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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:15-21)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:15-21)

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you for ever,
that Spirit of truth
whom the world can never receive
since it neither sees nor knows him,
but you know him,
because he is with you, he is in you.
I will not leave you orphans;
I will come back to you.
In a short time the world will no longer see me;
but you will see me,
because I live and you will live.
On that day
you will understand that I am in my Father
and you in me and I in you.
Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them
will be one who loves me;
and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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LORD JESUS, FILL US WITH YOUR LOVE

LORD JESUS, FILL US WITH YOUR LOVE

Lord Jesus,

You came to serve, not to be served,

form within us Your generous spirit.

Fill us with Your love,

that we may love the Father

as You love Him.

Fill us with Your compassion,

that we may see our brothers and sisters

as You see them.

Fill us with Your courage,

that we may give our lives in service

to the Church as You gave Your life for us.

Fill us with that Spirit which will make us

preachers of Your Word,

friends of the poor

and the voice of the forgotten.

Transform us through Your Holy Spirit

so that we may transform the world

into Your Kingdom of justice and faith.

Amen.

– from a prayer card

 

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:18-21)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:18-21)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you:
A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me,
they will persecute you too;
if they kept my word,
they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:1-8)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:1-8)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes
to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away
– he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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“DO NOT LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED…”

“DO NOT LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED…”

HOMILY OF ST AUGUSTINE, BISHOP, ON JOHN 14:1-6

A greater attention to God, brethren, must be aroused in us, that we may take in with our minds the words of the holy Gospel which have just now sounded in our ears. For the Lord Jesus said: “Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.” Lest they should fear death, as men, and so be troubled, he consoles them, testifying that he also is God. “You believe,” he says, “in God, believe also in me. For it follows that if you believe in God, you should also believe in me,” which would not follow if Christ were not God.

YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN HIM WITH WHOM IT IS NATURAL TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD

You believe in God, believe also in him with whom it is natural, not by robbery, to be equal with God; for he emptied himself, not however relinquishing the form of God, but taking the form of a servant. You fear death for this form of a servant. Let not your heart be troubled; the form of God will raise it up.

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE THERE ARE MANY MANSIONS 

But what is the meaning of this that follows: “In my Father’s house there are many mansions,” unless it was that they also feared for themselves? Therefore, they might have heard: “Let not your heart be troubled.” For which of them would not fear, when it was said to Peter, the readiest and most confident of them all: “The cock shall not crow before you deny me three times?” At the thought that they might fall away from him, they were justly troubled; but when they heard: “In my Father’s house there are many mansions; were it not so, I should have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you,” they were relieved of their anxiety, being certain and confident that after the danger of temptation they would remain in the presence of God with Christ. For although one is stronger than another, one wiser than another, one more righteous than another, one holier than another, “in my Father’s house there are many mansions.” Not one of them shall be estranged from that house, where each will receive a mansion according to his merits.

– St Augustine, Treatise 67 on John, from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:1-6)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:1-6)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus said:

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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A PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

A PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

Dearest Jesus, all thy creatures are more worthy of thy grace

Than the vile and wretched sinner who now kneels before thy Face.

Yet one claim I have upon thee, which thou never wilt deny:

In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!

 

Other souls have been more faithful, and have served thee better far,

Many spotless hearts more fitting for thy gracious Presence are,

Many lips devout a greeting far more fervent can supply,

But, dear Master, well thou knowest: no one needs thee more than I.

 

Many loving hands have carried richer offerings to thy Shrine,

Many generous hearts have loved thee with a purer love than mine;

These thy chosen ones approach thee, as the doves to covert fly,

I am utterly unworthy, but none need thee more than I!

 

Sins unnumbered, unatoned for, have made havoc in my soul,

And against me stands, as witness, the Recording Angel’s roll;

All untilled has been my vineyard, and its soil is hard and dry,

O my God, my only refuge, no one needs thee more than I!

 

For without thee I am helpless, fast in sin’s strong fetters caught.

Blinded by my evil passions, swayed by impulses untaught:

I could do no good unaided, it were worse than vain to try;

Come thyself to me, sweet Jesus! no one needs thee more than I!

 

Thou didst leave thy Father’s bosom, to reclaim and save the lost,

Thou didst take upon thee freely our redemption’s awful cost,

Thou thyself hast called me to thee, thou wilt hearken to my cry,

In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty&Sons, Leeds, 1916

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN12:44-50)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN12:44-50)

Jesus declared publicly:

“Whoever believes in me
believes not in me
but in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me,
sees the one who sent me.
I, the light, have come into the world,
so that whoever believes in me
need not stay in the dark any more.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully,
it is not I who shall condemn him,
since I have come not to condemn the world,
but to save the world:
he who rejects me and refuses my words
has his judge already:
the word itself that I have spoken
will be his judge on the last day.

