Monday, 31 March 2014

Month Dedicated April to the Blessed Sacrament

Lent: April 1st

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament after Vespers

 Month Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament 

    30 Dec 2013 - POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JANUARY 2014. Vatican City, 30 ... 2014 (300). ▻ March (97) .... April (99). ▻ 30 Apr (4).  

    Vatican City, 31 March 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for April is: “That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources”.

    His intention for evangelisation is: “That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness”.

Lent 4th Week Monday. Blessed Columba Marmion, 'We are the sacrifice'

Night Office Readings, 
 I was interested in the yellow bush outside the Church. Fr. M. was able to identify the FORSTHIA, picture.
[Forsythia Bushes - Colourful Shrubs for Border Plantings].  

First Reading Leviticus 16:1-28
Responsory                  Heb 9:11.12.24
Christ came as the high priest of the good things to come. Not  with the blood of goats or calves, but with his own blood t he entered the holy place once for all, and won our eternal salvation.
Y. He did not enter a holy place fashioned by man: he entered heav­en itself. + He entered the ...
Second Reading 
 From the writings of Blessed Columba Marmion, O.S. B. (Le Christ, vie de l'ame, 337-339)
We are the sacrifice
We are called to be united with Christ in his sacrifice, and with him to offer ourselves. If we are willing, he takes us with him, immolates us with himself and lifts us into the Father's presence as an oblation of fragrant sweetness. It is our very selves that we must offer with Jesus. If the faithful share through baptism in Christ's priesthood, Saint Peter tells us, it is in order that they may offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. So true is this that in a prayer between the offertory and consecration the Church refers explicitly to the union between our sacrifice and that of the bridegroom: Lord our God, make these gifts holy, and through them make us a perfect offering to you. 

If we are to be thus accepted by God, we must make our self-offering one with the oblation that Christ made of himself on the cross and renews on the altar. Our Lord substituted himself for us in his sacrifice; he took the place of us all. That is why the blow that fell on him has morally slain us too: If one died for all, then all have died. We shall, however, effectively die with him only by uniting ourselves to his eucharistic sacrifice; and how can we be identified with him in his character as vic­tim? By handing ourselves over, as he did, in unreserved obe­dience to God's good pleasure. 

The victim offered to God must be fully at God's disposal. We must, therefore, live in this basic attitude of giving every­thing, absolutely everything, to God. Out of love, for him we must carry out our acts of renunciation and self-denial, and accept daily sufferings, trials and pain, to such a point that we can say, as Jesus said at the hour of his passion: I act like this so that the world may realize that I love the Father. This is what self­offering with Jesus implies. We give God the most acceptable homage he can receive from us when we offer the divine Son to his eternal Father, and when we offer ourselves with this holy and perfect sacrifice in the same dispositions that filled the sacred heart of Christ on the cross: an intense love for the Father and for our brothers and sisters, a burning desire for

the salvation of all, and a total abandonment to the divine will in all things, especially when it goes against the grain and is hard for us. We find in this the surest means of transformation into Christ, particularly if we unite ourselves to him in communion, which is the most fruitful way of sharing in the sacrifice of the altar. When Christ finds us thus united with him he immolates us with himself, makes us pleasing to his Father and transforms us more and more into his own likeness. 

Responsory Gal 2:19-20
With Christ I have been nailed to the cross, t and I live now no longer my own life, but the life of Christ who lives in me.
V. I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave up his life for me. + And I live ... +

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Lent Laetare Sunday Homily by Fr. Raymond

Mid-Lent Laetare Sunday - Spring walks

Lent Sun 4a, Homily by F. Raymond 

St Paul gives us a very consoling teaching when he tells us that all things work together unto good for those who love the Lord. Whatever happens to us in life works for our good in the end, no matter how tragic it may seem to us at the time. But the acceptance of that truth demands a great deal of courage as well as a great deal of faith from us.

