Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on UNITY, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 11 November – “Standing before the Lord” – Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday Reflection – 11 November

“Standing before the Lord” (Excerpt)

Pope Benedict XVI

In the Church of former times, the word for this was statio. …From the very beginning, when Christianity spread throughout the world, its heralds laid the greatest importance on there being only one bishop and only one altar in every town.   This was meant to express the unity of the one Lord, who unites us all in His embrace from the Cross, an embrace that goes beyond the frontiers drawn by earthly life and forms us into one body. And this, of course, is the innermost meaning of the Eucharist, that, by receiving the one bread, we actually enter into this one centre and thus become a living organism, the one body of the Lord.
The Eucharist is not a private matter among friends, taking place in a club of like-minded people where congenial spirits meet together.   On the contrary, just as the Lord allowed Himself to be crucified publicly outside the city walls, stretching out His hands to all, the Eucharist is the public worship celebrated by all, whom the Lord calls….
It was fundamental to the Eucharist in the Mediterranean world, which first saw the growth of Christianity, that the aristocrat who had found his way to Christianity should sit down with the Corinthian dock-worker, the miserable slave who, according to Roman law, was not even held to be a human being and was dealt with as chattel.   It is of the very nature of the Eucharist, that the philosopher should sit beside the illiterate man, the converted prostitute and the converted tax-collector beside the ascetic who has found his way to Jesus Christ.
In Rome, for instance, even during the era of persecution, the titular churches came into being as predecessors of the later parishes…..the Eucharist continued to unite people who would otherwise not mix.   Consequently, the statio was introduced – here, particularly during Lent, the Pope, as the single Bishop of Rome, goes among the individual titular churches and celebrates the liturgy for the whole city of Rome.
Christians gather together and go to church together, thus, in the individual churches, the whole Church is visible and is manifest at the individual level.
The Lord gathers us together and opens us so that we can accept one another and belong to one another, so that, in standing side by side with Him, we can learn once again to stand together with one another. ….What binds us together is not the private interest of this or that group but the interest which God takes in us.   And we can calmly and confidently, entrust all our interests to Him.   We commit ourselves to the Lord.   And the more we commit ourselves to the Lord and stand before Him, the more we stand together with one another and the more power we discover to understand each other, to recognise each other as human beings, as brothers and sisters.   In this way, in this fellowship with one another, we are building the foundations for humanity and making it possible.

Joseph Card Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI “Seek that Which is Above”this of course is the innermost meaning of the eucharist - sun reflection - 11 nov 2018

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Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 9 November – Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran

Thought for the Day – 9 November – Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran

In a sense, St John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, because it is the pope’s cathedral.   This church, is the spiritual home, of the people who are the Church.

Excerpt of Pope Benedict’s

Angelus Address 9 November 2008

“The Word of God during this Solemnity recalls an essential truth – the stone temple is the symbol of the living Church, the Christian community, that the Apostles Peter and Paul had, in their Letters, already understood as a “spiritual building”, constructed by God with the “living stones” that are the Christians, upon the one foundation that is Jesus Christ, who is in turn compared to the “cornerstone” cf. 1 Cor 3: 9-11, 16-17; 1 Pt 2: 4-8; Eph 2: 20-22).   “Brethren,… you are God’s building”, St Paul writes and he adds, “God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor 3: 9c, 17).

The beauty and the harmony of churches, destined to render praise to God, invites us human beings too, though limited and sinful, to convert ourselves to form a “cosmos”, a well-ordered construction, in close communion with Jesus, who is the true Holy of Holies.   This reaches its culmination in the Eucharistic liturgy, in which the “ecclesia” that is, the community of baptised finds itself again united to listen to the Word of God and nourish itself on the Body and Blood of Christ.   Gathered around this twofold table, the Church of living stones builds herself up in truth and in love and is moulded interiorly by the Holy Spirit, transforming herself into what she receives, conforming herself ever more to her Lord Jesus Christ.   She herself, if she lives in sincere and fraternal unity, thus becomes a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God.

Dear friends, today’s feast celebrates an ever current mystery – that God desires to build himself a spiritual temple in the world, a community that adores Him in spirit and truth (cf. Jn 4: 23-24).