For what I have spoken does not come from myself;
no, what I was to say, what I had to speak,
was commanded by the Father who sent me,
and I know that his commands mean eternal life.
And therefore what the Father has told me
is what I speak.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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ST JOSEPH THE WORKER, ALT. FIRST READING (COLOSSIANS 3:14-15.17.23-24)

ST JOSEPH THE WORKER, ALT. FIRST READING (COLOSSIANS 3:14-15.17.23-24)

WHATEVER YOUR WORK IS, PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT AS IF IT WERE FOR THE LORD AND NOT FOR MEN

Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body.

Always be thankful. Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.

V. The word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.

 

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY

“IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ONLY, THE ENDLESS INTRICACIES AND PHENOMENA RECORDED IN THE GOSPELS ARE REPRODUCED ON THE STAGE OF HUMAN HISTORY”

“…let it be observed that in Catholic Christianity alone is such a claim even made as that which has been described. It may be said, without the possibility of contradiction, that in not one of the great world-religions, in not one of the smallest and most arrogant sects, has the proclamation ever been made that the Founder lives in a mystical but absolutely real life in a Body composed of His followers. There have been mystical phrases used occasionally, in certain forms of Buddhism, for example, faintly suggestive of this presence of a Master with His disciples in a very intimate and transcendent manner; but never has it been asserted, in Buddhism, Mohammedanism, Confucianism, in any form of Protestantism, in any other creed, that the great bulk of the faithful compose a living organism whose dominating personality is Divine. Never, except in Catholic Christianity, has the assertion been solemnly made and deliberately acted upon – ‘I am the Vine – you are the branches’; ‘He that heareth you, heareth Me.’

THE FAITHFUL COMPOSE ONE SINGLE UNIFIED LIVING ORGANISM

It is sufficiently remarkable that the Catholic claim is an unique one. ‘I have read,’ says St Augustine, ‘all the sages of the world; and not one of them dares to say ‘Come unto Me.”I have looked, the Catholic may say today, upon all the Churches of the world, all the world-religions, and all the sects, and not one of them dares to take upon her lips the words of very Deity. Many say, ‘I possess the truth, I teach the way, and I promise the life’; but not one, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ None, except one, and that is the Catholic Church, claims to be actually Divine and to utter the Voice of God. The Anglicans dare not excommunicate for heresy; the Nonconformists do not wish to… There is but one body in the world, and that is the Catholic Church, which behaves, moves, and speaks as only a Society conscious of Divinity can behave, move, and speak.

THE CHURCH IS CONSCIOUS OF HER DIVINITY

But the significance of the uniqueness of this claim is multiplied an hundredfold if in any way it can be justified. If it can but be shown that the claim is a Catholic commonplace, that all the Church’s actions are based upon that supposition, that the success of her policy depends upon it, that the unique phenomena of her life spring from it, that, in fact, the very heart of her life is the very assertion itself; if, finally, that assertion made by her, and made by Jesus Christ in the Gospels, produces the same results, and those results impossible of production on any other hypothesis, then, so far as moral proof can go, the claim is vindicated.

If, in short, Jesus Christ has succeeded in producing such a Society as this, giving her a confidence that is more than human, and a success unparalleled in human history – if He is able to present to the doubter such a Body as this in which He lives, able to extend hands and side to the touch of scepticism, in proof that it is indeed Himself, risen again and again from what is more final even than death to all merely human energies, then it is hardly possible to imagine any other response but that which Thomas made – ‘My Lord and my God.’

“COME UNTO ME”

For the appeal of the Church is in its essence an extraordinarily simple and direct one. Certainly it is possible to state that appeal in elaborate and intricate terms, to describe, justify, and indicate by illustrations, metaphors, and the rest, until the case seems too utterly complicated to be true.

AS SIMPLE AS “MOTHER AND CHILD” 

Yet the appeal itself is as simple as that of a mother to a child. I believe there are very learned books written on the motherly and filial instincts; it is possible to describe a smile in terms of muscles and sinews, and to analyse tears into lime and hydrogen and other elements; yet for all that, smiles and tears are the simplest things we know. And the appeal of this intricate Society, claiming to possess as she does the wisdom of the Eternal and the Source of all love, is for all that as direct and as simple as the glance of a woman’s eyes into the eyes of her child. All the eloquence of her orators and the learning of her divines, and the elaborateness of her worship, may be summed up in that single sentence that can only adequately be pronounced by the lips of Divinity – ‘Come unto Me.’

