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One Minute Reflection – 12 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:1-6

One Minute Reflection – 12 November – Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:1-6 – Monday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Martyr

“Temptations to sin are sure to come but woe to the person through whom they occur!   It would be better for him, if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin…” Luke 17:1-2luke 17 1-2 - temptations are sure to come but it would be better - 12 nov 2018

REFLECTION – “The accompanying discussion that immediately follows these opening remarks and speaks of our pardoning our brothers and sisters in case they ever sin against us, leads us to the idea that these were the offences meant.   What are these offences?   They are, I suppose, mean and annoying actions, fits of anger whether on good grounds or without justification, insults, slander and other stumbling blocks similar to these.   He says that these temptations must come.   Is this then because God, who governs all, forces people to their commission of sin?   Away with the thought!   Nothing that is evil comes from Him.   He is the fountain of all virtue.   Why then must this happen?   They clearly happen because of our infirmity, for all of us stumble in many things, as it is written.   Nevertheless, He says, that there will be woe to the person who lays the stumbling blocks in the way.   He does not leave indifference in these things without rebuke but restrains it by fear of punishment.   He still commands us to bear with patience those who cause sins to happen.”…St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) – Father & Doctor – Commentary on Luke, “Homilies 113-116”he says that these temptations must come - st cyril of alex - 12 nov 2018

PRAYER – O Lord our God, grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love and to be only good influences to our neighbour.   That by our love, our brothers in faith may be one  . St Josaphat you fought and struggled to unite the Church and by your efforts achieved the crown of martyrdom, please pray for our world, for a one united faith. Amenst-josaphat-pray-for-us-12 NOV 2017 - 2

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One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Today’s Gospel: Luke 13:22–30 – Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

“Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be able…”…Luke 13:24.

REFLECTION – “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.”   This reply may seem perhaps to wander from the scope of the question.   The man wanted to learn whether there would be few who are saved but He explained to him the way whereby he might be saved himself.   He said, “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.”   What do we answer to this objection? … It was a necessary and valuable thing to know how a man may obtain salvation.   He is purposely silent to the useless question.   He proceeds to speak of what was essential, namely, of the knowledge necessary for the performance of those duties by which people can enter the narrow door.
I now consider it my duty to mention why the door to life is narrow.   Whoever would enter must first, before everything else, possess an upright and uncorrupted faith and then a spotless morality, in which there is no possibility of blame, according to the measure of human righteousness.   One who has attained to this in mind and spiritual strength will enter easily by the narrow door and run along the narrow way.
“Wide is the door and broad the way that brings down many to destruction.”   What are we to understand by its broadness?   It means an unrestrained tendency toward carnal lust and a shameful and pleasure-loving life.   It is luxurious feasts, parties, banquets and unrestricted inclinations to everything that is condemned by the law and displeasing to God.   A stubborn mind will not bow to the yoke of the law.   This life is cursed and relaxed in all carelessness.   Thrusting from it the divine law and completely unmindful of the sacred commandments, wealth, vices, scorn, pride and the empty imagination of earthly pride spring from it.   Those who would enter in by the narrow door must withdraw from all these things, be with Christ and keep the festival with him.”…St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor (Commentary on Luke, Homily 9strive to enter - luke 13 24 - whoever would enter - st cyril of alex - 31 oct 2018

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled.   Grant that the prayers of our Blessed Mother and St Alphonsus Rodriguez, who always held Your Light up for others to see by, give us strength.   Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sancta maria -mary most holy - pray for us - 10 may 2018

st alphonsus rodriguez pray for us no 2- 31 oct 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 August – Today’s Gospel: John 6:41–51

One Minute Reflection – 12 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: John 6:41–51

