Posted in BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY ORDERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, Sacrament of the SICK, SACRAMENTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 26 April – The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter

The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in Him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God.   Having destined us to be His adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in His glory and living as we do, in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.”   When He said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us.

We became “the anointed ones” when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit.   Indeed, everything took place in us by means of images, because we ourselves are images of Christ.   Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of His divinity and, when He came up from them, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like resting upon like.   So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with chrism, which signifies the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ was anointed and of whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor.

Christ’s anointing was not by human hands, nor was it with ordinary oil.   On the contrary, having destined Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, the Father Himself anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.   The words of Peter bear witness to this – Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit.   And David the prophet proclaimed: Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.   You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellows.

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil, it was in fact the Holy Spirit Himself, who is called the oil of gladness, because He is the source of spiritual joy.   But we too have been anointed with oil and by this anointing, we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in His life.   Beware of thinking that this holy oil is simply ordinary oil and nothing else.   After the invocation of the Spirit it is no longer ordinary oil but the gift of Christ and by the presence of His divinity, it becomes the instrument, through which we receive the Holy Spirit.   While symbolically, on our foreheads and senses, our bodies are anointed with this oil that we see, our souls are sanctified by the holy and life-giving Spirit.beware of thinking that this holy oil - st cyril of jerusalem 26 april 2019 easter friday - anointingwiththeholyspirit.jpg

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Posted in BAPTISM, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 25 April- Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Thought for the Day – 25 April – Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Congratulations to those who entered
the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation,
(Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion)
at the Easter Vigil.
You are now members with us,
in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Welcome Home!

congrats to new catholics - welcome home - 25 april 2019 easter thurs

Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s passion

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father, Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes.   Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”   You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water and three times you rose again.   This symbolised the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night.   At night a man cannot see but in the day he walks in the light.   So when you were immersed in the water, it was like night for you and you could not see but when you rose again, it was like coming into broad daylight   In the same instant, you died and were born again, the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here.   He spoke of a time to give birth and a time to die.   For you, however, it was the reverse – a time to die and a time to be born, although, in fact, both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of!   It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again.  We only did these things symbolically but we have been saved in actual fact.   It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again and all this has been attributed to us.   We share in His sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality.   What boundless love for men!   Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails, He suffered the pain.   I experience no pain, no anguish, yet, by the share that I have in His sufferings, He freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption.   Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins.   We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ.  This is why Paul exclaims:  Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in His death?   By baptism we went with Him into the tomb.we know perfectly weel that baptism - st cyril of jerusalem - 25 april 2019 easter thurs.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – “Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

“Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.
Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?
You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.
For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.
Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)

Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-never-sinned-yet-he-was-crucified-for-you-st-cyrilofjerusalem-7feb2019.jpg

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

“The cross of Christ is the true ground
and chief cause of Christian hope.”

“Let no one be ashamed of the cross
by which Christ has redeemed the world.
None of us must be afraid to suffer
for the sake of justice or doubt the
fulfilment of the promises,
for it is through toil that we come to rest
and through death that we pass to life.”

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461) Doctor of the Churchby-baptism-st-leo-the-great-quotes-on-the-cross-10-nov-2018.jpg

“O Blessed Cross,
You are venerated, preached
and honoured by the faith of the Patriarchs,
the predictions of the Prophets,
the senate that judges the Apostles,
the victorious army of Martyrs
and the throngs of all the Saints”
(Sermo XLVII, 14, p. 304)

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churcho-blessed-cross-st-peter-damian-21-feb-2019.jpg

“This is that enviable and blessed cross of Christ . . .
the cross in which alone we must make our boast,
as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”

St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275)
“Father of Canon Law”

this-is-that-enviable-st-raymond-of-penafort-7 jan 2019.jpg

“And if He gave His life for us,
then it should not be difficult
to bear whatever hardships arise for His sake.
If you seek patience,
you will find no better example than the cross.
Christ endured much on the cross and did so patiently,
because “when he suffered he did not threaten,
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter
and he did not open his mouth.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchand-if-he-gave-his-life-for-us-st-thomas-aquinas-28-jan-2018 (1).jpg

“The Cross is God’s chair in the world.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)the-cross-is-gods-chair-in-the-world-st-john-paul-22feb2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Quote of the Day – 16 March – “it is necessary to pass by the dragon”

Quote of the Day – 16 March – Saturday of the First week of Lent, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 5:43–48

“The dragon sits by the side of the road,
watching those who pass.
Beware lest he devour you.
We go to the Father of Souls
but it is necessary to pass by the dragon.”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthe dragon sits by the side of the road - st cyril of jerusalem 16 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – “When war comes, fight courageously for Him.”