But this occasion reminds us also of the importance of the concrete buildings in which the community gathers together to celebrate God’s praises.   Every communit,y therefore, has the duty to carefully guard their holy structures, which constitute a precious religious and historical patrimony.   For this we invoke the intercession of Mary Most Holy, so that she might help us to become, like her, a “house of God”, living temple of his love.”

gods-desire-to-build-pope-benedict-9-nov-2017

mary most holy pray for us - 9 nov 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, FRANCISCAN, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 8 November – Pope Benedict on Blessed John Duns Scotus

Thought for the Day – 8 November – The Memorial of Blessed John Duns Scotus OFM (c 1265-1308)

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s

Catechesis on Blessed John Duns Scotus
General Audience – 7 July 2010

“The Immaculate Conception”

This morning, after several Catecheses on various great theologians, I would like to present to you another important figure in the history of theology.   He is Blessed John Duns Scotus, who lived at the end of the 13th century.   An ancient epitaph on his tombstone sums up the geographical coordinates of his biography:  “Scotland bore me, England received me, France taught me, Cologne in Germany holds me”.   We cannot disregard this information, partly because we know very little about the life of Duns Scotus.   He was probably born in 1266 in a village called, precisely, “Duns”, near Edinburgh.
Attracted by the charism of St Francis of Assisi, he entered the Family of the Friars Minor and was ordained a priest in 1291.   He was endowed with a brilliant mind and a tendency for speculation, which earned him the traditional title of Doctor subtilis, “Subtle Doctor”.

Mary is the subject of the Doctor subtilis’ thought.   In the times of Duns Scotus the majority of theologians countered with an objection that seemed insurmountable, the doctrine which holds that Mary Most Holy was exempt from original sin from the very first moment of her conception – in fact, at first sight the universality of the Redemption brought about by Christ might seem to be jeopardised by such a statement, as though Mary had had no need of Christ or His redemption.   Therefore the theologians opposed this thesis.   Thus, to enable people to understand this preservation from original sin Duns Scotus developed an argument that was later, in 1854, also to be used by Bl Pope Pius IX when he solemnly defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.   And this argument is that of “preventive Redemption”, according to which the Immaculate Conception is the masterpiece of the Redemption brought about by Christ because the very power of His love and His mediation obtained, that the Mother be preserved from original sin.   Therefore Mary is totally redeemed by Christ but already before her conception.   Duns Scotus’ confreres, the Franciscans, accepted and spread this doctrine enthusiastically and other theologians, often with a solemn oath, strove to defend and perfect it.

In this regard I would like to highlight a fact that I consider relevant.   Concerning the teaching on the Immaculate Conception, important theologians like Duns Scotus enriched what the People of God already spontaneously believed about the Blessed Virgin and expressed in acts of devotion, in the arts and in Christian life in general with the specific contribution of their thought.   Thus faith both in the Immaculate Conception and in the bodily Assumption of the Virgin was already present in the People of God, while theology had not yet found the key to interpreting it in the totality of the doctrine of the faith.   The People of God therefore precede theologians and this is all thanks to that supernatural sensus fidei, namely, that capacity infused by the Holy Spirit that qualifies us to embrace the reality of the faith with humility of heart and mind. In this sense, the People of God is the “teacher that goes first” and must then be more deeply examined and intellectually accepted by theology.

May theologians always be ready to listen to this source of faith and retain the humility and simplicity of children!   I mentioned this a few months ago saying: “There have been great scholars, great experts, great theologians, teachers of faith who have taught us many things.   They have gone into the details of Sacred Scripture… but have been unable to see the mystery itself, its central nucleus…. The essential has remained hidden!… On the other hand, in our time there have also been “little ones” who have understood this mystery.   Let us think of St Bernadette Soubirous; of St Thérèse of Lisieux, with her new interpretation of the Bible that is “non-scientific’ but goes to the heart of Sacred Scripture”

Dear brothers and sisters, Bl Duns Scotus teaches us that in our life the essential is to believe that God is close to us and loves us in Jesus Christ and, therefor,e to cultivate a deep love for Him and for His Church.   We on earth are witnesses of this love.   May Mary Most Holy help us to receive this infinite love of God, which we will enjoy eternally to the full in Heaven, when our soul is at last united to God for ever in the Communion of Saints.

Blessed John Duns Scotus, Pray for Us!bl john duns scotus pray for us - 8 nov 2018 no 2

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 October – The Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860)

Thought for the Day – 29 October – The Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860), Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Day by day, city to city, village to village, among both the poorest and those of high esteem, he saw the hunger each possessed to know that sin was forgiven, that God’s mercy was infinite and that they were loved.   Countless souls found a merciful listener, the embodiment of God’s promise of peace and renewal, in Fr Gaetano, in the Confessional.

“The priest, Gaetano Errico, dedicated himself to this sacrament with diligence, assiduity and patience, never refusing it nor counting the cost. He thus entered among the group of other extraordinary priests who tirelessly made the confessional a place to dispense God’s mercy, helping men to rediscover themselves, to fight against sin and make progress in the spiritual life.

The street and the confessional were the two particular places of Gaetano Errico’s pastoral work.   The street was the place that permitted him to offer his customary invitation:  “God loves you, when shall we meet?” and in the confession he made their encounter with the mercy of the heavenly Father possible.   How many wounded souls did he heal in this way! How many people did he help to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of forgiveness!

