Monthly Archives: February 2012


“The Holy Spirit will never give you stuff on a plate – you’ve got to work for it.
Your work is listening – taking the situation you’re in and holding it in courage, not being beaten down by it.
Your work is standing – holding things without being deflected by your own desires or the desires of other people round you. Then things work out just trough patience. How things alter we don’t know, but the situation alters.
There must be dialogue in patience and charity – then something seems to turn up that wasn’t there before.
We must take people as they are and where they are – not going too far ahead or too fast for them, but listening to their needs and supporting them in their following.
The Holy Spirit brings things new and old out of the treasure.
Intercessors bring the ‘deaf and dumb’ to Christ, that is their part.
Seek for points of unity and stand on those rather than on principles.
Have the patience that refuses to be pushed out; the patience that refuses to be disillusioned.
There must be dialogue – or there will be no development.”

(Fr Gilbert Shaw (1886-1967) was a barrister who became a priest and spiritual director. Towards the end of his life he was involved in the development of the contemplative life, for both women and men, and in particular with the Sisters of the Love of God, at Fairacres, Oxford, to whom the above homily was addressed.)



“Bring me the sign of true humility by being not overly ambitious in your position, but lowly. Don’t be impatient over any pain or abuse you might suffer, but endure within the body of holy Church by the firm power of patience, even to the point of death. When you speak and proclaim the truth, whether in giving counsel or in any other role, do it fearlessly, looking only to God’s honour, the salvation of souls, and the advancement of holy Church, as her true son, nurtured by so tender a Mother. In this way you will demonstrate gentle divine charity and patience as well. Be generous in your charity – spiritually, as I’ve already said, but materially too. Reflect that the hands of the poor are helping you to offer and receive divine grace. I want you to begin a new life, a new way of living: slumber no more in the sleep of foolish indifference. Be a real champion for me, please.

I told you that I want you to be a lamb, a follower of the true lamb. Now I’m telling you that I want you to be a lion, roaring loudly in holy Church, your virtue and your voice so strong that you help bring back to life the children lying dead within her. Perhaps you are asking: “Where can I get such a strong roaring voice?”

From the lamb, who in his humanity remains meek and does not cry out, but whose divinity lends power to the Son’s cry with the voice of its immeasurable charity. And so, by the strength and power of divine being and of the love that joined God with humanity, the lamb becomes a lion. From the chair of the cross he roared so loudly over the dead child, the human race, that he freed us from death and gave us life. It is from him, then, that we will receive strength, for the love we will drink from the gentle Jesus will give us a share in the Father’s power.”
– St Catherine of Siena



“Born into a wealthy family in Italy in 1660, St Veronica Giuliani developed a deep spirituality and desired nothing more than to dedicate her life to God. However, her father presented suitors in the hope that St Veronica would marry, but she became ill at the idea of not devoting her life to God in religious life. Finally she received her father’s blessing and in 1677, at the age of 17, St Veronica joined the Poor Clares in Citta di Castello in Umbria.
She received visions that indicated that the Passion would be re-enacted in her own soul; in 1694 she received the first sign of the stigmata, in her case the wounds of the crown of thorns, then she received wounds on her hands, feet and side. She submitted to medical treatment and many examinations, never trying to prove the stigmata, merely wishing to suffer through them. In the convent St Veronica served as a novice-mistress and then for eleven years as abbess, before her death in 1727.
St Veronica enjoyed an unusually profound communion with God. In the following excerpt from her Diary, she struggled to put into words her experience of the divine presence:
‘While I was about to go to Holy Communion, I seemed to be thrown wide open like a door flung open to welcome a close friend and then shut tight after his entry. So my heart was alone with Him – alone with God. It seems impossible to relate all the effects, feelings, leaping delight and festivity my soul experienced.
If I were to speak, for example, of all the happy and pleasant times shared with dear friends, I would be saying nothing comparable to this joy. And if I were to add up the occasions of rejoicing in the universe, I would be saying that all this amounts to little or nothing beside what, in an instant, my heart experiences in the presence of God. Or rather what God does to my heart, because all these other things flow from Him and are His work… But I am unable to say more because if I wished to relate all the effects that my heart experiences in the act of going to Holy Communion and also at other times, I would never finish saying everything.'”
– Fr Chris Connor



Holy Spirit,
powerful Consoler,
sacred Bond of the Father and the Son,
Hope of the afflicted,
descend into my heart
and establish in it Your loving dominion.
Enkindle in my tepid soul
the fire of Your Love
so that I may be wholly subject to You.

We believe that when You dwell in us,
You also prepare a dwelling
for the Father and the Son.
Deign, therefore, to come to me,
Consoler of abandoned souls
and Protector of the needy.
Help the afflicted,
strengthen the weak,
and support the wavering.

Come and purify me.
Let no evil take possession of me.
You love the humble and resist the proud.
Come to me,
glory of the living
and hope of the dying.
Lead me by Your grace
that I may always be pleasing to You.
– St Augustine of Hippo



O glorious St Joseph, model of all those who dedicate themselves to work paid and unpaid, obtain for me the grace of working with a spirit of penitence in expiation for my sins; of working conscientiously, putting the fulfilment of duty above my natural inclinations; of working gratefully and joyfully, considering it an honour to be able to use in our work the gifts received from God.

Obtain for me the grace to work in an orderly manner with dedication, intensity and a sense of God’s presence without retreating in the face of difficulties; of working, above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, remembering always the accounting I will have to make to God about time wasted, abilities not used, omissions of doing good, and sterile vanities in my work that were so contrary to the will of God.

Everything for the sake of Jesus and Mary, and in imitation of you, Patriarch St Joseph.

This will be my slogan in life and at the hour of death.




“Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.” (Acts 7:58)

Remember Your mercies of old. Turn Your compassionate eyes upon the vineyard planted by Your own right hand, and watered by the tears of the Apostles and by the precious blood of martyrs.
– St Clement Mary Hofbauer

Dear St Eulogius, your support of saints and martyrs led to your own martyrdom. I pray for today’s saints and martyrs.




A native of Poland, Joseph Stanek entered the Pallottine congregation in 1935 at the age of eighteen. In the autumn of 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, subjecting this largely Catholic country to the aggression of a regime that in pursuance of its evil agenda sought to destroy the Catholic Church.
It was during the Nazi occupation that Joseph was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty-four, courageously risking his life to receive the sacrament of holy orders at a time when priests were in grave danger from the Nazis.
Less than three and a half years later, Father Stanek was arrested by the Nazis, who hung him in Warsaw, Poland on September 23, 1944, at the age of twenty-seven.
In 1992, the cause for beatifying Father Stanek and one hundred and seven other martyrs of Poland who had suffered for their faith during World War II was introduced in response to their popular reputation for holiness and the many favours attributed to their intercession. They were beatified in June of 1999.

“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” (1 Co 15:55)