Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION

One Minute Reflection – 19 April – Christ crucified!

One Minute Reflection – Friday of the Passion of the Lord – 19 April, Gospel: John 18:1–19:42

There they crucified him and with him two others, one on either side and Jesus between them….John 18:18

REFLECTION – “Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ.   How many things are enclosed inside this treasure!   Christ crucified!   Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science.   Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom.   Gather before the covering and pray, that it may be uncovered.   Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless… What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? …  And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other?   In whom?   In Christ crucified.   This is His commandment – that we believe in Christ crucified … But where humility is, there is also majesty, where weakness is, there shall one find power, where death is, there shall be life as well.  If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first!“…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermon 160, 3-4) this is his commandment - st augustine - good friday 19 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER –
Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee;
Jesu! by that cold dismay which sicken’d Thee;
Jesu! by that pang of heart which thrill’d in Thee;
Jesu! by that mount of sins which crippled Thee;
Jesu! by that sense of guilt which stifled Thee;
Jesu! by that innocence that girded Thee;
Jesu! by that sanctity that reign’d in Thee;
Jesu! by that Godhead which was one with Thee;
Jesu! spare those souls which are so dear to Thee;
Who in prison, calm and patient, wait for Thee;
Hasten, Lord, their hour and bid them come to Thee;
To that glorious Home, where they shall ever gaze on Thee.
Amen
The Angel of the Agony
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)the-angel-of-the-agony-bl-john-henry-newman-good-friday-19 april 2018

 

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Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS

Don’t let go of the Cross of Christ – St Augustine

Friday of the Passion of the Lord – 19 April

“When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last, he said: ‘Truly, this man is the Son of God!’ ” (Mk 15:39)

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 2

“In the beginning was the Word, the Utterance of God” (cf. Jn 1:1).   He is one and the same with Him;  what He is, He is always;  He is without change, He is being. This is the name He made known to His servant Moses:  “I am who I am” and  “You will say:   I AM sent me to you” (Ex 3:14)…   Who could understand this?   Who could reach Him – supposing he were to direct all the powers of his soul as best he may to reaching Him who is?   I will compare Him to an exile who sees his homeland from afar – the sea is separating him from it, he knows where he has to go but has no means of getting there.   In the same way we want to reach that final haven which will be our own, where is the One who Is, for He alone is always the same.   But the ocean of this world blocks the way…

He who calls us, came here below, to give us the means of getting there.   He chose the wood that would enable us to cross the sea – indeed, no-one can Cross the ocean of this world, who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.   Even the blind can cling to this Cross.   If you can’t see where you are going very well, don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself.  So then, brethren, this is what I should like to impress on your hearts, if you want to live in a spirit of devotion, a christian spirit, cling to Christ just as He became for us, so as to rejoin Him as He is now and as He has always been.   This is why He came down to us, for He became man that He might take up the weak, enabling them to cross the sea and disembark into the homeland, where a ship is no longer needed, because there is no more ocean to cross.

In all events, it would be better for one’s soul not to see Him who is and to embrace Christ’s Cross, than to see Him spiritually but despise the Cross.   So, for our own happiness, may we both see where we are going and cling to the ship that is taking us there…!   Some have succeeded and have seen what He is.   It was because he had seen Him that John said:   “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”   They saw Him and, to attain what they saw from afar, they clung to the Cross of Christ.   They did not despise the humility of Christ.he who calls us - friday of the passion of the lord - st augustine - 19 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, HOLY WEEK, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Holy Week Thoughts – Maundy Thursday – 18 April – The perfection of love

Holy Week Thoughts – Maundy Thursday – 18 April

The perfection of love

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Treatise 84

Dear brethren, the Lord has marked out for us the fullness of love that we ought to have for each other.   He tells us – No-one has greater love than the man who lays down his life for his friends.   In these words, the Lord tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves.   John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in one of his letters – As Christ laid down His life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.   We should indeed love one another as He loved us, He who laid down His life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon:  If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you, then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself.   What is this ruler’s table, if not the one at which we receive the body and blood of Him who laid down His life for us?   What does it mean to sit at this table if not to approach it with humility? What does it mean to observe carefully what is set before you, if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift?   What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that one must provide the same kind of meal oneself, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down His life for us, so we in our turn, ought to lay down our lives, for our brothers?   This is what the Hpostle Paul said – Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in his footsteps.

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal.”   This is what the blessed martyrs did, with such burning love.   If we are to give true meaning, to our celebration of their memorials, to our approaching the Lord’s table, in the very banquet at which they were fed, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal.”

