Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – St Ambrose: “Hold fast to God”

Lenten Thoughts – 28 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Year C

Hold fast to God, the one true good

Saint Ambrose (340-397)
Bishop and Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Flight from the World

Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.   God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one.   Since He is good and especially to those who are faithful to Him, let us hold fast to Him with all our soul, our heart, our strength and so enjoy His light and see His glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy.   Let us reach out with our hearts to possess that good, let us exist in it and live in it, let us hold fast to it, that good which is beyond all we can know or see and is marked by perpetual peace and tranquillity, a peace which is beyond all we can know or understand.

This is the good that permeates creation.   In it we all live, on it we all depend.   It has nothing above it, it is divine. No-one is good but God alone.   What is good, is therefore, divine, what is divine is therefore good.   Scripture says:  When you open your hand all things will be filled with goodness.   It is through God’s goodness that all that is truly good is given us and in it, there is no admixture of evil.

These good things are promised by Scripture to those who are faithful – The good things of the land will be your food.

We have died with Christ.   We carry about in our bodies the sign of His death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us.   The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ, a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue.   We have risen with Christ.   Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below, to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world.   You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body.   You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord.   Your soul must hold fast to Him, you must follow after Him in your thoughts, you must tread His ways by faith, not in outward show.   You must take refuge in Him.   He is your refuge and your strength.   David addresses Him in these words:  I fled to you for refuge and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great sabbath, as Moses said – The sabbaths of the land will provide you with food.   To rest in the Lord and to see His joy, is like a banquet and full of gladness and tranquillity.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters.   Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain.   What is that fountain?   Listen to David – With you is the fountain of life.   Let my soul say to this fountain, When shall I come and see You face to face?   For the fountain is God Himself.let us take refuge - st ambrose hold fast to god 28 march 2019 thurs3rdweek lent.jpg

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 March – “When I am weak, then am I strong.”

One Minute Reflection – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil….Luke 4:1-2

REFLECTION – “The devil does not have only one weapon.    He uses many different means to defeat human beings – now with bribery, now with boredom, now with greed he attacks, inflicting mental and physical wounds equally.
The kind of temptation varies with the different kinds of victim.   Avarice is the test of the rich, loss of children that of parents and everyone is exposed to pain of mind or body. What a wealth of weapons is at the devil’s disposal!

It was for this reason that the Lord chose to have nothing to lose.   He came to us in poverty so that the devil could find nothing to take away from Him.   You see the truth of this when you hear the Lord himself saying:

“The prince of this world is come and has found nothing in me” [John 14:30].   The devil could only test Him with bodily pain but this too was useless because Christ despised bodily suffering.

Job was tested by his own goods, whereas Christ was tempted, during the experience of the wilderness, by the goods of all.   In fact, the devil robbed Job of his riches and offered Christ the kingdom of the whole world.   Job was tested by vexations, Christ by prizes.   Job the faithful servant replied:  “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away” [Job 1:21]   Christ, being conscious of His own divine nature, scorned the devil’s offering of what already belonged to Him.
So let us not be afraid of temptations.   Rather, let us glory in them saying:  “When I am weak, then am I strong.” [2 Cor. 12:10]….St Ambrose (339-397 AD) – Doctor of the ChurchLuke 4 1-2 jesus in the wilderness tempted - so let us not be afrai - st ambrose - 10 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Through our annual Lenten observance, Lord, deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives.   May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lord’s Mother and ours, be ever our prayerful help.   We make our prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed-virgin-holy-mother-mary-pray-for-us-14-oct-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – The witness of the Prophets leads to the witness of the Apostles

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – Saturday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – The Memorial of St Polycarp (c 69–c 155) Martyr and Father of the Church

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain, apart by themselves and he was transfigured before them and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses and they were talking to Jesus…Mark 9:2-4

