Archive for February, 2012


From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr

Dear brothers, the commands of the Gospel are nothing else than God’s lessons, the foundations on which to build up hope, the supports for strengthening faith, the food that nourishes the heart. They are the rudder for keeping us on the right course, the protection that keeps our salvation secure. As they instruct the receptive minds of believers on earth, they lead safely to the kingdom of heaven.

God willed that many things should be said by the prophets, his servants, and listened to by his people. How much greater are the things spoken by the Son. These are now witnessed to by the very Word of God who spoke through the prophets. The Word of God does not now command us to prepare the way for his coming: he comes in person and opens up the way for us and directs us toward it. Before, we wandered in the darkness of death, aimlessly and blindly. Now we are enlightened by the light of grace, and are to keep to the highway of life, with the Lord to precede and direct us.

The Lord has given us many counsels and commandments to help us toward salvation. He has even given us a pattern of prayer, instructing us on how we are to pray. He has given us life, and with his accustomed generosity, he has also taught us how to pray. He has made it easy for us to be heard as we pray to the Father in the words taught us by the Son.

He had already foretold that the hour was coming when true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth. He fulfilled what he had promised before, so that we who have received the spirit and the truth through the holiness he has given us may worship in truth and in the spirit through the prayer he has taught.

What prayer could be more a prayer in the spirit than the one given us by Christ, by whom the Holy Spirit was sent upon us? What prayer could be more a prayer in the truth than the one spoken by the lips of the Son, who is truth himself? It follows that to pray in any other way than the Son has taught us is not only the result of ignorance but of sin. He himself has commanded it, and has said: You reject the command of God, to set up your own tradition.

So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words his Son has given us, to let him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in his ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognize the words of his Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts be also on our lips. We have him as an advocate for sinners before the Father; when we ask forgiveness for our sins, let us use the words given by our advocate. He tells us: Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make in the name of Christ than in the words of his own prayer?

Fund Raising Golf Tournament For Church Of St Anthony

Posted: February 28, 2012 by CatholicJules in Upcoming Events

The church of St Anthony is pleased to host a Golf Tournament as a Fund-Raising for the new Annex Building.
We request for your support as a sponsor for the following

  •  Corporate / Personal Sponsorship

Platinum Sponsor – $5,000

Includes green and buggy fees, tee-off with Guest-of-honour Dr Tan Cheng Bock, lunch, dinner and goodie bags for 1 flight of 3 golfers as well as logo endorsement at all events backdrop (for company registration only).

Gold Sponsor – $4,000

Includes green and buggy fees, Novelties Game x 1, lunch, dinner and goodie bags for 1 flight of 4 golfers as well as logo endorsements at all events backdrop (for company registration only).

  • Participate in the tournament

Sliver Flight – $2,000

Includes green and buggy fees, lunch, dinner and goodie bags for 1 flight of 4 golfers. (Individual $500)

  •  Donations in cash or kind for prizes and goodie bags (e.g., gift certificates, golf memorabilia, t-shirts, caps with sponsor’s logo etc)

Register Now

Locations
Warren Golf and Country Club
81 Choa Chu Kang Way Singapore 688263

Date Friday 20th April 2012
Time 11.30 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Contact Ms Louise Alvina 9748 8308
Email register@st-anthonygolfday.com

Booking must come in by end March 2012.
Please make cheques payable to Church of St Anthony and mail Sponsor Fee to:
25 Woodlands Ave 1, Singapore 739064
Attention: Fund Raising Golf Tournament

If you have any questions regarding sponsorship or any enquiries, you can contact Ms Louise Alvina 97488308 or visit http://www.st-anthonygolfday.com or email us at register@st-anthonygolfday.com

St anthony golfday 2012 invite

 

Serving The Least

Posted: February 28, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

 I seek the fruit which increases to your credit.  The gain is yours, not mine, except that because it is yours, it is ours, too, the benefit glancing from you to us just like the reflected rays of the sun.  Did you feed the poor? Did you show hospitality?  Did you wash the feet of the saints?…

To preach the Gospel is a matter of necessity: the honour lies in doing so free of charge but so that you may learn to serve Christ by serving even one of the least.  For just as, for my sake, he became everything that I am, except for sin, in the same way he accepts as his own even my smallest acts of kindness, whether you give of your shelter; whether of your clothing; whether you visit the prisons; whether you tend the sick; whether you just perform the most ordinary gesture of refreshing with a cup of cool water the tongue of a man parched with thirst, just as the rich man tormented in the flame asked of the beggar Lazarus but, in a measure of return for a life of indulgence on this earth and his neglect of Lazarus, who was hungry and full of sores, asked of Lazarus in the other and did not receive.

