Thought for the Day – 28 May – The Ascension of the Lord
“As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith” (CCC No. 71, excerpt). The life of true faith. It is a stimulating and vigorous Catholic life of love and brightness; one which cannot be shaken nor injured nor destroyed by the appearance of any earthly catastrophe so long as we ourselves remain in the Light, remembering what we have heard from the beginning, never turning from our Beloved who ascended into heaven in order to appear in the presence of God on our behalf!
Lord Jesus Christ, seated at the Right Hand of the Father, intercede for us!
“For our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20)
“The Lord opening the way to heaven, gives us a foretaste of divine life, already on this earth.”
“Christ’s Ascension means … that He belongs entirely to God. He, the Eternal Son, led our human existence into God’s presence, taking with Him flesh and blood in a transfigured form. The human being finds room in God; through Christ, the human being was introduced into the very life of God.”
Pope Benedict XVI
“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
C S Lewis
“For today …….for us, whom our virulent enemy had driven out from the bliss of our first abode, the Son of God has made members of Himself and placed at the right hand of the Father, with Whom He lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight……….Acts 1:9
REFLECTION – “Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with Him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For just as He remained with us even after His ascension, so we too are already in heaven with Him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.”………………………St. Augustine
When we went down into the Font of Baptism we were incorporated into Jesus Christ, made members of His Body, the Church. Therefore, as Augustine also wrote, “Where the Head is, there is the Body, where I am, there is my Church, we too are one; the Church is in me and I in her and we two are your Beloved and your Lover.” In other words, we have ascended with the Lord!
PRAYER – Holy Father, teach me and help me to ‘abide’ in Your Son, who by ascending to You, took me too with Him. For He is my root and my foundation and I live only in Him! My Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ my Lord, be with me always and intercede for us all with our Father. Amen
O Holy Mary, My Mother St Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)
O Holy Mary, my mother,
into your blessed trust and custody,
and into the care of your mercy
I this day, every day,
and in the hour of my death,
commend my soul and my body.
To you I commit
all my anxieties and miseries,
my life and the end of my life,
that by your most holy intercession
and by your merits
all my actions may be directed
according to your will
and that of your Son.
NOVENA from ASCENSION to PENTECOST DAY THREE – SUNDAY 28 MAY 2017
The Holy Spirit
Only one thing is important: eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared: sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness and indifference. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will and inflames the heart with the love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, because the Spirit comes to us in our needs. When we don’t know what to say, it is the Spirit who speaks within us.
The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety creates in our hearts a deep affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake all people and things consecrated to him, as well as those who act with His Divine authority, Mary Mother of the Saviour and the Saints, the Church and its visible head the Pope, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. The person who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of the faith, not a burdensome duty but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labour.
Come and fill me, O Blessed Spirit of Piety. Possess my heart. Purify me. Humble me. Enkindle in me such a love for God that I may be satisfied only in His service and lovingly submit to all legitimate authority for the sake of Your kingdom. Make me increasingly uncomfortable with everything that is evil, so that I turn away from it and live only in You. Amen.
O God, who in Your love and mercy
was pleased to send missionaries to Uganda
to bring the light of Christ to all the peoples,
we thank You for the gift of the
Holy Martyrs of Uganda, our ancestors in faith,
whom You gave the strength to overcome sin and the
anguish of torture and to bear witness to the truth.
Mary, Mother of all who believe!
May all Christ’s followers in universal Church
draw ever closer together in a spirit
of mutual respect and cooperation.
May they bear ever more fraternal witness
to the reconciling love of Jesus the Redeemer.
Impelled by the Spirit of love,
may they help spread the light of the Gospel
to all the people of Uganda and all the world..
To the Holy Martyrs, we beg for intercession,
be pleased to hear our prayer and pray for us that this,
our special request may be granted
(make your intention)
Holy Martyrs of Uganda, we honour and praise you!
Please pray for us!
