Thought for the Day – 27 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Monica (322-387)
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Sermons preached on various occations
“Many a mother, who is anxious for her son’s bodily welfare, neglects his soul.
So, did NOT the Saint of today – her son might be accomplished, eloquent, able and distinguished – all this was nothing to her, while he was dead in God’s sight, while he was the slave of sin, while he was the prey of heresy.
She desired his true life.
She wearied heaven with prayer
and wore out herself,
with praying –
she did not at once prevail.
He left his home,
he was carried forward by his four bearers –
and ambition –
he was carried out into a foreign land,
he crossed over from Africa to Italy.
She followed him,
she followed the corpse,
the only mourner-
she went where he went, from city to city.
It was nothing to her to leave her dear home and her native soil, she had no country below; her sole rest, her sole repose, her Nunc dimittis, was his new birth.
So while she still walked forth in her deep anguish and isolation
and her silent prayer,
she was at length rewarded by the long-coveted miracle.
Grace melted the proud heart
and purified the corrupt breast of Augustine
“How many difficulties there are also today in family relationships and how many mothers are anguished because their children choose mistaken ways! Monica, a wise and solid woman in the faith, invites us not to be discouraged but to persevere in our mission of wives and mothers, maintaining firm our confidence in God and clinging with perseverance to prayer.”
Pope Benedict XVI (27 August 2006)
St Monica, Pray with us for our sons, Pray for Us!
Quote/s of the Day – 27 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 23:23–26 and The Memorial of St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Father of the Church
“What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42). Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven… What He receives on earth, He returns in heaven!”
” For true charity, beloved brethren, is the soul of the whole of Scripture, the strength of prophecy, the structure of knowledge, the fruit of faith, the wealth of the poor, the life of the dying. So keep it faithfully, cherish it with all your heart and all the strength of your soul.”
“I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church? What indeed if not mercy? Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven. A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.”
“So hold fast to the sweet and salutary bond of love, without which, the rich are poor and with which the poor are rich. What do the rich possess if not charity? (…) And since “God is love,” (1 Jn 4:8) as John the evangelist says, what can the poor lack, if they merit to possess God by means of charity? (…) So love, dearest brethren and hold fast to charity without which no-one will ever see God.”
One Minute Reflection – 27 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 23:23–26 and The Memorial of St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Father of the Church
“You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”…Matthew 23:26
REFLECTION – “And so, dearly beloved brethren, let us each examine his conscience and when he sees that he has been wounded by some sin, let him first strive to cleanse his conscience by prayer, fasting, almsgiving and so dare to approach the Eucharist. If he recognises his guilt and is reluctant to approach the holy altar, he will be quickly pardoned by the Divine Mercy, “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt 23:12). If then, as I have said, a man conscious of his sins, humbly decides to stay away from the altar until he reforms his life, he will not be afraid of being completely excluded from the eternal banquet of heaven.
I ask you then, brethren, to pay careful attention. If no-one dares approach an influential man’s table in tattered, soiled garments, how much more should one refrain in reverence and humility from the banquet of the Eternal King, that is, from the altar of the Lord, if one is smitten with poisonous envy, or anger, or is full of rage and fury? For it is written, “Go first and be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:24). And again, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And when he kept silent, that man said to the attendants, ‘bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” (Mt 22:12,13). The same sentence awaits the man who dares present himself at the wedding feast, that is at the Lord’s table, if he is guilty of drunkenness, or adultery, or retains hatred in his heart.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, Father of the Church
PRAYER – Lord God, renew Your Church with the Spirit of wisdom and love which You gave to St Caesarius. Lead us by that same Spirit, to seek You, the only fountain of true wisdom and the source of everlasting love. May we turn to You in sorrow and true repentance when we fail and strive always and everywhere to live in Your truth and Your love for all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Spirit, one God, forever and ever. St Caesarius, pray for the Church and for us all, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Monica (322-387)
Late Have I Loved You By St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor
Late have I loved You,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved You!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for You
and upon the shapely things You have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with You.
They held me back far from You,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in You.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness.
You flared, blazed, banished my blindness.
You lavished Your fragrance, I gasped
and now I pant for You.
I tasted You and now I hunger and thirst;
You touched me and I burned for Your peace.
Saint of the Day – 27 August – Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543) – ArchBishop and Church Father, Theologian, Preacher, apostle of charity, legislator, administrator, writer, reformer – sometimes known as Caesarius of Chalon due to his birthplace, born in 470 at Châlons, Burgundy, Gaul (modern France) and died on 27 August 543 at Saint John’s convent, Arles, Gaul. Patronages – against fire.
Caesarius was born at what is now Chalon-sur-Saône, to Roman-Burgundian parents in the last years of the Western Empire. His sister, St Caesaria, to whom he addressed his “Regula ad Virgines” (Rule for Virgins), presided over the convent he had founded. Unlike his parents, Caesarius was born with a very strong and intense feeling for religion which alienated him from his family for the majority of his adolescence.