In today's Gospel story about the man born blind Jesus gives us the very same teaching. When his disciples asked him whether it was his own sins or the sins of his parents that caused the man to be born blind He answered that it was neither his own sins nor the sins of his parents that caused him to be born blind, it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him. This seems to be a very hard teaching to accept. And so it is indeed. But if we can't accept it then what explanation have we left for it. Are we just to accept things as though they were from a blind, senseless Fate? Or, worse, are we to accept them as the work of the devil himself?

Hard as it seems, there is no other explanation possible to those who believe in God's all pervading Providence; a Providence that is omnipotent, all powerful, and at the same time loving and caring and working for our good; A Providence that "Reaches from end to end mightily and orders all things wisely and sweetly" as the Scriptures so beautifully put it.

In the event-, Jesus-does in-fact he I this man. But, of course, he doesn't heal every blind man, and of course the heart of the lesson of this Gospel is not for those who may be healed by him but for the thousands, for the millions, who won't be healed by him. In the plans of God's loving Providence there may be no healing for any particular one of our bodily ailments, but in those same plans there is, every time, a loving plan and purpose for the healing and the strengthening of our souls; for the building of us up into the perfect Body of Christ.


Mothering Sunday, sometimes known as Mother's Day, is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It is exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday and usually falls in the second half of March or the beginning of April.

Traditionally, people visited the church where they were baptized. Mothering Sunday is now a celebration of motherhood. People visit and take gifts to their mothers and grandmothers.

Lent Laetare Sunday. Cyril, theme emphasizing that Christ is both priest and sacrifice, and ... of the whole world.

Patristic Reading, Night Office.  Picture, through a window in the Church 
Monastic Lectionary for the Divine Office

Edited by
Friends of Henry Ashworth
Exordium Books 1982

Sunday of the Fourth Week in Lent Year II
(Consecration of the priests: Leviticus 8:1-17; 9:22-24)

The LORD said to Moses, “Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, ...

A reading from THE commentary on
St john’s Gospel by St Cyril of Alexandria

The commentary was written before the outbreak of the Nestorian controversy in 429. The author of Hebrews contrasts the mediation of Moses with that of Christ. Cyril enlarges on this theme emphasizing that Christ is both priest and sacrifice, and that his sacrifice was offered for the sins of the whole world.

As a man the Mediator between God and man intercedes on our behalf, and because he is our very great and most holy High Priest who offers himself as a sacrifice for us, his prayers appease the anger of his Father. Christ is himself both sacrifice and priest, mediator and victim without blemish, the true lamb who takes away the sin of the world.
The mediation of Moses in ancient times was a clear type and symbol of the mediation of Christ as manifested in the last days, and the high priest of the Law was a figure of the High Priest who is above the Law. Indeed, all that relates to the Law is a fore­shadowing of the truth. The saintly Moses, and with him the celebrated Aaron, always stood between God and the people of Israel. They placated God’s anger at the people’s sins, calling on heaven to be merciful to their weakness; they invoked blessings on them and offered the sacrifice and gifts ordained by the Law for sins, or as thank-offerings for the blessings God had given them.
But Christ, who appeared in the last days to supersede the types and symbols of the Law, is both High Priest and Mediator. As a man he intercedes for us, but as God he is one with God the Father in bestowing blessings upon those who are worthy of them. Paul’s saying, Grace and peace be with you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, teaches us this quite clearly. Christ prays for us as a man, but as God he also gives. For being a High Priest who is holy, innocent, and undefiled, he did not offer himself in sacrifice for his own frailty as did those to whom it fell to offer sacrifice according to the Law. No, it was for the salvation of our souls and on account of our sin that he made this offering, and made it once for all. He undertook to plead on our behalf and he is himself the sacrifice for our sins, and not for our sins only but also for the sins of the whole world, for the sins of every nation and race that is called to attain righteousness and holiness through faith.
 St Cyril of Alexandria, On John 11.8 (PG 74:505-508); from Word in Season II, 1st ed.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Lent 3rd Week, St. Cyril, 'The ark, a symbol of Jesus'

Patristic Reading, Night Office,  

Saturday 3rd Week LENT
A Word in Season
Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours
Lent- Easter Triduum
Augustine Press 2001
First Reading     Exodus 40:16-38
Responsory      1 Cor 10:1-2; Ex 40:34
Our ancestors were all under the cloud and all of them passed through the sea.+ All were baptized into Moses in the cloud.
V.The cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the Lord filled
the tabernacle.+ All were baptized ...