This, then, is what we require of you; and I know that you are not discomfited at the prospect of having an account asked of you either by us, or on the last day when all our affairs are gathered up.  As Scripture says, And I am coming to gather your intentions and your actions; and Behold man, and his work, and his reward with him.

Saint Gregory Nazianzen +390

What Drew Matthew To Jesus

Posted: February 27, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

Because of its rebellion against God, here are the devils, holding this sheep as their own possession.  Then along comes God’s infinite goodness and sees the sheep’s sorry state its ruin and damnation.  He knows he cannot use wrath or war to entice it away from them.  Supreme eternal Wisdom doesn’t want to do it that way, even though the sheep has wronged him (for humankind, by its rebellion in disobedience, was deserving of infinite punishment).  No, he finds a delightful way – the most sweet and loving way possible; for he sees that the human heart is drawn by love as by nothing else, since it is made of love.  This seems to be why human beings love so much, because they are made of nothing but love, body and soul.  In love God created them in his own image and likeness, and in love father and mother conceive and bring forth their children, giving them a share in their own substance.  So God, seeing that humankind is so quick to love, throws out to us right away the hook of love, giving us the Word, his only-begotten Son.  He takes on our humanity to make a great peace….

This Word played life against death and death against life in tournament on the wood of the most holy cross, so that by his death he destroyed our death, and to give us life he spent his own bodily life.  With love, then, he has so drawn us and with his kindness so conquered our malice that every heart should be won over.  For a person can show no greater love (he said so himself) than to give his or her life for a friend.  And if he praises the love that gives one’s life for a friend, what shall we say of the consummate blazing love that gave his life for his enemy?  For through sin we had become God’s enemies.  Oh, gentle loving Word, with love you recovered your little sheep, and with love gave them life.  You brought them back to the fold by restoring to them the grace they had lost.

Saint Catherine of Siena +1380

Key Principle Of Catholic Social Teaching

Posted: February 26, 2012 by CatholicJules in Great Catholic Articles, Memory Book

Human Dignity

In a world warped by materialism and declining respect for human life, the Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.  Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.

Community and the Common Good

In a global culture driven by excessive individualism, our tradition proclaims that the person is not only sacred but also social.  How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community.  Our Church teaches that the role of the government and other institutions is to protect human life and promote the common good.

Rights and Responsibilities

Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.  Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency.  Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities — to one another, to our families and to the larger society.

Option for the Poor And Vulnerable

Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.  In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgement (Mt.25) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.

Participation

All people have a right to participate in the economic, political and cultural life of society.  It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community.  Conversely, it is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society.  In the words of the U.S. bishops, “The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if they were non-members of the human race.  To treat people this way is effectively to say they simply do not count as human beings.”

Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers

In a marketplace where too often the quarterly bottom line takes precedence over the rights of workers, we believe that the economy must serve people, not the other way around.  If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property and to economic initiative.

Stewardship of Creation

Catholic tradition insists that we show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation.  We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.  This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions which cannot be ignored.

Solidarity

Catholic social teaching proclaims that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they live.  We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences.  Solidarity means that “loving our neighbour” has global dimensions in an interdependent world.

Role of Government

Because we are social beings, the state is natural to the person.  Therefore, the state has a positive moral function.  It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good.  It’s purpose is to assist citizens in fulfilling their responsibility to others in society.  Since, in a large and complex society these responsibilities cannot adequately be carried out on a one-to-one basis, citizens need the help of government in fulfilling these responsibilities and promoting the common good.  According to the principle of subsidiarity, the functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately.  If they cannot, then a higher level of government should intervene to provide help.

Promotion of Peace

Catholic teaching promotes peace as a positive, action-oriented concept.  In the words of Pope John Paul II, “Peace is not just the absence of war.  It involves collaboration and binding agreements.”  There is a close relationship in Catholic teaching between peace and justice.  Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings.

February 26th, 2012 – First Sunday of Lent

Posted: February 25, 2012 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn

The New Creation

Readings:
Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15


Lent bids us to return to the innocence of baptism. As Noah and his family were saved through the waters of the deluge, we were saved through the waters of baptism, Peter reminds us in today’s Epistle.

And God’s covenant with Noah in today’s First Reading marked the start of a new world. But it also prefigured a new and greater covenant between God and His creation (see Hosea 2:20; Isaiah 11:1-9).

We see that new covenant and that new creation begin in today’s Gospel.

