One Minute Reflection – 23 September – – The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised….Hebrews 10:36
REFLECTION – “The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self:
there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection, except at the price of pain.”………St Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)
PRAYER – “And you, Blessed Padre Pio, look down from heaven upon us assembled in this square and upon all gathered in prayer before the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and in San Giovanni Rotondo. Intercede for all those who, in every part of the world, are spiritually united with this event and raise their prayers to you. Come to the help of everyone; give peace and consolation to every heart. Amen!” – from the homily of Pope John Paul II at the beatification of Padre Pio
One Minute Reflection – 22 September – The Memorial of St Thomas of Villanova
“Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.”…Ephesians 4:26-27
REFLECTION – “Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little.
Remember that he of whom you are speaking is your brother
and as he is, in the way of salvation,
God can make him a saint, in spite of his present weakness.”….St Thomas of Villnova (1488-1555)
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant us the grace to withold our anger, to always put a guard on our tongues and to speak with charity. St Thomas of Villanova, you preached temperance in all things and lived a life of charity in word and deed, please pray for us, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
“Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me.“…
REFLECTION – “Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with His merciful understanding of men.”
He saw the tax collector and, because He saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, He said to him: “Follow me.”
This following meant imitating the pattern of His life – not just walking after Him.
Saint John tells us: “Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
“And he rose and followed him.”
There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him.
Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words.
By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, He instructed him to walk in his footsteps.
In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in His gift.” – from a homily by St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Lord, You showed Your great mercy to Matthew the tax-gatherer,by calling him to become Your Apostle,supported by his prayer and example, may we always answer Your call and live in close union with You.
We make our prayer, in union with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. St Matthew, Apostle of Christ, pray for us, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 20 September – The Memorial of the Korean Martyrs – Sts Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & Companions – 103 saints and beati
Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?…Luke 24:26
REFLECTION – “The Korean Martyrs have borne witness to the crucified and risen Christ. Through the sacrifice of their own lives they have become like Christ in a very special way. The words of Saint Paul the Apostle could truly have been spoken by them: We are “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies . . . We are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh”.
The death of the martyrs is similar to the death of Christ on the Cross because like His, theirs has become the beginning of new life. This new life was manifested not only in themselves – in those who underwent death for Christ – but it was also extended to others. It became the leaven of the Church as the living community of disciples and witnesses to Jesus Christ “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians”: this phrase from the first centuries of Christianity is confirmed before our eyes.”…St Pope John Paul on the occasion of the Canonisation of the Korean Martyrs (1984)
PRAYER – O God our Holy Father, You have created all nations and You are their salvation. In the land of Korea Your call to Catholic faith formed a people of adoption, whose growth You nurtured by the blood of Andrew, Paul and their companions. Through their martyrdom and their intercession grant us strength that we too may remain faithful to your commandments even until death. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 19 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of La Salette: Special Readings for the Feast of Our Lady of La Salette (First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14 Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God….2 Corinthians 5:20
REFLECTION – “Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need — the need of others and God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship.”…Pope Benedict XVI (2010)
PRAYER – Holy Virgin of Reconciliation, do not reject our prayers but intercede for us, obtain for us the grace to love our Lord Jesus above all else. May we console you by a holy life and so come to share the eternal life Christ gained by his cross. Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 18 September – The Memorial of St Joseph of Cupertino
Each one has his own gift from God…..1 Corinthians 7:7
REFLECTION – “Clearly, what God wants above all, is our will,which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God, from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession.” – Saint Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to be holy in the way that You have laid out for me. Let me carry out my duties of my state of life to the full and grant me the grace to carry my crosses in honour of You. Only in You may I attain holiness, learning to give myself, my will, my heart and my soul only to You. St Joseph of Cupertino, you who were so disadvantaged, achieved by the grace of God, sanctity in this life and now behold His Face through all eternity. We ask for your intercession, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 17 September – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church
Work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation….Philippians 2:12
REFLECTION – “You have been created for the glory of God
and your own eternal salvation….this is your goal;
this is the centre of your life;
this is the treasure of your heart.
If your reach this goal, you will find happiness.
If you fail to reach it, you will find misery.”….St Robert Bellarmine
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, teach me to do everything for Your honour and glory.
Grant me the grace to work out my salvation with anxious concern each day of my life.
St Robert Bellarmine, as you worked tirelessly for the salvation of souls, so now
pray for us all, as tirelessly, that we may achieve eternal joy, amen.