Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr
Speaking of: Martyrdom
“For me to live is Christ and to die, is gain.”
St Paul – Philippians 1:21
“Christ made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve.”
St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr
“She is too young to know of death, yet is ready to face it.”
“One victim but a twin martyrdom, to modesty and religion. Agnes preserved her virginity and gained a martyr’s crown. “
From an essay ‘On Virgins’ by
Saint Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“…As we are under great obligations to Jesus, for His Passion endured for our love, so also are we under great obligations to Mary, for the martyrdom which she voluntarily suffered, for our salvation, in the death of her Son”.
St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Church
“Nothing can happen to me that God doesn’t want. And all that He wants, no matter how bad it may appear to us, is really for the best.”
St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyr
“I do not much dread the tortures, as I look forward to the crown.”
St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595) Martyr
“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) The Journals of Kierkegaard
Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent
“How I wish you were ….hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm … I will spew you out of my mouth!….”
“The Word of God moves swiftly. He is not won by the lukewarm nor held fast by the negligent. Be attentive to His message and diligently follow the path God tells you to take. For He is swift in His passing.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church
“Holy Bishop Ambrose – about whom I shall speak to you today – died in Milan in the night between 3 and 4 April 397. It was dawn on Holy Saturday. The day before, at about five o’clock in the afternoon, he had settled down to pray, lying on his bed with his arms wide open in the form of a cross. Thus, he took part in the solemn Easter Triduum, in the death and Resurrection of the Lord. “We saw his lips moving”, said Paulinus, the faithful deacon who wrote his Life at St Augustine’s suggestion, “but we could not hear his voice”. The situation suddenly became dramatic. Honoratus, Bishop of Vercelli, who was assisting Ambrose and was sleeping on the upper floor, was awoken by a voice saying again and again, “Get up quickly! Ambrose is dying…”. “Honoratus hurried downstairs”, Paulinus continues, “and offered the Saint the Body of the Lord. As soon as he had received and swallowed it, Ambrose gave up his spirit, taking the good Viaticum with him. His soul, thus refreshed by the virtue of that food, now enjoys the company of Angels” (Life, 47).
On that Holy Friday 397, the wide open arms of the dying Ambrose expressed his mystical participation in the death and Resurrection of the Lord. This was his last catechesis – in the silence of the words, he continued to speak with the witness of his life.
Like the Apostle John, Bishop Ambrose – who never tired of saying: “Omnia Christus est nobis! To us Christ is all!”– continues to be a genuine witness of the Lord. Let us thus conclude our Catechesis with his same words, full of love for Jesus: “Omnia Christus est nobis! If you have a wound to heal, He is the doctor; if you are parched by fever, He is the spring; if you are oppressed by injustice, He is justice; if you are in need of help, He is strength; if you fear death, He is life; if you desire Heaven, He is the way; if you are in the darkness, He is light…. Taste and see how good is the Lord, blessed is the man who hopes in Him!” (De Virginitate, 16, 99). Let us also hope in Christ. We shall thus be blessed and shall live in peace.”
Pope Benedict – Excerpt, General Audience, Catechesis on St Ambrose, 24 October 2007
Quote/s of the Day -– 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church
Note: I am still unable to make images so these are taken from this site.
“Rise, you who were lying fast asleep… Rise and hurry to the Church: here is the Father, here is the Son, here is the Holy Spirit.”
“The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church’s foundation is unshakeable and firm against assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world, constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbour of salvation for all in distress.”
“All the children of the Church are priests. At Baptism, they received the anointing that gives them a share in the priesthood. The sacrifice that they must offer to God is completely spiritual – it is themselves.”
“Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting light.”
“If it is “daily bread,” why do you take it once a year? . . . Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.”
“When we speak about WISDOM, we are speaking about CHRIST. When we speak about VIRTUE, we are speaking about CHRIST. When we speak about JUSTICE, we are speaking about CHRIST. When we speak about PEACE, we are speaking about CHRIST. When we speak about TRUTH, and LIFE and REDEMPTION, we are speaking about CHRIST.”