Alternative Reading   
From a commentary by Saint Cyril of Alexandria
(In Joh. IV, 4: PG 73, 620.621.62S)
The ark, a symbol of Jesus
Emmanuel, God-with-us, is presented in figure and image when scripture says: And you will place the ark of the testimony in the tabernacle and cover it with the veil. For in the preceding account the Word was described to us as in the whole taberna­cle; for it was the house in which God dwelt, namely, the holy body of Christ. But despite that, the ark gives us the same mean­ing in detail. For it was made of acacia wood, for you to perceive his incorruptibility. It was entirely overlaid with pure gold, as it is written, both inside and outside. For everything in him, both divine and human, is precious and splendid; and in everything he is preeminent, as Paul says. Gold, then, stands for honour and pre-eminence in general. So the ark was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, and had the divine law put into it as a symbol of the indwelling Word of God united to a holy body. For the Word of God was also the law, even, if not in human form, as the Son is. But it is covered with the veil.
It was much the same with God the Word made man, the covering of his own body obscured to the many. He, too, was hidden by his holy flesh as by a veil. Some of the Jews, therefore, failing to recognize his divine majesty, sometimes tried to stone him to death, accusing him of claiming to be God, when he was a man. Others again did not hesitate to say: Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How, then, can he say: "I have come down from heaven." So the laying of a veil on the ark tells us symbolically that Jesus would not be recognized by the many. Then even the ark itself was a symbol of him. So it was even he who went before the Israelites in the desert, taking the place of God at that time; for it was he who led the people. The psalmist is also a witness to this, saying: When you went before your people, 0 God, when you crossed the desert, the earth shook and the heavens, too, poured down rain. For the ark being always in front clearly means that God leads the way.
For Christ is one in us, and is understood in many and vari­ous ways: he is the tabernacle, because of the veil of flesh; the ark, containing the divine law, is the Word of God the Father. Again he is the table, as life and nourishment; the lampstand, as intellectual and spiritual light; and the altar of sacrifice, as the fragrant odour in sanctity; and the altar of offerings, as an offering for the life of the world. Thus all things in life are sanctified, for Christ is entirely holy, in whatever way he is understood.
Responsory      Jn 1:17; 3:5
The law was given through Moses;+ grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
V. Without being born of water and the Spirit, it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God. + Grace and truth ...

  1. Cyril of Alexandria, Scholia on the incarnation of the Only-Begotten ...
    Therefore very many before Him were saints but no one of them was called Emmanuel .... But that the ark is taken as a type of Christ one may be assured of through .... the dead: for thus defined the holy and great Synod the Symbol of the Faith;. 
    Cyril of Alexandria, Scholia on the incarnation of the Only-Begotten.  LFC 47, Oxford (1881) pp.185-236.  A library of fathers of the holy Catholic church: anterior to the division of the East and West, vol. 47.

    When at some point famine was afflicting (the children of Israel) ... they descended from the land of Canaan to Egypt; about seventy five souls, as it is written. And as the time crept, their race multiplied. For it has been written: “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” (Ex 1:7) And because the one who happened to be the ruler of the land of the Egyptians was not unaware of the growth of the Jews, he plotted against them and appointed for them overseers of the labours so that they maltreat them at work.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Lent, [Moses] was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. Tertullian

Mount Sinai
Sinai view

Night Office Readings, as we are mid-Lent, the OT words resounded the words of the FORTY DAY AND FORTY NIGHTS, reminding of Moses' being with the Lord forty days and forty nights, not to eat or drink water.

