Posted in GOD is LOVE, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 18 May – What is Faith?

Quote/s of the Day – 18 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C, John 14:7–14 and the Memorial of St Felix of Cantalice O.F.M. Cap.(1515-1587) “Brother Deo Gratias”

What is Faith?

First, faith is simple.
We believe in God – in God,
who is the Beginning
and End of human life.
We believe in a God,
who enters into a relationship
with us human beings,
who is our origin and our future.
Consequently, faith is,
always and inseparably, hope –
the certainty that we have a future
and will not end up as nothing.
And faith is love,
since God’s love is “contagious”.
This is the first thing –
we simply believe in God
and this brings with it,
hope and love.

Pope Benedict XVI

Regensburg Homily Tuesday 12 September 2006what is faith - pope benedict 18 may 2019

and we thank God for our faith with St Felix!

“Deo Gratias”

“Thank God”

St Felix of Cantalice (1515-1587)
“Brother Deo Gratias”deo-gratiasd-thank-god-st-felix-of-cantalice-brother-deo-gratias-18-may-2018

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Posted in GOD the FATHER, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 May –  “In His greatness He has let Himself become small.”

One Minute Reflection – 18 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C, John 14:7–14

“He who has seen me has seen the Father…”…John 14:9

REFLECTION – “We believe in God.   This is what the main sections of the Creed affirm, especially the first section.   But another question now follow – in what God?   Certainly we believe in the God who is Creator Spirit, creative Reason, the source of everything that exists, including ourselves.

The second section of the Creed tells us more.   This creative Reason is Goodness, it is Love.   It has a face.   God does not leave us groping in the dark.   He has shown Himself to us as a man.   In His greatness, He has let Himself become small.   “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”, Jesus says (Jn 14:9).   God has taken on a human face.   He has loved us even to the point of letting Himself be nailed to the Cross for our sake, in order to bring the sufferings of mankind to the very heart of God.

Today, when we have learned to recognise the pathologies and the life-threatening diseases associated with religion and reason and the ways that God’s image can be destroyed by hatred and fanaticism, it is important to state clearly the God in whom we believe and to proclaim, confidently, that this God has a human face.   Only this can free us from being afraid of God – which is ultimately at the root of modern atheism.   Only this God saves us from being afraid of the world and from anxiety before the emptiness of life.   Only by looking to Jesus Christ, does our joy in God come to fulfilment and become redeemed joy.   During this solemn Eucharistic celebration, let us look to the Lord lifted up before us on the Cross and ask Him to give us the immense joy which, at the hour of His farewell, He promised to the disciples (cf. Jn 16:24)!”…Pope Benedict XVI – Regensburg Homily Tuesday 12 September 2006john 14 9 he who seen me - god does not leave us groping in the dark - pope benedict 18 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Since it is from You God, our Father, that redemption comes to us, Your adopted children, look with favour on the family You love, give us true freedom and to all who believe in Christ and bring us all alike to our eternal heritage.   Grant we pray, that by the prayers of Your holy angels and saints, most especially our beloved Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, we may run this race always in prayer, trusting in Your divine Son’s intercession, to attain the Glory of Your Kingdom and the Light of Your Face. Through Jesus Christ, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.mary, mater christi - pray for us - 18 may 2019.jpg

Posted in ENCYCLICALS, GOD is LOVE, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – Man is redeemed by love.

One Minute Reflection – 15 May – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 12:44–50

“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world”...John 12:47i did not come to condem the world john 12 47 15 may 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “It is not science that redeems man, man is redeemed by love.   This applies even in terms of this present world.   When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life.   But soon, he will also realise that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life.   It is a love that remains fragile.   It can be destroyed by death.   The human being needs unconditional love.   He needs the certainty which makes him say – “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39).   If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him, in his particular circumstances.

This is what it means to say, Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us.   Through Him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because His only-begotten Son has become man and of Him everyone can say:  “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20)….Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”#26it is not science that redeems man - pope benedict 15 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer.   We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience.   May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse. Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mary-mother-pray-for-us-15-may-2018.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – And all will be well, all manner of things shall be well!

Second Thoughts for the Day – 13 May – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1430)all will be well - bl julian of norwich ccc 13 may 2019.jpg

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on Julian of Norwich

Wednesday, 1st December 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September.   England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching.   One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.

It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France.   God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave.   After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

“‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing?   Learn it well – Love was His meaning.   Who showed it to you?   Love…. Why did He show it to you?   For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision.   Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.   She may have taken the name of Julian, precisely from that Saint, to whom was dedicated the church, in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us.   But she was not the only one to make such a choice.   In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167).

The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study.   In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people.   Men and women of every age and condition, in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them.   It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice, precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.

We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life.   This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains.   She had become a mother to many.

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others.   As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.

It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love.   Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older and one that is longer.   This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.

