitely more stupendous than we have painted them. He alone could have told them as they should be recounted. Yet it possibly never entered his mind to leave posterity any information on his life. The one thing that engaged his thoughts was, after saving his own soul, to help those of others, to make God known and to extend the kingdom of Christ. The same idea filled the minds of the confrères who were often his companions in labour. In this way, it was only through the scanty records discovered in cities and the early convents that historians have been able to tell us the little we do know about him. Still perhaps never was there a life which should be more completely written than that of Saint Hyacinth Odrowaz.
One may consider the practical, lively faith of the Poles, whether in the home land or in others, as a perpetual miracle of Saint Hyacinth. In no small measure they owe it to him. To that keen faith we must attribute the magnificent institutions of learning, charity, benevolence and the like, as well as the churches, monasteries and similar edifices, in which Poland abounds and in which it has found expression. All these are filled with the spirit which the people largely derived from him. They simply thrill with love and gratitude for him. This true spirit of Catholicity, we must remember, has been preserved undiminished for centuries through wars of every kind, division, hardships, persecution and every sort of oppression-the like of which the world has seen few parallels. We have here, it would seem, the greatest miracle of the zealous apostle’s life. At least, it has contributed more to the glory of God, the good of the Church, and the salvation of souls than any miracle he performed.” (Acta; STANISLAUS, Father, O. P., of Cracow, manuscript Vita Sancti Hyacinthi.)
Saint Hyacinth teaches us to spare no effort in the service of God but to rely for success not on our industry but on the assistance of the Holy Eucharist and the prayer of the Immaculate Mother of God.
St Hyacinth of Poland pray for the Poland, the Church and for us all!
Thought for the Day – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe
St Maximilian’s “Secret” to Holiness and Happiness
St. Maximilian says: “It is a false and widely diffused idea that the saints were not like us. They were also subject to temptation, they fell and got up, they also felt overwhelmed with sadness, weakened and paralyzed by discouragement. But remember the words of the Saviour: ‘Without me, you can do nothing’ (Jn 15:51) and those of St. Paul: ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me’ (Phil 4:13). Not confiding in themselves, but, putting all their confidence in God after every humiliating fall, they repented sincerely, they purified their soul in the Sacrament of Penance and then they went back to work with still greater fervour.”
We are very much deceived if we think we cannot become a saint, or that we will be “lucky” if we even make it to Purgatory. The great men of the world overcome all kinds of obstacles in order to become rich or famous. Why do we not try harder to persevere, when that is precisely what Our Blessed Lord deserves? After all, He poured Himself out for us so that we might be holy. The saints were not supermen; they were sinners who persevered through hardship and adversity because they were humble and repentant and confident in God’s grace.”…(Fr Angelo M. Geiger F.I.)
In the end, holiness is not merely a warm feeling of God’s presence or even the ecstatic experiences of the saints. St Maximilian tells us that true holiness is found in obedience and obedience is acquired through prayer, penance and perseverance.
And this obedience consists in living – truly living the life of a Catholic, St Maximillian said his own words):
“Go to confession with sincerity, diligence, a deep sorrow for his sins and a firm resolve to amend his life. He will suddenly feel a peace and happiness compared with which all the fleeting, unworthy pleasures of this world are really an odious torment.
Let everyone seek to come and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with proper preparation.
Go to Eucharistic Adoration – for this is the the most important activity.
Let him never permit his soul to remain in sin but let him purify it immediately.
Let him do his duty manfully.
Let him address humble and frequent prayers to God’s throne, especially through the hands of the Immaculate Virgin.
Let him welcome his brethren with a charitable heart, bearing for God’s sake the sufferings and difficulties of life.
Let him do good to all, even his enemies, solely for the love of God and not in order to be praised or even thanked by men.”
Then we will come to understand what it means to have a foretaste of paradise; and perhaps more than once we will find peace and joy even in poverty, suffering, disgrace, or illness.