…the bread which I shall give, for the life of the world is my flesh...John 6:51

REFLECTION – “How could humankind, which remained riveted to the earth and subject to death, gain entry to immortality once more?   Its flesh had to become assimilated to the life-giving force in God. Now, God the Father’s life-giving force is His Word, His only Son, and so it was He whom God sent as Saviour and Redeemer…
If you put a breadcrumb into oil, water or wine, it at once soaks up their properties. If you place iron into contact with fire it will shortly become full of the fire’s energy and, even though by nature it is only iron, will take on the appearance of fire.   In the same way, then, God’s life-giving Word, by uniting Himself to the flesh He assumed, caused it to become life giving.
Did He not say: “Whoever believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life.”   And again: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live for ever and the bread that I will give is my flesh… Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”   So then, by eating the flesh of Christ, the Saviour of us all and drinking His blood, we have life in ourselves, we become one with Him, we remain in Him and He in us.
Therefore it is for Him to enter within us, through the Holy Spirit, in a way fitting to God and to mingle with our body, after a fashion, through the holy flesh and precious blood, we receive, under the forms of bread and wine, as our life-giving blessing.   Indeed…, God has exercised His condescension towards our weakness and placed all His life-force into the elements of bread and wine, which are thus endowed with the spirit of His own life. So believe in it without hesitation, for our Lord Himself has clearly said: “This is my body” and “This is my blood”.”…St Cyril of Alexandria (380-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Churchthe bread which i shall give john 6 51 - god has exercised his condescension - st cyril of alex - 12 aug 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart. Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy.   Grant, we pray that by the prayers of St Jane de Chantal and Blessed Pope Innocent XI, we will be made always faithful and may Mary, the Mother of our life, lead us to our everlasting joy, Your Son, Jesus Christ.   Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st-jane-de-chantal-pray-for-us=12 august 2017bl pope innocent xi - pay for us - 12 august 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 10 August – Feast of St Lawrence, Martyr (died 258) – Today’s Gospel: John 12:24–26

Quote of the Day – 10 August – Feast of St Lawrence, Martyr (died 258) – Today’s Gospel: John 12:24–26if anyone serves me - john 12 26 - 10 august 2018

“Jesus brought new hope into the world and He did so in the manner of the seed:  He became very small, like a grain of wheat, He left his heavenly glory in order to come among us, He “fell into the earth”.
But this still was not enough.
In order to bear fruit, Jesus experienced love to the fullest, allowing Himself to be split open by death as a seed lets itself split open under the ground.   Precisely there, at the lowest point of His abasement — which is also the loftiest point of love — hope burgeoned.
When we choose the hope of Jesus, we gradually discover, that the successful way of life is that of the seed, that of humble love.   There is no other way to conquer evil and give hope to the world.   But you might tell me: “No, it is a losing rationale!”  . It might seem so, seem that it is a losing rationale because those who love, lose power.   Have you considered this?   Those who love, lose power;  those who give, impart something and loving is a gift.
In reality, the rationale of the seed that dies, of humble love, is God’s way and only this bears fruit.”

Pope Francis General Audience, 12 April 2017)when we choose the hope of jesus - john 12 24-26 - pope francis - 10 aug 2018.jpg

“We must note, therefore,
that he that does things pleasing to God,
serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes,
is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)we must note therefore that he does - st cyril of alex - 10 august 2018

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Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor

Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor

“He who receives Communion
is made holy and divinised in soul and body
in the same way that water, set over a fire, becomes boiling…
Communion works like yeast that has been mixed into dough
so that it leavens the whole mass;
…Just as by melting two candles together,
you get one piece of wax,
so, I think, one who receives the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
is fused together with Him by this Communion
and the soul finds that he is in Christ and Christ is in him.”just as by melting - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.”the power of the holy eucharist - if the poison of pride - st cyril of alexandria - 27 june 2018

“Our Saviour went to the wedding feast
to make holy the origins of human life.”our-saviour-went-to-the-edding-feast-st-cyril-of-alexandria-27 june 2017

“From Christ and in Christ,
we have been reborn through the Spirit,
in order to bear the fruit of life,
not the fruit of our old, sinful life
but the fruit of a new life founded upon
our faith in Him and our love for Him.
Like branches growing from a vine,
we now draw our life from Christ
and we cling to His holy commandment,
in order to preserve this life.”from christ and in christ - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

“That anyone could doubt, the right
of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God,
fills me with astonishment.
Surely, she must be the Mother of God,
if our Lord Jesus Christ is God
and she gave birth to Him!”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctorthat anyone could doubt - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

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Our Morning Offering – 27 June

Our Morning Offering – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) and the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and the Mother of God of Gietrzwald, Poland

Hail, Mother of God
By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church