Jesus is portrayed as the new Adam – the beloved son of God (see Mark 1:11; Luke 3:38), living in harmony with the wild beasts (see Genesis 2:19-20), being served by angels (see Ezekiel 28:12-14).

Like Adam, He too is tempted by the devil. But while Adam fell, giving reign to sin and death (see Romans 5:12-14, 17-20), Jesus is victorious.

This is the good news, the “gospel of God” that He proclaims. Through His death, resurrection, and enthronement at the right hand of the Father, the world is once again made God’s kingdom.

In the waters of baptism, each of us entered the kingdom of His beloved Son (see Colossians 1:13-14). We were made children of God, new creations (see 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 4:3-7).

But like Jesus, and Israel before Him, we have passed through the baptismal waters only to be driven into the wilderness – a world filled with afflictions and tests of our faithfulness (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 9,13; Deuteronomy 8:2,16).

We are led on this journey by Jesus. He is the Savior – the way and the truth we sing of in today’s Psalm (see John 14:6). He feeds us with the bread of angels (see Psalm 78:25; Wisdom 16:20), and cleanses our consciences in the sacrament of reconciliation.

As we begin this holy season, let us renew our baptismal vows – to repent and believe the gospel.

Prayer Is The Light Of The Spirit

Posted: February 25, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

Prayer and converse with God is a supreme good: it is a partnership and union with God. As the eyes of the body are enlightened when they see light, so our spirit, when it is intent on God, is illumined by his infinite light. I do not mean the prayer of outward observance but prayer from the heart, not confined to fixed times or periods but continuous throughout the day and night.

Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times also, when it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in the service of others, our spirit should long for God and call him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering to the Lord of the universe. Throughout the whole of our lives we may enjoy the benefit that comes from prayer if we devote a great deal of time to it.

Prayer is the light of the spirit, true knowledge of God, mediating between God and man. The spirit, raised up to heaven by prayer, clings to God with the utmost tenderness; like a child crying tearfully for its mother, it craves the milk that God provides. It seeks the satisfaction of its own desires, and receives gifts outweighing the whole world of nature.

Prayer stands before God as an honored ambassador. It gives joy to the spirit, peace to the heart. I speak of prayer, not words. It is the longing for God, love too deep for words, a gift not given by man but by God’s grace. The apostle Paul says: We do not know how we are to pray but the Spirit himself pleads for us with inexpressible longings.

When the Lord gives this kind of prayer to a man, he gives him riches that cannot be taken away, heavenly food that satisfies the spirit. One who tastes this food is set on fire with an eternal longing for the Lord: his spirit burns as in a fire of utmost intensity.

Practice prayer from the beginning. Paint your house with the colors of modesty and humility. Make it radiant with the light of justice. Decorate it with the finest gold leaf of good deeds. Adorn it with the walls and stones of faith and generosity. Crown it with the pinnacle of prayer. In this way you will make it a perfect dwelling place for the Lord. You will be able to receive him as in a splendid palace, and through his grace you will already possess him, his image enthroned in the temple of your spirit.

Purification Of Spirit Through Fasting And Almsgiving

Posted: February 24, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope

Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God, and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God. The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator, and the marvellous beauty of the elements as they obey him demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude.

But with the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit. The special note of the paschal feast is this: the whole Church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins. It rejoices in the forgiveness not only of those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered among God’s adopted children.

Initially, men are made new by the rebirth of baptism. Yet there still is required a daily renewal to repair the shortcomings of our mortal nature, and whatever degree of progress has been made there is no one who should not be more advanced. All must therefore strive to ensure that on the day of redemption no one may be found in the sins of his former life.

Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.

There is no more profitable practice as a companion to holy and spiritual fasting than that of almsgiving. This embraces under the single name of mercy many excellent works of devotion, so that the good intentions of all the faithful may be of equal value, even where their means are not. The love that we owe both God and man is always free from any obstacle that would prevent us from having a good intention. The angels sang: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. The person who shows love and compassion to those in any kind of affliction is blessed, not only with the virtue of good will but also with the gift of peace.

The works of mercy are innumerable. Their very variety brings this advantage to those who are true Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving not only the rich and affluent but also those of average means and the poor are able to play their part. Those who are unequal in their capacity to give can be equal in the love within their hearts.

Let Us Pray…

Posted: February 23, 2012 by CatholicJules in Prayers

O God, who planted a garden in Eden, you have planted your Church beside the stream of living water flowing from the side of Christ crucified.  Pour out upon us the Spirit of wisdom, so that we may choose to die to self in order to live in Christ.  Thus make us grow through our Lenten observance so that we may bear abundant fruit at Easter, through the same Christ our Lord Amen.