THE EUCHARIST 

I treat of the Church from an aspect familiar to Catholics, and yet one that, it would seem, is almost entirely unknown to non-Catholics. One can find, in book after book, the most admirable treatises upon the Church as a human Society, as a worshipping Society, as a patroness and inspirer of art, as a form of pious Freemasonery, as a police force to keep the poor quiet, as a refuge for the ineffective, as the home of learning. Yet non-Catholics, as a rule, seem simply unaware that there is another point of view, infinitely more significant… from which that Society is regarded as the Body in which the Divine Being tabernacles among men; and that, in spite of the fact, that without this aspect, without at any rate the fact of this belief existing, the main phenomena of that Society’s history are inexplicable.

This is as wildly unscientific as to think that you have accounted for a Cathedral, if you leave out the worshippers’ belief in God. It is no explanation of the Cathedral to discourse about the Bishops, and the word ‘Cathedra’ as signifying his seat. A more fundamental point is, Why should there such a phenomenon as a Bishop at all? Polyphonic music may be characteristic of a Cathedral; but why should anyone take the trouble to sing? The architecture may be excellently Gothic; but why is there such a thing as architecture?

“THE CHURCH COMPOSED OF ALL AS ONE UNIT IN THE HIERARCHY ORDAINED FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL BY GOD IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD, THE HUMAN BODY IN WHOM THE SON OF GOD TODAY DWELLS AND SPEAKS”

Such commentators as these, on the subject of the Catholic Church, state, blandly, that she is the best organised Society upon earth; the most elaborate and august in her worship; the Mother of the noblest art; the most exclusive Society in one sense, and the most inclusive in another. Or, again, they denounce her as the masterpiece of Satan, or the monument of the keenest human ambitions; or the unhappy result of an elaborate series of social conditions; or as a fetish whose sanctity rests upon nothing but superstition or association or circumstance; and they seem even to be unaware that countless minds as shrewd as their own have, after an examination of the evidence all round, deliberately come to the conclusion that she is actually the Temple of God, actually the social, corporate, and human Body in whom the Son of God today dwells and speaks, and it is for this reason, beneath all the others, that she is what she is.

I am not complaining of their affirmations; I have no quarrel whatever with the lights they have thrown upon her history – even upon the less reputable parts of that history – her sins of ommission or commission, considered as a result of her extremely human humanity – I only protest against their ignorance of the fact that there is another point of view – their tacit assumption that phenomena which do not fall under their categories are not phenomena, and that any account given of her must be unreal and negligible, for the reason that it is in other terms than their own.

THE ONE AND UNIQUE ORGAN OF DIVINE REVELATION 

This, then, is my object in these pages, to speak of the Church on the hypothesis that she is the Body of Christ in very truth, that what she, as an organism, and not merely as a conglomeration of fallible and faulty units, does, says and lives, is the action, speech, and life of Jesus Christ. I am able to show a strong presumption that this is so – that the Life recorded in the Gospels is reproduced with inimitable fidelity in the life of the Church, and that the characteristics of that life are the characteristics of a Divine Life, I shall also have established a presumption that she is indeed what she claims to be – the one and unique organ of Divine Revelation. It is necessary therefore to keep this point of view in mind, at least as an hypothesis, throughout. Alexander VI may have been a very wicked man; that does not affect the argument. Catholics may, very often, be very stupid and unspiritual; that does not affect the argument. Transsubstantiation may be a very difficult doctrine; it may appear to some that the worship of Mary, as they understand it, is degrading, or the practice of confession humiliating; there may be excellent explanations for the miracles of Lourdes, or the ecstasies of St Teresa, or the predominance of the City of Rome – all this does not affect the argument in the very least.

It is necessary to remember that all these things may seem facts, and yet the Church may be the Body of Christ, and He its Soul and its Supreme Life. Sins of omission and commission on the part of Catholics, stupidities, misunderstandings, apostasies, ignoble and unfashionable circumstances, countless failures, tragedies, comedies and even screaming farces – these simply do not touch the matter at all. Our Lord was betrayed by one Apostle, repudiated by another, and forsaken by the rest; He was the fool of Pilate’s court, the butt and buffoon of Herod’s. Even when He lived on the earth in the Flesh, “His visae was more marred than any man’s, and His countenance more than the sons’ of men.’”
– By Msgr Robert Hugh Benson. [Headings in capital letters added afterwards.] This is an excerpt from Msgr Benson’s book “Christ in the Church”, B. Herder, 17 South Broadway, St Louis, MO, USA, 1913.

 

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