Hail, Mother and Virgin,
eternal Temple of the Godhead,
Venerable Treasure of Creation,
crown of virginity,
support of the true faith,
on which the Church is founded, throughout the world.
Mother of God,
who contained the infinite God
under your heart,
whom no space can contain.
Through you, the most Holy Trinity, is revealed,
adored and glorified,
demons are vanquished,
Satan cast down from heaven into hell
and our fallen nature again assumed into heaven.
Through you, the human race,
held captive in the bonds of idolatry,
arrives at the knowledge of Truth.
What more shall I say of you?
Hail, through whom kings rule,
through whom the Only-Begotten Son of God
has become the Star of Light
to those sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Amenhail mother of god - st cyril of alexandria - 27 june 2018

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Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church – “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers”Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) – Patronage – Alexandria, Egypt.

Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on The Fathers of the Church
St Cyril of Alexandria
Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Today too, continuing our journey following the traces left by the Fathers of the Church, we meet an important figure:  St Cyril of Alexandria.   Linked to the Christological controversy which led to the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the last important representative of the Alexandrian tradition in the Greek Orient, Cyril was later defined as “the guardian of exactitude” – to be understood as guardian of the true faith – and even the “seal of the Fathers”.   These ancient descriptions express clearly a characteristic feature of Cyril:  the Bishop of Alexandria’s constant reference to earlier ecclesiastical authors (including, in particular, Athanasius), for the purpose of showing the continuity with tradition of theology itself.   He deliberately, explicitly inserted himself into the Church’s tradition, which he recognised as guaranteeing continuity with the Apostles and with Christ himself.   Venerated as a Saint in both East and West, in 1882 St Cyril was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII, who at the same time also attributed this title to another important exponent of Greek Patristics, St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387).   Thus are revealed the attention and love for the Eastern Christian traditions of this Pope, who later also chose to proclaim St John Damascene (675-749) a Doctor of the Church, thereby showing that both the Eastern and Western traditions express the doctrine of Christ’s one Church.header - st cyril of alexandria

We have almost no information on Cyril’s life prior to his election to the important See of Alexandria.   He was a nephew of Theophilus, who had governed the Diocese of Alexandria as Bishop since 385 AD with a prestigious and iron hand. It is likely that Cyril was born in this Egyptian metropolis between 370 and 380 A.D., was initiated into ecclesiastical life while he was still very young and received a good education, both culturally and theologically. In 403, he went to Constantinople in the retinue of his powerful uncle.   It was here that he took part in the so-called “Synod of the Oak” which deposed the Bishop of the city, John (later known as “Chrysostom”) and thereby marked the triumph of the Alexandrian See over its traditional rival, the See of Constantinople, where the Emperor resided.   Upon his uncle Theophilus’ death, the still young Cyril was elected in 412 as Bishop of the influential Church of Alexandria, which he governed energetically for 32 years, always seeking to affirm her primacy throughout the East, strong also because of her traditional bonds with Rome.

Two or three years later, in 417 or 418, the Bishop of Alexandria showed himself to be realistic in mending the broken communion with Constantinople, which had lasted by then since 406 as a consequence of Chrysostom’s deposition.   But the old conflict with the Constantinople See flared up again about 10 years later, when in 428 Nestorius was elected, a severe and authoritarian monk trained in Antioch.   The new Bishop of Constantinople, in fact, soon provoked opposition because he preferred to use as Mary’s title in his preaching “Mother of Christ” (Christotòkos) instead of “Mother of God” (Theotòkos), already very dear to popular devotion.   One reason for Bishop Nestorius’ decision was his adherence to the Antiochean type of Christology, which, to safeguard the importance of Christ’s humanity, ended by affirming the division of the Divinity. Hence, the union between God and man in Christ could no longer be true, so naturally it was no longer possible to speak of the “Mother of God”.st cyril of alexandria - detail

The reaction of Cyril – at that time the greatest exponent of Alexandrian Christology, who intended on the other hand to stress the unity of Christ’s person – was almost immediate, and from 429 he left no stone unturned, even addressing several letters to Nestorius himself.   In the second of Cyril’s letters to Nestorius (PG 77, 44-49), written in February 430, we read a clear affirmation of the duty of Pastors to preserve the faith of the People of God.   This was his criterion, moreover, still valid today:  the faith of the People of God is an expression of tradition, it is a guarantee of sound doctrine.   This is what he wrote to Nestorius:  “It is essential to explain the teaching and interpretation of the faith to the people in the most irreproachable way and to remember that those who cause scandal, even to only one of the little ones, who believe in Christ, will be subjected to an unbearable punishment”.

