I was interested in the yellow bush outside the Church. Fr. M. was able to identify the FORSTHIA, picture.
[Forsythia Bushes - Colourful Shrubs for
WEEK OF LENT
First Reading Leviticus
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 ...
From the writings of Blessed
Columba Marmion, O.S. B. (Le
Christ, vie de l'ame, 337-339)
We are the sacrifice
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.
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
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.
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 ... +
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.
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
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
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.
Patristic Reading, Night Office. Picture, through a window in the Church
Monastic Lectionary for the Divine
Friends of Henry Ashworth
Exordium Books 1982
of the Fourth Week in Lent Year II
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
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.
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 ...
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
V. Without being born of water and the Spirit, it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God. + Grace and truth ...
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.
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
Friends of Henry Ashworth
Exordium Books 1982
The Covenant Renewed 34:10-28 34:28So 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
II From the book of Exodus (34:10-29)
he was the Son of God.
learned obedience through what he suffered; + and now, for all who obey him,
has become the source of eternal life.
the days of his earthly life he prayed, crying aloud. and
he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. + And now, for ...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
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
+ But we behold ...
commentary on psalm 118 by Saint Ambrose (Senno 17, 26-29: CSEL62,
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
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,
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
ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
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
with fourfold face' astonished me'. Gabriel is centre role in the
Annunciation but we can recognise all the Angels around Mary.
Virgin, wholly marvellous,
Who didst bear God's Son for us,
Worth-less is my tongue and weak
Of thy purity to speak