Fortitude For Lent

Posted: February 23, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

It is necessary to mention here a great deception that often befalls those who begin to serve God.  Sometimes they read in spiritual books how great are the consolations of the Holy Spirit and how sweet charity is and they think that the whole path to perfection is filled with delights and that there is no effort or fatigue involved.  As a result, they prepare themselves for it as for something easy and pleasant and do not arm themselves for entering battle.  They do not realise that while the love of God is in itself very sweet and delectable, the way to perfect charity is arduous, because to attain it, one must completely conquer self-love, and this involves a constant struggle against self.  Thus Isaiah says :” Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit up, O Jerusalem.”  In other words, the soul must shake off the dust of worldly affections and attachments and arise from it’s sins before it can enjoy the pleasure of seating itself in charity.  However, God bestows marvellous consolations on those who faithfully struggle and on all those who trade the delights of earth for the joys of heaven.  But if this barter is not made and a man does not want to surrender his spoils, this celestial refreshment will not be given to him.  For we know that the heavenly manna was not given to the children of Israel until they finished the grain that they had brought with them out of Egypt.

Those who do not fortify themselves with courage are incapable of attaining what they seek, and until they are properly armed they will never find it.  They should understand that rest is won only with effort, the crown is gained only after the battle, joy follows tears, and the most sweet love of God is gained only when one spiritually hates himself.  That is why Scripture so often condemns and severely censures sloth and indifference, and praises fortitude so highly, because the Holy Spirit knows what a great impediment the one is to virtue and what a great help the other is.

Venerable Louis Of Granada O.P. +1588

Facebook Updates

Posted: February 22, 2012 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Hi Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

for those who may not already know, Catholicjules has a facebook page which you can like to receive updates.  These updates include posts from this blog and more. Here is the link :

https://www.facebook.com/catholicjules.net

God be with you on this Lenten journey we embark on today……Amen

 

 

February 19th 2012 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 18, 2012 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

God’s Great ‘Amen’

Readings:
Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25
Psalms 41:2-5, 13-14
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Mark 2:1-12 (see also “Who is the Son of Man?”)


Today’s Gospel makes explicit what has been implied in preceeding weeks. Namely, that in healing the sick and casting out demons, Jesus is manifesting God’s forgiveness of His people’s sins.

They had wearied of God, refused to call on His name, we hear in today’s First Reading. Despite that, God promised to remember their sins no more.

Sin is often equated with sickness in Scripture (see Psalm 103:39). And today’s Psalm reads like a foretelling of the Gospel scene – the man is helped on his sickbed, healed of his sins, and made able to stand before the Lord forever.

The scribes know that God alone can forgive sins. That’s why they accuse Jesus of blasphemy. He appears to be claiming equality with God. But the Gospel today turns on this recognition. The scene marks the first time in the gospels that Jesus commends the faith of a person or persons who come to Him (see Matthew 9:2; Luke 5:20).

With the eyes of faith, the paralytic and his friends can see what the scribes cannot – Jesus’ divine identity. He reveals himself as the “Son of Man” – alluding to the mysterious heavenly figure the prophet Daniel saw receive kingship over all the earth (see Daniel 7:13-14).

His retort to the scribes even echoes what God said to Pharaoh when He sent plagues upon Egypt: “That you may know that I am the Lord” (see Exodus 8:18; 9:14).

As Paul says in today’s Epistle, Jesus is God’s great Amen. Amen means “so be it.” In Jesus, God has said, “So be it,” fulfilling all His promises throughout salvation history.

We are the new people He formed to announce His praise. He calls each of us what Jesus calls the paralytic – His child (see 2 Corinthians 6:18).

But do we share this man’s faith? To what lengths are we willing to go to encounter Jesus? How much are we willing to sacrifice so that our friends, too, might hear His saving word?

Who is the Son of Man?

Jesus calls himself the “Son of Man” in the Gospel for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (see Mark 2:10). What does that mean?

The term appears more than 100 times in Scripture, often as another way of saying “man” or “human” (see Numbers 23:19; Psalm 8:4).

But Jesus is referring to the prophet Daniel’s mysterious vision of “one like a son of man.” In Daniel’s vision, the son of man travels on the clouds of heaven and is presented before God. He receives from God “an everlasting dominion” and “nations and peoples of every language serve him” (see Daniel 7:13-14).

The Son of Man is the king of heaven and earth, as Jesus makes clear. The son has authority to forgive sins (see Mark 2:10), is Lord of the sabbath (see Mark 2:28) ,and will judge people according to their deeds (see John 5:27; Matthew 25:31).