In this book we read the following wonderful words:  “And I saw full surely that ere God made us He loved us, which love was never lacking nor ever shall be.   And in this love He has made all His works and in this love He has made all things profitable to us and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning.   And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love.   This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.   The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children.   In fact, the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says:  “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life – God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

I would like to emphasise another point.   The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist?   And the Saints themselves asked this very question.   Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote:   “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations.   If we are present to God, to His immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed.   “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well” – this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today.   Many thanks…Vatican.va

Blessed Julian, Pray for us!bl julian of norwich pray for us 13 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 11 May – “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..”

Thought for the Day – 11 May – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:60–69

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life..”…John 6:68

Excerpt on Pope Benedict’s Catechesis
on Christ and the Church

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

“In choosing the Twelve, introducing them into a communion of life with Himself and involving them in His mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6: 7-13; Mt 10: 5-8; Lk 9: 1-6; 6: 13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, His Church.

With their very own existence, the Twelve – called from different backgrounds – become an appeal for all of Israel to convert and allow herself to be gathered into the new covenant, complete and perfect fulfilment of the ancient one.   The fact that He entrusted to His Apostles, during the Last Supper and before His Passion, the duty to celebrate His Pasch, demonstrates how Jesus wished to transfer to the entire community, in the person of its heads, the mandate to be a sign and instrument in history of the eschatological gathering begun by Him.   In a certain sense we can say that the Last Supper itself is the act of foundation of the Church, because He gives Himself and thus creates a new community, a community united in communion with Himself.

In this light, one understands how the Risen One confers upon them, with the effusion of the Spirit, the power to forgive sins (cf. Jn 20: 23).   Thus, the Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of Jesus’ will. regarding the existence and mission of His Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church, they are inseparable.

Therefore, a slogan that was popular some years back: “Jesus yes, Church no”, is totally inconceivable with the intention of Christ.   This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus.

We cannot have Jesus without the reality He created and in which He communicates Himself.   Between the Son of God-made-flesh and His Church there is a profound, unbreakable and mysterious continuity by which Christ is present today in His people.

He is always contemporary with us, He is always contemporary with the Church, built on the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles.
And His very presence in the community, in which He Himself is always with us, is the reason for our joy.
Yes, Christ is with us, the Kingdom of God is coming.”he is al;ways contemporary with us - pope benedict john 6 68 11 may 2019.jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – “I am the bread of life”

Quote/s of the Day – 8 May – Wednesday 3rd Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:35–40

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”…John 6:35john 6 35 - 11 april 2018.jpg

“A celebration may be flawless on the exterior, very beautiful —
but if it does not lead us to encounter Jesus Christ,
it is unlikely to bear any kind of nourishment
to our heart and our life.
Through the Eucharist, however,
Christ wishes to enter into our life
and permeate it with His grace,
so that in every Christian community
there may be coherence
between liturgy and life.”

Pope Benedict

General Audience, 12 February 2014a celebration may be flawless - pope benedict 8 may 2019.jpg

“Through the Eucharist
we enter Christ’s paschal mystery,
allowing us to pass
from death to life with Him.”

Pope Francisthrough the eucharist - pope francis - 8 may 2019.jpg

“The Eucharist is Jesus Himself
who gives Himself entirely to us.
Nourishing ourselves of that “Bread of Life”
means entering into harmony with the heart of Christ,
assimilating His choices,
His thoughts,
His behaviour.
It means entering into a dynamism of love
and becoming people of peace,
people of forgiveness, of reconciliation,
of sharing in solidarity.
Heaven begins precisely in this communion with Jesus”

Pope Francis

Angelus, 16 August 2015the eucharist is jesus himself - pope francis - 8 may 2019.jpg

Posted in Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 5 May – ” the privileged place”

Sunday Reflection – 5 May – Third Sunday of Easter, Year C

Pope Benedict XVI

” The Eucharist, the privileged place in which the Church recognises “the Author of life” (Acts 3: 15) is “the breaking of the bread”, as it is called in the Acts of the Apostles.   In it, through faith, we enter into communion with Christ, who is “the priest, the altar and the lamb of sacrifice” (see Preface for Easter, 5) and is among us.

Let us gather round Him to cherish the memory of His words and of the events contained in Scripture, let us relive His Passion, death and Resurrection.   In celebrating the Eucharist, we communicate with Christ, the victim of expiation and from Him we draw forgiveness and life.

What would our lives as Christians be without the Eucharist?   The Eucharist is the perpetual, living inheritance which the Lord has bequeathed to us in the Sacrament of His Body and His Blood and which we must constantly rethink and deepen so that, as venerable Pope Paul VI said, it may “impress its inexhaustible effectiveness on all the days of our earthly life.” – (Insegnamenti, V [1967], p. 779)

in-it-through-faith-pope-benedict-15-april-2018 and 5 may 2019

Many Christians take their time 
and have leisure enough in their social life 
(no hurry here). 
They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities, 
at table and recreation (no hurry here either). 
But isn’t it strange, how those same Christians.
find themselves in such a rush 
and want to hurry the priest, 
in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted 
to the most holy sacrifice of the altar?

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

many-christians-take-their-time-st-josemaria-15-april-2018.jpg