Day By Day

 

JOURNAL POSTINGS Wednesday 26 July 2016, SS Anne and Joachim, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here is a quotation from the Protevangelium of James: 'And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anna said: As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life. And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim your husband is coming with his flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God has heard your prayer. Go down hence; for, behold, your wife Anna shall conceive'. The icon shows the infant Mary with her parents. Their hands gently cradle her in their arms, and her hand reaches up to her mother's face as if pointing to the new reality that will come to be, from above. May God bless you and keep you in His love.

Tuesday 25 July 2017, S James, Apostle, Feast. This feast of the close companion of our Lord, first among the apostles to be martyred, falls in the same week as the feast of S Mary Magdalen and the Benedictine feast of Saints Mary, Martha and Lazarus, hosts of the Lord. All these saints belong to the earliest times of Christianity and were affected in different ways by the wave of persecution that overtook the Church in about AD44. Their knowledge of the Lord faced them with a choice, and all of them chose the way of Jesus above any other consideration. May we, in our own time and in our own way, be strengthened by their prayers to stand firm ourselves. May God bless you.

Monday 24 July 2017, Feria in Ordinary Time and Optional Memoria of S Sharbel Makhluf. Pope Paul VI said at the canonisation of this nineteenth century Maronite monk: 'A hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed, a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people. May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God'. May he pray for us, and may his intercession bring peace among those who live in the Middle East. God bless you.

23 July 2017, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 'Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words'. These words from our second Mass reading today show us a path that is true, and one that will lead us straight into the Heart of our Lord and Saviour. May we learn the way of true reliance on Him, and may the Spirit lead us onward, into all the Truth. God bless you.

Saturday 22 July 2017, S Mary Magdalen, Feast. It was said of S Mary Magdalen that she, together with her brother Lazarus and sister Martha, were placed, during a wave of Christian persecution after the execution of S James of Jerusalem, in a boat without sail or rudder. They were sent off and left to make land wherever they could. They landed at Marseilles in Provence, and preached the Gospel there. S Mary Magdalen withdrew to a cave in the mountains and there lived a life of prayer and penance, and when she died, she was buried in what is now the Basilica of S Maximin. The presence of the three 'Holy Friends of Jesus' in Provence is recognised as part of the ancient sacred history of France and they are still venerated today as having much to say to our contemporary age. May we too remain 'Friends of Jesus' and may God bless you this day.

Friday 21 July 2017, Feria in Ordinary Time. In today's Old Testament reading we have the description of the Lamb, slain and made ready for the Paschal Meal before the Exodus. The mind turns immediately to the apparition at Knock in 1879, with the Lamb shown upon the altar, as described in the book of the Apocalypse: 'And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain … and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb … Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!"' May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us all, and lead us to heaven. God bless you.

Thursday 20 July 2017, Feria in Ordinary Time. We don't often see jays in our garden, but the other afternoon no fewer than three appeared! One was on the ground (this one), and two others were in the trees above, keeping guard. We give thanks for the rich variety of God's creation, even in the city, and pray that it will be safeguarded and protected. God bless you.

 

©SBVM 2013