In the same letter to Nestorius – a letter which later, in 451, was to be approved by the Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth Ecumenical Council – Cyril described his Christological faith clearly:  “Thus, we affirm that the natures are different that are united in one true unity but from both, has come only one Christ and Son, not because, due to their unity, the difference in their natures has been eliminated but rather, because divinity and humanity, reunited in an ineffable and indescribable union, have produced for us one Lord and Christ and Son”.   And this is important –  true humanity and true divinity are really united in only one Person, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Bishop of Alexandria continued:  “We will profess only one Christ and Lord, not in the sense that we worship the man together with the Logos, in order not to suggest the idea of separation by saying “together’ but in the sense that we worship only one and the same, because He is not extraneous to the Logos, His body, with which He also sits at His Father’s side, not as if “two sons” are sitting beside Him but only one, united with His own flesh”.Icon_St._Cyril_of_Alexandria

And soon the Bishop of Alexandria, thanks to shrewd alliances, obtained the repeated condemnation of Nestorius, by the See of Rome, consequently with a series of 12 anathemas which he himself composed and finally, by the Council held in Ephesus in 431, the Third Ecumenical Council.   The assembly which went on with alternating and turbulent events, ended with the first great triumph of devotion to Mary and with the exile of the Bishop of Constantinople, who had been reluctant to recognise the Blessed Virgin’s right to the title of “Mother of God” because of an erroneous Christology that brought division to Christ Himself.    After thus prevailing against his rival and his doctrine, by 433 Cyril was nevertheless already able to achieve a theological formula of compromise and reconciliation with the Antiocheans.   This is also significant, on the one hand, is the clarity of the doctrine of faith but in addition, on the other, the intense search for unity and reconciliation.   In the following years he devoted himself in every possible way to defending and explaining his theological stance, until his death on 27 June 444.

Cyril’s writings – truly numerous and already widely disseminated in various Latin and Eastern translations in his own lifetime, attested to by their instant success – are of the utmost importance for the history of Christianity.   His commentaries on many of the New and Old Testament Books are important, including those on the entire Pentateuch, Isaiah, the Psalms and the Gospels of John and Luke.   Also important are his many doctrinal works, in which the defence of the Trinitarian faith against the Arian and Nestorian theses recurs.   The basis of Cyril’s teaching is the ecclesiastical tradition and in particular, as I mentioned, the writings of Athanasius, his great Predecessor in the See of Alexandria.   Among Cyril’s other writings, the books Against Julian deserve mention. They were the last great response to the anti-Christian controversies, probably dictated by the Bishop of Alexandria in the last years of his life to respond to the work Against the Galileans, composed many years earlier in 363 by the Emperor known as the “Apostate” for having abandoned the Christianity in which he was raised.st-cyril-of-alexandria-4

The Christian faith is first and foremost the encounter with Jesus, “a Person, which gives life a new horizon” (Deus Caritas Est, n. 1).   St Cyril of Alexandria was an unflagging, staunch witness of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, emphasising above all his unity, as he repeats in 433 in his first letter (PG 77, 228-237) to Bishop Succensus:  “Only one is the Son, only one the Lord Jesus Christ, both before the Incarnation and after the Incarnation.   Indeed, the Logos born of God the Father was not one Son and the one born of the Blessed Virgin another but we believe, that the very One who was born before the ages, was also born according to the flesh and of a woman”.   Over and above its doctrinal meaning, this assertion shows that faith in Jesus the Logos born of the Father is firmly rooted in history because, as St Cyril affirms, this same Jesus came in time with His birth from Mary, the Theotò-kos and in accordance with His promise will always be with us.

And this is important –  God is eternal, He is born of a woman and He stays with us every day.   In this trust we live, in this trust we find the way for our life…. Pope Benedict XVI

For more on St Cyril here : https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/saint-of-the-day-27-june-st-cyril-of-alexandria-doctor-father-of-the-church-the-pillar-of-faith-seal-of-all-the-fathers-doctor-incarnationis-doctor-of-the-incarnation/cyril in prague.jpg