As the Son of Man, Jesus is enthroned in heaven, seated at the right of the Father – as He promised He would be (see Mark 14:62; Acts 7:56).

Taking Up The Cross

Posted: February 17, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

The danger of Catholicism is its power to help.  It is a faith that even to those who do not believe seems to carry with it comfort and reality.  Yet it is not wise to come to the Catholic Church because you need comfort.  It is never wise to join any cause or any ideal for what one can make out of it or get out of it.  We should come in for what we can give….

I think that the best thing of all is your devotion to our Lord.  It is to give ourselves to him that we must come.  It must be under the inspiration of his unselfishness, of his service of God in man and of man in God, that we seek to join ourselves to him: there were those who followed because they had been fed in the wilderness.  This wasn’t enough. “Signs and wonders” are not good enough proofs; the only great proof is that people have followed him down narrow lanes and over uneven paths and wearing thorns and carrying their cross.  It is along that line then that you must pray that he would help you to give yourself to him, patiently, indeed serenely.  You won’t then bother about arguing or the need of it.  You will just follow where he leads you, sure that all will be well: “Be not solicitous.”  For the past, remember his injunction to let the dead bury their dead; for the future, remember that the morrow, so he said would take care of itself.  All that’s to be done is to hold oneself in the Everlasting Arms or rather be held by them.  The rest is peace that comes of having nothing left.

Father Bede Jarret, O.P. (+1934)

Open Your lips, And Let God’s Word Be Heard

Posted: February 16, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From the Explanations of the Psalms by Saint Ambrose, bishop

We must always meditate on God’s wisdom, keeping it in our hearts and on our lips. Your tongue must speak justice, the law of God must be in your heart. Hence Scripture tells you: You shall speak of these commandments when you sit in your house, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down, and when you get up. Let us then speak of the Lord Jesus, for he is wisdom, he is the word, the Word indeed of God.

It is also written: Open your lips, and let God’s word be heard. God’s word is uttered by those who repeat Christ’s teaching and meditate on his sayings. Let us always speak this word. When we speak about wisdom, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about peace, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking of Christ.

Open your lips, says Scripture, and let God’s word be heard. It is for you to open, it is for him to be heard. So David said: I shall hear what the Lord says in me. The very Son of God says: Open your lips, and I will fill them. Not all can attain to the perfection of wisdom as Solomon or Daniel did, but the spirit of wisdom is poured out on all according to their capacity, that is, on all the faithful. If you believe, you have the spirit of wisdom.

Meditate, then, at all times on the things of God, and speak the things of God, when you sit in your house. By house we can understand the Church, or the secret place within us, so that we are to speak within ourselves. Speak with prudence, so as to avoid falling into sin, as by excess of talking. When you sit in your house, speak to yourself as if you were a judge. When you walk along the way, speak so as to never be idle. You speak along the way if you speak in Christ, for Christ is the way. When you walk along the way, speak to yourself, speak to Christ. Hear him say to you: I desire that in every place men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling. When you lie down, speak so that the sleep of death may not steal upon you. Listen and learn how you are to speak as you lie down; I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.

When you get up or rise again, speak of Christ, so as to fulfill what you are commanded. Listen and learn how Christ is to awaken you from sleep. Your soul says: I hear my brother knocking at the door. Then Christ says to you: Open the door to me, my sister, my spouse. Listen and learn how you are to awaken Christ. Your soul says: I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, awaken or reawaken the love of my heart. Christ is that love.


  • For those who are serving in a Ministry but have become disenchanted or disheartened.
  • For those who are serving but feel that God doesn’t know how much they labour or feel unrewarded when they see others seemingly happier doing as they please.
  • For those who are not using their gifts provided for by their Creator.

Malachi 3:13-18

13 You have spoken harsh words against me, says the LORD. Yet you say, “How have we spoken against you?” 14 You have said, “It is vain to serve God. What do we profit by keeping his command or by going about as mourners before the LORD of hosts? 15 Now we count the arrogant happy; evildoers not only prosper, but when they put God to the test they escape.”

16 Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the LORD and thought on his name. 17 They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. 18 Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

 

The Preeminence Of Charity

Posted: February 12, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From a sermon by Blessed Isaac of Stella, abbot
(Sermo 31: PL 194, 1292-1293)

Why, brothers, are we so little concerned to seek one another’s well-being, so that where we see a greater need, we might show a greater readiness to help and carry one another’s burdens? For this is what the blessed apostle Paul urges us to do in the words: Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ; and also: Support each other in charity. For this surely is the law of Christ.