He entered the monastery of Lérins when quite young but his health being affected, the abbot sent him to Arles in order to recuperate. The Monastic community he joined there nursed him back to health and he was soon popularly elected as their bishop. By middle age, he had “become and was to remain the leading ecclesiastical statesman and spiritual force of his age.” His concern for the poor and sick was famous throughout and beyond Gaul as he regularly provided ransom for prisoners and aided the sick and the poor. Upon arriving in the city, the Vita Caesarii Life of Caesarius, says that Caesarius discovered, completely to his surprise, that the bishop of Arles – Aeonius – was a kinsman from Chalon (concivis pariter et propinquus – “at once a fellow citizen and a relative”. Aeonius later ordained his young relative as deacon and then Priest. For three years he presided over a monastery in Arles but of this building, no vestige is now left.
On the death of the bishop Caesarius was unanimously chosen his successor. He ruled the See of Arles for forty years with apostolic courage and prudence and stands out in the history of that unhappy period as the foremost bishop of Gaul. His episcopal city, near the mouth of the Rhone and close to Marseilles, retained yet its ancient importance in the social, commercial, and industrial life of Gaul and the Mediterranean world generally. As Bishop, Caesarius suffered much political hardship and attacks from many sides but he consistently remained true to his role as Bishop of the faith.
Caesarius, is, however, best known in his own day and is still best remembered, as a popular preacher, the first great ‘peoples’ preacher’ of the Christians, whose sermons have come down to us. As a preacher, Caesarius displayed great knowledge of Scripture and was eminently practical in his exhortations. Besides reproving ordinary vices of humanity, he had often to contend against lingering pagan practices, as auguries, or heathen rites.
Caesarius also has the reputation of being the faithful champion of Augustine of Hippo in the early middle ages. Thus Augustine’s writings are seen to have profoundly shaped Caesarius’ vision of human community, both inside and outside the cloister and Caesarius’ prowess as a popular preacher, is understood to follow from his close attention to the example of the Bishop of Hippo. A certain number of these discourses, forty more or less, deal with Old Testament subjects and follow the prevalent typology made popular by St Augustine.
Caesarius has over 250 surviving sermons in his corpus. His sermons reveal him as a pastor dedicated to the formation of the clergy and the moral education of the laity. He preached on Christian beliefs, values and practices against pagan syncretism. He emphasises the life of a Christian as well as the love of God, reading the scriptures, asceticism, psalmody, love for one’s neighbour and the judgement that would come. His works travelled to all parts of the Christian West, spreading his medieval sermon tradition and its topics. His writings were used by monks in Germany, repeated in Anglo-Saxon poetry and turned up in the important works of Gatianus of Tours and Thomas Aquinas.
As the occupant of an important see, the bishop of Arles exercised considerable official, as well as personal, influence. Caesarius was liberal in the loan of sermons and sent suggestions for discourses to priests and even bishops living in Spain, Italy, and elsewhere in Gaul. The great doctrinal question of his age and country was that of semi-Pelagianism. Caesarius, though evidently a disciple of St Augustine, displayed in this respect, considerable independence of thought.
Caesarius instituted many reforms, was the first to introduce in his cathedral the Divine Office, Hours of Terce, Sext and None and he also enriched with hymns, the Psalmody of every Hour.
On a visit to Rome, Pope St Symmachus gave him the Pallium and made him the apostolic delegate to France. St Caesarius was the first in western Europe to receive the Pallium, thus being a forebear of this custom, which now is a rite of the Church.
St Caesarius published the Brevarium Alarici, an adaptation of Roman law which became the civil law of all Gaul. Following the fall of Arles by the Franks in 536, Caesarius moved his offices and residence to Saint John’s convent where he lived out his last seven years, spending much of his time in prayer.
Caesarius was a perfect monk in the episcopal chair and as such, his contemporaries revered him. He was a pious and a peaceful shepherd amid barbarism and war, generous and charitable to a fault, a great benefactor of his Church, mindful of the helpless, tactful in dealing with the powerful and rich, in all his life a model of Catholic speech and action.
St Ebbo of Sens
St Etherius of Lyons
St Euthalia of Leontini
St Fortunatus of Potenza
Bl Gabriel Mary
St Gebhard of Constance
St Giovanni of Pavia
St Honoratus of Potenza
Bl Jean Baptiste Guillaume
Bl Jean-Baptiste Souzy
St John of Pavia
St Licerius of Couserans
St Malrubius of Merns
Bl Maria del Pilar Izquierdo Albero
St Narnus of Bergamo
Bl Roger Cadwallador
St Rufus of Capua
St Sabinian of Potenza
St Syagrius of Autun
Martyrs of Tomi – 5 saints: A group of 17 Christians imprisoned and excuted for their faith during the persecutions of Diocletian. They miraculously were unburned by fire and untouched by wild animals. We know the names and a few details on five of them – John, Mannea, Marcellinus, Peter and Serapion. They were tied to stakes and burned alive; they emerged unharmed – thrown to wild animals in the amphitheatre; the animals ignored them; they were beheaded in 304 in Tomi, Mesia (modern Costanza, Romania).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Buenaventura Gabika-Etxebarria Gerrikabeitia
• Blessed Esteban Barrenechea Arriaga
• Blessed Fernando González Añon
• Blessed Francisco Euba Gorroño
• Blessed Hermenegildo Iza Aregita
• Blessed José María López Carrillo
• Blessed Juan Antonio Salútregui Iribarren
• Blessed Pedro Ibáñez Alonso
• Blessed Pelayo José Granado Prieto
• Blessed Plácido Camino Fernández
• Blessed Quirino Díez del Blanco
• Blessed Ramón Martí Soriano