Monastic Lectionary for the Divine Office
Edited by
Friends of Henry Ashworth

Exordium Books 1982
The Covenant Renewed 34:10-28
34:28 So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

THIRD WEEK OF LENT - Thursday Year II   

First Reading

Year II
From the book of Exodus (34
Hebrews 5:8.9.7
Though he was the Son of God.
Christ learned obedience through what he suffered; + and now, for all who obey him,
he has become the source of eternal life.
In the days of his earthly life he prayed, crying aloud. and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. + And now, for ...

Second Reading
From the treatise On Prayer by Tertullian (De oratione, 28-29: CCL 1, 273-274)

In this extract from a work addressed to catechumens between 198 and 220 A.D., Tertullian speaks of the interior and exterior discipline of liturgical prayer, which is a spiritual sacrifice of great power and efficacy.

Prayer is the spiritual offering that has replaced the ancient sacrifices. What good do I receive from the multiplicity of your sacrifices? asks God. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams, and I do not want the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and goats. Who has asked for these from your hands? What God has asked for we learn from the gospel. The hour will come, it says, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. God is spirit, and so he looks for worshipers who are like himself.
We are the true worshipers and the true priests. Praying in spirit we offer prayer to God as a sacrifice. Prayer is an appropriate and an acceptable sacrifice to God. It is the offering he has asked for and the offering he expects.
We must make this offering with our whole heart. We must fatten it on faith. prepare it by truth. keep it unblemished by innocence, spotless by chastity, and we must crown it with love. We must escort it to the altar of God in a procession of good works to the sound of psalms and hymns. Then it wiU gain for us all that we ask of God. What can God refuse to prayer offered in spirit and in truth, when he himself asks for such prayer? How many proofs of its efficacy we read about, hear of, and believe!

Lent Mass 3rd Thursday,. Fr. Nivard

Avenue Daffodils
On Wednesday, 26 March 2014, 
Nivard ... wrote:

Daily Read & Med Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

3 Thur 27 March  Adapted
 " God's kingdom has come upon you" Luke 11:14-23
Is Jesus the Master of your life?
With Jesus, there are no neutral parties.
We are either for Jesus or against him, for the kingdom of God or against it.
   There are two kingdoms in opposition to one another - the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness under the rule of Satan.
   If we disobey God’s word, we open the door to the power of sin and Satan in our lives.
   If you want to live in freedom from sin and Satan, then your house - your life and all you possess - must be occupied by Jesus where he is enthroned as Lord and Saviour.
   He spoke the same message to a modern mystic in similar words. “Don’t divide yourself into two – one part for you and the other part for me. I am most demanding. I want my children to be wholly mine at every moment. So don’t withhold a thing. Don’t take anything of yourselves away. You would steal from Me if you did, because everything is mine.” Gabrielle Bossi 20 April 1945
   Is the Lord Jesus the Master of your home, heart, mind, and will?
Father, grant us patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes, Through Christ our Lord.
   Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for your benefits, fear of your judgment, love of your mercies, and mindfulness of your presence; now and for ever."  (Prayer by John Cosin)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Lent 3rd Week Wed. St. Ambrose, Moses’ intimacy with God

 Night Office Readings, 
Monastic Lectionary for the Divine Office
Edited by
Friends of Henry Ashworth
Exordium Books 1982

THIRD WEEK OF LENT - Wednesday  Year II
Moses’ intimacy with God
First Reading
From the book of Exodus (33:7-11.18-23; 34:5-9.29-35)
2 Corinthians 3:13.18.15
Moses veiled his face to hide it from the people of Israel
+ but we behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces and grow ever more radiant,
as we are transformed into his likeness by the Lord who is Spirit.
To this day that same veil lies over their minds.
+ But we behold ...