Why can I not patiently bear the weaknesses I see in my brother which, either out of necessity or because of physical or moral weakness, cannot be corrected? And why can I not instead generously offer him consolation, as it is written: Their children shall be carried on their shoulders and consoled upon their knees? Is it because I lack that virtue which suffers all things, is patient enough to bear all, and generous enough to love?

This is indeed the law of Christ, who truly bore our weaknesses in his passion and carried our sorrows out of pity, loving those he carried and carrying those he loved. Whoever attacks a brother in need, or plots against him in his weakness of whatever sort, surely fulfills the devil’s law and subjects himself to it. Let us then be compassionate toward one another, loving all our brothers, bearing one another’s weaknesses, yet ridding ourselves of our sins.

The more any way of life sincerely strives for the love of God and the love of our neighbor for God’s sake, the more acceptable it is to God, no matter what be its observances or external form. For charity is the reason why anything should be done or left undone, changed or left unchanged; it is the initial principle and the end to which all things should be directed. Whatever is honestly done out of love and in accordance with love can never be blameworthy. May he then deign to grant us this love, for without it we cannot please him, and without him we can do absolutely nothing, God, who lives and reigns for ever. Amen.

February 12th 2012 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 11, 2012 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Made Clean

Readings:
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
Mark 1:40-45


In the Old Testament, leprosy is depicted as punishment for disobedience of God’s commands (see Numbers 12:12-15; 2 Kings 5:27; 15:5).

Considered “unclean” – unfit to worship or live with the Israelites, lepers are considered “stillborn,” the living dead (see Numbers 12:12). Indeed, the requirements imposed on lepers in today’s First Reading – rent garments, shaven head, covered beard – are signs of death, penance, and mourning (see Leviticus 10:6; Ezekiel 24:17).

So there’s more to the story in today’s Gospel than a miraculous healing.

When Elisha, invoking God’s name, healed the leper, Naaman, it proved there was a prophet in Israel (see 2 Kings 5:8). Today’s healing reveals Jesus as far more than a great prophet – He is God visiting His people (see Luke 7:16).

Only God can cure leprosy and cleanse from sin (see 2 Kings 5:7); and only God has the power to bring about what He wills (see Isaiah 55:11; Wisdom 12:18).

The Gospel scene has an almost sacramental quality about it.

Jesus stretches out His hand – as God, by His outstretched arm, performed mighty deeds to save the Israelites (see Exodus 14:6; Acts 4:30). His ritual sign is accompanied by a divine word (“Be made clean”). And, like God’s word in creation (“Let there be”), Jesus’ word “does” what He commands (see Psalm 33:9).

The same thing happens when we show ourselves to the priest in the sacrament of penance. On our knees like the leper, we confess our sins to the Lord, as we sing in today’s Psalm. And through the outstretched arm and divine word spoken by His priest, the Lord takes away the guilt of our sin.

Like the leper we should rejoice in the Lord and spread the good news of His mercy. We should testify to our healing by living changed lives. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, we should do even the littlest things for the glory of God and that others may be saved.

Quote from Servant of God FJ Sheen

Posted: February 10, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

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Let Christ Be Formed In You

Posted: February 9, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From an explanation of Paul’s letter to the Galatians by Saint Augustine, bishop

( From the letter to the Galatians 4:8-31 )

The Apostle says, Be like me, for though born a Jew, by reason of spiritual discernment I now consider carnal things of small importance. And he adds, For I am as you are, that is to say: For I, like you, am a man. Then he tactfully reminds them of his love so that they will not look on him as an enemy: Brothers, I beseech you, he says, you did me no wrong, as if to say, “Do not imagine that I want to wrong you.” And to have them imitate him as they would a parent, he addresses them as little children:My little children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in you. Actually he is here speaking more in the person of Mother Church that his own. So too he says elsewhere: I was gentle among you like a nurse fondling her little ones.

Christ is formed in the believer by faith of the inner man, called to the freedom that grace bestows, meek and gentle, not boasting of nonexistent merits, but through grace making some beginning of merit. Hence he can be called “my least one” by him who said: Inasmuch as you did it to the least of my brethren you did it to me.

Christ is formed in him who receives Christ’s mold, who clings to him in spiritual love. By imitating him he becomes, as far as is possible to his condition, what Christ is. John says: He who remains in Christ should walk as he did.