At this table of the Lord we do not commemorate the martyrs in the same way as we commemorate others who rest in peace.  We do not pray for the martyrs as we pray for those others, rather, they pray for us, that we may follow in His footsteps.   They practised the perfect love, of which the Lord said, there could be none greater.   They provided “the same kind of meal” as they had themselves received at the Lord’s table.

This must not be understood as saying, that we can be the Lord’s equals by bearing witness to Him, to the extent of shedding our blood.   He had the power of laying down His life, we by contrast, cannot choose the length of our lives and we die, even if it is against our will.   He, by dying, destroyed death in Himself;  we are freed from death only in His death.   His body did not see corruption, our body will see corruption and only then be clothed through Him, in incorruption, at the end of the world.   He needed no help from us in saving us, without Him, we can do nothing.   He gave Himself to us, as the vine to the branches, apart from Him, we cannot have life.

Finally, even if brothers die for brothers, yet no martyr by shedding his blood brings forgiveness for the sins of his brothers, as Christ brought forgiveness to us.   In this, He gave us, not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing.   Inasmuch, then, as they shed their blood for their brothers, the martyrs provided “the same kind of meal” as they had received at the Lord’s table.   Let us then love one another as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.he need no help from us - st augustine - 18 april 2019 holy thursday.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – He comforts such as are troubled

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”…John 13:21

REFLECTION – “He was troubled, then, who had power to lay down His life and had power to take it again.   That mighty power is troubled, the firmness of the rock is disturbed, or is it rather, our infirmity that is troubled in Him?   Assuredly so, let servants believe nothing unworthy of their Lord but recognise their own membership in their Head.   He who died for us, was also Himself troubled in our place.   He, therefore, who died in power, was troubled in the midst of His power.   He who shall yet transform the body of our humility, into similarity of form, with the body of His glory, has also transferred into Himself, the feeling of our infirmity and sympathises with us in the feelings of His own soul.   Accordingly, when it is the great, the brave, the sure, the invincible One that is troubled, let us have no fear for Him, as if He were capable of failing, He is not perishing but in search of us [who are].   Us, I say, it is us exclusively, whom He is thus seeking, that in His trouble we may behold ourselves and so, when trouble reaches us, may not fall into despair and perish.   By His trouble, who could not be troubled, save with His own consent, He comforts such as are troubled unwillingly.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchwhen jeus had thus spoken - us I say it is - sta augustine john 13 21 16 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, we are slow to understand.   In that love that You have for us and the grace, mercy and forgiveness You grant us. You gave Your only Son to save us from ourselves, help our lowly hearts, that we may understand Your love and in our smallness, offer all of our hearts, minds and souls, back to You in total submission and love.   May Your saints and angels, help us on our way by their prayers and may Mary, the Sorrowful Mother of our Saviour, grant us, her heart, to love You in return.   We make our prayer through our Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.mater dolorosa mother of sorrows pray for us 16 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST the KING, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, Papa FRANCIS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD, The WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE

Quote of the Day – 14 April – “…You yourselves will be His praise.”

Quote of the Day – 14 April – Palm Sunday, Year C

“It is there, on Calvary, that Jesus has His final appointment with a sinner,
to throw open the gates of His Kingdom for him too.
This is interesting, it is the only time that the word “Paradise”
appears in the Gospels.
Jesus promises it to a “poor devil” who, on the wood of the cross,
had the courage to proffer Him the most humble of requests:
“Remember me when you have entered your kingdom” (cf. Lk 23:42).
He had no good works to assert,
he had nothing but he entrusted himself to Jesus,
whom he recognised as innocent, good, so different from himself.
Those words of humble remorse were enough to touch Jesus’ heart.
The good thief reminds us of our true condition before God-
that we are His children, that He feels compassion for us,
that He is defenceless each time
we show our nostalgia for His love.”

Pope Francis

General Audience, 25 October 2017it is there on calvary tht Jesus has his final appointment with a sinner - pope francis palm sunday 14 april 2019.jpg

My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me, or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:   Sing to the Lord a new song.   Look, you tell me, I am singing.   Yes indeed, you are singing, you are singing clearly, I can hear you.   But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.   Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives – Sing to the Lord a new song’.

Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love but you ask me how to sing His praises.   You have heard the words – Sing to the Lord a new song and you wish to know what praises to sing.   The answer is – His praise is in the assembly of the saints – it is in the singers themselves.   If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express.   Live good lives and you yourselves will be His praise.

