Posted in SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Saint of the Day – 15 April – St Ruadán (died 584)

Saint of the Day – 15 April – St Ruadán (died 584) – Priest and Monk –  also known Rowan, Ruadon, Roadan, Rodon and Rodan, was an Irish Christian abbot who founded the monastery of Lorrha (Lothra, County Tipperary, Ireland – see the ruins below), near Terryglass.   He was known for his prophesies. After his death, he was venerated as a saint and as one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland”.

The Twelve Apostles of Ireland

Ruadhán is said to have been the son of Fergus Bern, son of Dera Dubh, of the race of the kings of Munster.  He studied and was ordained at Clonard.  He was educated in Clonard County Westmeath by St Finian (470-549).   He replaced St Brendan (the navigator) at Lorrha who preceded to cross the Shannon and set up his monastery at Clonfert Co. Galway.

Ruadhan founded a monastic settlement at Lorrha that would have consisted of a monastery and various other buildings including cells for the many monks that would have lived here.   Also a ditch or large mound would have been built around the settlement to keep animals in and intruders out, the outlines of these are still visible today.   Life for the monks would have been tough but simple, rising early from their beds which would have consisted of rushes or straw placed on the bare ground.   They then would pray and fast between their domestic chores.   The settlement would have been self-sufficient providing everything from food, clothing, to shelter.  Despite the evidence of conflicts with the surrounding hierarchy and with St Brendan, Ruadhán was highly regarded.   His monastery was said to have had 150 monks with a very holy reputation.

St Ruadhan from a set of paintings of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland

On the site of this settlement are the remains of an 11th century church probably on the spot of Ruadhan’s original monastery.   It has at the west end of the south wall an ornate doorway that shows many carved motifs including a pelican drawing blood from its breast.   Also there are the remains of two high crosses with only the decorated shafts remaining, one of these is said to mark the grave of a Munster king who died at Lorrha, the other is said to mark St Ruadhan’s grave although it seems to have been crafted many years after his death.   Villages and towns often popped up around monastic settlements as trade and refuge attracted the local people, the origin of Lorrha village can be attributed to this.1024px-Lorrha_Priory_of_St._Ruadhan_SW_2010_09_04

There are many legends attributed to Ruadhan but he is probably most famous for his curse on the High King’s residence at Tara after the king, Diarmuid Mac Cerbhaill, had violated the sanctity of the church by taken a hostage from its protection.   The downfall of Tara from a once thriving royal residence is credited to Ruadhan.

Ruadhan’s hand, enshrined in silver, was preserved at Lorrha until the Reformation time, when it was lost.  The bell of St Ruadhan which was found in a well named after the Saint is kept in the British Museum after being discovered many years ago.   This well is situated across the road from the present day Church of Ireland.

“My splendid cloak adorned with gold which was on the altar of Rome, bring it to Ruadhan of Lortha, since we shall die this day” extract from the last will and testament of the high king of Cashel.

Today both the Catholic and Church of Ireland churches in Lorrha in the diocese of Killaloe, are dedicated to St Ruadhán.

Base of High Cross at St Ruadhan's Abbey.JPG
Base of the High Cross at St Ruadhan’s Abbey

Praise in the Féilire of Aengus
Aengus praises Ruadhán in his Féilire on his feast of 15th April:

Prímdae bréo nád athbi
ar-fich tola tothlai,
ba caín lie lógmar
Ródán lócharn Lothrai.

An excellent flame that does not wane,
that vanquishes urgent desires.
Fair was the gem,
Ruadhán, lamp of Lorrha.



The Stations of the Cross – 14 April – The Fourth Station – Jesus meets His Mother

The Stations of the Cross – 14 April – Palm Sunday, Year C

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Begin with an Act of Contrition

The Fourth Station
Jesus meets His Mother

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
V. We adore You, O Christ and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

JESUS rises, though wounded by His fall, journeys on, with His Cross still on His shoulders.   He is bent down but at one place, looking up, He sees His Mother.   For an instant they just see each other and He goes forward.

Mary would rather have had all His sufferings herself, could that have been, than not have known what they were by ceasing to be near Him.   He, too, gained a refreshment, as from some soothing and grateful breath of air, to see her sad smile amid the sights and the noises which were about Him.   She had known Him beautiful and glorious, with the freshness of Divine Innocence and peace upon His countenance; now she saw Him so changed and deformed that she could scarce have recognised Him, save for the piercing, thrilling, peace-inspiring look He gave her.   Still, He was now carrying the load of the world’s sins and, all-holy though He was, He carried the image of them on His very face. He looked like some outcast or outlaw who had frightful guilt upon Him.   He had been made sin for us, who knew no sin, not a feature, not a limb but spoke of guilt, of a curse, of punishment, of agony.

Oh, what a meeting of Son and Mother!   Yet there was a mutual comfort, for there was a mutual sympathy.   Jesus and Mary—do they forget that Passion-tide through all eternity?the fourth station - jesus meets his mother - 14 april 2019 palm sunday.jpg

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.