Second Reading
From a commentary on psalm 118 by Saint Ambrose
(Senno 17, 26-29: CSEL62, 390-392)
Moses veiled his face after speaking with God as the people could not bear to see its radiance, but the Gentiles saw the Father's glory in the face of Jesus with unveiled faces, thus fulfilling an innate longing of our nature.

Let your face shine on your servant, and teach me your precepts. The Lord enlightens his saints and makes his light shine in the hearts of the just. This means that when you see wisdom in anyone you can be sure that the glory of God has come down and flooded that person's mind with the light of understanding and knowledge of divine truth. With Moses, however, it was different: God's glory affected his body also, causing his face to shine. Indeed, his countenance was so transfigured that the Jews were afraid to look at him, and he was obliged to cover his face with a veil so that the children of Israel should not be alarmed at the sight of it.

Now the face of Moses represents the splendour of the law; yet this splendor is not to be found in the written letter but in the law's spiritual interpretation. As long as Moses lived, he wore a veil over his face whenever he spoke to the Jewish people. But after his death Jesus, or Joshua, the son of Nun, spoke to the elders and the people without a veil. When he did so no one was afraid, even though God had spoken to Joshua as well as to Moses, assuring him that he would be with him just as he had been with Moses and would make him resplendent also. Joshua's glory, however, would be seen in his deeds rather than in his face. By this the Holy Spirit signified that when Jesus, the true Joshua, came, he would lift the veil from the heart of anyone who turned to him in willingness to listen, and that person would then see his true Saviour with unveiled face.

So it was that, through the coming of his Son, God the almighty Father made his light shine into the hearts of the Gentiles, bringing them to see his glory in the face of Christ Jesus. This is clearly stated in the Apostle's letter, where we find the following written: The God who commanded light to shine out of darkness has made his light shine in our hearts, to enlighten us with the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Christ Jesus.

And so when David says to the Lord Jesus: Let your face shine upon your seruani, he is expressing his longing to see the face of Christ, so that his mind may be capable of enlightenment. These words can be taken as referring to the incarnation. for as the Lord himself declared: Many prophets and righteous men have desired to have this vision. David was not asking for what had been denied to Moses, namely that he might see the face of the incorporeal God with his bodily eyes. (And yet if Moses, who was such a wise and learned man, could ask for this direct, unmediated vision. it was because it is inherent in our human nature for our desire to reach out beyond us.) There was nothing wrong, therefore, in David's desire to see the face of the Virgin's Son who was to come; he desired it in order that God's light might shine in his heart, as it shone in the hearts of the. disciples who said: Were not our hearts burning within us when he opened up the Scriptures to us?

Isaiah 9:2; John 8:12
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
+On those who dwelt in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.
I am the light of the world;
those who follow me will not be walking in the dark,
but will have the light of life.
 + On those who ...

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Annunciation of the Lord - Sylvia Benert - Mural of Annunciation in a Nunraw Abbey stair well.

Mass Solemnity of the Lord, Tuesday 25th March 2014.
The mural of of the Annunciation by Sylvia Benert at Nunraw is a very apt for today.
At the same time, we remember Sylvia and Mass intention offered for her.
Hoping to visit her at the Exhibition of Paintings.
+ + + 

Annunciation - Virgin, wholly marvellous

Sylvia Benert  - Mural of Annunciation in a Nunraw Abbey stair well. 
Artist - Sylvia Benert

Mural by Sylvia Benert

Annunciation - Virgin, wholly marvellous
Sylvia Benert  - Mural of Annunciation in a Nunraw Abbey stair well. 
As this morning, we celebrated the Annunciation, we heard the Hymn of 'Virgn, wholly marvelous', the amazing line, 'Cherubim with fourfold face' astonished me'. Gabriel is centre role in the Annunciation but we can recognise all the Angels around Mary.

1 Virgin, wholly marvellous, 
Who didst bear God's Son for us,
Worth-less is my tongue and weak
Of thy purity to speak
St. Margaret of Scotland by Sylvia Benert
 Our Lady Queen of Martyrs by Sylvia Benert.