The witness of the Prophets leads to the witness of the Apostles

REFLECTION – “It was the will of the Lord Jesus that Moses alone (though he was accompanied, it is true, by Joshua (Ex 24:13)) should climb the mountain to receive the law.   In the gospel too, out of His many disciples He limited the revelation of His risen glory to three – Peter, James and John.   Wishing to put no stumbling block in the way of His weaker followers, whose vacillating minds might prevent them from taking in the full meaning of the paschal mystery, He chose to keep His redemptive plan a secret and repeatedly warned Peter, James and John not to talk freely about what they had seen. Peter, in fact, did not know what to say.   He thought of setting up three shelters for the Lord and His attendants.   Then he found himself unable to bear the brilliance of the glory radiating from His transfigured Lord.   Together with those “sons of thunder” (Mk 3:17), James and John, he fell to the ground (Mt 17:6)…

They entered the cloud in order to receive knowledge of hidden, secret matters and there they heard the voice of God saying:  “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”   What does “This is my beloved Son” mean?   The implication is as follows: Make no mistake, Simon.   Do not imagine God’s Son can be put into the same category as the servants who attend him.   This man is my Son – neither Moses nor Elijah can be given that title, even though the one opened the sea and the other closed the heavens. Both of them exercised dominion over the elements but it was by the power of the Lord’s word that they did so (Ex 14; 1 Kgs 17:1).   They were only servants, it was the Lord who made the waters into a solid wall, the Lord who caused the drought that closed the heavens and the Lord who, in his own time, opened them to release the rain.

For evidence of the resurrection to be accepted, the combined witness of those servants is required.   But when the glory of their risen Lord is revealed, the servant’ aureole is lost in shadow.   Sunrise obscures the stars, the light of the heavenly bodies grows pale before the brilliance of the sun shining on this material world.   How then could human stars attract notice in the presence of the eternal Sun of Justice?   (Mal 3:20).”…St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctormark 9 2 and he wwas transfigured - sunrise obscures the stars st ambrose 23 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord of all creation, let us praise You with voice and mind and deed. Let us too give glory to Your Holy Son and bask in the Sun of Justice! Grant us a place in the reflection of His Light to shine on those around us.   As You gave St Polycarp, a place in the company of the Martyrs, grant us our eternal joy with him and all Your angels and saints.   May his intercession, give us the strength to drink from that cup which Christ drank and so rise to eternal life.   Through Christ our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-polycarp-pray-for-us-no-2-23-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARTYRS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

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 1:21for me to live is christ and to die is gain st paul phil 1 21 - 21 jan 2019 martyrdom - no 2

“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 Martyrchrist-made-my-soul-st-agnes-21-jan-2018.jpg

“She is too young to know of death,
yet is ready to face it.”she is too young - st ambrose on st agnes - 21 jan 2019.jpg

“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 Churchone victim but a twin martyrdom - st ambrose on st agnes - no 2 - 21 jan 2019.jpg

“…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 Churchas-we-are-under-great-st-bonaventure-on-the-sorrowful-mother-the-third-word-28-march-2018.jpg

“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) Martyrnothing can happen to me - st thomas more - 16 march 2018.jpg

“I do not much dread the tortures,
as I look forward to the crown.”

St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-1595) Martyri do not much dread the tortures st robert southwell sj 21 jan 2019 on martyrdom.jpg

“The tyrant dies and his rule is over,
the martyr dies and his rule begins.”

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
The Journals of Kierkegaardthe tyrant dies and his rule is over the martyr dies and his rule begins - soren kierkegaard 21 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – The Second Sunday of Advent

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!….”

Revelations 3:15revelations-3-15 how i wish you were hot or cold - 9dec2018

“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 Churchthe-word-of-god-st-ambrose-9-dec-2017 (1)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Quote of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

“This Virgin Mother of the Only begotten of God, is called Mary,
worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate,
one of the one.”

Origen (c185-253)
(244)this virgin mother-origen-8dec2018

“Thou alone and Thy Mother
are in all things fair;
there is no flaw in Thee
and no stain in Thy Mother.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Doctor of the Church
(270)thou alone and thou mother - st ephrem 8dec2018

“Mary, a Virgin,
not only not only UNDEFILED
but a Virgin whom grace
has made INVIOLATE,
FREE from EVERY STAIN of SIN.”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor
Sermon 22, in the year 338m,ary, a virgin - st ambrose - 8dec2018

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 7 December – The Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and 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

St Ambrose, Pray for us!st-ambrose-pray-for-us-2- 7dec2017