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

his-praise-is-in-the-assembly-of-saints-st-augustine-25-march-2018-palm-sunday.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 April – So they took up stones

One Minute Reflection – 11 April – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: John 8:51–59

“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.  ” So they took up stones to throw at him but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple…John 8:58-59

REFLECTION – “The angry Jews replied, “Thou art not yet fifty years old and hast thou seen Abraham?”   And the Lord: “Verily, verily, I say unto you,   Before Abraham was made, I am.”   Weigh the words and get a knowledge of the mystery.   “Before Abraham was made.”   Understand, that “was made” refers to human formation but “am” to the Divine essence.   “He was made,” because Abraham was a Creature.   He did not say, Before Abraham was, I was but, “Before Abraham was made,” who was not made save by me, “I am.”   Nor did He say this, Before Abraham was made I was made, for “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth;” and “in the beginning was the Word.” “Before Abraham was made, I am.”   Recognise the Creator-distinguish the creature.   He who spoke was made the seed of Abraham and that Abraham might be made, He Himself was before Abraham.
Hence, as if by the most open of all insults thrown at Abraham, they were now excited to greater bitterness.   Of a certainty it seemed to them, that Christ the Lord had uttered blasphemy in saying, “Before Abraham was made, I am.”   “Therefore took they up stones to cast at Him.”   To what could so great hardness have recourse, save to its like?   “But Jesus” [acts] as man, as one in the form of a servant, as lowly, as about to suffer, about to die, about to redeem us with His blood, not as He who is-not as the Word in the beginning and the Word with God.   For when they took up stones to cast at Him, what great thing were it had they been instantly swallowed up in the gaping earth and found the inhabitants of hell in place of stones?   It were not a great thing to God but better was it that patience should be commended than power exerted.   Therefore “He hid Himself” from them, that He might not be stoned.   As man, He fled from the stones but woe to those from whose stony hearts God has fled?”St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorjohn 8 58-59 and they picked up stones - as a man jesus fled - st augustine 11 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, break the bonds of our sin which our weakness have forged to enchain us and in Your loving mercy, forgive Your people’s guilt.   Never flee from us in our weakness O Lord and grant us Your salvation.  Help us Holy Mother to be the imitators of your Son.  Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all time and eternity, amen.help us holy mother ora pro nobis pray for us 11 april 2019.jpg

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Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers – St Augustine

Lenten Thoughts – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

Jesus Christ Prays For Us and In Us and IS the Object of Our Prayers

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms (Psalm 85)

God could give no greater gift to men than to make His Word, through whom He created all things, their head and to join them to Him as His members, so that the Word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father and one man with all men.  The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from Him and when the body of the Son prays, it does not separate its head from itself, it is the one Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is Himself the object of our prayers.

He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, He is the object of our prayers as our God.he prays for us as our priest - st augustine 10 april 2019.jpg

Let us then recognise both our voice in His and His voice in ours.   When something is said, especially in prophecy, about the Lord Jesus Christ that seems to belong to a condition of lowliness unworthy of God, we must not hesitate to ascribe this condition to one who did not hesitate to unite Himself with us.   Every creature is His servant, for it was through Him that every creature came to be.

We contemplate His glory and divinity when we listen to these words:   In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made.   Here we gaze on the divinity of the Son of God, something supremely great and surpassing all the greatness of His creatures.   Yet in other parts of Scripture we hear Him as one sighing, praying, giving praise and thanks.

We hesitate to attribute these words to Him because our minds are slow to come down to His humble level when we have just been contemplating Him in His divinity.   It is as though we were doing Him an injustice, in acknowledging in a man the words of one, with whom we spoke, when we prayed to God;  we are usually at a loss and try to change the meaning.   Yet our minds find nothing in Scripture that does not go back to Him, nothing that will allow us to stray from Him.

Our thoughts must then be awakened to keep their vigil of faith.   We must realise that the one whom we were contemplating, a short time before, in his nature as God took to Himself the nature of a servant, He was made in the likeness of men and found to be a man like others, He humbled Himself by being obedient even to accepting death, as He hung on the cross He made the psalmist’s words His own:  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

We pray to Him as God, He prays for us as a servant.   In the first case, He is the Creator, in the second a creature.   Himself unchanged, He took to Himself our created nature in order to change it and made us one man, with Himself, head and body.   We pray then to Him, through Him, in Him and we speak along with Him and He along with us.we pray then to him and in him and with him 10 april 2019 st augustine lenten thoughts.jpg