I love You, Lord Jesus,
my love above all things,
I repent with my whole heart
for having offended You.
Never permit me to separate myself
from You again
grant that I may love always
and then do with me
what You will.
(St Alphonsus Liguori)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Bei love you lord jesus act of contrition by st alphonsus liguori 14 april 2019.jpg


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 CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, The RESURRECTION, The WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE, The WORD, Uncategorized

Lenten Reflection – 6 April – “No one laid hands on him” Origen

Lenten Reflection – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

The Readings:  Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7:2-3,9BC-10, 11-12; John 7:40-53

Daily Meditation:
Apart from You we can do nothing.

The conflict around Jesus grows.
And all the while, we are turning to God for mercy.
What Jesus went through is for me,
that I might have mercy and the gift of everlasting life.

We call upon the Lord for help, for strength, for trust.

My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
Psalm 7:10john 7 44 and 7 41 - satfourthweeklent 6 april 2019.jpg

“No one laid hands on him”...John 7:44

Origen (c 185-253)
Father, Priest and Theologian

In Christ we encounter such human characteristics that they have nothing to distinguish them from the weakness common to us mortals.   At the same time, we encounter characteristics so divine, that they can only be appropriate to the sovereign and ineffable divine nature.   Too small to comprehend this, the human mind is so dumbfounded, that it does not know what to take its stand on, nor which path to follow.   Is it aware of God in Christ?   Yet it sees Him die.   Does it take Him to be a man?   But see Him coming back from the dead with the prize of His victory, having destroyed the reign of death.   In the same way our contemplation needs to be practised with such reverence and fear that, in the same Jesus, it considers the truth of the two natures, avoiding attributing to the divine essence those things that are nor worthy of it or do not belong to it but also avoiding seeing only an illusory appearance in historical events.

In truth, causing such things as these to be heard by human ears, trying to express them in words considerably surpasses our ability, talent and language.   I even think it surpasses the capability of the apostles.   More still, the explanation of this mystery probably transcends the entire order of angelic powers.

but see him coming back from the dead - 6 april 2019 - origen.jpg

Closing Prayer:
what You ask of my life seems so right.
It is how I want to live,
following Your Son, Jesus, so closely.
And yet I fail so often to stay on that path.
I cannot do it alone, loving Lord.
I need Your help and guidance.
I need to remember Your love for me
and I want to remember
how very much I need You in my life.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

Posted in C S LEWIS, LENT 2019, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, Uncategorized

Quote of the Day – 27 March – “You must do this. I can’t.”

Quote of the Day – 27 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Year C

We cannot discover our failure to keep God’s law, except by trying our very hardest (and then failing).   Unless we really try, whatever we say, there will always be at the back of our minds, the idea that, if we try harder next time, we shall succeed in being completely good.
Thus, in one sense, the road back to God, is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder.
But in another sense, it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home.
All this trying leads up to the vital moment, at which you turn to God and say,
“You must do this. I can’t.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)thus in one sense the road back to god - c s lewis 27 march 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOSEPH, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 19 March – St Joseph The faithful foster-father and guardian by St Bernardine

Thought for the Day – 19 March – Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The faithful foster-father and guardian

Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)

An excerpt from his On Saint Joseph (Sermon 2)

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfil the task at hand.

This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels.   He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of His greatest treasures, namely, His divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife.   He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying – Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.

What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ?   Is he not a man chosen and set apart?   Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world.   Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ.   But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.

In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close.   He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment.   What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.

Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which He gave him on earth, as a son to His father.   Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects, all that He gave at Nazareth.obviously, christ does not now deny to joseph - st bernardine 19 march 2019.jpg

Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph – Enter into the joy of your Lord.   In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph – Enter into joy.   His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us.   They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.

Remember us, Saint Joseph and plead for us to your foster-child.   Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of Him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally.   Amenholy mary holy joseph - pray for us - 15 june 2018.jpg

Posted in LENT 2019, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, The WORD, Uncategorized

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – Something greater than Jonah is here

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Year C – The Memorial of St Leander (c 534-c 600)

“The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”...Luke 11:32

REFLECTION – “The conversion of a great city like Nineveh stuns us!   The message in any case is clear – collective choices are possible.   Today, however, unfortunately, a collective choice is clearly manifested only when a country declares war on another. Emmanuel Kant recognised the strength of a community that was eager to share the same values, Margaret Mead that of a small group determined to change the world.   The initiators of Congregations, of ecclesial movements, pious associations and social reforms shook the world with their community decisions.   Jesus’s pain at resistance to His teaching has a lesson for those who put on the helmet of ‘indifference’ or the blinkers of ‘apathy’ – the LUKEWARM!   Atheists and agnostics will rise from their graves to point to opportunities such people wasted.   AWAKE! Lukewarmness is SIN!”…Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil SDBluke 11 32 - jonah - awake - gods word 2019 13 march.jpg

PRAYER – Help me, my God and my Father, to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of me.   Then enable me to offer it to You – and indeed to offer myself and all I have to You.   St Leander, you were and are an example to all around you, please pray for us, amen!st-leander-pray-for-us-2.13 march 2018.jpg