Thought for the Day – 30 June
At one time, it was a crime to be a Christian and it still is in certain parts of the world.
In places less distant from us than a days plane trip, Christians are outlawed and imprisoned.
How would we respond in those circumstances?
Are you willing to give up everything for the sake of Christ – or – are you just talking?
Holy Martyrs of the Church of Rome, pray for us!
Quote/s of the Day – 30 June
“Of the many questions I ask myself none preoccupies me as much as the conundrum that so many evolving human beings, proud and confident of their progress, are turning their backs on God. It is disturbing that in an age of such remarkable progress in all sorts of fields we should be faced with denial and belittlement of God like a rampant infectious disease. How has the image of God become so eclipsed that so many are no longer moved by it? Does the fault lie only with them? Or is something required of us to make it shine on the world once more in all its radiance, and dare we hope that study of the God concept will at least alleviate this greatest of all needs?”
“He who wants to win the world for Christ,must have the courage, to come in conflict with it.”
Blessed Titus Brandsma
One Minute Reflection – 30 June
Just as we have a share in Christ’s many sufferings, so also through Christ, we share in his great help……2 Cor 1:4-5
REFLECTION – “Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian?
Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so.”……..St Augustine
PRAYER – Lord God, you consecrated with the blood of the martyrs the fertile beginnings of the Roman Church. Grant us the grace to rejoice at the martyrs’ victory and strengthen us with firm courage as we remember their endurance of such a trial. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Holy Martyrs of the early Church of Rome, Pray for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 30 June
Prayer before an Image of Jesus Crucified
by Blessed Titus Brandsma (Martyr)
Dear Lord, when looking up at Thee,
I see Thy loving eyes on me;
Love overflows my humble heart,
Knowing what a faithful friend Thou are.
A cup of sorrow I foresee,
Which I accept for love of Thee,
Thy painful way I wish to go;
The only way to God I know.
My soul is full of peace and light;
Although in pain, this light shines bright.
For here Thou keepest to Thy breast.
My longing heart to find there rest.
Leave me here freely all alone,
In cell where never sunlight shone.
Should no one ever speak to me,
This golden silence makes me free!
For though alone, I have no fear;
Never wert Thou, O Lord, so near.
Sweet Jesus, please, abide with me!
My deepest peace I find in Thee
Saint/s of the Day – 30 June – The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome – the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome were Christians martyred in the city of Rome during Nero’s persecution in 64. The event is recorded by both Tacitus and Pope Clement I, among others.
There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (see Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in A.D. 57-58.
There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in A.D. 49-50. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in A.D. 54. Paul’s letter was addressed to a church with members from Jewish and gentile backgrounds.
In July of A.D. 64, more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumour blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, a “great multitude” of Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.
Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in A.D. 68 at the age of thirty-one.
Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did and many of those who began to follow Him shared His suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.
First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (Optional Memorial) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyXr3UySmPA
St Adolphus of Osnabrück
St Alpinian of Limoges
St Alrick the Hermit
Bl Ambrose de Feis
Bl Anthony de Tremoulières
Bl Arnulf of Villers
St Austriclinian of Limoges
St Basilides of Alexandria
St Bertrand of Le Mans
St Clotsindis of Marchiennes
Bl Elisabeth Heimburg
St Emiliana of Rome
Bl Gennaro Maria Sarnelli
Bl Jacob Clou
St Leo the Deacon
St Lucina of Rome
St Lucina of the Callistus Catacombs
St Marcian of Pampeluna
St Martial of Limoges
St Otto of Bamberg
St Peter of Asti
St Petrus Li Quanhui
Bl Philip Powel
St Raimundus Li Quanzhen
Bl Raymond Lull
St Theobald of Provins
Bl Vasyl Vsevolod Velychkovskyi
St Vihn Son Ðo Yen
Bl Zenon Kovalyk
Martyrs of Africa – 7 saints: Seven Christians martyred together. No detail about them have surived but the names – Cursicus, Gelatus, Italica, Leo, Timotheus, Zoilus, and Zoticus. Date and precise location in Africa unknown.
PRAYER FOR POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI
ON THE 66TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS ORDINATION – 29 JUNE 2017
Most gracious Heavenly Father,
We thank You for our faithful Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,
whose spiritual fatherhood and example of fidelity, self-sacrifice, humility and devotion
has been so vital to the faith of Your people
through 66 years of living his role as Your earthly shepherd.
May our spiritual father, who continues his mission for his flock
be always guided by the examples of Saints Peter and Paul,
all the Apostles and their saintly successors.
Give him valiant strength in his twilight years,
hope in times of trouble and sorrow and steadfast love for You,
and for all Your people throughout the world.
May the light of Your Truth continue to shine through him.
We thank You for blessing Pope Emeritus Benedict with his
continued generosity in imparting his knowledge to all Your children.
Bless him and keep him and protect him
and let him know that he is greatly loved and respected.
Our prayers arise to You, our Father for our beloved Pope Benedict
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.