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – Friday of the First week of Lent, Year C Gospel: Matthew 5:20–26

“Will you refuse to be crucified for Him,
who for your sake was nailed to the cross?”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Catecheses, 13

The Catholic Church glories in every deed of Christ.   Her supreme glory, however, is the cross.   Well aware of this, Paul says – God forbid that I glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!

At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder and rightly so.   A man born blind recovered his sight.   But of what importance is this, when there are so many blind people in the world?   Lazarus rose from the dead but even this affected only Lazarus.  What of those countless numbers who have died because of their sins?   Those five miraculous loaves fed five thousand people.   Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the world who were starved by ignorance.   After eighteen years a woman was freed from the bondage of Satan.   But are we not all shackled by the chains of our own sins?

For us all, however, the cross is the crown of victory!   It has brought light to those blinded by ignorance.   It has released those enslaved by sin.   Indeed, it has redeemed the whole of mankind!

Do not, then, be ashamed of the cross of Christ, rather, glory in it.   Although it is a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, the message of the cross is our salvation.   Of course it is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.   For it was not a mere man who died for us but the Son of God, God made man.

In the Mosaic law a sacrificial lamb banished the destroyer.   But now it is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.   Will He not free us from our sins even more? The blood of an animal, a sheep, brought salvation.   Will not the blood of the only-begotten Son bring us greater salvation?

He was not killed by violence, He was not forced to give up His life.   His was a willing sacrifice.   Listen to His own words – I have the power to lay down my life and take it up again.   Yes, he willingly submitted to His own passion.   He took joy in his achievement, in His crown of victory He was glad and in the salvation of man He rejoiced.   He did not blush at the cross for by it He was to save the world.   No, it was not a lowly man who suffered but God incarnate.   He entered the contest, for the reward He would win by His patient endurance.

Certainly in times of tranquillity the cross should give you joy.   But maintain the same faith in times of persecution.   Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and His enemy during war.   Now you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the generous gift of grace from your King.   When war comes, fight courageously for Him.

Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.   Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?   You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.   For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.   Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.jesus never sinned yet he was crucified for you - st cyril of jerusalem 15 march 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Go Forth Set the World on Fire!

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Thursday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C. Gospel: Mark 6:7-13

He charged them to take nothing for their journey...Mark 6:8

For all Christians, wherever they live, are bound to show forth, by the example of their lives and by the witness of the word, that new man put on at baptism and that power of the Holy Spirit, by which they have been strengthened at Confirmation.   Thus other men, observing their good works, can glorify the Father and can perceive more fully the real meaning of human life and the universal bond of the community of mankind. (cf Col 3:10; Mt 5:16)….Decree on the missionary activity of the Church, “ Ad Gentes ”, # 10-11 – Vatican Council II

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.   

Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?   

You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.   

For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.   

Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father & Doctor of the Church

jesus never sinned yet he was crucified for you - st cyrilofjerusalem 7feb2019.jpg

“Go Forth, Set the World on Fire”

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)go forth set the world on fire - st ignatius 7 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22

And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name?”…Acts 9:21acts-26-16 2019 - is not this the man - feast conv of st paul.jpg

REFLECTION – “We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).   Who then is this?   The former persecutor.   O mighty wonder!   The former persecutor himself preaches Christ.   But why?   Was he bribed?   No, there was no one who could have persuaded him in that way.   Was it the sight of Christ on earth that blinded him?   But Jesus had already been taken up into heaven.   Saul set out from Jerusalem to persecute Christ’s church and after three days the persecutor had become a preacher in Damascus.   By what power?   Other people call on friends as witnesses for their friends but I have presented to you as a witness the former enemy.

Do you still doubt?   The testimony of Peter and John is weighty… but they were istcyrilofjerusalemndeed His friends.   But of the testimony of one who was formerly His enemy and afterwards died for His sake, who can any longer doubt the truth?   I am amazed at the wise dispensation of the Holy Spirit;… to Paul, the former persecutor, He gave the privilege of writing fourteen letters… In order that his teaching might be beyond question, He granted the former enemy and persecutor the privilege of writing more letters than Peter and John so that we might all be thus made believers.   For “all were amazed at Paul and said: ‘Isn’t this the man who was formerly a persecutor?   Didn’t he come here to take us away bound to Jerusalem?’” (Acts 9:21) “Do not be not amazed,” said Paul, I know how “it is hard for me to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14);  I know that “I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God” (1 Cor 15:9); yet “mercy was shown to me because I did it in ignorance”… “the grace of God was exceedingly abundant in me” (1 Tm 1:13-14).”…St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Father & Doctor of the Churchbut the testimony - st cyril - conv of st paul 25 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world.   Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day.   Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;  insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st-paul-pray-for-us-25-jan2018-catechesis-of-pope-benedict-no-1.jpg