O heavenly Father, we make our prayer
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 28 May – Blessed Maria Bartolomea Bagnesi OP (1514-1577) Vrgin, Third Order Dominican, Mystic, Ecstatic, with the gift of levitation – born as Maria Bagnesi but always called “Marietta” because of her tiny frame, on 15 August 1514 at Florence, Italy and died on 28 May 1577 at Florence, Italy of natural causes, agd 62. Patronages – abuse victims, ill people, against the death of parents, Dominican tertiaries. Her body is incorrupt.
Maria Bagnesi was born in Florence on 15 August 1514 – the Feast of the Assumption – to Carlo Bagnesi and Alessandra Orlandini. Bagnesi was a neglected child and her mother often left her in the care of others which included one of Bagnesi’s sisters who was a nun from the Order of Preachers so she spent most of her childhood in her sister’s convent. Four of her sisters would end up in the religious life.
Her father organised a marriage for her when she turned seventeen and she fainted in horror upon learning this. The thought made Bagnesi so ill she could not walk and was thus confined to her bed. Her father turned to con men and charlatans – for he could be manipulated with ease – and put his daughter through over three decades of non-stop “treatment”. Being bedridden meant that she could not follow her sisters into the religious life but she nevertheless became a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic in 1544 and made her profession in 1545. She made her profession into the hands of and received the habit from Vittorio di Mattheo who allowed for this to take place in Bagnesi’s room. Bl Maria developed a deep devotion to Saint Bartholomew the Apostle and she assumed the name of “Bartolomea” as part of her actual name as a sort of middle name when she made her profession. After she professed she found that she could get out of her bed for brief periods of time. The combination of asthma and these quack treatments immobilised her just as she began to heal and she started to have visions and converse with angels and demons alike. Neighbours began to believe she was under demonic possession and summoned a local priest – who became her spiritual advisor who assured the locals she was not possessed or in need of an exorcism. People also claim to have seen her levitate. She was also granted the special privilege of having Mass celebrated in her room at times.
Her room soon became a place for pilgrims to go to in order to seek her wisdom and counsel and her room became a place for cats to roam – some remained with her and even slept on her bed while guarding her pet songbirds. She also came to know Saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi and shared her visions with her; the saint would herself be cured due to Bagnesi’s intercession on 16 June 1584. Bagnesi received the Eucharist three to six times a week and prepared beforehand with docile care and spent the time following her reception of it in deep reflection. Her confessors were the Priests Alessandro Capocchi and Agostino Campi.
Bagnesi died in Florence in 1577 and at the end of her life, five Priests were present at her deathbed and one of them read to her one of the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Jesus Christ. Her remains were taken in procession for her funeral from Santa Maria Novella to Santa Maria degli Angeli where she was interred.
Let us Pray: O God, the lover of souls, who in Blessed Mary Bartholomew, Thy Virgin, didst unite wonderful endurance of illness with equal innocence of mind, grant , that we who are afflicted according to our deserts may be refreshed with the comfort of Thy grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
7th Sunday of Easter (2017) or ASCENSION Sunday in many parts of the world where the Solemnity is transferred
Bl Albert of Csanád
Bl Antoni Julian Nowowiejski
St Bernard of Menthon
St Caraunus of Chartres
St Caraunus the Deacon
St Crescens of Rome
St Dioscorides of Rome
Eoghan the Sage
Gemiliano of Cagliari
Germanus of Paris
Bl Heliconis of Thessalonica
Helladius of Rome
Herculaneum of Piegaro
Bl John Shert
Justus of Urgell
Bl Lanfranc of Canterbury
Luciano of Cagliari
Bl Luigi Biraghi
Bl Margaret Plantagenet Pole
Bl Maria Bagnesi
Bl Mary of the Nativity
Moel-Odhran of Iona
Paulus of Rome
Podius of Florence
Bl Robert Johnson
Senator of Milan
Bl Thomas Ford
William of Gellone
Bl Wladyslaw Demski
Martyrs of Palestine: A group of early 5th century monks in Palestine who were martyred by invading Arabs.
Martyrs of Sardinia – 6 saints: A group of early Christians for whom a church on Sardinia is dedicated; they were probably martyrs, but no information about them has survived except the names Aemilian, Aemilius, Emilius, Felix, Lucian and Priamus. Patrons of the diocese of Alghero-Bosa, Italy.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Lluís Berenguer Moratona