Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 27 December – “The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made”

Thought for the Day – 27 December – the Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved” and the 3rd Octave Day – “The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made”

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him.”   Peter then came out, with the other disciple and they went toward the tomb.   They both ran but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there but he did not go in.   Then Simon Peter came, following him and went into the tomb, he saw the linen cloths lying and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.   Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in and he saw and believed...John 20:2–8

Tucked away in a central Parisian museum that was once a railway station, there hangs an Easter painting quite unlike any Gospel masterpiece created before or after it.   It is not painted by a Rembrandt or a Rubens or the patron saint of artists, Fra Angelico.   The painting is the work of a little-known Swiss painter.   For those who make a trip to see it, viewing the canvas is a special spiritual experience in their lives.

The work does not even show the risen Jesus.   It merely portrays two witnesses, Jesus’ oldest and youngest apostle.   The youngest who was the only man brave enough to stay by Jesus’ cross and the only one who did not die a martyr’s death as a result of it.   The oldest apostle, who first denied Jesus in fear, yet ultimately chose to be crucified upside down by the Roman authorities, rather than deny Christ’s resurrection.

Mary, John & Mary of Magdala at the cross-antoon-van-dyck-follow-jesus
Anton van Dyck

In “The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection” by Eugène Burnand, John clasps his hand in prayer while Peter holds his hand over his heart.   The viewer feels the rush as their hair and cloaks fly back with the wind.   They are sprinting towards discovery of the moment that forever altered heaven and earth.   As you look at it, engage for a moment in what the Catholic blogger Bill Donaghy calls “the visual equivalent of Lectio Divina.”   As Donaghy notes, “This Resurrection scene does not put us before still figures near a stagnant stone, or figures standing with stony faces in a contrived, plastic posture, pointing to an empty tomb.   This scene is dynamic; we are in motion.”

During his time, Burnand was fascinated by the possibilities of the emerging art of photography.   Ironically, he would later be dismissed in the twentieth century as too “bourgeois” and anti-modernist when in fact he was merging his love of tradition with his interest in new technological ways of capturing the human person.   His painting feels cinematic long before cinema existed as a major art form.

Through the movement and immediacy of the scene, the preceding minutes with Mary Magdalene are palpable.   In a sense, she is in the painting too.   “You can almost hear her voice in the background, can you not, a few minutes earlier, as she burst into their house…” writes the Episcopal Bishop Dorsey McConnell in an Easter sermon meditating on the painting.

Apart from Jesus’ mother, no other three participants capture the closeness of Jesus’ encounter with humankind quite like John, Peter and Mary of Magdala.   Their interactions with Christ embody a relationship to God previously unimaginable to mankind.   Jesus turning to Peter as they sit by the fire and asking three times, “Do you love me?”, thereby washing away the sin of the three denials past;  Christ turning to John in the midst of his suffering and saying, “Behold, your mother,” giving her to the Church entire.   And, of course, the beautiful moment about to transpire in which Jesus’ merely says Mary’s name and she recognises Him with a cry of “Rabbouni!”   They are the moments which cause one to wonder, how those who truly hate Christianity (not merely disbelief it) can remain so hostile to its narrative beauty.

st john and the sorrowful mother - van-weyden-at-the-cross
By Rogier van Weyden (1400-1464)
st john and mary - beloved-by-dyce
By William Dyce (1806-1864)

Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze.   Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth.   A new life is about to emerge but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control.   Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.

Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told.   Meditate upon their faces, as Burnand intended you to do and through them, discover the empty tomb.the-greatest-easter-painting-elise-ehrhard-crises-mag1- used again today 27dec2018

St John, Beloved of the Lord, Pray for us!beloved st john pray for us 27 dec 2018

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Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY NAME, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – Blessed is He

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

Blessed is He
St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church

Blessed is the Child, who gladdened Bethlehem today.
Blessed is the Babe, who today renewed the youth of humankind.
Blessed is the Fruit, who bowed Himself down to our hunger.
Blessed is the gracious One, who suddenly enriched our poverty
and supplied our need.
Blessed is He, whose tender mercy led Him to heal our infirmities.
Blessed is He, whom freedom crucified, because He permitted it.
Blessed is He, whom also the wood bore, because He gave it leave.
Blessed is He, whom the grave bound, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He, whose free choice brough Him
to the womb and to birth.
Blessed is He, who sealed our soul and adorned and betrothed her to Himself.
Blessed is the beautiful One, who remade us in His image.
Blessed is He, who made our flesh a tabernacle for His hiddenness.
Blessed is He, who with our tongue spoke out His secrets.
Blessed is the Word of the most high, who became flesh today for us.
Amenblessed is he by st ephrem 25 dec 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY CROSS, The RESURRECTION