Children are conceived in order to be formed in their mother’s womb, and when they have been so formed, mothers are in travail to give them birth. We can thus understand Paul’s words: With whom I am in labor until Christ be formed in you. By labor we understand his anxiety for those with whom he is in travail, that they be born unto Christ. And he is again in labor when he sees them in danger of being led astray. These anxieties, which can be likened to the pangs of childbirth, will continue until they come to full age in Christ, so as not to be moved by every wind of doctrine.

He is not therefore talking about the beginnings of faith by which they were born, but of strong and perfect faith when he says: With whom I am again in labor until Christ be formed in you. He also refers elsewhere in different words to his being in labor, when he says: There is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

The Sacrifice Of Abraham

Posted: February 7, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

From a homily on Genesis by Origen, priest

Abraham took wood for the burnt offering and placed it upon Isaac his son, and he took fire and a sword in his hands, and together they went off. Isaac himself carries the wood for his own holocaust: this is a figure of Christ. For he bore the burden of the cross, and yet to carry the wood for the holocaust is really the duty of the priest. He is then both victim and priest. This is the meaning of the expression: together they went off. For when Abraham, who was to perform the sacrifice, carried the fire and the knife, Isaac did not walk behind him, but with him. In this way he showed that he exercised the priesthood equally with Abraham.

What happens after this? Isaac said to Abraham his father: Father. This plea from the son was at that instant the voice of temptation. For do you not think the voice of the son who was about to be sacrificed struck a responsive chord in the heart of the father? Although Abraham did not waver because of his faith, he responded with a voice full of affection and asked: What is it, my son? Isaac answered him: Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust? And Abraham replied: God will provide for himself a sheep for the holocaust, my son. The careful yet loving response of Abraham moves me greatly. I do not know what he saw in spirit, because he did not speak of the present but of the future: God will provide for himself a sheep. His reply concerns the future, yet his son inquires about the present. Indeed, the Lord himself provided a sheep for himself in Christ.

Abraham extended his hand to take the sword and slay his son, and the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said: Abraham, Abraham. And he responded: Here I am. And the angel said: Do not put your hand upon the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God. Compare these words to those of the Apostle when he speaks of God: He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. God emulates man with magnificent generosity. Abraham offered to God his mortal son who did not die, and God gave up his immortal Son who died for all of us.

And Abraham, looking about him, saw a ram caught by the horns in a bush. We said before that Isaac is a type of Christ. Yet this also seems true of the ram. To understand how both are figures of Christ—Isaac who was not slain and the ram who was—is well worth our inquiry.

Christ is the Word of God, but the Word became flesh. Christ therefore suffered and died, but in the flesh. In this respect, the ram is the type, just as John said: Behold the lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. The Word, however, remained incorruptible. This is Christ according to the spirit, and Isaac is the type. Therefore, Christ himself is both victim and priest according to the spirit. For he offers the victim to the Father according to the flesh, and he is himself offered on the altar of the cross.

“So That I Can Preach”

Posted: February 6, 2012 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

     How did the Saviour proceed in his preaching? We would expect to see him, as lawgiver and teacher, appearing with code of laws in hand, a complete body of doctrine embracing all the grand objectives he proposes.  But he offers nothing of the kind: no text, no system, and nothing organised or presented according to any order whatsoever.  He presents himself, and  it is he who is the doctrine and the truth.  He permits himself to be seen, and that is alreadly teaching; he acts, and that is teaching; he speaks, and the teaching becomes more precise, but without being fitted into the adapted framework of a system.  His message exposes itself to the apparent chance of circumstances, and it is the ordinary environment of Jewish life that will be that of his apostolate….

     What was true of his scene of action is therefore also true of the preaching itself.  Jesus was not anxious to go everywhere; nor did he make a point of saying all there was to say, much less of saying it systematically.  What has he to do with methods and systems? Why should he wish to express all things in one lump?…

     The characteristics that distinguish the preaching of Jesus can be reduced to two: simplicity in depth and persuasive power resulting from the supernatural certitude of the speaker, of his character, and of his life.

 

Father Antonin Gilbert Sertillanges, O.P. +1948

February 5th 2012 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 4, 2012 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Raised to Serve

Readings:
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 147:1-6
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39


 

In today’s First Reading, Job describes the futility of life before Christ.

His lament reminds us of the curse of toil and death placed upon Adam following his original sin (see Genesis 3:17-19). Men and women are like slaves seeking shade, unable to find rest. Their lives are like the wind that comes and goes.

But, as we sing in today’s Psalm, He who created the stars, promised to heal the brokenhearted and gather those lost in exile from Him (see Isaiah 11:12; 61:1). We see this promise fulfilled in today’s Gospel.