St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church
O Lord, Give me a Heart to Love You Prayer of St Ambrose (c 340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake.
Saint of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Father and Doctor of the Church
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of St Ambrose, the brilliant Bishop of Milan who influenced St Augustine’s conversion and was named a Doctor of the Church.
Like Augustine himself, the older Ambrose (born around 340) was a highly educated man who sought to harmonise Greek and Roman intellectual culture with the Catholic faith. Trained as a lawyer, he eventually became the governor of Milan. He manifested his intellectual gifts in defence of Christian doctrine even before his baptism.
While Ambrose was serving as the governor of Milan, a bishop named Auxentius was leading the diocese. Although he was an excellent public speaker with a forceful personality, Auxentius also followed the heresy of Arius, which denied the divinity of Christ. Although the Council of Nicaea had reasserted the traditional teaching on Jesus’ deity, many educated members of the Church – including, at one time, a majority of the world’s bishops – looked to Arianism as a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan version of Christianity. Bishop Auxentius became notorious for forcing clergy throughout the region to accept Arian creeds.
At the time of Auxentius’ death, Ambrose had not yet even been baptised. But his deep understanding and love of the traditional faith were already clear to the faithful of Milan. They considered him the most logical choice to succeed Auxentius, even though he was still just a catechumen. With the help of Emperor Valentinan, who ruled the Western Roman Empire at the time, a mob of Milanese Catholics virtually forced Ambrose to become their bishop against his own will. Eight days after his baptism, Ambrose received episcopal consecration on 7 December 374. The date would eventually become his liturgical feast.
Bishop Ambrose did not disappoint those who had clamoured for his appointment and consecration. He began his ministry by giving everything he owned to the poor and to the Church. He looked to the writings of Greek theologians like St Basil for help in explaining the Church’s traditional teachings to the people during times of doctrinal confusion.
Like the fathers of the Eastern Church, Ambrose drew from the intellectual reserves of pre-Christian philosophy and literature to make the faith more comprehensible to his hearers. This harmony of faith with other sources of knowledge served to attract, among others, the young professor Aurelius Augustinus – a man Ambrose taught and baptised, whom history knows as St Augustine of Hippo.
Ambrose himself lived simply, wrote prolifically and celebrated Mass each day. He found time to counsel an amazing range of public officials, pagan inquirers, confused Catholics and penitent sinners. The people of Milan never regretted their insistence that the reluctant civil servant should lead the local church. His popularity, in fact, served to keep at bay those who would have preferred to force him from the diocese, including the Western Empress Justina and a group of her advisers, who sought to rid the West of adherence to the Nicene Creed. Ambrose heroically refused her attempts to impose heretical bishops in Italy, along with her efforts to seize churches in the name of Arianism.
Ambrose also displayed remarkable courage when he publicly denied communion to the Emperor Theodosius, who had ordered the massacre of 7,000 citizens in Thessalonica. The chastened emperor took Ambrose’s rebuke to heart, publicly repenting of the massacre and doing penance for the murders.
“Nor was there afterwards a day on which he did not grieve for his mistake,” Ambrose himself noted when he spoke at the emperor’s funeral. The rebuke spurred a profound change in Emperor Theodosius. He reconciled himself with the Church and the bishop, who attended to the emperor on his deathbed.
St. Ambrose died in 397. His 23 years of diligent service had turned a deeply troubled diocese into an exemplary outpost for the faith. His writings remained an important point of reference for the Church, well into the medieval era and beyond.
At the Catholic Church’s Fifth Ecumenical Council – which took place at Constantinople in 553, and remains a source of authoritative teaching for both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians – the assembled bishops named Ambrose, along with this protege St Augustine, as being among the foremost “holy fathers” of the Church, whose teaching all bishops should “in every way follow.”