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great: DAY NINE – 21 OCTOBER

NOVENA to St John Paul the Great: DAY NINE – 21 OCTOBER

Little Known Fact #9:   While visiting the United States in 1976, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spent a few days in Pomfret, Vermont with philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka and her family.   His main purpose was to work on the English translation of Osobo I Czyn (The Acting Person) but he also used it as a time to relax and enjoy nature.  For example, he was often late for lunch because he had been swimming in the neighbour’s pond. Additionally, he didn’t want to be treated like a guest but instead insisted that he cut the grass and help bale hay.   He was truly in his element in Vermont and remarked that it reminded him of the Tatras in Poland.   Wojtyla spent most of his time outdoors, working on the English translation while sitting on the trunk of a tree that had fallen.

REFLECTION:   “This was his message:  man is the way of the Church and Christ is the way of man.  With this message, which is the great legacy of the Second Vatican Council and of its “helmsman”, the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, John Paul II led the People of God across the threshold of the Third Millennium, which thanks to Christ he was able to call “the threshold of hope”.   Throughout the long journey of preparation for the great Jubilee he directed Christianity once again to the future, the future of God, which transcends history while nonetheless directly affecting it.   He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress.  He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope, to be lived in history in an “Advent” spirit, in a personal and communitarian existence directed to Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fulfillment of all our longings for justice and peace.”   Pope Benedict XVI at the Beatification Ceremonyday-nine-novena-st-john-paul-21-oct

Let us Pray:

O Holy Trinity, we thank You for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II and for having made him shine with Your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christand the splendour of the Spirit of love.

He, trusting completely in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us the way of holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You Grant us, through his intercession, according to Your will, the grace that we implore,

………………….. [state your intention here].

Continue, beloved St John Paul, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. We praise and thank You Father that St John Paul has been numbered among Your saints and make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

Totus Tuus, Amen.

Quote Day 9:   “Two thousand years have gone by but sinners in need of mercy — and who is not? — still experience the consolation of that “today” of salvation which on the Cross opened the gates of the Kingdom of God to the repentant thief: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).” St John Paultwo-thousand-years-st-john-paul-21-oct-2017-no-1

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 22 July – Feast of St Mary of Magdala

Quote/s of the Day – 22 July – Feast of St Mary of Magdala

“Just as a woman
had announced
the words of death
to the first man,
so also, a woman was the first
to announce to the Apostles
the words of life.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)just as a woman had announced - st thomas aquinas - 22 july 2018

“…Sometimes in our lives,
tears are the lenses
we need to see Jesus…”

Pope Francis 2 April 2013sometimes in our lives - pope francis - st mary magdalene - pray for us - no 2. - 22 july 2018

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day 25 June – The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

Quote/s of the Day 25 June – The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“At Christmas He was born a man;
today He is reborn sacramentally.
Then He was born from the Virgin;
today He is born in mystery.
When He was born a man,
His mother Mary held Him close to her heart;
when He is born in mystery,
God the Father embraces Him
with His voice when he says:
This is my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased: listen to Him.
The mother caresses the tender baby on her lap;
the Father serves His Son by His loving testimony.
The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore;
the Father reveals that His Son
is to be worshiped by all the nations.”at chridtmas he was born a man - st maximus of turin - 25 june 2018

“The light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.”

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)the light of christ - st maximus of turin - 25 june 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CONSECRATION Prayers, EASTER, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 10 May “Mary’s Month” and Thursday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 10 May “Mary’s Month” and Thursday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration
Prayers of the Church

Mary,
We sing our Alleluias today, for Jesus is risen.
Our souls proclaim the greatness of God,
Our spirits rejoice in our Risen Saviour.
May your song be sung in our lives
At every moment of this day, so that God’s power,
Which can do far more than we can ask or imagine,
May continue to call life from death
and light from darkness,
Transforming our meager efforts
Into your Son’s victory over death.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration - 10 may 2018 - thursday of the sixth week

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CONSECRATION Prayers, EASTER, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The RESURRECTION

Our Morning Offering – 8 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Our Morning Offering – 8 May – “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Eastertide

Easter Act of Consecration
(Prayers of the Church)

Mary,
We, your sons and daughters
Look to you as we treasure and ponder
The Rising of Jesus,
your Son and our brother.
Teach us how, that marvelous moment,
can topple the proud,
Elevate the lowly,
feed the hungry,
And mission the rich,
even today.
Confident in God’s power and love,
Trusting in the Risen Lord,
Relying on the Promised Advocate,
The Spirit of Life and of Truth,
We dedicate our lives,
in your name and for your honour
To the transforming power of Easter.
Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us with the Lord our God.
Ameneaster act of consecration - no 2 - tuesday of the 6th week of easter - 8 may 2018