Simon’s mother-in-law is like Job’s toiling, hopeless humanity. She is laid low by affliction but too weak to save herself.

But as God promised to take His chosen people by the hand (see Isaiah 42:6), Jesus grasps her by the hand and helps her up. The word translated “help” is actually Greek for raising up. The same verb is used when Jesus commands a dead girl to arise (see Mark 5:41-42). It’s used again to describe His own resurrection (see Mark 14:28; 16:7).

What Jesus has done for Simon’s mother-in-law, He has done for all humanity – raised all of us who lay dead through our sins (see Ephesians 2:5).

Notice all the words of totality and completeness in the Gospel. The whole town gathers; all the sick are brought to Him. He drives out demons in the whole of Galilee. Everyone is looking for Christ.

We too have found Him. By our baptism, He healed and raised us to live in His presence (see Hosea 6:1-2).

Like Simon’s mother-in-law, there is only one way we can thank Him for the new life He has given us. We must rise to serve Him and His gospel.

Our lives must be our thanksgiving, as Paul describes in today’s Epistle. We must tell everyone the good news, the purpose for which Jesus has come – that others, too, may have a share in this salvation.

Come Away and Rest in Mary

Posted: February 4, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

Here we discover something that must be considered attentively: Mary’s mediation implies that we rest in her as the place God has given us to enable us to contemplate, to go to the end in love. To recognise Mary’s mediation practically and divinely is to rest in her in our contemplation. It is to rest in her heart, a heart transformed by the fullness of charity, to rest in her wounded heart, in the seven wounds of her heart. If we do not rest in Mary’s heart, we only live by her moral mediation, by her mediation as advocate. We do not live by the proper mystery of Mary’s mediation, which is that of the cross, where in unity with Jesus, she communicates grace to John- grace in superabundance – as instrument of the Holy Spirit for him. Under the motion of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us by Mary’s prayer, by the deep unity between Mary’s royal priesthood and the priesthood of Jesus(Jesus and Mary become sources for us – instrumental sources yet sources – of the gift of the Holy Spirit), we understand that having received the Holy Spirit through Mary, we must rest in her since an instrument is one with the principal cause. Thus the Holy Spirit can ask us to have in our contemplation this attitude of littleness, of trust, of love for Mary, this attitude that consists in resting in her and even accepting to find no rest except in her. Jesus and the Holy Spirit can remain hidden, the Father can remain silent in order for Mary to be alone, so that we may place all our trust in her and rest in here alone, as we rest in the one who carries us and is the maternal source of divine life for us.

Father Marie-Dominique Philippe O.P. +2006

The Presentation Of Our Lord

Posted: February 2, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

On today’s feast we contemplate the Lord Jesus, whom Mary and Joseph bring to the temple “to present him to the Lord” (LK 2:22).  This Gospel scene reveals the mystery of the Son of the Virgin, the consecrated One of the Father who came into the world to do his will faithfully (cf He 10:5-7).

Simeon identifies him as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Lk 2:32) and announces with prophetic words his supreme offering to God and his final victory (cf Lk 2:32-35).  This is the meeting point of the two Testaments, Old and New.  Jesus enters the ancient Temple, he who is the new Temple of God:he comes to visit his people, thus bringing to fulfilment obedience to the Law and ushering in the last times of salvation.

It is interesting to take a close look at this entrance of the Child Jesus into the solemnity of the Temple, in the great comings and goings of many people, busy with their work: priests and Levites taking turns to be on duty, the numerous devout people and pilgrims anxious to encounter the Holy God of Israel.  Yet none of them noticed anything.  Jesus was a child like others, a first-born son of very simple parents.

Even the priests proved incapable of recognising the signs of the new and special presence of the Messiah and Saviour. Alone two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, discover this great newness.  Led by the Holy Spirit, in this Child they find the fulfilment of their long waiting and watchfulness.  They both contemplate the light of God that comes to illuminate the world and their prophetic gaze is opened to the future in the proclamation of the Messiah: “Lumen ad revelationem gentium!” (Lk 2:32).  The prophetic attitude of the two elderly people contains the entire Old Covenant which expresses the joy of the encounter with the Redeemer: Upon seeing the Child, Simeon and Anna understood that he was the Awaited One.

 

Pope Benedict XVI

Personal Reflection

Posted: February 2, 2012 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Personal Thoughts & Reflections

All Saints have a past of an arduous but fruitful journey as all sinners do have a future of one.

Let us begin with our first little step today in the direction of our Lord Jesus Christ….. Amen

CatholicJules