In this way St. Gaetano Errico became an expert in the “science” of forgiveness, and concerned himself with teaching it to his missionaries:   “God, who does not wish the death of the sinner, is always more merciful than his ministers;  so be as merciful as you can and you will find mercy with God!”

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Canonisation Mass, October 2008

He found his own encouragement on his knees in prayer . . . indeed it was prayer and the hours he spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that strengthened and renewed him and kept the fire of his love for God ever burning.

Let us rediscover the great grace of the Confessional and the immense joy of Eucharistic Adoration for ourselves!

St Gaetano Errico, Pray for Us!god who does not wish the death of a sinner - st gaetano errico pray for us no 2 - 29 oct 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 28 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 28 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Recognise in the bread, that same body that hung on the cross 
and in the chalice, that same blood that gushed from His side.

Saint Augustine (354-430)

Transubstantiation
In the offering that Jesus makes of Himself we find all the novelty of Christian worship. In ancient times men offered in sacrifice to the divinity the animals or first fruits of the earth.   Jesus, instead, offers Himself, His body and His whole existence – He Himself, in person, becomes the sacrifice that the liturgy offers in the Holy Mass.
In fact, with the consecration of the bread and wine they become His true body and blood.
Saint Augustine invited his faithful, not to pause on what appeared to their sight but to go beyond:  “Recognise in the bread — he said — that same body that hung on the cross and in the chalice that same blood that gushed from His side” (Disc. 228 B, 2).
To explain this transformation, theology has coined the word “transubstantiation,” a word that resounded for the first time in this Basilica during the IV Lateran Council, of which in five years will be the 8th centenary.   On that occasion the following expressions were inserted in the profession of faith:  “his body and his blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar, under the species of bread and wine, because the bread is transubstantiated into the body and the wine into the blood by divine power” (DS, 802).
Therefore, it is essential to stress, in the itineraries of education of children in the faith, of adolescents and of young people, as well as in “centres of listening” to the Word of God, that in the sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ is truly, really and substantially present.recognise in the bread - st augustine - 28 oct 2018

Sunday
And let us also keep present that the Eucharist, joined to the cross and resurrection of the Lord, has dictated a new structure to our time.

The Risen One was manifested the day after Saturday, the first day of the week, day of the sun and of creation.   From the beginning, Christians have celebrated their encounter with the Risen One, the Eucharist, on this first day, on this new day of the true sun of history, the Risen Christ.

And thus time always begins again with the encounter with the Risen One and this encounter gives content and strength to everyday life.   Because of this, it is very important for us Christians, to follow this new rhythm of time, to meet with the Risen One on Sunday and thus “to take” with us His presence, which transforms us and transforms our time.

Pope Benedict XVI – 17 June 2010from the beginning, Christians have celebrated - pope benedict - 28 oct 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MOTHERHOOD, SPEAKING of ....., The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Quote/s of the Day – 27 Oct – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Quote/s of the Day – 27 Oct – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Speaking of:  Marian Gems

“She (Mary) is like a fiery chariot,
because she conceived within her the Word,
the only-begotten Son of God.
She carries and spreads,
the fire of love,
because her Son IS love.”

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Churchshe mary is like a fiery chariot - st catherine of asiena - 27 oct 2018

“If every woman were an image
of the Mother of God, a spouse of Christ
and an apostle of the divine Heart,
she would fulfil her feminine vocation
no matter in what circumstances she lived
and what her external activities might be.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross/Edith Stein (1891-1942)

if every woman - st teresa benedicta no 2 - 27 oct 2018

“O Blessed Rosary of Mary,
sweet chain which binds us to God,
bond of love which unites us to the angels,
tower of salvation against the assaults of hell,
safe port in our universal shipwreck,
we shall never abandon you.”

Bl Bartholomew Longo (1841-1926)o blessed rosary - bl bartholomew longo - 27 oct 2018

“Mary is the image and model of all mothers,
of their great mission to be guardians of life,
of their mission to be teachers
of the art of living
and of the art of loving.”

Pope Benedict XVImary is the image and model of all mothers - pope benedict - 27 oct 2018

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL PRAYERS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The HOLY FACE

Our Morning Offering – 26 October

Our Morning Offering – 26 October

Lord Jesus, May we Seek Your Face
By Pope Benedict XVI

Lord Jesus,
grant us restless hearts,
hearts which seek Your Face.
Keep us from the blindness of heart
which sees only the surface of things.
Give us the simplicity and purity
which allows us to recognise
Your Presence in the world.
When we are not able
to accomplish great things,
grant us the courage
which is born of humility and goodness.
Impress Your Face on our hearts.
May we encounter You along the way
and show forth Your image to the world.
Amenlord jesus may we seek your face - pope benedict - DA VINCI FACE OF CHRIST no 2 - 26 oct 2018